[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 49 (Wednesday, March 13, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15920-15925]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05761]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0030]
RIN 2127-AL24


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Tire Selection and Rims

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: This document proposes to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 110 to make it clear that special trailer (ST) 
tires are permitted to be installed on new trailers with a gross 
vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs.) or less. It also 
proposes to exclude these trailers from a vehicle testing requirement 
that a tire must be retained on its rim when subjected to a sudden loss 
of tire pressure when brought to a controlled stop from 97 km/h (60 
mph). After careful review, the agency believes that these two 
revisions are appropriate and would not result in any degradation of 
motor vehicle safety.

DATES: Submit comments on or before May 13, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments electronically to the docket 
identified in the heading of this document by visiting the following 
Web site:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.

Alternatively, you can file comments using the following methods:
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between

[[Page 15921]]

9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251

Regardless of how you submit your comments, you should mention the 
docket number identified in the heading of this document.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public 
Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this 
document. 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 heading below.
    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).
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online 
instructions for accessing the dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues, you may contact 
George Soodoo, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, by telephone at 
(202) 366-4931, and by fax at (202) 366-7002. For legal issues, you may 
contact David Jasinski, Office of the Chief Counsel, by telephone at 
(202) 366-2992, and by fax at (202) 366-3820. You may send mail to both 
of these officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On June 26, 2003, the agency published a final rule amending 
several Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) related to 
tires and rims.\1\ That rulemaking was completed as part of a 
comprehensive upgrade of existing safety standards and the 
establishment of new safety standards to improve tire safety, as 
required by the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and 
Documentation (TREAD) Act of 2000. That final rule included extensive 
revisions to the tire standards and to the rim and labeling 
requirements for motor vehicles.
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    \1\ 68 FR 38116.
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    That final rule expanded the applicability of FMVSS No. 110 to 
include all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 
4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) or less, except for motorcycles. Prior to the 
enactment of the TREAD Act, FMVSS No. 110 only applied to passenger 
cars and to non-pneumatic spare tire assemblies for use on passenger 
cars. In an effort to coordinate the upgraded tire standard, intended 
to apply to all vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) or 
less with the standards used on tires for vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 
kg (10,000 pounds) or less, the language in FMVSS No. 110 was amended 
to require the use of tires meeting the new FMVSS No. 139, New 
pneumatic radial tires for light vehicles. The only exception provided 
in FMVSS No. 110 was for the use of spare tire assemblies with 
pneumatic spare tires meeting the requirements of FMVSS No. 109 or non-
pneumatic spare tire assemblies meeting the requirements of FMVSS No. 
129.
    With the expansion of FMVSS No. 110 to include all motor vehicles 
with a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) or less, the performance tests 
and criteria within the standard became applicable to all light 
vehicles, including light trucks, multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
buses, and trailers that had previously been subject to the 
requirements of FMVSS No. 120. Among the performance requirements in 
FMVSS No. 110 is a rim retention requirement compliance with which is 
assessed using a rapid tire deflation test. This requirement was not 
previously included in FMVSS No. 120 and, therefore, was not applicable 
to light trucks, multipurpose passenger vehicles, buses, and trailers. 
The effective date for these requirements was September 1, 2007, which 
provided approximately four years of lead time from publication of the 
final rule.\2\
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    \2\ See 71 FR 877 (Jan. 6, 2006).
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    The agency has been made aware, through communications from the 
Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), of two concerns the 
trailer manufacturing industry has with FMVSS No. 110. First, RVIA and 
its members believe, from a literal reading of S4.1 of FMVSS No. 110, 
that special trailer (ST) tires and tires with rim diameter codes of 12 
or below cannot be equipped on new trailers that are under 4,536 kg 
(10,000 pounds) or less because that section only allows for FMVSS No. 
139-compliant tires to be equipped on trailers. Second, RVIA and its 
members questioned the need for the rim retention requirement for 
trailers in S4.4.1(b) and whether the dynamic rapid tire deflation test 
specified in that section could be conducted on trailers. Although no 
petition for rulemaking has been received related to these issues, the 
agency has, on its own initiative, reviewed these concerns and is 
proposing amendments to FMVSS No. 110 to respond to them. The two 
issues are addressed separately in more detail below.

