First off, Kudos to you for asking about a question that you got right! Too often we stop studying a question simply because we got it right, even if we didn't really master it.
Now: This question has a bunch of errors and common misconceptions, so I want to help break it down:
1. First issue: "because...calling for" (participles vs. verbs)
"New federal rules call for modifications to planes." --> This is correct. "New federal rules" is the subject, and "call" is the verb.
"New federal rules calling for modifications to planes were enacted by the FAA." --> This is also correct. Here, the subject is 'new federal rules" and "were enacted" is the predicate. The middleman "calling for modifications to planes" modifies the rules, and thus "calling" is a participle, not a verb.
What we have in this example is:
"New federal rules calling for modification...and..." --> This construction in A is incorrect. There would have to be a verb after "planes" for this to be OK, and there isn't.
2. Second issue: "new federal rules, which call for..." (modifiers)
The construction: "noun - comma - which" could be OK (for example: "The house on the left, which is blue, is huge.") since the noun modifier beginning with "which" correctly describes the noun preceding the comma. Again, as above, you would need a verb after "planes." Here, unfortunately, you don't have a verb for this subject.
3. "called for by" / "called for according to" (active vs passive voice)
In D and E, we have the passive voice: "modifications CALLED for BY" and "ARE CALLED FOR ACCORDING TO."
It's important to note that no SC answer choice will be wrong simply on the basis of passive vs. active verbs. Although we tend to prefer the active voice (many of your future Business school professors will point this out regularly), there is no rule that says "passive voice is wrong."
So D and E are wrong, but not necessarily because they are in passive voice. I'm happy to give this one away, but I'd rather see you smart folks out in cyber world solve this.
What's the most clear grammatical reason D and E are wrong?
Brett Beach-Kimball | Manhattan GMAT Instructor
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