[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 161 (Tuesday, August 20, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51381-51462]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19785]



[[Page 51381]]

Vol. 78

Tuesday,

No. 161

August 20, 2013

Part IV





Department of Transportation





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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration





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49 CFR Parts 573, 577, and 579





Early Warning Reporting, Foreign Defect Reporting, and Motor Vehicle 
and Equipment Recall Regulations; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 51382]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 573, 577, and 579

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0068; Notice 2]
RIN 2127-AK72


Early Warning Reporting, Foreign Defect Reporting, and Motor 
Vehicle and Equipment Recall Regulations

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: NHTSA is adopting amendments to certain provisions of the 
early warning reporting (EWR) rule and the regulations governing motor 
vehicle and equipment safety recalls. The amendments to the EWR rule 
require light vehicle manufacturers to specify the vehicle type and the 
fuel and/or propulsion system type in their reports and add new 
component categories of stability control systems for light vehicles, 
buses, emergency vehicles, and medium-heavy vehicle manufacturers, and 
forward collision avoidance, lane departure prevention, and backover 
prevention for light vehicle manufacturers. These amendments will also 
require light vehicle manufacturers to segregate their Service Brake 
EWR data into two new discrete component categories. In addition, NHTSA 
will require motor vehicle manufacturers to report their annual list of 
substantially similar vehicles via the Internet.
    As to safety recalls, we will now require certain manufacturers to 
provide a VIN-based recalls lookup tool on their Web site or the Web 
site of a third party; require the submission of recalls reports and 
information via the Internet; and require adjustments to the required 
content of the owner notification letters and envelopes required to be 
issued to owners and purchasers of recalled vehicles and equipment.

DATES: This rule is effective October 21, 2013, except the amendments 
to 49 CFR 573.9, 49 CFR 573.15, and 49 CFR part 579, which are 
effective August 20, 2014, and the amendment to 49 CFR 577.5, which is 
effective February 18, 2014. For more details, see SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION.
    Petitions for Reconsideration: If you wish to petition for 
reconsideration of this rule, your petition must be received by October 
4, 2013.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to petition for reconsideration of this rule, 
you should refer in your petition to the docket number of this document 
and submit your petition to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, 
Washington, DC 20590.
    The petition will be placed in the docket. Anyone is able to search 
the electronic form of all documents received into any of our dockets 
by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the 
comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor 
union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in 
the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).
    For access to the docket to read background documents or comments 
received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online 
instructions for accessing the docket. You may also visit DOT's Docket 
Management Facility, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 for on-line access to 
the docket.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues on EWR 
requirements, contact Gayle Dalrymple, Office of Defects Investigation, 
NHTSA (telephone: 202-366-5559). For non-legal issues on recall 
requirements, contact Jennifer Timian, Office of Defects Investigation, 
NHTSA (telephone: 202-366-0209). For legal issues, contact Andrew J. 
DiMarsico, Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (telephone: 202-366-5263). 
You may send mail to these officials at National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, 
DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Effective Dates

    The effective dates of the requirements in this final rule are as 
follows: all amendments to the EWR rule reporting requirements, and 
contained within 49 CFR part 579, August 20, 2014; requirement of 
certain large volume light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers to 
provide publicly accessible vehicle safety recall completion 
information, and contained within 49 CFR 573.15, August 20, 2014; 
requirement to submit safety recall-related reports, information, and 
associated documents through a secure portal on NHTSA's Web site, and 
contained within 49 CFR 573.9, August 20, 2014; requirement to include 
the standardized label on all safety recall owner notification letter 
envelopes, and contained within 49 CFR 577.5, February 18, 2014; all 
other amendments to the safety recall reporting and notification 
requirements addressed in this final rule, and contained within 49 CFR 
parts 573 and 577, October 21, 2013.

Table of Contents

I. Statutory and Regulatory Background
    A. The Early Warning Reporting Rule
    B. The Foreign Defect Reporting Rule
    C. Domestic Safety Defect and Noncompliance Recalls
II. Summary of the NPRM
    A. Summary of Our Proposals Affecting Early Warning Rule and 
Foreign Defect Reporting
    B. Summary of Our Proposals Affecting Safety Recalls Reporting, 
Administration, and Execution
III. Scope of This Rulemaking
IV. How the Final Rule Differs From the NPRM
    A. How the Final Rule Differs From the NPRM as to the Early 
Warning Reporting and Foreign Defect Reporting Proposals
    B. How the Final Rule Differs From the NPRM as to the Domestic 
Safety Recall Proposals
V. Agency Response to Comments and Decisions
    A. Decisions and Responses to Comments on Early Warning 
Reporting and Foreign Defect Reporting
    1. Matters Considered in Adding Data Elements to Early Warning 
Reports
    2. Vehicle Type for Light Vehicle Aggregate Data
    3. Reporting by Fuel and/or Propulsion System Type
    4. New Component Categories for Light Vehicles, Buses, Emergency 
Vehicles, and Medium-Heavy Vehicles
    i. Stability Control Systems
    ii. Forward Collision Avoidance and Lane Departure Prevention
    iii. Segregate ``Service Brakes'' Category Into Two New 
Categories, ``Foundation Brakes'' and ``Automatic Brake Controls''
    iv. Backover Prevention
    5. Proposed EWR Reporting Templates
    6. Electronic Submission of Annual Substantially Similar Vehicle 
Lists
    B. Decisions and Responses to Comments on Domestic Safety Recall 
Requirements
    1. Public Availability of Vehicle Recall Completion Information
    i. Who Is Required To Provide Publicly Accessible Vehicle Safety 
Recall Completion Information
    ii. Decision To Adopt Alternative Proposal To Require Covered 
Manufacturers To Provide Vehicle Safety Recall Completion 
Information on Their Own or a Third Party's Internet Site
    iii. Scope of the Safety Recalls Information That Covered 
Vehicle Manufacturers Must Make Available
    iv. Miscellaneous Comments to the NPRM and Agency Responses
    v. Specific Criteria for Manufacturer Safety Recalls Lookup 
Completion Tools
    2. Requirements Related to the Information Required To Be 
Submitted in a Part 573

[[Page 51383]]

Defect and Noncompliance Information Report
    i. An Identification and Description of the Risk Associated With 
the Safety Defect or Noncompliance with FMVSS
    ii. As to Motor Vehicle Equipment Recalls, the Brand Name, Model 
Name, and Model Number of the Equipment Recalled
    iii. Disclaimers in Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance 
Information Report
    3. Internet Submission of Recall-Related Reports, Information, 
and Associated Documents and Recall Reporting Templates
    4. Amendments to Defect and Noncompliance Notification 
Requirements Under Part 577
    i. 60-Day Requirement to Mail Part 577 Owner Notification 
Letters
    ii. ``IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL'' on Owner Notification Letters
    iii. Inclusion of Vehicle Identification Numbers in Owner 
Notification Letters
    iv. Inclusion of Standardized Label on Owner Notification Letter 
Envelopes
    5. Requirements for Manufacturers to Keep NHTSA Informed of 
Changes and Updates in Defect and Noncompliance Information Reports
    i. Submission of Information Not Available at the Time of the 
Initial Part 573 Report, and Amended Information, Within Five 
Working Days
    ii. 90-Day Review of Part 573 Information Report for 
Completeness and Accuracy
    6. Requirement To Notify NHTSA in the Event of Filing of 
Bankruptcy Petition of a Recalling Manufacturer
VI. Lead Time
VII. Privacy Act Statement
VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
    A. Regulatory Policies and Procedures
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
    F. Paperwork Reduction Act
    1. Part 579 Collection
    2. Parts 573 and 577 Collections
    G. Executive Order 13045
    H. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)
    I. Data Quality Act
    J. Executive Order 13609
    K. National Environmental Policy Act
    Regulatory Text

I. Statutory and Regulatory Background

A. The Early Warning Reporting Rule

    In 2000, Congress enacted the Transportation Recall Enhancement, 
Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act. Public Law 106-414. Up 
until the TREAD Act's enactment, NHTSA relied primarily on analyses of 
complaints from consumers and technical service bulletins (TSBs) from 
manufacturers to identify potential safety related defects in motor 
vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. Congress concluded that NHTSA did 
not have access to data that may provide an earlier warning of safety 
defects or information related to foreign recalls and safety campaigns. 
Accordingly, the TREAD Act required that NHTSA prescribe rules 
requiring motor vehicle and equipment manufacturers to submit certain 
information to NHTSA that would assist identifying potential safety 
related defects and to require manufacturers to submit reports on 
foreign defects and safety campaigns. See 49 U.S.C. 30166(m) and (l).
    On July 10, 2002, NHTSA published its Early Warning Reporting (EWR) 
regulations requiring that motor vehicle and equipment manufacturers 
provide certain early warning data. 49 CFR part 579, subpart C; see 67 
FR 45822. The EWR rule requires quarterly reporting of early warning 
information: production information; information on incidents involving 
death or injury; aggregate data on property damage claims, consumer 
complaints, warranty claims, and field reports; and copies of field 
reports (other than dealer reports and product evaluation reports) 
involving specified vehicle components, a fire, or a rollover.
    As described more fully in the section, below, EWR requirements 
vary somewhat depending on the nature of the reporting entity (motor 
vehicle manufacturers, child restraint system manufacturers, tire 
manufacturers, and other equipment manufacturers) and the annual 
production of the entity. The EWR information NHTSA receives is stored 
in a database, called Artemis, which also contains additional 
information (e.g., domestic and foreign recall details and complaints 
filed directly by consumers) related to defects and investigations.
    The Early Warning Division of the Office of Defects Investigation 
(ODI) reviews and analyzes a huge volume of early warning data and 
documents submitted by manufacturers. Using its traditional sources of 
information, such as consumer complaints from vehicle owner 
questionnaires (VOQs) and manufacturers' own communications, and the 
additional information provided by EWR submissions, ODI investigates 
potential safety defects. These investigations often result in recalls.
    In the last several years, the agency published two amendments to 
the EWR regulations. On May 29, 2007, NHTSA made three changes to the 
EWR rule. 72 FR 29435. First, the definition of ``fire'' was amended to 
more accurately capture fire-related events. 72 FR 29443. Second, the 
agency eliminated the requirement to produce hard copies of a subset of 
field reports known as ``product evaluation reports.'' Id. Last, the 
agency limited the time that manufacturers must update a missing 
vehicle identification number (VIN)/tire identification number (TIN) 
information or a component in a death or injury incident to a period of 
no more than one year after NHTSA receives the initial report. 72 FR 
29444. On December 5, 2008, NHTSA issued a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) which was followed in September 2009 by a final rule 
that modified the reporting threshold for light vehicle, bus, medium-
heavy vehicle (excluding emergency vehicles), motorcycle and trailer 
manufacturers' quarterly EWR reports. See 73 FR 74101 (December 5, 
2008); 74 FR 47740, 47757-58 (September 17, 2009). This rule further 
required manufacturers to submit EWR reports with consistent product 
names from quarter to quarter and amended part 573 Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports to require tire manufacturers 
to provide tire identification number ranges for recalled tires. 74 FR 
47757-58. The final rule also stated that manufacturers must provide 
the country of origin for a recalled component. Id. Last, the rule 
amended the definition of ``other safety campaign'' to be consistent 
with the definition of ``customer satisfaction campaign.'' Id.
    The September 2009 rule did not address several proposals in the 
preceding December 2008 NPRM. Those proposals sought to require light 
vehicle manufacturers to include the vehicle type in the aggregate 
portion of their quarterly EWR reports, report on use of electronic 
stability control in light vehicles, and specify fuel and/or propulsion 
systems when providing model designations. Id. The agency decided to 
issue a separate rulemaking addressing some of the foregoing proposals 
to obtain more meaningful comments. See 74 FR 47744. This final rule 
addresses those proposals raised in the December 2008 NPRM not resolved 
by the September 2009 final rule.
    Under the early warning reporting requirements of the TREAD Act, 
NHTSA is required to issue a rule establishing reporting requirements 
for manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to 
enhance the agency's ability to carry out the provisions of Chapter 301 
of Title 49, United States Code, which is commonly referred to as the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act or as the Safety Act. See 
49 U.S.C. 30166(m)(1), (2). Under one subsection of the early warning 
provisions, NHTSA is to require reports of information in the 
manufacturers' possession to the extent that such information may 
assist in the identification of safety-related defects and which 
concern, inter alia, data on claims for deaths and aggregate

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statistical data on property damage. 49 U.S.C. 30166(m)(3)(A)(i); see 
also 49 U.S.C. 30166(m)(3)(C). Another subsection, specifically 
30166(m)(3)(B), authorizes the agency to require manufacturers to 
report information that may assist in the identification of safety 
defects. Specifically, section 30166(m)(3)(B) states: ``As part of the 
final rule . . . the Secretary may, to the extent that such information 
may assist in the identification of defects related to motor vehicle 
safety in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in the United 
States, require manufacturers of motor vehicles or motor vehicle 
equipment to report, periodically or upon request of the Secretary, 
such information as the Secretary may request.'' This subsection 
conveys substantial authority and discretion to the agency. Most EWR 
data, with the exception of information on deaths and property damage 
claims, is reported under regulations authorized by this provision.
    The agency's discretion is not unfettered. Per 49 U.S.C. 
30166(m)(4)(D), NHTSA may not impose undue burdens upon manufacturers, 
taking into account the cost incurred by manufacturers to report EWR 
data and the agency's ability to use the EWR data meaningfully to 
assist in the identification of safety defects.
    The EWR regulation divides manufacturers of motor vehicles and 
motor vehicle equipment into two groups with different reporting 
responsibilities for reporting information. The first group consists 
of: (a) Larger vehicle manufacturers that meet certain production 
thresholds that produce light vehicles, buses, emergency vehicles, 
medium-heavy vehicles, trailers and/or motorcycles; (b) tire 
manufacturers that produce over a certain number per tire line; and (c) 
all manufacturers of child restraints. Light vehicle, motorcycle, 
trailer and medium-heavy vehicle manufacturers except buses and 
emergency vehicles that produced, imported, offered for sale, or sold 
5,000 or more vehicles annually in the United States are required to 
report comprehensive reports every calendar quarter. Emergency vehicle 
manufacturers must report if they produced, imported, offered for sale, 
or sold 500 or more vehicles annually and bus manufacturers must report 
if they produced, imported or offered for sale, or sold 100 or more 
buses annually in the United States. Passenger car tire, light truck 
tire and motorcycle tire manufacturers that produced, imported, offered 
for sale, or sold 15,000 or more tires per tire line are also required 
to provide comprehensive quarterly reports. The first group must 
provide comprehensive reports every calendar quarter. 49 CFR 579.21-
579.26. The second group consists of all other manufacturers of motor 
vehicles and motor vehicle equipment (i.e., vehicle manufacturers that 
produce, import, or sell in the United States fewer than 5,000 light 
vehicles, medium-heavy vehicles (excluding emergency vehicles and 
buses), motorcycles, or trailers annually; vehicle manufacturers that 
produce, import, or sell in the United States fewer than 500 emergency 
vehicles annually; vehicle manufacturers that produce, import, or sell 
in the United States fewer than 100 buses annually; manufacturers of 
original motor vehicle equipment; and manufacturers of replacement 
motor vehicle equipment other than child restraint systems and tires). 
The second group has limited reporting responsibility.\1\ 49 CFR 
579.27.
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    \1\ In contrast to the comprehensive quarterly reports provided 
by manufacturers in the first group, the second group of 
manufacturers does not have to provide quarterly reports. These 
manufacturers only submit information about a death incident when 
they receive a claim or notice of a death.
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    Light vehicle, bus, emergency vehicle and medium-heavy vehicle 
manufacturers must provide information relating to:
     Production (the cumulative total of vehicles or items of 
equipment manufactured in the year).
     Incidents involving death or injury based on claims and 
notices received by the manufacturer.
     Claims relating to property damage received by the 
manufacturer.
     Consumer complaints (a communication by a consumer to the 
manufacturer that expresses dissatisfaction with the manufacturer's 
product or performance of its product or an alleged defect).
     Warranty claims paid by the manufacturer pursuant to a 
warranty program (in the tire industry these are warranty adjustment 
claims).
     Field reports (a report prepared by an employee or 
representative of the manufacturer concerning the failure, malfunction, 
lack of durability or other performance problem of a motor vehicle or 
item of motor vehicle equipment).
    For property damage claims, warranty claims, consumer complaints 
and field reports, light vehicle, bus, emergency vehicle and medium-
heavy vehicle manufacturers submit information in the form of numerical 
tallies, by specified system and component. These data are referred to 
as aggregate data. Reports on deaths or injuries contain specified data 
elements. In addition, light vehicle, bus, emergency vehicle and 
medium-heavy vehicle manufacturers are required to submit copies of 
field reports, except for dealer and product evaluation reports.
    On a quarterly basis, vehicle and equipment manufacturers meeting 
the production thresholds discussed above must provide comprehensive 
reports for each make and model for the calendar year of the report and 
nine previous model years for vehicles and four years for equipment. 
The vehicle systems or components on which manufacturers provide 
information vary depending upon the type of vehicle or equipment 
manufactured. Light vehicle manufacturers must provide reports on 
twenty (20) vehicle components or systems: steering, suspension, 
service brake, parking brake, engine and engine cooling system, fuel 
system, power train, electrical system, exterior lighting, visibility, 
air bags, seat belts, structure, latch, vehicle speed control, tires, 
wheels, seats, fire and rollover. Bus, emergency vehicle and medium-
heavy vehicle manufacturers must provide reports on an additional four 
(4) vehicle components or systems: service brake air, fuel system 
diesel, fuel system other, and trailer hitch.\2\
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    \2\ Manufacturers of motorcycles, trailers, child restraints and 
tires report on varying systems and components. See 49 CFR 579.23-
26.
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B. The Foreign Defect Reporting Rule

    The TREAD Act also amended 49 U.S.C. 30166 to add a new subsection 
(l) to address reporting of foreign defects and other safety campaigns 
by vehicle and equipment manufacturers. This section requires 
manufacturers of motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment to 
notify NHTSA if the manufacturer or a foreign government determines 
that the manufacturer should conduct a recall or other safety campaign 
on a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment that is identical 
or substantially similar to a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle 
equipment offered for sale in the United States. 49 U.S.C. 30166(l). 
Subsection (l) does not define ``identical'' or the term 
``substantially similar.'' Under the TREAD Act's foreign defect 
reporting provisions, NHTSA is to specify the contents of the 
notification. Id.
    On October 11, 2002, NHTSA published regulations implementing 
foreign motor vehicle and product defect reporting provisions of the 
TREAD Act, 49 U.S.C. 30166(l). 67 FR 63295, 63310; 49 CFR part 579, 
subpart B. The Foreign Defect Reporting rule requires certain motor 
vehicle

[[Page 51385]]

manufacturers and motor vehicle equipment manufacturers to report 
information and submit documents to NHTSA when a manufacturer or a 
foreign government determines that a safety recall or other safety 
campaign should be conducted in a foreign country for products that are 
identical or substantially similar to vehicles or items of equipment 
sold or offered for sale in the United States. 49 U.S.C. 30166(l)(1) & 
(2). To assist the agency's program implementation, manufacturers must 
submit an annual list of substantially similar vehicles to NHTSA. 49 
CFR 579.11(e). This list is due by November 1 of each year. 
Manufacturers may submit their substantially similar vehicle list by 
mail, facsimile or by email. 49 CFR 579.6(a). NHTSA offers a Microsoft 
Excel template on its Web site http://www.safercar.gov/ that 
manufacturers can download and use to upload their substantially 
similar lists directly to NHTSA's Artemis database. The vast majority 
of manufacturers submit their substantially similar list by uploading 
the template directly to the agency.

