[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 12 (Thursday, January 17, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3843-3848]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00938]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA 2013-0003]
RIN 2127-AK42


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; New Pneumatic and Certain 
Specialty Tires

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule amends Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 109, New pneumatic and certain specialty tires, to change 
the test pressure for the physical dimensions test for T-type tires 
(temporary use spare tires) from 52 pounds per square inch (psi) to 60 
psi. This increase in test pressure for the physical dimensions test 
will marginally increase the stringency of the test and will align 
FMVSS No. 109 with international and voluntary consensus standards.

DATES: This final rule is effective July 16, 2013. Optional early 
compliance is permitted immediately. Petitions for reconsideration: If 
you wish to petition for reconsideration of this rule, your petition 
must be received by March 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES: If you submit a petition for reconsideration of this rule, 
you should refer in your petition to the docket number of this document 
and submit your petition to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, 
Washington, DC 20590.
    The petition will be placed in the public docket. Anyone is able to 
search the electronic form of all documents received into any of our 
dockets by the name of the individual submitting the document (or 
signing the document, 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 (Volume 
65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marisol B. Medri, NHTSA Office of 
Rulemaking, telephone 202-366-2720, fax 202-493-2739. For legal issues, 
you may call David Jasinski, NHTSA Office of Chief Counsel, telephone 
202-366-2992, fax 202-366-3820. You may send mail to these officials at 
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

a. T-Type Spare Tires

    NHTSA regulates ``T-type'' spare tires under FMVSS No. 109, New 
pneumatic and certain specialty tires. A ``T-type'' spare tire refers 
to a type of spare tire that is manufactured to be used as a temporary 
substitute by the consumer for a conventional tire that failed. For T-
type spare tires, FMVSS No. 109 specifies tire dimensions and 
laboratory test requirements for bead unseating resistance, strength, 
endurance, and high speed performance. The standard also defines tire 
load ratings and specifies labeling requirements for the tires.
    NHTSA amended FMVSS No. 109 to permit the manufacture of T-type 
(then known as ``60-psi'') spare tires in 1977, describing them as 
``differ[ing] substantially in specification and construction from 
conventional tires. * * * [with] a higher inflation pressure (60 psi), 
different dimensions, and a shorter treadwear life than conventional

[[Page 3844]]

tires.'' \1\ The agency also adopted endurance and high-speed 
performance tests, strength requirements, a resistance to bead 
unseating test, and a physical dimensions test, which were appropriate 
for the temporary use tires.
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    \1\ 42 FR 12869, 12870 (March 7, 1977).
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b. Physical Dimensions Test

    The purpose of the physical dimensions test is to measure the 
tire's growth under inflated conditions and to determine if it is 
within allowable growth limits. If a tire exceeds allowable growth 
limits in the physical dimensions test, that indicates that there could 
be a safety risk from that tire's not matching well with its rim, or 
not fitting well with the vehicle to which it is attached. Either of 
these mismatches could present safety risks.
    All T-type tires must comply with growth limits as specified by 
S4.2.2.2 of FMVSS No. 109, which states that the tire's actual section 
width and overall width may not exceed the specified section width \2\ 
by more than 7 percent or 10 millimeters (0.4 inches), whichever is 
greater. The ``section width'' of a tire is defined in S3 of FMVSS No. 
109 as ``the linear distance between the exteriors of the sidewalls of 
an inflated tire, excluding elevations due to labeling, decoration, or 
protective bands.''
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    \2\ S4.2.2.2 states that the measured section width ``shall not 
exceed the section width specified in a submission made by an 
individual manufacturer, pursuant to S4.4.1(a) or in one of the 
publications described in S4.4.1(b) for its size designation and 
type * * *.'' (Emphasis added.) The ``publications described in 
S4.4.1(b)'' refer to the year books published by various tire 
manufacturer associations, such as T&RA. As a practical matter, 
individual tire manufacturers generally submit section width 
information to associations like T&RA for inclusion in the year 
books, rather than submitting such information directly to NHTSA, 
although FMVSS No. 109 allows the latter option.
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    The test procedure for the physical dimensions test is specified in 
S5.1 of FMVSS No. 109. That section states that the tire is mounted on 
the appropriate test rim and inflated to the pressure listed in Table 
II of the standard, which for 60-psi tires is 52 psi. The tire is then 
conditioned at ambient temperature for 24 hours, at which point the 
inflation is checked and adjusted back to 52 psi if necessary, and then 
the tire is measured.

