[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 18 (Tuesday, January 28, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4569-4608]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01568]



[[Page 4569]]

Vol. 79

Tuesday,

No. 18

January 28, 2014

Part III





Department of Transportation





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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration





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49 CFR Part 571





Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems, Child 
Restraint Systems--Side Impact Protection, Incorporation by Reference; 
Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 18 / Tuesday, January 28, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 4570]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0012]
RIN 2127-AK95


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems, 
Child Restraint Systems--Side Impact Protection, Incorporation by 
Reference

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: This NPRM proposes to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, ``Child restraint systems,'' to adopt side 
impact performance requirements for all child restraint systems 
designed to seat children in a weight range that includes weights up to 
18 kilograms (kg) (40 pounds (lb)). NHTSA is issuing this NPRM to 
ensure that child restraints provide a minimum level of protection in 
side impacts by effectively restraining the child, preventing harmful 
head contact with an intruding vehicle door or child restraint 
structure, and by attenuating crash forces to the child's head and 
chest.
    This NPRM is also issued toward fulfillment of a statutory mandate 
set forth in the ``Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act'' 
(July 6, 2012), directing the Secretary of Transportation to issue a 
final rule amending FMVSS No. 213 to improve the protection of children 
seated in child restraint systems during side impacts.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 28, 2014.
    Proposed compliance date: We propose that the compliance date for 
the amendments in this rulemaking action would be three years following 
the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. 
Optional early compliance would be permitted.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the docket number identified in 
the heading of this document by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     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.
    Regardless of how you submit your comments, please mention the 
docket number of this document.
    You may also call the Docket at 202-366-9324.
    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: Please see the Privacy Act heading under Rulemaking 
Analyses and Notices.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues, you may call 
Cristina Echemendia, Office of Crashworthiness Standards, (Telephone: 
202-366-6345) (Fax: 202-493-2990). For legal issues, you may call 
Deirdre Fujita, Office of Chief Counsel (Telephone: 202-366-2992) (Fax: 
202-366-3820). Mailing address: National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary
II. Statutory Mandate
III. The Existing Standard
IV. Summary of Proposed Amendments
V. Guiding Principles
VI. Potentially Affected Child Restraints
VII. Real World Analysis
VIII. Past NHTSA Efforts
IX. Side Impact Program Developments
    a. Side Impact Environment for Children
    b. Injury Mechanisms in Side Impact
    c. Global Dynamic Side Impact Tests
    d. Side Impact Test Dummy
X. Developing NHTSA's Side Impact Test
    a. Assessment of Existing Global Efforts
    b. Takata Test Procedure
XI. The Proposed Test Procedure
    a. Sled Kinematic Parameters
    1. Sliding Seat Acceleration Profile (Representing the Struck 
Vehicle)
    2. Door Velocity
    3. Sled Buck Angle (Replicating Longitudinal Component of the 
Direction of Force)
    b. Rear Seat Environment Parameters
    1. Rear Seat Cushion Stiffness
    2. Rear Seat Door Stiffness
    3. Rear Seat Environment Geometry
    c. Dynamic Validation of the Sled Test
XII. Proposed Dynamic Performance
    a. Q3s Dummy
    b. CRABI Dummy
    c. Energy Absorption and Distribution
XIII. Fleet Testing
    a. Q3s Dummy
    b. CRABI Dummy
XIV. Countermeasure Assessment
XV. Petition Regarding Deceleration Sled System
XVI. Costs and Benefits
XVII. Effective Date
XVIII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses
XIX. Public Participation

    This NPRM proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213, ``Child restraint 
systems,'' to adopt side impact performance requirements for all child 
restraint systems designed to seat children in a weight range that 
includes weights up to 18 kg (40 lb). Frontal and side crashes account 
for most child occupant fatalities. Standard No. 213 currently requires 
child restraints to meet a dynamic test simulating a 48.3 kilometers 
per hour (30 miles per hour) frontal impact. Today's proposal would 
require an additional test in which such child restraints must protect 
the child occupant in a dynamic test simulating a full-scale vehicle-
to-vehicle side impact.
    Child restraints would be tested with a newly-developed 
instrumented side impact test dummy representing a 3-year-old child, 
called the Q3s dummy, and with a well-established 12-month-old child 
test dummy (the Child Restraint Air Bag Interaction (CRABI) dummy). 
NHTSA is issuing this NPRM to ensure that child restraints provide a 
minimum level of protection in side impacts by effectively restraining 
the child, preventing harmful head contact with an intruding vehicle 
door or child restraint structure, and by attenuating crash forces to 
the child's head and chest.
    This NPRM is also issued toward fulfillment of a statutory mandate 
set forth in the ``Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act'' 
(July 6, 2012), directing the Secretary of Transportation to issue a 
final rule amending FMVSS No. 213 to improve the protection of children 
seated in child restraint systems during side impacts.

I. Executive Summary

    Impacts to the side of a vehicle rank almost equal to frontal 
crashes as a source of occupant fatalities and serious injuries to 
children ages 0 to 12. Side impacts are especially dangerous when the 
impact is on the passenger compartment because, unlike a frontal or 
rear-end crash, there are no substantial, crushable metal structures 
between the occupant and the impacting vehicle or object. The door 
collapses into the passenger compartment and the occupants contact the 
door relatively

[[Page 4571]]

quickly after the crash at a high relative velocity.\1\
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    \1\ Kahane, November 1982, NHTSA Report No. DOT HS 806 314.
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    In a vehicle-to-vehicle side impact crash, the striking vehicle 
first interacts with the door structure of the struck vehicle and 
commences crushing the door and intruding laterally into the vehicle 
compartment. Second, the striking vehicle engages the sill of the 
struck vehicle and begins to push the struck vehicle away. At this 
time, the occupant sitting in the vehicle experiences the struck 
vehicle seat moving away from the impacting vehicle while the door 
intrudes towards him or her. Next, the occupant interacts with the 
intruding door, after which the occupant is accelerated away from the 
door until the occupant reaches the velocity of the struck and striking 
vehicle.
    Passenger vehicles provide protection in vehicle-to-vehicle crashes 
by meeting FMVSS No. 214, ``Side impact protection.'' FMVSS No. 214 
requires passenger vehicles to provide side impact protection in 
several different side crashes. In a full-scale crash test representing 
a severe intersection collision between two passenger vehicles, FMVSS 
No. 214 requires passenger vehicles to protect occupants when the 
vehicle is struck on either side by a moving deformable barrier (MDB) 
simulating an impacting vehicle.\2\ The FMVSS No. 214 MDB crash test 
involves an MDB weighing 1,360 kg (3,000 lb), to represent a vehicle 
which is traveling at 48.3 kilometers per hour (km/h) (30 miles per 
hour (mph)) striking the side of another vehicle which is traveling at 
24 km/h (15 mph).\3\ The struck vehicle must limit the potential for 
injuries to an occupant's head, thorax, and pelvis, as measured by test 
dummies seated in the front outboard seat and rear outboard seat on the 
struck side of the vehicle (``near side'' positions).
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    \2\ FMVSS No. 214 also specifies a static laboratory test that 
has greatly improved side door strength and protection against side 
impacts with fixed objects. The static test has resulted in 
manufacturers reinforcing side doors with a horizontal beam. In 
addition, FMVSS No. 214 specifies a full-scale side crash test of a 
vehicle into a pole, which has resulted in the installation of side 
air bags to protect against head and chest injuries.
    \3\ In the FMVSS No. 214 test, only the striking ``vehicle,'' 
represented by the MDB, is moving. Using vector analysis, the agency 
combined the impact speed and impact angle data in crash files to 
determine that the dynamics and forces of a crash in which a vehicle 
traveling at 48.3 km/h (30 mph) perpendicularly strikes the side of 
a vehicle traveling at 24 km/h (15 mph) could be represented by a 
test configuration in which: The test vehicle is stationary; the 
longitudinal centerline of the MDB is perpendicular to the 
longitudinal centerline of the test vehicle; the front and rear 
wheels of the MDB are crabbed at an angle of 27 degrees to the right 
of its longitudinal centerline in a left side impact and to the left 
of that centerline in a right side impact; and the MDB moves at that 
angle and at a speed of 54 km/h (33.5 mph) into the side of the 
struck vehicle.
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    Today's NPRM proposes a side impact test that simulates the two-
vehicle side crash replicated by the FMVSS No. 214 MDB test of a small 
passenger car. Today's proposal would require all child restraint 
systems (CRSs) designed to seat children in a weight range that 
includes weights up to18 kg (40 lb) to meet specific performance 
criteria in a dynamic sled test that simulates the MDB test (striking 
vehicle traveling at 48.3 km/h (30 mph) impacting the struck vehicle 
traveling at 24 km/h (15 mph)). Approximately 92 percent of side 
crashes involving restrained children are of equivalent or lower crash 
severity than the FMVSS No. 214 MDB crash test of a small passenger 
car.\4\
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    \4\ Obtained from an analysis of the National Automotive 
Sampling System--Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS) data files 
for the years 1995-2009 for restrained children 0 to 12 YO in all 
restraint environments including seat belts and CRS. Details of the 
analysis are provided in the technical report in the docket for this 
NPRM.
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    The proposed sled test is the first of its kind in the world for 
testing child restraints in a sled system that simulates the vehicle 
acceleration and intruding door of a small passenger car in a side 
impact (a vehicle-to-vehicle intersection crash). We do not have 
sufficient data to determine what share of covered crashes involve an 
intruding door, however door intrusion is a causative factor for 
moderate and serious injury to children in side impacts. Child 
restraints would be tested in the side impact sled test with the Q3s 
instrumented side impact test dummy representing the size and weight of 
a 3-year-old (3 YO) child, and with the CRABI dummy representing a 12-
month-old (12 MO) infant. NHTSA has previously published an NPRM 
proposing to amend our regulation for anthropomorphic test devices, 49 
CFR Part 572, to add specifications for the Q3s (78 FR 69944; November 
21, 2013). The CRABI dummy's specifications are incorporated into 49 
CFR Part 572, Subpart R.
    NHTSA is issuing this NPRM to ensure that subject child restraints 
provide a minimum level of protection in side impacts. The CRSs would 
have to effectively restrain the child, prevent harmful head contact 
with an intruding vehicle door or child restraint structure, and 
attenuate crash forces to the child's chest. Injury criteria (expressed 
in terms of a head injury criterion (HIC) and chest deflection) are 
proposed for the Q3s. These criteria allow a quantitative evaluation of 
the effectiveness of the CRS to prevent or attenuate head and chest 
impact with the intruding door. The 12 MO CRABI would be used to 
measure the containment capability of the CRS (the ability to prevent 
the dummy's head from making contact with the intruding door of the 
sled assembly). In addition, CRSs would be required to meet other 
structural integrity requirements in the sled test that ensure a sound 
level of performance in side impacts.
    We estimate that a final rule resulting from this proposal would 
reduce 5.2 fatalities and 64 non-fatal injuries (MAIS \5\ 1-5) annually 
(see Table 1 below).\6\ The equivalent lives and the monetized benefits 
were estimated in accordance with guidance issued February 28, 2013 by 
the Office of the Secretary \7\ regarding the treatment of value of a 
statistical life in regulatory analyses. A final rule resulting from 
this proposal is estimated to save 18.26 equivalent lives annually. The 
monetized annual benefits of the proposed rule at 3 and 7 percent 
discount rates are $182.6 million and $165.7 million, respectively 
(Table 2). We estimate that the annual cost of this proposed rule would 
be approximately $3.7 million. The countermeasures may include larger 
wings and padding with energy absorption characteristics that cost, on 
average, approximately $0.50 per CRS designed for children in a weight 
range that includes weights up to 40 lb (both forward-facing and rear-
facing) (Table 3 below). The annual net benefits are estimated to be 
$162.0 million (7 percent discount rate) to $178.9 million (3 percent 
discount rate) as shown in Table 4. Because the proposed rule is cost 
beneficial just by comparing costs to monetized economic benefits, and 
there is a net benefit, we are not providing a net cost per equivalent 
life saved since no value would be provided by such an estimate.
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    \5\ MAIS (Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale) represents the 
maximum injury severity of an occupant based on the Abbreviated 
Injury Scale (AIS). AIS ranks individual injuries by body region on 
a scale of 1 to 6: 1 = minor, 2 = moderate, 3 = serious, 4 = severe, 
5 = critical, and 6 = maximum (untreatable). MAIS 3+ injuries 
represent MAIS injuries at an AIS level of 3, 4, 5, or 6.
    \6\ NHTSA has developed a Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis 
(PRIA) that discusses issues relating to the potential costs, 
benefits, and other impacts of this regulatory action. The PRIA is 
available in the docket for this NPRM and may be obtained by 
downloading it or by contacting Docket Management at the address or 
telephone number provided at the beginning of this document.
    \7\ http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/VSL%20Guidance%202013.pdf.

[[Page 4572]]



                       Table 1--Estimated Benefits
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Fatalities.................................................          5.2
Non-fatal injuries (MAIS 1 to 5)...........................           64
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                                      Table 2 Estimated Monetized Benefits
                                          [In millions of 2010 dollars]
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                                                                                     Value of
                                                                     Economic       statistical   Total benefits
                                                                     benefits          life
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3 Percent Discount Rate.........................................           $16.0          $166.6          $182.6
7 Percent Discount Rate.........................................            14.4           151.3           165.7
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                Table 3--Estimated Costs (2010 Economics)
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Average cost per CRS designed for children  $0.50
 in a weight range that includes weights
 up to 40 lb.
                                           -----------------------------
    Total annual cost.....................  3.7 million
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                                     Table 4--Annualized Costs and Benefits
                                          [In millions of 2010 dollars]
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                                                                    Annualized      Annualized
                                                                       costs         benefits      Net benefits
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3% Discount Rate................................................            $3.7          $182.6          $178.9
7% Discount Rate................................................             3.7           165.7           162.0
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    Accident data indicate that CRSs designed for children in a weight 
range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 lb) are generally already 
remarkably effective in reducing the risk of death and serious injury 
in side impacts. We have observed in recent years that increasing 
numbers of these CRSs appear to have more side structure coverage (CRS 
side ``wings'') and side padding than before.\8\ Because the design of 
the side wings and stiffness of the padding are factors that affect the 
containment of the child dummy and the injury measures, we consider the 
side wing coverage and increased padding to be overall positive 
developments. Yet, because FMVSS No. 213 currently does not have a side 
impact test, a quantifiable assessment of the protective qualities of 
the features was heretofore not possible. Today's NPRM would establish 
performance requirements that ensure that the wings, padding, padding-
like features, or other countermeasures employed in recent years 
reportedly to provide protection in side impacts will in fact achieve a 
minimum level of performance that will reduce the risk of injury or 
fatality in side impacts. For CRS designs that have not yet 
incorporated side impact protection features, today's NPRM is the first 
step toward ensuring that they will.
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    \8\ SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. http://www.carseat.org/Pictorial/InfantPict,1-11.pdf and http://www.carseat.org/Pictorial/3-Five-%20Point-np.pdf. Last accessed January 24, 2013.
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II. Statutory Mandate

    On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the ``Moving Ahead for 
Progress in the 21st Century Act'' (MAP-21), P.L. 112-141. Subtitle E 
of MAP-21, entitled ``Child Safety Standards,'' includes section 
31501(a) which states that, not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of the Act, the Secretary shall issue a final rule amending 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213 to improve the 
protection of children seated in child restraint systems during side 
impact crashes.\9\
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    \9\ Subtitle E also includes provisions for commencing a 
rulemaking to amend the standard seat assembly specifications in 
FMVSS No. 213 to better simulate a single representative motor 
vehicle rear seat (section 31501(b)), and initiating a rulemaking to 
amend FMVSS No. 225, ``Child restraint anchorage systems,'' to 
improve the ease of use of lower anchorages and tethers (section 
31502(a)). The agency anticipates dealing with these provisions in 
future rulemakings.
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    We interpret this provision of MAP-21 as providing us a fair amount 
of discretion. NHTSA informed Congress in 2004 that enhanced side 
impact protection for children in child restraints was a priority for 
NHTSA.\10\ The agency informed Congress that it will continue efforts 
to obtain detailed side crash data to identify specific injury 
mechanisms involving children and will work on countermeasure 
development using test dummies, including the European Q3 dummy then 
available, for improved side impact protection. Our current NHTSA 
Vehicle Safety and Fuel Economy Rulemaking and Research Priority Plan 
2011-2013, March 2011,\11\ announced our intention to issue an NPRM in 
2012 on child restraint side impact protection. The plan shows that we 
were planning to ``[p]ropose test procedures in FMVSS No. 213 to assess 
child restraint performance in near-side impacts. Amend Part 572 to add 
the Q3s dummy, the 3-year-old side impact version of the Q-series of 
child dummies.''
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    \10\ NHTSA Report to Congress, ``Child Restraint Systems, 
Transportation Recall Enhancement,
    Accountability, and Documentation Act,'' February 2004. 
www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/announce/NHTSAReports/TREAD.pdf.
    \11\ Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0108-0032.
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    We believe that MAP-21's short deadline for issuance of a final 
rule indicates that Congress intended for NHTSA to use the existing 
state of knowledge gained from our research efforts to initiate and 
complete the regulation as the agency had planned. There are no child 
test dummies other than the Q3s available at this time that have been 
proven sufficiently durable

[[Page 4573]]

and reliable for use in the proposed FMVSS No. 213 side impact testing. 
The level and amount of effort needed to further develop and validate a 
different test procedure, or new child side impact test dummies, far 
exceeds what could be accomplished within the time constraints of the 
Act.
    Further, MAP-21 requires a final rule amending FMVSS No. 213, which 
means that the rulemaking must be conducted in accordance with the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.) 
(``Vehicle Safety Act''). Under the Vehicle Safety Act, the Secretary 
of Transportation is authorized to prescribe Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards that are practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle 
safety, and are stated in objective terms.\12\ ``Motor vehicle safety'' 
is defined in the Vehicle Safety Act as ``the performance of a motor 
vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public 
against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, 
construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against 
unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes 
nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.'' \13\ When prescribing such 
standards, the Secretary must consider all relevant, available motor 
vehicle safety information, and consider whether a standard is 
reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the types of motor 
vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for which it is prescribed.\14\ The 
Secretary must also consider the extent to which the standard will 
further the statutory purpose of reducing traffic accidents and 
associated deaths.\15\
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    \12\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(a).
    \13\ 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(8).
    \14\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(b).
    \15\ Id.
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    We have developed a regulation that will improve the protection of 
children seated in child restraint systems during side impacts, in 
accordance with MAP-21, while meeting the criteria of section 30111 of 
the Vehicle Safety Act. We believe that the proposed regulation meets 
the need for safety, is stated in objective terms, and is reasonable, 
practicable, and appropriate. While the language of section 31501(a) of 
MAP-21 is broad enough to encompass a large universe of child restraint 
systems, there are technical and practical reasons for applying the 
dynamic side impact test only to CRSs designed to seat children in a 
weight range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 lb). For one, there 
is no side impact dummy representative of children larger than those 
represented by the Q3s that can reasonably be used to test CRSs for 
children above 18 kg (40 lb) to the dynamic side impact requirements 
proposed today. Without an appropriate test dummy, the data from a 
dynamic test would not provide a meaningful assessment of the 
performance of the CRS in protecting children of weights above 18 kg 
(40 lb). In addition, the seated height of children weighing more than 
18 kg (40 lb) who are restrained in child restraints is typically 
sufficient to take advantage of the vehicle's side impact protection 
systems, such as side curtain air bags. Thus, the safety need for 
Standard No. 213's dynamic side impact requirements is attenuated for 
these CRSs. These reasons are further discussed in a section below, and 
are presented for public comment.

III. The Existing Standard

    CRSs are highly effective in reducing the likelihood of death or 
serious injury in motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA estimates that for 
children less than 1 year old, a child restraint can reduce the risk of 
fatality by 71 percent when used in a passenger car and by 58 percent 
when used in a pickup truck, van, or sport utility vehicle (light 
truck).\16\ Child restraint effectiveness for children between the ages 
1 to 4 YO is 54 percent in passenger cars and 59 percent in light 
trucks. Id.
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    \16\ ``Revised Estimates of Child Restraint Effectiveness,'' 
Research Note, National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) of 
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT HS 
96855, December 1996, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/96855.pdf, 
last accessed on May 2, 2012.
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    The most significant dynamic performance requirements of FMVSS No. 
213 relevant to this NPRM are briefly described below.\17\
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    \17\ FMVSS No. 213 also has labeling and owner's manual 
requirements for proper use of the CRS, including requirements that 
safety warnings be prominently displayed on the CRS. The standard 
also includes requirements for the flammability resistance of the 
CRS. The standard also establishes an owner-registration program so 
that purchasers can register with the manufacturer and be directly 
notified in the event of a safety recall.
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    l. The crash performance of a CRS is evaluated in a frontal dynamic 
test involving a 48.3 km/h (30 mph) velocity change, which is 
representative of a severe crash. CRSs are tested while attached to a 
standardized seat assembly representative of a passenger vehicle seat. 
CRSs other than booster seats must meet minimum performance 
requirements when anchored to the standard seat assembly with a lap 
belt only, or with the lower anchorages of the ``LATCH'' \18\ system. 
The CRSs must meet more stringent head excursion requirements in 
another test, one in which a top tether, if provided, is permitted to 
be attached. Belt-positioning (booster) seats are tested on the 
standard seat assembly using a lap and shoulder belt.\19\
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    \18\ LATCH refers to Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, an 
acronym developed by manufacturers and retailers to refer to the 
child restraint anchorage system required by FMVSS No. 225 for 
installation in motor vehicles. LATCH consists of two lower 
anchorages, and one upper tether anchorage. Each lower anchorage 
includes a rigid round rod or ``bar'' onto which a hook, a jaw-like 
buckle or other connector can be snapped. The bars are located at 
the intersection of the vehicle seat cushion and seat back. The 
upper tether anchorage is a ring-like object to which the upper 
tether of a child restraint system can be attached. FMVSS No. 213 
requires CRSs to be equipped with attachments that enable the CRS to 
attach to the vehicle's LATCH system.
    \19\ Built-in CRSs are evaluated by crash testing the vehicle 
into which the CRSs are built, or by simulating a crash with the 
built-in seat dynamically tested with parts of the vehicle 
surrounding it.
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    2. CRSs are dynamically tested with anthropomorphic test devices 
(ATDs) (child test dummies) representative of the children for whom the 
CRS is recommended. FMVSS No. 213 specifies the use of ATDs 
representing a newborn, a 12 MO infant, a 3 YO, a 6 YO, a weighted 6 
YO, and a 10 YO.\20\ Except for the newborn and weighted 6 YO ATDs, the 
test dummies are equipped with instrumentation measuring crash forces 
imposed on the ATD. The mass, size, and kinematics of the ATDs are 
designed to replicate those of a human child.
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    \20\ NHTSA will use the 10 YO child dummy in compliance testing 
to test CRSs manufactured on or after February 27, 2014.
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    3. To protect the child, FMVSS No. 213 requires CRSs to limit the 
amount of force that can be exerted on the head and chest of the ATD 
during the dynamic test. FMVSS No. 213 also requires CRSs to meet head 
excursion limits to reduce the possibility of head injury from contact 
with vehicle interior surfaces and ejection, and limits knee excursion.
    4. FMVSS No. 213 requires CRSs to maintain system integrity (i.e., 
not fracture or separate in such a way as to harm a child). The 
standard also specifies requirements for the size and shape of 
contactable surfaces of the CRS to ensure that surfaces that can harm 
on impact are absent, and specifies requirements for the performance of 
belts and buckles to make sure that, among other things, a buckle can 
be swiftly unlatched after a crash by an adult for expeditious egress 
from the crash site but cannot be easily unbuckled by an unsupervised 
child.

