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JAWA - Japanese Wheel Standards and Regulations for the Aftermarket


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In case you wondered what JAWA means on Japanese wheels:



Japanese Wheel Standards and Regulations for the Aftermarket


The following information is a basic explanation of wheel testing and marking requirements for the Japanese after market. The JWL and VIA marks are required for all wheels being manufactured for the Japanese market. It is possible to sell wheels with only the JWL, but JAWA has been pressuring retail chains and shops to only carry products that have both marks/testing.



JAWA Japan Light Alloy Wheel Association


JAWA (Japan Light Alloy Wheel Association), is an organization made up of various wheel companies, and carries out research and technical studies concerning the manufacture, marketing and distribution of automotive light alloy wheels. These activities also include market and technical research aimed at developing new demand for industry products plus many other related activities. To achieve these objectives, JAWA aims to improve the quality of the Automobile Light Alloy Wheel and promotes liability of our product in the Automotive Aftermarket.



JWL Mark


Japan Light Alloy Wheel (JWL) Standard for Passenger Cars. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport requires that aluminum wheels for passenger cars (with 3, 5, and 7-number plates) sold in Japan bear the JWL mark. The JWL mark can be displayed on wheels that have passed the standard through a self-certification system.



JWL-T Mark


Similarly, the ministry requires aluminum wheels for trucks and buses (with 1 and 4-number plates) to bear the JWL-T mark. Even if a vehicle is classified as a passenger car (with 3, 5, or 7-number plates), if it comes with LT tires as standard equipment due to its GVW (gross vehicle weight), it must use aluminum wheels bearing the JWL-T mark.



VIA Mark


A third-party entity called the Vehicle Inspection Association verifies whether a product meets the requirements prescribed by the JWL or JWL-T standard. This association permits a product to bear a VIA mark if it passes rigorous quality and strength verification tests conducted in accordance with the JWL or JWL-T standard.



JAWA Certificate Sticker


The JAWA Quality Certificates: Since 1995, JAWA has introduced the “JAWA Quality Certificate” system to protect and develop consumer confidence in wheel safety and quality. The certificate guarantees that all products qualify to the JWL and JWL-T light alloy disc wheel standards approved by Japanese Ministry of Transport and the products are registered under VIA regulations after strict quality testing by three types of testing methods.





In order to maintain high safety standards, JAWA supports the JWL and JWL-T technical standard and promotes JAWA VIA Registration System.



JWL (JAPAN LIGHT ALLOY WHEEL): The technical standard for Light Alloy Disc Wheels for Passenger Car approved by Ministry of Transport (MOT)


JWL-T (JAPAN LIGHT ALLOY WHEEL TRUCK & BUS): The technical standard for Light Alloy Disc Wheels for Truck and Bus approved by Ministry of Transport (MOT)


VIA (VEHICLE INSPECTION ASSOCIATION) Registration System: VIA marking can only be engraved on the wheel is registered by Japan Light Alloy Automotive Wheel Testing Council after strict quality tests by the authorized testing facility on the adaptability of JWL or JWL technical standard.



To establish the chronological order of wheel design in the aftermarket wheel industry, JAWA promotes the Voluntary Wheel Design Protection Registration System.


JAWA is also lending its support to the efforts to find solutions to material recycling for wheels and packing materials that are difficult to dispose of after use.



Product Liability Related Measures


The JAWA Quality Certification includes PL insurance. In accordance with the PL law effective in Japan since 1995, JAWA has introduced the Group PL (Product Liability) insurance program. All our aluminum wheels bearing the JAWA Quality Certificate stickers have been covered by this PL insurance policy in Japan since 1998.


Protecting original designs: The Design Protection Registration System

Since 1989, JAWA has introduced its Design Protection Registration system. The JAWA Wheel Design Committee, consisting of wheel design professionals, examines the originality of wheel designs submitted by JAWA’s member companies and the design, judged to be inherently creative or original, shall be registered by the committee. The registered design will be officially announced to the public to protect the originality of such wheel design or prevent dead-copying of the design.



Public Relations and Promotions


Public Relations and marketing support activities, including the automotive after market shows


1) JAWA promotes its activities to the public and executes a market research to study consumers’ demand and trends.


2) As a part of its public relations activities. JAWA supported the first “Auto Asia” show held in September ‘96 at Tokyo International Exhibition Center. This show was held by the Japan Auto Parts After Market Promotion Association, an organization consisted by JAWA, JASMA (Japan Automobile Sports Muffler Association) and ASEA (Auto Sports and Special Equipment Association) and will be held every two years to promote development of the Automotive After Market. (In the year 2000, the show was held jointly with Tokyo Auto Salon under the name of “Tokyo Auto Salon with Auto Asia 2000″.


3) JAWA publicizes in automobile magazines to announce its activities.


4) An annual report (”Aluminum Wheel Year Book”) of the Japanese aftermarket is published which is composed of responses from questionnaires to member companies which provides an overview of the Japanese market and manufacturing trends.


5) “JAWA News” is published twice a year.


Market Research and Special Studies


1) In order to study various regulations applying to wheels, JAWA’s delegation has visited TUV (Europe) and SEMA (USA) and provided technical data to SEMA who has been studying new technical standards of aftermarket Automotive Light Alloy Wheels.


2) In Taiwan and Korea where lots of important suppliers have production facilities, JAWA has promoted study sessions of the VIA system supported by Japan Light Alloy Automotive Wheel Testing Council.


3) In Japan, JAWA promotes the study session of VIA regulation whenever important revisions of the regulations are applied.


4) Every year, JAWA checks dimensions of all the new automobiles manufactured and sold in Japan and also supports revision activities for VIA testing conditions.

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