No exterior lighting changes occurred in 1972 on USA or Canadian cars from 1971.
DASHBOARD AND WIRING
USA/Canadian DS's manufactured in calendar year 1972 (i.e. late 1972 cars) received a seat belt light on the dashboard and a buzzer that sounded if the seat belts were not fastened. This system included a weight-activated switch in the front passenger seat to sense when someone was sitting on it and a switch on the parking brake lever mechanism (see photo, below). This system was mandated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) for cars with manufacturing dates in 1972.
The seat belt light logic was:
Weight on front seat (passenger side only) + seat belt not buckled + parking brake released + ignition on = light (flashing) and buzzer (steady)
For the driver's seat, the logic was the same except the driver's seat didn't have the seat weight switch installed since it can be assumed someone will always be sitting in that seat when the car is being driven.
Cars that had this warning system were equipped with inertia reel seat belts.
Most of the wiring for this system was separate from the main harness and was simply tied onto the main harness with rubber ties.
Early 1972 DS’s in USA and Canada (cars manufactured in late 1971) had standard 3-point manually-adjusted seat belts and no dashboard warning light.
FASTEN SEAT BELT light on a late 1972 DS
Switch on the parking brake lever used for the “Fasten Seat Belt” light logic
Flasher for "Fasten Seat Belt" Light
(located behind dash or in steering wheel pod)
Buzzer for "Fasten Seat Belt" Light
(located under dash)
The choke knob was changed on USA/Canadian cars mid-year in 1972. The symbol on the knob was changed to the word, "CHOKE".
Choke knob change in mid-1972
The hazard light switches on many 1972 cars were labeled with the letters "HAZ". Later in 1972, the HAZ lettering was changed to read "G1". The switches marked G1 had a metal plate installed behind the switch with the word HAZARD printed vertically. See photo. At the same time, French cars still did not have hazard lights (although hazard lights appear to have been delivered on many exported DS's).
Another USA change can be seen in the photo below; the windshield defroster lever had white lettering "DEF" silk-screened onto the plastic housing. The parts books suggest that these silk screened letters were added in 1970, but in practice, it seems that this change tends to mostly show up on 1972 cars.
Canadian cars seemed to get these two changes as well.
Hazard light switch, labeled with “G1” Also notice the defroster lever labeled with “DEF”
For 1972 models, the headlight and wiper switches changed on use DS's to have words instead of symbols. The part numbers are as follows:
USA/Canada wiper switch for 1972 cars: Part Number 5419294
USA/Canada headlight switch for 1972 cars: Part Number 5419293
We believe that this was a USA requirement of the era. It likely that Canadian cars also got these switches at the same time since there were almost zero differences between Canadian and US cars by this time.
Wiper switch on USA/Canadian DS's
Headlight switch on USA/Canadian DS's
All 1972 DS's in the USA and Canada had third generation headrests with snap-on pillows.
Generation 3 headrests as used on all 1972 DS's in North America
Early 1972 DS's had standard, manually adjusted 3-point seat belts, front and rear. However, the later 1972 DS's (both sedans and wagons) in the USA and Canada had inertia reel seat belts on the front and rear seats. These seat belts started coming on all cars with manufacturing dates in 1972. The parts books, owners manuals, and brochures do not seem to shed much light on the inertia reel seat belts.
The logic used to turn on the FASTEN SEAT BELT light (discussed in the WIRING above) utilized an input from the front inertia reels (notice the wire going to the front inertia reel on the below photo), the seat weight switch on the front passenger seat, and from the parking brake lever.
Factory installed inertia reel seat belts as installed in a 1972 DS21 Pallas - Notice the wire going to the front inertia reel
The most common A/C system found on North American cars for 1972 was a new Coolaire system that showed up on many DS’s. Coolaire was a company based in Miami, Florida that provided aftermarket air conditioning systems for many cars in the 1960’s and 1970’s (Jaguar, MG, BMW, Porsche, etc). For 1972 cars, Coolaire re-engineered their DS air conditioning design with many improvements over their previous DS system.
