[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 240 (Thursday, December 13, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74144-74159]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30082]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0177]
RIN 2127-AK86


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Event Data Recorders

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: In August 2006, NHTSA established a regulation that sets forth 
requirements for data elements, data capture and format, data 
retrieval, and data crash survivability for event data recorders (EDRs) 
installed in light vehicles. The requirements apply to light vehicles 
that are manufactured on or after September 1, 2012, and are equipped 
with EDRs. However, the regulation does not mandate the installation of 
EDRs in those vehicles. This notice of proposed rulemaking would 
establish a new safety standard mandating the installation of EDRs in 
most light vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2014. The 
EDRs in those vehicles would be required by the new standard to meet 
the data elements, data capture and format, data retrieval, and data 
crash survivability requirements of the existing regulation. This 
proposal would not modify any of the requirements or specifications in 
the regulation for EDRs voluntarily installed between September 1, 2012 
and September 1, 2014.

DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to be received not 
later than February 11, 2013. In compliance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act, NHTSA is also seeking comment on a new information 
collection. See the Paperwork Reduction Act section under Rulemaking 
Analyses and Notices below. Please submit all comments relating to new 
information collection requirements to NHTSA and to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) at the address listed in the ADDRESSES 
section on or before February 11, 2013. Comments to OMB are most useful 
if submitted within 30 days of publication.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The following persons at the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
    For technical and policy issues: Christopher J. Wiacek, Office of 
Crashworthiness Standards, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., West 
Building, W43-320, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-4801.
    For legal issues: William Shakely, Office of the Chief Counsel, 
NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., West Building, W41-227, Washington, DC 
20590. Telephone: (202) 366-2992. Fax: (202) 366-3820.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the docket number at 
the heading of this notice, by any of the following methods:
    Online: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions 
for submitting comments on the electronic docket site by clicking on 
``Help'' or ``FAQs.''
    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
    Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Comments regarding the proposed information collection should be 
submitted to NHTSA through one of the preceding methods and a copy 
should also be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20503, Attention: NHTSA Desk Officer.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number. Note that all comments received will be posted without 
change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act discussion below. We 
will consider all comments received before the close of business on the 
comment closing date indicated above. To the extent possible, we will 
also consider comments filed after the closing date.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. Telephone: (202) 366-9826.

[[Page 74145]]

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://www.dot.gov/privacy.html.
    Confidential Business Information: If you wish to submit any 
information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three 
copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim 
to be confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, 
at the address given under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In 
addition, you should submit two copies, from which you have deleted the 
claimed confidential business information, to Docket Operations at the 
address given above. When you send a comment containing information 
claimed to be confidential business information, you should include a 
cover letter setting forth the information specified in our 
confidential business information regulation (49 CFR part 512).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary
II. Background
    A. Overview of Event Data Recorder (EDR) Technology
    B. EDR Regulatory History--The Establishment of Part 563
C. Summary of Part 563
    1. Data Elements Recorded
    2. Data Retrieval
    3. Data Survivability and Crash Test Performance Requirements
    D. NHTSA's Validation of and Reliance on EDR Data in Its Crash 
Investigations Relating to Unintended Acceleration
III. Proposal
    A. Overview
    1. Overall Plan for Reviewing and Upgrading EDR Requirements
    2. This Proposal
    B. Reasons To Mandate the Installation of EDRs
    C. Reasons To Place Mandate in a Safety Standard
    D. Privacy Issues
    1. Agency Tailored EDR Performance Requirements To Minimize Data 
Gathering
    2. Agency Seeks Vehicle Owner Permission To Access EDR Data
    3. Necessity of VIN Collection
    4. Agency Protects VIN Information Needed To Download EDR Data
    5. Agency Uses and Stores EDR Data in Ways To Preserve Privacy
    E. Lead Time
    F. Benefits and Costs of This Proposal
IV. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
V. Request for Comments
Appendix A Part 563 Tables
Regulatory Text

I. Executive Summary

    An event data recorder (EDR) is a function or device installed in a 
motor vehicle to record technical information about the status and 
operation of vehicle systems for a very brief period of time (i.e., a 
few seconds) and in very limited circumstances (immediately before and 
during a crash), primarily for the purpose of post-crash assessment of 
vehicle safety system performance.\1\ EDR data are used to improve 
crash and defect investigation and crash data collection quality to 
assist safety researchers, vehicle manufacturers, and the agency to 
understand vehicle crashes better and more precisely. Additionally, 
vehicle manufacturers are able to utilize EDR data in improving vehicle 
designs and developing more effective vehicle safety countermeasures. 
EDR data can also be used by Advanced Automatic Crash Notification 
(AACN) systems to aid emergency response teams in assessing the 
severity of a crash and estimating the probability of serious injury 
before they reach the site of the crash.
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    \1\ An EDR does not make an audio or video recording, nor does 
it log data such as hours of service for commercial operators.
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    The installation of EDR technology has increased considerably 
within the light vehicle fleet, as most manufacturers have voluntarily 
chosen to install some type of EDR capability in their vehicles. The 
light vehicles most likely to be equipped with EDRs are those that are 
required to be equipped with frontal air bags, i.e., passenger cars, 
multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs), trucks, and buses with a gross 
vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 3,855 kilograms (kg) (8,500 pounds) or 
less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 2,495 kg (5,500 pounds) or less. 
We estimate that about 92 percent of model year (MY) 2010 passenger 
cars and other vehicles with a GVWR of 3,855 kg or less have some EDR 
capability.
    In August 2006, NHTSA established 49 CFR Part 563 (Part 563), which 
sets forth requirements for data elements, data capture and format, 
data retrieval, and data crash survivability for EDRs. The requirements 
apply to light vehicles required to have frontal air bags (those with a 
GVWR of 3,855 kg or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 2,595 kg or 
less) \2\ that are manufactured on or after September 1, 2012, and are 
equipped with EDRs. Thus, the regulation applies to only those vehicles 
that are voluntarily equipped with EDRs.
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    \2\ Walk-in van-type trucks or vehicles designed to be sold 
exclusively to the U.S. Postal Service are excluded from air bag and 
EDR requirements.
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    This notice of proposed rulemaking would establish a new safety 
standard mandating the installation of EDRs for all light vehicles that 
are required to have frontal air bags and are manufactured on or after 
September 1, 2014. The EDRs in those vehicles would be required by the 
new standard to meet the data elements, data capture and format, data 
retrieval, and data crash survivability requirements contained in Part 
563. The agency is issuing this proposal because we believe that, 
without a regulation, EDRs will remain absent from the estimated 8 
percent of the current light vehicle fleet that lacks an EDR. We 
believe that requiring all light vehicles required to have frontal air 
bags to be equipped with EDRs would help improve vehicle safety for 
consumers, while imposing relatively limited costs on the automobile 
industry.
    NHTSA is proposing today's NPRM under the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act (``Motor Vehicle Safety Act''). Under 49 
U.S.C. Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety (49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.), the 
Secretary of Transportation is responsible for prescribing motor 
vehicle safety standards that are practicable, meet the need for motor 
vehicle safety, and are stated in objective terms.\3\ ``Motor vehicle 
safety standard'' means a minimum performance standard for motor 
vehicles or motor vehicle equipment. When prescribing such standards, 
the Secretary must consider all relevant, available motor vehicle 
safety information.\4\ The Secretary must also consider whether a 
proposed standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the 
types of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for which it is 
prescribed and the extent to which the standard will further the 
statutory purpose of reducing traffic accidents and associated 
deaths.\5\ The responsibility for promulgation of Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards is delegated to NHTSA. In proposing to require the 
installation of EDRs in most light vehicles manufactured on or after 
September 1, 2014, the agency carefully considered these statutory 
requirements.
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    \3\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(a).
    \4\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(b).
    \5\ Id.
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    Placing the mandate in a FMVSS, instead of Part 563, would expand 
its ability to avail itself of the enforcement authority of the Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act, making it possible to seek civil penalties for 
failure to provide an EDR

[[Page 74146]]

or for failure to provide one that performs properly. We believe that 
this step is necessary to ensure that all manufacturers install EDRs 
and that the agency has full and accurate EDR information for all light 
vehicles required to have frontal air bags.
    The benefits of this proposal would be to expand and, therefore, 
enhance the utilization of the recorded information and lead to further 
improvements in the safety of current vehicles as well as future ones. 
A disproportionately high percentage of the light vehicles that would 
be affected by this proposal are relatively expensive vehicles and thus 
are significantly more likely than the typical light vehicle to be 
equipped with advanced safety features and systems, including advanced 
collision avoidance technologies. Thus, the light vehicles that would 
be affected by this proposal are the ones on which data regarding real 
world performance will most likely first be generated. It is important 
to have EDR data relating to the crash experiences of vehicles with 
these advanced safety systems so that the agency can, at the earliest 
possible time, gather enough information about emerging advanced 
technologies to conduct reliable analyses and make policy judgments. 
Additionally, the agency's experience in handling unintended 
acceleration and pedal entrapment allegations has demonstrated that EDR 
data from a particular vehicle model can have significant value to both 
the agency and the vehicle's manufacturer to identify and address 
safety concerns associated with possible defects in the design or 
performance of the vehicle. To serve this purpose for all light 
vehicles required to have frontal air bags, EDR data must be available 
for all such vehicles.
    This proposal would not change any of the substantive requirements 
of Part 563. The agency recognizes that there have been advances in 
vehicle safety systems and the implementation of new FMVSSs since the 
publication of the EDR final rule in 2006.\6\ However, the issue of 
whether there should be any changes to the amount and type of 
information that EDRs must collect is not being considered in this 
rulemaking. This proposal would also not modify any of the requirements 
or specifications for EDRs voluntarily installed between September 1, 
2012 and September 1, 2014.
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    \6\ FMVSS No. 214, ``Side impact protection,'' FMVSS No. 126, 
``Electronic stability control,'' and FMVSS No. 226, ``Ejection 
mitigation,'' all have been updated since the publication in 2006 of 
the EDR final rule.
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    We believe that the costs of installing EDRs are minimal because 
the devices involve the capture into memory of data that are already 
being processed by the vehicle, and not the much higher costs of 
providing sensors to obtain much of that data in the first place. The 
cost for an EDR is estimated to be $20 per vehicle. The estimated total 
incremental costs associated with this proposal would be $26.4 million 
(2010 dollars), which reflects the need for technology improvements, as 
well as assembly costs, compliance costs, and paperwork maintenance 
costs for those 1.32 million vehicles that have a GVWR of 3,855 kg or 
less, but do not currently have EDRs. Technological improvements 
account for the majority of these costs.
    The agency acknowledges that consumer privacy concerns persist 
regarding EDR data: Who owns it, who has access to it and under what 
circumstances, and what are the purposes for which it may be used. 
Approximately one dozen states have enacted laws addressing these 
issues. While these issues are of continued importance in the public 
discussion on the use of EDR technology, as an agency, we do not have 
the statutory authority to address many of these privacy issues because 
they are generally matters of State and Federal law that we do not 
administer. Within the limits of its authority, NHTSA has consistently 
sought to promote the recording of vital crash event information and to 
access and use that information in ways that safeguard privacy. For 
example, the agency seeks to access EDR data only with the vehicle 
owner's permission.

