As you may know, suspension modifications are delicate work and can directly affect the safety of the vehicle. For this reason, it is mandatory the inspection by workshops accredited by Inmetro and a subsequent authorization issued by the local Traffic Department. In this inspection process, a document called Vehicle Safety Certificate (CSV) is issued, which, as the name indicates, certifies that the modifications meet the basic vehicle safety requirements.
In practice the CSV is the government’s authorization to change your car, and only with it can Detran include the changes in the national registry of vehicles and issue the new document where the change information appears.
It turns out that in late September 2013, the National Traffic Council issued a resolution temporarily banning the regularization of changes to the vehicle suspension system – in other words, downsized cars and off-roaders and trucks lifted.
At that time, we contacted Contran, and found that the provisional measure was taken because of the large number of trucks notified with the modified suspension (see photo below). These visibly unsafe modifications stem from gaps and inconsistencies in resolution 292/2008, which regulates changes in the original characteristics of vehicles.
The controversial move has led many people to rush to the conclusion that demoted cars are being banned. In fact, what is happening is only a temporary ban on the regularization of these changes while Contran adjusts the legal text to avoid these loopholes and consequently improve traffic safety.
What Contran did was to suspend resolution 292 and temporarily prohibit the issuance of CSV and the inclusion of such changes in Renavam. This does not mean that you will not be able to lower your car any more. It means only that you will not receive the Vehicle Security Certificate (CSV) while the new replacement resolution does not take effect.
In principle, the suspension should last only 90 days but was extended until 31 March, as Contran stated that it would take more time to formulate the new resolution.
As Contran is currently working specifically on the issue of suspen- sion change, and protests are being organized in several cities, we find the opportune moment to expose these inconsistencies and suggest some measures.
What does the law say?
According to article 98 of the Brazilian Traffic Code, no owner can make modifications without the authorization of the competent authority, and article 106 makes clear that “in case of modification of vehicle will require, for licensing and registration, a security certificate issued by an institution “This means that you can modify your car, provided that Detran and Contran authorize the modifications.
In force since September 2008, Contran Resolution 292 provides for all vehicle modifications provided for in the Traffic Code. The suspension is mentioned in Article 6, which reads as follows (the italics are ours):
Art. 6 In the exchange of the suspension system, the use of suspension systems with height adjustment
Single paragraph: For vehicles that have their modified suspension, in the field of observations of the Vehicle Registration Certificate – CRV and the Vehicle Registration and Licensing Certificate – CRLV, the new height of the vehicle measured vertically from the ground Low (original) headlamp of the vehicle.
In summary, this is the article that prohibits suspensions in the air or screw and requires the inclusion of the new height of the car in the CRLV, document of obligatory postage, to prove to the inspection that you did everything as required by law (which, in turn , Aims at safety).
Here is the first inconsistency: Vehicles with suspension changes should bring the height of the vehicle into the CRLV, but cars with original suspension do not need – which means you can lower your car a bit and run around pretending to be original. If the document has no comments on the modification, and it is discreet, what legal basis does the inspection to assert that the vehicle has had its suspension changed? The resolution does not provide for this.
So I talked to a Federal Highway Patrol agent, and learned that the authority can determine the original height by the manufacturer’s manual, which informs the distance from the ground to the extreme top point of the vehicle. But the manual is neither an official document nor a mandatory document. In addition, the measure informed by the manufacturer made with the car empty, and the traffic agents do not have tools to do the technical assessment of the height at the approach site.
What’s the limit?
Now that we know that it is permissible to demote a car, we have a new question: what is the limit? Well, the only legal limit is established by the minimum height of the headlamps, which according to resolution 227/2007, requires that the low light of the passenger cars should be between 500 mm and 1,200 mm from the ground. For trucks, pickups and trucks, the minimum height of low light is higher.