C. Domestic Safety Defect and Noncompliance Recalls

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30119, manufacturers are required 
to provide notice to the Secretary if the manufacturer determines that 
a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment contains a defect 
related to motor vehicle safety or does not comply with an applicable 
motor vehicle safety standard. The regulation implementing the 
manufacturer's requirement to provide notice to NHTSA is located at 49 
CFR part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, 
which, among other things, requires manufacturers to provide reports 
(commonly referred to as Defect or Noncompliance reports, or part 573 
Information Reports, as the case may be) to NHTSA on defects in motor 
vehicles and motor vehicle equipment and noncompliances with motor 
vehicle safety standards found in 49 CFR part 571.
    Section 573.6 specifies the information that manufacturers are 
required to submit to the agency and Sec.  573.9 specifies the address 
for submitting reports. One element is the identification of the 
vehicles containing the defect or noncompliance. Section 573.6(c)(2)(i) 
requires manufacturers to identify passenger cars by the make, line, 
model year, the dates of manufacture and other information as necessary 
to describe the vehicles. For all other vehicles, Sec.  573.6(c)(2)(ii) 
requires manufacturers to identify the vehicles by body style or type, 
dates of manufacture and any other information as necessary to describe 
the vehicle, such as the GVWR. Section 573.6(c)(3) requires 
manufacturers to submit the total number of vehicles that potentially 
contain the defect or noncompliance.
    Section 573.8 requires manufacturers to maintain lists of VINs of 
the vehicles involved in a recall as well as the remedy status for each 
vehicle to be included in a manufacturer's quarterly reporting as 
specified in Sec.  573.7.
    The Safety Act also requires manufacturers of motor vehicles or 
items of motor vehicle equipment to notify NHTSA and owners and 
purchasers of the vehicle or equipment if the manufacturer determines 
that a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment contains a 
defect related to motor vehicle safety or does not comply with an 
applicable motor vehicle safety standard. 49 U.S.C. 30118(c). 
Manufacturers must provide notification pursuant to the procedures set 
forth in section 30119 of the Safety Act. Section 30119 sets forth the 
contents of the notification, which includes a clear description of the 
defect or noncompliance, the timing of the notification, means of 
providing notification and when a second notification is required. 49 
U.S.C. 30119. Subsection (a) of section 30119 confers considerable 
authority and discretion on NHTSA, by rulemaking, to require additional 
information in a manufacturer's notification. See 49 U.S.C. 
30119(a)(7).
    The conduct of a recall notification campaign, including how and 
when owners, dealers, and distributors are notified, is addressed by 
regulation in 49 CFR part 577, Defect and Noncompliance Notification. 
Section 577.5 specifies required content and structure of the owner 
notifications. Section 577.13 specifies required content for dealer and 
distributor notifications. Section 577.7 dictates the time and manner 
of these notifications.
    In July 2012, Congress enacted the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 
21st Century (MAP-21) Act. See Public Law 112-141, 126 Stat 405 (July 
6, 2012). Sections 31301 of the MAP-21 Act mandates that the Secretary 
require that motor vehicle safety recall information be made available 
to the public on the Internet, and it provides authority to the 
Secretary, in his discretion, to conduct a rulemaking to require each 
manufacturer to provide its safety recall information on a publicly 
accessible Internet Web site. Under section 31301(a), Congress has 
directed the Secretary to require motor vehicle safety information be 
available on the Internet, searchable by vehicle make, model and VIN, 
preserves consumer privacy and includes information regarding 
completion of the particular recall. Section 31301(b) authorizes the 
Secretary, in his discretion, to conduct a rulemaking requiring 
manufacturers to provide the safety recall information in paragraph (a) 
on a publicly accessible Internet Web site. Specifically, section 
31301(a) states:

    (a) VEHICLE RECALL INFORMATION.--Not later than 1 year after the 
date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall require that 
motor vehicle safety recall information--
    (1) be available to the public on the Internet;
    (2) be searchable by vehicle make and model and vehicle 
identification number;
    (3) be in a format that preserves consumer privacy; and
    (4) includes information about each recall that has not been 
completed for each vehicle.

    Section 31301(a) did not directly speak to the mechanism for 
implementing its requirements, leaving the agency to use its discretion 
to fill any ambiguity. Paragraph (a) is silent with respect to who is 
required to make safety recall information available, which 
manufacturers are subject to the requirement, the types of safety 
information to be made available, and how and when the information is 
placed on the Internet.
    Paragraph (b) provides the Secretary with the authority to conduct 
a rulemaking to provide the information in subsection (a) and provides 
limited instructions as to the scope of any such rulemaking and sharing 
such information with automobile dealers and consumers. Section 
31301(b) states:

    (b) RULEMAKING.--The Secretary may initiate a rulemaking 
proceeding to require each manufacturer to provide the information 
described in subsection (a), with respect to that manufacturer's 
motor vehicles, on a publicly accessible Internet Web site. Any 
rules promulgated under this subsection--
    (1) shall limit the information that must be made available 
under this section to include only those recalls issued not more 
than 15 years prior to the date of enactment of [MAP-21].
    (2) may require information under paragraph (1) to be provided 
to a dealer or an owner of a vehicle at no charge; and
    (3) shall permit a manufacturer a reasonable period of time 
after receiving information from a dealer with respect to a vehicle 
to update the information about the vehicle on the publicly 
accessible Internet Web site.

    Similar to paragraph (a) of 31301, paragraph (b) vests considerable 
discretion in the agency to conduct a rulemaking to meet the statutory 
goals of section 31301.

[[Page 51386]]

    The MAP-21 Act further specifies that a manufacturer's filing of a 
bankruptcy petition under Chapter 11 of Title 11 of the United States 
Code, does not negate its duty to comply with, among other things, the 
defect and noncompliance notification and reporting obligations, and 
the requirement to provide a free remedy, under the Safety Act.

II. Summary of the NPRM

A. Summary of Our Proposals Affecting Early Warning Rule and Foreign 
Defect Reporting

    The early warning reporting (EWR) rule requires certain 
manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to submit 
information to NHTSA. 49 CFR part 579, subpart C. The EWR rule divides 
vehicle manufacturers into different segments based upon weight or 
vehicle application. These segments are light vehicles, buses, 
emergency vehicles, medium-heavy vehicles, motorcycles and trailers. 
The proposed amendments to the EWR rule concern light vehicles, buses, 
emergency vehicles, and medium-heavy vehicles.
    We proposed requiring light vehicle manufacturers to report vehicle 
type in their death and injury and aggregate reports. Under the current 
EWR rule, light vehicle manufacturers submit vehicle type as part of 
production reports, but do not report vehicle types in either their 
death and injury reports or their aggregate reports. We proposed a 
solution to this inconsistency.
    We proposed to require reporting on additional components in the 
light vehicle, bus, emergency vehicle, and medium-heavy vehicle 
component categories and to amend the light vehicle, bus, emergency 
vehicle, and medium-heavy vehicle reporting templates.
    We proposed to add a requirement that light vehicle manufacturers 
provide the fuel and/or propulsion system type for nine (9) different 
fuel and/or propulsion system types. In addition, the proposal would 
add definitions for each fuel and/or propulsion system.
    Furthermore, we proposed to add four (4) new light vehicle and one 
(1) new medium-heavy vehicle component reporting categories. The new 
light vehicle component categories are electronic stability control, 
forward collision avoidance, lane departure prevention, and backover 
prevention; the new medium-heavy vehicle component category is 
stability control/roll stability control. We also proposed new 
definitions for each of these components. We also proposed to correct a 
minor inconsistency in light vehicle manufacturer reporting of vehicle 
types to capture several recently introduced light vehicle 
technologies.
    We proposed and requested comments on amendments to a 
manufacturer's reporting requirements related to safety recalls and 
other safety campaigns in foreign countries under subpart B of part 
579. We proposed to standardize the manner of submitting annual lists 
of substantially similar vehicles under Sec.  579.11(e) by uploading 
them, via a secure internet connection, to NHTSA's Artemis database 
using a template provided on NHTSA's EWR Web site. Currently, 
manufacturers may submit their substantially similar lists by mail, 
facsimile or email. See 49 CFR 579.6(a).

B. Summary of Our Proposals Affecting Safety Recalls Reporting, 
Administration, and Execution

    The NPRM proposed changes and additions to the regulations 
governing recalls, 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports, and 49 CFR Part 577, Defect and 
Noncompliance Notification.
    We proposed a number of measures in an effort to improve the 
information the agency receives from recalling manufacturers concerning 
the motor vehicles and equipment they are recalling and the plans for 
remedying those products, in addition to distribution of that 
information to the affected public.
    First, for motor vehicle recalls, and in accordance with the MAP-21 
Act, we proposed to adopt regulations that would implement MAP-21's 
mandate that the Secretary require motor vehicle safety recall 
information be made available to the public on the Internet, be 
searchable by vehicle make and model and vehicle identification number 
(VIN), be in a format that preserves consumer privacy, and includes 
information about each recall that has not been completed for each 
vehicle. See MAP-21 Act, Public Law 112-141, Sec.  31301, 126 Stat 405, 
763 (July 6, 2012). The Secretary was given the discretion to engage in 
rulemaking to require a manufacturer to provide the information above 
on vehicles it manufacturers on a publicly accessible Internet Web 
site. Id. at section 31301(b). We proposed to exercise the authority 
given the Secretary in sections (a) and (b), not only to meet the Act's 
mandate, but to increase the numbers of motor vehicles remedied under 
safety recall campaigns which, in turn, will serve to reduce the risk 
of incidents, as well as injuries or fatalities, associated with 
vehicles that contain safety defects or fail to meet minimum FMVSS.
    To meet MAP-21, and increase the number of motor vehicles remedied 
under safety recall campaigns, the agency proposed to offer vehicle 
owners and prospective purchasers an enhanced vehicle recalls search 
tool through its Web site, www.safercar.gov, that would go beyond the 
current functionality to search by specific make and model vehicle, and 
would offer a VIN-based search function that would report back whether 
a vehicle has been subject to a safety recall, and whether that vehicle 
has had the manufacturer's free remedy performed.
    In order to gather the information necessary for us to provide this 
enhanced functionality, we proposed to require larger volume, light 
vehicle manufacturers to submit the VINs for vehicles affected by a 
safety recall to NHTSA. We further proposed to require these 
manufacturers to submit to NHTSA recall remedy completion information 
on those vehicles, again supplied by VIN, that would be updated at 
least once daily so that our search tool had ``real time'' information 
that could inform owners and other interested parties if a recall is 
outstanding on a vehicle. In our effort to improve the information 
received from recalling manufacturers, and so NHTSA could better 
understand and process recalls, we proposed to require certain 
additional items of information from recalling manufacturers. These 
additional items included an identification and description of the risk 
associated with the safety defect or noncompliance with a FMVSS, and, 
as to motor vehicle equipment recalls, the brand name, model name, and 
model number, of the equipment recalled. We also proposed that 
manufacturers be prohibited from including disclaimers in their part 
573 information reports.
    Similarly, as part of our effort to ensure we are apprised of 
information related to safety recalls, we proposed that manufacturers 
update their Part 573 Reports with information missing from the initial 
report, or newly updated information, within five working days of 
learning the information. We also proposed that, within 90 days of a 
recall's available remedy, the manufacturer review its Part 573 Report 
for completeness and accuracy and supplement or amend it as necessary 
to comply with part 573.
    We proposed to require manufacturers to submit through a secure, 
agency-owned and managed web-based application, all recall-related 
reports, information, and associated documents. We explained that we 
believed this

[[Page 51387]]

would improve our efficiency and accuracy in collecting and processing 
important recalls information and then distributing it to the public. 
It would also reduce a current and significant allocation of agency 
resources spent translating and processing the same information that is 
currently submitted in a free text fashion, whether that text is 
delivered via a hard copy, mailed submission, or delivered 
electronically through email.
    In order to ensure that owners are promptly notified of safety 
defects and failures to meet minimum safety standards, we proposed to 
specify that manufacturers notify owners and purchasers no later than 
60 days after a safety defect or noncompliance decision is made. In the 
event the free remedy is not available at the time of notification, we 
proposed that manufacturers be required to issue a second notification 
to owners and purchasers once that remedy is available.
    In an effort to encourage owners to have recall repairs made to 
their vehicles and vehicle equipment, we proposed additional 
requirements governing the content and formatting of owner notification 
letters and the envelopes in which they are mailed in an effort to 
improve the number of vehicles that receive a remedy under a recall. We 
proposed that all letters include ``URGENT SAFETY RECALL'' in all 
capital letters and in an enlarged font at the top of those letters, 
and that for vehicle recalls, the manufacturer place the VIN of the 
owner's vehicle affected by the safety defect or noncompliance, within 
the letter. To further emphasize the importance of the communication, 
and to distinguish it from other commercial communications, we proposed 
that the envelopes in which the letters are mailed be stamped with the 
logos of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the 
U.S. Department of Transportation, along with a statement that the 
letter is an important safety recall notice issued in accordance with 
Federal law.
    Lastly, we proposed to add a requirement for manufacturers to 
notify the agency in the event they file for bankruptcy. We explained 
that this requirement would help us preserve our ability to take 
necessary and appropriate measures to ensure recalling manufacturers, 
or others such as corporate successors, continue to honor obligations 
to provide free remedies to owners of unsafe vehicle and equipment 
products.

III. Scope of This Rulemaking

    Today's final rule is limited in scope to amendments to the EWR 
requirements, the foreign defect reporting rule, and to the 
requirements associated with safety recall reporting, administration, 
and execution as delineated in parts 573 and 577 of Title 49 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations. Apart from the following changes noted 
below in the summary section, NHTSA intends to leave the remaining 
current EWR, foreign defect reporting regulations, and safety recalls 
implementing regulations parts 573, 577 and 579 unchanged.

IV. How the Final Rule Differs From the NPRM

A. How the Final Rule Differs From the NPRM as to the Early Warning 
Reporting and Foreign Defect Reporting Proposals

     We are implementing a one-year lead time from the date 
this final rule is published for the electronic-only submission of 
annual substantially similar vehicle listings, Sec.  579.11(e).
     We are subdividing the light vehicle Service Brakes 
component code into Foundation Braking Systems and Automatic Brake 
Controls.

B. How the Final Rule Differs From the NPRM as to the Domestic Safety 
Recall Proposals

     We did not adopt the requirement that large, light vehicle 
manufacturers report recalled VINs to NHTSA.
     We adopted the alternative proposal that requires large, 
light vehicle manufacturers to provide a VIN-based recall lookup tool 
on their Internet Web sites that meets certain performance-based 
criteria.
     We did not adopt the prohibition against the use of 
disclaimers, or language that disavows the presence of a safety-related 
defect or noncompliance, in a manufacturer's Part 573 Information 
Report.
     We did not adopt the requirement that manufacturers review 
their Part 573 Information Reports for completeness and accuracy 90-
days after launching the recall remedy campaign.
     We adopted with slight changes the requirement that a 
manufacturer update and submit new information to its Part 573 
Information Report. Today's rule requires updates and new information 
within five (5) working days from when the manufacturer has confirmed 
the accuracy of the information, which is different than our proposal 
to require that the information be submitted within five (5) days of 
becoming available.
     We adopted the proposal to mandate the use of a specific 
label on the envelopes containing the manufacturer's notification to an 
owner, but agree with commenters that manufacturers have the discretion 
to decide where to place the label on the front of the envelope.
     We adopted the proposal to require vehicle manufacturers 
to place the vehicle's VIN in the notification to that vehicle's owner, 
but leave to their discretion where in that letter to place this 
information.