c. Test Pressure

    NHTSA requires tire manufacturers to specify both a ``recommended'' 
pressure and a ``maximum permissible inflation pressure.'' The 
recommended inflation pressure is the operational inflation pressure 
needed to support the weight of the vehicle when loaded to its gross 
vehicle weight rating. The maximum permissible inflation pressure, 
which is required to be molded on the tire's sidewall, is the maximum 
pressure beyond which the tire should not be inflated. Usually, a 
manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure is lower than the tire's 
maximum pressure labeled on the tire sidewall.
    Since most tires have a recommended inflation pressure that is 
lower than the specified maximum pressure for the tire, the test 
pressure that NHTSA uses to test tires dynamically on a test wheel is 
generally lower than the maximum pressure labeled on the sidewall. 
Further, tires may be operated at some level of under-inflation during 
normal service. To reflect this real-world use, FMVSS No. 109's dynamic 
test procedures generally specify under-inflating a tire when testing 
the tire on the road-wheel. Moreover, dynamic tests are more stringent 
when the tire is tested at an inflation pressure lower than the 
pressure required to support the given test load. Under-inflating a 
tire eventually results in greater heat build-up due to over-deflection 
of a tire's sidewall, which increases the likelihood of tire failure.
    Consistent with this approach, in the 1977 final rule, NHTSA 
determined that T-type (60 psi) tires should be tested in all of the 
FMVSS No. 109 tests at a test pressure lower than the tire's maximum 
permissible inflation pressure of 60 psi. For the physical dimensions 
test, the agency determined that a 52-psi value reflects an operational 
inflation pressure appropriate for use in the test. The 52-psi maximum 
permissible inflation pressure adopted in 1977 has not been changed 
since that final rule.

d. Tire & Rim Association Petition

    In a July 13, 2007 petition, the Tire & Rim Association (T&RA) \3\ 
requested that the agency make a ``technical correction'' \4\ to Table 
II of FMVSS No. 109 regarding T-type tires. Specifically, T&RA 
requested that ``the inflation pressure for the measurement of physical 
dimensions in Table II be changed from 52 psi to 60 psi.'' T&RA stated 
that ``There is only one application inflation pressure for T-type 
tires, 60 psi,'' and that therefore ``this is the appropriate pressure 
for the subject measurement.'' The petitioner also stated that the 
inflation pressure for the bead unseating, tire strength, and tire 
endurance test should remain at 52 psi.
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    \3\ T&RA is a technical standardizing body of the tire, rim, 
valve, and allied part manufacturers in the United States.
    \4\ The agency believes that the petition should be addressed by 
this notice and comment rulemaking rather than by way of a technical 
correction.
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II. Summary of the NPRM

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on October 30, 
2009,\5\ NHTSA proposed to grant T&RA's petition and increase the test 
pressure used for the physical dimensions test from 52 psi to 60 psi. 
Although we agreed that raising the inflation pressure for the physical 
dimensions test was appropriate, we did not agree with T&RA's 
reasoning. Instead, we proposed to raise the inflation pressure for two 
other reasons. First, we tentatively concluded that raising the 
inflation pressure makes engineering sense because doing so would raise 
the stringency of the test under conditions that are within the realm 
of real world use, since it was conceivable that the tires would be 
operated at 60 psi (which is the pressure assigned the tire by the tire 
manufacturer). Second, we tentatively concluded that raising the test 
pressure will align FMVSS No. 109 with the European and Japanese 
regulations that cover T-type tires. The European and Japanese 
regulations both specify an inflation pressure of 4.2 bar or 420 kPa 
(which is the metric equivalent of 60 psi) \6\ for the physical 
dimensions test.\7\
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    \5\ 74 FR 56166 (Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0117).
    \6\ More precisely, 420 kPa is equal to 60.9 psi. However, when 
adopting metric conversions in 1998, NHTSA generally favored 
equivalent conversions over exact ones and favored conversions that 
were already consistent with established tire industry, European, or 
other international standards. See 63 FR 28912, 28913 (May 27, 
1998).
    \7\ See ECE Regulation No. 30, Annex 6, para. 1.2.5, available 
at http://live.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/main/wp29/wp29regs/r030r3e.pdf; Automobile Type Approval Handbook for Japanese 
Certification, Safety Regulations for Road Vehicles, Technical 
Standards For Pneumatic Tyres For Passenger-Use Motor Vehicles, 
Annex, 1-2-5.
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    We believed that existing 60-psi T-type spare tires would be able 
to pass the amended physical dimensions test. Further, because the 
request to raise the test pressure for the physical dimensions test 
came from a tire manufacturer trade association, we believed that the 
amended test would be practical.
    The October 2009 NPRM also proposed other minor changes to FMVSS 
No. 109:
     The agency proposed deleting references to CT tires.
     The agency proposed revising S4.4.1(b) to update the list 
of tire industry organizations to make the list consistent with that 
established in the upgrade of FMVSS No. 139, New pneumatic radial tires 
for light vehicles.
     The agency proposed to redesignate ``Appendix A'' as 
``Appendix'' and move it to the end of the standard. The

