M1 & N1 Seats – Passenger Seating from a Company you can Trust

Stina Eneman News

M1 & N1 Passenger Seats – Jany a market leader in Approved Seating 

ith the VCA European Whole Vehicle Type Approval and the new VOSA IVA Individual Vehicle Approval  now in Force, there is quite a lot of confusion into exactly what is required in terms of passenger seats in order to meet these standards.

Sometimes OEM seats are not good enough for your application as they tend to be “one size fits all” and cater for all business, you need the flexibility such as removable seats, tip/fold, recline, rotate slides, so an aftermarket seat is ideal as you can customise your vehicle exactly how you would like passenger seating layout to be.

There are a wealth of passenger seating manufacturers out there, but it is your responsibility to dig a little deeper into your passenger seating manufacturers testing, just taking their word that they are “EU Compliant” can leave you with problems, so it’s important to check as a minimum current requirement if their passenger seats comply with the ECE 76/115 (amendment 2005/41). Please be aware though ECE 76/115 (amendment 2005/41) will be replaced in 2014 by ECE Reg 14 which is what most vehicle manufacturers are working towards. (ECE Reg 14 applies to M1 or N1 vehicles M2 or N2 minibuses require ECE Reg 80).

Companies saying that their M1 or N1 passenger seats are designed for “pre registered vehicles” can also be another warning sign, whilst fitting seats to a vehicle already registered would not need to go for a VOSA inspection, it could cause problems such as insuring the vehicle, obtaining a taxi licence plate and even an MOT failure later in the vehicles life.

When you look at a passenger seat the cost of steel, foam, upholstery, seat belt, is pretty much on an even level across all manufacturers, the real hidden costs are the grades of steel, quality of safety components, the design and work put into testing, not just pull testing but strength, rear seat impact 20G dynamics and headrestarints just to comply with legislation.

It is quite easy for the total costs of type approving a complex vehicle such as an Ambulance to reach £100,000 and we have to look at getting our passenger seats to comply with not only vehicle manufacturers such as Mercedes, Ford, Fiat, Peugeot, Volkswagen, but we then have to test on the shells of the Vito, Sprinter, Boxer, Transit etc and this can run into £30,000 per manufacturer, per vehicle model.

It’s no longer good enough just to fit M1 seats into a vehicle. As the saying goes “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”, you must also be able to demonstrate that the seat anchorage in the vehicle floor has also been tested as complete assembly in a shell of the vehicle you intend to fit the seats into.

If your seating supplier has tested the seats in a Ford Transit and you are fitting them in a Mercedes Sprinter, again this will be rejected because manufacturer’s chassis behave differently under pull. You will also need to produce documentary evidence if your build is made up from several suppliers for example seats, legs and floor, there must be a clear link that the whole system approval interlinks together for your vehicle. When you fit a Jany system its 100% Jany through to the bolts in the vehicle floor, ensuring the documentation matches exactly the test documentation for the VCA and VOSA.

The documentary evidence must come from either from your own test or from your seating manufacturers test. It also needs to have been witnessed by a recognised authority (This can be the VCA, TÜV, UTAC or test houses recognised by the VCA)

The seating market at the moment is “buyer beware” But by taking simple actions by obtaining documentation. We deal with Police vehicles and the majority of Police Fleet managers in their tenders will no longer state M1 seats, it will say that the seats must comply with ECE 76/115 (Amendment 2005/41) and eventually ECE Reg 14.

It’s your vehicle and the last thing you want, is to rip out the seats and floor because it does not comply, so please ensure you have all the correct documentation from your seating manufacturer before you buy.

All our seating systems are tested to

EU standards for vehicle category M1 and N1:
Directive 76/115/EEC strength of seat belt anchorages
Directive 74/408/EEC energy absorption of back of seats
Directive 74/60/EEC seat belt & restraint systems
Directive 77/541/EEC head restraint systems
Directive 78/932/EEC strength, anchorage & energy absorption of seats