II. Background

A. Overview of Event Data Recorder (EDR) Technology

    An EDR is a function or device installed in a motor vehicle to 
record technical information about the status and operation of vehicle 
systems for a very brief period of time (i.e., a few seconds 
immediately before and during a crash), primarily for the purpose of 
post-crash assessment of vehicle safety system performance.\7\ In most 
cases, the type of crash that leads to the capturing of data is a 
frontal or side collision that is sufficiently severe to cause the air 
bags to deploy. Data collected from the EDR of a crash-involved vehicle 
can provide valuable information on the severity of the crash, 
operation of its air bags, and what air bag deployment decision 
strategies were used during the event. Additionally, the data can be 
used to assess whether the vehicle was operating properly at the time 
of the event, or to help detect undesirable operations that may lead to 
a recall of the vehicle to remedy the problem. The information obtained 
by manufacturers from EDRs aids them in improving vehicle performance 
in crash events.
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    \7\ An EDR does not make an audio or video recording, nor does 
it log data such as hours of service for commercial operators.
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    In recent years, the installation of EDR technology has increased 
considerably within the light vehicle fleet, as most manufacturers have 
voluntarily chosen to install some type of EDR capability in their 
vehicles. The light vehicles most likely to be equipped with EDRs are 
those that are required to be equipped with frontal air bags, i.e., 
passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs), trucks, and 
buses with a GVWR of 3,855 kilograms (kg) (8,500 pounds) or less and an 
unloaded vehicle weight of 2,495 kg (5,500 pounds) or less. These 
vehicles compose the vast majority of light vehicles. We estimate that 
about 92 percent of model year (MY) 2010 passenger cars and other 
vehicles with a GVWR 3,855 kg (8,500 pounds) or less have some EDR 
capability. This estimate is based on information that was taken from 
manufacturer-reporting to the agency regarding their 2010 vehicles and 
then weighting using 2010 corporate-level vehicle projected sales 
figures to estimate an overall industry-wide fleet figure.
    For manufacturers that install EDRs in most light vehicles on or 
after September 1, 2012, the current regulation, 49 CFR Part 563 (Part 
563), requires that their EDRs record 15 data elements at a minimum, 
and sets requirements for the range and accuracy of the EDR data 
collected under the regulation. The discussion below explains in detail 
the requirements of Part 563.
    For more background information on NHTSA's rulemaking actions 
regarding EDR technologies, please see the Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) at 69 FR 32932 (June 14, 2004),\8\ the final rule at 
71 FR 50998 (August 28, 2006),\9\ and amendments to the final rule and 
responses to petitions for reconsideration at 73 FR 2168 (January 14, 
2008),\10\ 76 FR 47478 (August 5, 2011), and 77 FR 47552 (August 9, 
2012).
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    \8\ Docket No. NHTSA-2004-18029.
    \9\ Docket No. NHTSA-2006-25666.
    \10\ Docket No. NHTSA-2008-0004.
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B. EDR Regulatory History--The Establishment of Part 563

    For more than a decade, the agency has been assessing the potential 
value of real-world EDR crash data for improving our understanding of 
vehicle safety

[[Page 74147]]

system performance and our analysis of vehicle crashes. Several years 
ago, NHTSA working groups \11\ examined data elements for the purpose 
of identifying the most useful set of crash data to aid the agency in 
achieving its goal of reducing highway deaths.
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    \11\ See reports numbered DOT-HS-043334, Event Data Recorders: 
Summary of Findings by the NHTSA EDR Working Group, August 2001, 
Docket No. NHTSA-1999-5218-9; DOT-HS-809432, Event Data Recorders: 
Summary of Findings by the NHTSA EDR Working Group Volume II, 
Supplemental Findings for Trucks, Motorcoaches, and School Buses, 
May 2002, Docket No. NHTSA-2000-7699-6.
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    On August 28, 2006, following public notice and comment, the 
agency's early research efforts culminated in the publication of a 
final rule that established Part 563.\12\ Part 563 establishes uniform 
performance requirements for the accuracy, collection, storage, 
survivability, and retrievability of that set of onboard motor vehicle 
crash event data in passenger cars and other light vehicles equipped 
with EDRs.
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    \12\ 71 FR 50998, 51043 (Aug. 28, 2006), amended 73 FR 2168, 
2179 (Jan. 14, 2008), corrected 73 FR 8408 (Feb. 13, 2008), amended 
76 FR 47478 (August 5, 2011), amended 77 FR 47552 (August 9, 2012).
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    In response to petitions for reconsideration, the agency amended 
Part 563 in January 2008 to make several technical changes to the 
regulatory text and to set a later compliance date of September 1, 
2012.\13\ The new compliance date helped manufacturers to avoid 
incurring significant redesign costs for EDR system architectures 
outside of the normal product cycle. Again in response to petitions for 
reconsideration, the agency amended Part 563 on August 5, 2011, to 
revise the acceleration data elements, clarify the event storage 
definition and make other minor technical modifications.\14\ Finally, 
in response to further petitions for reconsideration, the agency 
amended Part 563 on August 9, 2012, to revise the steering input data 
element and delay the compliance date for the data clipping flag 
requirement.\15\
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    \13\ 73 FR 2168 (Jan. 14, 2008), corrected 73 FR 8408 (Feb. 13, 
2008). Vehicles that are manufactured in two or more stages, or that 
are altered after having been previously certified to the Federal 
motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS), have a compliance date of 
September 1, 2013.
    \14\ 76 FR 47478.
    \15\ 77 FR 47552.
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C. Summary of Part 563

    Part 563 regulates EDR-equipped vehicles by specifying a minimum 
core set of required data elements and accompanying range, accuracy, 
and resolution requirements for those elements. The regulation also 
specifies requirements for vehicle manufacturers to make data retrieval 
tools and/or methods commercially available so that crash investigators 
and researchers are able to retrieve data from EDRs. Part 563 is 
technology-neutral, permitting the use of any available EDR technology 
that complies with the specified performance requirements.
    Part 563 applies to passenger cars, MPVs, trucks, and buses with a 
GVWR of 3,855 kg (8,500 pounds) or less and an unloaded vehicle weight 
of 2,595 kg (5,500 pounds) or less,\16\ that are voluntarily equipped 
with an event data recorder. It also applies to manufacturers of these 
vehicles, who must ensure the commercial availability of data retrieval 
tools. The regulation became effective on September 1, 2012.\17\
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    \16\ Walk-in van-type trucks or vehicles designed to be sold 
exclusively to the U.S. Postal Service are excluded from air bag and 
EDR requirements.
    \17\ 73 FR 2168 (Jan. 14, 2008).
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1. Data Elements Recorded
    Part 563 specifies minimum requirements for the types of data that 
EDR-equipped vehicles are required to record. In all, there are 15 data 
elements that must be recorded during the interval/time and at the 
sample rate specified in Table I of Part 563.\18\ Some of the required 
pre-crash data are vehicle speed, engine throttle position, brake use, 
driver safety belt status, and air bag warning lamp status. Some of the 
required crash data are measured changes in forward velocity (delta-V) 
and air bag deployment times.
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    \18\ See 49 CFR 563.7, Table I.
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    In addition, a vehicle equipped with an EDR that records any of the 
28 data elements listed in Table II of Part 563, identified as ``if 
recorded,'' must capture and record information according to the 
minimum interval/time and at the sample rate specified in that 
table.\19\ There are two data elements listed in Table II, identified 
as ``if equipped.'' If a vehicle carries this equipment, it must record 
the specified information (i.e., ``frontal air bag deployment, time to 
nth stage, driver'' and ``front air bag deployment, time to nth stage, 
right front passenger'').\20\
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    \19\ See 49 CFR 563.7, Table II. Examples of the ``if recorded'' 
data elements include lateral acceleration, longitudinal 
acceleration, stability control status, and frontal air bag 
suppression switch status.
    \20\ See 49 CFR 563.7, Table II. The ``frontal air bag 
deployment, time to nth stage'' data elements provide critical 
timing data for vehicles equipped with multi-stage air bags, which 
will help in assessing whether an air bag is deploying correctly 
during a crash (i.e., whether the sensors are functioning properly).
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    When retrieved, the data elements collected by the EDR pursuant to 
Tables I and II must be reported in accordance with the range, 
accuracy, and resolution requirements specified in Table III. Reported 
Data Element Format.\21\ All three tables have been included in 
Appendix A to this preamble.\22\
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    \21\ See 49 CFR 563.8, Table III.
    \22\ Table I and Table II were most recently amended by the 
August 5, 2011 final rule responding to petitions for 
reconsideration. 76 FR 47478. Table III was most recently amended by 
the August 9, 2012 final rule responding to petitions for 
reconsideration 77 FR 47552.
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2. Data Retrieval
    Part 563 requires that each vehicle manufacturer ensure, by 
licensing agreement or other means, the commercial availability of 
retrieval tool(s) for downloading or imaging the required EDR data.\23\ 
The data-imaging tool must be commercially available no later than 90 
days after the first sale of the vehicle for purposes other than 
resale.\24\
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    \23\ The term ``imaging'' refers to the process by which the 
agency retrieves data from an EDR. When imaging the data on an EDR, 
the original data set remains intact and unchanged in the memory 
banks of the EDR.
    \24\ See 49 CFR 563.12.
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3. Data Survivability and Crash Test Performance Requirements
    To ensure that data are recorded in a crash and that the data 
survive the crash, EDRs must record and retain in retrievable condition 
certain data when the vehicles in which they are installed are tested 
in accordance with crash test procedures specified in Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) Nos. 208, ``Occupant crash 
protection,'' and 214, ``Side impact protection.'' \25\ These crash 
tests represent the modes of a majority of real-world crashes and 
severities observed. For example, several FMVSS No. 208 crash tests are 
performed at speeds of up to 56 km/h (35 mph), which represent the 
cumulative delta-V for 99 percent of frontal crashes.\26\ The EDR data 
must be retrievable for no less than 10 days after the crash test.
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    \25\ See 49 CFR 563.10.
    \26\ See 49 CFR 571.208; Docket No. NHTSA-2006-26555-1, at 60.
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D. NHTSA's Validation of and Reliance on EDR Data in Its Crash 
Investigations Relating to Unintended Acceleration

    Based on the agency's experience with EDRs over the past decade, as 
well as with recent investigations of alleged unintended acceleration 
and pedal entrapment, the agency has found EDR data to be an important 
tool that provides valuable insight. EDR data provides vehicle-recorded 
pre-crash information, supplementing information obtained from the 
driver and physical evidence from the scene.