The new Coolaire system had fans and condensers mounted in the underpan, just behind the USA turn signal units. The front bumper had several rectangular vents cut into the lower part of the bumper blades to allow air to reach the condensers. The closing panels in front of the front wheels were vented to allow the condensers to expel hot air. A York compressor was rigidly mounted on the right side of the gearbox bell housing, adjacent to the hydraulic pump. The compressor was driven by a belt from a special water pump that had a third pulley groove.
This system may have been found on a few 1971’s, but we believe that this newer system was primarily on 1972 cars. Refer to the 1968 section for details on Coolaire’s earlier A/C system that was used from about 1967 to 1971.
Air conditioning was typically installed by Citroën personnel in the USA, before the cars were delivered to the dealerships.
Coolaire A/C system used on 1972 cars
Vented front bumper for A/C
Vented closing panel for A/C
Coolaire installation instruction booklet from 1972 (click here for full booklet, courtesy of the Citroën Club of Slovenia)
EMISSION AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Not much changed in 1972 for emission and safety equipment, except that the carburetor changed to a different Weber jetted for US emission rules ("DM" series Weber). There were however more data plate differences.
The door jam safety data plate came in four colors between 1970 and 1972; yellow, orange, green, and blue.
The yellow plate was installed on all 1970, 1971, and early 1972 sedans and wagons.
But starting in mid-1972 (cars manufactured after 1/72), the plates were required to show certain vehicle weight limitations, including the the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR is the maximum weight rating of the car, including fluids, passengers, and cargo. Since the weight ratings of sedans and wagons were different, Citroën used different color plates:
D-Specials had a GVWR of 3835 pounds (1740 kg) - ORANGE PLATE
DS21 sedans had a GVWR of 3970 pounds (1800 kg) - GREEN PLAGE
DS Wagons had a GVWR of 4520 pounds (2050 kg) - BLUE PLATE
Data plates were not initially included on Canadian cars, but did appear, probably in mid-1971 when the configuration of Canadian cars essentially merged with their American counterparts.
Yellow plate for all DS's between 1970 and early 1972
Orange plate for D-Specials manufactured after 1/72
Green plate for DS21 Sedans manufactured after 1/72
Blue plate for Wagons manufactured after 1/72
BUT WAIT A MINUTE!
Lets take a closer look at the wording on these orange, green and blue safety data plates. Huh? Is that a typo? Yes it is! Somehow this escaped being noticed by Citroën. It also escaped our notice, until a reader saw the mistake! This same mistake was also on late '72 and all '73 SM's.
ID19’s and D-Specials always had a simplified brake system with a conventional brake pedal in lieu of the champignon (mushroom) brake pedal. This is true from 1966 to 1972, except for a few months in late-1971 when USA and Canadian D-Specials received the champignon brake pedal but WITHOUT a brake accumulating sphere. We suspect this change was an interim solution associated with compliance with USA safety regulations.
But In 1972, D-Specials sold in North America (USA and Canada) returned to a simplified brake system with a conventional brake pedal.
Leak finders were retained in 1972 for all USA and Canadian DS’s. DS's had leak finders installed on the brake pedal unit and on 1972 D-Specials, the leak finders were moved to the engine compartment. You can read more about leak finders in the 1971 section.
In 1972, North American D-Specials returned to a conventional brake pedal
Leak finders as found in late 1971 and 1972 DS’s with the champignon brake pedal
Leak finders were moved to the engine compartment in 1972 D-Specials
Between 1969 and 1972, all DS’s in the USA had 180-380 (180-15) Michelin XH tires. Euro equivalent cars would have had XAS tires, with most Euro models having narrower tires in the rear.
We believe that Canadian 1966 to 1971 sedans and wagons were delivered with 180-380 XAS tires. But after the magic 4/71 date, it is unclear if Canadian cars were equipped with XH or XAS tires.
Refer to the early 1969 section for more information and photos of XH tires.