V. Agency Response to Comments and Decisions

A. Decisions and Responses to Comments on Early Warning Reporting and 
Foreign Defect Reporting

    NHTSA received comments from 12 parties on proposals affecting EWR 
and Foreign Defect Reporting. These commenters were Advocates for 
Highway and Auto Safety (the Advocates), Alliance of Automobile 
Manufacturers (the Alliance), American Honda Motor Co, Inc. (Honda), 
American Suzuki Motor Co, Inc (Suzuki), Association of Global 
Automakers, Inc. (Global), Center for Auto Safety (CAS), Ford Motor 
Company (Ford), Law Office of Hogan Lovells US LLP representing 
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association 
(MEMA), National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM), Quality 
Control Systems Corporation (QCSC), and Toyota Motor North America, 
Inc. (Toyota). The specific comments of each entity will be discussed 
below for each topic to which they responded.
1. Matters Considered in Adding Data Elements to Early Warning Reports
    Under EWR, we endeavor to collect a body of information that may 
assist in the identification of potential safety-related defects in 
motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. When we believe that the 
EWR information may be refined or enhanced to further advance our goal 
of identifying safety defects, we consider factors that are relevant to 
the particular area of EWR under consideration. In view of our broad 
statutory authority to require reporting of information that may assist 
in the identification of potential safety-related defects, we do not 
believe that it is necessary or appropriate to identify a prescriptive 
list of factors for delineating particular data elements. Nonetheless, 
based on our experience, the following considerations, among other 
things, have been identified as relevant to evaluating whether or not

[[Page 51388]]

adding data elements to light vehicle, bus, emergency vehicle and 
medium-heavy vehicle reporting would assist in identifying safety-
related defects:
     The importance of the data to motor vehicle safety.
     The maturity of a particular technology and its market 
penetration.
     Whether the current component categories are adequate to 
capture information related to proposed data elements.
     Whether ODI has investigated or been notified of vehicle 
recalls related to the proposed data elements.
     Whether VOQ complaints related to the data elements have 
been useful in opening investigations into potential safety-related 
defects and whether those investigations have resulted or may result in 
recalls.
     Whether manufacturers collect information on the proposed 
data elements.
     The burden on manufacturers.
    We emphasize that the general approach of the EWR program is to 
collect data on numerous systems and components in a very wide range 
and volume of vehicles for the agency to then systematically review 
information, with the end result being the identification of a 
relatively small number of potential safety problems, compared to the 
amount of data collected and reviewed. These data are considered along 
with other information collected by and available to the agency in 
deciding whether to open investigations.
    The following sections discuss the new EWR component codes that 
were proposed in the NPRM, the comments we received to each and our 
response.
2. Vehicle Type for Light Vehicle Aggregate Data
    The EWR regulation requires light vehicle manufacturers producing 
5,000 or more vehicles annually to submit production information 
including the make, the model, the model year, the type, the platform 
and the number of vehicles produced. 49 CFR 579.21(a). Manufacturers 
must provide the production as a cumulative total for the model year, 
unless production of the product has ceased. Id. While light vehicle 
manufacturers are required to provide the type of vehicle with their 
production, they are not required to provide the type of vehicle when 
they submit death and injury data pursuant to 49 CFR 579.21(b) or with 
aggregate data under 49 CFR 579.21(c).\3\ The NPRM proposed to amend 
Sec.  579.21(b) and (c) to require light vehicle manufacturers to 
provide the type of vehicle when they submit their death and injury 
data and aggregate data under those sections. We also proposed to amend 
the light vehicle reporting templates for the EWR death and injury and 
aggregate reports to reflect adding vehicle type and provided exemplar 
light vehicle templates in Appendix A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ For light vehicles, type means the certification by a 
manufacturer pursuant to 49 CFR 567.4(g)(7) as to whether a vehicle 
is a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, or truck or a 
vehicle identified by its manufacturer as an incomplete vehicle 
pursuant to 48 CFR 568.4. See 49 CFR 579.4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We believe this change will assist ODI to identify potential 
safety-related defects by making light vehicle EWR data received 
internally consistent. Because light vehicle manufacturers providing 
quarterly EWR reports are not obligated to provide the vehicle type in 
their death and injury and aggregate EWR reports, NHTSA is unable to 
distinguish whether the light vehicle death and injury and aggregate 
data are associated with certain vehicle types such as passenger cars, 
multi-purpose vehicles, light trucks or incomplete vehicles. Without 
being able to isolate this information by vehicle type, ODI cannot 
match aggregate data accurately with production data.
    The Advocates, the Alliance, Ford, and Toyota commented 
specifically on the proposal to amend Sec.  579.21(b) and (c) to 
require light vehicle manufacturers to include the type code in the 
death/injury and aggregate data. The Advocates supported the addition 
and concurred with the agency's position that this would impose minimal 
burden on manufacturers. Toyota indicated that they could determine the 
vehicle type from vehicle model; while Ford indicated that including 
the type code would increase the number of records in their submissions 
from 18 to 33 (but did not object to the addition). The Alliance did 
not object to the proposal and believes the related costs are 
relatively modest. However, the Alliance offered the opinion, and Ford 
concurred, that creating a vehicle type ``UN'' for ``unknown'' may lead 
to a conflict in Artemis because there will be no production volume for 
model line ``unknown.'' The agency notes that a vehicle type ``UN'' 
will be an exception case for Death/Injury records where the VIN is not 
available; likewise, these records would be excluded from the data 
consistency check. The same goes for aggregate records--``unknown'' 
records will be excluded for data validation. This is similar to the 
current processing for Child Restraints in the case where the 
Production Year is 9999 (or unknown).
    We believe the addition of the vehicle type code in paragraphs (a), 
(b), and (c) of Sec.  579.21 will improve our ability to identify 
potential safety-related defects. No commenters objected to the 
inclusion of the type code in light vehicle reporting. Accordingly, 
NHTSA will adopt this proposal as written in the NPRM, with minor 
revisions to the wording of the regulatory text that do not change the 
meaning of the proposed text.
3. Reporting by Fuel and/or Propulsion System Type
    Currently, the EWR regulation requires light vehicle manufacturers 
to report the required information by make, model and model year. 49 
CFR 579.21(a), (b)(2), (c). The rule also requires light vehicle 
manufacturers to subdivide their EWR death and injury and aggregate 
reports by components. 49 CFR 579.21(b)(2), (c). Reporting by make, 
model and model year and component categories have remained unchanged 
since the EWR regulation was published in July 2002. Since that time, 
manufacturers have introduced new technologies to meet the demand for 
more fuel efficient vehicles. Currently, light vehicle manufacturers do 
not identify the specific fuel or propulsion system used in their 
vehicles. As use of these new technologies expands, we are concerned 
that the current EWR reporting scheme is not sufficiently sensitive to 
readily identify vehicles with different fuel and/or propulsion system 
types. For example, some models, such as the Toyota Camry, are offered 
with both conventional and hybrid propulsion systems.
    The recently issued Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards 
will spur manufacturers to increasingly produce fuel efficient vehicles 
employing various technologies. Following the direction set by 
President Obama on May 21, 2010, NHTSA and the Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) have published final rules for Fuel Economy and Greenhouse 
Gas emissions regulations for model year (MY) 2017-2025 light-duty 
vehicles. NHTSA believes that to meet the new CAFE standards, 
manufacturers will increase their production of light vehicles with 
alternate fuel and/or propulsion systems that could raise new safety 
issues not currently accounted for in the EWR regulatory scheme.
    Therefore, as the automotive industry begins to introduce and 
produce more vehicles with new propulsion systems,

[[Page 51389]]

NHTSA believes now is an opportune time to start collecting EWR 
information to assist in identifying potential defects in these new 
systems. As currently configured, the EWR reporting structure may mask 
potential problems with these systems. NHTSA is currently unable to 
discern from EWR data whether a particular vehicle problem is unique to 
a particular fuel or propulsion system. Currently, problems with a 
particular make and model that may be unique to one fuel and/or 
propulsion system could be readily distinguished from problems that may 
apply to that make and model regardless of the fuel and/or propulsion 
system. The final rule will permit NHTSA to investigate safety concerns 
in many makes and models with similar fuel and/or propulsion systems 
(e.g., a battery problem in a plug-in electric vehicle or a hydrogen 
fuel cell problem that may extend to similarly equipped vehicles).
    We believe that adding the appropriate fuel and/or propulsion 
system type to EWR will enhance NHTSA's ability to identify and address 
potential safety defects related to specific fuel and/or propulsion 
systems.
    In the NPRM, the agency proposed to amend 49 CFR 579.21(a), (b), 
and (c) to require light vehicle manufacturers to provide the type of 
fuel and/or propulsion system when they submit their EWR data and to 
update accordingly the light vehicle reporting templates for the EWR 
production information, death and injury, and aggregate data to reflect 
adding fuel and/or propulsion type. Also, a new definition of ``fuel 
and/or propulsion system type'' was proposed for 49 CFR 579.4: ``fuel 
and/or propulsion system type means the variety of fuel and/or 
propulsion systems used in a vehicle, as follows: compressed natural 
gas (CNG); compression ignition fuel (CIF); electric battery power 
(EBP); fuel-cell power (FCP); hybrid electric vehicle (HEV); hydrogen 
based power (HBP); plug-in hybrid (PHV); and spark ignition fuel 
(SIF).'' Manufacturers would identify the fuel and/or propulsion system 
on the EWR template in the appropriate field. In addition to amending 
Sec.  579.4 to add ``fuel and/or propulsion system type'', the NPRM 
proposed definitions for each of the following fuel or propulsion 
system types:
     Compressed natural gas (CNG) means a system that uses 
compressed natural gas to propel a motor vehicle.
     Compression ignition Fuel (CIF) means a system that uses 
diesel or any diesel-based fuels to propel a motor vehicle. This 
includes biodiesel.
     Electric battery power (EBP) means a system that uses only 
batteries to power an electric motor to propel a motor vehicle.
     Fuel-cell power (FCP) means a system that uses fuel cells 
to generate electricity to power an electric motor to propel the 
vehicle.
     Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) means a system that uses a 
combination of an electric motor and internal combustion engine to 
propel a motor vehicle.
     Hydrogen based power (HBP) means a system that uses 
hydrogen to propel a motor vehicle through means other than a fuel 
cell.
     Plug-in hybrid (PHV) means a system that combines an 
electric motor and an internal combustion engine to propel a motor 
vehicle and is capable of recharging its batteries by plugging in to an 
external electric current.
     Spark ignition fuel (SIF) means a system that uses 
gasoline, ethanol, or methanol based fuels to propel a motor vehicle.
    We anticipated that the majority of vehicles produced by 
manufacturers would be captured by our proposed definitions. However, 
our proposal included the term ``other'' (OTH) to identify vehicle 
models employing a fuel and/or propulsion system that is not enumerated 
in our other proposed fuel and/or propulsion types. For example, the 
Dual fuel F-150 would be classified as ``Other,'' since it is propelled 
by either gasoline or CNG.
    The proposed fuel and/or propulsion system types included most of 
the alternative fuels found in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act 
(EPCA), as amended, 49 U.S.C. 32901, but not all. Due to differences in 
the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and EWR programs, our 
proposed categories of fuel/propulsion systems differ slightly from the 
alternative fuels listed in section 32901. While EPCA encourages 
manufacturers to produce vehicles using alternative fuels, the EWR 
program has a different focus. In the context of alternative fuel 
vehicles, that focus is on potential problems that may occur within a 
fuel or propulsion system, which requires the agency to differentiate 
between propulsion technologies that are, or will be, available to 
consumers. For EWR purposes, there is no technical hardware difference 
between a vehicle with a spark ignition fuel engine capable of using a 
variety of fuels, such as ethanol or gasoline, or a mixture of fuels, 
such as E85 (ethanol/gasoline mixture) and a vehicle with a spark 
ignition fuel engine using gasoline only. While such a fuel distinction 
is appropriate for the CAFE program, EWR will not benefit from that 
level of detail because the specific fuel type being used will be 
unknown.
    The Advocates, the Alliance, and Toyota commented on the addition 
of the fuel and/or propulsion type EWR codes. The Advocates supported 
the proposal, but asked that the agency address, in a separate 
rulemaking, linking the new EWR codes to the ``affected parts'' choices 
in the Vehicle Owners Questionnaire. The Advocates also indicated a 
desire to see a list of failure modes that can be chosen for each 
component. These comments are not within the scope of the current 
rulemaking and will not be addressed by this final rule. The Alliance 
and Toyota did not object to the addition of fuel and/or propulsion 
type codes, but sought clarification on how to report fuel and/or 
propulsion types that are unknown. The Alliance suggested a default of 
SIF, or whatever the base model version is for a model line not 
manufactured with a SIF system. Toyota stated that whatever approach is 
chosen for reporting an unknown must be simple enough to accomplish 
through, ``automatic means by way of programmatic mapping.'' The agency 
responds that if the attribute is ``unknown'' the entire record will be 
excluded from the data consistency check (validation). We expect that 
this will be a very infrequent occurrence. The EWR processing staff can 
always contact the manufacturer to seek clarification, if needed.
    Based upon the foregoing and the lack of objection to our proposal 
from commenters, this final rule amends Sec.  579.4 by adding the 
proposed definitions for ``fuel and/or propulsion system type'' in 
addition to Sec.  579.21(a), (b)(2), and (c) as proposed. We have 
deleted the phrase ``in the context of reporting fuel and/or propulsion 
system type'' in the new definitions, however, as it is redundant to 
the introductory language in Sec.  579.4(c) that states ``The following 
terms apply to this part.'' For clarity, we have changed the ``hydrogen 
based power (HBP)'' type to hydrogen combustion power (HCP). This 
change makes a clearer differentiation between this type and a fuel-
cell power propulsion type. Also for clarity, we added the phrase ``but 
is not capable of recharging its batteries by plugging in to an 
external electric current'' to the definition of Hybrid electric 
vehicle (HEV) to make a clearer differentiation between this type and 
the Plug-in hybrid type.
4. New Component Categories for Light Vehicles, Buses, Emergency 
Vehicles, and Medium-Heavy Vehicles
    The EWR regulation requires light and medium-heavy vehicle 
manufacturers to report the required information by

[[Page 51390]]

specific component categories. 49 CFR 579.21(b)(2), (c), (d) and 
579.22(b), (c), (d). The component categories for each vehicle type 
have remained unchanged since the EWR regulation was published in July 
2002. Since that time, new technologies, such as Electronic Stability 
Control (ESC), Roll Stability Control (RSC), Forward Collision 
Avoidance (FCA), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), and Backover 
Prevention, have been introduced into the marketplace. As these new 
technologies are implemented, and demand for these products increases 
in the market place, we are concerned that the EWR component categories 
are unsuitable for capturing these newer technologies. As a result, 
NHTSA proposed to add component codes for ESC, FCA, LDP and Backover 
Prevention to the EWR reporting for light vehicles and ESC/RSC for 
buses, emergency vehicles, and medium and heavy vehicles. Each of these 
new component codes and the comments regarding each are addressed 
below.
    Several commenters did not comment on the new component codes 
individually, but as a group. These commenters were CAS, Ford, Global, 
and Honda. CAS did not offer comments on the proposed codes, but asked 
for an expansion of the current codes for air bags. This request is 
outside the scope of the current rulemaking. Ford believes that the 
proposed codes are not appropriate for EWR and would require manual 
review of tens of thousands of EWR reports per quarter. Ford supports 
alternatives proposed by the Alliance.
    Global believes that reporting problems will be caused by the fact 
that several systems share components stating:

    If an incident or claim implicates a shared component, the 
proposal states that the manufacturer should report data based upon 
the functionality of the component as reported in the underlying 
claim. Given the complex nature of these systems, it is not clear 
that assignment of the cause of an incident or claim to one of these 
systems will be possible. In addition, in order to deal with this 
type of situation, additional technical resources would be required 
to assess ``functionality'' and changes to manufacturer data systems 
will be required. These actions will require time and resources to 
complete. To accomplish the proposed narrowing of categories, 
manufacturers would be saddled with the substantial burden of 
performing individualized reviews of warranty claims in certain 
instances. For example, manual reviews of claims involving brake 
malfunction would be required to definitely determine whether a 
claim is related to the electronic stability control system. This 
type of activity would be unduly burdensome from both a time and 
resource perspective. This issue will be exacerbated if NHTSA 
continues to add new codes for emerging technology in the future.

Global also believes that NHTSA has underestimated the costs and 
burdens aspect of the proposal. Suzuki stated that it participated in 
the development of, and supports, the Global comments. Toyota stated 
that the new component categories raise ``significant problems in 
implementation'', noting the same concerns as the Alliance.
    Honda commented that it has, ``no immediate concerns'' regarding 
introduction of the proposed new codes and provided a one-time cost 
estimate totaling 1,350 person hours and $135,000 to implement new 
codes.
    The above general comments will be addressed in the following 
sections. Detailed response to comments on cost can be found in Section 
VIII.F.1.b.
    QCSC did not address our proposed categories, but proposed its own: 
unintended acceleration, floor mats, and dividing air bags and seat 
belts into more defined sub-groups. This comment is outside the scope 
of this rulemaking and will not be addressed in this notice.
    i. Stability Control Systems
    In the NPRM, we proposed to add a new component code for light 
vehicles, buses, emergency vehicles and medium/heavy vehicles in 49 CFR 
579.21(b)(2) and 49 CFR 579.22(b)(2) for ESC.\4\ As discussed in the 
NPRM, ESC is now required for all light vehicles and presents known 
benefits for heavy vehicles. As a result, the number of vehicles using 
ESC is increasing rapidly and potentially could include the great 
majority of the vehicle fleet.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Manufacturers may market or refer to ESC as electronic 
stability program, vehicle stability control, rollover stability 
control, vehicle dynamics integrated management system, or active 
skid and traction control, among others.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to ESC, RSC systems are increasingly installed on heavy 
trucks. RSC detects a high lateral acceleration condition that could 
lead to a truck rolling over, and intervenes by automatically, applying 
the vehicle's brakes and/or reducing engine power and applying the 
engine retarder. We proposed to combine ESC and RSC in one EWR 
component code for medium and heavy trucks and proposed the new Heavy 
Vehicle Aggregate Template (Appendix B).
    The EWR regulation currently does not have a specific component for 
ESC or RSC issues. See 49 CFR 579.21(b)(2) and 579.22(b)(2). Light 
vehicle manufacturers report ESC issues under ``03 service brake 
system'' and medium-heavy vehicle manufacturers report stability 
control issues under ``03 service brake, hydraulic'' and ``04 service 
brake, air'' because those definitions include stability control. As a 
result, potential stability control issues may be masked within the 
broader service brake category, making NHTSA unable to examine and 
detect potential safety concerns that may be associated directly with a 
vehicle's stability control system. The agency believes that stability 
control issues are likely to increase as vehicle manufacturers add 
stability control to their fleets. In our view, it is important to 
capture EWR data on this key safety component, supplementing NHTSA's 
traditional screening methods to assist in identifying potential safety 
issues sooner. Adding an ESC component category to light vehicles and a 
combined ESC/RSC component category to buses, emergency vehicles and 
medium-heavy vehicles reporting categories will allow NHTSA to capture 
data on this mandatory system on light vehicles and new system on 
medium-heavy trucks and analyze stability control data for potential 
defects.
    The Alliance commented on the new ESC component code. While the 
Alliance agrees that ESC is very important for safety and has high 
market penetration, it opposed a new component code. It stated, ``The 
primary problem in attempting to create a component category 
exclusively of ESC is that it will often be very difficult for 
manufacturers to determine whether claims, consumer complaints, and 
other aggregate data that might relate to ESC actually do involve 
ESC.'' The Alliance believes, ``. . . it would be extremely difficult 
and costly--and would require a tremendous amount of additional time--
for manufacturers to attempt to disaggregate items involving ESC from 
the ``brake'' category, particularly with respect to claims, consumer 
complaints, and warranty claims.'' The Alliance pointed out that it 
believes that consumers often do not know, ``whether the perceived 
problem is related to ESC, as opposed to other handling or brake 
issues,'' and that warranty claims may be impossible to assign to ESC 
because, ``ESC systems share components and software with other vehicle 
systems.'' The Alliance noted that NHTSA issued a legal interpretation 
in 2003 that manufacturers' reporting must be based on the face of the 
claim or complaint and not on any manufacturers' analysis or 
investigation of the claim or complaint.\5\ It also notes that the