[[Page 74148]]

    A number of technical papers have been published on EDR accuracy in 
the crash test environment. Early studies focused on the full frontal 
barrier crash test environment where the reported EDR data was compared 
to instrumentation grade accelerometers mounted on the vehicle. Due to 
the limited availability of EDRs at that time, these studies were 
exclusively based on EDRs produced by General Motors. The studies 
reported a small amount of underestimation in the EDR delta-V 
reporting.\27\
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    \27\ Chidester A.B., Hinch J., & Roston, T.A., ``Real World 
Experience with Event Data Recorders,'' 17th International Technical 
Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, 2001.
    Lawrence, J.M., Wilkinson, C.C., King, D.J., Heinrichs, B.E., & 
Siegmund, G.P., ``The Accuracy and Sensitivity of Event Data 
Recorders in Low-Speed Collisions,'' Society of Automotive 
Engineers, 2003.
    Comeau, J.L., German, A., & Floyd, D., ``Comparison of Crash 
Pulse Data from Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorders and Laboratory 
Instrumentation,'' Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference 
XIV, 2004.
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    More recent technical papers \28\ have incorporated EDRs from other 
vehicle manufacturers, such as Ford and Toyota. They have also looked 
at a variety of impact scenarios including full frontal, offset 
frontal, side impact, and vehicle-to-vehicle angled tests. Better 
correlation between EDR and crash test delta-V were reported, 
particularly at higher impact speeds where more serious injuries occur. 
Accurate reporting of seat belt use and pre-crash data was also 
observed. The findings from these studies are generally consistent with 
the agency's experience to date; however, monitoring of EDR performance 
will continue as more vehicle manufacturers incorporate EDRs into the 
fleet. Furthermore, the agency continues to emphasize that EDRs provide 
one valuable piece of information, along with on-site evidence, needed 
to reconstruct crash events.
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    \28\ Niehoff, P., Gabler, H.C., Brophy, J., Chidester, C., 
Hinch, J., & Ragland C., ``Evaluation of Event Data Recorders in 
Full Systems Crash Tests,'' 19th International Technical Conference 
on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, 2005.
    Gabler, H.C. & Hinch, J., ``Characterization of Advanced Air Bag 
Field Performance Using Event Data Recorders,'' 20th International 
Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Paper 07-
0349, 2007.
    DaSilva, M., ``Engineering Analysis of EDR Data in NHTSA's NASS 
CDS Database,'' Presentation at the Society of Automotive Engineers 
Government/Industry Meeting, Washington, DC, 2007.
    Gabler, H.C. & Hinch, J., ``Preliminary Evaluation of Advanced 
Air Bag Field Performance Using Event Data Recorders,'' DOT HS 811 
015, August 2008.
    Bare, C., Everest, B., Floyd, D., & Nunan, D., ``Analysis of 
Pre-Crash Data Transferred over the Serial Data Bus and Utilized by 
the SDM-DS Module,'' Society of Automotive Engineers, 2011.
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    In March 2010, the agency began to obtain data from Toyota EDRs as 
part of its inquiry into allegations of unintended acceleration (UA), 
and as follow-up to the recalls of some Toyota models for sticking and 
entrapped accelerator pedals.\29\ The agency conducted a thorough 
process of validating the accuracy of Toyota's EDR data and has high 
confidence in the accuracy of the data recovered.\30\ In the NHTSA 
report \31\ on the analysis and findings concerning UA in vehicles 
manufactured by Toyota, the validation efforts were described. The 
validation work was extensive and ultimately NHTSA established a high 
level of confidence in the veracity of pre-crash data recovered from 
Toyota's EDRs. Those data were found to be very valuable when 
considered in concert with the physical facts of a given incident.
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    \29\ See for Pedal Entrapment: NHTSA Recall Nos. 06V-253, 07E-
082, 09V-388, and 10V-023. See for Sticking Pedals: NHTSA Recall No. 
10V-017.
    \30\ Event Data Recorder-Pre Crash Data Validation of Toyota 
Products. February 2011 (NHTSA-NVS-2011-ETC-SR07). http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/NHTSA-Toyota_EDR_pre-crash_validation.pdf.
    \31\ Technical Assessment of Toyota Electronic Throttle Control 
(ETC) Systems, February 2011, page 43 (footnotes omitted). http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/NHTSA-UA_report.pdf.
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    When the agency received an allegation of UA or pedal entrapment, 
it interviewed the complainant and obtained permission for agency 
investigators to inspect the vehicle and, if it was EDR-equipped, 
attempted to download any data on the EDR.\32\ NHTSA investigators also 
visited the location of the alleged incident to evaluate the complaint 
fully.\33\ Complainants might state that while coming to an 
intersection, the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning, 
resulting in a crash, or while driving on the highway, the vehicle 
continued to accelerate without the complainant's having stepped on the 
accelerator pedal and the brakes would not stop the vehicle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ Not all of the vehicles for which the agency received 
consumer complaints were equipped with EDRs or had EDRs capable of 
capturing pre-crash data.
    \33\ The agency does not limit its follow-up investigations to 
consumers whose vehicles are equipped with EDRs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Typically, EDRs store data specific to the dynamic state of the 
vehicle just prior to a crash, the performance of the air bag system in 
a crash, and a deceleration trace. The EDRs in Toyota vehicles examined 
by NHTSA captured vehicle speed, accelerator pedal voltage, brake light 
switch status, and engine revolutions per minute (rpm) at five, one-
second intervals prior to a crash. A sixth and final interval of data 
was recorded at algorithm enable or when the EDR sensed an impact. 
While non-crash impacts such as curb and pothole strikes might enable 
an EDR algorithm and cause it to store data, aggressive throttle 
application or braking (without impact) would not enable the EDR.
    For further information on the agency's field inspections of recent 
crashes alleging one or more forms of UA and the contribution of EDR 
data to the agency's investigations, please see Technical Assessment of 
Toyota Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Systems, February 2011.\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ See http://www.nhtsa.gov/UA for the reports related to the 
agency's investigation into Toyota's electronic throttle system and 
unintended acceleration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Proposal

A. Overview

1. Overall Plan for Reviewing and Upgrading EDR Requirements
    Based on its experience with EDR data in the unintended 
acceleration studies and on the potential role of EDR data in 
investigations of future vehicles and technologies, the agency has been 
reviewing the requirements of Part 563 and assessing whether the 
applicability of the requirements should be expanded or the 
capabilities of EDRs should be increased. NHTSA plans on publishing an 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the near future to explore the 
potential for, and future utility of, capturing additional EDR data in 
light vehicles.
2. This Proposal
    The agency proposes a new FMVSS, FMVSS No. 405, ``Event data 
recorders,'' which would mandate the installation of EDRs in most light 
vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2014. This proposal 
would also require that the vehicles meet the requirements for data 
elements, data format, and data capture contained in Part 563. 
Additionally, this proposal would require compliance with the crash 
test performance and survivability requirements in Part 563. This would 
mean that the data elements required by the regulation, with certain 
exceptions, must be recorded in the format specified by the regulation, 
exist at the completion of the crash test, and be retrievable by the 
methodology specified by the vehicle manufacturer. This proposal would 
also require manufacturers to comply with the requirements for such 
data retrieval tools listed in Sec.  563.12. Finally, this

[[Page 74149]]

proposal would require that the owner's manual in each vehicle contain 
the statement regarding EDRs required by Sec.  563.11.
    A key priority of this NPRM is for the agency to require EDRs in 
light vehicles with a GVWR of 3,855 kg or less and an unloaded vehicle 
weight of 2,595 kg or less, without disrupting the initiative and 
efforts of those manufacturers who already have voluntarily installed 
Part 563 compliant EDRs. Accordingly, we are not now proposing any 
modifications to Part 563 itself, e.g., not to any EDR data elements, 
data capture and format requirements, data retrieval specifications, or 
data survivability and crash test requirements. Likewise, we are not 
proposing revisions to the definitions section of Part 563.
    The agency recognizes that that there have been advances in vehicle 
safety systems and the phase-in of new FMVSSs since the publication of 
the EDR final rule in 2006.\35\ However, the issue of whether there 
should be any changes to the amount and type of information that EDRs 
must collect is not being considered in this rulemaking. Any 
significant revision to the substantive components of Part 563 is 
outside the scope of this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ FMVSS No. 214, ``Side impact protection,'' FMVSS No. 126, 
``Electronic stability control,'' and FMVSS No. 226, ``Ejection 
mitigation,'' all have been updated since the publication in 2006 of 
the EDR final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Reasons To Mandate the Installation of EDRs

    In the 2006 EDR final rule, the agency chose not to mandate 
installation of EDRs at that time for purposes of encouraging the 
voluntary development and installation of EDRs and alleviating costs on 
automobile manufacturers and consumers. Although we did not mandate 
EDRs in 2006, we stated that it was our intention that their use 
continue to expand.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ 71 FR 50998 at 51010 (Aug. 28, 2006).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency explained further that the ``marketplace appears to be 
adopting EDRs and we do not currently see a need to mandate their 
installation.''\37\ The agency gave the following reasons for reaching 
this conclusion:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ Ibid at 51011 (Aug. 28, 2006).