[[Page 4574]]

IV. Summary of Proposed Amendments

    This NPRM proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 to adopt side impact 
performance requirements for CRSs designed to seat children in a weight 
range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 lb). The side impact test 
requirements would be specified in a new standard, FMVSS No. ``213a.'' 
FMVSS No. 213 would be amended to include a requirement that the CRSs 
covered by this NPRM must meet the new FMVSS No. 213a in addition to 
the requirements established in FMVSS No. 213.\21\
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    \21\ A final rule could incorporate the proposed requirements 
into FMVSS No. 213, rather than in a separate FMVSS No. 213a. This 
NPRM shows the proposed requirements separately in FMVSS No. 213a 
for plain language purposes and the reader's convenience.
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    The most significant amendments proposed by this NPRM are described 
below.
    1. A dynamic (sled) test would be used to evaluate the performance 
of the CRS in a side impact. The sled test was developed based on an 
acceleration sled system \22\ developed by Takata. The test procedure 
simulates the two-vehicle side crash replicated in the MDB test of 
FMVSS No. 214 (striking vehicle traveling at 48.3 km/h (30 mph)) 
impacting the struck vehicle traveling at 24 km/h (15 mph). The 
proposed sled test simulates a near-side side impact of a small 
passenger car. It simulates the velocity of the striking vehicle, the 
struck vehicle, and an intruding door.
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    \22\ An acceleration sled is accelerated from rest to a 
prescribed acceleration profile to simulate the occupant compartment 
deceleration in a crash event. In comparison, a ``deceleration 
sled'' is first accelerated to a target velocity and then is 
decelerated to a prescribed deceleration profile to simulate the 
same event.
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    2. The test buck consists of a sliding ``vehicle'' seat 
(representative of a rear seat designated seating position) mounted to 
a rail system along with a ``side door'' structure rigidly mounted to 
the sled buck structure. The sliding ``vehicle'' seat and side door are 
representative of today's passenger vehicles. This ``side impact seat 
assembly'' (SISA) proposed for the side impact test is specified by 
drawings that have been placed in the docket for today's NPRM. The 
sliding vehicle seat is positioned sufficiently away from the side door 
to allow the sled to reach a desired velocity (31.3 km/h) prior to the 
time the sliding ``vehicle'' seat starts to accelerate to a specific 
acceleration profile.
    3. Most CRSs would be attached using LATCH to the sliding 
``vehicle'' seat of the SISA. CRSs covered by this NPRM that are not 
currently required by FMVSS No. 213 to have LATCH attachments (i.e., 
belt-positioning seats) would be tested using a lap and shoulder belt 
on the SISA. The center of the CRS is positioned 300 mm from the edge 
of the sliding seat next to the intruding door (simulating a near-side 
position). At the time the sliding seat starts to accelerate, the 
armrest on the door is located 32 mm from the edge of the seat towards 
the child restraint system. For forward-facing CRSs with LATCH 
attachments, the LATCH lower anchorages and the top tether, if 
provided, would be used (assuming the top tether is recommended for use 
in motor vehicles by the CRS manufacturer).
    4. CRSs recommended for children with weights that include 10 kg to 
18 kg (22 lb to 40 lb) would be tested on the SISA with an ATD 
representing a 3 YO child, referred to as the ``Q3s.'' The Q3s is a 
side impact version of the 3 YO child Q-series dummy (Q3), a frontal 
crash dummy developed in Europe. CRSs recommended to seat children with 
weights up to 10 kg (22 lb) would be tested with the 12 MO CRABI dummy 
(49 CFR Part 572, Subpart R).
    5. Injury criteria (expressed in terms of HIC15 \23\ and 
chest deflection) are proposed for the Q3s. These criteria allow a 
quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of the CRS, and the 
ability of the CRS to prevent or attenuate head and chest impact with 
the intruding door. The CRABI would be used to measure the containment 
capability (the ability to prevent the ATD's head from contacting the 
intruding door of the SISA) of CRSs recommended for children weighing 
more than 5 kg (11 lb) and up to 10 kg (22 lb). In addition, CRSs would 
be required to meet structural integrity and other requirements 
described in item 4 of the previous section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Head injury criterion that is based on the integration of 
resultant head acceleration over a 15 millisecond duration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

V. Guiding Principles

    The following principles guided our decision-making in developing 
this NPRM. Several of these principles have guided our past rulemakings 
on FMVSS No. 213.
    a. NHTSA estimates that CRSs are already 42 percent effective in 
preventing death in side crashes of 0 to 3 YO children.\24\ This 
estimated degree of effectiveness is high, and is only 11 percentage 
points lower than CRS effectiveness in frontal crashes (53 percent), 
notwithstanding that FMVSS No. 213 requires CRSs to meet specific 
performance requirements in a frontal impact sled test but has no such 
dynamic performance requirements in side impact. We believe that the 
effectiveness of CRSs in side impact can be attributed to the CRS 
harness containing the child in the seating position, thereby 
mitigating harmful contact with interior vehicle components, and to the 
CRS structure shielding the child from direct impact and absorbing some 
of the crash forces.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ NHTSA conducted an analysis of the Fatality Analysis 
Reporting System (FARS) data files of real world fatal non-rollover 
frontal and side crashes of passenger cars and light trucks and vans 
involving children for the years 1995 to 2009. From this analysis, 
the agency estimated the effectiveness of CRSs in preventing 
fatalities among 0 to 3 YO children to be 42 percent in side crashes 
and 52 percent in frontal crashes. The analysis method is similar to 
that reported in the NCSA Research Note, ``Revised Estimates of 
Child Restraint Effectiveness,'' DOT HS 96855 and is also detailed 
in the technical report in the docket.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    b. In making regulatory decisions on possible enhancements to CRS 
performance, the agency must bear in mind the consumer acceptance of 
cost increases to an already highly-effective item of safety equipment. 
Any enhancement that would significantly raise the price of the 
restraints could potentially have an adverse effect on the sales of 
this voluntarily-purchased equipment. The net effect on safety could be 
negative if the effect of sales losses exceeds the benefit of the 
improved performance of the restraints that are purchased. Thus, to 
maximize the total safety benefits of its efforts on FMVSS No. 213, the 
agency must balance those improvements against impacts on the price of 
restraints. In addition, NHTSA must also consider the effects of 
improved performance on the ease of using child restraints. If the use 
of child restraints becomes overly complex or unwieldy, the twin 
problems of misuse and nonuse of child restraints could be exacerbated.
    c. Estimating the net effect on safety of this rulemaking, 
consistent with the principles for regulatory decision-making set forth 
in Executive Order (E.O.) 12286, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' 
and E.O. 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' was 
limited by several factors. One was that data are sparse on side 
crashes resulting in severe injuries or fatalities to children in CRSs. 
Data indicate that side crashes resulting in fatalities to children in 
CRSs mainly occur in very severe, un-survivable side impact conditions. 
A dynamic test involving a very high test speed or intrusion level may 
have undesirable impacts on FMVSS No. 213 regarding practicability, 
cost, and possible detrimental effects on safety (i.e., the possible 
effects on the use of CRSs, discussed above).

[[Page 4575]]

    Another limiting factor was there is no information comparing the 
real world performance of ``good'' performing CRSs versus ``poor'' 
performing CRSs. Without these data, we had to use test data and injury 
curves to determine the effectiveness of possible countermeasures 
(e.g., large side wings with energy absorbing padding). We are also 
limited by the unavailability of child ATDs for side impact testing. 
Currently, there is only an ATD representing a 3 YO child that has been 
specially developed for side impacts. The 12 MO CRABI dummy is a 
frontal impact dummy, and can only be used in a limited capacity to 
estimate benefits in this side impact rulemaking.
    d. In developing this NPRM, we sought to build on the levels of 
side impact protection provided by FMVSS No. 214. The sled test 
proposed today is based on the FMVSS No. 214 MDB test of a small 
passenger car, replicating the real-world side crashes that occur most 
frequently today. The proposed sled test set-up is representative of 
the side impact environment in which a CRS would be used in today's 
vehicles. The environment is based on the rear seat and side door of 
vehicles meeting FMVSS No. 214. Children seated in the rear seat are 
benefitting from FMVSS No. 214's requirements: Side door beams and door 
and sill structure reinforcements prevent intrusion and enable the 
vehicle to better manage the crash energy.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ Side curtain air bags installed pursuant to FMVSS No. 214's 
pole test will provide head protection to children who sit high 
enough (whether in a CRS or directly on the vehicle seat) to 
experience head-to-curtain interaction in a side crash.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yet, due to their size and fragility, infants and toddlers are 
dependent on child restraint systems to augment FMVSS No. 214 
protection, and to manage the side crash energy further. In developing 
this NPRM, our objectives were to ensure that CRSs provide a minimum 
level of protection in side impacts by effectively restraining the 
child, preventing harmful head contact with an intruding vehicle door 
or CRS structure, and by attenuating crashes forces to the child's 
chest.
    e. This rulemaking is issued in furtherance of MAP-21. MAP-21 
requires a final rule amending FMVSS No. 213 to improve the protection 
of children seated in child restraint systems during side impact 
crashes.

VI. Potentially Affected Child Restraints

    Consistent with the principles discussed above, we propose to apply 
the side impact test requirements to all CRSs designed to seat children 
in a weight range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 lb). Children 
in the 0 to 18 kg (40 lb) group (which encompasses children from birth 
to about 4 YO) have a high rate of child restraint use (<1 YO = 98 
percent and 1 to 3 YO \26\ = 93 percent according to the 2009 National 
Survey of the Use of Booster Seats (NSUBS) \27\), which provides a good 
opportunity for improving CRS performance and reducing injuries and 
fatalities through a side impact regulation.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Note that in survey data a child who is 1 day shy of his or 
her 4th birth day is still considered a 3 YO. Therefore survey data 
representing 1 to 3 YO children include 3 YO children who are nearly 
4 YO and at the 40 lb weight limit representing the weight of a 75th 
percentile 4 YO child or an average 5 YO child.
    \27\ Pikrell, T.M., Ye, T. Report Number DOT HS 811 377. 
September 2010. NSUBS is a probability-based nationwide child 
restraint use survey conducted by NHTSA's National Center for 
Statistics and Analysis (NCSA).
    \28\ Children between 4 and 12 YO have lower child restraint use 
(4 to 7 YO = 55 percent and 8 to 12 YO = 6 percent). Data show that 
43 percent of 4 to 7 YO and 78 percent of 8 to 12 YO children use 
seat belts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We believe that focusing at this time on the 0 to 18 kg (40 lb) (0 
to 4 YO) age group is highly appropriate for several reasons. Real-
world data show that head injuries are the most common injuries in a 
side impact environment. According to McCray,\29\ head injuries in 
children 1 to 3 YO are slightly higher than for overall children 0 to12 
years of age. Possible countermeasures available to CRS manufacturers 
to reduce the risk of head injury are the addition of padding or larger 
side ``wing'' structures to keep the child's head contained and to 
reduce the severity of the impact. It appears from our testing that 
energy-absorbing padding added to the CRS around the head area of the 
child and to the side structures (CRS side ``wings'') would enable 
forward- and rear-facing CRSs to meet the proposed requirements without 
adding any additional structures to the seats.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ McCray, L., Scarboro, M., Brewer, J. ``Injuries to children 
one to three years old in side impact crashes,'' 20th International 
Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, 2007. Paper Number 
07-0186.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Focusing on children weighing up to 18 kg (40 lb) (0 to 4 YO age 
group) also appropriately reflects the near-side impact environment in 
which CRSs will be used. Our test results indicated that an important 
factor in the near side impact environment is the position of the 
child's head with respect to the ``beltline'' (also referred to as the 
window sill) \30\ of the vehicle door. The sitting height of older 
children restrained in CRSs typically positions the head high enough 
above the beltline to benefit from the vehicle's FMVSS No. 214 side 
impact safety features, such as side window curtain air bags. The need 
for a side impact requirement in FMVSS No. 213 may be lessened for 
those children. However, when the child's head is below the beltline, 
as likely with children weighing up to 18 kg (40 lb) (0 to 4 YO) in 
CRSs, there is greater need for FMVSS No. 213 side impact protection, 
as less benefit is attained from the vehicle countermeasures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ The beltline of a vehicle is a term used in vehicle design 
and styling, referring to the nominally horizontal line below the 
side glazing of a vehicle, which separates the glazing area from the 
lower body. Passenger vehicles are required to provide head 
protection in side impacts and ejection mitigation in rollovers, 
pursuant to FMVSS No. 214 and FMVSS No. 226, ``Ejection 
mitigation,'' respectively. The countermeasure provided to meet 
FMVSS No. 226, usually a side curtain air bag, must meet performance 
requirements that, in effect, will necessitate coverage of the side 
windows to the beltline of the vehicle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Importantly also, due to the absence of an array of side impact 
child test dummies, we believe that focusing this NPRM on CRSs designed 
for children in a weight range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 
lb) best accords with Vehicle Safety Act requirements, which, among 
other factors, require each FMVSS to be ``appropriate for the types of 
motor vehicle equipment for which it is prescribed.'' \31\ In FMVSS No. 
213's frontal crash program, a 3 YO child dummy (weighing 16.3 kg (36 
lb)) is considered representative of children weighing 10 kg to 18 kg 
(22 to 40 lb), and is used to test CRSs recommended for children 
weighing 10 kg to 18 kg (22 to 40 lb). Similarly, we believe that the 
Q3s 3 YO side impact test dummy (weighing 14.5 kg (32 lb)) would be an 
appropriate test dummy to evaluate CRSs designed for children weighing 
10 kg to 18 kg (22 lb to 40 lb).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the other hand, currently, the 3 YO child dummy used in the 
frontal crash program is not used to test CRSs with regard to 
performance in restraining children weighing more than 18 kg (40 lb). 
This is because the 3 YO test dummy is not considered representative of 
children for whom the CRS is recommended. Similarly, we believe that 
the Q3s, which has only been made available recently, would not be a 
suitable dummy to test the performance of CRSs with respect to children 
weighing more than 18 kg (40 lb). The Q3s would not be representative 
of children for whom the CRS is recommended, and test data obtained by 
use of the ATD would not likely be meaningful as to the performance of 
the CRS in restraining

[[Page 4576]]

children weighing more than 18 kg (40 lb).
    We request comments on the merits of amending FMVSS No. 213 at this 
time to improve the protection of children weighing over 18 kg (40 lb), 
assessing performance of the CRSs with the Q3s or by other means. We 
also seek comments on whether belt-positioning (booster) seats 
recommended for older children have design limitations that might 
impede their ability to meet the proposed requirements. We have noticed 
that some belt-positioning seats for older children are advertised as 
providing side impact protection. We ask manufacturers to provide us 
information on the methods they use to demonstrate that their side 
impact design features for belt-positioning seats do in fact improve 
protection in side impacts.
    There are a number of different types of child restraints designed 
for children in a weight range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 
lb). With regard to belt-positioning (booster) seats recommended for 
children weighing up to 18 kg (40 lb),\32\ we propose testing the seats 
with the Q3s.\33\ The SISA would be equipped with Type II (lap and 
shoulder) belts to test the belt-positioning boosters. Belt-positioning 
(booster) seats sold for children in a weight range that includes 
weights up to 18 kg (40 lb) might have to improve some side wing 
structures, but we tentatively believe that the trade-off in possible 
increased size of side wing structures and padding and cost of these 
belt-positioning seats versus improved side impact protection is 
worthwhile for protection of this young child group (children weighing 
up to 18 kg (40 lb) (0 to 4 YO age group)). This approach of testing 
all CRSs designed to seat children in a weight range that includes 
weights up to 18 kg (40 lb), including belt-positioning seats, accords 
with MAP-21.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ Currently, FMVSS No. 213 prohibits manufacturers from 
recommending belt-positioning seats for children weighing less than 
13.6 kg (30 lb).
    \33\ This discussion also applies to convertible or front-facing 
child restraint systems that are equipped with an internal harness, 
that are also sold for use as a belt-positioning booster once the 
child reaches a certain weight or height (the consumer is instructed 
to remove the harness when using the CRS as a belt-positioning 
seat). Under this NPRM, a CRS that is marketed for use as a belt-
positioning seat for children in a weight range that includes 
children weighing less than 18 kg (40 lb) would be tested in the 
belt-positioning ``mode'' to the side impact requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the other hand, we believe that the proposed requirements should 
not apply to harnesses. FMVSS No. 213 defines a harness as ``a 
combination pelvic and upper torso child restraint system that consists 
primarily of flexible material, such as straps, webbing or similar 
material, and that does not include a rigid seating structure of the 
child.'' NHTSA tentatively believes that harnesses should be excluded 
because of practicability concerns about the ability of the harness to 
meet the proposed requirements and because harnesses serve a need in 
certain populations. Harnesses would likely not be able to meet the 
proposed performance requirements because they do not have a side 
structure that can be reinforced and/or padded to mitigate forces on 
the Q3s in the side test. At the same time, we recognize that there is 
a niche served by harnesses on certain school buses and special needs 
buses, one whose needs cannot be met by any other type of CRS. In 
addition, the side impact crash environment of a school bus is 
significantly different from that simulated by the proposed sled test 
procedure (which simulates a near-side impact of a small passenger 
car). Accordingly, we propose excluding harnesses from the proposed 
side impact requirements.
    Car beds would also be excluded from the proposed requirements. Car 
beds do not ``seat'' children but instead restrain or position a child 
in a supine or prone position on a continuous flat surface. FMVSS No. 
213 requires manufacturers of car beds to provide instructions stating 
that the car bed should be positioned in the vehicle such that the 
child's head is near the center of the vehicle. We believe that, due to 
the supine position and location of the head of the child, the risk of 
injury and the injury patterns of children in car beds are much 
different from those of children seated forward- or rear-facing. There 
is no accident data available that show that benefits would accrue from 
applying the proposed side impact protection standard to car beds.

VII. Real World Analysis

    The motor vehicle occupant fatality rate among children 4 YO and 
younger has declined from 4.5 in 1975 to 1.54 in 2009 (per 100,000 
occupants). This decline in fatality rate is partially attributed to 
increased use of child restraint systems. The 2009 NSUBS found that 
most (92 percent) children 0 to 7 YO were riding in the rear seats of 
vehicles and were restrained in CRSs (98 percent of 0 to 1 YO children, 
93 percent of 1 to 3 YO children, and 55 percent of 4 to 7 YO 
children).\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ Tony Jianquiang Ye and Timothy Pickrell, NHTSA, DOT HS 811 
377, September 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to the 2009 FARS data files, there were 33,808 persons 
killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009, 322 of whom were children aged 
4 and younger killed in passenger vehicle crashes. Among the 322 child 
occupant fatalities, 92 (29 percent) were unrestrained, 27 (8 percent) 
were restrained by vehicle seat belts, 178 (55 percent) were restrained 
in CRSs, and 25 (8 percent) had unknown restraint use.\35\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ Children, Traffic Safety Facts--2009 data, DOT HS 811 387, 
NHTSA, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/811387.pdf, last accessed 
August 9, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 1996, the agency estimated the effectiveness of CRSs and found 
the devices to reduce fatalities by 71 percent for children younger 
than 1 YO and by 54 percent for toddlers 1 to 4 YO in passenger 
vehicles.\36\ For today's NPRM, the agency updated the 1996 
effectiveness estimates by conducting a similar analysis using the FARS 
data files for the years 1995-2009.\37\ In the updated analysis,\38\ 
only non-rollover frontal and side crashes of passenger cars and LTVs 
were considered. (CRS effectiveness was estimated for each crash mode. 
Due to small sample size of unrestrained children less than 1 YO, the 0 
to 1 YO age group was combined with the 1 to 3 YO age group for 
determining CRS effectiveness for each crash mode.) The results 
indicate that in non-rollover frontal crashes, CRSs currently in use 
are 53 percent effective in preventing fatalities among children 0 to 3 
YO and 43 percent effective among children 4 to 7 YO. In non-rollover 
side crashes, CRSs currently in use are 42 percent effective in 
preventing fatalities among 0 to 3 YO and 51 percent effective among 4 
to 7 YO children.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ ``Revised Estimates of Child Restraint Effectiveness,'' 
Research Note, supra.
    \37\ Details of the analysis method are provided in the 
supporting technical document in the docket for this NPRM.
    \38\ Details of the updated analysis are provided in the 
supporting technical document in the docket for this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency estimates that the lives of 284 children 4 YO and 
younger were saved in 2009 due to the use of child restraint systems. 
At 100 percent use of child restraint systems for children 0 to 4 YO, 
an estimated 372 lives would have been saved in 2009.\39\ This estimate 
accounts for consumers' real-world use of child restraints, i.e., these 
lives would be saved even when the CRSs are misused.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ Tony Jianquiang Ye and Timothy Pickrell, Child Restraint 
use in 2009--Overall Results, NHTSA, DOT HS 811 377, September 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Failure to use proper occupant restraints is a significant factor 
in a large number of child occupant fatalities resulting from motor 
vehicle crashes. In

[[Page 4577]]

addition, fatalities among children properly restrained in child 
restraints are often attributed to the severity of the crash. Sherwood 
\40\ examined the FARS database for the year 2000 and determined that 
there were 621 child occupant fatalities in the age range of 0 to 5 
years. Among these 621 fatalities, 143 (23 percent) children were 
reported to be in child restraints. Detailed police reports were 
available for 92 of the 143 fatally injured children restrained in 
CRSs. Sherwood examined these 92 police reports and determined that 
half of the 92 fatalities were in un-survivable crashes, 12 percent of 
the fatalities were judged to result from gross misuse of child 
restraints, 16 percent in non-catastrophic side impacts, and 13 percent 
in non-catastrophic frontal impacts. Sherwood noted that side impacts 
accounted for the largest number of fatalities (40 percent), and in all 
side impact crashes involving child fatalities, there was vehicle 
intrusion at the child's seating position.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ Sherwood, C.P., Ferguson, S.A., Crandall, J.R., ``Factors 
Leading to Crash Fatalities to Children in Child Restraints,'' 47th 
Annual Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of 
Automotive Medicine (AAAM), September 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In-Depth Study of Fatalities Among Child Occupants

    The agency further examined the real world crash databases managed 
by the agency (FARS and the National Automotive Sampling System-
Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS)) for the years 2005-2009 to 
better understand fatalities to children restrained in child restraints 
when involved in side crashes.
    First, we categorized the crash cases involving children (0 to 12 
YO) seated in rear seating positions, by restraint use, crash type, and 
child age. See Tables 5 and 6, below.