II. Use of ST Tires on Trailers With a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 Pounds) 
or Less

    A literal reading of S4.1 of FMVSS No. 110 suggests that all light 
vehicles (those with GVWR or 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) or less) would be 
required to be equipped with FMVSS No 139-compliant tires, with an 
exception only for T-type or non-pneumatic spare tire assemblies on 
passenger cars. Prior to the 1997 effective date of the amendments to 
FMVSS No. 110, trailers were subject to FMVSS No. 120, which then 
allowed for trailers to be equipped with ST tires and tires with rim 
diameter codes of 12 or less that comply with FMVSS No. 109.\3\
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    \3\ FMVSS No. 120 continues to allow trailers with a GVWR of 
greater than 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) to be equipped with ST tires 
and tires with a rim diameter code of 12 or less.
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    NHTSA has reexamined S4.1 and has tentatively concluded that an 
amendment is appropriate to clarify what appears to be an unnecessary 
and unintentional restriction on the types of tires that can be used on 
light trailers. A review of the rulemaking record supporting the June 
2003 final rule does not reveal intent to restrict the types of tires 
that can be used on trailers. Rather, it appears that, in rewriting 
FMVSS No. 110 to apply to all light vehicles and require that light 
vehicles be equipped with FMVSS No. 139-compliant tires, the agency 
inadvertently omitted language that would allow trailers to continue to 
be equipped with FMVSS No. 109-compliant ST tires or 12 or lower rim 
diameter code tires.
    Thus, NHTSA proposes to revise S4.1 to require that, subject to 
enumerated exceptions, all light vehicles be equipped with FMVSS No. 
139-compliant tires. For passenger cars, T-type temporary spare tire 
assemblies and non-pneumatic spare tire assemblies that comply with 
FMVSS No. 109 and FMVSS No. 129, respectively, would continue to be 
allowed. Additionally, the agency is proposing to add a new exception 
allowing trailers to be equipped with ST tires or tires with a rim 
diameter code of 12 or below that comply with FMVSS No. 109.
    We believe that expressly allowing the expanded use of trailer 
tires

[[Page 15922]]

consistent with these proposed amendments will not result in 
degradation of safety. The agency has reviewed NHTSA crash databases 
such as the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National 
Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System. However, those 
databases do not contain sufficient detail with respect to the coding 
of crashing to identify relevant crashes.
    The agency has also reviewed consumer complaints made to NHTSA's 
Office of Defects Investigations, based on submissions of Vehicle Owner 
Questionnaires (VOQs) to identify safety problems related to tires. A 
search of that database in June 2012 revealed 963 complaints containing 
both the words ``tire'' and ``trailer.'' A review of the narrative of 
each complaint revealed that 942 of the VOQs reported tire issues on 
the towing vehicle, 10 VOQs involved tire issues on the trailer, and 11 
VOQs were not sufficiently specific to determine if the tire issue was 
on the towing or towed vehicle. Nothing in the VOQ data indicated any 
increased safety risk associated with the use of ST tires or tires with 
rim diameter codes of 12 or less compared to any other type of tire. 
Furthermore, ST tires and tires with rim diameter codes 12 or less were 
expressly allowed to be used on light trailers prior to 2007 and the 
agency did not note any risk related to those tires in the rulemaking 
proceeding leading to the June 2003 final rule.
    The agency seeks comment on this proposal. The agency also seeks 
comment on the tentative conclusion that adopting this proposed 
amendment would not result in any degradation of safety.