    The challenge for NHTSA has been to devise an approach that 
would encourage broad application of EDR technologies in motor 
vehicles and maximize the usefulness of EDR data for the medical 
community, researchers, and regulators, without imposing unnecessary 
burdens or hampering future improvements to EDRs.
* * * * *
    * * * We believe that the industry's voluntary development and 
installation of EDRs, combined with the standardization requirements 
in this rule, will be sufficient to meet the agency's and public's 
near term needs. * * *
    * * * [A]dopting a rule mandating EDR installation would result 
in an unnecessary cost for automobile manufacturers and consumers. 
Since less expensive vehicles are not equipped with a databus, a 
rule mandating EDR installation would require manufacturers to 
install a databus in those vehicles. * * *
* * * * *
    * * * [W]e expect the extent of installation in new vehicles to 
continue increasing and to reach approximately 85 percent by model 
year 2010. * * * [T]he new vehicles lacking an EDR in that model 
year will be primarily those manufactured either in Germany or 
Korea. As Korea has expressed interest in the development of an EDR 
standard under the International Standards Organization, it appears 
that Korean built vehicles also might eventually be voluntarily 
equipped with EDRs.
    * * * We believe that the current level of EDR installation, 
combined with our standardization requirement, will yield data of 
statistical significance. * * *
    We will monitor future increases in the extent of installation 
of EDRs and revisit this issue if appropriate.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ Ibid at 50999, 51010-11 (Aug. 28, 2006).

    Thus, the agency did not deem it necessary to propose to require 
the installation of EDRs, but remained open to considering this in the 
future. We are now revisiting that decision and the reasons given to 
support it. The agency has tentatively reached different conclusions 
about the issues it discussed in its 2004 and 2006 explanations of its 
decision not to seek to mandate EDRs.
    Our first line of reasoning for an EDR mandate is driven by a need 
to fully cover light vehicles required to have frontal air bags (those 
with a GVWR of 3,855 kg or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 2,595 
kg or less) in order to improve vehicle safety and aid the agency in 
investigating potential safety defects. Although the percentage of 
light vehicles voluntarily equipped with EDRs has steadily increased as 
anticipated, EDRs remain absent from about 8 percent of the current 
production of all light vehicles regulated by Part 563. We believe that 
EDRs will remain absent from these vehicles without a regulation.
    While it remains true that the current and expected levels of 
voluntary installation of EDRs may be sufficient to generate data for 
assessing performance of the general vehicle population to support 
future rulemaking, the agency notes that many of the vehicles without 
EDRs are high end vehicles and that advanced safety technologies, 
including advanced collision avoidance technologies, are typically 
first introduced on high end vehicles. Thus, it is particularly 
important to be able to obtain EDR data generated by the crash 
experience of these particular vehicles so that the agency has as much 
information about emerging advanced technologies as possible.
    In its 2006 determination, the agency did not take into 
consideration the significant value that EDR data from a particular 
vehicle model can have, as subsequently shown in the recent Toyota 
unintended acceleration study, in aiding the agency in assessing the 
performance of that vehicle model in the course of a safety defect 
investigation. To serve this purpose, EDR data must be available for 
all applicable light vehicles.
    Finally, the agency does not believe that a mandate whose practical 
effect would be to require the installation of EDRs would impose 
unnecessary burdens on less expensive vehicles or hamper future 
improvements to EDRs given that vehicle electronics on even the least 
expensive vehicles are much more sophisticated today than they were in 
2004 and 2006.

C. Reasons To Place the Mandate in a Safety Standard

    As noted above, we are proposing to establish a new FMVSS that 
requires each light vehicle having a GVWR of 3,855 kg or less and an 
unloaded weight of 2,495 kg or less to be equipped with an EDR capable 
of recording, at a minimum, the data elements specified in Table I of 
section 563.7. These vehicles would also need to meet the data capture 
and data format requirements for these elements. FMVSS No. 405 would 
further require that these vehicles meet the crash test performance and 
survivability requirements in section 563.10 with respect to the 
required data elements. This would have the effect of requiring that 
all required data elements in Part 563, except engine throttle, engine 
RPM, and service brake status, be retrievable for 10 days after the 
specified crash test. Section 563.10(c) also specifies the use of the 
data retrieval tool in section 563.12, and FMVSS No. 405 would make 
such a tool mandatory by incorporating the requirements of section 
563.12. Finally, FMVSS No. 405 would require that the owner's manual in 
each vehicle contain the statement regarding EDRs required by section 
563.11. Although by virtue of being equipped with an EDR, the vehicles 
affected by this rule would still need to meet all other applicable 
requirements of Part 563, the expanded enforcement

[[Page 74150]]

authority available for a FMVSS, described below, would only apply to 
requirements listed in FMVSS No. 405.
    NHTSA recognizes that it previously expressed the view that the 
requirements for voluntarily-installed EDRs should be placed in a 
regulation instead of in a standard:

    Similar to our approach in the area of vehicle identification 
numbers, we decided to develop a general regulation for EDRs rather 
than a Federal motor vehicle safety standard. We did not believe it 
was appropriate to issue an FMVSS that would trigger the statute's 
recall and remedy provisions, because the benefits of EDRs are 
expected to be derivative from better crash-related information, 
rather than having a direct impact on the safety of the individual 
vehicle equipped with an EDR. A failure to meet the EDR requirements 
would, however, be subject to an enforcement action.\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ 71 FR 50998, 51040 (August 28, 2006).

    We have reconsidered that position in light of subsequent 
experience and in the different context of this rulemaking, which seeks 
to mandate the installation of EDRs. Our experience in addressing 
unintended acceleration and pedal entrapment allegations demonstrated 
the value that EDR data can have for the safety of current as well as 
future motor vehicles. EDR data from a particular vehicle model already 
on the road can aid NHTSA and the model's manufacturer in their efforts 
to identify and address safety concerns associated with possible 
defects in the design or performance of those vehicles.
    As to our 2006 statement about a failure to meet EDR requirements 
being subject to an enforcement action, we note that there is more than 
one form of enforcement action. Collecting penalties is one. Seeking an 
injunction is another. We had the latter type of enforcement action in 
mind when making that statement.
    Placing the mandate in a FMVSS, instead of Part 563, would expand 
our access to the Safety Act's enforcement authority, enabling us to 
assess civil penalties for failure to provide an EDR or for failure to 
provide one that performs properly. We believe that being able to avail 
ourselves of this authority is necessary to ensure that all 
manufacturers install EDRs and that the agency has full and accurate 
EDR information. Such information can be vital to an agency 
investigation seeking to determine whether there is a safety defect in 
vehicles that are being driven by consumers on the road and to agency 
efforts to assess the performance of advanced safety technologies for 
possible future regulatory action. Not having an EDR or not recording 
such safety information has assumed even greater importance in the last 
several years and is far more consequential than a minor informational 
error, such as those involving the regulation on Vehicle Identification 
Numbers, for example.\40\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ 49 CFR Part 565. The requirements of that regulation were 
originally placed in a FMVSS, but subsequently moved in stages into 
their current location.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Failure to comply with a FMVSS would violate the prohibition in 49 
U.S.C. 30112 against manufacturing for sale, selling, offering for 
sale, introducing or delivering for introduction in interstate 
commerce, or importing into the United States any motor vehicle that 
does not comply with any applicable FMVSS. It would also subject them 
to the recall and remedy provisions of 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120. In 
turn, violations of that prohibition or the recall and remedy 
provisions would be subject the violator to civil penalties under 49 
U.S.C. 30165(a)(1).
    For the reasons stated above, we tentatively conclude that placing 
the requirements, including the EDR requirement itself, in a FMVSS is 
better than placing the requirements in Part 563. We acknowledge, 
however, that placing all of the requirements in Part 563 is an 
alternative to placing them in a FMVSS. We seek comment on the relative 
merits of placing the requirements in a FMVSS versus in Part 563. The 
agency requests comments on (1) which, if any, portions of Part 563 
should be moved to the new FMVSS and which portions should remain in 
Part 563, and (2) whether some provisions should be set out in full in 
both or at least be set out in full in one and be incorporated by 
reference in the other. Should FMVSS No. 405 require that only some of 
the Table I elements be recorded? Should the requirements for the 
optional data elements listed in Table II not be incorporated into 
FMVSS No. 405? Would it be preferable to simply rebadge Part 563 in its 
entirety as FMVSS No. 405? What would be the potential problems with 
such an approach? How do manufacturers verify or plan to verify EDRs 
meet the recording requirements of Table I and II elements in Part 563?
    Because EDRs, unlike other safety equipment, do not directly 
mitigate the risk or severity of a crash, the agency is considering how 
the recall and remedy provisions of the Safety Act would apply to 
noncompliance with the proposed FMVSS. The agency notes that 49 U.S.C. 
Sec.  30118(d) authorizes the Secretary to exempt individual 
manufacturers from the recall and remedy provisions if the Secretary 
decides that a defect or noncompliance is inconsequential to motor 
vehicle safety.\41\ The Secretary has delegated this exemption 
authority to NHTSA. NHTSA established 49 CFR Part 556, Exemption for 
Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance, to implement the statutory 
provisions concerning these exemptions. The agency requests comment on 
what factors the agency should consider, if the proposed FMVSS is 
adopted, in determining whether an identified noncompliance is 
inconsequential. Should any noncompliance with the proposed FMVSS be 
subject to remedy and recall? Should recall and remedy be limited to 
noncompliance with certain requirements, such as noncompliance with the 
Table I data element requirements or the crash survivability 
requirements? Should noncompliance with the optional data element 
requirements be considered inconsequential?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ The agency notes that the granting of an inconsequentiality 
petition exempts a manufacturer from the remedy and recall 
provisions, but provides no exemption from civil penalties under 49 
U.S.C. 30165 for violations of Sec.  30112.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Privacy Issues

    The agency acknowledges that consumer privacy concerns persist 
regarding EDR data: Who owns it, who has access to it and under what 
circumstances, and what are the purposes for which it may be used. 
While these issues are of continued importance in the public discussion 
on the use of EDR technology, as an agency, we do not have the 
statutory authority to address many of these privacy issues because 
they are generally matters of State and Federal law that we do not 
administer. Currently, 13 states \42\ have EDR laws to address vehicle 
owners' privacy and consumer concerns. Since 2006, more than a dozen 
other states have considered enacting similar legislation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ The states include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, 
Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, 
Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Within the limits of its authority, NHTSA has consistently sought 
to promote the recording of vital crash event information and to access 
and use that information in ways that safeguard privacy.
1. Agency Tailored EDR Performance Requirements To Minimize Data 
Gathering
    Many of the public's concerns about EDRs appear to arise from