[[Page 3845]]

agency also proposed removing references to tables that were no longer 
set forth in the appendix and updating the address of NHTSA.

III. Comments and Analysis

    The agency received three comments in response to the October 2009 
NPRM. The comments were submitted by the Alliance of Automobile 
Manufacturers (Alliance),\8\ Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety 
(Advocates), and a private citizen (Jonathan David Korhonen).
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    \8\ The Alliance is a trade association of 11 automobile 
manufacturers: BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, 
General Motors Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, 
Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
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    The Alliance concurred with the proposals in the NPRM to increase 
the test pressure of T-type tires from 52 psi to 60 psi for the 
physical dimensions test, the deletion of references to CT type tires, 
the revisions to update the list of tire industry organizations, and 
the redesignation of ``Appendix A'' as ``Appendix'' and its relocation 
to the end of the standard. The Alliance also concurred with the 
proposed effective date.
    Advocates stated that it supports NHTSA's proposal to raise the 
inflation pressure from 52 psi to 60 psi for the physical dimensions 
test on T-type tires. Advocates asserted that this will result in a 
more demanding test that could lead to increased tire quality and 
integrity during real-world use. Advocates also supported the continued 
use of a 52 psi inflation pressure for the bead unseating, tire 
strength, and tire endurance tests because those test pressures 
represented real-world conditions in which T-type tires would be used 
while underinflated.
    However, Advocates recommended that NHTSA reconsider its continued 
use of a 58 psi inflation pressure for the high speed performance test. 
Advocates stated that T-type tires are often stored for long periods of 
time until an unexpected event leads to their use. Advocates also 
asserted that, although owners' manuals for passenger motor vehicles 
advise frequent checking and re-inflation of T-type tires, this is 
rarely performed, leading to the majority of T-type tires mounted on 
vehicles being in an underinflated condition. Advocates argued that 
this problem is further compounded by the majority of motorists who do 
not carry air pumps to inflate T-type tires to the recommended 
operating pressure or tire gauges to check the inflation of tired. 
Further, Advocates noted that the absence of a requirement that T-type 
tires be equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) further 
prevents drivers from being notified of underinflated tires. Advocates 
stated that, by lowering the inflation pressure for the high speed 
performance test, NHTSA could ensure that T-type tires were better able 
to withstand higher speeds while underinflated.
    NHTSA is making no changes to the proposal in response to 
Advocates' comment. The agency considers the issues related to the 
inflation pressure of T-type tires for the high speed performance test 
to be outside the scope of this rulemaking action.
    The agency also addressed the issue of TPMS on spare tires during 
the rulemaking establishing FMVSS No. 138, Tire pressure monitoring 
systems.\9\ NHTSA decided not to require TPMS on spare tires (either T-
type or full-sized) for two reasons. First, most drivers know that 
temporary tires are not intended for extended use. Second, T-type tires 
pose operational problems for both direct and indirect TPMS because the 
recommended inflation pressure for these tires is considerably 
different than the pressure for tires used in normal service. The 
agency also believed a TPMS requirement for spare tires would be a 
potential disincentive for a vehicle manufacturer to supply a spare 
tire.
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    \9\ See 70 FR 18136, 18160 (Apr. 8, 2005); 70 FR 53079, 53088 
(Sep. 7, 2005).
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    The agency also received a comment from a private citizen, Jonathan 
David Korhonen. Mr. Korhonen questioned how the NPRM would affect the 
overall cost to manufacture vehicles. He recommended keeping the 
proposed changes as suggestions and concluded that the changes should 
not take the place of education for drivers.
    In response to Mr. Korhonen's comment, the agency believes that the 
costs of implementing the proposed changes in the NPRM are near zero. 
We believe that existing T-type tires are likely to pass the upgraded 
physical dimensions test.
    After careful consideration of all comments received and all issues 
relevant to the NPRM, the agency has decided to adopt the NPRM as 
proposed.\10\ Raising the test pressure for the physical dimensions 
test will raise the stringency of the test under conditions that are 
within the realm of real world use. Further, raising the test pressure 
is consistent with international harmonization. We believe that 
existing tires will be able to pass the amended physical dimensions 
test and that the new test will be practicable. We are also adopting 
the minor changes to FMVSS No. 109 discussed in the NPRM.
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    \10\ The only change made to the NPRM was the correction of a 
misspelled word in the Appendix to Sec.  571.109.
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    Finally, for consistency, we are making three changes to the 
regulatory text of FMVSS No. 109 that were not included in the NPRM. 
The agency finds that good cause exists for these amendments to be 
included in this final rule notwithstanding the fact that they were not 
included in the October 2009 NPRM because advance public notice would 
be unnecessary. The specific changes and the basis for the good cause 
finding are discussed below.
    First, we are amending S4.2.2.2(b) to eliminate maximum tire 
pressures that were used only for the physical dimensions test for CT 
tires. This is consistent with the proposed amendments, which we are 
adopting today, to eliminate pressures used for CT tires in S4.2.1(b), 
S4.3.4, Table I-C, and Table II.
    Second, we are further amending S4.2.2.2(b) to correct an error. 
Although 340 kPa is listed in the maximum tire pressures that are used 
for conducting the physical dimensions test in Table II, the pressure 
was inadvertently removed from the list of tire pressures in 
S4.2.2.2(b) in a prior rulemaking action.\11\ The inclusion of the 340 
kPa maximum tire pressure in Table II and other similar sections that 
list the permissible maximum tire pressures shows that this omission 
was unintentional. Thus, advance notice of this correction is 
unnecessary.
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    \11\ An August 1, 1994 final rule adding the 350 kPa maximum 
pressure for tires other than CT tires removed the 340 kPa test 
pressure from S4.2.2.2(b). See 59 FR 38938, 38941. This omission was 
not discussed in the preamble of the final rule. See 59 FR 38938-40. 
The 340 kPa pressure was included in S4.2.2.2(b) of FMVSS No. 109 
prior to the August 1, 1994 amendment. See 49 CFR 571.109, 
S4.2.2.2(b) (1993). Furthermore, the 340 kPa was not omitted from 
S4.2.2.2(b) in the November 8, 1993 NPRM that preceded the 
amendment. See 58 FR 59226, 59228.
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    Third, we are updating NHTSA's address in S4.4.1(a) to be 
consistent with the correction to NHTSA's address in Appendix A. This 
is a procedural amendment that will ensure that documents sent to the 
agency will be delivered to the agency.