III. Rim Retention Requirement for Trailers

    The June 2003 final rule extended the applicability of FMVSS No. 
110 to all light vehicles except motorcycles. Prior to the 2007 
effective date of that rule, the rim retention requirement was 
applicable only to passenger cars. With respect to this requirement, 
the agency stated the following in the June 2003 final rule:

    The agency has also decided to extend S4.4.1(b) of FMVSS No. 10 
to light trucks and vans for the first time. S4.4.1(b) requires that 
each rim retain a deflated tire in the event of a rapid loss of 
inflation pressure from a vehicle speed of 97 km/h until the vehicle 
is stopped with a controlled braking application. No commenter 
responded to this issue.\4\
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    \4\ 68 FR 38142.

    Although the agency only expressly stated an intent to extend the 
applicability of the rim retention requirement to light trucks and 
vans, there was no limitation in the regulatory text that excluded 
trailers or any other vehicle type subject to FMVSS No. 110 from this 
requirement. The extension of the applicability of this requirement to 
trailers resulted in the implementation of the first on-road compliance 
test that NHTSA could conduct on light trailers.
    The rapid deflation test NHTSA conducts to determine compliance 
with the rim retention requirement provides that the vehicle travel in 
a straight line at a speed of 97 km/h (60 mph). A trailer, by its 
nature, is not self-propelled. Thus, to conduct the test, NHTSA would 
need to attach the trailer to a powered vehicle. However, neither the 
text of S4.4.1(b), nor NHTSA's compliance test procedure contemplate 
the use of a towing vehicle. Without such specificity, light trailer 
manufacturers cannot know how NHTSA would perform compliance testing of 
the rim retention requirement on trailers. Consequently, light trailer 
manufacturers are responsible for certifying that their trailers comply 
with the rim retention requirement in any towing-towed vehicle 
configuration, which creates testing issues not considered by the 
agency.
    To determine if a safety problem exists, the agency investigated 
its crash data. As discussed in the prior section, NHTSA's crash 
databases were not sufficiently detailed to identify relevant crashes.
    However, the agency has reviewed the 10 VOQs identified in the 
prior section related to tire issues on a trailer. One complaint 
involved a truck towing another truck. This case was not considered 
relevant because the towed vehicle was not a trailer. Nine cases 
reported tire failure (either blowout or tread separation) of one or 
more trailer tires. Four cases resulted in trailer rollover, but none 
reported rollover of the towing vehicle. Seven cases reported property 
damage to the trailer or the towing vehicle. In one case, another 
vehicle was struck by separated trailer tire tread. There were no 
reported injuries or fatalities in any of these nine cases, and it does 
not appear that any of these cases would have been addressed by the rim 
retention requirement.
    For example, one case involving trailer rollover reported that the 
right trailer tire rolled off the bead on a curved section of roadway. 
The owner of the unspecified towing vehicle stated that the trailer was 
rental equipment. The police accident report indicated that the tires 
were underrated for the vehicle at the time of the crash (the trailer 
GVWR was 3,825 pounds and the two tires had a combined load carrying 
capacity of 3,250 pounds). However, there was insufficient information 
to confirm that the tires could not carry the load on the axle because 
there was no information on how much weight was loaded on the trailer's 
axle and whether the towing vehicle was carrying any of the trailer's 
weight.
    Based on the foregoing information, the agency could not identify a 
current safety problem related to a trailer rim's ability to retain a 
tire in the event of rapid deflation. Over a 15-year period of consumer 
complaints, we found only nine complaints related to trailer tires, a 
rate of less than one complaint per year, and few, if any, of the 
complaints appear to be related to the rim retention requirement. Thus, 
we tentatively conclude that there is no continued safety need 
justifying the requirement that trailers comply with the rim retention 
requirement in S4.4.1(b) of FMVSS No. 110. We do not believe that 
excluding trailers from this requirement would have any measurable 
effect on the safety of light trailers.
    We welcome comments on our tentative conclusion that there remains 
no continued safety need for trailers to comply with the rim retention 
requirement in S4.4.1(b) of FMVSS No. 110.\5\
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    \5\ We are not proposing to exclude trailers from the 
requirement in S4.4.1(a) that rims be constructed to the dimensions 
of a rim that is listed by the manufacturer of the tires as suitable 
for use with those tires, in accordance with S4 of Sec.  571.139. 
Although ST tires and tires with rim diameter codes of 12 or less 
are subject to the requirements of FMVSS No. 109 and not FMVSS No. 
139, we are not proposing to refer to FMVSS No. 109 for rim matching 
requirements for ST and 12 or less rim diameter tires. On January 
17, 2013, the agency published an amendment to FMVSS No. 109 that, 
among other things, updated the listing of industry tire and rim 
standards in FMVSS No. 109 to match those specified in S4 of FMVSS 
No. 139. See 78 FR 3843.
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IV. Public Participation

