[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 12 (Friday, January 17, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 3153-3162]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00683]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 543

[Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0007]
RIN 2127-AL08


Exemption From Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: In this rulemaking action, NHTSA proposes to amend its 
procedures for obtaining an exemption from the vehicle theft prevention 
standard for vehicles equipped with immobilizers. NHTSA proposes to 
simplify the exemption procedure for immobilizer-equipped vehicles by 
adding performance criteria for immobilizers. The adoption of the 
proposed performance criteria for immobilizers would have the effect of 
bringing the U.S. anti-theft requirements more into line with those of 
Canada. This harmonization of U.S. and Canadian requirements is being 
undertaken pursuant to ongoing bilateral regulatory cooperation 
efforts.

DATES: Comments to this proposal must be received on or before March 
18, 2014. In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, NHTSA is also 
seeking comment on amendments to an information collection. See the 
Paperwork Reduction Act section under Rulemaking Analyses and Notices 
below. Please submit all comments relating to the 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 March 18, 2014. Comments to OMB are most useful if submitted 
within 30 days of publication.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the docket number in 
the heading of this document, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on 
the electronic docket site by clicking on ``Help'' or ``FAQ.''
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Regardless of how you submit comments, you should mention the 
docket number of this document.
    You may call the Docket Management Facility at 202-366-9826.
    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: 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.
    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.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov, or the street 
address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the 
dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues: Mr. Hisham 
Mohamed,

[[Page 3154]]

Office of Consumer Programs, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building, Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: (202) 366-0098) (Fax: (202) 
366-7002). For legal issues: Mr. Thomas Healy, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, 
DC 20590 (Telephone: (202) 366-2992) (Fax: (202) 366-3820).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary
II. Background
III. Effectiveness of Immobilizers in Reducing or Deterring Theft
IV. U.S. Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council
V. Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114
VI. Agency Proposal
VII. Costs, Benefits, and the Proposed Compliance Date
VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
IX. Public Participation

I. Executive Summary

    This rulemaking action proposes to amend 49 CFR Part 543, Exemption 
from Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard, by adding performance criteria 
for immobilizers. The agency has granted many exemptions from the theft 
prevention standard to vehicle lines on the basis that they were 
equipped with immobilizers. In support of petitions for these 
exemptions, manufacturers have provided a substantial amount of data 
seeking to demonstrate the effectiveness of immobilizers in reducing 
motor vehicle theft.
    The proposed criteria, which roughly correlate with the types of 
qualities for which petitioners have been submitting testing and 
technical design details under existing procedures, closely follow the 
immobilizer performance requirements in the anti-theft standard of 
Canada. For those performance requirements, the Canadian standard also 
sets forth tests that manufacturers of vehicles to be sold in Canada 
must certify to Canadian authorities that they have conducted.
    Adopting the proposed performance criteria would simplify the 
exemption process for manufacturers who installed immobilizers meeting 
those criteria. Currently, in their petitions for exemption, vehicle 
manufacturers describe the testing that they have conducted on the 
immobilizer device and aspects of design of the immobilizer that 
address the areas of performance which the agency has determined are 
important to gauge the effectiveness of the immobilizer in reducing and 
deterring motor vehicle theft. Adding performance criteria for 
immobilizers as another means of qualifying for an exemption from the 
theft prevention standard will allow manufacturers that are installing 
immobilizers as standard equipment for a line of motor vehicles in 
compliance with Canadian theft prevention standards to more easily gain 
an exemption. This proposal would reduce the amount of material that 
manufacturers would need to submit to obtain an exemption because 
manufacturers would only be required to indicate that the immobilizer 
met the proposed performance criteria, was certified to the Canadian 
standard and was durable and reliable in addition to the statutorily 
required information to be eligible for an exemption.
    The adoption of the proposed performance criteria for immobilizers 
would have the effect of bringing the U.S. anti-theft requirements more 
into line with those of Canada. This harmonization of U.S. and Canadian 
requirements is being undertaken pursuant to ongoing bilateral 
regulatory cooperation efforts.
    We are proposing to retain the current criteria for gaining an 
exemption from the vehicle theft prevention standard. Therefore, 
manufacturers would still be able to petition the agency to install 
other anti-theft devices as standard equipment in a vehicle line to 
obtain an exemption from the theft prevention standard. While NHTSA has 
granted many petitions for exemption from the theft prevention standard 
for vehicle lines equipped with an immobilizer type anti-theft device, 
we note that a manufacturer is not required to install an immobilizer 
in order to gain an exemption. We note also that this proposal would 
not increase the number of exemptions from the theft prevention 
standard available to a manufacturer.