[[Page 51391]]

manufacturers have instituted long standing practices for processing 
claims and complaints based on this interpretation and, ``it would be 
extremely difficult, costly, and burdensome to attempt to separate 
reports of ESC issues from reports involving associated systems that 
utilize the same components.'' The Alliance then offered, as an 
alternative to the proposed ESC code, that the current ``service brake 
system'' category be divided into two new categories: ``foundation 
braking systems'' and ``automatic brake controls'', and proposed 
definitions for these terms.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Letter to Mr. Robert Strassburger from Jacqueline Glassman, 
Chief Counsel, March 25, 2003, stated in part, ``Reporting is to be 
based on the information in the complaint or claim, rather than on 
the manufacturer's assessment. Even if the manufacturer disagrees 
with the assertions of the consumer/claimant after conducting its 
analysis, the manufacturer must still report the complaint or 
claim.'' See http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ewr/interpretations.cfm 
and chose Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers March 25, 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency acknowledges that in some instances consumers may not 
perceive stability control problems during a crash or will be unable to 
distinguish stability control problems from problems with other 
components. This may occur when a consumer communicates through a 
complaint or a property damage claim to the manufacturer. Although 
there may be some of these instances, the agency believes that 
misidentification of stability control complaints will be rare. The 
agency receives vehicle owner questionnaires (consumer complaints) 
reporting potential problems with ESC. Furthermore, consumer complaint 
data represent only 5 percent and property damage claims represent less 
than 1 percent of the EWR aggregate data for the service brake 
component.
    The bulk of the EWR data for the service brake component consists 
of warranty claims and field reports. Manufacturers likely have the 
capability to identify and report specific problems associated with 
stability control in warranty claims and field reports. Manufacturers 
of light vehicles have elaborate warranty systems that capture 
information about discrete components and service codes. Manufacturers 
also track issues identified by their representatives in the field. The 
agency still believes that with the ability to identify specific issues 
through service codes and field inspections, manufacturers should be 
able to code stability control issues appropriately. However, the 
agency did not intend to change its long-standing interpretation 
regarding coding claims and complaints. For such items, the 
manufacturer should use the information reported to the manufacturer by 
the consumer as the basis for its EWR codes. In the proposal, we 
intended that manufactures would, where possible on the face of the 
claim or complaint, consistent with our interpretation, categorize 
complaints and claims using the proposed new ESC code. Where that is 
not possible, codes would be assigned as appropriate by the 
manufacturer.
    Adding a new component to the light vehicle, bus, emergency vehicle 
and medium-heavy vehicle EWR reporting is likely to create a one-time 
cost for manufacturers to amend their reporting template and revise 
their software systems to appropriately categorize the stability 
control system data. We do not believe this cost will be substantial or 
pose an undue burden on manufacturers.
    In the agency's view, as discussed above, ESC is an important, 
required, component for light vehicle control and a malfunction can 
have an impact on vehicle safety. Capturing data on this new technology 
will assist the agency in identifying potential problems sooner. 
Because the number of vehicles with ESC is increasing rapidly and all 
light vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2011 must have ESC, we 
believe that it is appropriate for the agency to start collecting EWR 
data on this specific component.
    The final rule will adopt, as we proposed, the ESC definition found 
in 49 CFR 571.126.S4 for light vehicles. The final rule will define ESC 
for buses, emergency vehicles, and medium-heavy vehicles as a system 
that has all the following attributes:
     Augments vehicle directional stability by applying and 
adjusting the vehicle brake torques individually at each wheel position 
on at least one front and at least one rear axle of the vehicles to 
induce correcting yaw moment to limit vehicle oversteer and to limit 
vehicle understeer;
     Enhances rollover stability by applying and adjusting the 
vehicle brake torques individually at each wheel position on at least 
one front and at least one rear axle of the vehicle to reduce lateral 
acceleration of a vehicle;
     Is computer-controlled with the computer using a closed-
loop algorithm to induce correcting yaw moment and enhance rollover 
stability;
     Has a means to determine the vehicle's lateral 
acceleration;
     Has a means to determine the vehicle's yaw rate and to 
estimate its side slip or side slip derivative with respect to time;
     Has a means to estimate vehicle mass or, if applicable, 
combination vehicle mass;
     Has a means to monitor driver steering input;
     Has a means to modify engine torque, as necessary, to 
assist the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle and/or 
combination vehicle; and
     Can provide brake pressure to automatically apply on a 
truck tractor and modulate the brake torques of a towed semi-trailer.

As noted above, the agency does not intend for manufacturers to change 
long-standing practices and processes to implement the use of the new 
ESC code, but simply to use the code when, a warranty claim or field 
report indicates a concern with stability control and a claim or 
consumer compliant, on its face, indicates a concern with stability 
control systems. In cases where ESC is not obvious code(s) should be 
assigned as appears appropriate.
    The agency believes dividing the current ``service brake system'' 
category into two new categories: ``foundation braking systems'' and 
``automatic brake controls'', has merit, in addition to the new ESC 
code. This issue is discussed further in subsection iii, below.
    For heavy vehicles, the agency proposed that issues with either an 
ESC or RSC system be reported in a combined ESC/RSC category. RSC has 
similar attributes related to ESC. The NPRM proposed that RSC be 
defined as a system that has the following attributes:
     Enhances rollover stability by applying and adjusting the 
vehicle brake torques to reduce lateral acceleration of a vehicle;
     Is computer-controlled with the computer using a closed-
loop algorithm to enhance rollover stability;
     Has a means to determine the vehicle's lateral 
acceleration;
     Has a means to determine the vehicle mass or, if 
applicable, combination vehicle mass; \6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ The NPRM used ``the means'' in this element. We have changed 
it in the final rule for consistency with the other elements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Has a means to modify engine torque, as necessary, to 
assist the driver in maintaining rollover stability of the vehicle and/
or combination vehicle; and
     Can provide brake pressure to automatically apply on a 
truck tractor and modulate the brake torques of a towed semi-trailer.
    There were no comments on the combined ESC/RSC category for buses, 
emergency vehicles, and medium and heavy vehicles. The only comment 
regarding heavy vehicle ESC was made by MEMA, who requested that the 
agency use, for heavy vehicles, the definition of ESC it proposed to 
the agency's NPRM on heavy vehicles ESC (Docket NHTSA-2012-0065 item 
0041, August 21, 2012). The agency does not believe the definition for 
ESC as it

[[Page 51392]]

applies to heavy vehicles should be changed before the final rule is 
issued on that subject.
    As proposed, this final rule amends 49 CFR 579.21(b)(2) to add ESC 
to the list of components in that section and amends 49 CFR 
579.22(b)(2) to the combined ESC/RSC component code to the list of 
components in that section. It also amends 49 CFR 579.4(b) to add the 
regulatory definition of light vehicle ESC found in 49 CFR 
571.126.S4,\7\ adds the definition of ESC and RSC for buses, emergency 
vehicles, and medium-heavy vehicles as proposed, and amends the 
definition of ``service brake system'' to remove stability control from 
that definition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ FMVSS No. 126 defines Electronic Stability Control system or 
ESC system to mean a system that has all of the following 
attributes:
    (1) That augments vehicle directional stability by applying and 
adjusting the vehicle brake torques individually to induce a 
correcting yaw moment to a vehicle;
    (2) That is computer-controlled with the computer using a 
closed-loop algorithm to limit vehicle oversteer and to limit 
vehicle understeer;
    (3) That has a means to determine the vehicle's yaw rate and to 
estimate its side slip or side slip derivative with respect to time;
    (4) That has a means to monitor driver steering inputs;
    (5) That has an algorithm to determine the need, and a means to 
modify engine torque, as necessary, to assist the driver in 
maintaining control of the vehicle; and
    (6) That is operational over the full speed range of the vehicle 
(except at vehicle speeds less than 20 km/h (12.4 mph), when being 
driven in reverse, or during system initialization).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Forward Collision Avoidance and Lane Departure Prevention
    An FCA system monitors and detects the presence of objects in a 
vehicle's forward travel lane and alerts the driver by means of an 
audible and/or visual warning of a potential impact with the object. 
FCA systems seek to warn drivers of stopped, decelerating or slower 
moving vehicles in the vehicle's lane of travel in order to avoid 
collisions. Some FCA systems may also assist with driver's braking or 
automatically brake to avoid collisions. An LDP system warns a driver 
that the vehicle is exiting a travel lane and may automatically provide 
steering input to assist the driver to maintain lane position.
    NHTSA is encouraging deployment of these important crash avoidance 
systems by notifying consumers which vehicles offer them through the 
New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Starting with model year 2011 
vehicles, NHTSA recommends ESC, Forward Collision Warning and Lane 
Departure Warning systems that pass the NCAP performance tests on the 
Web site www.safercar.gov. The agency believes that adding these 
technologies in NCAP will increase consumer awareness of these 
beneficial technologies and spur market demand.
    In the NPRM, the agency proposed two new categories, FCA and LDP, 
and definitions for each:
    Forward collision avoidance system means a system that:
     Has an algorithm or software to determine distance and 
relative speed of an object or another vehicle directly in the forward 
lane of travel; and
     Provides an audible, visible, and/or haptic warning to the 
driver of a potential collision with an object in the vehicle's forward 
travel lane.
    The system may also include a feature:
     Pre-charges the brakes prior to, or immediately after, a 
warning is issued to the driver;
     Closes all windows, retracts the seat belts, and/or moves 
forward any memory seats in order to protect the vehicle's occupants 
during or immediately after a warning is issued; or
     Applies any type of braking assist or input during or 
immediately after a warning is issued.
    Lane departure prevention system means a system that:
     Has an algorithm or software to determine the vehicle's 
position relative to the lane markers and the vehicle's projected 
direction; and
     Provides an audible, visible, and/or haptic warning to the 
driver of unintended departure from a travel lane.
    The system may also include a feature that:
     Applies the vehicle's stability control system to assist 
the driver to maintain lane position during or immediately after the 
warning is issued;
     Applies any type of steering input to assist the driver to 
maintain lane position during or immediately after the warning is 
issued; or
     Applies any type of braking pressure or input to assist 
the driver to maintain lane position during or immediately after the 
warning is issued.
    We chose to make the EWR categories broader than the warning 
systems indicated in NCAP to attempt to capture advanced systems are 
they are implemented.
    The Alliance and MBUSA commented on these two new categories. As 
with ESC the Alliance commented that ``it would be extremely difficult 
and costly for manufacturers to even attempt to separate reportable EWR 
items into these two categories.'' The Alliance further stated, ``While 
FCA and LDP have the potential to enhance motor vehicle safety, their 
contribution is not as significant as that of other components and 
systems currently specified in the regulation. As currently 
implemented, they are `driver assistance systems', not `safety 
systems.''' The Alliance believes that these two categories of systems 
are, ``not `mature', and they have not significantly penetrated the 
market.'' MBUSA commented that the definitions of FCA and LDP are too 
broad. It believes that ``different components and subsystems will be 
captured by different OEMs depending on the technology used'' by each 
individual manufacturer and therefore the agency will not be able to 
compare reported rates among manufacturers.
    The agency believes that these emerging crash avoidance 
technologies have been in development for some time and are appearing 
in the current light vehicle fleet. As these new technologies are 
implemented and demand increases, we are concerned that the EWR 
component categories currently in use will not capture them. NHTSA 
believes it is appropriate to add these technologies to EWR now. As 
discussed above for ESC, NHTSA intends that the manufacturers use the 
FCA and LDP code where, on its face, it is indicated by the claim or 
complaint. Otherwise these claims and complaints should be treated and 
processed as they are currently. The agency intends that systems that 
warn the driver of a possible crash situation or lane departure be 
treated along with systems that take action to intervene to prevent a 
crash or lane departure. This will allow the category to serve EWR as 
these systems mature and become even more prevalent.
    Accordingly, this final rule adopts the FCA and LDP EWR reporting 
categories and their definitions as proposed.
iii. Segregation of ``Service Brakes'' Category Into Two New 
Categories, ``Foundation Brake Systems'' and ``Automatic Brake 
Controls''
    In its comments to the NPRM the Alliance offered an alternative to 
our new category ESC in which the current Service Brakes category for 
light vehicles could be segregated into Foundation Brakes and Automatic 
Brake Controls. The Alliance said, in part, ``we understand the 
agency's desire to assure that the large number of reports of problems 
with respect to the foundation brakes do not inhibit its ability to 
identify problems with electronic/automatic brake components.'' We have 
carefully considered this approach and, while we are implementing the 
ESC, FCA and LDP categories, we believe the Alliance's suggestion to 
divide the

[[Page 51393]]

Service Brake category still has merit. As discussed in the section on 
ESC above, the agency believes that manufacturers are capable of 
assigning the new ESC category to almost 95 percent of the data 
required to be reported in EWR involving those systems. However, given 
that we do not want manufacturers to change the methods and processes 
by which they make the category assignments, dividing the Service Brake 
category as the Alliance suggested will assist the agency to also 
capture those reports. Therefore, in this final rule the current light 
vehicle Service Brakes category will be divided into discrete braking 
systems under the following two definitions:
    Foundation Brake System means all components of the service braking 
system of a motor vehicle intended for the transfer of braking 
application force from the operator to the wheels of a vehicle, 
including components such as the brake pedal, master cylinder, fluid 
lines and hoses, brake calipers, wheel cylinders, brake discs, brake 
drums, brake pads, brake shoes, and other related equipment installed 
in a motor vehicle in order to comply with FMVSS Nos. 105, 121, 122, or 
135 (except equipment relating specifically to the parking brake). The 
term includes all associated switches, control units, connective 
elements (such as wiring harnesses, hoses, piping, etc.), and mounting 
elements (such as brackets, fasteners, etc.).
    Automatic Brake Controls means systems and devices for automatic 
control of the brake system, including but not limited to, brake-assist 
components (vacuum booster, hydraulic modulator, etc.), antilock 
braking systems, traction control systems, enhanced braking systems. 
The term includes all associated switches, control units, connective 
elements (such as wiring harnesses, hoses, piping, etc.), and mounting 
elements (such as brackets, fasteners, etc.).
    Only the Automatic Brake Control definition differs from the 
Alliance's proposed definition. For clarity, we added ``brake-assist 
components.''
iv. Backover Prevention
    In addition to adding component categories for ESC, FCA, and LDP, 
the NPRM proposed adding a component category for systems designed to 
mitigate backover crashes for light vehicles in 49 CFR 579.21(b)(2). We 
proposed to define a backover prevention system as one that has ``a 
visual image of the area directly behind a vehicle that is provided in 
a single location to the vehicle operator and by means of indirect 
vision.'' We proposed this new category because in 2010 the agency 
estimated that, on average, there are 292 fatalities and 18,000 
injuries (3,000 of which NHTSA estimates are incapacitating) resulting 
from backover incidents every year. Of those, 228 fatalities and 17,000 
injuries were attributed to backover incidents involving light vehicles 
under 10,000 pounds.\8\ NHTSA also estimates that about 20 percent of 
MY 2010 light vehicles are equipped with some sort of image-based 
backover prevention system.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ These estimates are from a December 7, 2010 NPRM proposing 
to amend FMVSS No. 111, Rearview Mirrors, to expand the current rear 
visibility requirements for all light vehicles under 10,000 pounds 
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating by specifying an area behind the vehicle 
that a driver must be able to see when the vehicle is in reverse. 
See 75 FR 76186.
    \9\ Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis, Backover Crash 
Avoidance Technologies, NPMT FMVSS 111, NHTSA, Office of Regulatory 
Analysis and Evaluation, National Center for Statistics and 
Analysis, Nov. 2010, Docket NHTSA-2010-0162.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Only the Alliance commented specifically on the proposed backover 
prevention category. The Alliance opposes the adoption of such a 
category because it believes, ``there is clearly no need for a separate 
category at the present time, before the agency has even adopted a 
final rule, and given the four-year lead time following promulgation of 
such a rule before it would be fully effective.'' The Alliance noted 
the same problem would exist with the backover prevention category as 
it described for ESC, FCA and LCP, namely, that many elements of the 
system are shared with other systems. The Alliance further stated that 
it, ``understands NHTSA's concern that various manufacturers code 
reports about problems with backover systems in various existing 
component categories,'' and suggested, as an alternative to the 
proposed new category, to revise the definition of the ``visibility'' 
category ``to require all such reports to be included in that 
category.'' The Alliance also objected to the use of the term 
``backover prevention system'', since ``the systems in use today and 
those that would be required under the proposed amendment to FMVSS No. 
111 are more properly characterized as `rearward visibility systems,' 
since few, if any, of those systems would actually operate 
independently to `prevent' a backover.''
    The agency believes that, regardless of what form such a final rule 
might take, the number of vehicles utilizing some form of an image-
based backover prevention system will increase over time. In fact, the 
agency is adding rearview camera systems as an allowed technology in 
its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) while the final rule is being 
completed. These systems are likely to take on different trade names 
and incorporate additional functionality not present today. We would 
like the category to be able to accommodate current and future systems.
    The agency believes, as with the other new categories, the 
manufacturers can capture those claims, notices, warranty claims, 
complaints, property damage claims or field reports that, on the face, 
are linked to a Backover Prevention category. The Alliance admits that 
manufacturers could identify these reports to place them in a revised 
Visibility category. The agency prefers to use the term ``backover 
prevention'', which includes systems that warn the driver as well as 
those that take action to prevent a backover, so that the new category 
captures newer, active, systems as they emerge. The agency believes 
these measures will enhance its ability to identify and address 
potential safety defects related to this important safety system that 
is already in the market.
    After reviewing the comments received, the agency has decided to 
adopt the Backover Prevention category as proposed in the NPRM. This 
final rule will amend 49 CFR 579.21(b)(2) to add backover prevention 
systems to the list of components in this section and will amend the 
definition of ``visibility'' to remove any reference to exterior view 
image-based systems for light vehicles.
5. EWR Reporting Templates
    The NPRM proposed to amend the EWR light vehicle production, death 
and injury, and aggregate reporting templates used by light vehicle 
manufacturers for their quarterly EWR submissions to add the new 
vehicle type, fuel and/or propulsion system type, ESC, FCA, LDP, and 
Backover Prevention system components. The NPRM likewise proposed 
amending the EWR bus, emergency vehicle and medium-heavy vehicle 
reporting templates to accept the new ESC/RSC component code.
    Only the Alliance commented on the proposal to amend the reporting 
templates and that comment was only in the context that they objected 
to the addition of the new component codes that the templates would 
serve to report.
    Based upon the foregoing, we believe the addition of the new 
component codes that we are adopting today is necessary. Accordingly, 
this final rule adopts the changes to the light vehicle EWR reporting 
templates as proposed, with slight modifications to accommodate the new 
component codes for Foundation Brake System and Automatic Brake 
Controls. Similarly,

[[Page 51394]]

this final rule adopts the proposed change to the Heavy Vehicle 
Aggregate Template to add the new ESC/RSC component code.
6. Electronic Submission of Annual Substantially Similar Vehicle Lists
    The foreign defect reporting regulations, 49 CFR part 579, subpart 
B, require manufacturers selling or offering motor vehicles for sale in 
the United States to submit annually a document that identifies each 
model of motor vehicle that the manufacturer sells or plans to sell 
during the following year in a foreign country that the manufacturer 
believes is identical, or substantially similar, to a motor vehicle 
sold or offered for sale in the United States (or to a motor vehicle 
that is planned for sale in the United States in the following year) 
and each such identical or substantially similar vehicle sold or 
offered for sale in the United States. 49 CFR 579.11(e). Currently, 
manufacturers may submit this list to NHTSA by mail, facsimile or by 
email. 49 CFR 579.6. When a manufacturer notifies NHTSA of a safety 
recall or other safety campaign in a foreign country, the agency 
searches the manufacturer's substantially similar list for vehicles in 
the U.S. that may contain a similar problem as identified in the 
foreign recall or campaign.
    Unlike EWR reports, manufacturers are not required to upload their 
substantially similar vehicle list (SSVL) directly to ODI's Artemis 
database. However, most vehicle manufacturers in practice do upload 
their SSVLs directly to Artemis through the agency's secure Internet 
server. The NPRM proposed to require that manufacturers upload their 
SSVLs to Artemis because submissions by mail, facsimile, or email 
cannot be uploaded to Artemis and are not readily searchable. Having 
the lists in Artemis would make it easier for ODI to match vehicles 
involved in a recall in another country to vehicles sold, or offered 
for sale, in the United States.
    The Alliance, Ford and Global submitted comments concerning the 
proposal to amend Sec.  579.6(b) to require that the annual SSVL under 
Sec.  579.11(e) be uploaded directly to the Artemis database. Ford and 
the Alliance indicated that the proposed 180-day lead time is 
insufficient. They stated that creating complex corporate software 
approval processes needed to protect intellectual property from 
unauthorized release would require a lead time of at least12 months. 
Global indicated that the reporting burden could be reduced by defining 
the Foreign Markets data field as geographic regions (Asia, Europe, 
etc.). Global also requested that the list not be made public until the 
end of the affected model year, as the list may contain models that are 
planned for introduction during the upcoming year. The agency notes 
that although the width of the current FOREIGN--MARKETS data field on 
the Excel SSVL template is not defined, this field will allow an entry 
of up to 2,048 characters (per record). This level of detail is 
provided in the XML Schema definitions available on the safercar.gov 
Web site (http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ewr/XMLSchema/SubstantiallySimilarVehicles.xsd). Examples of commonly accepted 
entries are: (1) CANADA, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA, SOUTHEAST ASIA, 
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA, OCEANA; (2) CANADA, EUROPE, ASIA; (3) EU, 
RUSSIA AND CIS, CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA, OCEANIA, AFRICA, ASIA. 
Therefore, we believe no new geographic region definitions are needed.
    After review and consideration of the comments, this final rule 
provides a lead time of one year from the date of the publication of 
this rule. This will be reflected in the effective date to implement 
the new EWR component codes that is one year after the publication date 
of this final rule.