How do I prepare and submit comments?

    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your 
comments are correctly filed 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). 
We 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 your comments electronically to the docket following

[[Page 15923]]

the steps outlined under ADDRESSES. You may also submit two copies of 
your comments, including the attachments, by mail to Docket Management 
at the beginning of this document, under ADDRESSES.

How can I be sure that my comments were received?

    If you wish to be notified upon receipt of your mailed comments, 
enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing 
your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will 
return the postcard by mail.

How do I submit confidential business information?

    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit the following to the NHTSA Office of 
Chief Counsel (NCC-110), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590: (1) A complete copy of the submission; (2) a redacted copy of 
the submission with the confidential information removed; and (3) 
either a second complete copy or those portions of the submission 
containing the material for which confidential treatment is claimed and 
any additional information that you deem important to the Chief 
Counsel's consideration of your confidentiality claim. A request for 
confidential treatment that complies with 49 CFR part 512 must 
accompany the complete submission provided to the Chief Counsel. For 
further information, submitters who plan to request confidential 
treatment for any portion of their submissions are advised to review 49 
CFR part 512, particularly those sections relating to document 
submission requirements. Failure to adhere to the requirements of part 
512 may result in the release of confidential information to the public 
docket. In addition, you should submit two copies from which you have 
deleted the claimed confidential business information, to Docket 
Management at the address given at the beginning of this document under 
ADDRESSES.

Will the agency consider late comments?

    We will consider all comments received before the close of business 
on the comment closing date indicated at the beginning of this notice 
under DATES. In accordance with our policies, to the extent possible, 
we will also consider comments received after the specified comment 
closing date. If we receive a comment too late for us to consider in 
developing the proposed rule, we 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 on the Internet. To read the 
comments on the Internet, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow 
the on-line instructions provided.
    You may download the comments. The comments are imaged documents, 
in either TIFF or PDF format. Please note that even after the comment 
closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the 
Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late 
comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically search the 
Docket for new material.
    You may also see the comments at the address and times given near 
the beginning of this document under ADDRESSES.

V. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures

    NHTSA has considered the impact of this rulemaking action under 
Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. This rulemaking is 
not considered significant and was not reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget under E.O. 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and 
Review.'' The rulemaking action has also been determined not to be 
significant under the Department's regulatory policies and procedures.
    This NPRM would not impose costs upon manufacturers. It removes the 
rim retention requirement for light trailers. This NPRM might result in 
cost savings to manufacturers associated with the certification of 
compliance with the rim retention requirement. However, we are unable 
to quantify any such cost savings. This NPRM would not have any impact 
on safety.

B. 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 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 NPRM under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. I certify that this NPRM will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This 
proposed rule would directly impact manufacturers of trailers with a 
GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds) or less. Although we believe many 
manufacturers affected by this proposal are considered small 
businesses, we do not believe this NPRM will have a significant 
economic impact on those manufacturers. This NPRM would not impose any 
costs upon manufacturers and may result in cost savings. This NPRM 
would relieve light trailer manufacturers of the burden, and the 
associated costs, associated with the rim retention requirement.