[[Page 74151]]

misconceptions about how long and under what circumstances EDRs capture 
and permanently store data. Concerns raised in the past about EDRs and 
privacy arose from the misconceptions that EDRs record data for 
prolonged intervals and that they record personal information. We have 
sought, in developing and establishing the EDR requirements, to 
minimize the types of data recorded and the duration of any recording. 
We do not require the recording of data for prolonged intervals (i.e., 
several minutes) or audio/visual data that the public may associate 
with event data recorders in other modes of transportation. We believe 
that our objectives can be met by using a very brief snapshot of EDR 
data in the time period immediately surrounding a crash.
    The EDR requirements we adopted standardize EDR data recording for 
an extremely short duration (i.e., a few seconds immediately before and 
during a crash). EDRs compliant with Part 563 requirements continuously 
record and seconds later erase data unless and until a frontal air bag 
or in some cases, a side air bag deploys. If no frontal or side air bag 
ever deploys, no data are ever permanently captured and stored.\43\ 
Other types of events can result in storage of data that can be 
overwritten by subsequent events. Data are only required to be locked 
and cannot be overwritten when an air bag deploys in a crash event. 
When recordable events do occur, EDRs only capture data for a few 
seconds. EDRs do not record any personal information. They do not 
record either location identification information or any audio or video 
data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ Side air bag deployments may result in permanent data 
capture under certain conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Agency Seeks Vehicle Owner Permission To Access EDR data
    NHTSA does not have any authority to establish legally binding 
rules regarding the ownership or use of a vehicle's EDR data.\44\ Its 
authority to regulate safety performance of new vehicles, prohibit 
commercial entities from rendering federally required safety 
performance features inoperative and require the recalling and 
remedying of noncompliant vehicles and vehicles containing a safety 
related defect does not enable NHTSA to control who has access to the 
data, specify the circumstances in which access can be obtained, or 
regulate how those who obtain access to the data use it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ NHTSA did require a statement in owner's manuals disclosing 
the existence and discussing the purpose of an EDR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nevertheless, the agency strives in its own actions relating to EDR 
requirements and data to avoid or at least minimize any impacts on 
privacy. NHTSA's longstanding policy has been to treat EDR data as the 
property of the vehicle owner. (Note, however, that complications may 
arise when ownership of the vehicle or EDR is transferred after a 
crash.) For this reason, before we attempt to obtain EDR data in a 
crash investigation, our first step is always to obtain the vehicle 
owner's consent. Once we obtain EDR data, we take measures to protect 
all personally identifiable information (e.g., the vehicle 
identification number (VIN) may be associated with the identity of the 
vehicle owner), and we assure the vehicle owner that all such 
information will be held confidential. In handling EDR and related 
personal information, the agency carefully complies with applicable 
provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, the Freedom of Information Act, 
and other statutory requirements that limit the disclosure of personal 
information by Federal agencies.
3. Necessity of VIN Collection
    Part 563 does not require the EDR in a motor vehicle to record that 
vehicle's VIN. However, for the reasons set forth in the next 
paragraph, when NHTSA collects the EDR data from a vehicle, the agency 
also separately collects the VIN of that vehicle. The following 
discussion explains why it is necessary for the agency to collect VIN 
in connection with EDRs, how the VIN is used by the agency, and the 
safeguards the agency takes related to avoid the release of the VIN.
    Collecting the VIN is necessary to download and process the EDR 
data correctly. The commercial EDR download tools require a vehicle's 
VIN be inputted into the program in order to link the EDR data from 
that vehicle with parameters that ensure proper conversion of the data 
to a usable format. A partial VIN will not suffice for this purpose. 
The full VIN of a vehicle must be inputted into current EDR extraction 
tools as a key to ensure proper output and to account for running 
changes that may occur during a particular model year, thereby 
rendering it infeasible to use a shortened VIN.
4. Agency Protects VINs Needed To Download EDR Data
    NHTSA takes care to protect the VINs that are collected along with 
EDR data. The VIN data identify the vehicle itself and do not provide 
name, address, or other personal identifier information regarding an 
individual. Further, EDR data alone cannot establish who was driving 
the vehicle at any given time (e.g., vehicle owner or other individuals 
(either with or without permission)).
    Nevertheless, NHTSA has taken steps to prevent the release of any 
VIN because it can be used in various commercially-available programs 
to determine the identity of the current owner of a vehicle. As a 
practical matter, information contained in these records that has the 
potential of indirectly identifying individuals is not made public by 
the agency, except as specifically required by law. Further, prior to 
the release of information from databases containing EDR data (usually 
aggregated reports), the agency strips out the last six characters of 
the VIN (i.e., the portion that would allow identification of a 
specific vehicle and, potentially by indirect means, the identity of 
the vehicle's current owner).
5. Agency Uses and Stores EDR Data in Ways To Preserve Privacy
    In using EDR data, the agency takes the EDR-generated information 
that it collects and incorporates the information into large crash-
related databases in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding 
of certain crash events. The information contained in these databases 
is not retrieved or retrievable by name or other individual identifier.
    In light of the above, we believe that the agency has taken 
adequate steps to ensure individual privacy vis-[aacute]-vis its use of 
EDR data. Additional information on EDRs may be found on the agency's 
Web site where we address a range of EDR issues. The Web site is 
accessible at http://www.nhtsa.gov/EDR. For more background information 
on privacy issues related to EDRs, please see the NPRM at 69 FR 32932 
(June 14, 2004), the final rule at 71 FR 50998 (August 28, 2006), and 
amendments to the final rule and response to petitions for 
reconsideration at 73 FR 2168 (January 14, 2008) and 76 FR 47478 
(August 5, 2011).

E. Lead Time

    We are proposing an effective date of September 1, 2014. The agency 
estimates that approximately 92 percent of the light vehicle fleet is 
equipped with Part 563 compliant EDRs. The lead time we are proposing 
is sufficient to ensure that manufacturers of the remaining portion of 
the fleet that are not equipped with an EDR can redesign the data bus 
architecture, air bag control module, other electronic hardware and 
software calibration, conduct the requisite validation testing, and 
ensure that a tool that can retrieve the EDR data is commercially 
available. The proposed lead time should address the practical

[[Page 74152]]

concerns of small volume manufacturers and many new electric and hybrid 
electric manufacturers who are entering the market and who may not have 
been planning to install EDRs.

F. Benefits and Costs of This Proposal

    Mandating the installation of EDRs in light vehicles required to 
have frontal air bags would provide for a standardized set of EDR data 
elements and formats throughout most of the light vehicle fleet rather 
than on just those manufacturers who chose to voluntarily install EDRs. 
This would expand and, therefore, potentially enhance the utilization 
of the recorded information and lead to further improvements in the 
safety of current and future motor vehicles.
    Although the benefits of this NPRM derive from expansion of EDR 
coverage, we will briefly review the general benefits related to EDRs. 
EDR data improve crash investigation and crash data collection quality 
to assist safety researchers, vehicle manufacturers, and the agency to 
understand vehicle crashes better and more precisely.\45\ While crash 
investigators gather insightful information about the dynamics of 
crashes, some of these parameters cannot be determined (such as anti-
lock braking system or electronic stability control functioning status) 
or cannot be as accurately measured (such as the change in velocity) by 
traditional post-crash investigation procedures such as visually 
examining and evaluating physical evidence, e.g., the crash-involved 
vehicles and skid marks. Further, some vehicle crash dynamics related 
to rollover (such as roll angle, roll rate and normal acceleration) 
cannot be effectively estimated by crash investigators post-crash. Data 
collected by the EDR can provide a direct means for measuring these 
needed crash parameters.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ Since the beginning of EDR data collection at NHTSA (late 
1999 through January 2010), over 7,600 EDRs have been imaged through 
our various programs. The programs include: the National Automotive 
Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), the National 
Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study (NMVCCS), Special Crash 
Investigations (SCI) and Crash Injury Research and Engineering 
Network (CIREN).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similarly, vehicle manufacturers are able to utilize EDRs in 
improving vehicle designs and developing more effective vehicle safety 
countermeasures. Additionally, many vehicle manufacturers are 
developing active safety systems (or crash avoidance systems) that 
assist drivers in reducing the likelihood of crash occurrence. EDR 
recorded pre-crash data (e.g., vehicle speed and engine throttle) could 
be used to further improve active safety systems and reduce crash 
involvement rates. Additionally, the data can be used to assess whether 
the vehicle was operating properly at the time of the event, or to help 
detect undesirable operations.
    Currently, Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) systems may 
make use of some of the Part 563 required data elements such as change 
in velocity, air bag deployments, and safety belt status to aid 
emergency response teams in assessing the severity of a crash and 
estimating the probability of serious injury before they arrive at the 
scene of the crash.\46\ Overall, we believe there are many safety-
related benefits that would derive from requiring light vehicles to be 
equipped with EDRs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ We note, however, that AACN systems do not require a 
vehicle to be equipped with an EDR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the general benefits derived from EDR installation, 
there are benefits specific to this NPRM to mandate EDRs. As shown in 
the recent Toyota unintended acceleration studies, EDR data from a 
particular vehicle model can have significant value in aiding the 
agency in assessing the performance of that vehicle model and in 
determining the need for, or conducting, a safety defect investigation 
that may lead to a recall of the vehicle model for repair or 
replacement of problem parts or systems. To serve this purpose for all 
light vehicles required to have frontal air bags, EDR data must be 
available for those vehicles.
    EDR data can also aid in the improvement in existing safety 
standards and the development of new ones. Many of the vehicles 
anticipated to continue to lack EDRs, absent a mandate, are high end 
vehicles that have advanced safety technologies, including advanced 
collision avoidance technologies. Such technologies are typically first 
introduced on high end vehicles. Thus, it is particularly important to 
be able to obtain EDR data generated by the crash experience of these 
particular vehicles.
    The cost for an EDR is estimated to be $20 per vehicle. The 
estimated total incremental costs associated with this proposal would 
be $26.4 million (2010 dollars), which is measured from a baseline of 
91.6 percent EDR installation to 100 percent installation, assuming the 
sale of 16.5 million light vehicles per year with a GVWR up to 4,536 
kg. This cost reflects the need for technology improvements, as well as 
assembly costs, compliance costs, and paperwork maintenance costs for 
those 1.32 million vehicles with a GVWR of 3,855 kg or less that do not 
have EDRs. Technological improvements account for the majority of these 
costs.