B. Decisions and Responses to Comments on Domestic Safety Recalls 
Requirements

    NHTSA received comments from twenty-two (22) parties for proposals 
affecting safety recalls reporting, administration, and execution. 
These commenters were Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (the 
Alliance), Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (Toyota), The Truck & 
Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), Safety Research & Strategies, 
Inc. (SRS), The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, Inc. (RVIA), 
Quality Control Systems Corporation (QCSC), Harley Davidson Motor 
Company (Harley-Davidson), Ford Motor Company (Ford), American Suzuki 
Motor Corporation (Suzuki), R.L. Polk & Co. (Polk), The Law Office of 
Stephen Selander, PLLC (Selander), American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 
(Honda), The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), The Motor & 
Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), The National Association of 
Trailer Manufacturers (NATM), The Automotive Recyclers Association 
(ARA), The Center for Auto Safety (CAS), The Motorcycle Industry 
Council, Inc. (MIC), The Association of Global Automakers, Inc. (Global 
Automakers), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (the Advocates), 
Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler AG (MBUSA), and The Juvenile Products 
Manufacturer's Association (JPMA).
    For summary purposes, the term ``industry commenters'' refers to 
vehicle and equipment manufacturers and the trade associations that 
represent them, such as the Alliance and Global Automakers. The term 
``safety advocate commenters'' refers to organizations such as CAS and 
the Advocates that help promote automotive and highway safety. In this 
section, we provide a general summary of those comments.
1. Public Availability of Vehicle Recall Completion Information
    We received comments on our proposal to require large, light 
vehicle (including motorcycle) manufacturers to submit VIN information 
on vehicles for which those manufacturers conduct safety recalls, and 
to submit daily updates on changes in recall remedy status as to each 
VIN, to NHTSA and in support of our development of an enhanced recalls 
search tool on our Web site, www.safercar.gov. Comments were also 
received on our alternative proposal to not require these manufacturers 
to submit this information or daily updates to NHTSA, but to require 
that they offer comparable utility on their Web site or on a third-
party Web site. Industry commenters opposed our primary proposal and 
supported the alternative whereas some safety advocate commenters said 
our primary proposal was sufficient. Some commenters did not favor 
either proposal, but offered suggestions and commentary focused on the 
breadth of coverage and functionality of any recall search tool we 
would require.
    After carefully considering the comments, we are proceeding with 
the agency's alternative proposal that requires large, light vehicle 
(including motorcycle) manufacturers to provide a recalls lookup tool, 
by VIN, on their own Web sites or third party Web sites. We have 
specified certain performance-based criteria for these sites to ensure 
consistent and reliable search results to address a wide range and age 
of light motor vehicles and motorcycles. A summary of the comments 
received on this proposal, as well as our reasoning for our various 
decisions and requirements, follows below.
i. Who Is Required To Provide Publicly Accessible Vehicle Safety Recall 
Completion Information
    We received a number of comments, both favorable and unfavorable, 
on the proposal to apply the provision to high

[[Page 51395]]

volume, light vehicle manufacturers, and not others.
    QCSC, the Advocates, and CAS objected to our application of MAP-
21's requirements concerning public availability of safety recall 
information to only large, light vehicle manufacturers. They maintained 
that by its own terms, the statute requires the publication of recall 
information searchable by make, model, and VIN, on the Internet for all 
motor vehicles. They emphasized that the statute requires that the 
information made publicly available must include, ``information about 
each recall that has not been completed for each vehicle.'' The words 
``about each recall,'' and ``for each vehicle,'' they maintain, are 
unlimited in scope and necessarily mean each manufacturer must provide 
this information for each recall and every vehicle subject to a recall 
that has not been completed. According to the Advocates, in making all 
unremedied recalled vehicles subject to the information disclosure, the 
statute is directly requiring the vehicle manufacturer to supply the 
information for its recalled vehicles to the agency. The Advocates 
disagreed with the agency's interpretation that the statute's silence 
about whom must supply information leaves the agency discretion to 
decide to whom it applies. With regard to the VINs associated with 
recalled vehicles that are unremedied, they argued that Congress has 
decided that vehicle manufacturers must provide that information to be 
placed on the Internet and be publicly accessible.
    The Advocates further commented that neither part 573 nor part 577 
indicate that some manufacturers must comply with recall requirements, 
while others do not, and that recall requirements are not dependent 
upon particular classes, types, or volumes of vehicles produced by 
manufacturers. They noted that the purpose of part 573, to facilitate 
notification of owners, applies to manufacturers of cars, trucks and 
motorcycles, incomplete and complete vehicles, as well as importers. 
Thus, according to the Advocates, the agency's regulations do not 
support a limitation on the types of manufacturers that must provide 
the safety recall information required under MAP-21.
    CAS opined that smaller manufacturers may, in fact, be more prone 
to defects and recalls. In support, CAS referenced a report it 
submitted to NHTSA 35 years ago in which it identified 27 defects in 
various British Leyland cars that CAS says resulted in over a dozen 
recalls. The group also commented that our proposal is inconsistent 
with the agency's position that it needs to be able to better monitor 
new and emerging technologies that are likely to be used by smaller 
companies like Fisker and Tesla.
    The Advocates challenged the parallel we drew to the Early Warning 
(EWR) regulation that limits certain requirements based on manufacturer 
annual production. They noted that Section 31301(a) of MAP-21 relates 
to consumer information on the repair status of recalled vehicles which 
is separate from the non-recall incident data captured through EWR. The 
Advocates believe that Congress intended all motor vehicles with 
outstanding recalls to be publicly searchable by VIN, not just the 
vehicles of the largest manufacturers as determined by annual 
production.
    MEMA and EMA agreed with our proposal to exclude medium and heavy 
vehicles. Both concurred with our rationale that owners and operators 
of these vehicles interface directly with vehicle manufacturers through 
their field personnel, to remedy all types of service issues, including 
safety recalls. Accordingly, there was little likelihood that a recalls 
search tool would be of value to this community and have a positive 
impact on completion rates for recalls concerning medium heavy 
applications.
    We have considered the comments and decline to expand the category 
of vehicle manufacturers required to provide VIN and Internet-based 
recalls search functions at this time. Section 30301(a) of MAP-21 does 
not specify which manufacturers are subject to making safety recall 
information available on the Internet. Moreover, section 30301(b) 
states that the Secretary ``may'' initiate a rulemaking.
    The Advocates and CAS did not dispute our analysis in the NPRM that 
the light vehicle manufacturers that meet our production thresholds 
manufactured (or imported) comprise the vast majority of all vehicles 
recalled. We have since conducted a ten-year analysis including recalls 
through December 2012, the last full year that data are available, and 
that analysis produced results evidencing that this same class of 
manufacturers manufactured almost 95 percent of the vehicles recalled.
    The Advocates and CAS comments did not address or consider the 
benefits that reasonably could be anticipated from requiring other 
manufacturers to post recall information on the Internet. They did not 
provide any information on de minimus manufacturers.
    The notice of proposed rulemaking would have applied a VIN 
submission requirement to manufacturers of 25,000 or more light 
vehicles, or manufacturers of 5,000 or more motorcycles manufactured 
for sale, sold, offered for sale, introduced or delivered for 
introduction in interstate commerce or imported into the United States 
annually. 77 FR 55621. Significantly, the notice of proposed rulemaking 
did not address manufacturers other than the light vehicle and 
motorcycle manufacturers it identified. 77 FR 55621. Other vehicle 
manufacturers apparently did not perceive themselves as potentially 
covered by the rule and did not comment. At this juncture, we do not 
have sufficient information to require other manufacturers to post 
recall information on the Internet. There would be questions, among 
others, about possible exemptions of de minimus manufacturers, updating 
frequency, and possible vendor services.
    At this time, we are not making a decision on manufacturers other 
than those covered by the notice of proposed rulemaking. We are 
considering publishing another notice of proposed rulemaking and 
developing a record upon which to determine how to proceed with regard 
to the other vehicle manufacturers. We may consider, for example, how 
VIN look-up tools could benefit owners of other types of vehicles.
    We reiterate that we are not prohibiting or preventing other 
manufacturers from providing an Internet based recalls search function. 
Any manufacturer may voluntarily provide this service, and some already 
do. Smaller manufacturers like Ferrari, Maserati, and Lotus now provide 
a VIN-based recalls lookup service through the Carfax Web site, yet 
they would not be required to do so by this rule. Although not required 
to do so, NHTSA encourages all manufacturers producing annually fewer 
than 25,000 vehicles (or fewer than 5,000 motorcycles) to create their 
own VIN-based recalls lookup service, and to provide for the electronic 
transfer of their recall information to NHTSA's www.safercar.gov Web 
site as specified in Sec.  573.15(b)(12).
    For the above reasons, the rule adopted today will apply to 
manufacturers of 25,000 or more light vehicles, or manufacturers of 
5,000 or more motorcycles manufactured for sale, sold, offered for 
sale, introduced or delivered for introduction in interstate commerce 
or imported into the United States annually as originally proposed. 
Rather than adjust the text of Sec.  573.6(c)(3) as proposed in the 
NPRM, we will add a new Sec.  573.15 to accommodate today's 
requirement, as well as the performance criteria for the

[[Page 51396]]

manufacturer search tools that are discussed infra.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ We mistakenly included a revision to section 573.4 in the 
regulatory text portion of our NPRM. This revision purported to add 
definitions of ``light vehicle'' and ``motorcycle'' to the 
definitions in that section. As we discussed in the preamble to the 
NPRM, see 77 FR at 55621, n.19, we are defining ``light vehicle'' as 
it is currently defined in 49 CFR 579.4, and ``motorcycle'' as it is 
defined in 49 CFR 571.3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Decision To Adopt Alternative Proposal To Require Covered 
Manufacturers To Provide Vehicle Safety Recall Completion Information 
on Their Own or a Third Party's Internet Site
    Industry commenters were decidedly against our primary proposal to 
require submission of VINs to NHTSA, and then to require daily updates 
to reflect a changed recall remedy status as to those VINs. These 
commenters said our proposal was costly, burdensome, subject to data 
integrity issues and service outages, and unnecessarily duplicative of 
the services many manufacturers already provide.
    The Alliance commented that NHTSA's estimate of $51,200, for each 
large, light vehicle manufacturer to set up a VIN reporting system, was 
grossly underestimated. The Alliance calculated that it would cost each 
affected manufacturer $167,393.75 to setup the required computer 
systems. Based upon the Alliance's numbers, when multiplied by the 
number of light vehicle manufacturers affected by the proposal, the 
cost would total $4,854,418.75, more than three times NHTSA's one-time 
cost estimate of $1,484,800. The Alliance challenged our assessment 
that there would be no on-going costs to manufacturers to maintain 
their reporting systems, and said that based on information from their 
members, the average on-going cost per year would be $34,061.25 per 
manufacturer. Cumulatively, the on-going cost would be almost $1 
million per annum. The Alliance further objected to our proposal 
because it did not consider the cost to tax-payers of establishing and 
maintaining this data system that would be required to accept hundreds 
of thousands of VINs, integrate substantial numbers of changes that the 
system receives each day, recover from inevitable service disruptions 
that will occur, and assure all the information is current and 
accurate.
    By contrast, the same large, light vehicle manufacturers would each 
save an average of $71,773.75 under the alternative proposal, according 
to the Alliance. The Alliance multiplied this figure across the 
manufacturers that the NPRM identified would be affected by our 
proposal, for a combined savings in excess of $2 million. The Alliance 
also noted that each manufacturer could save approximately $30,000 in 
on-going costs per year, for a cumulative of almost $900,000 annually, 
if the alternative proposal was adopted.
    MIC, MBUSA, Ford, and Honda also commented that the proposal was 
unjustifiably costly and inefficient. Honda estimated that the daily 
transfer of VINs between Honda and NHTSA would cost Honda a one-time 
approximate cost of $40,000, excluding labor costs. Polk commented on 
the complexity of learning the databases of all the vehicle 
manufacturers, and that Polk has a staff approaching 500 to operate its 
business of processing state title and registration data. Toyota said 
our proposal would require the submission of massive amounts of vehicle 
information that would be costly, unduly burdensome, impractical, and 
not advance safety goals.
    Toyota said that it has operated a VIN-based recalls lookup tool 
for years and operation, data integrity, and security concerns are 
presented with the hosting of this type of service. Ford's comments 
aligned with Toyota's, and identified that extreme weather events, such 
as Hurricane Sandy, might interrupt the data connection between NHTSA 
and multiple manufacturers. Toyota commented that NHTSA would need to 
implement auditing safeguards to ensure NHTSA's database and Toyota's 
database are properly synchronized. Toyota explained that it utilizes 
one database that is accessed by multiple applications, and that this 
reduces the risk of syncing multiple databases, unlike the system NHTSA 
proposed.
    Global Automakers commented that it would take NHTSA a considerable 
amount of time and funding to create, maintain, and operate a database 
of the size the agency proposed, and all of which would be a 
duplication of databases already in operation by many manufacturers and 
third party Web sites. The association further commented that smaller 
manufacturers often rely on recall completion data to be aggregated 
from multiple independent regional distributors, and that a requirement 
to update VIN repair status on a daily basis would be very burdensome 
and complicated for these manufacturers.
    For its part, MEMA commented that although the impact and cost 
associated with our proposal do not directly impact its members as 
suppliers to vehicle manufacturers, those costs and burdens do have an 
indirect impact. It concurred with the vehicle manufacturers and their 
associations that the costs and burdens of our proposal were 
unnecessarily high, understated, and inconsistent with the concern in 
the GAO report that developing a centralized VIN database would require 
significant additional resources to fully implement. The group also 
made note that this report said ``most of the public are not aware of 
the existence of the SaferCar.gov Web site.'' Therefore, MEMA 
concluded, under a common sense, consumer point-of-view, the odds were 
that an individual would first visit the manufacturer's Web site before 
visiting www.safercar.gov for recalls information.
    The industry commenters favored the alternative proposal to have 
light vehicle manufacturers host a VIN look-up on their or a third 
party's Web site and identified a number of benefits that the 
alternative proposal offered over the primary proposal.
    The Alliance and Global Automakers echoed MEMA's comments saying 
that consumers are more familiar with the Web sites of their vehicle 
manufacturer, as opposed to NTHSA's Web site. Polk commented that 
between its Carfax Web site and the Web sites of the vehicle 
manufacturers, tens of millions of consumers are served each year.
    The Alliance commented that manufacturer-hosted recall tools would 
provide more wide-ranging benefits by offering emissions recalls 
information, customer satisfaction campaigns, service campaign 
information, dealer locations, and vehicle service history. The 
Alliance noted that the availability of this other information could 
increase recall completion rates since dealers will remedy outstanding 
safety recalls when a consumer visits their dealer for some other 
service since the manufacturers' systems of records as to uncompleted 
recalls are shared with their respective dealerships.
    Global Automakers, Ford, and Harley-Davidson both offered similar 
comments. Global Automakers noted that service campaigns and emissions 
recalls could also be offered through manufacturer Web sites. Global 
Automakers also added that typical consumers who need VIN-based recall 
results likely also need a complete ``snapshot'' of their vehicle 
history. Harley-Davidson added that remedy process information, dealer 
location and scheduling details could also be offered. Ford noted that 
it currently offers open safety recalls information well beyond the 24 
month timeframe contemplated in our primary proposal, open safety 
recalls older than 24 months, emissions recalls, and customer 
satisfaction