II. Background

    The Motor Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act (the Theft Act), 49 
U.S.C. 33101 et seq., directs NHTSA \1\ to establish theft prevention 
standards for light duty trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles 
(MPVs) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,000 pounds (lb) 
or less and passenger cars. The Theft Act also allows NHTSA to exempt 
one vehicle line per model year per manufacturer from the theft 
prevention standard if the vehicle is equipped with an anti-theft 
device that the agency ``decides is likely to be as effective in 
reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the 
[theft prevention] standard.'' 49 U.S.C. 33106(b). The statute states 
than in order to obtain an exemption, manufacturers must file a 
petition that describes the anti-theft device in detail, states the 
reason that the manufacturer believes that the device will be effective 
in reducing or deterring theft, and contains additional information 
that NHTSA determines is necessary to decide whether the anti-theft 
device ``is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor 
vehicle theft as compliance with the [theft prevention] standard.'' Id.
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    \1\ The Secretary of Transportation's responsibilities under the 
Theft Act have been delegated to NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR 1.95.
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    Pursuant to the Theft Act, NHTSA issued 49 CFR Part 541, Federal 
Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard, which requires manufacturers 
of vehicles identified by the agency as likely high-theft car lines to 
inscribe or affix vehicle identification numbers (VINs) or symbols on 
certain components of new vehicles and replacement parts. The agency 
refers to this requirement as the parts marking requirement. Part 541 
requires the following major parts to be marked: The engine, the 
transmission, the hood, the right and left front fenders, the right and 
left front doors, the right and left rear door (four-door models), the 
sliding or cargo doors, the decklid, tailgate or hatchback (whichever 
is present), the front and rear bumpers, and the right and left quarter 
panels. The right and left side assemblies must be marked on MPVs and 
the cargo box must be marked on light duty trucks.
    NHTSA promulgated Part 543 to establish the process for submitting 
petitions for exemption from the parts marking requirements in the 
theft prevention standard. A manufacturer may petition the agency for 
an exemption from the parts marking requirements for one vehicle line 
per model year if the manufacturer installs an anti-theft device as 
standard equipment on the entire line. In order to be eligible for an 
exemption, Part 543 requires manufacturers to submit a petition 
explaining how the anti-theft device will promote activation, attract 
attention to the efforts of unauthorized persons to enter or operate a 
vehicle by means other than a key, prevent defeat or circumvention of 
the device by unauthorized persons, prevent operation of the vehicle by 
unauthorized entrants, and ensure the reliability and durability of the 
device. Based on the materials in the petition, NHTSA decides whether 
to grant the petition in whole or in part or to deny it.
    Under existing Part 543, manufacturers choose how they wish to 
demonstrate to the agency that the anti-theft device they are 
installing in a

[[Page 3155]]

vehicle line meets the factors listed in Sec.  543.6. Manufacturers 
provide differing levels of detail in their exemption petitions. 
Manufacturers typically provide engineering diagrams of the immobilizer 
device, a description of how the device functions, and testing to show 
that the device is durable and reliable in their petitions for 
exemption. Manufacturers also describe how the design of the 
immobilizer satisfies the factors listed in Sec.  543.6.

III. Effectiveness of Immobilizers in Reducing or Deterring Theft

    More than 700,000 motor vehicle thefts took place in the U.S. in 
2011, causing a loss of mobility and economic hardship to those 
affected.\2\ The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) 2011 Uniform 
Crime Report (UCR) reveals that, in the U.S., vehicle theft remains the 
nation's number one property crime.\3\ The estimated value of motor 
vehicles stolen in 2011 was $4.3 billion averaging $6,089 per stolen 
vehicle.\4\ Although the estimated number of motor vehicle thefts 
declined 3.3 percent from 2010, 35.0 percent from 2007, and 42.6 
percent from 2002, vehicle theft remains an ongoing problem in the U.S.
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    \2\ http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/property-crime/motor-vehicle-theft. (as seen 
on September 28, 2012).
    \3\ The UCR--data compiled from monthly law enforcement reports 
or individual crime incident records transmitted directly to the FBI 
or to centralized agencies that then report to the FBI.
    \4\ Nearly 73 percent of all motor vehicles reported stolen in 
2010 were passenger cars. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/property-crime/motor-vehicle-theft.
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    An immobilizer is a type of anti-theft device based on microchip 
and transponder technology and combined with engine and fuel 
immobilizer components. When activated, an immobilizer device disables 
the vehicle's electrical or fuel systems at several points and prevents 
the vehicle from starting unless the correct code is received by the 
transponder.
    NHTSA is aware of several sources of information demonstrating the 
effectiveness of immobilizer devices in reducing motor vehicle theft. 
In the 1980s, General Motors Corporation (GM) used an early generation 
of microchip devices, which later developed into the rolling code 
transponder device, which is currently installed in GM as well as many 
other vehicles. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), 
immobilizer devices are up to 50 percent effective in reducing vehicle 
theft.\5\ The September 1997 Theft Loss Bulletin from the HLDI reported 
an overall theft decrease of approximately 50 percent for both the Ford 
Mustang and Taurus lines upon installation of an immobilizer device. 
Ford Motor Company claimed that its MY 1997 Mustang vehicle line (with 
an immobilizer) led to a 70 percent reduction in theft compared to its 
MY 1995 Mustang (without an immobilizer).\6\ Chrysler Corporation 
informed the agency that the inclusion of an immobilizer device as 
standard equipment on the MY 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee resulted in a 52 
percent net average reduction in vehicle thefts.\7\
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    \5\ See http://www.iihs.org/news/2000/hldi_news_071900.pdf.
    \6\ 77 FR 1974, Thursday, January 12, 2012.
    \7\ 76 FR 68262, Thursday, November 3, 2011.
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    Mitsubishi Motors Corporation informed the agency that the theft 
rate for its MY 2000 Eclipse vehicle line (with an immobilizer device) 
was almost 42 percent lower than that of its MY 1999 Eclipse (without a 
immobilizer device).\8\ Mazda Motor Corporation reported that a 
comparison of theft loss data showed an average theft reduction of 
approximately 50 percent after an immobilizer device was installed as 
standard equipment in a vehicle line.\9\ In general, the agency has 
granted many petitions for exemptions for installation of 
immobilization-type devices. Manufacturers have provided the agency 
with a substantial amount of information attesting to the reduction of 
thefts for vehicle lines resulting from the installation of 
immobilization devices as standard equipment on those lines.
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    \8\ 77 FR 20486, Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
    \9\ 76 FR 41558, Thursday, July 14, 2011.
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IV. U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council