IV. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures

    NHTSA has considered the potential impacts of this proposed rule 
under Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' and 
Executive Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' 
and the Department of Transportation's regulatory policies and 
procedures. This document was reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget under those orders. This document has been determined to be 
significant under the Department's regulatory policies and procedures. 
While the potential cost impacts of the proposed rule are far below the 
level that would make this an economically significant rulemaking, the 
rulemaking addresses a topic of substantial public interest.
    The agency has prepared a separate document addressing the benefits 
and costs for the proposed rule. A copy is being placed in the docket.
    As discussed in that document and in the preceding sections of this 
NPRM, the crash data that would be collected by EDRs under the proposed 
rule would be extremely valuable for the advancement of vehicle safety 
by enhancing and facilitating crash investigations, the evaluation of 
safety countermeasures, advanced restraint and safety countermeasure 
research and development, certain safety defect investigations, and 
AACN. The improvements in vehicle safety will occur indirectly from the 
collection of crash data by EDRs. Since the establishment of Part 563 
in 2006, the agency has observed an increasing percentage of light 
vehicles utilizing EDR technology, and researchers, vehicle 
manufacturers, AACN and emergency medical service (EMS) providers, 
government agencies, and other members of the safety community are 
using the EDR data in ways that contribute to overall vehicle safety. 
EDR data can also have significant value in aiding the agency in 
assessing the performance of particular vehicle models in determining 
the need for, or conducting, a safety defect investigation that may 
lead to a recall of the vehicle for repair or replacement of problem 
parts or systems, as was made evident in the recent UA investigations 
involving Toyota vehicles, discussed earlier in this NPRM.

[[Page 74153]]

    We estimate that about 92 percent of new light vehicles are already 
equipped with EDRs. As discussed earlier, vehicle manufacturers have 
provided EDRs in their vehicles by adding EDR capability to their 
vehicles' air bag control systems. The costs of EDRs have been 
minimized, because they involve the capture into memory of data that is 
already being processed by the vehicle, and not the much higher costs 
of sensing much of that data in the first place.
    The costs of the proposed rule would be the incremental costs for 
vehicles currently not equipped with EDRs to comply with the proposed 
EDR mandate and Part 563's requirements. We estimate the total annual 
costs of the proposed rule to be $26.4 million. While the potential 
costs include technology costs, paperwork maintenance costs,\47\ and 
compliance costs, the paperwork maintenance and compliance costs are 
estimated to be negligible. The proposal would not require additional 
sensors to be installed in vehicles, and the major technology cost 
would result from a need to upgrade memory chips and hardware for 
housing the recorded data. The total cost for the estimated 1.2 million 
vehicles that do not have an EDR to comply with the proposed mandate 
and Part 563 requirements is estimated to be $26.4 million (2010 
dollars). A complete discussion of how NHTSA arrived at these costs may 
be found in the separate document on benefits and costs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ These paperwork maintenance costs consist of the costs to 
modify the owner's manual with the required statement specified in 
49 CFR 563.11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NHTSA has considered the impacts of this rulemaking action under 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). We certify that 
the proposed amendment would not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities.
    The following is the agency's statement providing the factual basis 
for the certification (5 U.S.C. 605(b)). If adopted, the proposal would 
directly affect motor vehicle manufacturers, second stage or final 
manufacturers, and alterers. SIC code number 3711, Motor Vehicles and 
Passenger Car Bodies, prescribes a small business size standard of 
1,000 or fewer employees. SIC code No. 3714, Motor Vehicle Part and 
Accessories, prescribes a small business size standard of 750 or fewer 
employees.
    Nine motor vehicle manufacturers affected by this proposal would 
qualify as a small business, as identified in the Preliminary 
Regulatory Evaluation.\48\ Most of the intermediate and final stage 
manufacturers of vehicles built in two or more stages and alterers have 
1,000 or fewer employees. However, these small businesses adhere to 
original equipment manufacturers' instructions in manufacturing 
modified and altered vehicles. Based on our knowledge, original 
equipment manufacturers do not permit a final stage manufacturer or 
alterer to modify or alter sophisticated devices such as air bags or 
EDRs. Therefore, multistage manufacturers and alterers would be able to 
rely on the certification and information provided by the original 
equipment manufacturer. Accordingly, there would be no significant 
impact on small businesses, small organizations, or small governmental 
units by these amendments. For these reasons, the agency has not 
prepared a preliminary regulatory flexibility analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ The docket for this NPRM contains the Preliminary 
Regulatory Evaluation for FMVSS No. 405, Event Data Recorders 
(EDRs).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    NHTSA has examined today's proposal pursuant to Executive Order 
13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Because multiple States have 
enacted laws related to EDRs and may thus have a particular interest in 
this rulemaking, NHTSA has initiated efforts to consult with 
associations representing officials of those States \49\ to obtain 
their views of the impact, if any, of this proposed rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ The states include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, 
Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, 
Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA rules can preempt in two ways. First, the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express preemption provision: 
When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a 
State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue 
in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a 
motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is 
identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter.\50\ It is this 
statutory command by Congress that preempts any non-identical State 
legislative and administrative law addressing the same aspect of 
performance. Thus, to the extent that aspects of EDR performance would 
be addressed by a safety standard, States would be expressly preempted 
by section 30103(b)(1) from adopting or maintaining any non-identical 
statute or regulation addressing those aspects of performance. With 
respect to this proposal, such aspects would include State EDR 
technical requirements requiring that EDRs record specific data 
elements, and/or requiring EDRs to meet specific technical performance 
or survivability requirements. Further, it is our view that any State 
laws or regulations that imposed, for the types of EDRs addressed by 
this proposal, additional disclosure requirements on vehicle 
manufacturers or dealers would likewise create a conflict and therefore 
be preempted. The disclosure requirements in Part 563, which we are 
proposing to incorporate into FMVSS No. 405, require a statement in the 
owner's manual to make the operator aware of the presence, function, 
and capabilities of the EDR. We believe that inconsistent or additional 
State disclosure requirements would frustrate the purposes of our 
regulation by potentially creating confusion or information overload, 
thereby reducing the benefit of the required statement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ 49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In promulgating Part 563, the agency stated that it was our intent 
to provide one consistent set of requirements, including a specified 
statement in the owner's manual, for vehicles equipped with EDRs. In 
proposing to establish FMVSS No. 405, we continue to believe that this 
approach will enhance the quality of EDR data by standardizing the 
content, format, and accuracy of such data, thereby increasing its 
comparability and overall usefulness. We further believe that the 
standardized data will be of greater benefit for safety equipment 
analysis and crash reconstruction.
    This proposed rule does not address certain other issues generally 
within the realm of State law, such as whether the vehicle owner owns 
the EDR data, how EDR data can be used/discovered in civil litigation, 
how EDR data may be used in criminal proceedings, whether EDR data may 
be obtained by the police without a warrant, whether EDR data may be 
developed into a driver-monitoring tool, and the nature and extent that 
private parties (including insurance companies, car rental companies, 
and automobile manufacturers) will have or may contract for access to 
EDR data.
    The express preemption provision described above is subject to a 
savings clause under which ``[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety 
standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from 
liability at common law.'' \51\ Pursuant to this provision, State 
common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle

[[Page 74154]]

manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express 
preemption provision are generally preserved. However, the Supreme 
Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied 
preemption of such State common law tort causes of action by virtue of 
NHTSA's rules, even if not expressly preempted. This second way that 
NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon there being an actual 
conflict between an FMVSS and the higher standard that would 
effectively be imposed on motor vehicle manufacturers if someone 
obtained a State common law tort judgment against the manufacturer, 
notwithstanding the manufacturer's compliance with the NHTSA standard. 
Because most NHTSA standards established by an FMVSS are minimum 
standards, a State common law tort cause of action that seeks to impose 
a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers will generally not be 
preempted. However, if and when such a conflict does exist--for 
example, when the standard at issue is both a minimum and a maximum 
standard--the State common law tort cause of action is impliedly 
preempted. See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ 49 U.S.C. 30103(e).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to Executive Order 13132 and 12988, NHTSA has considered 
whether this rule could or should preempt State common law causes of 
action. The agency's ability to announce its conclusion regarding the 
preemptive effect of one of its rules reduces the likelihood that 
preemption will be an issue in any subsequent tort litigation.
    To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the language 
and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of today's rule 
and finds that this rule, like many NHTSA rules, prescribes only a 
minimum safety standard. The agency does not anticipate any State 
common law tort judgments concerning EDRs that could create any actual 
conflict. Without any conflict, there could not be any implied 
preemption of a State common law tort cause of action.

D. Executive Order 12988 \52\ (Civil Justice Reform)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ Executive Order 12988 (February 5, 1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This proposed rule would not have any retroactive effect. Under 
section 49 U.S.C. 30103, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety 
standard is in effect, a state may not adopt or maintain a safety 
standard applicable to the same aspect of performance which is not 
identical to the Federal standard, except to the extent that the state 
requirement imposes a higher level of performance and applies only to 
vehicles procured for the state's use. General principles of preemption 
law would apply, however, to displace any conflicting state law or 
regulations. If the proposed rule were made final, there would be no 
requirement for submission of a petition for reconsideration or other 
administrative proceedings before parties could file suit in court.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501, et 
seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they 
conduct, sponsor, or require through regulations. This proposal would 
mandate the installation of EDR devices in most light vehicles 
manufactured after September 1, 2014, and would require such vehicles 
to meet the EDR requirements contained in Part 563.
    In compliance with the PRA, we announce that NHTSA is seeking 
comment on a new information collection.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ As noted earlier in the preamble, most manufacturers are 
already voluntarily installing compliant EDRs and are already 
voluntarily collecting the specified information. Nevertheless, 
because voluntary compliance with a paperwork requirement is 
regarded under the Paperwork Reduction Act as proposing to require a 
new collection of information, NHTSA must comply with the Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
    Title: Event Data Recorders.
    Type of Request: New collection.
    OMB Control Number: Not assigned.
    Form Number: The collection of this information uses no standard 
form.
    Requested Expiration Date of Approval: Three years from the date of 
approval.
    Summary of the Collection of Information:
    NHTSA is proposing to create a new FMVSS in Part 571 that would 
require vehicle manufacturers to install EDRs in most light vehicles 
manufactured on or after September 1, 2014. The EDRs in those vehicles 
would be required by the new standard to meet the data elements, data 
capture and format, data retrieval, and data crash survivability 
requirements of Part 563, the existing regulation setting forth 
requirements for voluntarily-installed EDRs. This proposal would also 
require manufacturers to comply with the Part 563 requirements for 
ensuring the availability of EDR data retrieval tools and the 
requirement that the owner's manual in each vehicle contain a specified 
statement regarding EDRs.
Description of the Need for the Information and Use of the Information
    The agency believes that requiring all light vehicles to be 
equipped with EDRs would help improve vehicle safety for consumers, 
while imposing relatively few costs on the automobile industry. EDR 
data are used to improve crash investigation and crash data collection 
quality to assist safety researchers, vehicle manufacturers, and the 
agency to understand vehicle crashes better and more precisely. 
Similarly, vehicle manufacturers are able to utilize EDRs in improving 
vehicle designs and developing more effective vehicle safety 
countermeasures, and EDR data may be used by AACN systems to aid 
emergency response teams in assessing the severity of a crash and 
estimating the probability of serious injury.
    Additionally, the agency's experience in handling unintended 
acceleration and pedal entrapment allegations over the past year has 
demonstrated that if a vehicle is equipped with an EDR, the data from 
that EDR can improve the ability of both the agency and the vehicle's 
manufacturer to identify and address safety concerns associated with 
possible defects in the design or performance of the vehicle. Moreover, 
this proposal to mandate EDRs across the entire light vehicle fleet 
would contribute to advancements in the designs, particularly with 
respect to occupant restraints and other safety systems, of future 
vehicles.
Description of the Likely Respondents
    The respondents are manufacturers of passenger cars, multipurpose 
passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses having a GVWR of 3,855 kg (8,500 
pounds) or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 2,495 kg (5,500 
pounds). The agency estimates that there are approximately 30 such 
manufacturers.
Estimate of the Total Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden 
Resulting From the Collection of Information
    There are no annual reporting or recordkeeping burdens associated 
with this proposed rule. Vehicle manufacturers are not required to 
retain or report information gathered by EDRs because the devices 
themselves continuously monitor vehicle systems and determine when to 
record, retain, and/or overwrite information. The information is 
collected automatically by electronic means. Data are only required to 
be locked and cannot be overwritten when an air bag deploys in a crash 
event. When recordable events do occur, EDRs only capture data for a 
few seconds.