[[Page 51397]]

programs searchable by VIN on its Internet site.
    Toyota commented that they could offer more than 24 months of 
recall information if allowed to provide this service through their own 
and currently operational Web site. MBUSA also noted that its Web site 
has recall information going back to 1976, significantly more than the 
24 months of recall history that NHTSA proposed. The Alliance also 
suggested that instead of requiring just 2 years of historical VIN 
data, NHTSA instead request at least 2 years of data.
    MBUSA, in favor of the alternative proposal, commented that 
manufacturer Web sites are inherently more accurate as vehicle 
manufacturers are the original source of both VIN information and 
recall completion status.
    However, not all commenters were in favor of manufacturer-operated 
VIN look-up tools. The Advocates commented that any alternative method 
to satisfy Section 31301(a) of MAP-21 cannot be achieved with 
independent tools developed by the manufacturers as they could not 
``include information about each recall that has not been completed for 
each vehicle.'' The Advocates noted that NHTSA could require 
manufacturers to satisfy this MAP-21 requirement, but only in addition 
to the NHTSA operated tool. The Advocates further commented that 
allowing manufacturers to operate their own VIN look-up tools would, in 
addition to being redundant to NHTSA's tool under the original 
proposal, also require NHTSA to constantly monitor their Web sites for 
adequacy and content.
    We have considered the comments from industry and other groups. We 
have decided that the consumer awareness and recalls completion 
benefits we expected to achieve from our proposal can reasonably be 
expected to be achieved through the alternative proposal on which we 
requested comment. Further, the industry comments indicate that the 
alternative proposal is less costly and burdensome to the covered 
manufacturers since many of the manufacturers already have their own 
recalls look-up services online. It is also more cost effective and 
less burdensome to the tax-payers to adopt the alternative proposal, 
since the agency would not need to utilize its resources to support a 
VIN look-up feature that relies upon the manufacturer's datasets. The 
alternative proposal also reduces the risk of data inaccuracy and 
inconsistency that accompanies self-contained data systems. 
Accordingly, after consideration of the comments, we believe it more 
prudent to finalize the alternative proposal rather than our primary 
proposal.
    We considered the industry commenters' criticisms that our 
estimations on costs were unreasonably low and short-sighted. While 
some comments did not provide support for their statement on costs or a 
break-down of stated criticism, we understand that requiring 
manufacturers to rearrange their data systems to report to NHTSA in the 
manner specified in our primary proposal, and then to provide an 
updated report daily, involves cost and burdens, and that the cost and 
burden are greater than what they are presently to provide owners with 
a recalls look-up service (or would be, in the case of manufacturers 
that do not presently have a recalls look-up service online).
    We considered comments from the Alliance, Global Automakers, Polk, 
Harley-Davidson, Ford, Toyota, and other industry commenters, regarding 
the Web site features manufacturers can or do presently offer 
consumers. We agree that the information on activities beyond safety 
recalls that manufacturers can offer, and many already do, support the 
alternative proposal. We agree that information available to owners on 
these other activities could support NHTSA's goal of enhancing safety 
recalls completion rates. It is conceivable that an owner would respond 
to a non-safety recall notification or information, bring their vehicle 
to a dealership to have the work performed, and then any outstanding 
safety recall work could be performed at that time pursuant to typical 
manufacturer practices and policies of requiring dealers to check for 
outstanding safety recalls whenever a vehicle visits a dealership.
    We agree that it is sensible for an owner or consumer to visit the 
manufacturer's Web site to learn more about a non-safety recall 
campaign or advisory on a vehicle, and then while searching be informed 
about an outstanding safety recall and take action to have their 
vehicle remedied. We considered the comments from MEMA, the Alliance, 
Global Automakers, and Polk regarding consumer's familiarity with 
manufacturer Web sites. We are persuaded by the commenters that the Web 
sites of large, light vehicle manufacturers are likely the first place 
an owner would look for VIN-specific information. For example, Toyota 
noted that their VIN search tool received 36,600 visits over a 7-month 
period, and over 70,000 visits in October 2012 alone. We also 
understand the risk that if an owner who does not find safety recall 
information on the manufacturer's site may not look further believing 
that only the manufacturer would have this information. This could be a 
consequence if we only required a manufacturer to provide VIN-specific 
information to us and did not require manufacturers to develop and 
maintain their own VIN-lookups.
    We also considered the Advocates' technical argument that NHTSA can 
only require manufacturers to operate their own VIN look-up tools in 
conjunction with a NHTSA-operated tool. The Advocates claims Section 
31301(a) of MAP-21 requires ``the Secretary of Transportation develop 
an internet based tool for dissemination of vehicle recall remedy 
information.'' We disagree with the Advocates MAP-21 interpretation as 
Section 31301(a) clearly states, ``the Secretary shall require that 
motor vehicle safety recall information--(1) be available to the public 
on the Internet.'' MAP-21 does not expressly require that NHTSA create 
a VIN based recalls look-up tool, only that it must ensure this 
information is made publicly available.
    Therefore, we have decided to adopt the agency's alternative 
proposal to require light vehicle manufacturers that produce over 
25,000 vehicles annually to make recall information available through a 
VIN look-up tool on their Web sites available to owners and consumers. 
The manufacturer's Web sites and VIN look-up tools must meet certain 
performance criteria, as discussed below. We are today amending 49 CFR 
part 573 to add a new Sec.  573.15 that addresses and implements the 
requirements related to manufacturer online look-up tools reporting 
uncompleted safety recalls searchable by VIN.
iii. Scope of the Safety Recalls Information That Covered Vehicle 
Manufacturers Must Make Available
    In the NPRM, we proposed to require daily updates on changes in 
recall remedy status for 10 years from the date a manufacturer first 
provided us the VIN list for a particular recall. We explained that we 
proposed this time frame because it is consistent with the statutory 
limitation on how long a manufacturer can be required to provide an 
owner a free remedy. That is, manufacturers are only obligated to 
provide a free remedy for vehicles that were bought by the first 
purchaser less than 10 calendar years from when the manufacturer 
notified its owners of the safety defect or noncompliance. See 49 
U.S.C. 30120(g). In addition, we explained that in our experience very 
few vehicles can be expected to be presented for remedy under safety

[[Page 51398]]

recalls that are more than 10 years old, and that the corresponding 
utility and benefit of a look-up service for vehicles more than 10 
years old is in our estimation limited.
    We also proposed to require submission of VIN data for every 
vehicle covered by a recall filed within 24 months prior to the 
effective date of our VIN submission requirement in the NPRM. We 
explained that the Act contemplated this very ``look back'' activity 
through its express limitation that any implementing rulemaking 
conducted ``shall limit the information that must be available . . . to 
include only those recalls issued not more than 15 years prior to the 
enactment of this Act,'' See MAP-21 Act, Public Law 112-141, Sec.  
31301(b)(1), 126 Stat 405, 763 (July 6, 2012), and that we were within 
our discretion to set a requirement of two years' worth of safety 
recall completion information.
    The Advocates disagreed with both of these proposals. As to the 
first, they said NHTSA did not present data to support this time limit 
and that the agency's rationale is in conflict with its safety mission. 
The Advocates argue for an indefinite time frame on grounds it is 
foreseeable that every subsequent purchaser and owner has an interest 
in knowing and accessing safety recall information, and that the agency 
did not explain why such purchasers and owners would not have an 
interest. They identify, as we did in a different context in the NPRM, 
that manufacturers are required to maintain records reflecting a 
vehicle's remedy status indefinitely. They state that by requiring 
information to be available about ``each recall that has not been 
completed for each vehicle,'' and not specifying any time limitation, 
Congress has spoken directly on the issue and we are foreclosed from 
setting a time constraint in rulemaking.
    As for the two-year ``look back'' requirement, the Advocates and 
CAS asserted that the MAP-21 Act's requirement that recall information 
be available about ``each recall that has not been completed for each 
vehicle,'' effectively prohibits any limitation. In the Advocates' 
view, Section 31301(b) is intended to limit the extent of the burden on 
manufacturers required to develop an internet based vehicle recall 
status tool, but does not affect or reduce the obligation on the agency 
to develop a search tool under Section 31301(a).
    The CAS also objected to a two-year look back provision. The group 
commented that by specifying a fifteen year limitation, the MAP-21 Act 
contemplated a more far-reaching scope than only two years. They claim 
our discretion to limit to two years is not consistent with the Act, 
and is not sufficient to inform and protect owners of vehicles of 
vehicles recalled as early as June 2010. To exclude thirteen years of 
recalls will adversely impact safety and is contrary to the statute 
according to the CAS.
    We have considered the Advocates' and CAS's comments but disagree 
with their interpretation and perspective of what is or is not required 
under the MAP-21 Act. We do not agree that Congress intended that 
uncompleted recall remedy status information for the hundreds of 
millions of vehicles that have been or will be recalled be continuously 
updated, with no end, and a beginning that dates back to the inception 
of the construct of safety recalls in 1966.
    In any event, because we have adopted the alternative proposal for 
covered manufacturers to make the recall information available on their 
Internet Web sites, we have decided to adjust the scope of the 
requirement to 15 years. Therefore, manufacturers that are required to 
make recall information available on the Internet must provide 
information on uncompleted recalls for at least 15 years from the date 
they first provided the list of covered VINs to their dealers for a 
particular recall.
    Moreover, the proposal for manufacturers to provide data for a 
``look-back'' is no longer relevant with the adoption of the 
alternative proposal for manufacturers to make the recall information 
public. Comments submitted by the manufacturers indicate that meeting 
the 15-year requirement we adopt today will not be onerous or 
burdensome. In fact, several manufacturers have commented that their 
services include recalls completion information for much more than the 
previous 24 months, which we originally proposed. Mercedes commented 
that their VIN-based recall Web site contains recall information going 
back to 1976, well past the 15 years we are establishing today.
    We have amended 49 CFR part 573 as discussed previously to add a 
new Sec.  573.15 that includes performance criteria specifying a 
minimum 15 year span of coverage.
iv. Miscellaneous Comments to the NPRM and Agency Responses
    We received an assortment of comments, suggestions, and questions 
that did not fall neatly into the above categories relating to our 
primary or alternative proposals and the scope of those proposals. We 
summarize and address these points in this section.
    QCSC commented that they did not understand how owners or 
prospective purchasers would identify themselves as such through 
NHTSA's proposed Web site. The comment is not entirely clear as to the 
reason or context for it, but we interpret it as a concern about 
personal privacy. In any event, we did not specify a requirement that 
users of our proposed recalls search service identify themselves in any 
manner, and it is not a performance requirement, as discussed further 
below, that we have set on the manufacturer or third party sites. As 
VIN-based search results would only display pertinent, outstanding 
recall information, without any information as to who owns a vehicle. 
Also, as discussed further below in this notice, we are not retaining 
the VIN that a user provides during a search initiated on our recalls 
look-up feature on our site, nor the result returned from the 
manufacturer's search tool. Therefore, we do not foresee any privacy 
implications. Many vehicle manufacturers already provide this very 
service, without requiring user identification. Therefore, we do not 
foresee the concerns raised by QCSC related to the mechanism of this 
identification.
    With respect to our primary proposal to require manufacturers to 
submit recalls completion information by VIN on a daily basis, the 
Advocates commented that they agreed with the recall completion 
categories we proposed, but suggested that for the category ``Remedy 
Not Yet Available,'' we should include an option to sign up for an 
email alert when the remedy becomes available. Since we are not 
implementing our proposal, we will not adopt this recommendation. 
However, we agree that there is value in this proposal and would 
suggest the manufacturers required to make recall information available 
consider this proposal. We also suggest, but will not require, that 
manufacturers supply the expected date the remedy will be available 
when VIN-specific recall results show that a vehicle is included in a 
safety recall, but the remedy is not yet ready.
    The Advocates also noted that quarterly reporting figures should be 
available to the public if the standard quarterly report forms will be 
discontinued for the largest light vehicle manufacturers. Also, the 
Advocates commented that VIN search results should display a copy of 
the latest quarterly report with a link to previous reports. Since we 
did not adopt the proposal that would have waived the quarterly 
reporting requirement for affected vehicle manufacturers, the

[[Page 51399]]

Advocates' comment is no longer relevant. Manufacturer quarterly 
reports will continue to be available online through www.safercar.gov 
as part of the manufacturer's recall file, as they are currently.
    SRS requested that the agency include tire identification numbers 
(TIN) in its searchable database, and apply reporting requirements upon 
tire manufacturers. ARA submitted a similar comment regarding the 
required submission of recalled part numbers, remedy part numbers, and 
build sheets with textual part descriptions. ARA believes that this 
information, when submitted to NHTSA for each vehicle recall, should be 
available to the public as batch downloads so ``particular users will 
be able to integrate this data into their individual inventory 
management systems so that this information reaches all levels of the 
automotive supply chain in a streamlined manner.''
    We considered the comments from SRS and ARA suggesting expanding 
the scope of this portion of our rulemaking to include certain aspects 
relevant to equipment recalls. At this time, we decline to expand the 
scope of the rule; the directive of MAP-21 is plainly limited to 
recalled vehicles.
    MIC also suggested an alternative to NHTSA's alternative proposal. 
Citing its success in a foreign markets, MIC proposed that a recall 
document be placed with the motorcycle's other important documents, 
such as registration papers, at the time the motorcycle is remedied. 
This would enable the dealer, owner, the manufacturer, and NHTSA all to 
be advised of the recall repair. We considered MIC's suggestion, but we 
concluded that it would eliminate the ability for anyone with a 17-
character VIN to quickly learn if the vehicle is subject to an 
outstanding recall. In MIC's proposal, a person shopping for a used 
motorcycle would not know if the lack of such a recall remedy document 
means the motorcycle is not subject to the recall, or it is subject to 
the recall but not yet remedied. That person would have to contact the 
motorcycle manufacturer to learn if any recalls were outstanding. We 
believe MIC's proposal does not offer the same level of value compared 
with the proposal we adopt today, where manufacturers will make recall 
information available through a VIN-based online recalls lookup 
service.
    CAS commented that NHTSA's proposal did not address issues that 
arise with regional recalls. CAS noted that the VIN lookup proposal 
would only encompass recalled vehicles that are currently registered or 
originally sold in certain states where the recall is applicable. The 
proposal would not include vehicles that move from a non-covered state 
to a covered state after the initial VINs are uploaded to the system. 
However, to the extent that a manufacturer would learn of a vehicle's 
change of registration so that it would be subject to a safety recall, 
(for example, should it conduct an update of its registered owner list 
for a recall) we would expect that the VINs of any additional recalled 
vehicles would be loaded into its recalls search tool. This expectation 
is consistent with the requirement that if a manufacturer adjusts its 
recall population upward, it must also add the newly covered VINs to 
its search tool.
    This final rule also requires manufacturers to make VINs affected 
by outstanding safety recalls searchable on their Web sites when those 
VINs become available on a list of current vehicle owners. This list 
must be compiled and maintained as required in 49 CFR 573.8(a). In 
other words, we will require that manufacturers load the VINs of 
recalled vehicles into their recalls search tools on or before the time 
that they have identified the corresponding list of owners of those 
vehicles. In our experience, the process of identifying the owners of 
vehicles based on state registration data takes, at most, a matter of 
weeks. Even in situations where this process may take longer, a 
manufacturer would be permitted to take, at most, 60 days to notify 
owners, due to our decision today to require owners be notified of 
safety recalls within 60 days of notifying NHTSA of the safety defect 
or noncompliance. Accordingly, the public will have at its fingertips 
the ability to search for uncompleted recalls on vehicles, in most 
cases, within weeks and, at most, within 60 days of the manufacturer's 
recall decision.
    Both Global Automakers and MIC commented that smaller manufacturers 
often rely on recall completion data to be aggregated from multiple 
independent regional distributors. MIC believes the requirement to 
update VIN repair status on a daily basis would be very burdensome and 
complicated for these manufacturers.
    We considered these comments from Global Automakers and MIC. We 
note that NHTSA did not require manufacturers to update their remedy 
information every single day; rather update any new information 
received each day. In the NPRM we did not expect manufacturers to alter 
the way or frequency they updated their own warranty and/or recall 
database. We simply requested that their most up-to-date status be 
transmitted to NHTSA each day.
v. Specific Criteria for Manufacturer Safety Recalls Lookup Completion 
Tools
    In the NPRM, we solicited comment on requirements for the 
alternative proposal where manufacturers make the recall information 
available through their Internet Web sites. We indicated that any 
alternative must provide a comparable level of timely and accurate 
vehicle-specific recall information, across a comparable breadth and 
depth of vehicle applications, to our primary proposal where certain 
manufacturers submit VINs of vehicles affected by a recall and recall 
completion status information to NHTSA.
    We also requested comment on issues that would assist the agency in 
setting performance based criteria for a requirement that manufacturers 
make the recall information available through their Internet Web sites. 
We sought comment on whether vehicle manufacturer VIN-driven recalls 
search tools located on their Web sites were in fact a realistic 
alternative given the many factors that affect the completeness, 
reliability, and timeliness of information provided by a manufacturer 
on the recall history of vehicles that it manufactured. We said we were 
concerned that not all vehicle manufacturers offer a VIN-driven service 
and some offer it only if the consumer is a registered user of the site 
with the manufacturer (a process that may or may not require input of 
personal information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers), as 
one example. Also, we noted that some sites include marketing and other 
material that is not relevant or distracts from the recall information, 
and that currency of the information as to whether a particular vehicle 
has been remedied varies between search tools, as other examples.
    We said that any alternative must meet the MAP-21 Act's minimum 
requirements. That is, the tool must be: available to the public on the 
Internet; searchable by vehicle make, model, and VIN; in a format that 
preserves consumer privacy; and include information about each recall 
that has not been completed for each vehicle. We further said that 
while we would consider alternatives that may not be free of charge to 
dealers or owners, we were unlikely to adopt such alternatives.
    We stated the alternative tool must be a VIN-based Internet look-up 
tool that includes recall completion information that is updated at 
least once daily, and that it must be a free service available