    On February 4, 2011, the U.S. and the Canadian governments created 
a United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), composed 
of senior regulatory, trade and foreign affairs officials from both 
governments. In recognition of the two countries' $1 trillion annual 
trade and investment relationship, the RCC is working together to 
promote economic growth, job creation and benefits to consumers and 
businesses through increased regulatory transparency and 
coordination.\10\
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    \10\ http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/oira/irc/us-canada_rcc_joint_action_plan.pdf.
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    The RCC has stated that regulatory cooperation can spur economic 
growth in each country; fuel job creation; lower costs for consumers, 
producers, and governments; and particularly help small and medium-
sized businesses. The U.S. and Canada intend to eliminate unnecessary 
burdens on cross-border trade, reduce costs, foster cross-border 
investment and promote certainty for businesses and the public by 
coordinating, simplifying and ensuring the compatibility of 
regulations, where feasible.
    The RCC has further stated that while the U.S. and Canadian 
regulatory systems are very similar in the objectives they seek to 
achieve, there is value in enhancing the mechanisms in place to foster 
cooperation in designing regulations or to ensure alignment in their 
implementation or enforcement. Unnecessary regulatory differences and 
duplicative actions hinder cross-border trade and investment and 
ultimately impose a cost on our citizens, businesses and economies. 
Given the integrated nature of the two countries' economies, greater 
alignment and better mutual reliance in regulatory approaches would 
lead to lower costs for consumers and businesses, create more efficient 
supply chains, increase trade and investment, generate new export 
opportunities and create jobs on both sides of the border.
    On December 7, 2011, the RCC established an initial Joint Action 
Plan that identified 29 initiatives where the U.S. and Canada will seek 
greater alignment in their regulatory approaches. The Joint Action Plan 
highlights the areas and initiatives which were identified for initial 
focus. These areas include agriculture and food, transportation, health 
and personal care products and workplace chemicals, environment and 
cross-sectoral issues. One of the topics for regulatory cooperation 
identified in the transportation area is to pursue greater 
harmonization of existing motor vehicle standards. Theft prevention is 
one of the harmonization opportunities identified by the Motor Vehicles 
Working Group.

V. Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114

    In addition to the theft and rollaway prevention requirements 
included in the U.S. version of the standard, CMVSS No. 114 requires 
the installation of an immobilization system for all new passenger 
vehicles, MPVs and trucks certified to the standard with a gross 
vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kg or less with some exceptions. 
CMVSS No. 114 contains four different sets of requirements for 
immobilizers. The four sets of requirements are National Standard of 
Canada CAN/ULC-S338-98, Automobile Theft Deterrent Equipment and 
Systems: Electronic Immobilization; United Nations

[[Page 3156]]

Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) Regulation No. 97 (ECE R97), 
Uniform Provisions Concerning Approval of Vehicle Alarm System (VAS) 
and Motor Vehicles With Regard to Their Alarm System (AS); UN/ECE 
Regulation No. 116 (ECE R116), Uniform Technical Prescriptions 
Concerning the Protection of Motor Vehicles Against Unauthorized Use; 
and a set of requirements derived from the CAN/ULC 338-98 standard and 
ECE R97 developed by Transport Canada to increase manufacturer design 
flexibility. Vehicles certified to CMVSS No. 114 must be equipped with 
an immobilizer meeting one of these four sets of requirements. Used 
motor vehicles imported into Canada must also be equipped with 
immobilizers meeting CMVSS No. 114. This requirement makes it more 
difficult to import motor vehicles manufactured in the U.S. that are 
not equipped with an immobilizer meeting CMVSS No. 114 into Canada. In 
such cases, an immobilizer that complies with CMVSS No. 114 must be 
added to the vehicle before it can be imported into Canada.
    CAN/ULC-S338-98 contains design specifications, activation and 
deactivation requirements, durability tests, and tests to assess the 
resistance to physical attack for immobilizers. ECE R97 and ECE R116 
contain design specifications, activation and deactivation 
requirements, durability tests, and tests to assess the resistance to 
physical attack for immobilizers similar to those contained in CAN/ULC-
S338-98. The fourth set of requirements for immobilizers in CMVSS No. 
114 contains design specifications, activation and deactivation 
requirements, and requirements testing the ability of the immobilizer 
to resist deactivation by physical attack derived from the other 
standards. The fourth set of requirements, however, does not include 
the environmental tests and durability requirements which are included 
in CAN/ULC-S338-98, ECE R97 and ECE R116.
    In adopting the fourth set of performance requirements for 
immobilizers contained in CMVSS No. 114, Transport Canada stated that 
some of the environmental and durability requirements for immobilizers 
contained in CAN/ULC-S338-98, ECE R97, and ECE R116 were developed for 
aftermarket immobilizers and should not be applied to immobilizers that 
are installed as original equipment on a vehicle.\11\ Transport Canada 
also stated that those three standards contained requirements specific 
to particular immobilizer designs, had the potential to restrict the 
design of immobilizers, and had the potential to prevent the 
introduction of new and emerging technologies such as keyless vehicle 
technologies, key-replacement technologies and remote starting systems. 
Transport Canada stated that for these reasons it established a set of 
performance requirements without the environmental and durability 
requirements contained in CAN/ULC-S338-98, ECE R97, and ECE R116.
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    \11\ See SOR/2007-246 November, 2007 ``Regulations Amending the 
Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Theft Protection and Rollaway 
Prevention--Standard 114)'' 2007-11-14 Canada Gazette Part II, Vol. 
141, No. 23.
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VI. Agency Proposal