IV. Effective Date

    Section 30111(d) of title 49, United States Code, provides that a 
Federal motor vehicle safety standard may not become effective before 
the 180th day after the standard is prescribed or later than one year 
after it is prescribed except when a different effective date is, for 
good cause shown, in the public interest. This final rule is effective 
180 days after publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. 
However, we

[[Page 3846]]

will permit optional early compliance immediately.

V. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures

    The agency has considered the impact of this rulemaking action 
under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and the DOT's regulatory 
policies and procedures. This action was not reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. The agency has 
considered the impact of this action under the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures (44 FR 11034; 
February 26, 1979), and has determined that it is not ``significant'' 
under them.
    This final rule increases slightly the stringency of an existing 
test applicable to T-type spare tires for passenger vehicles. The 
rulemaking will not affect the current costs of testing T-type tires to 
FMVSS No. 109's performance requirements. The minimal impacts of 
today's amendment do not warrant preparation of a regulatory 
evaluation.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required, except as provided 
below, to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final 
rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a 
regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule 
on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and 
small governmental jurisdictions). The Small Business Administration's 
regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small business, in part, as a 
business entity ``which operates primarily within the United States.'' 
(13 CFR 121.105(a)).
    No regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an 
agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a 
statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.
    NHTSA has considered the effects of this final rule under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. I certify that this final rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The final rule will affect tire manufacturers who manufacture 
T-type tires, none of which, according to the agency's knowledge, are 
small businesses. Even if there were a substantial number of small 
businesses manufacturing T-type tires, these entities would not be 
significantly affected by this final rule since, to the agency's 
knowledge, all currently manufactured T-type tires meet the new 
requirement. The rulemaking does not affect costs of testing T-type 
tires to FMVSS No. 109's performance requirements.