Inconsistencies, contradictions and loopholes
“So I just need to keep the car headlights a couple of feet off the ground?” No. Because the deal is a bit more complicated, because of the very wording of resolution 292. Article 8 is the guy who confuses things even more (Attention to our tap):
Art. 8 The following are prohibited:
I – The use of wheels / tires that exceed the external limits of the
II – The increase or decrease of the external diameter of the tire / wheel assembly;
III – The replacement of the chassis or monobloc of vehicle by another chassis or monobloc,
In cases of modification, theft or loss of vehicles, with the exception of claims in
Motorcycles and the like
IV – The alteration of the original characteristics of the vehicle springs, inclusion, exclusion or
Modification of suspension devices.
Item IV makes clear: any kind of modification of the suspension and its devices is prohibited, contradicting what was written in article six. Or should we demote cars with ballast?
Before you think about buying sandbags, the answer is clear, and given by Contran himself in the table “Modifications Allowed”, attached to the text of the resolution:
That is: the suspension system change is a “Permitted Modification”, as long as it complies with Article 6, which has the CSV, and the new height is in the CRLV.
The problem is that the text remains contradictory – and that confuses the authorities themselves. Do you want proof? Then see this case occurred in Xanxerê / SC. The script is worthy of comedy skits: the citizen was instructed by Inmetro to buy sports springs, which are inspected by the Institute and reduce the height of the taxiway, but the Detran refuses to issue the CRLV with the change, since the car has not Plus the original springs – which in turn can not be changed to receive Inmetro CSV. The state itself is not understood!
According to Denatran’s advice, it was due to these inconsistencies and contradictions that the regularization was suspended temporarily, while the National Traffic Council redefines the standards of regularization so that there are no abuses and regularizations of irregular cars.
How to change?
Before you join your club’s galley and start a social networking move and share shallow, ungrounded Facebook messages, be advised that Denatran’s advice stated that “hardly demoted cars will be banned.” Cool, but what about the rest?
Now we have a much better and, indeed, more effective, suggestion.
As the Contran crew is working exactly on this project, it’s a good time to send our claims as representatives of the Brazilian automotive culture – not just FlatOut, but all of us who are voters, citizens and we love cars.
This is the time for a mobilization for a collective benefit. Reduced ride height is not just an aesthetic issue, but a proven engineering principle to improve car performance at the owner’s / driver’s desire.
As a matter of common interest, we have decided to make our suggestions on how to facilitate and improve the regularization of demoted cars so that bureaucratic diversions and clandestine and illegal alterations (and gambiarras), which may pose risks to the road environment, are avoided.
– The first claim is the cancellation of Article 8 of Resolution 292/2008, which prohibits the modifications, additions and exclusions of any components of the suspension. The annulment of this article would already eliminate the ambiguity and inconsistency of the text, making it clear that modifications are allowed (with a technical report from Inmetro).
– The second claim is the legalization of adjustable suspensions, since it is a technology that is more established and increasingly present in the original factory cars. Our suggestion is that, in order to be regularized, they must present in the technical report the maximum height and minimum running height, which in turn must comply with the limits set forth in resolution 227/2007 and have no variation greater than 100 mm.
– The third claim is the compulsory certification by Inmetro of suspension components, and the automatic issuance of the Vehicle Safety Certificate (CSV) along with the invoice of the part. In this way, modifications made with components approved by Inmetro can be exempted from the technical inspection granted by the CSV, without the safety of the modified vehicle being compromised, as well as reducing bureaucracy and reducing the costs of the regularization process, making it more accessible. Which would also encourage people to regularize the changes.
Power to the people
First of all, we would like to know what you think of our claims. Are they cool? Enough and comprehensive? Remember that this is not a witch hunt and it can affect everyone – from the guys who like to walk down to the off-roaders picking up pickups for their tracks in the mud, past track days participants, hot rodders and collectors Restomods, restorations with mechanical modernizations.
In addition, in order to reinforce our request to the authorities and competent bodies, we intend to create an online petition to collect signatures and send them to Denatran / Contran so that they are aware of this demand of the entire Brazilian automotive community. Would you support the cause?