[[Page 74155]]

    The costs to respondents are the costs of designing and equipping 
each covered vehicle with a compliant EDR. These costs include 
technology improvements, assembly costs, and paperwork maintenance 
costs.\54\ Technology improvements account for the majority of these 
costs. Because the costs of EDRs under the PRA are those associated 
with the capture of data that is already being processed by the 
vehicle, the additional burden hours necessary to equip vehicles with 
EDR capability are minimal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ These paperwork maintenance costs consist of the costs to 
modify the owner's manual with the required statement specified in 
49 CFR 563.11. Because this statement is supplied by the agency to 
manufacturers for the purpose of public disclosure, it is not 
considered a collection of information for purposes of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In determining the costs of this proposed rule under the PRA, we 
estimate that there are approximately 15.71 million applicable vehicles 
produced annually, 14.39 million of which are already voluntarily 
equipped with EDRs. The cost to install an EDR meeting the requirements 
of this proposed rule is $20 per vehicle if a vehicle does not have an 
EDR. The costs of this proposed rule under the PRA include the costs of 
installing compliant EDRs on all applicable vehicles, even those that 
are currently equipped with EDRs. Accordingly, the annual total costs 
of this proposed rule under the PRA would be $314.20 million.
    We emphasize that the regulatory costs of the proposed rule would 
only be the incremental costs for the 1.32 million vehicles not 
currently equipped with EDRs to be equipped with an EDR meeting Part 
563's requirements. As discussed above, we estimate the total annual 
regulatory costs of the proposed rule to be $26.4 million.
    Comments are invited on:
     Whether the collection of information is necessary for the 
proper performance of the functions of the Department, including 
whether the information will have practical utility.
     Whether the Department's estimate for the burden of the 
information collection is accurate.
     Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on respondents, including the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology.
    Please submit any comments, identified by the docket number in the 
heading of this document, by any of the methods described in the 
ADDRESSES section of this document. Comments are due by February 11, 
2013.

F. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272) 
directs us to use voluntary consensus standards in regulatory 
activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics 
Engineers (IEEE). The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress, through 
OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and applicable 
voluntary consensus standards.
    There are several consensus standards related to EDRs, most notably 
those standards published by SAE and IEEE. NHTSA carefully considered 
the consensus standards applicable to EDR data elements in establishing 
Part 563. Consensus standards for recording time/intervals, data sample 
rates, data retrieval, data reliability, data range, accuracy and 
precision, and EDR crash survivability were evaluated by NHTSA and 
adopted when practicable. This particular rulemaking, however, does not 
involve such matters. It is limited to establishing a mandate for 
certain light vehicles to be equipped with an EDR.

G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires Federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more 
than $100 million in any one year (adjusted for inflation with base 
year of 1995). In 2010 dollars, this threshold is $136 million.\55\ 
Before promulgating a rule for which a written statement is needed, 
section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify and 
consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and to adopt 
the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative 
that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 
do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, 
section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other than the least 
costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the 
agency publishes with the final rule an explanation why that 
alternative was not adopted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ Adjusting this amount by the implicit gross domestic 
product price deflator for the year 2010 results in $136 million 
(110.644/81.533 = 1.36).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If adopted, this proposed rule would not impose any unfunded 
mandates under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. This proposed 
rule would not result in costs in excess of $136 million (2010 dollars) 
annually to either State, local, or tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or to the private sector. Thus, this proposed rule is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

H. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that 
implementation of this action would not have any significant impact on 
the quality of the human environment.

I. Executive Order 13609 (Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation)

    The policy statement in section 1 of Executive Order 13609 
provides, in part:

    The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may 
differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address 
similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the 
regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign 
counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of 
American businesses to export and compete internationally. In 
meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues, international regulatory 
cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective 
as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such 
cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, 
eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory 
requirements.

    NHTSA requests public comment on whether (a) the ``regulatory 
approaches taken by foreign governments'' concerning the subject matter 
of this rulemaking and (b) the above policy statement have any 
implications for this rulemaking.

J. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the Unified Agenda). The 
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in 
April and October of each year. You may use the

[[Page 74156]]

RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find 
this action in the Unified Agenda.

V. Request for Comments

How do I prepare and submit comments?

    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your 
comments are filed correctly in the docket, please include the docket 
number of this document in your comments.
    Your comments must not be more than 15 pages long. (49 CFR 553.21) 
NHTSA established this limit to encourage you to write your primary 
comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary 
additional documents to your comments. There is no limit on the length 
of the attachments.
    Please submit one copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand 
delivery) of your comments, including the attachments, to the docket 
following the instructions given above under ADDRESSES. Please note, if 
you are submitting comments electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, we 
ask that the documents submitted be scanned using Optical Character 
Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing the agency to search and copy 
certain portions of your submissions.\56\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ Optical character recognition (OCR) is the process of 
converting an image of text, such as a scanned paper document or 
electronic fax file, into computer-editable text.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

How do I submit confidential business information?

    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete 
submission, including the information you claim to be confidential 
business information, to the Office of the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the 
address given above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, 
you should submit a copy (two copies if submitting by mail or hand 
delivery), from which you have deleted the claimed confidential 
business information, to the docket by one of the methods given above 
under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed 
to be confidential business information, you should include a cover 
letter setting forth the information specified in NHTSA's confidential 
business information regulation (49 CFR Part 512).

Will the agency consider late comments?

    NHTSA will consider all comments received before the close of 
business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To 
the extent possible, the agency will also consider comments received 
after that date. If a comment is received too late for the agency to 
consider it in developing a final rule (assuming that one is issued), 
the agency will consider that comment as an informal suggestion for 
future rulemaking action.

How can I read the comments submitted by other people?

    You may read the comments received at the address given above under 
COMMENTS. The hours of the docket are indicated above in the same 
location. You may also see the comments on the Internet, identified by 
the docket number at the heading of this notice, at http://www.regulations.gov.
    Please note that, even after the comment closing date, NHTSA will 
continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes 
available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, 
the agency recommends that you periodically check the docket for new 
material.
    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://www.dot.gov/privacy.html.

Appendix A Part 563 Tables



  Table I--Data Elements Required for All Vehicles Equipped With an EDR
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Recording interval/    Data sample rate
         Data element          time \1\ (relative to     (samples per
                                     time zero)             second)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Delta-V, longitudinal........  0 to 250 ms or 0 to                   100
                                End of Event Time
                                plus 30 ms,
                                whichever is shorter.
Maximum delta-V, longitudinal  0-300 ms or 0 to End                  N/A
                                of Event Time plus
                                30 ms, whichever is
                                shorter.
Time, maximum delta-V........  0-300 ms or 0 to End                  N/A
                                of Event Time plus
                                30 ms, whichever is
                                shorter.
Speed, vehicle indicated.....  -5.0 to 0 sec........                   2
Engine throttle, % full (or    -5.0 to 0 sec........                   2
 accelerator pedal, % full).
Service brake, on/off........  -5.0 to 0 sec........                   2
Ignition cycle, crash........  -1.0 sec.............                 N/A
Ignition cycle, download.....  At time of download                   N/A
                                \3\.
Safety belt status, driver...  -1.0 sec.............                 N/A
Frontal air bag warning lamp,  -1.0 sec.............                 N/A
 on/off \2\.
Frontal air bag deployment,    Event................                 N/A
 time to deploy, in the case
 of a single stage air bag,
 or time to first stage
 deployment, in the case of a
 multi-stage air bag, driver.
Frontal air bag deployment,    Event................                 N/A
 time to deploy, in the case
 of a single stage air bag,
 or time to first stage
 deployment, in the case of a
 multi-stage air bag, right
 front passenger.
Multi-event, number of event.  Event................                 N/A
Time from event 1 to 2.......  As needed............                 N/A
Complete file recorded (yes,   Following other data.                 N/A
 no).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pre-crash data and crash data are asynchronous. The sample time
  accuracy requirement for pre-crash time is -0.1 to 1.0 sec (e.g., T =
  1 would need to occur between -1.1 and 0 seconds.)

[[Page 74157]]

 
\2\ The frontal air bag warning lamp is the readiness indicator
  specified in S4.5.2 of FMVSS No. 208, and may also illuminate to
  indicate a malfunction in another part of the deployable restraint
  system.
\3\ The ignition cycle at the time of download is not required to be
  recorded at the time of the crash, but shall be reported during the
  download process.