 Table 5--Average Annual Crash Fatalities Among Children 0 to 12 YO in Rear Seating Positions of Light Passenger
                                 Vehicles Categorized by Restraint Type and Age
                                                [FARS 2005-2009]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Age (years)
                   Restraint                    ----------------------------------------------------    Total
                                                   Under 1        1-3          4-7          8-12
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
None...........................................         13.4         39.8           68         91.6        212.8
Adult Belt.....................................          1.8         11.6         57.4         78.2          149
CRS............................................         55.8          106         54.2          4.4        220.4
Unknown........................................          2.8          6.6         12.8         14.6         36.8
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total......................................         73.8          164        192.4        188.6          619
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Annually, there were 619 crash fatalities among children 0 to 12 YO 
seated in rear seating positions of light vehicles. Among these 
fatalities, 220 (36 percent) were to children restrained in CRSs (162 
were 0 to 3 YO and 58 were 4 to 12 YO). Nearly three-quarters of the 
CRS restrained child fatalities were to children 0 to 3 YO.
    As shown in the last column of Table 6, among the 220 fatalities of 
children 0 to 12 YO restrained in rear seats of light passenger 
vehicles and in CRSs, approximately 32 percent occurred in frontal 
crashes, 31 percent in side crashes, 25 percent in rollovers, and 11 
percent in rear crashes. Approximately 60 percent of side impact 
fatalities (41/68.4) were in near-side impacts. (``Far-side'' position 
means the outboard seating position on the opposite side of the point 
of impact.)

Table 6--Average Annual Crash Fatalities Among Children 0 to 12 YO in Rear Seating Positions of Light Passenger Vehicles and Restrained in CRSs by Crash
                                                                      Mode and Age
                                                                    [FARS 2005-2009]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                Age (years)
                    Crash mode                     --------------------------------------------------------------------      Total        Percent total
                                                           <1              1-3              4-7              8-12
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rollover..........................................             13.8             26.4             13.4              1.4             55               25
Front.............................................             16               35.6             19.8              1               72.4             32
Side..............................................             17.4             34.8             15                1.2             68.4             31
    Near-side.....................................             10.6             20                9.6              0.8             41               18.6
    Far-side......................................              6.8             14.8              5.4              0.4             27.4             12.4
Rear..............................................              8.6              9.2              6                0.8             24.6             11
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................................             55.8            106               54.2              4.4            220.4            100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of the side impact crash fatalities among CRS restrained children 0 
to 12 YO in rear seating positions, three quarters of near side 
fatalities (30.6/41) were to children under the age of 4.

In-Depth Study of Injuries to Child Occupants in Motor Vehicle Crashes

    In 2010, the agency published an analysis of the NASS--General 
Estimates System (GES) data for the years 1999-2008 to better 
understand injuries to children in motor vehicle traffic crashes.\41\ 
The analysis was conducted for three different child age groups (<1 YO, 
1 to 3 YO, and 4 to 7 YO) and for different crash modes (rollover, 
front, side, and rear). The

[[Page 4578]]

analysis indicated that CRSs are effective in reducing incapacitating 
injuries in all three child age groups examined and in all four crash 
modes. The analysis found that rollover crashes accounted for the 
highest rate of incapacitating injuries, with the incidence rate among 
unrestrained children (26 percent) being nearly 3 times that for 
children restrained in CRSs (9 percent). In near-side impact crashes, 
unrestrained children (incidence rate = 8 percent) were 8 times more 
likely to sustain incapacitating injuries than children in CRSs 
(incidence rate = 1 percent).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ Hanna, R., ``Children Injured in Motor Vehicle Traffic 
Crashes,'' DOT HS 811 325, NHTSA, May 2010, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811325.pdf, last accessed on July 2, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In support of the NPRM, the agency analyzed NASS-CDS for the years 
1995-2009 to obtain annual estimates of moderate or higher severity 
injuries (AIS 2+ injuries) among children of different ages in 
different restraint environment and crash modes. See Table 7 and 8.

  Table 7--Average Annual Estimates of 0 to 12 YO Children With AIS 2+ Injuries in Rear Seating Positions of Light Passenger Vehicles Involved in Motor
                                                            Vehicle Crashes by Restraint Type
                                                                  [NASS-CDS 1995-2009]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Age (years)
                       Restraint                        ----------------------------------------------------------------      Total       Percent total
                                                             Under 1           1-3             4-7            8-12
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
None...................................................              26             174             765             969            1934             31.7
Adult Belt.............................................               0              93             722            1550            2365             38.7
CRS....................................................             164             883             422              16            1485             24.3
Unknown if used........................................               1              32             215              66             314              5.1
                                                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total..............................................             191            1182            2124            2601            6098            100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Annually, there were, on average, approximately 6,100 AIS 2+ 
injuries to children 12 YO and younger seated in the rear seats of 
light passenger vehicles with 1,373 of these injured occupants being 
younger than 4 YO. Approximately 1,485 CRS restrained children 12 YO 
and younger sustained AIS 2+injuries, among which 1,047 (71 percent) 
were children younger than 4 YO and 422 (28 percent) were 4 to 7 YO 
children.
    The NASS-CDS data files for the years 1995-2009 were further 
analyzed to determine crash characteristics. Table 8 presents the 
average annual estimates of 0 to12 YO children with AIS 2+ injuries in 
rear seating positions of light passenger vehicles. Thirty-one percent 
of the children were injured in side crashes, 40 percent in frontal 
crashes, and 23 percent in rollover crashes.

  Table 8--Average Annual Estimates of 0 to 12 YO Children With AIS 2+ Injuries in Rear Seating Positions of Light Passenger Vehicles Involved in Motor
                                                              Vehicle Crashes by Crash Mode
                                                                  [NASS-CDS 1995-2009]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Age (years)
              Rollover status, damage type               ----------------------------------------------------------------      Total        Percent of
                                                                <1              1-3             4-7            8-12                            known
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rollover................................................              38             278             372             704           1,392              23
Front...................................................             103             356             777            1138           2,374              40
Side....................................................              34             371             893             652            1950              31
    Near-Side...........................................              24             280             464             438           1,209              19
    Far-Side............................................              10              91             429             214             741              12
Rear....................................................              17             139              82             106             344               6
Other...................................................               0              36               0               1              37               1
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................................             192           1,180           2,124           2,601           6,097             100
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To better understand the crash characteristics of children 
restrained in child restraints, a similar analysis as that shown in 
Table 8 was conducted except that only the cases where the children 
were restrained in CRSs were included in the analysis. The results are 
presented in Table 9.

  Table 9--Average Annual Estimates of 0 to 12 YO CRS Restrained Children With AIS 2+ Injuries in Rear Seating
              Positions of Light Passenger Vehicles Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes by Crash Mode
                                              [NASS-CDS 1995-2009]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Age (years)
           Crash mode            ----------------------------------------------------------------      Total
                                      Under 1           1-3             4-7            8-12
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rollover........................              28             148              44               0             220
Front...........................              94             310             214              16             634
Side............................              31             307             137               0             475
    Near-side...................              22             253              44               0             319
    Far-side....................               9              54              93               0             156

[[Page 4579]]

 
Rear............................              12              98              26               0             136
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................             165             863             421              16            1465
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For AIS 2+ injured 12 YO and younger child occupants in passenger 
vehicles restrained in CRSs in rear seating positions, 15 percent of 
the injuries were in rollover events, 43 percent in frontal crashes, 33 
percent in side crashes, and 9 percent in rear crashes. Sixty-seven 
percent (319/475) of the occupants in side crashes were in near-side 
impacts.
    In the above analyses some of these injuries and fatalities 
involved children in seats that were incorrectly used. However, we do 
not have complete data on the number accidents that involved misuse 
because accident databases do not generally collect data on how child 
restraints were used.

VIII. Past NHTSA Efforts

    In the past, NHTSA has explored the possibility of side impact 
requirements for child restraints in FMVSS No. 213.
    When NHTSA first considered dynamic testing of child restraints (39 
FR 7959; March 1, 1974), the agency proposed a 90 degree lateral impact 
simulating a 32 km/h (20 mph) crash. NHTSA proposed that each CRS would 
have to retain the test dummy within the system, limit head motion to 
483 mm (19 inches (in)) in each lateral direction measured from the 
exterior surface of the dummy's head, and suffer no loss of structural 
integrity.
    NHTSA withdrew the proposal after testing a number of restraints at 
a speed of 32 km/h (20 mph) and at a horizontal angle of 60 degrees 
from the direction of the test platform travel. The tests found that 
for outboard seating positions, only one of those restraints--one that 
required a tether--could meet the lateral head excursion limits that 
had been proposed. This was of concern because tethers were widely 
unused at that time. Further, the agency found that some restraints 
with impact shields, which, the agency stated, performed well in 
frontal crashes and which were rarely misused, could not pass the 
lateral test even when placed in the center seating position. The 
agency decided not to pursue lateral testing of child restraints given 
the cost of the design changes that would have been necessary to meet 
the lateral test, the problems with misuse of tethers, and the possible 
price sensitivity of child restraint sales. (43 FR 21470, 21474; May 
18, 1978.)
    In 2002, in response to the Transportation Recall Enhancement, 
Accountability and Documentation Act (``TREAD Act'') (Pub. L. 106-414, 
114 Stat. 1800), NHTSA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking 
(ANPRM) to request comments on the agency's work in developing a 
possible side impact protection requirement for CRSs (67 FR 21836, May 
1, 2002).
    Information indicated that child head injury was prevalent in side 
crashes. However, the agency was not able to confirm whether the 
majority of injuries and fatalities occur primarily due to direct head 
contact with the vehicle interior or other objects in the vehicle, or 
whether these injuries and fatalities are a result of non-contact, 
inertial loading on the head and neck structure. Due to these unknowns 
about head injury causation, the agency considered two side impact 
performance tests for child restraints. The tests were modeled after 
the simulated side impact test administered by the New South Wales, 
Australia, Roads and Traffic Authority (discussed in the next section). 
In one test, the CRS had to limit head excursion and HIC \42\ when 
oriented at 90 degrees to the direction of sled travel. In the second 
test developed by NHTSA, a rigid structure, representing the side of 
the vehicle's interior side structure, was positioned adjacent to the 
child restraint. Limits on HIC, chest acceleration, a neck injury 
criterion and chest deflection were considered.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ Head injury criterion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The ANPRM requested information on the following areas: (a) 
Determination of child injury mechanisms in side impacts, and crash 
characteristics associated with serious and fatal injuries to children 
in child restraints; (b) development of test procedures, a suitable 
test dummy and appropriate injury criteria; and (c) identification of 
cost beneficial countermeasures.
    The agency received approximately 17 comments on the ANPRM. 
Commenters supported enhancing child passenger protection in side 
impacts, but were concerned about the uncertainties with respect to the 
three areas highlighted above. A number of commenters believed that a 
dynamic test should account for some degree of vehicle intrusion into 
the occupant compartment.
    NHTSA withdrew the ANPRM after considering the comments on the 
ANPRM and other information. The agency found that for side crashes: 
(a) Data were not widely available as to how children are being injured 
and killed in side impacts (e.g., to what degree injuries were caused 
by intrusion of an impacting vehicle or other object); (b) there was 
not a consensus on an appropriate child test dummy and associated 
injury criteria for side impact testing; and, (c) potential 
countermeasures for side impact intrusion were not identified. NHTSA 
determined that an NPRM was not feasible given unknowns about side 
crashes involving children in CRSs and the time constraints of the 
TREAD Act.

IX. Side Impact Program Developments

    Notwithstanding the ANPRM's withdrawal, NHTSA continued research 
into improved side impact protection requirements for child restraints.
    As discussed in this section, the state of knowledge about side 
crashes and CRS-restrained children is considerably greater now than it 
was in 2002. Information about how restrained children are being 
injured and killed in side crashes has become increasingly available in 
recent years. In addition, the agency has continued to evaluate test 
parameters and potential methodologies to replicate a representative 
side impact scenario that could potentially be developed into a dynamic 
side impact test procedure.

[[Page 4580]]

a. Side Impact Environment for Children

    Sherwood \43\ analyzed fatalities of children under 5 years of age 
and found that even in survivable crashes there was intrusion into the 
interior space occupied by the child. Arbogast \44\ found intrusion to 
be an important causative factor for moderate/serious injury and 
suggested that side impact test procedures include intrusion into the 
occupant space. Howard \45\ found that struck side child passengers 
sustained severe head, torso and extremity injuries, many of them 
attributable to direct intrusion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ Sherwood, et al., 2003, supra.
    \44\ Arbogast, K.B., Chen, I., Durbin, D.R., and Winston, F.K., 
``Injury Risks for Children in Child Restraint Systems in Side 
Impact Crashes,'' International IRCOBI Conference on the 
Biomechanics of Impact, October 2004.
    \45\ Howard, A., Rothman, L., Moses McKeag, A., Pazmino-
Canizares, J., Monk, B., Comeau, J.L., Mills, D., Blazeski, S., 
Hale, I., and German, A., ``Children in Side-Impact Motor Vehicle 
Crashes: Seating Positions and Injury Mechanisms,'' The Journal of 
Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, Vol. 56, No. 6, pp. 
1276-1285, 2004.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sherwood also found that most side crashes had a longitudinal crash 
component and recommended that child restraints be designed to take 
into account both longitudinal and lateral components of the direction 
of force in a side crash. This finding accords with that found by NHTSA 
while developing FMVSS No. 214 (55 FR 45733), where data showed that 
during most side impact crashes, the struck vehicle is traveling 
forward while being struck on the side.
    Nagabhushana \46\ noted that vehicle crashes involving child 
occupants most often had a principal direction of force of 2 o'clock 
(60 degrees) or 10 o'clock (300 degrees). Nagabhushana also found that 
the average change in velocity in side crashes involving children 1 to 
3 YO (in crashes where the child was positioned near-side, on the 
struck side of the vehicle) was 23 km/h (14 mph). NHTSA examined NASS-
CDS data files for the years 1995-2009 for side impact crashes of light 
vehicles and found that 92 percent of near-side crashes to restrained 
children (0 to 12 YO) had a change in velocity of 30 km/h (19 mph) or 
lower. This change in velocity is approximately equal to that 
experienced by a light vehicle in a FMVSS No. 214 MDB side impact test. 
This 92 percent is of all near side crashes involving restrained 
children 0-12 years old. These near-side crashes were not only fatal 
crashes, but also included those where occupants were not injured or 
sustained non-fatal injuries.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ Nagabhushana, V., Morgan, R., Kan, C., Park, J., Kuznetsov, 
A., ``Impact Risk for 1-3 Year-Old Children on the Struck Side in a 
Lateral crash,'' DOT HS 810 699, April 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. Injury Mechanisms in Side Impact

    McCray (2007) \47\ analyzed the NASS-CDS and Crash Injury Research 
and Engineering Network (CIREN) data files for the years 1995-2005 to 
better understand injuries to children 1 to 3 YO in side impact 
crashes. The study found that children restrained in CRSs exhibited 
more head injuries (59 percent) than torso injuries (22 percent) and 
injuries to extremities (14 percent). Children in near-side crashes 
tended to suffer more severe injuries than those in far-side crashes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ McCray, et al., 2007, supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Arbogast (2004) \48\ queried the Partners for Child Passenger 
Safety Study (PCPS) data collected from December 1, 1998 to November 
30, 2002 and found that the risk of injury (AIS 2+: moderate or greater 
severity) for children restrained in CRSs in near-side impact crashes 
was significantly higher (8.9 injured children per 1,000 crashes) than 
those in far-side \49\ impact crashes (2.1 injured children per 1,000 
crashes) and those in frontal crashes (2.7 injured children per 1,000 
crashes).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ Arbogast, et al., 2004, supra.
    \49\ Far-side impacts are side impact crashes where the occupant 
is seated away from the struck-side of the vehicle (center seating 
position or opposite the struck-side of the vehicle).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA analyzed NASS-CDS average annual estimates (1995-2009) for 
AIS 2+ injuries to children 0 to 12 YO in rear seats. The most common 
AIS 2+ injuries among restrained children in near-side impacts were to 
the head and face (55 percent), torso (chest and abdomen--29 percent), 
upper and lower extremities (13 percent). The most common injury 
contacts for AIS 2+ injuries were the side interior (33 percent), the 
front seat back (11.12 percent) and the CRS (9 percent).\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ In comparison, data showed that the most common AIS 2+ 
injuries among children restrained in frontal impacts were to the 
head and face (42 percent), torso (chest and abdomen--27 percent), 
and upper and lower extremities (25 percent). The most common injury 
contacts for AIS 2+ injuries were the seat back support (50 percent) 
and the belt webbing or buckle (19 percent).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Arbogast (2010) \51\ examined two in-depth crash investigation 
databases (CIREN and the PCPS) for rear-seated CRS-restrained children 
in side impact crashes who sustained AIS 2+ injuries. Arbogast found 
that among the 41 cases examined, 28 children sustained head injuries 
and 9 sustained thoracic injuries (lung contusions without rib 
fractures). In general, head and thorax injuries were due to contact 
with the CRS structure or the door interior. For near- and center-
seated occupants, the head and face were the most common body regions 
of injury, followed by the thorax. For far-side occupants, there were 
fewer injuries and there was no clear pattern of body region.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ Arbogast, K.B., Locey, C.M., Zonfrillo, M.R., Maltese, 
M.R., ``Protection of Children Restrained in Child Safety Seats in 
Side Impact Crashes,'' Journal of Trauma, 2010, October, 69(4): 913-
23.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Global Dynamic Side Impact Tests

    Globally, several organizations have developed or continued work on 
side impact test procedures for child restraints.
     Australia and New Zealand's dynamic side impact test 
procedure (AS/NZS 1754 Revision 2004) specifies two different side 
impact tests. The first test simulates a far-side crash, in which a 
bench seat with a CRS attached to it is mounted on a sled at a 90 
degree orientation and is subjected to lateral acceleration 
representative of that in a side impact vehicle crash. The second test 
simulates a near-side crash, incorporating a bench seat mounted at 90 
degrees on the sled along with a fixed door mounted at the front of the 
sled adjacent to the bench seat. The sled is calibrated to undergo a 
velocity change of not less than 32 km/h (20 mph), with a deceleration 
of 14-20 g. P-series dummies developed by the Netherlands Organization 
for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) are used to test forward-facing 
seats and boosters, and the TNO P-series and the TARU Theresa dummy are 
used for infant rear-facing restraints. The AS/NZS 1754 regulation 
specifies that the child restraints shall not allow any head contact 
with any part of the test door. (The P-series ATDs are frontal impact 
test dummies. They were not specially designed for use in side impacts. 
The TARU Theresa dummy represents a 6-week-old infant and is an 
uninstrumented dummy with a weight of only 4 kg (9 lb).)
     Australia's consumer information program rates the 
performance of CRSs in side impacts through the ``Child Restraint 
Evaluation Program'' (CREP). The test procedure is similar to AS/NZS 
1754. CREP utilizes two side impact tests for its CRS rating system; 
one test is at a 90 degree impact and the other is at a 66 degree \52\ 
impact, both with a fixed door structure in place. The velocity of the 
sled is 32 km/h (20 mph) and its peak deceleration is 17 g. CREP rates 
the child restraint system in the side impact test based on child 
restraint durability and structural integrity, dummy retention in the 
CRS, and head excursion and contact with the wall.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ Previously this was a 45 degree impact.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 4581]]