[[Page 51400]]

to the public, including dealers, owners, and any interested parties. 
We also proposed to adopt regulations in order to ensure individual 
manufacturer's Web sites offer a standardized look and functionality 
regardless of the manufacturer providing the service. We tentatively 
believed these rules would likely include items such as requiring a 
conspicuous hyperlink to the VIN-driven recall tool found on the 
manufacturer's main Web page (or similarly easy to locate Web page), 
prohibiting marketing or sales information in conjunction with the VIN 
recall tool, requiring straightforward ease-of-use without Web site 
registration or personal information other than a VIN, and making 
available the VIN specific recall information that was proposed under 
the primary proposal for a NHTSA Web site based VIN look-up tool.
    Lastly, we said that after comments are received on this notice, we 
reserved the flexibility to develop and adopt an alternative based on 
outgrowths of our primary proposal or comments received in relation to 
that proposal or any alternatives presented.
    No commenter objected to the proposal for NHTSA to develop 
performance based criteria for the alternative, manufacturer-controlled 
or operated, search tool. To the contrary, the Alliance, Global 
Automakers, and Toyota all commented that it would be reasonable for 
NHTSA to propose regulatory requirements to address manufacturer Web 
site concerns like not requiring Web site registration and not 
including marketing materials. Furthermore, Toyota, Ford, and Honda 
commented that NHTSA could link to manufacturer Web sites and VINs 
entered from NHTSA's Web site could even be forwarded to manufacturer 
Web sites for the results.
    We considered the Alliance, Global Automakers, and Toyota's 
comments in this final rule. Consistent with our explanations in the 
NPRM, we believe a minimum set of performance criteria is necessary. To 
ensure the performance requirements of MAP-21 are met and to ensure 
consistent functionality and meet user expectations of performance no 
matter the source of the information or the particular brand of vehicle 
involved, we are setting requirements through a new regulatory Sec.  
573.15. These requirements are discussed later in this document.
    We reiterate that today we are adopting our proposal that motor 
vehicle manufacturers that manufacture or import 25,000 or more light 
vehicles annually, or 5,000 or more motorcycles annually, establish on 
their Web sites a VIN-based safety recalls search mechanism available 
to the public. Specifically, a link to the manufacturer's safety 
recalls look-up function must be conspicuously placed on the main page 
of the manufacturer's United States' main Web site. However, where that 
link directs a user to enter a VIN and return a result, we leave to the 
discretion of the manufacturer. Manufacturers, for example, may choose 
to operate the search from their Web page, or choose to have the user 
redirected from the link on their main U.S. Web page to a third party's 
Web page. No matter where the search function is housed, the function 
must in all cases meet the minimum requirements of Section 31301(a) of 
MAP-21, as well as the performance requirements we discuss in further 
detail below. That is, the safety recalls search function must: (1) Be 
available to the public on the Internet; (2) be searchable by vehicle 
make and model and VIN; (3) be in a format that preserves consumer 
privacy; and (4) include information about each recall that has not 
been completed for each vehicle.
    It must also meet the performance requirements enumerated below and 
that will be codified into a new Sec.  573.15. These requirements were 
identified or proposed in our NPRM and developed after consideration of 
the comments received in response to our proposal.
    (1) Be free of charge and not require users to register or submit 
information, other than a make, model, and a VIN, in order to obtain 
information on recalls;
    (2) Have a hyperlink (Internet link) to it conspicuously placed on 
the manufacturer's main United States' Web page;
    (3) Not include sales or marketing messages with the page for 
entering a make, model, and VIN, or with the page where the results are 
displayed;
    (4) Allow users to search a vehicle's recall remedy status, and 
report that a recall has not been completed on that vehicle, as soon as 
possible and no later than the date when the manufacturer includes that 
vehicle on its list compiled for purposes of 49 CFR 573.8(a);
    (5) Ensure safety recalls subject to Sec.  573.15(b)(4) are 
conspicuously placed first, before any other information that is 
displayed;
    (6) For vehicles that have been identified as covered by a safety 
recall, but for which the recall remedy is not yet available, state 
that the vehicle is covered by the safety recall and that the remedy is 
not yet available;
    (7) Be updated at least once every seven (7) calendar days. The 
date of the last update must display on both the page for entering the 
make, model, and VIN to search for recall completion information and 
the results page;
    (8) Where the search results in identification of a recall that has 
not been completed, the recall campaign number NHTSA assigned to the 
matter; state the date the defect or noncompliance was reported 
pursuant to part 573; provide a brief description of the safety defect 
or noncompliance identified in the manufacturer's information report 
filed pursuant to this Part; describe the risk to safety consistent 
with the manufacturer's description given in the terms required by 
parts 573 and 577; and describe the remedy program;
    (9) At a minimum, include recall completion information for each 
vehicle covered by any safety recall for which the owner notification 
campaign started at any time within the previous fifteen (15) calendar 
years;
    (10) State the earliest date for which recall completion 
information is available, either on the search page or on the results 
page, and provide information for all owner notification campaigns 
after that date;
    (11) Instruct the user to contact the manufacturer if the user has 
questions or wishes to question the accuracy of any information, and 
provide a hyperlink or other contact information for doing so;
    (12) Ensure, through adherence with technical specifications that 
NHTSA makes available through a secure area of its Web site http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Manufacturers/RecallsPortal, the secure 
electronic transfer of the recall information and data required to be 
made publicly available by this section, to NHTSA for its use in 
displaying that information and data on its Web sites or other public 
portals.
    We note that under these requirements manufacturers are required 
only to report results on uncompleted or ``open'' recalls. We encourage 
manufacturers to include information concerning completed recalls as 
part of their look-up tools. Completed recall information could be 
offered as part of a complete package of vehicle history information--
such as information concerning emissions recalls, customer satisfaction 
campaigns and extended warranty programs--they may choose to provide 
their owners. However, we decline to require a report on completed 
recalls to avoid complicated performance requirements and to limit the 
burden on manufacturers. With future experience

[[Page 51401]]

and evaluation, and particularly if owner confusion should result from 
the lack of information on completed recalls, we may reconsider our 
decision and expand the requirements to include information on 
completed recalls.
    Appendix C is an example of how a manufacturer's search function 
could display its results in accordance with the above criteria. This 
particular layout and display is not required, but is provided in the 
interest of giving manufacturers a visual sample.
    The manufacturers subject to this requirement must have compliant 
Web sites available to the public no later than one year from the date 
of today's notice.
    Although we have adopted the proposal for certain manufacturers to 
host recall information on their Web sites, the agency intends to offer 
a similar function to the public through its Web site, 
www.safercar.gov. NHTSA currently offers a reliable and current safety 
recalls search function that can be effectively and efficiently updated 
to incorporate a recalls search function by VIN. In our view, NHTSA 
should improve its utility in the interest of advancing recalls 
completion by adding a VIN look-up tool.
    To be able to do so, however, requires cooperation from the 
manufacturers that are being required by this rule to develop or modify 
their software systems. As part of today's rule, these manufacturers 
must allow secure electronic transfer of manufacturer recall data, for 
one VIN at a time, to NHTSA's software applications. NHTSA's 
applications can identify a manufacturer by its world manufacturer 
identifier (WMI), given in the VIN, and make a secure communication 
with the manufacturer's system at a pre-specified uniform resource 
identifier (URI). NHTSA's software applications communicate with a 
manufacturer specific Application Programming Interface (API), at a 
given URI, using a predefined identification and key combination to 
securely identify NHTSA communication with the manufacturer system. 
This ensures only NHTSA applications can access the manufacturer data 
via this API on a secure Internet protocol.
    The secure communication will be facilitated by following an agreed 
upon API specification (Representational State Transfer, REST, API 
specification) that will be available only to manufacturers registered 
to the new recalls portal we are finalizing.
    Upon establishing a secure communication with each manufacturer's 
system, the NHTSA Web site application will make an API request with 
the specific VIN a user provides to NHTSA on its safercar.gov recall 
search tool. The manufacturer will be required to accept this API 
request and conduct a VIN lookup for recall related information in the 
manufacturer's system and respond with a machine readable response, 
which will be specified in the API technical specification. The 
response that is sent by the manufacturer will then be read by the 
NHTSA systems, without saving any information on the NHTSA systems for 
the given response, and the details of the VIN related recall 
information will be displayed to the requested user on the NHTSA Web 
site www.safercar.gov, as if the consumer accessed the manufacturer's 
Web site. Once the recalls results are displayed on the user's browser 
via the NHTSA Web site the NHTSA system does not save the VIN or 
results. The complete communication from the user's browser to the 
www.safercar.gov Web site, to the manufacturer's system to request the 
recall information via the API, and the response back from the 
manufacturer's system to the NHTSA system and then to the user's 
browser, will be protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption 
using Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
    A detailed technical specification for identifying the URI to 
support the REST API, required attributes of the API request, type and 
format of data attributes that are expected in the response packet will 
be detailed in a technical specification that will be published only to 
manufacturers with registered and password protected accounts in the 
recalls portal we are placing on www.safercar.gov.
    In addition to the base configuration of the communication with the 
NHTSA systems, format of the requests, responses and the type of data 
that is expected from the manufacturer, the agency will publish the 
details on handling changes to the API, NHTSA requests for 
identification, and any changes to the data requests and responses, in 
the safety recalls portal that is accessible only to manufacturers with 
registered accounts.
    In order to provide consumers and other users of our Web site this 
service, we are including in our performance requirements above a 
requirement that manufacturers provide to us the necessary API 
protocols required for NHTSA to access the manufacturer's VIN-based 
recall data.
    The recall information obtained by users using the www.safercar.gov 
Web site will not be retained or maintained by NHTSA. Moreover, NHTSA 
will not capture, retain or maintain any VINs entered into its database 
before or after making the API requests with the manufacturer systems. 
If a user submits multiple requests for the same VIN, then NHTSA's 
system submits the identical number of requests to the respective 
manufacturer via the secure API to obtain the associated, latest recall 
information for that VIN. NHTSA will not have and will not require 
access to any data other than the recall data related to a given VIN. 
Manufacturers may design, and we anticipate that they will design, 
their systems so that any attempt to access any information that is not 
mentioned in the technical specification of the API will not be 
accepted by those systems.
    NHTSA intends to host a workshop in the early part of 2014 to work 
with the manufacturers to develop this interface. We will publish a 
Federal Register notice to announce the dates and times and locations 
of any workshops. We intend to offer both in-person and virtual 
workshops through technologies such as Webex or Webinar.
2. Requirements Related to the Information Required To Be Submitted in 
a Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Information Report
    In the NPRM, we proposed to add three items to the current 
requirements related to the information that a manufacturer is required 
to submit when notifying and informing NHTSA of a safety defect or 
noncompliance decision pursuant to part 573. First, we proposed that 
manufacturers include a description of the risk in their report. 
Second, for equipment recalls, we proposed manufacturers include the 
equipment brand name, model name, model number. Third, we proposed to 
prohibit disclaimers that a manufacturer has made a safety defect of 
noncompliance decision.
i. An Identification and Description of the Risk Associated With the 
Safety Defect or Noncompliance with FMVSS
    After reviewing the few comments we received on this matter, we 
will adopt this proposal as written in the NPRM and now require the 
description of the risk associated with the safety defect or FMVSS 
noncompliance be included in the Part 573 Information Report. This 
important safety information will better communicate to the public and 
NHTSA the actual safety risk, without chance of misinterpretation.
    The Alliance and Toyota supported this proposal noting that this 
requirement would better align part 573 with part 577 which requires 
this information in recall owner notification letters. Selander 
supported this proposal and noted that this requirement should

[[Page 51402]]

not cause any additional burden to manufacturers since part 577 already 
requires this same information.
    The Advocates also supported this proposal while suggesting that 
this newly required information should also be made available to the 
public.
    MEMA commented that they are opposed to this proposal as the risk 
to safety `` . . . in the first filing can be, and usually is, 
inconclusive (or even hypothetical), especially for original equipment 
suppliers.'' MEMA is concerned that this proposal could lead to an 
overstatement of risk to cover many possibilities.
    We agree with the Advocates that it would be helpful to have the 
manufacturer's description of the risk be included in the recall 
summary information posted on NHTSA's Web site and available to the 
public. Manufacturers will be required to provide this information as 
part of the new form that manufacturers will be completing when 
notifying NHTSA of safety defect and noncompliance decisions. This is 
discussed below in section 3. Internet Submission of Recall-Related 
Reports, Information, and Associated Documents and Recall Reporting 
Templates.
    We appreciate the concern MEMA identified, however, we feel the 
benefits of sharing a manufacturer's description of the risk outweigh 
the smaller risk that a manufacturer on a particular recall may 
identify risk that may or may not hold true over time or with further 
study. We would rather err on the side of information than silence, and 
it is certainly true that a manufacturer, at least with respect to a 
safety defect, must have considered risk and determined that risk to be 
unreasonable before filing a 573 report. We do not believe it furthers 
the mission of information and transparency to withhold this 
information in the event a manufacturer's description of risk might 
possibly change.
    Accordingly, we are revising the terms of paragraph (c)(5) of Sec.  
573.6 to specify that the manufacturer filing a part 573 shall 
``identify and describe the risk to motor vehicle safety reasonably 
related to the defect or noncompliance consistent with its evaluation 
of risk required by 49 CFR 577.5(f).''
ii. As to Motor Vehicle Equipment Recalls, the Brand Name, Model Name, 
and Model Number of the Equipment Recalled
    After reviewing the comments received on this proposal, we will 
adopt this regulation as proposed in the NPRM. The addition of 
equipment brand name, model name, and model number information in Part 
573 Information Reports will greatly aid the public and NHTSA in better 
identifying recalled motor vehicle equipment.
    MEMA commented that this proposal does not appear to be problematic 
and most equipment manufacturers already provide this information in 
their Part 573 Information Reports.
    Both the Advocates and Selander supported this proposal through 
their comments. The Law office of Stephen Selander suggested that we 
also require the ``sale date'' of the equipment in the event the 
manufacturer is not certain of the dates of manufacturer.
    We are declining to adopt Selander's suggestion regarding the 
capture of recalled equipment sale dates. While this is possibly 
helpful in a small number of cases, we have not received a large 
quantity of Part 573 Information Reports where the manufacturers are 
uncertain of the date, or range of dates, they produced the equipment. 
In such cases, NHTSA is able to ascertain if necessary this information 
through its investigative authority. Accordingly, such a requirement is 
not justified at this time.
    Therefore, today's rule amends paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of 49 CFR 
573.6 to additionally require the ``brand (or trade) name, model name, 
model number, as applicable, and any other information necessary'' to 
describe the equipment being recalled.
iii. Disclaimers in Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Information 
Report
    After careful review of the many comments received on this 
proposal, we have decided not to adopt the prohibition against 
disclaimers in manufacturers' Part 573 Information Reports. Most 
industry commenters, including the Alliance, Global Automakers, Toyota, 
Honda, Harley-Davidson, MIC, and others, criticized our proposal to 
prohibit disclaimers. The Advocates commented in support of this 
proposal noting that disclaimers ``introduce confusion into the public 
record.'' RMA's position was neutral but suggested we ensure that 
manufacturers could still state their intention to file an 
inconsequential petition, when needed.
    The Alliance, Toyota, and JPMA, commented that the prohibition 
amounted to an unconstitutional form of compelled speech and violated 
their First Amendment rights to speak truthfully. The Alliance 
commented that disclaimers amount to a ``truthful statement of the 
manufacturer's position'' and indicate a settlement made between the 
manufacturer and NHTSA in order to effectuate a safety recall and free 
remedy. They said they strongly object to this proposal `` . . . to 
silence disagreement with NHTSA about whether a given condition is a 
safety-related defect, and apparently to deem every part 573 report to 
be an implicit manufacturer determination of the existence of a safety-
related defect.''
    Harley-Davidson commented that manufacturers should not be 
restricted to openly communicate the circumstances surrounding a 
decision to conduct a safety recall because NHTSA desires that these 
reports be made publicly available. For example, Harley-Davidson may 
want to communicate that a failure rate is relatively low or that, in 
the manufacturer's judgment, the safety risk is uncertain or minimal. 
MEMA offered a similar sentiment, saying that NHTSA should not prohibit 
factual and accurate statements simply because Part 573 Information 
Reports are published for a different audience. Harley-Davidson, Global 
Automakers, and MEMA commented that manufacturers should be allowed to 
include disclaimers since manufacturers are required to explain the 
circumstances of a recall decision in the chronology portion of the 
Part 573 Information Report, and may identify communications with NHTSA 
that would imply the manufacturer and the agency did not agree on the 
particular issue. MIC commented that they believe they should be 
allowed to communicate additional information, ``outside of government 
purview,'' in the recall notification that consumers receive.
    Industry commenters also added that prohibiting disclaimers would 
ultimately hurt consumers by delaying recalls and their associated free 
remedies. Both the Alliance and Global Automakers claimed that this 
proposal would limit NHTSA's ability to negotiate a settlement in cases 
where the manufacturer and NHTSA disagree on the risk to safety. Honda 
noted that these disclaimers are a benefit to consumers and allow two 
parties, NHTSA and the manufacturer, to reach a compromise and avoid 
litigation. Selander offered a similar sentiment and noted that 
manufacturers may not be willing to reach a safety defect decision if 
forced to affirmatively admit a safety defect, and in contravention of 
a position they may want to take in a subsequent product liability 
action. Honda said that disclaimers might be a practical way to address 
wear items that may fail earlier than expected and whose failure may 
cause a safety risk. Toyota commented that we did not provide 
discussion on resolving investigations where ``legitimate, good faith 
differences exist'' between the manufacturer and NHTSA.

[[Page 51403]]

    MIC, Selander, and the Alliance commented that consumers are 
generally savvy enough not to be confused by disclaimers, and should 
have available to them all the information the manufacturer wishes to 
provide to understand the manufacturer's report.
    The Alliance commented that Part 573 Information Reports containing 
disclaimers are not technically ``Part 573 Reports,'' as part 573 only 
applies if a manufacturer has determined that a safety related defect 
or noncompliance exists. Selander commented to add that simply because 
Part 573 Information Reports are required in the event of a safety 
defect decision, it ``should not mean that a safety recall cannot be 
conducted in the absence of such a determination.'' Instead, Selander 
proposed that NHTSA could require certain language in any disclaimer 
that would indicate the disclaimer does not constitute an agreement 
between NHTSA and the manufacturer.
    We have considered the above comments and while we disagree with 
some of the industry comments, we have concluded that the prohibition 
we proposed is unnecessary. The Part 573 Information Report is a 
communication from the manufacturer to the agency, and not to the 
consumer who rarely, if ever, will see it. Because the agency has 
decided not to adopt the proposal, we do not need to address comments 
specifically objecting to this proposal. Instead, we explain the 
agency's decision not to adopt the prohibition on disclaimers, while 
responding to some comments where necessary to state the rationale for 
the agency's decision.
    Harley-Davidson, Global Automakers, and MEMA's comments identifying 
that the requisite chronology of events in a part 573 report may 
contain information that expressly or implicitly identifies a 
disagreement between the manufacturer and the agency over the nature or 
severity of an issue are accurate. In some cases one or more of the 
principal events that yielded the recall decision is or was the opening 
of an agency investigation, or the agency's continued pursuit of a 
matter despite the manufacturer's protests that the issue did not rise 
to the level of a safety defect, as one example.
    We note that the recall notification that the manufacturer must 
send to the vehicle owner under part 577 may not, under that 
regulation's longstanding language, contain any disclaimer that implies 
there is no safety defect or noncompliance present in the owner's 
vehicle or item of replacement equipment, as it may cause owner 
confusion. 49 CFR 577.8. Moreover, we note that part 577 prescribes 
specific statements that must be included in notifications to vehicle 
owners without any alteration to the prescribed language. See 49 CFR 
577.5(b), 577.5(c)(1), and 577(c)(2). A notification that does not 
conform to these requirements is a violation of the Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act. 49 CFR 577.9. We have made a minor change to 49 CFR 
577.5(a) to make clear that these provisions of part 577 apply in any 
case in which the manufacturer files a defect or noncompliance 
information report under part 573.
    We also agree that consumers are best served when safety recalls 
are announced and free remedies are administered as quickly as 
possible, irrespective of whether we and a manufacturer have reached an 
accord over the nature or severity of the issue that results in a 
safety recall. In addition, there have been NHTSA investigations and 
then recalls where the manufacturer and the agency are at odds over the 
alleged defect and/or its risk to safety. In these cases, we agree it 
may be better for the motoring public if NHTSA maintains the 
flexibility to negotiate a safety recall and a free remedy is offered 
as opposed to engaging in protracted litigation that would potentially 
delay any remedy. Accordingly, we have declined to adopt the proposal 
to prohibit disclaimers.
3. Internet Submission of Recall-Related Reports, Information, and 
Associated Documents and Recall Reporting Templates
    In the NPRM we proposed to change the mechanism by which 
manufacturers notify NHTSA of decisions to recall and file the required 
Part 573 Information Reports, and to supplant the current methods that 
manufacturers use to submit such reports, which may include hard copies 
or electronic submissions received via our email [email protected] 
account. We proposed to develop and implement a web-based, Internet 
portal to be accessed through our Web site www.safercar.gov, and that 
all manufacturers would use to notify and provide required recalls 
information. Through this portal, manufacturers would not only file new 
part 573 reports, but would update and amend those reports, file 
quarterly reports on the progress of their recall campaigns, submit 
copies of representative communications they have issued to owners and 
dealers, and conduct the host of other routine filings and 
communications with the agency attendant to a safety recall campaign. 
We explained that the process and functionality would be similar to 
what many manufacturers are currently performing in compliance with EWR 
requirements, and that we would issue passwords to those manufacturers 
without EWR passwords whereas present EWR accountholders could use 
their EWR passwords. We further explained that we intended to offer 
manufacturers the ability to track any submissions they make, and to 
send a submitter a confirmation message to the manufacturer's 
registered email account confirming our receipt of any submission.
    We shared and requested comment on five different Part 573 Report 
forms, or templates, to be used for notifying the agency of a recall 
decision and providing the information required or desired about the 
decision, the products affected, the nature of the defect or 
noncompliance, the manufacturer's plans for notification and remedy, 
and other information required or typically provided in a Part 573 
Information Report. We also shared a standardized form for providing 
quarterly report information and requested comment on it.
    We received comments on our proposal from the Alliance, Global 
Automakers, CAS, EMA, Honda, Harley-Davidson, MBUSA, and RMA. Most 
commenters expressed general support for our proposal, but several 
requested clarification on and offered suggestions as to the templates 
and utility of the portal.
    The Alliance, Global Automakers, the Advocates, and CAS all 
commented in support of our proposal to implement an online recalls 
portal in order to standardize recall reporting. Honda expressed 
support for this proposal while requesting more flexibility to add 
other relevant information as needed. Toyota suggested that NHTSA 
should not require information fields that are not required to be 
completed under part 573, and requested a method by which to track 
updates made to a manufacturer's Part 573 Information Report. The 
Alliance suggested that for fields requesting voluntary information, 
the form should clarify that the information is not mandated by part 
573. This group also suggested a workshop in order to ensure 
manufacturers understand how the new system works.
    The EMA offered three suggestions as to how NHTSA could improve its 
recall document templates. First, they suggested the quarterly report 
template should have a ``Save Report'' button so manufacturers could 
save working copies of their quarterly reports before submitting them 
to NHTSA. Second, they suggested a change from the text-