    The agency is proposing to include performance criteria for 
immobilizers in Part 543 so that manufacturers may more easily apply 
for exemptions from the parts marking requirements for vehicles lines 
with immobilizers conforming to CMVSS No. 114. The agency is planning 
to add performance criteria to Part 543 to make our theft prevention 
standards more in line with those of Canada. In order to be eligible 
for an exemption under this proposal manufacturers would be required to 
state that the immobilizer device they are installing in the vehicle 
line meets the proposed performance criteria, has been certified to the 
Canadian standard and is durable and reliable.
    The agency believes that adding performance criteria from CMVSS No. 
114 to Part 543 is the simplest way to make our anti-theft regulations 
more in line with that standard and to reduce the burden to 
manufacturers, who are already installing immobilizers in compliance 
with that standard, of applying for an exemption from the parts marking 
requirements. The agency could not add performance requirements for 
immobilizers as part of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
No. 114, Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention, since doing so would 
require a determination that the additional requirements would be 
consistent with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
(Motor Vehicle Safety Act).\12\ Further, the agency is unable to issue 
a theft prevention standard under the Theft Act to require the 
installation of immobilizers because that Act limits the agency's 
standard setting authority to issuing standards that require parts 
marking.\13\ Manufacturers are allowed to install immobilizers in lieu 
of parts marking, but under an exemption from the theft standard, not 
as a compliance alternative included in the theft standard.
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    \12\ 49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.
    \13\ See 49 U.S.C. 33101(11) (defining ``vehicle theft 
prevention standard'' as a performance standard for identifying 
major vehicle parts by affixing numbers or symbols to those parts).
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    Currently, NHTSA has not formally or informally adopted any 
technical performance criteria for anti-theft devices. While NHTSA has 
granted many petitions for exemption from the parts marking 
requirements for vehicle lines equipped with an immobilizer type anti-
theft device, a manufacturer is not required to install an immobilizer 
in order to gain an exemption. The agency is planning to retain the 
current exemption process so that manufacturers would still be able to 
gain an exemption for installing anti-theft devices that do not conform 
to the proposed performance criteria for immobilizers. The number of 
exemptions available to manufacturers would not increase as a result of 
this proposal. Thus, manufacturers will continue to be eligible for an 
exemption from the parts marking requirements for only one vehicle line 
per model year.
    The agency has tentatively decided to propose only the fourth set 
of performance criteria for immobilizers contained in CMVSS No. 114 for 
inclusion in Part 543. The agency is proposing to adopt only this one 
set of performance criteria because of the factors articulated by 
Transport Canada discussed above. Furthermore, the agency has 
tentatively concluded that adopting only this one set of performance 
criteria is the simplest way to harmonize anti-theft regulations 
between the U.S. and Canada. The agency does note that, should this 
proposal be made final, vehicles equipped with immobilizers meeting the 
performance criteria in CAN/ULC-S338-98, ECE R97, or ECE R116 would 
still be able to obtain an exemption from the theft prevention standard 
via a petition filed under the current exemption procedures. We seek 
comment on whether adding the performance criteria in CAN/ULC-S338-98, 
ECE R97 and ECE R116 to Part 543 in addition to the performance 
criteria proposed below would better accomplish the agency's goal of 
harmonizing the process for obtaining an exemption with the Canadian 
theft prevention standard. We also seek comment on the number of 
manufacturers that are complying with CMVSS No. 114 by installing 
immobilizers that conform to the requirements in CAN/ULC-S338-98, ECE 
R97 or ECE R116 in their vehicles.
    The agency has tentatively concluded that immobilizers meeting the 
proposed performance criteria are likely to be as

[[Page 3157]]

effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance 
with the parts marking requirements in Part 541. As stated above, the 
agency has granted numerous exemptions from the theft prevention 
standard for vehicle lines equipped with immobilizers based on data 
submitted by manufacturers indicating that immobilizers were as 
effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance 
with that standard. Several studies have also indicated that 
immobilizers designed to meet technical performance criteria are 
effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft. Studies in 
Australia and Canada on the effectiveness of immobilization systems 
(which meet CAN/ULC-S338-98 or ECE R97 and ECE R116) have shown reduced 
incidence of theft compared to vehicles that were not equipped with 
immobilizers.\14\ For these reasons, the agency has concluded that 
establishing performance criteria for immobilizers as a means of 
getting an exemption from the theft prevention standard is consistent 
with 49 U.S.C. 33106 of the Theft Act. That section requires the agency 
to determine that an anti-theft device is likely to be as effective in 
reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts 
marking requirements in Part 541 in order to grant an exemption from 
those requirements.
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    \14\ See Principles for Compulsory Immobilizer Schemes, prepared 
for the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council by MM Starrs 
Pty Ltd., ISBN 1 876704 17 9, Melbourne, Australia, October 2002; 
Matthew J Miceli ``A Report on Fatalities and Injuries as a Result 
of Stolen Motor Vehicles (1999-2001),'' prepared for The National 
Committee to Reduce Auto Theft Project 6116 and Transport 
Canada, December 10, 2002.
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    The proposed performance criteria for immobilizers include 
specifications for when the immobilizer should arm after the disarming 
device is removed from the vehicle. The performance criteria state 
that, when armed, the immobilizer should prevent the vehicle from 
moving more than three meters under its own power by inhibiting the 
operation of at least one of the vehicle's electronic control units 
(ECU). The performance criteria state that, when armed, the immobilizer 
should not disable the vehicle's brake system. During the disarming 
process, the immobilizer should send a code to the inhibited ECU to 
allow the vehicle to move under its own power. The immobilizer should 
be configured so that disrupting the device's normal operating voltage 
cannot disarm the immobilizer. The performance criteria state that the 
immobilizer must have a minimum capacity for 50,000 code variants and 
shall not be capable of processing more than 5,000 codes within 24 
hours unless the immobilizer uses rolling or encrypted codes. The 
performance criteria state that it shall not be possible to replace the 
immobilizer without the use of software. In order to satisfy the 
performance criteria, the immobilizer in a vehicle must be designed so 
that it is not possible to disarm it using common tools within five 
minutes.
    In order to promote understanding of the new terms used in the 
regulatory text, the agency is also proposing definitions for 
``immobilizer'' and ``accessory mode.'' We seek comment on these 
definitions.
    The agency plans on ensuring that immobilizer devices which 
manufacturers are installing to obtain an exemption conform with the 
proposed performance criteria by requiring manufacturers to state that 
they have certified the immobilizer installed on the vehicle to CMVSS 
No. 114. Manufacturers must provide Transport Canada with evidence that 
the immobilizer complies with CMVSS No. 114, along with all other 
applicable Canadian Standards, prior to certifying the vehicle under 
the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act.\15\ NHTSA believes that it can 
rely on the information that manufacturers have provided to Transport 
Canada regarding their certification to CMVSS No. 114 to ensure that 
immobilizers manufacturers install in order to obtain an exemption 
conform to the proposed performance criteria. Therefore, we are 
proposing to require manufacturers to submit the documentation provided 
to Transport Canada regarding their certification to CMVSS No. 114 to 
NHTSA as part of the petition. We do not believe that requiring this 
information as part of the petition would place a burden on 
manufacturers because they are already compiling this information to 
provide to Transport Canada when certifying their vehicles under the 
Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
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    \15\ Motor Vehicle Safety Act. R.S.C., ch. 16 Sec.  5(1)(e) 
(1993) (Can.). The Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires a 
manufacturer to certify that its vehicles comply with all applicable 
Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards before the vehicles can be 
sold in Canada.
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    The proposed regulatory text does not include a requirement that 
manufacturers provide a detailed description of the immobilizer device 
as part of the petition because we believe that the documentation that 
manufacturers are providing to Transport Canada, and would be required 
to provide to NHTSA, describes the immobilizer device in sufficient 
detail for the agency to be able to determine whether the device 
satisfies the performance criteria.
    The proposed performance criteria do not include specifications 
that address the durability and reliability of immobilizers because the 
agency is concerned about the impacts of such specifications on 
immobilizer design. Part 543 currently requires manufacturers to 
explain how the design of their immobilizer device ensures that it is 
durable and reliable in order to be eligible for an exemption.\16\ 
Because the agency believes that it is possible for the durability and 
reliability of an immobilizer to impact its effectiveness, we have 
tentatively decided to retain this criterion of eligibility as part of 
the proposed performance criteria. We have tentatively concluded that 
requiring manufacturers to submit a statement regarding the durability 
and reliability of the immobilizer is the best way to ensure that 
immobilizers are durable and reliable without impacting the ability of 
manufacturers to create new immobilizer systems. We believe 
manufacturers will submit statements similar to the ones they are 
currently submitting as part of their exemption applications to 
demonstrate that their immobilizers are durable and reliable.
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    \16\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3)(v).
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    We seek comment on our decision to require manufacturers to submit 
a statement on the durability and reliability of the device as part of 
an application for exemption from the theft prevention standard. We 
also seek comment on the impact that our adoption of the durability and 
environmental resistance performance criteria in CAN/ULC-S338-98, ECE 
R97 and ECE R116 might have on the introduction of new and emerging 
immobilizer and ignition technologies.
    The agency believes that the proposed performance criteria are 
consistent with the following anti-theft device attributes that are 
currently contained in Part 543:
     The specification in the proposed performance criteria 
that the immobilizer arm after the disarming device is removed from the 
vehicle will facilitate activation of the immobilizer by the driver and 
prevent unauthorized persons who have entered the vehicle by means 
other than a key from operating the vehicle.\17\
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    \17\ See 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3)(i), (iv) (stating that the 
application for exemption must include an explanation of how the 
anti-theft device facilitates activation by the driver and prevents 
unauthorized persons who have entered the vehicle by means other 
than a key from operating the vehicle).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The specification in the proposed performance criteria 
that the immobilizer have certain code

[[Page 3158]]

processing capabilities and be resistant to physical attack will ensure 
that the immobilizer is designed to prevent defeat or circumvention by 
persons entering the vehicle by means other than a key.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ See 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3)(iii)(iv) (stating that the 
application for exemption must include an explanation of how the 
anti-theft device prevents defeat or circumvention of the device by 
an someone without the vehicle's key and prevents unauthorized 
persons who have entered the vehicle by means other than a key from 
operating the vehicle).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed performance criteria correspond to the aspects of 
performance of immobilizer devices that manufacturers now qualitatively 
describe in their exemption petitions. Manufacturers are currently 
demonstrating the effectiveness of immobilizers by describing the 
testing the immobilizer has been subjected to, how the immobilizer is 
activated, how the immobilizer interacts with the key to allow the 
vehicle to start and the encryption of electronic communications 
between the key and the immobilizer. These characteristics correspond 
to performance criteria in the proposal for how the immobilizer must 
arm, preventing the vehicle from moving under its own power, how the 
immobilizer must disarm to allow the driver to start the vehicle, the 
minimum number of code variants that the immobilizer is able to 
process, and the immobilizer's resistance to manipulation and physical 
attack. The proposed performance criteria simplify the process for 
applying for an exemption because manufacturers would no longer need to 
describe how the immobilizer achieves these aspects of performance. 
Instead, manufacturers would only need to state that their immobilizer 
device conforms to the performance criteria, is certified to the 
Canadian standard and is durable and reliable.
    In order to allow manufacturers to more easily apply for an 
exemption from the theft prevention standard and to reduce the burden 
to the agency in processing exemption petitions we have tentatively 
decided that we will notify manufacturers of decisions to grant or deny 
exemption petitions by notifying them of the agency's decision in 
writing. Under this proposal the agency would not publish notices of 
our decisions to grant or deny exemption petitions from the theft 
prevention standard based on the manufacturer having satisfied the 
performance criteria in the Federal Register. Should this proposal 
become final the agency would inform the public and law enforcement 
that a particular vehicle line has an exemption based on satisfaction 
of the performance criteria by updating the list of exempt vehicle 
lines in Appendix A-I to Part 541. We seek comment on our decision not 
to publish notices of our decisions to grant or deny exemption 
petitions from the theft prevention standard based on the manufacturer 
having satisfied the performance criteria in the Federal Register.