     Germany's Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) 
adopted a consumer information rating program. The procedure uses a 
body-in-white of a VW Golf or Opel Astra. The body-in-white \53\ 
structure is mounted on a sled at an 80 degree angle. The vehicle door 
does not intrude into the passenger area; the door is welded shut and 
covered with foam creating a flat door. The sled is decelerated from an 
initial velocity of 25 km/h (16 mph) with an 18 g acceleration pulse. 
This test method is used to determine ADAC star ratings based on head 
containment, head acceleration, chest acceleration, neck moment and 
neck force of the Q series dummies and the P10 (P-series, 10 YO child 
dummy) for booster seats.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ Body-in-white refers to a stage of automobile manufacturing 
in which the car body sheet metal has been welded and assembled but 
before the motor and chassis assemblies have been added.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The International Standards Organization (ISO) and TNO 
have continued to work on developing a side impact test which uses a 
rotating hinged door to simulate door intrusion into the CRS.\54\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ Johannsen, H., et al., ``Review of the Development of the 
ISO Side Impact Test Procedure for Child Restraint Systems,'' 20th 
International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of 
Vehicles, Paper No. 07-0241, Lyon, France, 2007. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/esv/esv20/07-0241-W30.pdf. Last accessed May 
3, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle 
Regulations (WP.29) of the European Union (EU) approved Phase I (total 
of 3 phases) of a new regulation on child restraint systems in November 
2012, which includes a side impact test procedure.\55\ The test 
procedure is currently only intended for evaluating CRSs with rigid 
ISOFIX anchorages.\56\ The regulation's test procedure consists of a 
fixed flat door on a sled that intrudes into a CRS secured on a bench 
seat using the ISOFIX anchorages. The relative velocity between the 
door and the bench seat at time of impact is approximately 25 km/h (16 
mph). The impact is purely lateral with no longitudinal door velocity 
component. The ISOFIX anchorages on the test bench are allowed to slide 
along the seat up to 250 mm to avoid damage of the attachments and the 
test equipment. The CRSs are tested using the Q-series newborn, 1 YO, 
1\1/2\ YO, and 3 YO child dummies in accordance with manufacturers' 
recommended size of child for the CRS. Injury criteria include head 
containment (no contact of the head with the door panel), head 
acceleration, and a head injury criterion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2012/wp29/ECE-TRANS-WP29-2012-53e.pdf.
    \56\ The ISOFIX concept originated as a 4-point rigid system, 
where four sturdy braces are mounted on the bottom of a child 
restraint. Each brace has a latch at its end. Two of the latches 
connect, through holes at the vehicle seat bight, to a metal bar in 
the seat frame. The other two latches, at the bottom braces, connect 
to a bar below the vehicle seat cushion. Alternatives to the concept 
4-point ISO system have been developed, including a system that 
consists of the CRS having two rigid rear braces at the seat bight 
(rather than the 4 points of the original ISOFIX). Some ISOFIX 
concepts have included an upper tether, some have included a support 
leg (see next footnote, below). FMVSS No. 225's ``LATCH'' system 
grew out of the ISOFIX concept, as the lower bars of the LATCH 
system are similar to the seat frame bar at the seat bight in 
ISOFIX. LATCH requires the CRS to have components that attach to the 
vehicle's lower bars, but LATCH does not require the components to 
be rigidly attached to the CRS as on a brace. The components may be 
attached to the CRS by webbing material. Because of these 
differences, a test designed for ISOFIX systems is generally not 
appropriate for testing LATCH systems, and vice versa.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     European authorities are developing a new consumer 
program, ``New Programme for the Assessment of Child Restraint Systems 
(NPACS),'' \57\ to create a harmonized program for the evaluation of 
ISOFIX universal and ISOFIX semi-universal \58\ child restraints. This 
rating program would include a side impact test for CRSs and will 
utilize ATDs. Details of the test procedure are not available at this 
time, but it is the agency's understanding that, although the eventual 
test procedure may share some aspects with the recent ECE regulation, 
it will likely not be based on the same test method.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ NPACS is similar to NHTSA's (and the general European) New 
Car Assessment Program (NCAP), in that it is a voluntary consumer 
information program, rather than a binding regulation. The 
difference is that NPACS is being designed to test the CRS itself, 
while NCAP focuses on how the vehicle performs.
    \58\ ISOFIX universal CRS means forward-facing restraints for 
use in vehicles with positions equipped with ISOFIX anchorages and a 
top tether anchorage. ISOFIX semi-universal CRS means: (a) A 
forward-facing restraint equipped with a support leg; (b) a rearward 
facing restraint equipped with a support leg or a top tether strap 
for use in vehicles with positions equipped with an ISOFIX anchorage 
system and a top tether anchorage if needed; (c) a rearward facing 
restraint, supported by the vehicle dashboard, for use in the front 
passenger seat equipped with an ISOFIX anchorage system; or (d) a 
lateral facing position restraint equipped, if needed, with an anti-
rotation device for use in vehicles with positions equipped with an 
ISOFIX anchorage system and a top tether anchorage, if needed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Takata developed a sled test buck for testing child 
restraints in a side impact environment. The buck has two moving 
fixtures: The sled buck itself and the sliding ``vehicle'' seat on 
which the child restraint is attached. The sliding ``vehicle'' seat is 
mounted to a rail system, along with a ``side door'' structure rigidly 
mounted to the sled buck structure. The details of this test procedure 
are described more fully in section IX.

d. Side Impact Test Dummy

    The development of a specially-designed child side impact test 
dummy, the Q3s, has provided an important tool for evaluating CRSs in 
side impact. The Q3s is built on the platform of the standard Q3 dummy 
series (the Q-series are frontal ATDs used in Europe), but the Q3s has 
enhanced lateral biofidelity, durability and additional instrumentation 
for specialized use in side impact testing. The Q3s is more fully 
discussed in the 49 CFR Part 572 NPRM.

X. Developing NHTSA's Side Impact Test

    The state of knowledge and the practicability of measures that can 
be taken to improve side impact protection are now sufficient for NHTSA 
to propose a reasonable and realistic side impact test for 
incorporation into FMVSS No. 213.
    Based on the information that has become available since the 2002 
ANPRM, we tentatively conclude that a side impact is best replicated if 
the test procedure reflects and replicates dynamic elements of both the 
striking and struck vehicle in a vehicle-to-vehicle crash. We believe 
that a side impact test procedure should account for: (1) The struck 
vehicle door velocity prior to the interaction of the striking vehicle 
with the door sill of the struck vehicle, (2) the acceleration profile 
of the struck vehicle, and (3) the impact angle to replicate the 
longitudinal component of the direction of force. Specification of 
these parameters, based on actual vehicle crash characteristics, would 
enable the realistic simulation of the relative velocity between the 
intruding door and the CRS.
    Selection of these parameters is consistent with the findings from 
other researchers (see Side Impact Environment for Children, section 
IX, supra) that found the change in velocity, the level of door 
intrusion, and the impact angle to be significant factors of near-side 
impact crashes involving children. In addition, the test bench and door 
geometry and vehicle seat and door padding characteristics are 
important in a side impact test, to ensure these are representative of 
the vehicle rear seat environment.

a. Assessment of Existing Global Efforts

    In order to build on existing efforts, NHTSA reviewed the above 
procedures and regulations developed globally that dynamically test 
child restraints in the side impact environment. Except for the Takata 
test procedure, the procedures and regulations did not replicate all of

[[Page 4582]]

the dynamic elements of a side crash that we sought to include in the 
side impact test or were not sufficiently developed for further 
consideration.
    NHTSA considered AS/NZS 1754 for implementation into FMVSS No. 213 
but has not proposed it, mainly because the procedure does not simulate 
the intruding door, which we believe is an important component in the 
side impact environment. In addition, AS/NZS 1754 does not account for 
a longitudinal component, which we also believe to be an important 
characteristic of a side crash. (As noted above, NHTSA's 2002 ANPRM, 
supra, was based on AS/NZS 1754. Commenters to the ANPRM believed that 
a dynamic test should account for some degree of vehicle intrusion into 
the occupant compartment.) Australia's CREP test also was limited by 
its lack of an intruding door, which is a component that is important 
in the side impact environment.
    Germany's ADAC test procedure lacks an intruding door. Further, the 
vehicles represented by the body-in-white in Germany's ADAC test 
procedure are limited, and do not represent the range of vehicles in 
the U.S. fleet that we would like to have represented in our side 
impact test to safeguard child passengers in the U.S.
    While the ISO/TNO test procedure accounts for the deceleration and 
intrusion experienced by a car in a side impact crash, one of its 
limitations is that the angular velocity of the hinged door is 
difficult to control, which reportedly results in poor 
repeatability.\59\ In addition, this test procedure does not include a 
longitudinal velocity component to the intruding door, which is present 
in most side impacts and which, we believe, should be replicated in the 
FMVSS No. 213 test.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ Sandner, V., et al., ``New Programm for the Assessment of 
Child Restraint Systems (NPACS)--Development/Research/Results--First 
Step for Future Activities?,'' 21st International Conference on the 
Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Paper Number 09-0298, 2009. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/esv/esv21/09-0298.pdf. Last accessed on June 
11, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The EU's test procedure did not appear appropriate since the test 
is of lower severity than the FMVSS No. 214 MDB side impact crash test 
of a small passenger vehicle. Moreover, the test procedure is only 
intended for evaluating CRSs with rigid ISOFIX attachments, which are 
not available on CRSs in the U.S., and, due to the differences in to 
the two systems discussed above, a test designed for one type of system 
will not produce useful results for testing the other system. Further, 
the test procedure does not seem to produce a representative 
interaction between the door and CRS during a side impact. The NHTSA-
developed test procedure replicates a real-world T-bone type 
intersection collision, involving two moving vehicles, with door 
intrusion. In contrast, the European test with the sliding ISO 
anchorages is a purely lateral impact (stationary vehicle impacted 
laterally by another vehicle) and it does not correctly represent the 
door intrusion and door to child restraint interaction in real world 
side crashes, In addition, the sliding anchors in the European test 
allow for the child restraint to slide away from the impacting door, 
which also causes the European test be less reflective of a real-world 
crash than the test proposed in today's NPRM. The European test is 
likewise sensitive to the friction of the sliding anchorages, which may 
introduce variability in the test results.\60\ Finally, the European 
procedure uses the Q series dummies, which are frontal crash dummies. 
NHTSA evaluated the Q3 dummy and has tentatively concluded that the Q3 
dummy does not have adequate biofidelity in lateral impact, in contrast 
to the Q3s dummy we propose, which is designed for side impacts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ Hynd, et al., ``Analysis for the development of legislation 
on child occupant protection,'' TRL, July 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NPACS consumer program for side impact is still undergoing 
development and the details of the sled test procedure and dummies are 
not available.

b. Takata Test Procedure

    In 2007, the agency began evaluating the Takata sled test procedure 
for evaluating child restraints in side impact.\61\ The test procedure 
demonstrated versatility for tuning parameters to obtain the desired 
test environment. NHTSA could tune the parameters to simulate the two-
vehicle side crash replicated in the MDB test of FMVSS No. 214 
(striking vehicle traveling at 48 km/h (30 mph) impacting the struck 
vehicle traveling at 24 km/h (15 mph), which accounts for approximately 
92 percent of near-side crashes involving restrained children (0 to 12 
YO children in all restraint environments--seat belts and CRSs). The 
procedure includes an intruding door and can simulate the relative 
velocity between the CRS and the intruding door. It can also be easily 
modified to change the impact angle to introduce a longitudinal 
component present in the FMVSS No. 214 tests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ Takata made a presentation on its side impact test 
procedure during a February 8, 2007 NHTSA public meeting. The 
meeting concerned: Improving LATCH, CRS side impact safety, and 
LATCH education. See meeting notice, 72 FR 3103, January 24, 2007, 
Docket No. NHTSA-2007-26833. NHTSA also published two papers on the 
agency's research and testing on the Takata test procedure. See 
Sullivan 2009 and Sullivan 2011, infra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In its preliminary evaluation of the Takata test protocol, after 
making minor modification to the test parameters,\62\ NHTSA determined 
that the test procedure was repeatable and was able to provide results 
that distinguished between the performance of various CRS models based 
on the design of the side wings and stiffness of the CRS padding.\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ Sullivan, 2009, supra.
    \63\ Sullivan et al., ``NHTSA's Evaluation of a Potential Child 
Side Impact Test Procedures,'' 22nd International Conference on the 
Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Paper No. 2011-0227 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Takata procedure is based on an acceleration sled with a test 
buck consisting of a sliding ``vehicle'' seat mounted to a rail system, 
along with a ``side door'' structure rigidly mounted to the sled buck 
structure. The vehicle seat and side door are representative of today's 
passenger vehicles. Aluminum honeycomb is mounted below the side door 
structure. The sliding vehicle seat is positioned sufficiently away 
from the side door to allow the sled to reach a desired velocity prior 
to the sliding vehicle seat coming into contact with the side door and 
aluminum honeycomb. The purpose of the design is for the side door 
structure to impact the sliding ``vehicle'' seat at a specified speed, 
at which time the aluminum honeycomb begins to crush. The door contacts 
the CRS about the same time as the honeycomb contacts the sliding 
``vehicle'' seat. The honeycomb characteristics are selected such that 
the desired sliding seat acceleration is achieved. The procedure is 
illustrated in Figure 1 below.

[[Page 4583]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.000

    After considering the Takata test procedure, NHTSA selected the 
test method as a basis for developing a side impact test for evaluating 
CRS performance.

XI. The Proposed Test Procedure

    As shown above, the proposed test buck consists of a sliding 
``vehicle'' seat and ``side door'' rigidly mounted to the

[[Page 4584]]

acceleration sled buck structure. Aluminum honeycomb is mounted below 
the side door structure. The side door is made to reach a desired 
velocity prior to the aluminum honeycomb coming into contact with the 
sliding ``vehicle'' seat structure. The parameters of the test buck and 
the honeycomb could be tuned to simulate the MDB test of FMVSS No. 214.
    The agency examined data from FMVSS No. 214 MDB compliance tests to 
identify kinematic characteristics of the vehicle test that should be 
replicated in the sled test environment so that the latter is 
representative of the crash experience of a child restrained in a CRS 
in the rear seat. The following sled kinematic parameters were 
identified: (1) The acceleration profile of the sliding seat 
(representing the struck vehicle acceleration); (2) the door velocity 
at time of contact with the sliding seat (this represents the struck 
vehicle door velocity; and (3) the impact angle of the door with the 
sliding seat (to replicate the longitudinal component of the direction 
of force).
    NHTSA selected and analyzed several FMVSS No. 214 MDB tests of 
small passenger vehicles to determine the test parameters and test 
corridors representative of the target crash environment. The agency 
determined that a small passenger vehicle in an FMVSS No. 214 MDB crash 
test experiences a lateral change in velocity of about 30 km/h (18.6 
mph). This change in velocity is greater than 92 percent of near-side 
impact real-world crashes involving restrained children 0 to 12 YO in 
light vehicles, as estimated by NHTSA using the NASS-CDS datafiles. In 
order to ensure that the side impact test would be sufficiently 
stringent to account for the greater acceleration and intrusion 
experienced by smaller vehicles, the agency focused on the crash 
characteristics of small passenger vehicles in FMVSS No. 214 side MDB 
tests, as opposed to the average estimates from all vehicles.

a. Sled Kinematic Parameters

1. Sliding Seat Acceleration Profile (Representing the Struck Vehicle)
    To obtain a target acceleration pulse for the sliding seat that 
represents the motion of the struck vehicle, the right rear sill (the 
opposite side of impact) lateral (Y-axis) acceleration of ten small 
vehicles in FMVSS No. 214 tests were analyzed.\64\ The right rear sill 
accelerations were averaged to derive a typical struck vehicle 
acceleration corridor for small sized vehicles. Figure 2 shows the 
upper and lower boundaries of the rear sill accelerations in thick 
solid black lines while the dotted line represents the average of the 
accelerations. The solid thin black line in Figure 2 is a 
representative sliding seat acceleration pulse.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ Sullivan et al., 2009.
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.001
    
    To obtain the sliding seat velocity (representing the motion of the 
struck vehicle), the right rear sill lateral (Y-axis) accelerations of 
the ten small vehicles were integrated to calculate the velocity. The 
results showed a change in velocity of approximately 26 to 29 km/h (16 
to 18 mph).
2. Door Velocity
    The door velocity (which represents the struck vehicle door 
velocity), was obtained from the integration of door acceleration data 
from four of the ten previously selected FMVSS No. 214 compliance tests 
(only these four vehicles were tested with accelerometers installed on 
the door).\65\ The resulting lateral (Y-axis) peak velocities of the 
door during interaction with the test dummy ranged from 30 km/h (18.6 
mph) at the upper centerline to 32.0 km/h (20 mph) at the mid-
centerline. Thus, the target lateral door velocity selected for the 
test buck was 31 km/h (19.3 mph). Since the kinematics of the door 
prior to the interaction with the sliding seat do not affect the energy 
and impulse imparted to the sliding seat and child restraint system, 
the acceleration profile of the impacting door need not be specified as 
long as its velocity during the interaction with the sliding seat and 
child restraint system is maintained within specified velocity 
tolerances. The door velocity should be 31 km/h (19.3 mph) prior to the 
honeycomb contacting the sliding seat structure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ Id.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 4585]]

    The relative velocity profile of the intruding door with respect to 
the sliding seat from the time the door first contacts the sliding seat 
structure to the time the sliding seat and the door reach a common 
velocity was determined from sled simulations with a door impact 
velocity of the 31 km/h (19.3 mph) in the direction of the sliding seat 
motion and a sliding seat acceleration profile shown in Figure 2. 
Figure 3 shows the average (dotted line) and the upper and lower 
boundaries (solid lines) of the velocity profile for the door relative 
to the sliding seat in sled tests performed during the development of 
the test procedure. The upper and lower boundaries of the relative door 
velocity represent the maximum and minimum values of the cluster of 
relative door velocity profiles in these sled tests.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.002

    Today's NPRM only proposes an acceleration profile for the sliding 
seat and a door impact velocity but does not propose a relative door 
velocity profile so as not to over specify the test environment. 
However, a door velocity profile with respect to the sliding seat may 
be desirable to ensure reproducible interaction of the intruding door 
with the child restraint in different types of sled systems. We are 
requesting comments on the need for specifying a relative door velocity 
profile to improve reproducibility of the test procedure. Depending on 
whether we receive information sufficiently supporting such a velocity 
profile, we may include one in the final rule.
3. Sled Buck Angle (Replicating Longitudinal Component of the Direction 
of Force)
    The ten small vehicle FMVSS No. 214 tests were used to determine 
the impact angle of the sled buck. The right rear sill acceleration 
signals on both the longitudinal (X-axis) and lateral (Y-axis) 
directions were integrated to obtain the X and Y vehicle velocities. 
These velocities were used to calculate the angle of the resultant 
deceleration with respect to the lateral axis of the vehicle during the 
crash event.\66\ The time period of interest was determined to be 5 to 
60 ms, because this represents the typical time from initial motion of 
the struck vehicle through peak loading on the near-side occupant.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ Sullivan et al., 2009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A reference frame was used in which a pure left-to-right lateral 
impact was zero degrees and a pure frontal impact was 90 degrees. The 
mean angles over the time period of interest for the ten vehicles 
ranged from 4 to 15 degrees, while the angle at any specific time 
ranged from -8 to 22 degrees across the ten vehicles. From these 
ranges, the agency decided to perform tests within a range of 0 to 20 
degrees. These tests (at 0, 10, 15 and 20 degrees) were performed in an 
effort to evaluate the effect of the test buck's impact angle on dummy 
kinematics and injury responses. Based on the tests and on the average 
impact angle computed from the vehicle right rear sill velocities of 
MDB-to-vehicle crash tests, we selected a 10 degree impact angle as the 
most appropriate. NHTSA also conducted sled tests at different impact 
angles (0, 5, 10, and 20 degrees) using the Takata sled procedure to 
compare them to four MDB crash tests (discussed in a later section) 
performed using the Q3s dummy restrained in a CRS in the rear seat 
behind the driver. We found that a 10 degree impact angle on the sled 
test produced dummy responses closer to those measured by the ATD in 
the same CRS in the four MDB crash tests than the other impact 
angles.\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ Sullivan et al. (2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. Rear Seat Environment Parameters

    The proposed SISA consists of a sliding ``vehicle'' seat mounted to 
a rail system, along with a side door structure rigidly mounted to the 
sled buck

[[Page 4586]]

structure. To ensure that the sliding ``vehicle'' seat and side door 
would be representative of today's passenger vehicles, NHTSA conducted 
a vehicle survey to examine the geometry and contact characteristics of 
present day vehicle rear seats, to select the geometry and material 
characteristics that are necessary to replicate the physical 
environment of a typical rear seat in a side impact test. NHTSA 
identified the following rear seat features to replicate in the SISA: 
Rear seat geometry, rear seat cushion stiffness, and door shape (height 
of window, armrest thickness, door padding). More information about the 
vehicle survey can be found in a technical report that has been placed 
in the docket.
    NHTSA also performed a series of sled tests to undertake a 
sensitivity analysis to better understand the effect of the sled test 
parameters and sled system configuration on dummy responses. The 
parameters evaluated were the seat cushion stiffness, door padding 
stiffness, presence of armrest, and window sill height. Details of the 
findings of the sensitivity analysis are discussed in Sullivan (2011), 
supra, and are summarized in the discussion below and in the docketed 
technical report.
1. Rear Seat Cushion Stiffness
    In the vehicle survey, NHTSA measured the rear seat cushion 
stiffness of 13 vehicles, as well as the seat cushion stiffness of the 
seat cushions used in FMVSS No. 213, ECE R.44, and the NPACS 
programs.\68\ The 13 vehicles selected were a mix of different vehicle 
manufacturers and different vehicle types (passenger cars, sport 
utility vehicles, etc.). The NPACS cushion foam was evaluated even 
though the NPACS rating system is only in draft form, because European 
efforts to upgrade ECE R.44 are considering the use of NPACS foam for 
the seat cushion.\69\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \68\ Id.
    \69\ LeClaire, M., and Cheung, G., ``NPACS (New Programme for 
Assessment of Child restraint Systems, Phase 1 Final Report'' PPAD 
9/33/128, Prepared for the Department of Transport, U.K., March 
2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Measurements were taken at various locations on the rear seat 
cushion of vehicles in quasi-static compression tests using an 
indentation plate.\70\ The FMVSS No. 213 foam was found to be softer 
than all the vehicle seat foams surveyed. The NPACS and ECE R.44 foams 
were stiffer than the FMVSS No. 213 foam, and more representative of 
the vehicles selected in this study.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \70\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In NHTSA's sensitivity analysis (see docketed technical report), we 
conducted sled tests with the Q3s to determine the effect of the seat 
cushion stiffness on dummy readings and CRS performance. Three CRS 
models were evaluated (Evenflo Triumph Advance DLX, Maxi-Cosi Priori XP 
and Graco SafeSeat Step2/Cozy Cline). The FMVSS No. 213 foam (with 
vinyl cover) and the ECE R.44 foam (with cloth cover) were used in this 
series of tests.\71\ The results of the evaluation indicated that seat 
cushion foam stiffness had little effect on the dummy responses in 
these side impact tests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ Sullivan et al. (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the above, the agency is proposing that the seat cushion 
foam for the SISA have the stiffness of the ECE R.44 seat foam, given 
that the ECE R.44 foam is more representative of the current rear seats 
in the vehicle fleet than the FMVSS No. 213 cushion foam. The agency 
prefers the ECE R.44 foam over that of the NPACS foam because, although 
the two foams are similar in stiffness, the ECE R.44 foam is more 
readily available than the NPACS foam. Further, the NPACS procedure is 
still in draft form.
    The agency has initiated a research program to evaluate how the 
test parameters of the FMVSS No. 213 frontal sled test should be 
updated to reflect any significant real world developments. Within this 
program, the agency's plans include developing a test bench seat with 
seat cushion stiffness that has characteristics of seat cushions in 
recent vehicle models.\72\ The agency will consider, to the extent 
possible under the timeframes for the research and rulemaking programs, 
the merits of using this updated seat cushion foam in the side impact 
sled. In the meantime, the agency is currently proposing to use the ECE 
R.44 foam for the sliding bench seat in the side impact sled. While our 
current test data indicate that seat cushion foam stiffness has little 
effect on the dummy responses in this side impact test procedure, we 
request comment on the proposed seat cushion foam and seat cushion 
assembly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ See also MAP-21, Sec.  31501(b), ``Frontal Impact Test 
Parameters.'' Paragraph (1) states that, not later than 2 years 
after the date of enactment of MAP-21 (July 6, 2012), the Secretary 
shall commence a rulemaking proceeding to amend the standard seat 
assembly specifications under FMVSS No. 213 ``to better simulate a 
single representative motor vehicle rear seat.'' Paragraph (2) 
states that not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of 
MAP-21, the Secretary shall issue a final rule pursuant to paragraph 
(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Rear Seat Door Stiffness
    To determine the sled door padding characteristics, we impact-
tested eight vehicle doors using a Free Motion Head (FMH) (see the 
docketed technical report and Sullivan (2011)). The FMH impact tests 
consisted of a 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) child head form launched horizontally 
towards the door at 24 and 32 km/h (15 and 20 mph, respectively), which 
are the FMH impact test velocities used to test vehicle interiors in 
FMVSS No. 201, ``Occupant protection in interior impact'' (49 CFR 
571.201).
    The FMH was directed at different locations on the door where the 
head of the dummy was most likely to make contact. That is, the impact 
points were selected based on the center of gravity and top of the head 
locations of the Hybrid III (HIII) 3 YO child ATD, the HIII 6 YO child 
ATD, and the HIII 10 YO child ATD seated on the vehicle seat. The 
impact points were determined by tracking the location of head-to-door 
contact of these different sized ATDs when seated in the rear seat of a 
vehicle and leaned forward and laterally towards the door. Based on the 
results from the FMH tests of the eight vehicles, three foams 
(described as ``stiff,'' ``average'' and ``soft'' foams) spanning the 
range of vehicle door padding FMH impact characteristics were selected.
    In NHTSA's sensitivity analysis (see technical report), we 
conducted a series of sled tests with the Q3s to assess the effect of 
door padding stiffness on the performance of the two CRS models (Graco 
Safe Seat Step 2 and Maxi Cosi Priori XP). ``Soft'' (United Foam 
 2), ``average'' (Dow Ethafoam 220), and ``stiff'' (United 
Foam  4) foam were used in 51 mm (2 in) thick padding applied 
to the simulated door wall panel.\73\ Results showed that the door 
stiffness had little effect on dummy performance. The door stiffness 
had little effect on the Q3s dummy's HIC15 and chest 
deflection results, when restrained in the Graco SafeSeat Step 2 and 
Maxi-Cosi Priori XP seats, for the soft, average, and stiff door panel 
foams.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ Sullivan et al. (2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given the above information, the agency is proposing that the door 
of the SISA comprise of 51 mm (2 in) thick foam of ``average'' 
stiffness, so as to be representative of the average rear seat 
characteristics. In addition, the foam material with average stiffness 
(Dow Ethafoam 220) is of lower cost compared to the other foams, is 
relatively easy to obtain commercially, and is relatively fungible, in 
that other materials with similar physical properties could easily be 
used in its place.
3. Rear Seat Environment Geometry
    The agency surveyed 2010 model year passenger vehicles (passenger 
cars, SUVs, vans) to obtain dimensional

