(a) Uniformity of Regulations.–The Secretary of Transportation may not prescribe a safety regulation related to a motor vehicle subject to subchapter I of chapter 135 of this title that differs from a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter. However, the Secretary may prescribe, for a motor vehicle operated by a carrier subject to subchapter I of chapter 135, a safety regulation that imposes a higher standard of performance after manufacture than that required by an applicable standard in effect at the time of manufacture.

Terms Used In 49 USC 30103

  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 19 USC 2294

(b) Preemption.–(1) When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter. However, the United States Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe a standard for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment obtained for its own use that imposes a higher performance requirement than that required by the otherwise applicable standard under this chapter.

(2) A State may enforce a standard that is identical to a standard prescribed under this chapter.

(c) Antitrust Laws.–This chapter does not–

(1) exempt from the antitrust laws conduct that is unlawful under those laws; or

(2) prohibit under the antitrust laws conduct that is lawful under those laws.


(d) Warranty Obligations and Additional Legal Rights and Remedies.–Sections 30117(b), 30118-30121, 30166(f), and 30167(a) and (b) of this title do not establish or affect a warranty obligation under a law of the United States or a State. A remedy under those sections and sections 30161 and 30162 of this title is in addition to other rights and remedies under other laws of the United States or a State.

(e) Common Law Liability.–Compliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from liability at common law.