VII. Costs, Benefits, and the Proposed Compliance Date

    Today's proposed rule would amend Part 543 to add performance 
criteria for immobilizers that are contained in CMVSS No. 114. Because 
the agency is retaining the current exemption process as a means of 
gaining an exemption from the theft prevention standard, the addition 
of performance criteria to Part 543 would result in no costs to 
manufacturers. Manufacturers would not be required to make any changes 
to products in order to retain eligibility for an exemption.
    The agency cannot quantify the benefits of this rulemaking. The 
agency does, however, expect some benefits to accrue from making the 
exemption process in Part 543 more closely harmonized with CMVSS No. 
114. Adding the proposed performance criteria would allow manufacturers 
that are installing immobilizers as standard equipment for a line of 
motor vehicles in compliance with CMVSS No. 114 to more easily gain an 
exemption from the parts marking requirements. The agency believes this 
would reduce the cost to manufacturers of applying for an exemption 
from the parts marking requirements. Adding performance criteria to 
Part 543 would also result in a reduction in vehicle theft in cases for 
which the proposed rule improves the effectiveness of the anti-theft 
devices chosen by manufacturers.
    If the proposed rule encourages more manufacturers to install 
immobilizers meeting CMVSS No. 114 on vehicles sold in the United 
States, it could result in cost saving to consumers seeking to import 
used vehicles into Canada. Importing used vehicles that already comply 
with CMVSS No. 114 into Canada saves consumers from having to pay to 
have an aftermarket immobilizer installed in the vehicle.
    The agency proposes an effective date of 60 days after the date of 
issuance of the final rule, should one be issued, so that manufacturers 
would be eligible for an exemption for installing an immobilizer 
meeting the proposed performance criteria as soon as possible.

VIII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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 
document was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under 
E.O. 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review.'' It is not considered to 
be significant under E.O. 12866 or the Department's regulatory policies 
and procedures.
    Today's proposed rule would amend Part 543 to add performance 
criteria for immobilizers that are contained in CMVSS No. 114 to allow 
manufacturers who are installing immobilizers in compliance with that 
standard to more easily obtain an exemption from the theft prevention 
standard.
    The agency concludes that the impacts of the proposed changes would 
be so minimal that preparation of a full regulatory evaluation is not 
required. This proposal would not result in any costs to manufacturers 
because the current exemption process would be left in place. 
Manufacturers would not be required to make any changes to current 
vehicles to retain eligibility for an exemption. It is also possible 
that this proposal would result in a reduction in motor vehicle thefts 
if immobilizers meeting the proposed performance criteria are more 
effective than current designs.

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 is issuing this proposal pursuant to a regulatory cooperation 
agreement between the United States and Canada. This proposal would 
more closely harmonize vehicle theft

[[Page 3159]]

regulations in the United States with those in Canada.
    NHTSA requests public comment on whether there are any ``regulatory 
approaches taken by foreign governments'' concerning the subject matter 
of this rulemaking, beyond those already mentioned in this notice, 
which the agency should consider.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have reviewed this proposal for the purposes of the National 
Environmental Policy Act and determined that it would not have a 
significant impact on the quality of the human environment.

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.
    NHTSA has considered the effects of the proposed rule under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. I certify that this proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. This proposal would amend Part 543 to add performance 
criteria for immobilizers that are contained in CMVSS No. 114 to allow 
manufacturers who are installing immobilizers in compliance with that 
standard to more easily obtain an exemption from the theft prevention 
standard. This proposal would not significantly affect any entities 
because it would leave in place the current exemption process so that 
manufacturers would not need to make any changes to products to retain 
eligibility for an exemption. Accordingly, we do not anticipate that 
this proposal would have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

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. There is no 
requirement that individuals submit a petition for reconsideration or 
pursue other administrative proceedings before they may file suit in 
court. NHTSA has considered whether this rulemaking would have any 
retroactive effect. This proposed rule does not have any retroactive 
effect.

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 a proposed or final rule that includes 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).
    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 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.
    This proposed rule is not anticipated to result in the expenditure 
by state, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector in excess of $100 million annually. The cost impact of 
this proposed rule is expected to be $0. Therefore, the agency has not 
prepared an economic assessment pursuant to the Unfunded Mandate Reform 
Act.

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 
decrease the materials that a manufacturer would need to submit to the 
agency to obtain an exemption from the vehicle theft prevention 
standard in certain instances.
    In compliance with the PRA, we announce that NHTSA is seeking 
comment on a revision of a currently approved collection.
    Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
    Title: 49 CFR Part 543, Petitions for Exemption from the Vehicle 
Theft Prevention Standard.
    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    OMB Control Number: 2127-0542.
    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:
    This collection consists of information that motor vehicle 
manufacturers must submit in support of an application for an exemption 
from the vehicle theft prevention standard. Manufacturers wishing to 
apply for an exemption from the parts marking requirement because they 
have installed immobilizers meeting the proposed performance criteria 
would be required to submit a statement that the entire line of 
vehicles is equipped with an immobilizer, as standard equipment, that 
meets the performance criteria contained in that section, a statement 
that the immobilizer has been certified to the Canadian theft 
prevention standard, documentation provided to Transport Canada to 
demonstrate that the immobilizer was certified to the Canadian theft 
prevention standard, and a statement that the immobilizer device is 
durable and reliable. The proposed rule would not change the 
information that manufacturers would need to