[[Page 4587]]

characteristics of rear seat attributes that could affect the 
performance of a CRS in the rear seat compartment.\74\ These attributes 
were: Seat back angle, seat pan angle, beltline height (from 
approximately the vehicle seat bight (i.e., the intersection of the 
seat cushion and the seat back)), height of the top of the armrest 
(from the seat bight), and armrest thickness (protrusion of the armrest 
from the door).\75\ The agency measured the seat and door geometry, 
position, and dimensions using a Seat Geometry Measuring Fixture 
(SGMF).\76\ The SGMF was positioned on the centerline of a rear seating 
position and measurements were made with respect to point A (center of 
the hinge) of the SGMF.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \74\ See Aram et al., ``Vehicle Rear Seat Study--Technical 
Report, NHTSA, 2013,'' which is in the docket for this NPRM.
    \75\ The original Takata sled buck did not include an armrest. 
We modified the sled buck to include an armrest.
    \76\ The SGMF was fabricated using two 2 x 4 wood blocks (600 mm 
x 88 mm x 38 mm) and a three inch hinge. Photographs of the SGMF are 
in the report by Aram et al. (2013), supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seat Back and Seat Pan Angle
    The seat back angle of the vehicles surveyed ranged from 9 to 28 
degrees. The average was 20 degrees with a standard deviation of 4 
degrees (see Sullivan et. al (2011) and technical report). The seat pan 
angle (the angle of the seat cushion to the horizontal) ranged from 7 
to 23 degrees. The average seat pan angle was 13 degrees with a 
standard deviation of 4 degrees.
    The original Takata buck had a seat back angle and a seat pan angle 
of 20 and 15 degrees, respectively. Both the seat back angle and the 
seat pan angle are well within the ranges found in NHTSA's vehicle 
survey, and are the same as the ECE R.44 bench seat. Therefore, these 
angles were adopted in the SISA.
Armrest Thickness
    The armrest thickness (protrusion of armrest in the door) for the 
25 vehicles surveyed ranged from 25 mm to 105 mm (1 in to 4.1 in). One 
vehicle was at or below 50 mm (2.1 in), 8 vehicles were between 51 mm 
and 70 mm (2.0 in and 2.75 in), 10 vehicles were between 71 mm and 80 
mm (2.75 in and 3.1 in), and 5 vehicles were above 81 mm (3.1 in). One 
vehicle had no armrest.
    The armrest thickness selected for the SISA sled system consists of 
a 64 mm (2.5 in) thick padding material attached to a 51 mm (2 in) 
thick door panel. The 64 mm (2.5 in) thickness of the armrest foam is 
within the range of armrest thickness from surveyed vehicles.
Beltline and Armrest Heights
    The beltline (window sill) and top of the armrest heights of the 24 
surveyed vehicles were measured using the SGMF with respect to point A 
(center of the hinge of the SGMF) (see Figure 4).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.003

    The survey showed that the beltline heights varied between 413 mm 
and 566 mm (16.2 in and 22.2 in) in height and the armrest heights 
varied between 122 mm and 349 mm (4.8 in and 13.7 in) with respect to 
point A. A 489 mm (19.2 in) beltline height and a 238 mm (9.3 in) 
armrest height were found to be about the median values of the 
vehicles' ranges. A 494 mm (19.4 in) beltline height and a 229 mm (9 
in) armrest height were found to be about the average values for the 
vehicles surveyed.
    In NHTSA's sensitivity analysis, we conducted sled tests of 
forward-facing and rear-facing CRS models and the Q3s dummy with the 
beltline height at 479 mm (18.8 in) and at 500 mm (19.6 in) to 
determine the effect of beltline height on dummy responses. Only 2 CRS 
models showed slightly lower HIC15 values with the raised 
windowsill. Of the 7 CRS models tested with both beltline heights, 
chest deflection decreased when the beltline height was raised from 479 
mm to 500 mm (18.8 to 19.6 in). Only one CRS model resulted in higher 
chest deflections when the windowsill was raised, and 2 CRSs had chest 
deflections that were almost unchanged.
    Tests with the CRABI dummy in rear-facing CRSs showed that the 
different beltline heights did not affect dummy responses. We believe 
this was due to the fact that most rear-facing CRSs designed for 
smaller children position

[[Page 4588]]

the head lower (mostly below the beltline) and therefore the increased 
height (at 500 mm or 19.6 in) did not affect the outcome.
    Only 6 vehicles (of the 24 surveyed) had a windowsill below the 479 
mm (18.8 in) and were considered less representative of the vehicle 
fleet. Our test results indicated that with the Q3s seated higher above 
the beltline, HIC15 values were lower than when the ATD's 
head was lower than the beltline. In order to ensure that the side 
impact test is sufficiently stringent to account for vehicle beltlines 
that are higher than the average value, we are proposing a beltline 
height of 500 mm (19.6 in) for the SISA. Although this value is 
slightly higher than the average beltline height, it is well within the 
range of beltline heights for the vehicles surveyed.
    The dimensions of the SISA door structure and armrest design and 
placement relative to the test platform are shown in Figure 5 below.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.004

Armrest Stiffness
    To have a door panel/armrest configuration in the SISA test buck 
with similar stiffness characteristics to those observed in the 
surveyed vehicles, we conducted FMH tests on various padding material 
combinations. Four of the 8 vehicles previously tested with the FMH to 
assess door panel force displacement characteristics also had impacts 
to the armrests to determine their armrest characteristics. The energy 
versus displacement curves of FMH impacts to the armrests indicated 
that the average armrest stiffness in the vehicles surveyed could be 
replicated on the SISA using 64 mm (2.5 in) of the foam we identified 
as ``stiff'' foam (United Foam 4) (see ``Rear Seat Door 
Stiffness'' section, supra) attached on top of 51 mm (2 in) of the 
``average'' foam padding the door structure. Id.
    In NHTSA's sensitivity analysis, we conducted sled tests with the 
Maxi Cosi Priori and the Graco Safe Seat 2 with the armrest/door 
configuration. The results of these tests were compared to those from 
door padding-only sled tests and from the actual vehicle tests. We 
found that the addition of the armrest tended to reduce the 
HIC15 values of the Q3s due to the early interaction of the 
ATD's pelvis resulting from the added armrest. Chest displacements also 
tended to be lower with the armrest present, although not as pronounced 
as for HIC15.
    NHTSA is proposing that the armrest/door configuration for the SISA 
consist of the 51 mm (2 in) ``average'' stiffness foam padding 
(Ethafoam 220) on the door and a 64 mm (2.5 in) ``stiff'' foam (United 
Foam 4) for the armrest. This configuration appears to be 
representative of the rear seat environment, and dummy responses with 
this armrest/door configuration were similar to those seen in vehicle 
crash tests (see Dynamic Validation of Sled Test section, infra).\77\ 
Further, the stiff United Foam 4 also has a thickness of 64 mm 
(2.5 in) which is within the range of armrest thicknesses from surveyed 
vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \77\ Sullivan et al. (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seating Position
    The SISA bench seat consists of a single seating position 
representing a rear outboard seating position for simulating a near-
side impact. The centerline of this outboard seating position is at a 
distance of 300 mm (11.8 in) measured laterally from the edge of the 
bench seat closest to the impacting door. NHTSA is proposing to install 
the child restraint centered on the SISA bench seating position. In 
addition, NHTSA is proposing that the front face of the armrest on the 
door be approximately 32 mm from the edge of the bench seat towards the 
child restraint system at the time the door assembly interacts with the 
SISA bench seat structure. Because of the prescribed position of the 
armrest (32 mm from the edge of the seat) and the CRS (centered 300 mm 
from the edge of the seat) at the time the door first interacts with 
the bench seat structure, the intruding door will contact CRSs that are 
wider earlier in the event than those that are narrower. This would 
result in higher door impact velocity to wide CRSs than to narrow CRSs. 
We believe this is representative of how different CRS designs will 
perform in a specific vehicle. However, we are requesting comment on 
whether the distance of the front face of the armrest from the edge of 
the seat at the time the sliding seat starts to accelerate should be 
kept constant or should be varied such that all CRSs, regardless of 
their width, contact the impacting door at the same time and with the 
same initial impact speed.
LATCH
    We propose that the SISA be equipped with LATCH anchorages that are 
symmetrically located on either side of the centerline of this 
simulated

[[Page 4589]]

``outboard seating position'' of the SISA bench seat. The location of 
the top tether anchorage would be on the lower rear frame of the seat 
(similar to the typical location of a tether anchorage in captain's 
seats in minivans). The LATCH anchorages are shown in the drawings that 
have been placed in the docket for today's NPRM.
    FMVSS No. 213 currently requires CRSs to be capable of being 
secured to a vehicle seat with the LATCH system,\78\ and to meet the 
frontal crash requirements of the standard when using the LATCH system. 
Today's NPRM proposes that CRSs covered in this proposal, other than 
belt-positioning seats, must meet the side impact performance 
requirements when attached to the SISA with the lower LATCH 
attachments. We propose to test belt-positioning seats to the side 
impact protection requirements with Type II (lap and shoulder) belts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \78\ See S5.9, FMVSS No. 213. Excluded from this requirement are 
car beds, child harnesses, and belt-positioning seats.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We propose that the child restraint's top tether be attached during 
the side impact test when testing forward-facing CRSs that provide a 
tether. We are requesting comment on whether the standard should also 
require testing without the top tether attached for these forward-
facing CRSs.
    Comments are also requested on whether the standard should require 
CRSs to meet the proposed side impact requirements when attached to the 
SISA with a belt system, and on whether the belt system should be a 
Type I (lap) or a Type II (lap and shoulder) belt system.\79\ The 
original Takata sled had a Type II belt system; NHTSA modified the test 
bench seat to incorporate child restraint anchorages and also modified 
the location of the Type II belt anchorages based on NHTSA's survey of 
vehicle rear seat geometry.\80\ Preliminary tests conducted with CRSs 
attached to the sliding seat using the Type II belt system showed 
similar performance metrics to that obtained when the CRSs were 
attached using the child restraint anchorage system, suggesting that 
the method of CRS attachment has minimal effect on performance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \79\ FMVSS No. 213 currently does not use a Type II belt system. 
The agency tests CRSs for compliance with the frontal crash 
protection requirements using LATCH and a Type I (lap) belt system. 
NHTSA is researching the merits of changing the belt system on the 
standard seat assembly to Type II belts.
    \80\ Aram, et al., ``Vehicle Rear Seat Study--Technical Report, 
NHTSA, 2013,'' supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Dynamic Validation of the Sled Test

    To determine if the sled test with the selected parameters 
satisfactorily simulates a small passenger vehicle side impact crash 
test, NHTSA conducted four FMVSS No. 214 MDB tests of a 2008 Nissan 
Sentra and 2008 Nissan Versa using the Q3s dummy and two CRS models 
(see Table 10). For the first test of the Sentra (Test 6634), 
the impact location was that specified in FMVSS No. 214. (In an FMVSS 
No. 214 MDB test, the MDB is positioned such that in a left side 
impact, the MDB's left forward edge (corner) impacts the struck vehicle 
940 mm (37 inches) forward of the mid-point of the wheelbase.) In the 
remaining three tests, the impact location was moved 229 mm (9 in) 
rearward so that the MDB engaged most of the rear door instead of the 
front door, to provide for more direct contact of the MDB with the CRS. 
The side curtain air bags were disabled from the vehicle tests to allow 
for a direct comparison to the sled. (Sullivan (2009).)

                                          Table 10--Vehicle Test Setups
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Test No.              Vehicle model      Model class     Impact location        CRS           Dummy
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6634.........................  Sentra..........  Light PV........  214.............  Graco Safe Seat  Q3s.
                                                                                      Step 2.
6635.........................  Sentra..........  Light PV........  214-229mm to      Graco Safe Seat  Q3s.
                                                                    rear.             Step 2.
6636.........................  Versa...........  Compact PV......  214-229mm to      Graco Safe Seat  Q3s.
                                                                    rear.             Step 2.
6637.........................  Versa...........  Compact PV......  214-229mm to      Maxi-Cosi        Q3s.
                                                                    rear.             Priori.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 11 shows data from the vehicle tests. The technical report 
docketed with this NPRM presents a detailed analysis of these data. The 
sled type side impact test with a 10 degree angle, an armrest and a 
beltline height of 479 mm (18.8 in) \81\ provided good representation 
of the vehicle, dummy, and CRS kinematics observed in the vehicle 
tests. In both sled and vehicle tests, the intruding door and armrest 
first engages the lower part of the CRS, causing the bottom of the CRS 
to move away from the door. This results in the top of the CRS tilting 
towards the door and contacting it. The child dummy is first engaged by 
the CRS through the pelvis, followed by the torso and lastly the head. 
The dummy's head rotates forward when it contacts the side wing of the 
CRS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \81\ The agency did not perform a sled test with a window sill 
height of 500 mm (19.6 in) with the Graco Safe Seat Step 2 or the 
Maxi Cosi Priori CRS models (tested in the vehicle crash tests), 
therefore, no dynamic comparison analysis was done. Based on the 
sensitivity analysis results with the two different window sill 
heights, the agency expects the magnitude of the head acceleration 
to be slightly higher but the timing and profile of the head and 
pelvis accelerations should be very similar to the tests with a 
window sill height of 479 mm (18.8 in).

                                            Table 11--Vehicle and Sled Tests With the Graco Safe Seat Step 2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               Chest                          Spine Y        Pelvic Y
                Test No.                     Vehicle model/sled test           HIC15       displacement    Neck tension    acceleration    acceleration
                                                                                               (mm)        newtons  (N)         (g)             (g)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6634...................................  Sentra.........................             521              17            1054              89              71
6635...................................  Sentra.........................             518              12            1244              85              79
6636...................................  Versa..........................             414              14            1235              91             106
6904...................................  Sled Test (10 degrees, Armrest              634              25             944              91              83
                                          and 479 mm beltline).
6905...................................  Sled Test (10 degrees, Armrest              594              25             999              93              75
                                          and 479 mm beltline).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 4590]]

    The Q3s dummy responses in the modified Takata sled tests were 
compared to the three vehicle side impact crash tests. Peak pelvic and 
spine accelerations were similar but the magnitude of HIC15 
and chest displacement in the sled tests were slightly higher than 
those in the vehicle tests. The differences in magnitude can be 
attributed to the differences in vehicle rear seat geometry and to that 
of the sled seat. The geometry of the sled seat was based on average 
characteristics of the vehicle fleet, and not based on the Nissan 
Sentra. In addition, differences in the arm position of the dummy in 
the vehicle and sled tests may have contributed to the higher chest 
deflection in the sled tests. The effect of the arm position on chest 
deflection is discussed in more detail in a later section of this 
preamble.

XII. Proposed Dynamic Performance

    A 3 YO child test dummy and a 12 MO infant dummy have been 
tentatively selected for testing CRSs under the proposed side impact 
requirements.

a. Q3s Test Dummy

    The agency has selected the Q3s dummy, representing a 3 YO child, 
for testing CRSs designed for children in a weight range that includes 
children weighing from 10 kg to 18 kg (22 lb to 40 lb). The 18 kg (40 
lb) weight cut off would be identical to that of the frontal collision 
requirements of FMVSS No. 213 (see S7). For the frontal crash 
requirements, a Hybrid III 3 YO child ATD is used to test CRSs 
recommended for children weighing from 10 kg to 18 kg (22 lb to 40 lb). 
The agency tentatively concludes that the Q3s, weighing 14.5 kg (32 
lb), would suitably represent children in the 10 kg to 18 kg (22 lb to 
40 lb) range for side impact testing. The anthropometry of the Q3 (and 
the side impact adaptation Q3s) is based on the Child Anthropometry 
Database (CANDAT) for a 3 YO child compiled by the Netherlands 
Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). CANDAT includes 
various characteristic dimensions and weights of children of different 
ages obtained from different regions in the world including United 
States, Europe, and Japan.
    The Q3s dummy is a three-year-old child crash test dummy built on 
the platform of the standard Q3 dummy series with enhanced lateral 
biofidelity, durability and additional instrumentation for side impact 
testing. The Q3s dummy features a new head and a neck that has 
biofidelic lateral, and frontal performance. The ATD also has a 
deformable shoulder with shoulder deflection measurement capabilities, 
a new arm with improved flesh characteristics, a laterally compliant 
chest and a pelvis with improved upper leg flesh, floating hip cups, 
and a pubic load transducer.\82\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ Carlson, M., Burleigh, M., Barnes, A., Waagmeester, K., van 
Ratingen, M. ``Q3s 3 Year Old Side Impact Dummy Development,'' 20th 
International Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Paper 
No. 07-0205, 2007. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/esv/esv20/07-0205-O.pdf. Last accessed on June 11, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency began evaluating the Q3s in 2002. The evaluation has 
demonstrated good biofidelity, repeatability, reproducibility, and 
durability. We have tentatively selected the Q3s dummy for this NPRM 
because it is commercially available, and has shown to be durable and 
biofidelic for the intended application in the proposed FMVSS No. 213 
side impact tests. Further discussion of the Q3s can be found in the 
NPRM proposing incorporation of the Q3s test dummy into 49 CFR Part 
572, ``Anthropomorphic test devices,'' previously published.
    The Q3s dummy accepts different types of instrumentation, including 
accelerometers and load cells among others. The instrumentation we 
propose using with the ATD are three uni-axial accelerometers at the 
head center of gravity (C.G.) and an InfraRed Telescoping Rod for 
Assessment of Chest Compression (IR-TRACC) in the thorax for measuring 
lateral chest deflection. The IR-TRACC is a deformation measurement 
tool that consists of an infrared LED emitter and an infrared 
phototransistor detector. The emitter and detector are enclosed at each 
end of a telescoping tube. The chest deformation is determined from the 
irradiance measured by the detector, which is inversely proportional to 
the distance of the detector from the emitter. The IR-TRACC is standard 
instrumentation in the Q3s dummy.
    The enhanced biofidelity and instrumentation capabilities of the 
Q3s make it our preferred option for use in FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA has 
considered an alternative 3 YO child ATD, based on the Hybrid III 
design, for use in this NPRM. Our reasons for preferring the Q3s are 
discussed in the 49 CFR Part 572 NPRM.\83\ We request comments on the 
alternative of using the Hybrid III-based 3 YO ATD instead of the Q3s.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \83\ NHTSA found that the two dummies' heads and necks provided 
nearly equivalent biofidelity; however, in all other biofidelity 
test conditions--shoulder, thorax and pelvis--the Q3s exhibited 
significant advantages relative to the alternative HIII 3-YO design.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Injury Criteria for Use With the Q3s
    The agency analyzed NASS-CDS data average annual estimates (1995-
2009) for AIS 2+ injuries to children 0 to 12 YO in rear seats. Data 
showed that the most common AIS 2+ injuries among children restrained 
in side impacts were to the head and face (55 percent), torso (chest 
and abdomen--29 percent), and upper and lower extremities (13 percent). 
Given the high frequency of head and thoracic injuries to children 
involved in side crashes reported in these data and in multiple 
studies,\84\ the injury criteria proposed in this NPRM focus on the 
child occupant's head and thorax.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ See Craig, M., ``Q3s Injury Criteria,'' which is in the 
docket for this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency is proposing to address the potential for head injuries 
by setting a maximum on the HIC value measured by the Q3s in the side 
impact test. HIC is used in FMVSS No. 213 and in all other 
crashworthiness FMVSSs that protect against adult and child head 
injury. However, while the current FMVSS No. 213 frontal impact 
requirement specifies an injury assessment reference value (IARV) of 
1,000 measured in a 36 ms timeframe (36 ms for integrating head 
acceleration) (HIC36 = 1,000), we are proposing a HIC limit 
of 570 measured in a 15 ms timeframe (15 ms duration for integrating 
head resultant acceleration) (HIC15 = 570) when using the 
Q3s dummy in the side impact sled test. FMVSS No. 208, ``Occupant crash 
protection,'' uses HIC15 = 570 for the Hybrid III 3 YO 
dummy.\85\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ In developing this NPRM, NHTSA has considered alternative 
HIC15 requirements of 400 and 800. The PRIA provides an 
assessment of benefits and costs of the HIC15 = 400 and 
800 alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We recognize that FMVSS No. 213's frontal impact performance 
requirement specifies a HIC36 IARV of 1,000 when using the 
CRABI and the Hybrid III 3 and 6 YO dummies in the standard's frontal 
impact test.\86\ We also recognize that in a 2003 rulemaking responding 
to the TREAD Act, NHTSA considered adopting the FMVSS No. 208 scaled 
IARVs in FMVSS No. 213 but decided against doing so (68 FR 37620, 
37649; June 24, 2003). CRSs were already providing high levels of crash 
performance in the field, yet frontal sled test data indicated that 
CRSs would not

