WASHINGTON-Automotive shock absorbers have been removed from the U.S. Department of Transportation's list of hazardous materials. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) said shocks recently were added to the list as part of new DOT regulations concerning gases, since most modern shock absorbers are gas-charged with a small amount of inert nitrogen gas.
The nitrogen is not flammable or toxic but, because it is under pressure, was included on the DOT list.
The DOT regulation threatened to make shipment of shock absorbers more expensive, thereby driving up consumer cost.
Some shippers even had refused to transport the units altogether as a matter of policy against carrying any goods labeled as hazardous by the federal government, the ASA said.
Efforts to overturn the regulation were spearheaded by shock absorber manufacturers, who conviced DOT officials that gas-charged shocks pose no threat to safety during transportation.
Bob Redding, the ASA's Washington representative, said, ``It is encouraging to see a willingness by federal agencies to immediately address and correct regulatory oversteps.
``Our customers will benefit from this revision to the regulation with lower costs and an abundant and ready supply of automotive shock absorbers.''