[[Page 3160]]

submit if seeking an exemption in accordance with the current process 
used for petitions seeking an exemption based on the installation of 
immobilizers.
    Description of the Need for the Information and Use of the 
Information:
    The information is needed to determine whether a vehicle line is 
eligible for an exemption from the vehicle theft prevention standard.
    Description of the Likely Respondents (Including Estimated Number, 
and Proposed Frequency of Response to the Collection of Information):
    Currently, nineteen manufacturers have one or more car lines 
exempted. We expect, should this proposal be made final, that twelve 
manufacturers would apply for an exemption per year: Ten under the 
current process and two under the proposed performance criteria.
    Estimate of the Total Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden 
Resulting From the Collection of Information:
    We estimate that the burden for applying for an exemption under 
this proposal would be 2300 hours. The burden for applying for an 
exemption under the current process is estimated to be 226 hours x 10 
respondents = 2260 hours. The burden for apply for an exemption under 
the proposed performance criteria is estimated to be 20 hours x 2 
respondents = 40 hours
    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.
    A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 
days of publication. Send comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street 
NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attn: NHTSA Desk Officer. PRA comments are 
due within 30 days following publication of this document in the 
Federal Register.
    The agency recognizes that the collection of information contained 
in today's final rule may be subject to revision in response to public 
comments.

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 the American Society for Testing and Materials 
(ASTM), 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.
    We are not aware of any technical performance criteria for 
immobilizers issued by voluntary consensus standards bodies in the 
United States. National Standard of Canada CAN/ULC-S338-98, Automobile 
Theft Deterrent Equipment and Systems: Electronic Immobilization is the 
only voluntary consensus standard of which the agency is aware that 
contains performance criteria for immobilizers. The performance 
criteria in the proposal are substantially similar to those contained 
in that standard. For the reasons discussed in this notice, the agency 
has tentatively determined that the simplest way to harmonize Part 543 
with Canadian theft prevention regulations was to adopt only the 
performance criteria for immobilizers proposed below.

Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 \19\ applies to any rule that: (1) Is 
determined to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, 
and is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the 
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a 
significant energy action. If the regulatory action meets either 
criterion, we must evaluate the adverse energy effects of the proposed 
rule and explain why the proposed regulation is preferable to other 
potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered 
by NHTSA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ 66 FR 28355 (May 18, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This proposal would amend Part 543 to add performance criteria for 
immobilizers that are contained in CMVSS No. 114 to allow manufacturers 
who are installing immobilizers in compliance with that standard to 
more easily obtain an exemption from the theft prevention standard. 
Therefore, this proposed rule would not have any significant adverse 
energy effects. Accordingly, this proposed rulemaking action is not 
designated as a significant energy action.

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 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.

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.

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

[[Page 3161]]

comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an 
organization, 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.dot.gov/privacy.html.

IX. 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.\20\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ See 49 CFR 553.21.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please submit your comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on 
the electronic docket site by clicking on ``Help'' or ``FAQ.''
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern 
Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    If you are submitting comments electronically as a PDF (Adobe) 
file, we ask that the documents submitted be scanned using an Optical 
Character Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing the agency to search 
and copy certain portions of your submissions.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please note that pursuant to the Data Quality Act, in order for 
substantive data to be relied upon and used by the agency, it must meet 
the information quality standards set forth in the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) and DOT Data Quality Act guidelines. Accordingly, we 
encourage you to consult the guidelines in preparing your comments. 
OMB's guidelines may be accessed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/reproducible.html. DOT's guidelines may be accessed at http://dmses.dot.gov/submit/DataQualityGuidelines.pdf.

How can I be sure that my comments were received?

    If you submit your comments by mail and wish Docket Management to 
notify you upon its receipt of your 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 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 
above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ See 49 CFR 512.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, you should submit a copy, from which you have deleted 
the claimed confidential business information, to the Docket by one of 
the methods set forth above.

Will the agency consider late comments?

    We will consider all comments received before the close of business 
on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent 
possible, we will also consider comments received after that date. 
Therefore, if interested persons believe that any new information the 
agency places in the docket affects their comments, they may submit 
comments after the closing date concerning how the agency should 
consider that information for the final rule.
    If a comment is received too late for us to consider in developing 
a final rule (assuming that one is issued), 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 materials placed in the docket for this document 
(e.g., the comments submitted in response to this document by other 
interested persons) at any time by going to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. You may also 
read the materials at the Docket Management Facility by going to the 
street address given above under ADDRESSES. The Docket Management 
Facility is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 543

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

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR 
Chapter V as set forth below.

PART 543--EXEMPTION FROM VEHICLE THEFT PREVENTION STANDARD

0
1. The authority citation for part 543 of title 49 is revised to read 
as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 322, 33101, 33102, 33103, 33104 and 33105; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.

0
2. Amend Sec.  543.4 by adding, in alphabetical order, the following 
definitions of Accessory mode and Immobilizer in paragraph (b) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  543.4  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    Accessory mode means the ignition switch setting in which certain 
electrical systems (such as the radio and power windows) can be 
operated without the operation of the vehicle's propulsion engine.
    Immobilizer means a device that, when activated, is intended to 
prevent a motor vehicle from being powered by its own propulsion 
system.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  543.5 by:
0
a. Revising paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(6), and (b)(7).
0
b. Adding paragraphs (b)(8), and (b)(9) to read as follows:


Sec.  543.5  Petition: General requirements.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Be submitted in three copies to: Administrator, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.
* * * * *
    (6) Identify whether the exemption is sought under Sec.  543.6 or 
Sec.  543.7.
    (7) If the exemption is sought under Sec.  543.6, set forth in full 
the data, views, and arguments of the petitioner supporting the 
exemption, including the information specified in that section.
    (8) If the exemption is sought under Sec.  543.7, a statement that 
the entire line

[[Page 3162]]

of vehicles is equipped with an immobilizer, as standard equipment, 
that meets the performance criteria contained in that section and has 
been certified to C.R.C, c. 1038.114, Theft Protection and Rollaway 
Prevention, documentation provided to Transport Canada to show the 
basis for certification to C.R.C, c. 1038.114, Theft Protection and 
Rollaway Prevention, a statement that the immobilizer device is durable 
and reliable, and reasons for the petitioner's belief that the 
immobilizer will be effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle 
theft.
    (9) Specify and segregate any part of the information or data 
submitted which the petitioner requests be withheld from public 
disclosure in accordance with part 512, Confidential Business 
Information, of this chapter.
* * * * *
0
4. Redesignate Sec. Sec.  543.7 through 543.9 as Sec. Sec.  543.8 
through 543.10.