C. 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 rulemaking would not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation 
of a federalism summary impact statement. The final rule would 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 responsibilities among the various levels of government.''
    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

[[Page 15924]]

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 
by Congress that preempts any non-identical State legislative and 
administrative law addressing the same aspect of performance.
    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.'' 49 U.S.C. 30103(e). Pursuant to this 
provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle 
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).
    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. As such, NHTSA does not intend that this rule 
preempt state tort law that would effectively impose a higher standard 
on motor vehicle manufacturers than that established by today's rule. 
Establishment of a higher standard by means of State tort law would not 
conflict with the minimum standard announced here. Without any 
conflict, there could not be any implied preemption of a State common 
law tort cause of action.

D. 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; Feb. 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) specifies 
whether administrative proceedings are to be required before parties 
file suit in court; (6) adequately defines key terms; and (7) 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 proceedings before they may file suit in 
court.

E. 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 notice is part of a rulemaking that is not expected to have a 
disproportionate health or safety impact on children. Consequently, no 
further analysis is required under Executive Order 13045.

F. 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 not 
any information collection requirement associated with this NPRM.

G. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act (NTTAA) requires NHTSA to evaluate and use existing voluntary 
consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless doing so would 
be inconsistent with applicable law (e.g., the statutory provisions 
regarding NHTSA's vehicle safety authority) or otherwise impractical. 
Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards developed or 
adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. Technical standards 
are defined by the NTTAA as ``performance-based or design-specific 
technical specification and related management systems practices.'' 
They pertain to ``products and processes, such as size, strength, or 
technical performance of a product, process or material.''
    Examples of organizations generally regarded as voluntary consensus 
standards bodies include ASTM International, the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 
If NHTSA does not use available and potentially applicable voluntary 
consensus standards, we are required by the Act to provide Congress, 
through OMB, an explanation of the reasons for not using such 
standards.
    There are no voluntary consensus standards developed by voluntary 
consensus standards bodies pertaining to this NPRM.

H. 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

[[Page 15925]]

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 NPRM would not result in any expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million, 
adjusted for inflation.

I. 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 would not have any significant impact on 
the quality of the human environment.

J. Plain Language

    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write all rules in 
plain language. Application of the principles of plain language 
includes consideration of the following questions:
     Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
     Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated?
     Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that 
isn't clear?
     Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, 
use of headings, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
     Would more (but shorter) sections be better?
     Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or 
diagrams?
     What else could we do to make the rule easier to 
understand?
    If you have any responses to these questions, please include them 
in your comments on this proposal.

K. 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.

L. 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).

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Parts 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Tires.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 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. Amend section 571.110 by revising S4.1 and S4.4.1(b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  571.110  Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation 
vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles 
with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less.

* * * * *
    S4.1 General (a) Subject to the exceptions set forth in S4.1(b), 
vehicles shall be equipped with tires that meet the requirements of 
Sec.  571.139, New pneumatic tires for light vehicles.
    (b) Notwithstanding the requirement in S4.1(a),
    (1) Passenger cars may be equipped with pneumatic T-type temporary 
spare tire assemblies that meet the requirements of Sec.  571.109, New 
pneumatic and certain specialty tires, or non-pneumatic spare tire 
assemblies that meet the requirements of Sec.  571.129, New non-
pneumatic tires for passenger cars, and S6 and S8 of this standard. 
Passenger cars equipped with a non-pneumatic spare tire assembly shall 
meet the requirements of S4.3(e), S5, and S7 of this standard.
    (2) Trailers may be equipped with ST tires or tires with a rim 
diameter code of 12 or below that meet the requirements of Sec.  
571.109, New pneumatic and certain specialty tires.
* * * * *
    S4.4.1 * * *
    (b) Except for trailers, in the event of rapid loss of inflation 
pressure with the vehicle traveling in a straight line at a speed of 97 
kilometers per hour, retain the deflated tire until the vehicle can be 
stopped with a controlled braking application
* * * * *

    Issued on: March 4, 2013.
Christopher J. Bonanti,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2013-05761 Filed 3-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P