[[Page 4591]]

meet the FMVSS No. 208 scaled IARV limits. It was not known what 
modifications to CRSs were necessary for the restraints to meet the 
FMVSS No. 208 limits in the frontal configuration. In addition to 
questions about the practicability of modifying CRSs to meet the 
proposed IARVs and the safety need for such modifications, the agency 
decided that the cost increases resulting from the redesign--and the 
possible negative effect the cost increases could have on consumers' 
use of CRSs--were not justified. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \86\ The agency did not adopt the use of HIC as an injury 
measure for the Hybrid III 10-YO child dummy (HIII-10C) dummy in 
FMVSS No. 213 tests because CRSs tested with the HIII-10C dummy can 
produce high HIC values as a result of hard chin-to-chest contact, 
indicating an unacceptable risk of head injury, even though head 
injuries due to chin-to-chest contact are not occurring in the real 
world. (76 FR 11626; February 27, 2012.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We tentatively conclude that today's proposed side impact test 
differs from FMVSS No. 213's frontal impact test such that the FMVSS 
No. 208 scaled IARV of HIC15 = 570 is reasonable for today's 
proposal. FMVSS No. 213's frontal impact test evaluates the performance 
of CRSs on a frontal impact sled buck that does not have a structure 
(representing a front seat) forward of the tested CRS on the bench 
seat. In contrast, in today's proposed side impact test, the test 
environment is set up so that ATD head contact with the CRS and the 
door is probable. Injurious contacts (such as head-to-door contacts) 
are of short duration (less than 15 ms) in this set-up and more 
appropriately addressed by HIC15 (15 millisecond duration 
for integrating head resultant acceleration) than HIC36. For 
head impact accelerations with duration less than 15 ms, the computed 
value of HIC15 and HIC36 are generally 
equivalent. However, since the injury threshold level for 
HIC15 is 570 while that for HIC36 is 1,000, 
HIC15 is a more stringent requirement than HIC36 
for short duration impacts and is better able to discern injurious 
impact events. On the other hand, for long duration accelerations 
without a pronounced peak such as those when the head does not contact 
any hard surfaces such as in the frontal FMVSS No. 213 test, the 
computed HIC15 value may be lower than the HIC36 
value and the HIC36 computation may be a better 
representation of the overall head acceleration.
    With regard to chest protection, the agency proposes a chest 
displacement IARV for the Q3s of 23 mm to evaluate CRS performance in a 
side environment. Mertz (2003) \87\ presented lateral thoracic injury 
risk IARVs for deflection purely based on length-based scaling from 
adult cadaver/dummy response. Mertz suggested a limit of 23 mm for 3 YO 
lateral rib deflection. This was derived only through length-based 
scaling from the adult and represented roughly a 30 percent probability 
of AIS 3+ injury. This compared very well with length-based scaling of 
chest deflection data from 42 adult post-mortem human subject (PMHS) 
tests completed by the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and published 
by Kuppa (2003).\88\ This length-based scaling analysis of the MCW data 
is detailed in a technical report docketed along with this NPRM.\89\ 
The results of that analysis found that a displacement of 23 mm 
represented a 33 percent risk of AIS 3+ injury. While Mertz and Craig 
used different and independent data sets, the rib deflection threshold 
at 30 percent risk of injury for the 3 YO child were similar and equal 
to 23 mm. Therefore, the agency proposes a chest displacement IARV of 
23 mm to evaluate CRS performance with the Q3s.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \87\ Mertz et al., ``Biomechanical and Scaling Bases for Frontal 
and Side Impact Injury Assessment Reference Values,'' 47th Stapp Car 
Crash Conference, 2003-22-0009, October 2003.
    \88\ Kuppa et al., ``Development of Side Impact Thoracic Injury 
Criteria and Their Application to the Modified ES-2 Dummy with Rib 
Extensions (ES-2re),'' 47th Stapp Car Crash Conference, October 
2003.
    \89\ Craig, M., ``Q3s Injury Criteria,'' supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA tentatively believes that there is not a need for a 
performance criterion that would prohibit head contact with the 
intruding door.\90\ NHTSA's video analysis showed that 13 out of 19 
forward-facing CRS models had head-to-door contact during the test. 
However, further analysis of the head acceleration time histories 
showed that the peak acceleration occurred before the head contacted 
the door. Six of the 13 models that had head-to-door contact had 
HIC15 values exceeding 570; these peak HIC15 
values occurred prior to head contact with the door. This suggested 
that the peak head acceleration was the result of a previous impact, 
most likely the head contacting the side of the CRS at the time the CRS 
contacted the intruding door. (Four of the ``convertible'' CRS models 
tested in the forward-facing mode, were also tested in the rear-facing 
mode using the Q3s dummy; the results showed there was no head-to-door 
contact during these tests.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \90\ Such a performance criterion for CRSs is currently being 
used in the Australian standard AS/NZS 1754, and the Australian CREP 
consumer information program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given that the head acceleration values computed during the time of 
head-to-door contact were lower than the peak head acceleration, we 
believe that the risk of head injury from head-to-door contacts for the 
13 CRSs was much lower than the risk from the peak acceleration. For 
the above reasons, the agency has tentatively decided not to use a 
performance criterion based on head contact in tests with the Q3s dummy 
because HIC15 appears better able to discern between 
``soft'' non-injurious contacts and ``hard'' injurious contacts, and 
thus would be a better predictor of head injury in the side impact 
test.

b. CRABI Dummy

    The agency has tentatively selected the CRABI dummy (49 CFR Part 
572, Subpart R) for testing CRSs designed to seat children in a weight 
range that includes weights up to 10 kg (22 lb). The 10 kg (22 lb) 
weight cut off would be identical to that of the frontal collision 
requirement of FMVSS No. 213 (see S7 of FMVSS No. 213), which specifies 
use of the CRABI to test CRSs recommended for children weighing from 5 
kg to 10 kg (11 lb to 22 lb).
    The CRABI was developed through the efforts of the Society of 
Automotive Engineers (SAE) Child Restraint Air Bag Interaction Task 
Force. The ATD is used in FMVSS No. 208 to test advanced air bag 
systems and in FMVSS No. 213.\91\ The CRABI dummy is a frontal crash 
test dummy and is instrumented with head, neck and chest 
accelerometers. The CRABI represents a 12 MO infant. There is no infant 
test dummy available that is specially designed for side impact 
testing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ When the CRABI is used in the FMVSS No. 213 frontal impact 
test, CRSs must limit HIC36 to 1,000, chest g to 60 g, 
limit head excursion of the dummy, limit inclination of the 
restraint, have no injurious surfaces contactable by the ATD's head 
or torso, and maintain the CRS's structural integrity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While the CRABI dummy is not a side impact dummy, the agency 
believes that it could be a useful tool to evaluate some aspects of CRS 
performance in side impacts. Children under 1 YO have the highest 
restraint use, so we believe that it is important for safety and for 
MAP-21 to evaluate the performance of the CRSs they use, even if the 
evaluation is limited to containment, structural integrity, and other 
related matters.
Performance Criteria for Use With the CRABI
    NHTSA is proposing that the CRABI be used to measure head-to-door 
contact only, and not HIC15 or chest acceleration. We have 
concerns about the real world relevance of the HIC values measured 
during developmental side impact testing using the CRABI dummy. In 12 
side tests performed with rear-facing CRSs using the CRABI dummy, 
nearly all of the CRSs exceeded the HIC15 injury threshold 
value of 390 (used in FMVSS No. 208). See Figure 6, below. Four 
``convertible'' CRS models tested in rear-facing mode were also tested 
in forward-facing mode using the

[[Page 4592]]

CRABI dummy and in these tests, 2 of the 4 CRSs exceeded the 390 
HIC15 injury threshold. Tests with the CRABI showed a high 
rate of HIC15 failure, yet field experience of rear-facing 
seats indicate that the CRSs are very safe in side impacts and provide 
5 times more protection against serious injury than forward-facing 
seats in side impacts.\92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \92\ Sherwood et al. (2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We hypothesize that a reason for the results using HIC15 
as a performance criterion is that the CRABI dummy's shoulder and neck 
are not designed for lateral loading and this may influence head 
kinematics prior to contact with the CRS/door. Additionally, the CRABI 
head does not meet lateral biofidelity standards. Therefore, both the 
severity of the resulting head contacts and the response of the head to 
those contacts may not be representative of the real world.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.005

    On the other hand, we tentatively believe that the CRABI dummy 
would be suitable and should be used for assessing safety risks related 
to a CRS's ability to limit head-to-door contact in side crashes. 
Because the 0 to 12 MO age group has the highest restraint use of any 
age group, we seek to evaluate the performance of CRSs for this age 
group in side crashes even if such evaluation is limited to assessing 
head-to-door contact. Although the CRABI dummy may not be appropriate 
for use in measuring the potential for head injuries using 
HIC15, the agency tentatively believes that the CRABI dummy 
could provide some other useful information evaluating child restraints 
for small children. That is, the CRABI could provide a worst-case 
assessment of injury risk in a side impact in terms of head-to-door 
contact. If the CRS were unable to prevent the ATD's head from 
contacting the door in the test, we believe such an outcome would be a 
reasonable indication of an unacceptable risk of head contact of 
children represented by the CRABI. Accordingly, NHTSA proposes head-to-
door contact as a pass-fail criterion for assessing CRSs tested with 
the CRABI. We believe that this criterion will lead to improved side 
coverage. In our study, video analysis showed that 1 (Combi Shuttle) 
out of 12 rear-facing CRS models tested with the CRABI dummy had head-
to-door contact during the test.
    In addition, we tentatively believe that the CRABI dummy would be 
suitable and should be used for assessing a CRS's ability to maintain 
its structural integrity in side crashes when restraining 1 YO 
children. (Structural integrity requirements are discussed below.) We 
seek comment on the use of the CRABI dummy, and on the use of the 
proposed head-to-door contact pass-fail criterion.

c. Energy Absorption and Distribution

    In the simulated side impact test, the CRS would be required to 
maintain system integrity when tested with the Q3s and with the CRABI. 
When a CRS is dynamically tested with the appropriate ATD, there could 
not be any complete separation of any load-bearing structural element 
of the CRS or any partial separation exposing surfaces with sharp edges 
that may contact an occupant. These requirements would reduce the 
likelihood that a child using the CRS would be injured by the collapse 
or disintegration of the system in a side crash or by contact with the 
interior of the passenger compartment or with components of the CRS.
    Injury from contacting protrusions, such as the pointed ends of 
screws mounted in padding, would be prevented in a similar manner as 
that specified for the frontal crash test in FMVSS No. 213. The height 
of such

[[Page 4593]]

protrusions would be limited to not more than 9.5 mm (0.375 in) above 
any immediately adjacent surface. Also, contactable surfaces (surfaces 
contacted by the head or torso of the ATD) would not be permitted to 
have an edge with a radius of less than 6.35 mm (0.25 in), even under 
padding. Padding will compress in an impact and the load imposed on the 
child would be concentrated and potentially injurious.

XIII. Fleet Testing

a. Q3s Dummy

    NHTSA tested 12 forward-facing and 5 rear-facing CRSs to estimate 
the performance of the fleet with the Q3s in the proposed test 
procedure.\93\ Details of the test series are discussed in the 
technical report.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \93\ CRS models tested were a representative sample of seats 
available in the market.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Applying the proposed injury criteria specified for the Q3s dummy 
(HIC15 <=570, chest deflection <=23 mm), the results of the 
fleet tests showed that the Q3s measured HIC15 greater than 
570 in 7 of the 12 forward-facing CRSs tested. The Q3s measured chest 
deflection greater than 23 mm (0.91 in) in 3 of the 12 forward-facing 
CRSs tested. The ATD measured both HIC15 greater than 570 
and chest deflection greater than 23 mm in 3 of the tests of the 
forward-facing CRSs.
    For the 5 rear-facing CRSs tested, the results of the fleet tests 
showed that the Q3s measured HIC15 greater than 570 in 3 of 
the 5 rear-facing CRSs tested, and chest deflection greater than 23 mm 
(0.91 in) in 2 of the 5 tests. The ATD measured both HIC15 
greater than 570 and chest deflection greater than 23 mm (0.91 in) in 1 
of the 5 rear-facing CRSs tested. The test results are shown in Figure 
7.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.006

    As to positioning the Q3s, we note that further analysis of the 
data showed that the chest displacements of the Q3s, tested in the same 
CRS model, were higher when the dummy's arm was positioned in line with 
the thorax, than when the arm was rotated upward exposing the thorax to 
direct contact with the intruding door. The agency is proposing an arm 
position at 25 degrees with respect to the thorax. The Q3s dummy's 
shoulder contains a detent to aid in positioning the arm at 25 degrees 
with respect to the thorax. We are requesting comment on the arm 
position.
    When testing with the Q3s dummy in a rear-facing CRS, the legs of 
the dummy were extended upwards and rotated down until they were in 
contact with the SISA seat back. We are also requesting comment on the 
position of the Q3s dummy legs when testing rear-facing CRSs with this 
dummy.

b. CRABI Dummy

    NHTSA tested 12 rear-facing CRSs to estimate the performance of the 
fleet with the CRABI. All tests were performed with the SISA mounted on 
a dynamic test platform so that the seat orientation reference line 
(SORL) of the seat was 10 degrees from the perpendicular direction of 
the test platform travel. CRSs were attached to the seat bench using 
LATCH. A 64 mm (2.5 in) thick armrest of ``stiff'' foam was added to 
the 50 mm (2 in) door panel foam. Twelve tests were performed with a 
window sill height at 479 mm (18.8 in). The test procedure proposed in 
today's NPRM was used for this fleet test except for the use of the 
NPACS foam instead of the ECE R.44 foam and a window sill height of 479 
mm (18.8 in) instead of a 500 mm (19.6 in) window sill height. The 
NPACS foam was used on these series of tests, as previous testing 
appeared to show that cushion stiffness did not have a significant 
influence in the readings of the ATDs.
    Three additional tests were performed with the beltline at 500 mm 
(19.6 in).\94\

[[Page 4594]]

Tests showed that the increase in window sill height did not 
significantly affect the performance of the rear-facing CRS using the 
CRABI. Models of CRSs for younger children generally positioned the 
head below a window sill height of 479 mm (18.8 in), so the CRSs will 
continue to be below the window sill when the window sill is at a 
height of 500 mm (19.6 in).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \94\ The seat cushion consisted of ECE R.44 foam.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Using head-to-door contact as the performance criterion in the 
fleet tests, the results showed that the CRABI had head contact only 
with the Combi Shuttle model (1 out of 12 models). The Combi Shuttle 
model was retested and results were found to be repeatable. The test 
results are summarized in Table 12.

                  Table 12--Fleet Tests Results--CRABI
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              CRABI                Window sill @ 500   Window sill @ 479
---------------------------------    mm (19.6 in)        mm (18.8 in)
                                 ---------------------------------------
           Rear-facing                  Contact             Contact
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Combi Shuttle...................  * Contact.........  Contact.
Combi Shuttle...................  * Contact.........
Britax Advocate.................  No contact........  No contact.
Combi Zeus 360..................  ..................  No contact.
Safety 1st Air Protect..........  ..................  No contact.
Graco My Ride...................  ..................  No contact.
Evenflo Discovery 5.............  ..................  No contact.
Chicco Key Fit 30...............  ..................  No contact.
Safety 1st Designer.............  ..................  No contact.
Britax Chaperone................  ..................  No contact.
Maxi Cosi Mico..................  ..................  No contact.
Safety 1st OnBoard..............  ..................  No contact.
Peg Pereggo.....................  ..................  No contact.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Repeat tests to evaluate containment.

XIV. Countermeasure Assessment

    The tests NHTSA performed during the development of the test 
procedure showed that some design characteristics such as side coverage 
(through head inserts or side structure/wings) can influence the values 
measured by the test dummy. As previously discussed, we examined each 
CRS with a seated Q3s dummy from a side view to evaluate if the head of 
the dummy was completely covered (obscured) by the side structure or 
wing insert or if it was partially visible. We rated designs as 
``good'' (solid outline) when they had ``full'' side view coverage 
(dummy's head not visible, totally obscured). We considered the CRS 
designs as ``average'' (dashed outline) when 75 percent or more of the 
dummy's head was obscured by the side structure or wing insert. We 
considered a ``poor'' design (filled-in black) to be when less than 75 
percent of the dummy's head was obscured by the side structure and/or 
head insert. Interestingly, test results showed that the CRSs with less 
side coverage (filled-in black) had the highest HIC15 values 
when tested with the beltline height at 479 mm (18.8 in) and at 500 mm 
(19.6 in). Results are depicted in Figures 8 and 9.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.007


[[Page 4595]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.008

    These test results indicate that ``good'' side coverage as a 
fundamental element of the child restraint design can help improve 
child restraint performance. This can be achieved by having more side 
structure with padding on the interior side and/or by adding padded 
head inserts.
    We note that other features observed in the tested CRS models were 
a side air baffle (Britax Advocates) and an air pillow (Safety 1st Air 
Protect). According to the manufacturers of those CRSs, both the air 
baffle and the air pillow are supposed to absorb energy during impact. 
NHTSA was unable to verify these statements in our developmental 
program. We are interested in data showing that these or any other 
features are effective in improving CRS side impact performance.

XV. Petition Regarding Deceleration Sled System

Dorel Juvenile Group Petition for Rulemaking

    On May 4, 2009, we received a petition from the Dorel Juvenile 
Group (DJG) requesting us to include in our side impact proposal a 
dynamic side impact test procedure that uses a deceleration sled, as an 
alternative or substitute to a procedure based on the acceleration 
sled. The petitioner noted that NHTSA's developmental work for this 
NPRM was done at VRTC, which uses an acceleration sled. Unlike an 
acceleration sled, a deceleration sled is first accelerated to a target 
velocity and then decelerated to a prescribed deceleration profile. The 
main event of interest occurs during the sled deceleration phase.
    DJG stated that the primary reason the new side impact test 
procedure for CRSs should allow a deceleration sled as an option to the 
acceleration sled is because CRS manufacturers are familiar with the 
deceleration sled in the frontal impact context, and either have or 
have ready access to deceleration sled equipment. It further noted that 
the deceleration sled is less expensive to acquire and operate.
    In its petition, DJG described work it conducted in collaboration 
with Kettering University to develop a CRS side impact sled test 
procedure using a deceleration sled (hereinafter referred to as the 
Dorel/Kettering test procedure). DJG's petition provided a description 
of the Dorel/Kettering test procedure and included preliminary sled 
test data simulating a New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) MDB side 
impact test.
    According to DJG, the Dorel/Kettering test procedure employed a 
deceleration sled with a simulated door rigidly mounted to it (bullet 
sled) which impacted a target sled (bench seat with a CRS installed on 
it) that was initially stationary on a pair of low friction bearings, 
separate from the sled. In the procedure, the sled was accelerated to 
the impact velocity of the NCAP MDB barrier face. The petitioner stated 
that the sled decelerator was tuned to match the MDB deceleration 
profile. The target sled was positioned such that contact of the 
honeycomb on the target sled with the door structure was coincident 
with the initiation of sled deceleration. The characteristics of the 
honeycomb attached to the target sled were selected such that its 
crushing resulted in the desired target sled acceleration profile 
(acceleration profile of the impacted vehicle in a side NCAP test).
    DJG provided data from four baseline sled tests, using a Hybrid III 
3 YO child dummy with a modified neck (HIII-3Cs) in a CRS attached to 
the target sled, which were conducted to establish test parameters such 
as the bullet and target sled velocities. DJG also presented results to 
demonstrate the consistency and accuracy of the bullet and target sled 
velocities. In addition, DJG conducted a sensitivity analysis of 
various test parameters and said that the only parameter affecting the 
target sled was the honeycomb crushable area.
    DJG stated that it later conducted sled tests with the HIII-3Cs 
dummy in a Maxi Cosi Priori and a Safety 1st 3-in-1 forward-facing 
child restraint and compared the results with tests conducted by 
NHTSA's VRTC, which used an acceleration sled with the HIII-3Cs dummy 
in the same child restraints. According to DJG, the comparison showed 
that even though there were

[[Page 4596]]

some differences in the methods, sled setups, and dummy neck hardware, 
the Dorel/Kettering target sled kinematics were comparable to that of 
the VRTC acceleration sled sliding seat, including the rate of 
acceleration, peak acceleration, and pulse duration. In addition, DJG 
noted that the dummy response duration and the impacting speed in the 
two sled systems were similar. Based on these data, DJG concluded that 
the Dorel/Kettering deceleration test procedure ``complements'' the 
VRTC acceleration sled test procedure and requested that the Dorel/
Kettering deceleration test method be included in the proposal for a 
new side impact test in FMVSS No. 213.
    The DJG petition, along with the test data, is available in the 
docket of this NPRM.

