Publisher's Page: Does Anyone Care About QVM or CMC Certifications Anymore?

Posted on May 1, 2004 by Sara Eastwood-McLean - Also by this author

At the LCT Show last February, I was approached by the owner of a non-QVM/CMC coachbuilder who was upset that so many other “non-certified coachbuilders (which he believed were illegitimate) were allowed into the show when in year’s past we had stringent exhibiting requirements.” Good observation and one that I’d like to clarify with all of you.

From 1992 to 2002, LCT only allowed QVM and/or CMC coachbuilders to advertise and exhibit at our events. The reason was straightforward at the time.

There’s a little federal law on the books that states that all vehicle on our roads must be safety tested and pass Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Also by law, safety certification stickers are required to be placed on the inside of the driver’s door of any and all vehicles.

Because every single original safety test performed by the primary manufacturer is null and void once a vehicle is cut and stretched, secondary manufacturers are also legally duty-bound to re-test the vehicles — the most critical tests focus on all the vehicle stress points like the original factory tires, breaks and axles that were not designed to withstand added weight. But here’s the problem with that. It costs around $150,000 to put a vehicle through the FMVSS tests.

Thanks to Ford and Cadillac, both of these car companies conducted and paid for FMVSS tests on the Town Car, Excursion, Navigator and DeVille limousines. They in turn gave the engineering specs on all of the above to coachbuilders in their respective QVM and CMC programs. Good news for operators because you can be assured that QVM/CMC limousines meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Now, does that mean other stretched vehicles are not safe? Not necessarily. Independent builders have the legal right to self-certify their limousines and buses if they chose to shell out their own money to do so.

In 2002, Ultra Coach did just that. When they passed the FMVSS tests with their 180” stretch, they in turn sued us for the right to be in LCT magazine and show. So, with that turn of events our policies changed.

Today we do not exclude independent coachbuilders because by law they have the right to self-certify. But we do require all non-QVM/CMC manufacturers wishing to advertise or exhibit to sign a notarized affidavit that their products meet FMVSS requirements.

This brings me back to my conversation with that exhibitor who complained to me about the illegitimate coachbuilders in our show. He said that the sworn affidavits weren’t enough because vehicles that can carry more than 9-passengers are considered buses and we failed to require those companies to provide proof of DOT (again, a DOT sticker on the inside of the door panel can help to verify these vehicles are compliant).

While we do intend to tighten up our policies, you as the buyer must also be mindful that LCT is not the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Do your homework.

One more thing, the answer to my headline is, “yes.” The majority of the industry population cares about QVM/CMC. In fact, last week LCT conducted a reader study of 1,000 operators and asked them to prioritize what influenced their limousine buying decisions. The number one response was that the builder be QVM and/or CMC.


View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Why We Don’t Trust Driverless Cars Even When We Should

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) advances and deep learning matures, algorithms will run a greater share of our lives.

Lincoln Continental Unveiling Brings Out The Fan Club

South Bay Ford gives its fleet and retail customers an up-close look at the sedan that's creating a big buzz in the industry.

Clean, Classy Sprinter Perfect For Big Execs

Vehicle Pick Of The Week: This McSweeney Designs van is the way to go if you're trying to win corporate contracts.

2017 BMW 5 Series Lighter, Quicker, And Loaded With Tech

Product Review: The vehicle has an all-new iDrive infotainment system, with both a touchscreen and redundant physical controls.

Genesis G90 Attracts New Luxury Sedan Buyers

Product Review: Road noise is all but eliminated throughout the cabin, which seats five adults comfortably.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - October 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Leverage Tech To Levitate Your Operations * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close