                Table II--Data Elements Required for Vehicles Under Specified Minimum Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Recording interval/time
           Data element name            Condition for requirement    \1\ (relative to time     Data sample rate
                                                                             zero)               (per second)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lateral acceleration..................  If recorded \2\..........  N/A......................                 N/A
Longitudinal acceleration.............  If recorded..............  N/A......................                 N/A
Normal acceleration...................  If recorded..............  N/A......................                 N/A
Delta-V, lateral......................  If recorded..............  0-250 ms or 0 to End of                   100
                                                                    Event Time plus 30 ms,
                                                                    whichever is shorter.
Maximum delta-V, lateral..............  If recorded..............  0-300 ms or 0 to End of                   N/A
                                                                    Event Time plus 30 ms,
                                                                    whichever is shorter.
Time maximum delta-V, lateral.........  If recorded..............  0-300 ms or 0 to End of                   N/A
                                                                    Event Time plus 30 ms,
                                                                    whichever is shorter.
Time for maximum delta-V, resultant...  If recorded..............  0-300 ms or 0 to End of                   N/A
                                                                    Event Time plus 30 ms,
                                                                    whichever is shorter.
Engine rpm............................  If recorded..............  -5.0 to 0 sec............                   2
Vehicle roll angle....................  If recorded..............  -1.0 up to 5.0 sec \3\...                  10
ABS activity (engaged, non-engaged)...  If recorded..............  -5.0 to 0 sec............                   2
Stability control (on, off, or          If recorded..............  -5.0 to 0 sec............                   2
 engaged).
Steering input........................  If recorded..............  -5.0 to 0 sec............                   2
Safety belt status, right front         If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
 passenger (buckled, not buckled).
Frontal air bag suppression switch      If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
 status, right front passenger (on,
 off, or auto).
Frontal air bag deployment, time to     If equipped with a         Event....................                 N/A
 nth stage, driver \4\.                  driver's frontal air bag
                                         with a multi-stage
                                         inflator.
Frontal air bag deployment, time to     If equipped with a right   Event....................                 N/A
 nth stage, right front passenger \4\.   front passenger's
                                         frontal air bag with a
                                         multi-stage inflator.
Frontal air bag deployment, nth stage   If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 disposal, driver, Y/N (whether the
 nth stage deployment was for occupant
 restraint or propellant disposal
 purposes).
Frontal air bag deployment, nth stage   If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 disposal, right front passenger, Y/N
 (whether the nth stage deployment was
 for occupant restraint or propellant
 disposal purposes).
Side air bag deployment, time to        If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 deploy, driver.
Side air bag deployment, time to        If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 deploy, right front passenger.
Side curtain/tube air bag deployment,   If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 time to deploy, driver side.
Side curtain/tube air bag deployment,   If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 time to deploy, right side.
Pretensioner deployment, time to fire,  If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 driver.
Pretensioner deployment, time to fire,  If recorded..............  Event....................                 N/A
 right front passenger.
Seat track position switch, foremost,   If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
 status, driver.
Seat track position switch, foremost,   If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
 status, right front passenger.
Occupant size classification, driver..  If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
Occupant size classification, right     If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
 front passenger.
Occupant position classification,       If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
 driver.
Occupant position classification,       If recorded..............  -1.0 sec.................                 N/A
 right front passenger.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Pre-crash data and crash data are asynchronous. The sample time accuracy requirement for pre-crash time is -
  0.1 to 1.0 sec (e.g. T = -1 would need to occur between -1.1 and 0 seconds.)
\2\ ``If recorded'' means if the data is recorded in non-volatile memory for the purpose of subsequent
  downloading.
\3\ ``vehicle roll angle'' may be recorded in any time duration; -1.0 sec to 5.0 sec is suggested.
\4\ List this element n - 1 times, once for each stage of a multi-stage air bag system.


[[Page 74158]]


                                     Table III--Reported Data Element Format
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Data element                    Minimum range              Accuracy \1\             Resolution
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lateral acceleration...............  At option of manufacturer..  At option of            At option of
                                                                   manufacturer.           manufacturer.
Longitudinal acceleration..........  At option of manufacturer..  At option of            At option of
                                                                   manufacturer.           manufacturer.
Normal Acceleration................  At option of manufacturer..  At option of            At option of
                                                                   manufacturer.           manufacturer.
Longitudinal delta-V...............  -100 km/h to + 100 km/h....  +/- 10%...............  1 km/h.
Lateral delta-V....................  -100 km/h to + 100 km/h....  +/- 10%...............  1 km/h.
Maximum delta-V, longitudinal......  -100 km/h to + 100 km/h....  +/- 10%...............  1 km/h.
Maximum delta-V, lateral...........  -100 km/h to + 100 km/h....  +/- 10%...............  1 km/h.
Time, maximum delta-V, longitudinal  0-300 ms, or 0--End of       +/- 3 ms..............  2.5 ms.
                                      Event Time plus 30 ms,
                                      whichever is shorter.
Time, maximum delta-V, lateral.....  0-300 ms, or 0--End of       +/- 3 ms..............  2.5 ms.
                                      Event Time plus 30 ms,
                                      whichever is shorter.
Time, maximum delta-V, resultant...  0-300 ms, or 0--End of       +/- 3 ms..............  2.5 ms.
                                      Event Time plus 30 ms,
                                      whichever is shorter.
Vehicle Roll Angle.................  -1080 deg to + 1080 deg....  +/- 10%...............  10 deg.
Speed, vehicle indicated...........  0 km/h to 200 km/h.........  +/- 1 km/h............  1 km/h.
Engine throttle, percent full        0 to 100%..................  +/- 5%................  1%.
 (accelerator pedal percent full).
Engine rpm.........................  0 to 10,000 rpm............  +/- 100 rpm...........  100 rpm.
Service brake......................  On or Off..................  N/A...................  On or Off.
ABS activity.......................  On or Off..................  N/A...................  On or Off.
Stability control..................  On, Off, or Engaged........  N/A...................  On, Off, or Engaged.
Steering input.....................  -250 deg CW to + 250 deg     +/- 5%................  +/- 1%
                                      CCW.
Ignition cycle, crash..............  0 to 60,000................  +/- 1 cycle...........  1 cycle.
Ignition cycle, download...........  0 to 60,000................  +/- 1 cycle...........  1 cycle.
Safety belt status, driver.........  On or Off..................  N/A...................  On or Off.
Safety belt status, right front      On or Off..................  N/A...................  On or Off.
 passenger.
Frontal air bag warning lamp.......  On or Off..................  N/A...................  On or Off.
Frontal air bag suppression switch   On, Off, or Auto...........  N/A...................  On, Off, or Auto.
 status, right front passenger.
Frontal air bag deployment, time to  0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 deploy/first stage, driver.
Frontal air bag deployment, time to  0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 deploy/first stage, right front
 passenger.
Frontal air bag deployment, time to  0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 nth stage, driver.
Frontal air bag deployment, time to  0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 nth stage, right front passenger.
Frontal air bag deployment, nth      Yes or No..................  N/A...................  Yes or No.
 stage disposal, driver.
Frontal air bag deployment, nth      Yes or No..................  N/A...................  Yes or No.
 stage disposal, right front
 passenger.
Side air bag deployment, time to     0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 deploy, driver.
Side air bag deployment, time to     0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 deploy, right front passenger.
Side curtain/tube air bag            0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 deployment, time to deploy, driver
 side.
Side curtain/tube air bag            0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 deployment, time to deploy, right
 side.
Pretensioner deployment, time to     0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 fire, driver.
Pretensioner deployment, time to     0 to 250 ms................  +/- 2 ms..............  1 ms.
 fire, right front passenger.
Seat track position switch,          Yes or No..................  N/A...................  Yes or No.
 foremost, status, driver.
Seat track position switch,          Yes or No..................  N/A...................  Yes or No.
 foremost, status, right front
 passenger.
Occupant size classification,        5th percentile female or     N/A...................  Yes or No.
 driver.                              larger.
Occupant size classification, right  Child......................  N/A...................  Yes or No.
 front passenger.
Occupant position classification,    Out of position............  N/A...................  Yes or No.
 driver.
Occupant position classification,    Out of position............  N/A...................  Yes or No.
 right front passenger.
Multi-event, number of event.......  1 or 2.....................  N/A...................  1 or 2.
Time from event 1 to 2.............  0 to 5.0 sec...............  0.1 sec...............  0.1 sec.
Complete file recorded.............  Yes or No..................  N/A...................  Yes or No.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Accuracy requirement only applies within the range of the physical sensor. For vehicles manufactured after
  September 1, 2014, if measurements captured by a sensor exceed the design range of the sensor, the reported
  element must indicate when the measurement first exceeded the design range of the sensor.


[[Page 74159]]

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Tires.

Regulatory Text

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR 
part 571 as follows:

PART 571--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

    1. The authority citation of part 571 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30166; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.

    2. Add Sec.  571.405 to subpart B to read as follows:


Sec.  571.405  Standard No. 405; Event data recorders.

    S1. Purpose and scope. This standard specifies requirements for 
equipping motor vehicles with event data recorders (EDRs) and for the 
post-crash survivability and retrievability of onboard motor vehicle 
crash event data to help ensure that EDRs record, in a readily usable 
manner, data valuable for effective crash investigations and for 
analysis of safety equipment performance (e.g., advanced restraint 
systems). These data will help provide a better understanding of the 
circumstances in which crashes and injuries occur. That understanding 
will aid efforts to assess and address safety problems in motor 
vehicles currently on the road and to develop requirements for safer 
motor vehicles in the future.
    S2. Application. This standard applies to passenger cars, 
multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses that have a GVWR of 
3,855 kg (8,500 pounds) or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 2,495 
kg (5,500 pounds) or less, and that are manufactured on or after 
September 1, 2014, except for walk-in van-type trucks or vehicles 
designed to be sold exclusively to the U.S. Postal Service.
    S3. Definitions.
    Event data recorder (EDR) means a device or function in a vehicle 
that records the vehicle's dynamic time-series data during the time 
period just prior to a crash event (e.g., vehicle speed vs. time) or 
during a crash event (e.g., delta-V vs. time), intended for retrieval 
after the crash event. For the purposes of this definition, the event 
data do not include audio and video data.
    S4. Requirements. Each vehicle shall be equipped with an event data 
recorder and meet the requirements of Sec.  563.7 of this chapter for 
data elements, Sec.  563.8 of this chapter for data format, Sec.  563.9 
of this chapter for data capture, Sec.  563.10 of this chapter for 
crash test performance and survivability, and Sec.  563.11 of this 
chapter for information in owner's manual. Each manufacturer of a motor 
vehicle equipped with an EDR shall comply with the requirements of 
Sec.  563.12 of this chapter for data retrieval tools.

    Issued on: December 7, 2012.
Christopher J. Bonanti,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2012-30082 Filed 12-10-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P