Discussion of Petition

    After analyzing the petitioner's data, we are unable to conclude 
that the Dorel/Kettering test procedure complements, i.e., is 
comparable to, the Takata procedure we evaluated on the acceleration 
sled. While the Dorel/Kettering test procedure appears to represent the 
intruding door velocity profile reasonably well, it does not 
sufficiently estimate the change in velocity of the passenger 
compartment as does the Takata acceleration sled procedure. The Dorel/
Kettering test procedure does not include oblique side impacts or a 
representative armrest to the intruding door. In addition, the 
resultant head acceleration, HIC, upper neck forces and moments, pelvic 
resultant acceleration, and resultant spine acceleration of the HIII-
3Cs dummy were consistently lower in the Dorel/Kettering tests than in 
the acceleration sled tests using the same CRS, door impact velocity, 
and similar type of dummy.\95\ DJG has also not presented any data 
demonstrating that the dummy responses in the Dorel/Kettering sled 
tests are similar to those observed in vehicle crash tests. For these 
reasons, we believe that the Dorel/Kettering test procedure needs 
further development to represent the crash environment experienced by 
children in child restraints in near-side impacts in a manner 
comparable to the Takata procedure evaluated by the agency on the 
acceleration sled.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \95\ The Dorel/Kettering test procedure has not been evaluated 
using the Q3s child dummy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We note, however, that one of the strengths of the Takata test 
procedure is its simplicity and apparent versatility for application on 
an acceleration or a deceleration sled system. We believe that the 
provisions of the proposed test procedure, specified in the regulatory 
text, can be used to conduct the test on either an acceleration or a 
deceleration sled. Therefore, we do not believe there is a need to 
include a new test procedure expressly applicable to a deceleration 
sled in this proposal, as DJG requested.
    It is our desire that the proposed test procedure be specified in a 
way that it can be conducted on an acceleration or a deceleration sled. 
The agency is planning to evaluate the repeatability and 
reproducibility of the proposed sled test procedure in different 
laboratories. We are interested in comments on what parameters, 
additional to the proposed specifications, should be specified to 
reproduce the proposed test procedure on a deceleration sled.
    In any event, we note that under the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act, child restraint manufacturers are required to 
certify the compliance of their child restraints with the applicable 
FMVSSs. The Safety Act does not require manufacturers to certify their 
products using the test procedures specified in the applicable safety 
standard. Instead, the safety standard sets forth the procedures that 
NHTSA will take to conduct compliance tests. In the event of a 
noncompliance with an FMVSS, NHTSA will ask the manufacturer the basis 
for its certification, and will review the data upon which the 
certification was made. Depending on the situation, the information 
used for the certification could be from a sled test matching the test 
specified in the standard, a comparable sled test providing valid and 
accurate results, or it could be from entirely different method of 
inquiry as long as a good faith certification could be made. Thus, if 
FMVSS No. 213 were to specify a test that describes an acceleration 
sled system, that would not preclude a manufacturer from using a 
deceleration sled to test and certify its child restraints. 
Accordingly, since the FMVSSs do not need to incorporate a specific 
test procedure preferred by a manufacturer for the manufacturer to be 
able to use the test procedure as its chosen basis for certification, 
the petitioner's requested action is not necessary. For these reasons, 
the petition is denied.

XVI. Costs and Benefits

    There are approximately 7.42 million child restraints sold annually 
for children weighing up to 40 lb. These child restraints are composed 
of rear-facing infant seats, convertible seats (seats that can be used 
rear-facing and forward-facing), toddler seats (seats with harnesses, 
used only forward-facing), and combination seats (seats that can be 
used from forward-facing to booster mode). Of this total, it is 
estimated that there are approximately 2.73 million infant seats, 2.76 
million convertible/toddler seats and 1.93 million combination seats. 
These sales estimates are based on sales in calendar year 2011.
    Based on our sled test data, we estimate that approximately 80 
percent of rear-facing infant seats (2.18 million) would need larger 
wings (padded side structure) and/or additional padding, and that 
similar countermeasures would be needed for 58.3 percent of the 
convertible/toddler seats (1.6 million) and 58.3 percent of combination 
seats (1.1 million). The retail cost of padding for rear-facing seats 
is estimated to be $0.66 per CRS. Accordingly, we estimate that the 
annual consumer cost for 2.18 million rear-facing CRSs that do not 
already comply with this test would be $1.441 million. The retail cost 
of padding for convertible/toddler seats that do not already comply 
with this test is estimated to be approximately $0.82 per CRS, so the 
annual consumer cost for 1.6 million convertible/toddler seats would be 
$1.321 million. The retail cost of padding for combination seats that 
do not already comply with this test is estimated to be approximately 
$0.82 per CRS, so the annual consumer cost for 1.1 million combination 
CRSs would be $0.925 million. The total annual consumer cost for the 
CRSs is estimated to be approximately $3.687 million. Distributing this 
total cost to all child restraints sold annually for children weighing 
up to 40 lb (7.42 million child restraints) results in an average cost 
of $0.50 per child restraint. Comments are requested on these 
calculations.
    This NPRM proposes to apply the side impact protection requirements 
to belt-positioning seats designed for children in a weight range that 
includes weights up to 18 kg (40 lb) to improve the protection of 
children seated in such CRSs. Applying the side impact protection 
requirements to more children than less is consistent with MAP-21. We 
do not have test data that can be used to estimate the countermeasures 
needed on belt-positioning seats to meet the proposed side impact 
protection requirements. Comments are requested on the countermeasures 
needed by belt-positioning seats to meet side impact requirements when 
tested with the Q3s.
    Since CRSs sold for children weighing more than 18 kg (40 lb) would 
be excluded from the proposed side impact protection requirements, an 
approach available at no additional cost to manufacturers would be to 
re-label the

[[Page 4597]]

belt-positioning seat as not recommended for children weighing less 
than 18 kg (40 lb). We find this approach to be desirable in that it is 
aligned with NHTSA's view \96\ that children under age 4 are more 
protected in a CRS with a harness than in a belt-positioning seat. 
Moreover, the labeling change would increase the likelihood that 
children would be restrained by CRSs that meet side impact protection 
requirements up to 18 kg (40 lb) (until about 4 years in age). 
Regardless of whether a manufacturer re-labels the belt-positioning 
seat to restrict use of the belt-positioning seat to children weighing 
over 18 kg (40 lb) or designs a belt-positioning seat to meet the 
proposed requirements, the effect of the proposed requirement would be 
to improve the side impact protection to children weighing less than 18 
kg (40 lb).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \96\ http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightSeat.htm. Last 
accessed August 7, 2012. See also PRIA, pp. 19-20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We believe that there will be no lost sales due to the change in 
the booster seat label. There are no boosters on the market sold only 
for children from 30 to 40 lb. Boosters are sold for children with a 
starting weight of 30 or 40 lb, to a maximum weight of 60, 70, 80 or 
more pounds. Those that are sold for children with a starting weight of 
30 lb will just be relabeled to have the minimum weight start at 40 lb. 
Children riding in harnessed toddler seats will continue using the 
toddler seat until they graduate to a booster seat at a minimum weight 
of 40 lb. Similarly, combination seats that are sold for use with 
younger children (with a harness) and older children (as a booster) 
will continue to be marketed to the same children as before the rule. 
The only change resulting from the new label would be that the booster 
seat mode would not be recommended for use until the child reaches 40 
lb. Comments are requested on this issue.
    We estimate that 36.7 non-fatal injuries (MAIS 1-5) to children in 
rear-facing child restraints annually would be prevented by the 
proposed requirements. In addition, 5.2 fatalities and 27.6 non-fatal 
injuries to children in forward-facing child restraints annually would 
be prevented by the proposed requirements. We have not estimated the 
annual benefits for children in the weight range 13.6-18 kg (30-40 lb) 
who are restrained in belt-positioning seats because we have not 
estimated the countermeasures needed. However, we believe that the 
benefits of belt-positioning seats with improved side impact protection 
for children weighing 13.6-18 kg (30-40 lb) are very small since FARS 
and NASS-CDS data files indicate very few injuries in side impact 
crashes to this population of children in belt-positioning seats.\97\ 
The total benefits of this proposed rule would be 5.2 fatalities and 64 
MAIS 1-5 injuries prevented, which amount to 18.3 equivalent lives 
saved per year.\98\ The equivalent lives and the monetized benefits 
were estimated in accordance with guidance issued February 28, 2013 by 
the Office of the Secretary \99\ regarding the treatment of value of a 
statistical life in regulatory analyses. The PRIA, available in the 
docket for this NPRM, details the methodology for estimating costs, 
benefits, and net benefits resulting from this proposed rule. The 
monetized net benefits for this proposed rule were estimated to be 
$178.9 million at 3 percent discount rate and $162.0 million at 7 
percent discount rate in 2010 dollars.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \97\ This is because only a small percentage of children in this 
weight range are restrained in belt-positioning seats. A Safe Kids 
USA survey in the first quarter of 2012 at Child Passenger Safety 
Technician (CPST) seat check stations indicated that only 10 percent 
of children in the weight range 13.6-18 kg (30-40 lb) were in belt-
positioning seats.
    \98\ This estimate assumes that the proposed changes will have 
the same level of effectiveness in preventing injuries to children 
in misused seats as estimated for children in properly used seats.
    \99\ http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/VSL%20Guidance%202013.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency estimates that the cost of conducting the test described 
in the proposed rule would be approximately $1,300. We estimate that 96 
CRS models comprise the 7.42 million CRSs sold annually that are 
subject to this NPRM. The subject CRSs are rear-facing CRSs, and 
convertible, toddler, and combination CRSs designed for children 
weighing up to 18 kg (40 lb). Of the 96 CRS models, 31 models are 
infant seats, 50 models are convertible seats, and 15 models are 
toddler and combination seats. The infant seats would involve one sled 
test with the 12 MO CRABI, the convertible seats would involve 3 sled 
tests (2 sled tests in the rear-facing mode with the 12 MO CRABI and 
the Q3s and 1 sled test in forward-facing mode with the Q3s), and the 
toddler and combination seats would involve 1 sled test with the Q3s. 
Therefore, we estimate that, assuming manufacturers would be conducting 
the dynamic test specified in the proposed rule (or a similar test) to 
certify their child restraints to the new side impact requirements, 
overall they would conduct 196 sled tests for the current 96 models 
available in the market, for an annual testing cost of $254,800. This 
testing cost, distributed among the 7.42 million CRSs sold annually, 
with an average model life of 5 years, is less than $0.01 per CRS.

XVII. Effective Date

    The agency is proposing a lead time of 3 years from date of 
publication of the final rule. This means that CRSs manufactured on or 
after the date 3 years after the date of publication of the final rule 
must meet the side impact requirements. We propose to permit optional 
early compliance with the requirements beginning soon after the date of 
publication of the final rule.
    Note that section 31501 of MAP-21 states that not later than 2 
years after the date of enactment of the Act (which was July 6, 2012), 
the Secretary shall issue a final rule amending FMVSS No. 213 regarding 
side impact protection. Section 31505 of MAP-21 states that if the 
Secretary determines that any deadline for issuing a final rule under 
the Act cannot be met, the Secretary shall provide an explanation for 
why such deadline cannot be met and establish a new deadline for the 
rule.
    We believe there is good cause for providing 3 years lead time. CRS 
manufacturers will have to gain familiarity with the new test 
procedures and the new Q3s dummy, assess their products' conformance to 
the FMVSS No. 213 side impact test, and possibly incorporate changes 
into their designs. We believe that 3 years lead time would give 
manufacturers sufficient time to design CRSs that comply with the side 
impact requirements.

XVIII. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 
13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The agency has considered the impact of this rulemaking action 
under E.O. 12866, E.O. 13563, and the Department of Transportation's 
regulatory policies and procedures. This rulemaking is considered 
``significant'' and was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
under E.O. 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review.''
    The NPRM proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 to adopt side impact 
performance requirements for child restraint systems designed to seat 
children in a weight range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 lb). 
The proposal would specify a side impact test in which the child 
restraints must protect the occupant in a dynamic test simulating a 
vehicle-to-vehicle side impact. The side impact test would be 
additional to the current frontal impact tests of FMVSS No. 213.
    We estimate that the annual cost of the proposed rule would be

[[Page 4598]]

approximately $3.7 million. The countermeasures may include larger 
wings (side structure) and padding with energy-absorption 
characteristics that have a retail cost of approximately $0.50 per 
CRS.\100\ We estimate that the proposed rule would prevent 5.2 
fatalities and 64 MAIS 1-5 non-fatal injuries annually. The annual net 
benefits are estimated to be $162.0 million (7 percent discount rate) 
to $178.9 million (3 percent discount rate).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \100\ The agency believes that the cost of a compliance test 
(estimated at $1,300) spread over the number of units sold of that 
child restraint model is very small, especially when compared to the 
price of a child restraint. We estimate that 96 CRS models comprise 
the 5.5 million rear-facing CRSs and forward-facing convertible and 
combination CRSs (designed for children weighing up to 18 kg (40 
lb)) sold annually, which have an average model life of 5 years. 
Therefore, the annual cost of testing new CRS models would be 
$254,800. This testing cost distributed among the 5.5 million CRSs 
sold annually would be less than $0.01 per CRS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In developing this NPRM, NHTSA has considered HIC15 
requirements of 400 and 800 as alternatives to the preferred proposal 
of HIC15 = 570.\101\ The PRIA accompanying this NPRM 
provides an assessment of benefits and costs of the HIC15 = 
400 and 800 alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \101\ The agency analyzed different values for HIC15 
because head injuries are the major cause of fatalities of children 
in side impacts. Real word data of side impacts involving CRS-
restrained children indicate that 55-68 percent of MAIS 2+ injuries 
are to the head, while only 22-29 percent are to the chest. We 
determined that changes in the HIC15 injury threshold 
would have a significantly higher effect on the benefit/costs 
resulting from this rulemaking than would changes to the chest 
deflection injury threshold. For this reason, alternatives to the 
proposed chest deflection injury threshold (23 mm) were not 
examined.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of the alternatives presented for HIC15, NHTSA's 
preferred alternative is an injury threshold of 570. We tentatively 
conclude that this threshold value achieves a reasonable balance of 
practicability, safety, and cost. The HIC15 = 570 threshold 
is used in FMVSS No. 208, ``Occupant crash protection,'' for the 3-
year-old child dummy. It is a scaled threshold based on FMVSS No. 208's 
criterion for the 50th percentile adult male dummy, which was adjusted 
to the 3-year-old using a process that accounts for differences in 
geometric size and material strength. HIC15 of 570 
corresponds to an 11 percent risk of AIS 3+ injury and a 1.6 percent 
risk of fatality. We tentatively conclude that the 570 scaled maximum 
would protect children in child restraints from an unreasonable risk of 
fatality and serious injury in side impacts.
    Comparing the three alternatives (at the 7 percent discount rate), 
we find that an 800 HIC15 limit results in: (a) Many fewer 
equivalent lives saved than the proposed 570 HIC15 limit 
(7.24 vs. 18.26); (b) higher cost per equivalent life saved ($488,000 
vs. $242,000); and, (c) lower net benefits ($63 million vs. $162 
million). Thus, on all three measures, 800 HIC15 appears 
inferior to the proposed 570 HIC15.
    The 400 HIC15 alternative results in: (a) More 
equivalent lives saved than the proposed 570 HIC15 limit 
(28.87 vs. 18.26); higher cost per equivalent life saved ($314,000 vs. 
$242,000); and, (c) higher net benefits ($250 million vs. $162 
million). Thus, on two of the three measures, at first glance 400 
HIC15 has appeal compared to the proposed 570 
HIC15 limit.
    However, the agency's preferred alternative is 570 HIC15 
because we are concerned about the effect of a 400 HIC15 
limit on child restraint design and use. In the analysis we performed 
for this NPRM, we assumed that padding alone would be insufficient to 
meet a 400 HIC15 limit; we assumed that the 6 child 
restraints we tested would need a theoretical kind of structural 
improvement to the side of the seats to meet a 400 HIC15 
limit. However, we have not proven out that the structural improvements 
we assumed would in fact be enough to meet the 400 HIC15 
limit. Thus, there is some uncertainty on the agency's part whether the 
structural modifications can be implemented to meet the 400 
HIC15 criterion at the cost we assumed.
    We also believe that another means of meeting a 400 
HIC15 limit would be to increase the thickness of the 
padding used in the child restraint. We are concerned that thicker 
padding around the head area could reduce the space provided for the 
child's head, which may make the child restraint seem, to parents and 
other caregivers, too confining for the child. The restricted space for 
the child's head could in fact reduce the ability of the seated child 
to move his or her head freely. Those factors could affect 
acceptability and use of the harness-equipped age-appropriate child 
restraints by consumers. Alternatively, if manufacturers decided to 
increase the thickness of the padding in the head area and widen the 
CRS to retain the current space between the child's head and side 
padding, the child restraint would have to be made wider and heavier. 
Again, this might affect the overall use of the child restraint.
    Considering all of these factors, NHTSA has chosen 570 
HIC15 as the best overall proposal with known consequences 
that can be met with a reasonable thickness of padding alone.

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 
proposed rulemaking 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), unless the head 
of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Agencies must also 
provide a statement of the factual basis for this certification.
    I certify that this proposed rule would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NHTSA 
estimates there to be 29 manufacturers of child restraints, none of 
which are small businesses. Based on our fleet testing, we believe that 
most of the CRSs that would be subject to the proposed side impact 
requirements would meet the proposed requirements without a need to 
modify the CRS. For rear-facing infant seats and forward-facing 
restraints with harnesses that need to be modified, the agency 
estimates that the average incremental costs to each child restraint 
system would be only $0.50 per unit to meet the proposed rule. This 
incremental cost would not constitute a significant economic impact. 
Further, the incremental cost is not significant compared to the retail 
price of a child restraint system for infants and toddlers, which is in 
the range of $45 to $350. These incremental costs, which are very small 
compared to the overall price of the child restraint, can ultimately be 
passed on to the purchaser.
    For belt-positioning seats that do not meet the proposed side 
impact requirements, the simplest course for a manufacturer would be to 
re-label the restraint so that it is marketed for children not in a 
weight class that would subject the CRS to the proposed requirements. 
That is, the CRSs could be marketed as belt-positioning seats for 
children weighing more than 18 kg (40 lb), instead of for children 
weighing above 13.6 kg (30 lb).\102\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \102\ Currently, FMVSS No. 213 prohibits manufacturers from 
recommending belt-positioning seats for children weighing less than 
13.6 kg (30 lb).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency believes that the cost of conducting the test described 
in the proposed rule (estimated at $1,300) spread over the number of 
units sold of that child restraint model would be very small, 
especially when compared to the

[[Page 4599]]

price of a child restraint. We estimate that 96 CRS models comprise the 
7.42 million rear-facing CRSs and forward-facing convertible and 
combination CRSs sold annually. The average model life is estimated to 
be 5 years. Therefore, we estimate that, assuming manufacturers would 
be conducting the dynamic test specified in the proposed rule (or a 
similar test) to certify their child restraints to the new side impact 
requirements, the annual cost of testing new CRS models would be 
$254,800. This testing cost, distributed among the 7.42 million CRSs 
sold annually with an average model life of 5 years, would be less than 
$0.01 per CRS.

National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this proposed rule for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act and determined that it would not have 
any significant impact on the quality of the human environment.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    NHTSA has examined today's proposed 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 proposed 
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 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 proposed 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 
proposed rule and finds that this proposed rule, like many NHTSA rules, 
would prescribe only a minimum safety standard. As such, NHTSA does not 
intend that this proposed rule would preempt state tort law that would 
effectively impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers 
than that established by today's proposed rule. Establishment of a 
higher standard by means of State tort law would not conflict with the 
minimum standard proposed here. Without any conflict, there could not 
be any implied preemption of a State common law tort cause of action.

Civil Justice Reform

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

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    Under the PRA of 1995, 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. In this notice of proposed 
rulemaking, we propose no ``collections of information'' (as defined at 
5 CFR 1320.3(c)).

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 
(NTTAA)(Public Law 104-113), all Federal agencies and departments shall 
use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary 
consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means 
to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies 
and departments. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards 
(e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and 
business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary 
consensus standards bodies, such as the International Organization for 
Standardization (ISO) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). 
The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations 
when we decide not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus 
standards.
    As explained above in this preamble, NHTSA reviewed the procedures 
and

[[Page 4600]]

regulations developed globally to dynamically test child restraints in 
the side impact environment. Except for the Takata test procedure, the 
procedures and regulations did not replicate all of the dynamic 
elements of a side crash that we sought to include in the side impact 
test or were not sufficiently developed for further consideration.
    NHTSA considered AS/NZS 1754 for implementation into FMVSS No. 213 
but did not find it acceptable, mainly because that it does not 
simulate the intruding door, which we believe is an important component 
in the side impact environment. In addition, AS/NZS 1754 does not 
account for a longitudinal component, which we also believe to be an 
important characteristic of a side crash. (As noted above, NHTSA's 2002 
ANPRM, supra, was based on AS/NZS 1754. Commenters to the ANPRM 
believed that a dynamic test should account for some degree of vehicle 
intrusion into the occupant compartment.) Australia's CREP test also 
was limited by its lack of an intruding door, which is a component that 
is important in the side impact environment.
    Germany's ADAC test procedure lacks an intruding door. While the 
ISO/TNO test procedure accounts for the deceleration and intrusion 
experienced by a car in a side impact crash, one of its limitations is 
that the angular velocity of the hinged door is difficult to control, 
which results in poor repeatability. In addition, these methods do not 
include a longitudinal velocity component to the intruding door, which 
is present in most side impacts and which, we believe, should be 
replicated in the FMVSS No. 213 test. NHTSA considered the EU's test 
procedure but decided not to pursue it, since the test is of lower 
severity than the crash conditions we wanted to replicate and of lower 
severity than the FMVSS No. 214 MDB side impact crash test of a small 
passenger vehicle. Moreover, the test procedure is only intended for 
evaluating CRSs with rigid ISOFIX attachments, which are not available 
on CRSs in the U.S. Further, the sliding anchors do not seem to produce 
a representative interaction between the door and CRS during a side 
impact, and may introduce variability in the test results. The NPACS 
consumer program is still undergoing development and the details of the 
sled test procedure and dummies are not available.
    We note that NHTSA has based the side impact test proposal on a 
test procedure that was developed by Takata, a manufacturer in the 
restraint industry. By so doing, NHTSA has saved agency resources by 
making use of pertinent technical information that is already 
available. We believe this effort to save resources is consistent with 
the Act's goal of reducing when possible the agency's cost of 
developing its own standards.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 
Public Law 104-4, 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). Adjusting this amount by the 
implicit gross domestic product price deflator for the year 2010 
results in $136 million (110.993/81.606 = 1.36). This NPRM would not 
result in a cost of $136 million or more to either State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector. Thus, this 
NPRM is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 of the UMRA.

