ATF Labels to Gain Clarity in Some States Jan. 1


Labels on automatic transmission fluid should be clearer starting Jan. 1 in the 19 states that automatically codify the latest version of the National Conference on Weights and Measures NIST Handbook 130.

According to the 2018 version of NIST Handbook 130, the states in question are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said it plans to propose adoption of the Handbook 130 amendments some time in 2018, according to a Dec. 7 alert notice by the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association. Some states automatically codify the latest version, while others go through legislative or rule-making processes to do so.

NCWM adopted the amendments at its annual meeting in July in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and they become enforceable Jan. 1, 2018. NIST Handbook 130 contains model laws and regulations, including some covering engine fuels and lubricants.

The American Petroleum Institute first proposed the two amendments in 2015, at the request of the conferences Fuels and Lubricants Subcommittee, which wanted transmission fluid requirements consistent with those adopted for engine oils. API, ILMA and the Automotive Oil Change Association then developed the amendments in conjunction with the subcommittee.

The amendments specify labeling for containers – including bottles, cans, multi-quart or liter containers, pails, kegs, drums and intermediate bulk containers – a and also for storage tanks. The changes also include directions for documenting transmission fluid sold in bulk, and for how service providers should document transmission fluid installed from a bulk tank at the time of vehicle service.

The updated 2018 edition of the NIST Handbook 130 is available online here. The changes in labeling and documentation requirements for transmission fluids are reflected on pages 135 through 137 of the handbook. Tables on pages six through nine describe how each state handles adoption of the latest laws and regulations.