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.

    This final rule would harmonize the inflation pressure NHTSA uses 
for the physical dimensions test with European and Japanese regulations 
covering T-type tires.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    NHTSA has examined today's final rule pursuant to Executive Order 
13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional 
consultation with States, local governments, or their representatives 
is mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The agency has concluded 
that the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant either consultation with State and local officials or 
preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The rule does not 
have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and the responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.''
    Further, no consultation is needed to discuss the issue of 
preemption in connection with today's final rule. The issue of 
preemption can arise in connection with NHTSA rules 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.'' 49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1). It is this statutory 
command that unavoidably preempts State legislative and administrative 
law, not today's rulemaking, so consultation is unnecessary.
    Second, the Supreme Court has recognized the possibility of implied 
preemption: In some instances, State requirements imposed on motor 
vehicle manufacturers, including sanctions imposed by State tort law, 
can stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of some of 
the NHTSA safety standards. When such a conflict is discerned, the 
Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes the State requirements 
unenforceable. See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 
(2000).
    NHTSA has considered the nature (e.g., the language and structure 
of the regulatory text) and purpose of today's final rule and does not 
foresee any potential State requirements that might conflict with it. 
Without any conflict, there could not be any implied preemption of 
state law, including state tort law.

National Environmental Policy Act

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), a person is not 
required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency 
unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. There is no 
information collection requirement associated with this final rule.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, (15 U.S.C. 272) directs the 
agency to evaluate and use voluntary consensus standards in its 
regulatory activities unless doing so would be inconsistent

[[Page 3847]]

with applicable law or is 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. The NTTAA directs us to provide 
Congress (through OMB) with explanations when we decide not to use 
available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This final rule harmonizes FMVSS No. 109 with several voluntary 
consensus standards, including the T&RA 2008 Year Book standard,\12\ 
the ETRTO standard,\13\ and the JATMA standard,\14\ all of which 
specify 60 psi or 420 kPa (or 4.2 bar) as the inflation pressure for 
measuring T-type tire dimensions. This final rule also harmonizes FMVSS 
No. 109 with ECE Regulation 30 and Japanese Safety Regulations, which 
currently require the physical dimensions test for T-type tires to be 
conducted at the tire's maximum permissible inflation pressure, 4.2 bar 
(420 kPa or 60 psi).
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    \12\ The Tire & Rim Association, Inc., (T&RA), Year Book, 2008, 
Measuring Procedure for New Tires, at XIII.
    \13\ European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO), 
Standards Manual, 2005. Table 11.2, Temporary Use Spare Tyres--T 
type, at P.22.
    \14\ The Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, Inc. 
(JATMA), Year Book (Tyre Standards), 2008. Section G-5, ``Measuring 
Procedure for Tyres,'' Note 1, at 0-4.
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Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation, 
section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice Reform'' (61 FR 
4729, February 7, 1996) requires that Executive agencies make every 
reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies 
the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing 
Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for 
affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; 
(4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately 
defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting 
clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the 
Attorney General. This document is consistent with that requirement.
    Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as follows. The issue of 
preemption is discussed above. NHTSA notes further that there is no 
requirement that individuals submit a petition for reconsideration or 
pursue other administrative proceeding before they may file suit in 
court.

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 annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 
1995). Before promulgating a NHTSA rule for which a written statement 
is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires the agency to 
identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives 
and 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 the agency 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 
of why that alternative was not adopted.
    This final rule will not result in any expenditure by State, local, 
or tribal governments or the private sector. Thus, this final rule is 
not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

    Executive Order 13045, ``Protection of Children from Environmental 
Health and Safety Risks'' (62 FR 19855, April 23, 1997), applies to any 
rule that: (1) Is determined to be ``economically significant'' as 
defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental, 
health, or safety risk that the agency has reason to believe may have a 
disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets 
both criteria, the agency must evaluate the environmental health or 
safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain why the 
planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and 
reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the agency.
    This final rule is not an economically significant regulatory 
action under Executive Order 12866. Consequently, no further analysis 
is required under Executive Order 13045.

Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may 
use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document 
to find this action in the Unified Agenda.

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 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit 
http://www.regulations.gov.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, Rubber and rubber 
products, and Tires.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA hereby amends 49 CFR part 
571 as follows:

PART 571--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

0
1. The authority citation for part 571 of Title 49 continues to read as 
follows:

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


0
2. Section 571.109 is amended by
0
a. Removing the definition of CT in S3;
0
b. Revising S4.2.1(b), S4.2.2.2(b), the introductory text of S4.3.4, 
S4.4.1(a), and S4.4.1(b);
0
c. Redesignating Appendix A as ``Appendix to Sec.  571.109,'' moving 
the appendix to the end of Sec.  571.109 (following the tables to Sec.  
571.109), and revising the appendix; and
0
d. Revising Table I-C and Table II.
    The revised and redesignated text, tables, and appendix read as 
follows:


Sec.  571.109  Standard No. 109; New pneumatic and certain specialty 
tires.

* * * * *
    S4.2.1 * * *
    (b) Its maximum permissible inflation pressure shall be either 32, 
36, 40, or 60 psi, or 240, 280, 300, 340, or 350 kPa.
* * * * *
    S4.2.2.2 * * *
    (b) (For tires with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 
240,

[[Page 3848]]

280, 300, 340 or 350 kPa, or 60 psi) 7 percent or 10 mm (0.4 inches), 
whichever is larger.
* * * * *
    S4.3.4 If the maximum inflation pressure of a tire is 240, 280, 
300, 340, or 350 kPa, then:
* * * * *
    S4.4.1 * * *
    (a) Listed by manufacturer name or brand name in a document 
furnished to dealers of the manufacturer's tires, to any person upon 
request, and in duplicate to the Docket Section (No: NHTSA-2009-0117), 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave SE., Washington, DC 20590; or
    (b) Contained in publications, current at the date of manufacture 
of the tire or any later date, of at least one of the following 
organizations:

Tire and Rim Association
The European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization
Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, Inc.
Tyre and Rim Association of Australia
Associacao Latino Americana de Pneus e Aros (Brazil)
South African Bureau of Standards
* * * * *

                                         Table I-C--For Radial Ply Tires
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Maximum permissible inflation
                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------
            Size designation                         PSI                                 kPa
                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             32       36       40      240      280      300      340      350
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Below 160 mm:
    (in-lbs)............................    1,950    2,925    3,900    1,950    3,900    1,950    3,900    1,950
    (joules)............................      220      330      441      220      441      220      441      220
160 mm or above:
    (in-lbs)............................    2,600    3,900    5,200    2,600    5,200    2,600    5,200    2,600
    (joules)............................      294      441      588      294      588      294      588      294
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

                                       Table II--Test Inflation Pressures
                   [Maximum permissible inflation pressure to be used for the following test]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 psi                                     kPa
           Test type            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    32       36       40       60      240      280      300      340      350
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical dimensions............       24       28       32       60      180      220      180      220      180
Bead unseating, tire strength,        24       28       32       52      180      220      180      220      180
 and tire endurance............
High speed performance.........       30       34       38       58      220      260      220      260      220
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

Appendix to Sec.  571.109

    Persons requesting the addition of new tire sizes not included 
in S4.4.1(b) organizations may, upon approval, submit five (5) 
copies of information and data supporting the request to the Vehicle 
Dynamics Division, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    The information should contain the following:
    1. The tire size designation, and a statement either that the 
tire is an addition to a category of tires listed in the tables or 
that it is in a new category for which a table has not been 
developed.
    2. The tire dimensions, including aspect ratio, size factor, 
section width, overall width, and test rim size.
    3. The load-inflation schedule of the tire.
    4. A statement as to whether the tire size designation and load 
inflation schedule has been coordinated with the Tire and Rim 
Association, the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization, the 
Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, Inc., the Tyre and 
Rim Association of Australia, the Associacao Latino Americana de 
Pneus e Aros (Brazil), or the South African Bureau of Standards.
    5. Copies of test data sheets showing test conditions, results 
and conclusions obtained for individual tests specified in Sec.  
571.109.
    6. Justification for the additional tire sizes.

    Issued on: January 4, 2013.
David L. Strickland,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-00938 Filed 1-16-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P