Executive Order 13609 (Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation)

    The policy statement in section 1 of E.O. 13609 provides, in part:

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

    NHTSA requests public comment on the ``regulatory approaches taken 
by foreign governments'' concerning the subject matter of this 
rulemaking. In the discussion above on the NTTAA, we have noted that we 
have reviewed the procedures and regulations developed globally to test 
child restraints dynamically in the side impact environment, and found 
the Takata test procedure to be the most suitable for our purposes. 
Comments are requested on the above policy statement and the 
implications it has for this rulemaking.

Regulation Identifier Number

    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 write to us 
with your views.

XIX. Public Participation

    In developing this proposal, we tried to address the concerns of 
all our stakeholders. Your comments will help us improve this proposed 
rule. We welcome your views on all aspects of this proposed rule, but 
request comments on specific issues throughout this document. Your 
comments will be most effective if you follow the suggestions below:

--Explain your views and reasoning as clearly as possible.
--Provide solid technical and cost data to support your views.
--If you estimate potential costs, explain how you arrived at the 
estimate.
--Tell us which parts of the proposal you support, as well as those 
with which you disagree.
--Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
--Offer specific alternatives.
--Refer your comments to specific sections of the proposal, such as the 
units or page numbers of the preamble, or the regulatory sections.
--Be sure to include the name, date, and docket number with your 
comments.


[[Page 4601]]


    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 to the docket electronically by logging 
onto http://www.regulations.gov or by the means given in the ADDRESSES 
section at the beginning of this document.
    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 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.

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. In addition, you should 
submit a copy from which you have deleted the claimed confidential 
business information to the docket. When you send a comment containing 
information claimed to be confidential business information, you should 
include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in our 
confidential business information regulation. (49 CFR Part 512.)

Will the Agency consider late comments?

    We will consider all comments that the docket receives before the 
close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under 
DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider comments that the 
docket receives after that date. If the docket receives a comment too 
late for us to consider it 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 comments received by the docket at the address 
given above under ADDRESSES. You may also see the comments on the 
Internet (http://regulations.gov).
    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 check the docket for new material.
    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478).

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, and Tires.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR 
Part 571 as set forth below.

PART 571--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

0
1. The authority citation for Part 571 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Section 571.5 is amended by adding paragraph (k)(5), and by revising 
paragraph (l)(3), to read as follows:


Sec.  571.5  Matter incorporated by reference.

* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (5) Drawing Package, ``NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 
213--Side impact No. NHTSA-213-2011,'' dated June 2012, into Sec.  
571.213a.
* * * * *
    (l) * * *
    (3) SAE Recommended Practice J211, ``Instrumentation for Impact 
Tests,'' revised June 1980, into Sec. Sec.  571.213; 571.213a; 571.218.
* * * * *
0
3. Section 571.213 is amended by adding paragraph S5(g) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  571.213  Standard No. 213; Child restraint systems.

* * * * *
    S5 * * *
* * * * *
    (g) Each add-on child restraint system manufactured for use in 
motor vehicles, that is recommended for children in a weight range that 
includes weights up to 18 kilograms (40 pounds), shall meet the 
requirements in this standard and the additional side impact protection 
requirements in Standard No. 213a (Sec.  571.213a). Excepted from 
Standard No. 213a are harnesses and car beds.
* * * * *
0
4. Section 571.213a is added to read as follows:


Sec.  571.213a  Standard No. 213a; Child restraint systems--side impact 
protection.

    S1. Scope. This standard specifies side impact protection 
requirements for child restraint systems recommended for children in a 
weight range that includes weights up to 18 kilograms (kg) ((40 pounds 
(lb)).
    S2. Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to reduce the number 
of children killed or injured in motor vehicle side impacts.
    S3. Application. This standard applies to add-on child restraint 
systems, except for harnesses and car beds, that are recommended for 
use by children in a weight range that includes weights up to 18 kg (40 
lb), or by children in a height range that includes children whose 
height is not greater than 1100 millimeters.
    S4. Definitions.
    Add-on child restraint system means any portable child restraint 
system.
    Belt-positioning seat means a child restraint system that positions 
a child on a vehicle seat to improve the fit of a vehicle Type II belt 
system on the child and that lacks any component, such as a belt system 
or a structural element, designed to restrain forward movement of the 
child's torso in a forward impact.
    Car bed means a child restraint system designed to restrain or 
position a child in the supine or prone position on a continuous flat 
surface.
    Child restraint anchorage system is defined in S3 of FMVSS No. 225 
(Sec.  571.225).
    Child restraint system is defined in S4 of FMVSS No. 213 (Sec.  
571.213).
    Contactable surface means any child restraint system surface (other 
than that of a belt, belt buckle, or belt adjustment hardware) that may 
contact any part of the head or torso of the appropriate test dummy, 
specified in S7, when a child restraint system is tested in accordance 
with S6.1.
    Harness means a combination pelvic and upper torso child restraint 
system that consists primarily of flexible material, such as straps, 
webbing or similar material, and that does not

[[Page 4602]]

include a rigid seating structure for the child.
    Rear-facing child restraint system means a child restraint system 
that positions a child to face in the direction opposite to the normal 
(forward) direction of travel of the motor vehicle.
    Seat orientation reference line or SORL means the horizontal line 
through Point Z as illustrated in Figure 1.
    Tether anchorage is defined in S3 of FMVSS No. 225 (Sec.  571.225).
    Tether strap is defined in S3 of FMVSS No. 225 (Sec.  571.225).
    Torso means the portion of the body of a seated anthropomorphic 
test dummy, excluding the thighs, that lies between the top of the 
child restraint system seating surface and the top of the shoulders of 
the test dummy.
    S5. Requirements.
    (a) Each child restraint system subject to this section shall meet 
the requirements in this section when, as specified, tested in 
accordance with S6 and this paragraph. Each child restraint system 
shall meet the requirements at each of the restraint's seat back angle 
adjustment positions and restraint belt routing positions, when the 
restraint is oriented in the forward or rearward direction recommended 
by the manufacturer pursuant to S5.6 of FMVSS No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), 
and tested with the test dummy specified in S7 of this section.
    (b) Each child restraint system subject to this section shall also 
meet all applicable requirements in FMVSS No. 213 (Sec.  571.213).
    S5.1 Dynamic performance.
    S5.1.1 Child restraint system integrity. When tested in accordance 
with S6.1, each child restraint system shall meet the requirements of 
paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section.
    (a) Exhibit no complete separation of any load bearing structural 
element and no partial separation exposing either surfaces with a 
radius of less than 6 mm (\1/4\ inch) or surfaces with protrusions 
greater than 9 mm (\3/8\ inch) above the immediate adjacent surrounding 
contactable surface of any structural element of the child restraint 
system.
    (b)(1) If adjustable to different positions, remain in the same 
adjustment position during the testing that it was in immediately 
before the testing, except as otherwise specified in paragraph (b)(2).
    (2)(i) Subject to paragraph (b)(2)(ii), a rear-facing child 
restraint system may have a means for repositioning the seating surface 
of the system that allows the system's occupant to move from a reclined 
position to an upright position and back to a reclined position during 
testing.
    (ii) No opening that is exposed and is larger than 6 mm (\1/4\ 
inch) before the testing shall become smaller during the testing as a 
result of the movement of the seating surface relative to the child 
restraint system as a whole.
    (c) If a front facing child restraint system, not allow the angle 
between the system's back support surfaces for the child and the 
system's seating surface to be less than 45 degrees at the completion 
of the test.
    S5.1.2 Injury criteria.
    When tested in accordance with S6.1 and with the test dummy 
specified in S7, each child restraint system that, in accordance with 
S5.5.2 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), is recommended for use by 
children whose mass is more than 10 kg shall--
    (a) Limit the resultant acceleration at the location of the 
accelerometer mounted in the test dummy head such that, for any two 
points in time, t1 and t2, during the event which are separated by not 
more than a 15 millisecond time interval and where t1 is less than t2, 
the maximum calculated head injury criterion (HIC) shall not exceed 
570, determined using the resultant head acceleration at the center of 
gravity of the dummy head as expressed as a multiple of g (the 
acceleration of gravity), calculated using the expression:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP28JA14.009

    (b) The maximum chest compression (or deflection) from the output 
of the thoracic InfraRed Telescoping Rod for Assessment of Chest 
Compression (IR-TRACC) shall not exceed 23 millimeters.
    S5.1.3 Occupant containment. When tested in accordance with S6.1 
and the requirements specified in this section, each child restraint 
system recommended for use by children in a specified mass range that 
includes any children having a mass greater than 5 kg (11 lb) but not 
greater than 10 kg (22 lb), shall retain the test dummy's head such 
that there is no direct contact of the head to any part of the side 
impact seat assembly described in S6.1.1(a).
    S5.1.4 Protrusion limitation. Any portion of a rigid structural 
component within or underlying a contactable surface shall, with any 
padding or other flexible overlay material removed, have a height above 
any immediately adjacent restraint system surface of not more than 9 mm 
(\3/8\ inch) and no exposed edge with a radius of less than 6 mm (\1/4\ 
inch).
    S5.1.5 Belt buckle release. Any buckle in a child restraint system 
belt assembly designed to restrain a child using the system shall:
    (a) When tested in accordance with the appropriate sections of 
S6.2, after the dynamic test of S6.1, release when a force of not more 
than 71 N is applied.
    (b) Not release during the testing specified in S6.1.
    S6. Test conditions and procedures.
    S6.1 Dynamic side impact test for child restraint systems.
    The test conditions and test procedure for the dynamic side impact 
test are specified in S6.1.1 and S6.1.2, respectively.
    S6.1.1 Test conditions.
    (a) Test device.
    (1) The test device is a side impact seat assembly (SISA) 
consisting of a simulated vehicle bench seat, with one seating 
position, and a simulated door assembly as described in Drawing 
Package, ``NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213--Side impact No. 
NHTSA-213-2011,'' dated June 2012 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
571.5). The simulated door assembly is rigidly attached to the floor of 
the SISA and the simulated vehicle bench seat is mounted on rails to 
allow it to move relative to the floor of the SISA in the direction 
perpendicular to the SORL. The SISA is mounted on a dynamic test 
platform so that the SORL of the seat is 10 degrees from the 
perpendicular direction of the test platform travel. The SISA is 
rotated counterclockwise if the impact side is on the left of the 
seating position and clockwise if the impact side is on the right of 
the seating position.
    (2) As illustrated in the SISA drawing package, attached to the 
SISA is a child restraint anchorage system conforming to the 
specifications of Standard No. 225 (Sec.  571.225).
    (b) Accelerate the test platform to achieve a relative velocity 
(V0) of 31.3  0.8 km/h in the direction 
perpendicular to the SORL between the SISA bench seat and the door 
assembly at the time they come in contact (time = T0). The 
front face of the armrest on the door is 32  2 mm from the 
edge of the seat towards the SORL at time = T0. The test 
platform velocity in the direction perpendicular to the SORL is not 
greater than V0 and not less than V0 - 1 km/h 
during the time of interaction of the door with the child restraint 
system.
    (c) The change in velocity of the bench seat is 31.3  
1.0 km/h and the bench seat acceleration perpendicular to

[[Page 4603]]

the SORL is within the corridor shown in Figure 3.
    (d) Performance tests under S6.1 are conducted at any ambient 
temperature from 20.6 [deg]C to 22.2 [deg]C and at any relative 
humidity from 10 percent to 70 percent.
    (e) The child restraint shall meet the requirements of S5 at each 
of its seat back angle adjustment positions and restraint belt routing 
positions, when the restraint is oriented in the direction recommended 
by the manufacturer (e.g., forward or rearward) pursuant to S5.5 of 
Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), and tested with the test dummy 
specified in S7 of this section.
    S6.1.2 Dynamic test procedure.
    (a) The child restraint centerline is positioned 300 mm from the 
SISA bench seat edge (impact side) and attached in any of the following 
manners.
    (1) Install the child restraint system using the child restraint 
anchorage system in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions 
provided with the child restraint system pursuant to S5.6 of Standard 
No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), except as provided in this paragraph. For 
forward-facing restraints, attach the tether strap, if provided, to the 
tether anchorage on the SISA. No other supplemental device to attach 
the child restraint is used. Tighten belt systems used to attach the 
restraint to the SISA bench seat to a tension of not less than 53.5 N 
and not more than 67 N.
    (2) For rear-facing restraints, install the child restraint system 
using only the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system 
in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided with the 
child restraint system pursuant to S5.6 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  
571.213). No tether strap (or any other supplemental device) is used. 
Tighten belt systems used to attach the restraint to the SISA bench 
seat to a tension of not less than 53.5 N and not more than 67 N.
    (3) For belt-positioning seats, use the lap and shoulder belt and 
no tether or any other supplemental device.
    (b) Select any dummy specified in S7 for testing child restraint 
systems for use by children of the heights and weights for which the 
system is recommended in accordance with S5.5 of Standard No. 213 
(Sec.  571.213). The dummy is assembled, clothed and prepared as 
specified in S8 and Part 572 of this chapter, as appropriate.
    (c) The dummy is placed and positioned in the child restraint 
system as specified in S9. Attach the child restraint belts used to 
restrain the child within the system, if appropriate, as specified in 
S9.
    (d) Belt adjustment. Shoulder and pelvic belts that directly 
restrain the dummy are adjusted as follows: Tighten the belt system 
used to restrain the child within the child restraint system to a 
tension of not less than 9 N on the webbing at the top of each dummy 
shoulder and the pelvic region. Tighten the belt systems used to attach 
the restraint to the SISA bench seat to a tension of not less than 53.5 
N and not more than 67 N. For belt-positioning seats, the lap portion 
of the lap and shoulder belt is tightened to a tension of not less than 
53.5 N and not more than 67 N. The shoulder portion is tightened to a 
tension of not less than 9 N and not more than 18 N.
    (e) Accelerate the test platform in accordance with S6.1.1(b).
    (f) All instrumentation and data reduction is in conformance with 
SAE J211 JUN80 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  571.5).
    S6.2 Buckle release test procedure.
    (a) After completion of the testing specified in S6.1 and before 
the buckle is unlatched, tie a self-adjusting sling to each wrist and 
ankle of the test dummy in the manner illustrated in Figure 4 of 
Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), without disturbing the belted dummy 
and the child restraint system.
    (b) Pull the sling that is tied to the dummy restrained in the 
child restraint system and apply the following force: 90 N for a system 
tested with a 12-month-old dummy; 200 N for a system tested with a 3-
year-old dummy. For an add-on child restraint, the force is applied in 
the manner illustrated in Figure 4 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213) 
and by pulling the sling horizontally and parallel to the SORL of the 
SISA.
    (c) While applying the force specified in S6.2 (b), and using the 
device shown in Figure 8 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213) for 
pushbutton-release buckles, apply the release force in the manner and 
location specified in S6.2.1, for that type of buckle. Measure the 
force required to release the buckle.
    S7 Test dummies. (Subparts referenced in this section are of part 
572 of this chapter.)
    S7.1 Dummy selection. At NHTSA's option, any dummy specified in 
S7.1(a) or S7.1(b) may be selected for testing child restraint systems 
for use by children of the height and mass for which the system is 
recommended in accordance with S5.5 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  
571.213). A child restraint that meets the criteria in two or more of 
the following paragraphs may be tested with any of the test dummies 
specified in those paragraphs.
    (a) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213) for use either 
by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having 
a mass greater than 5 kg (11 lb) but not greater than 10 kg (22 lb), or 
by children in a specified height range that includes any children 
whose height is greater than 650 mm but not greater than 850 mm, is 
tested with a 12-month-old test dummy (CRABI) conforming to part 572 
subpart R.
    (b) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213) for use either 
by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having 
a mass greater than 10 kg (22 lb) but not greater than 18 kg (40 lb), 
or by children in a specified height range that includes any children 
whose height is greater than 850 mm but not greater than 1100 mm, is 
tested with a 3-year-old test dummy (Q3s) conforming to part 572 
subpart W.
    S8 Dummy clothing and preparation.
    S8.1 Type of clothing.
    (a) 12-month-old dummy (CRABI) (49 CFR Part 572, Subpart R). When 
used in testing under this standard, the dummy specified in 49 CFR part 
572, subpart R, is clothed in a cotton-polyester based tight fitting 
sweat shirt with long sleeves and ankle long pants whose combined 
weight is not more than 0.25 kg.
    (b) 3-year-old side impact dummy (Q3s) (49 CFR Part 572, Subpart 
W). When used in testing under this standard, the dummy specified in 49 
CFR part 572, subpart W, is clothed as specified in that subpart, 
except without shoes.
    S8.2 Preparing dummies. Before being used in testing under this 
standard, test dummies must be conditioned at any ambient temperature 
from 20.6[deg] to 22.2 [deg]C and at any relative humidity from 10 
percent to 70 percent, for at least 4 hours.
    S9 Positioning the dummy and attaching the belts used to restrain 
the child within the child restraint system and/or to attach the system 
to the SISA bench seat.
    S9.1 12-month-old dummy (CRABI) (49 CFR Part 572, Subpart R). 
Position the test dummy according to the instructions for child 
positioning that the manufacturer provided with the child restraint 
system under S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), 
while conforming to the following:
    (a) When testing rear-facing child restraint systems, place the 12-
month-old dummy in the child restraint system so that the back of the 
dummy torso contacts the back support surface of the system. Attach all 
appropriate child

[[Page 4604]]

restraint belts used to restrain the child within the child restraint 
system and tighten them as specified in S6.1.2(d). Attach all 
appropriate belts used to attach the child restraint system to the SISA 
bench seat and tighten them as specified in S6.1.2.
    (b) When testing forward-facing child restraint systems, extend the 
dummy's arms vertically upwards and then rotate each arm downward 
toward the dummy's lower body until the arm contacts a surface of the 
child restraint system or the SISA. Ensure that no arm is restrained 
from movement in other than the downward direction, by any part of the 
system or the belts used to anchor the system to the SISA bench seat.
    (c) When testing forward-facing child restraint systems, extend the 
arms of the 12-month-old test dummy as far as possible in the upward 
vertical direction. Extend the legs of the test dummy as far as 
possible in the forward horizontal direction, with the dummy feet 
perpendicular to the centerline of the lower legs. Using a flat square 
surface with an area of 2,580 square mm, apply a force of 178 N, 
perpendicular to the plane of the back of the standard seat assembly, 
first against the dummy crotch and then at the dummy thorax in the 
midsagittal plane of the dummy. Attach all appropriate child restraint 
belts used to restrain the child within the child restraint system and 
tighten them as specified in S6.1.2(d). Attach all appropriate belts 
used to attach the child restraint system to the SISA bench seat and 
tighten them as specified in S6.1.2.
    (d) After the steps specified in paragraph (c), rotate each dummy 
limb downwards in the plane parallel to the dummy's midsagittal plane 
until the limb contacts a surface of the child restraint system or the 
standard seat assembly. Position the limbs, if necessary, so that limb 
placement does not inhibit torso or head movement in tests conducted 
under S6.
    S9.2 3-year-old side impact dummy (Q3s) (49 CFR Part 572, Subpart 
W) in forward-facing child restraints. Position the test dummy 
according to the instructions for child positioning that the restraint 
manufacturer provided with the child restraint system in accordance 
with S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), while 
conforming to the following:
    (a) Holding the test dummy torso upright until it contacts the 
child restraint system's design seating surface, place the test dummy 
in the seated position within the child restraint system with the 
midsagittal plane of the test dummy head coincident with the center of 
the child restraint system.
    (b) Extend the arms of the test dummy as far as possible in the 
upward vertical direction. Extend the legs of the dummy as far as 
possible in the forward horizontal direction, with the dummy feet 
perpendicular to the center line of the lower legs.
    (c) Using a flat square surface with an area of 2580 square 
millimeters, apply a force of 178 N, perpendicular to the plane of the 
back of the SISA first against the dummy crotch and then at the dummy 
thorax in the midsagittal plane of the dummy. For a child restraint 
system with a fixed or movable surface, position each movable surface 
in accordance with the instructions that the manufacturer provided 
under S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213). For 
forward-facing restraints, attach all appropriate child restraint belts 
used to restrain the child within the child restraint system and 
tighten them as specified in S6.1.2(d). Attach all appropriate belts 
used to attach the child restraint system to the SISA or to restrain 
the child and tighten them as specified in S6.1.2. For belt-positioning 
seats, attach all appropriate vehicle belts used to restrain the child 
within the child restraint system and tighten them as specified in 
S6.1.2(d).
    (c) After the steps specified in paragraph (b) of this section, 
rotate each of the dummy's legs downwards in the plane parallel to the 
dummy's midsagittal plane until the limb contacts a surface of the 
child restraint or the SISA. Rotate each of the dummy's arms downwards 
in the plane parallel to the dummy's midsagittal plane until the arm is 
positioned at a 25 degree angle with respect to the thorax.
    S9.3 3-year-old side impact dummy (Q3s) (49 CFR Part 572, Subpart 
W) in rear-facing child restraints. Position the test dummy according 
to the instructions for child positioning that the restraint 
manufacturer provided with the child restraint system in accordance 
with S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213), while 
conforming to the following:
    (a) Extend the arms of the test dummy as far as possible in the 
upward vertical direction. Extend the legs of the dummy as far as 
possible in the forward horizontal direction, with the dummy feet 
perpendicular to the center line of the lower legs.
    (b) Place the Q3s dummy in the child restraint system so that the 
back of the dummy torso contacts the back support surface of the 
system. Place the test dummy in the child restraint system with the 
midsagittal plane of the test dummy head coincident with the center of 
the child restraint system. Rotate each of the dummy's legs downwards 
in the plane parallel to the dummy's midsagittal plane until the leg or 
feet of the dummy contacts the seat back of the SISA or a surface of 
the child restraint system.
    (c) Using a flat square surface with an area of 2580 square 
millimeters, apply a force of 178 N, perpendicular to the plane of the 
back of the SISA bench seat first against the dummy crotch and then at 
the dummy thorax in the midsagittal plane of the dummy. For a child 
restraint system with a fixed or movable surface, position each movable 
surface in accordance with the instructions that the manufacturer 
provided under S5.6.1 or S5.6.2 of Standard No. 213 (Sec.  571.213). 
Attach all appropriate child restraint belts for use to restrain a 
child within the child restraint system and tighten them as specified 
in S6.1.2(d). Attach all appropriate belts used to attach the child 
restraint system to the SISA and tighten them as specified in S6.1.2.
    (d) After the steps specified in paragraph (c) of this section, 
rotate each dummy arm downwards in the plane parallel to the dummy's 
midsagittal plane until the limb is positioned at a 25 degree angle 
with respect to the thorax.

[[Page 4605]]

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    Issued on: January 22, 2014.
Christopher J. Bonanti,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2014-01568 Filed 1-23-14; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P