Sec. Sec.  543.7 through 543.9  [Redesignated as Sec. Sec.  543.8 
through 543.10]

0
5. Add new section Sec.  543.7 to read as follows:


Sec.  543.7  Technical performance criteria for immobilizers.

    (a) In order to be eligible for an exemption under this section, 
the entire vehicle line must be equipped with an immobilizer meeting 
the following criteria:
    (1) Subject to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an immobilization 
system shall arm automatically within a period of not more than 1 
minute after the disarming device is removed from the vehicle, if the 
vehicle remains in a mode of operation other than accessory mode or on 
throughout that period.
    (2) If the disarming device is a keypad or biometric identifier, 
the immobilization system shall arm automatically within a period of 
not more than 1 minute after the motors used for the vehicle's 
propulsion are turned off, if the vehicle remains in a mode of 
operation other than accessory mode or on throughout that period.
    (3) The immobilization system shall arm automatically not later 
than 2 minutes after the immobilization system is disarmed, unless:
    (i) Action is taken for starting one or more motors used for the 
vehicle's propulsion;
    (ii) Disarming requires an action to be taken on the engine start 
control or electric motor start control, the engine stop control or 
electric motor stop control, or the ignition switch; or
    (iii) Disarming occurs automatically by the presence of a disarming 
device and the device is inside the vehicle.
    (4) If armed, the immobilization system shall prevent the vehicle 
from moving more than 3 meters (9.8 feet) under its own power by 
inhibiting the operation of at least one electronic control unit and 
shall not have any impact on the vehicle's brake system except that it 
may prevent regenerative braking and the release of the parking brake.
    (5) During the disarming process, a code shall be sent to the 
inhibited electronic control unit in order to allow the vehicle to move 
under its own power.
    (6) It shall not be possible to disarm the immobilization system by 
interrupting its normal operating voltage.
    (7) When the normal starting procedure requires that the disarming 
device mechanically latch into a receptacle and the device is 
physically separate from the ignition switch key, one or more motors 
used for the vehicle's propulsion shall start only after the device is 
removed from that receptacle.
    (8)(i) The immobilization system shall have a minimum capacity of 
50,000 code variants, shall not be disarmed by a code that can disarm 
all other immobilization systems of the same make and model; and
    (ii) Subject to paragraph (a)(9), it shall not have the capacity to 
process more than 5,000 codes within 24 hours.
    (9) If an immobilization system uses rolling or encrypted codes, it 
may conform to the following criteria instead of the criteria set out 
in paragraph (a)(8)(ii) of this section:
    (i) The probability of obtaining the correct code within 24 hours 
shall not exceed 4 per cent; and
    (ii) It shall not be possible to disarm the system by re-
transmitting in any sequence the previous 5 codes generated by the 
system.
    (10) The immobilization system shall be designed so that, when 
tested as installed in the vehicle neither the replacement of an 
original immobilization system component with a manufacturer's 
replacement component nor the addition of a manufacturer's component 
can be completed without the use of software; and it is not possible 
for the vehicle to move under its own power for at least 5 minutes 
after the beginning of the replacement or addition of a component 
referred to in this paragraph.
    (11) The immobilization system's conformity to paragraph (a)(10) of 
this section shall be demonstrated by testing that is carried out 
without damaging the vehicle.
    (12) Paragraph (a)(10) does not apply to the addition of a 
disarming device that requires the use of another disarming device that 
is validated by the immobilization system.
    (13) The immobilization system shall be designed so that it can 
neither be bypassed nor rendered ineffective in a manner that would 
allow a vehicle to move under its own power, or be disarmed, using one 
or more of the tools and equipment listed in paragraph(a)(14);
    (i) Within a period of less than 5 minutes, when tested as 
installed in the vehicle; or
    (ii) Within a period of less than 2.5 minutes, when bench-tested 
outside the vehicle.
    (14) During a test referred to in paragraph (a)(13) of this 
section, only the following tools or equipment may be used: scissors, 
wire strippers, wire cutters and electrical wires, a hammer, a slide 
hammer, a chisel, a punch, a wrench, a screwdriver, pliers, steel rods 
and spikes, a hacksaw, a battery operated drill, a battery operated 
angle grinder; and a battery operated jigsaw.
* * * * *
0
6. Amend redesignated Sec.  543.8 by revising paragraph (f) and adding 
paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  543.8  Processing an exemption petition.

* * * * *
    (f) If the petition is sought under Sec.  543.6, NHTSA publishes a 
notice of its decision to grant or deny an exemption petition in the 
Federal Register, and notifies the petitioner in writing of the 
agency's decision.
    (g) If the petition is sought under Sec.  543.7 NHTSA notifies the 
petitioner in writing of the agency's decision to grant or deny an 
exemption petition.
* * * * *
0
7. Redesignated Sec.  543.9 is revised to read as follows


Sec.  543.9  Duration of exemption.

    Each exemption under this part continues in effect unless it is 
modified or terminated under Sec.  543.10, or the manufacturer ceases 
production of the exempted line.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on January 10, 2014 under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.95.
Christopher J. Bonanti,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2014-00683 Filed 1-16-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P