15

The symbol on the left in the image below is ubiquitous, yet so cryptic. What does it mean?

Is it just a warning that the car is at risk of toppling over?

[Wheelie symbol]

I tried paging through the owner's manual but couldn't find this symbol.

  • 1
    I think it means that the vehicle has a high center of gravity and there is a risk of tipping over. – dlu Dec 23 '16 at 17:46
  • What year is your landrover and what country was it purchased in? It's interesting to me that there is no text. – Jason C Dec 23 '16 at 19:33
  • @JasonC it's a 2009. It does talk about rollover hazard (around page 163), but doesn't have the symbol next to it – Zaid Dec 23 '16 at 19:36
18

I am completely sure that it is a rollover warning label.

enter image description here
(source: c-suvs.com)

It is an official symbol, at least in the US, and it became required by the NHTSA on SUVs around 1999. From the LA Times, for example, March 1999 (emphasis mine) (archive):

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will direct auto makers to post a graphic new label--showing a lurching SUV with two wheels high in the air--on the front of the sun visor or the driver's side window of new models.

The agency said that its action is a first step in a larger effort directed at SUVs, which have boomed in popularity in recent years, appealing to Americans from suburban mothers to young city dwellers. ...

A lot of it coincides with the time that SUVs were relatively new, and thus seems to be related to a lot of initial fears of a new design or perhaps poorer early designs.

I am finding it difficult to find a concise history of this warning and have written an email to the NHTSA. I will expand on this once I receive a response, which will likely be after the holiday season. Here is what I do know:

This seems to be an unexpectedly interesting and in-depth topic. I will also see if I can't dig up some info for other parts of the world.


Here is a copy of the email sent, fingers crossed:

I am doing some research on the history of the roll-over safety graphic
found on SUV sun visors:

[image: Inline image 1]

I've been having a hard time finding concrete info on the internet, and so
I have a few specific questions:


   - It is my understanding that prior to this graphic, there was a more
   textual warning label. What was the text of that label and when was that
   initially standardized?
   - It is my understanding that around March of 1999, the NHTSA concluded
   that owners were ignoring the text and switched to the above graphic, and
   that 3 possible graphics were proposed. What were the 3 proposed graphics
   and why was the current one selected?
   - What was the timeline for deciding a new graphic was needed ->
   proposing new graphics -> finalizing the proposal -> beginning enforcement
   of mandatory labels? Did this all happen in early 1999?
   - What is the criteria that determines whether a vehicle must have this
   warning? Is it a blanket warning for the entire SUV class, or are there
   center-of-gravity/track requirements?
   - It is my understanding that as of 2004 these warnings also started
   appearing on 15-passenger vans. Are there other vehicle types that also
   must display these warnings?

Thank you very much for your time. I hope this finds you well, and happy
holidays.

Jason
  • Is it just SUVs or is there a vertical CG/track combination (or something like that) that triggers it? – dlu Dec 23 '16 at 18:22
  • @dlu I do not know what the criteria are but I will try to find out. My initial impression is that it's a blanket warning on an entire class of vehicles (including at least SUVs and 15-passenger vans), but I have zero real information about the criteria right now. – Jason C Dec 23 '16 at 18:39
  • 1
    Great level of detail. The symbol lacks clarity of intention if you ask me. In my part of the world, the uninitiated would take it to be a green light to engage in fun and games – Zaid Dec 23 '16 at 19:34
  • 1
    @Zaid If you make a side view version of the label instead, you might encourage some Stubby Bobs. – Jason C Dec 23 '16 at 19:37
  • Fwiw, I never received a response from the NHTSA, but I just resent the email today. – Jason C Apr 2 '17 at 1:14
5

I'm pretty sure this symbol is suggesting there is a roll over hazard with the vehicle. The sticker you have shown seems to be the one on the back of the visor. It has to be one of the most useless stickers ever seen, due to the fact it spends 99% of it's adult life hidden next to the roof of the vehicle. The center image would suggest not to go around corners too fast. The last image is to suggest you need to ensure you seat belt is buckled in all situations.

  • And don't forget that you should see the owner's manual for more information :-) – dlu Dec 23 '16 at 18:06
  • 1
    @dlu I tried to locate the symbol and failed miserably – Zaid Dec 23 '16 at 19:29
  • 1
    @Zaid, that makes the yellow part of the placard almost cruel, I'm sure that that part says "warning! for more information read the owner's manual." – dlu Dec 23 '16 at 19:31
  • 2
    @dlu Lol, "Avoid abrupt maneuvers and excessive speed. For more information, please contact your system administrator." – Jason C Dec 23 '16 at 19:57
  • 1
    @JasonC, but that translates as "think well ahead and never get into a dicey situation, for more information please submit a trouble ticket well in advance of actual problem." – dlu Dec 23 '16 at 20:11

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