[[Page 51404]]

entry box on the Part 573 Information Report marked ``Number of above 
vehicles containing the defect/noncompliance.'' The EMA noted that part 
573 requires the percentage of vehicles that is believed to actually 
contain the defect or noncompliance, not the number of vehicles. Third, 
the group suggested elimination of the VIN range text-entry fields in 
the Part 573 Information Reports, or at least made optional. The EMA 
claimed that safety defects or noncompliances rarely affect heavy-duty 
vehicle with a sequential VIN range. It is more common for recalled 
heavy-duty vehicles to have discontinuous VINs due to their customized 
production.
    Honda, Harley-Davidson, and MBUSA commented that the new web-based 
recalls portal proposal conflicts with the statutory requirement to 
submit Part 573 Information Reports via U.S. certified mail. MBUSA 
suggested NHTSA either amend the statute prior to the implementation of 
this rule or allow manufacturers to, one time, submit via certified 
mail their intention to use online reporting going forward.
    RMA also suggested a change to the Part 573 Information Report for 
tires. It was suggested the phrase ``tire make'' be changed to ``tire 
brand'' as it is more common in the industry. Also, RMA suggested a 
change from the term ``tire model'' to the more commonly used ``tire 
line.''
    Harley-Davidson criticized this proposal claiming it will increase 
the burden for manufacturers as these forms will only allow two company 
representatives to access the system. This restriction, it commented, 
will cause manufacturer representatives to have to circulate rough 
drafts outside of the online recalls ports, finalize the draft, and 
then paste all the information into NHTSA's Web site.
    After review and consideration of the comments received, we have 
decided to adopt, with slight changes, the proposal to require 
manufacturers to submit their part 573 notification through a web-based 
Internet portal. A visual sample of this online recalls portal, 
implementing many of the suggested changes, can be found in Appendix D. 
We address the comments received below.
    We have considered Harley-Davidson's comment but do not see how the 
implementation of an online recalls system will add burden to a 
manufacturer's workflow. Through our regular communications with 
manufacturers, we understand that draft versions of Part 573 
Information Reports and other recalls-related submissions are 
circulated for approval through the various levels of management and 
legal staff within a manufacturer's structure. In other words, we fail 
to see, as a practical matter, how the requirement to put this 
information onto an electronic form is any different than what 
machinations occur prior to a manufacturer's creating a final paper 
copy that they either submit in hard copy or via a PDF that they then 
email.
    As to the various comments questioning our ability to change the 
mechanism by which manufacturers notify NHTSA of safety recall 
decisions and file information, there is no statutory prohibition from 
specifying an additional means of notification, particularly where that 
means (online submission) is at a minimum equivalent to or more 
efficient than certified mail and advances common safety goals. If a 
manufacturer submits a perfected part 573 notification report through 
the agency's web-based online portal, the agency will waive the 
requirement to submit by certified mail.
    For these reasons, as proposed in the NPRM, we are amending Sec.  
573.9, ``Address for submitting required reports and other 
information,'' to require submission of these reports through NHTSA's 
online recalls portal. Given that the Safety Act was not changed to 
remove the requirement that manufacturers notify NHTSA by certified 
mail when they make a safety defect or noncompliance decision, 
manufacturers may continue to also submit a printed copy of the 
completed online form after the form has been submitted and accepted by 
the agency. We will design our system to allow manufacturers to 
download and print a copy of this material.
    We agree with the Alliance's suggestion that we host a workshop to 
assist manufacturers in using the portal, tracking submissions, and 
learning what to expect from NHTSA in terms of submission confirmations 
and what will be published on its Web site from the information a 
manufacturer supplies. We will publish a public notice in the Federal 
Register setting forth dates for training and workshops, to be hosted 
at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, DC and 
via electronic meeting services such as Webex and Webinar services.
    As to the Alliance and Toyota's comments on optional information 
requested on the templates, but not required by part 573's reporting 
requirements, we disagree that omitting this information in the forms, 
if a manufacturer is willing to supply it, is an ideal solution. The 
more information a manufacturer can supply concerning its decision and 
its notification and remedy campaign the better informed owners and 
NHTSA are. Nevertheless, we do appreciate the sentiment that the form 
should be clear about what information is required by part 573 and what 
is not. Therefore, we will use an asterisk (``*'') to indicate a field 
for which information is mandatory at the time the report is first 
filed or that is required within five (5) business days of when a 
manufacturer confirms it. We will adjust the templates to specifically 
note that an asterisk next to a field means that field's information is 
required by regulation.
    We agree with Honda's recommendation that there be other methods of 
adding pertinent information to a manufacturer's recall documentation. 
We have amended the proposed template to provide several free form 
text-entry boxes in the Part 573 Information Report as well as options 
to upload miscellaneous documents to the recall file. Manufacturers 
should not be, and will not be, limited in the amount of information 
they can supply to better support the recall description.
    We also agree with Toyota's recommendation that a manufacturer's 
changes and updates to their submissions be tracked. We will design the 
system to ensure that online form updates and changes can be tracked 
through the new online recalls portal so manufacturers can see when 
changes were made to their report, like a change in the recall 
population or a re-evaluation of the remedy program. We will also 
design the system to allow manufacturers to download and print a copy 
of this material.
    In regard to comments regarding the type of information and the 
format that it will be displayed on the agency's Internet Web page, we 
believe such issues are outside the scope of this rulemaking and 
inherently internal agency decisions. We do not anticipate that the 
information will be different from what the agency currently displays 
in relation to recalls campaigns on www.safercar.gov. Moreover, the 
agency will not disclose information that it is prohibited by law to 
release to the public such as personal identifying information or 
confidential business information. Additionally, we intend to continue 
to offer the public the option to access the complete version of 
information a manufacturer submitted (minus information we are 
prohibited from publishing, such as confidential materials). We note 
that offering the public this access via www.safercar.gov enhances our 
transparency and furthers the agency in meeting its obligations under 
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

[[Page 51405]]

    In the NPRM, we proposed a 60-day lead time from the date the final 
rule is published. We acknowledge that this lead time was probably too 
short to launch a complex, new online Web site that serves the public, 
manufacturers, and NHTSA personnel. Our commitment to offer training 
workshops for manufacturers will take time to arrange and conduct, with 
additional time possibly required to incorporate any adjustments that 
become apparent as a result of those workshops. Accordingly, we are 
changing the effective date of the requirement that manufacturers 
notify and file Part 573 Information Reports and other recalls-related 
information pursuant to 49 CFR 573.9 from 180 days to one year from 
today's notice.
    With respect to EMA's suggestions, we agree with two of its three 
recommendations. We will, therefore, adopt the quarterly report ``Save 
Report'' option, so that a user can insert information, save it, and 
then return to it at a later time to complete the report. And we will 
correct the error we made in requesting the number of vehicles believed 
to be defective, as opposed to the regulation's requirement of an 
identification of the percentage of vehicles believed to be defective. 
We do not agree with the third recommendation, that the VIN range 
fields be eliminated. While not needed for every vehicle recall, we do 
receive many part 573 reports where the affected vehicles fall within a 
particular VIN range. In these cases, it is useful to identify the VIN 
range so affected owners can more easily determine whether their 
vehicle is affected by the safety defect or noncompliance. We note that 
the VIN range text-entry fields are already optional, because they do 
not apply to every manufacturer or every recall.
    We will adopt RMA's recommendation to use terminology more 
consistent with industry usage for the Part 573 Information Report 
applicable to tires. Accordingly, the term ``tire make'' will be 
changed to ``tire brand,'' and the term ``tire model'' will be changed 
to ``tire line.''
    Given that we are not adopting our proposal to require high volume 
light vehicle manufacturers to submit the VINs of recalled vehicles to 
us, we confirm that we will not require an electronic list of VINs. 
Therefore, the NPRM's Appendix C, Form C1 is eliminated.
    For these reasons, as proposed in the NPRM, we are amending Sec.  
573.9, ``Address for submitting required reports and other 
information,'' to require submission of these reports through NHTSA's 
Internet web-based recalls portal.
4. Amendments to Defect and Noncompliance Notification Requirements 
Under Part 577
    In the NPRM, we proposed four changes to the requirements found 
within 49 CFR part 577, the implementing regulation governing, among 
other things, the content, timing, and manner of owner and dealer 
notifications that manufacturers issue on recall campaigns. First, we 
proposed to add language to Sec.  577.7(a)(1) to require that 
manufacturers notify owners and purchasers no later than sixty (60) 
days after they notify NHTSA that a defect or noncompliance exists and, 
should the free remedy not be available at the time of notification, 
manufacturers issue a second notification to owners and purchasers once 
the remedy is available. Second, we proposed to amend Sec.  577.5(a) to 
require that all owner notification letters include ``URGENT SAFETY 
RECALL'' in all capital letters and in an enlarged font at the top of 
the notification letter. Third, for vehicle recalls, we proposed to 
amend Sec.  577.5(b) to require that the manufacturer place the VIN of 
the owner's vehicle covered by the notification within the body of the 
letter. Fourth, we proposed to amend Sec.  577.5(a) to require that the 
envelopes in which the letters are mailed be stamped with the logos of 
the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA, in blue or black text, 
along with a statement in red text, that the letter is an important 
safety recall notice issued in accordance with federal law. We have 
decided to adopt all four of our proposals.
    In addition, during the course of our review of the regulatory text 
of Sec.  577.5(a) in connection with some of these proposals, we 
noticed small adjustments that could be made to that text to make the 
requirements imposed under that section clearer. For example, the 
section currently requires that manufacturers mark the outside of 
recall notification envelopes with ``a notation that includes the words 
``SAFETY,'' ``RECALL,'' and ``NOTICE.'' Read literally, this would 
allow for recall envelopes to be marked ``RECALL of SAFETY NOTICE,'' or 
other nonsensical wording. In order to clarify what is required, we are 
revising the regulatory text to specify that the envelopes must be 
marked with the phrase ``SAFETY RECALL NOTICE.''
i. 60-Day Requirement to Mail Part 577 Owner Notification Letters
    In the NPRM, the agency proposed to set a fixed date by which a 
manufacturer must provide notice to owners and purchasers of the 
existence of a safety-related defect or noncompliance with a Federal 
motor vehicle safety standard pursuant to the owner notification 
provisions of the Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. Sec. Sec.  30118 and 30119. 77 
FR 55606, 55626. Under these statutory provisions, manufacturers must 
provide notification to owners, purchasers, and dealers if the 
manufacturer decides or the agency determines that a noncompliance or 
safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor 
vehicle equipment. Currently, at a minimum, manufacturers must provide 
these notifications within a reasonable time after filing a report 
under part 573. 49 U.S.C. 30119 and 49 CFR 577.7 (a)(1). For agency-
ordered notifications associated with agency ordered recalls, the 
agency has defined reasonable time to mean within 60 days of the 
manufacturer's receipt of the order, unless the Administrator orders a 
different timeframe. 49 CFR 577.7(b). In addition, the agency proposed 
to require that in cases where the remedy was unavailable within 60 
days, the manufacturer will need to send an ``interim'' notice to 
owners and purchasers. 77 FR at 55626.
    The Alliance, Global Automakers, Toyota, EMA, Harley-Davidson, MIC, 
MEMA, the Advocates, RMA, and NATM all commented on our proposal to 
require manufacturers to notify owners of recalled products within 
sixty (60) days from when they file their Part 573 Information Report 
with the agency.
    The Advocates supported our proposal, agreeing it is reasonable to 
align the time frame for notifying owners and purchasers with the 
current timeframe for agency-ordered notifications under 49 CFR 
577.7(b)(1). The Advocates also noted that NHTSA should allow even 
earlier notifications in cases of ``significantly dangerous recalls.'' 
NATM commented that our proposal will create additional requirements 
for its member companies, but NATM feels they will not represent an 
undue burden. RMA commented that the regulation text for this proposal, 
``[b]e furnished no later than 60 days from the date'' is vague as to 
the word ``furnished.'' RMA noted that it is not clear whether the 
notification must be mailed within 60 days or received within 60 days.
    Industry commenters criticized this proposal as too burdensome, 
costly, and potentially confusing and anxiety

[[Page 51406]]

provoking to owners. Global Automakers commented that customer call 
centers could be overwhelmed with concerned customers who are informed 
their vehicles are being recalled, but for which there is not a remedy 
available. MEMA commented that they do not believe this proposal will 
achieve any safety benefit, but will burden the industry and confuse 
vehicle owners. MEMA commented that requiring owner notification before 
a remedy is available and where there is not critical safety 
information to convey or the information will do little to reduce the 
risk of injury serves no obvious safety benefit. The association opined 
that this could confuse or annoy an owner and detract from the 
significance of the recall. If the interim notice contains no safety 
information necessary to prevent imminent harm, MEMA posits, an owner 
may conclude that if the remedy is not available the recall must not be 
important. Using the example of check engine warning light that could 
warn against any number of failures, MEMA claimed overly cautious 
owners may stop their vehicles out of an abundance of caution, when the 
real reason for the check engine light is something entirely unrelated 
to a safety recall.
    The Alliance commented that our proposal to require manufacturers 
to identify vehicles on their Web sites for which the recall remedy is 
not yet available, reduces the purported owner notification and 
awareness benefits of our proposal.
    Some of these commenters said that they do not object to 
establishing a sixty (60) day time frame to mail owner notification 
letters, but this time frame should be flexible to allow for situations 
where the safety risk cannot be reduced by the owner or parts are not 
available for remedy. For example, MBUSA commented that it did not 
object to the proposal under certain circumstances and, for example, 
where the remedy is available within sixty (60) days or where the owner 
can take steps to reduce the safety risk. Global Automakers commented 
similarly that an exception should be made when parts availability and 
remediation network issues \11\ justify an extension to a sixty day 
time frame. Selander suggested that in cases where the recall remedy is 
not available within sixty (60) days, the manufacturer contact NHTSA to 
determine whether an interim notice should be provided to owners.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ We understand ``remediation network issues'' to mean 
limitations to the capacity of a dealer network to implement a 
recall repair, as noted in Global Automaker's comments at page 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Alliance commented that they oppose this proposal and believe 
that NHTSA should use its case-by-case approach to determine if interim 
notifications are appropriate for a given recall. The Alliance and 
Toyota opined that in their view this approach has worked well for 
decades. Toyota said NHTSA has not provided any discussion as what has 
changed at this point in time to explain the change. The Alliance, 
Toyota and EMA commented that NHTSA proposed a similar ``two-step 
notification'' rule in 1995, but chose not to implement the rule after 
receiving comments. The Alliance noted that in this same rulemaking, 
NHTSA amended part 577 to allow for it to order manufacturers to 
provide notification on a certain date after considering risk factors, 
such as when the safety risk is severe or the owner can minimize the 
risk. The Alliance pointed out that, ``NHTSA has never issued an order 
pursuant to that authority'' and has instead worked with manufacturers 
cooperatively to assure owners receive notification in a reasonable 
time. The group said its members have been mailing owner letters as 
requested, regardless of any factors outlined in Sec.  577.5(a)(1) or 
any other policy considerations. The Alliance concluded that this 
proposal simply codifies this RMD policy.
    The Alliance and EMA noted that it is not appropriate to draw a 
parallel between this proposal and the regulation that outlines NHTSA-
ordered recalls. See 49 CFR 577.7(b). The Alliance noted that the 
agency has discretion in these cases to extend or shorten the 60-day 
time period for owner notifications. EMA commented that NHTSA-ordered 
recalls are rare and have never occurred for heavy-duty vehicles.
    The Alliance took issue with our assertion in the NPRM that an 
owner's awareness and ability to make an informed judgment should not 
be subordinated by a manufacturer's commercial interest in providing a 
smooth campaign.
    The Alliance speculated that consumers will be confused and 
frustrated, possibly resulting in reduced recall completion rates. 
Toyota echoed this latter point. Toyota submitted information from its 
examination of seven recalls, three of which required interim owner 
notification letters and four that did not. Toyota measured the recall 
completion rates at each recall's six-month mark and found that recalls 
utilizing an interim owner letter had an average 40.5% completion rate, 
as compared to an average 61.2% completion average for those that did 
not require an interim notice. Toyota admitted that a variety of 
factors can affect the completion rate of any given recall.
    MEMA commented that requiring interim notifications when a remedy 
is not available may have a negative impact on sufficiency of the 
remedy. They forecasted that vehicle manufacturers will not want to 
issue multiple notifications due to cost and that there will be added 
pressure upon suppliers to make the remedy available sooner compressing 
the time it would otherwise take to properly develop and manufacture 
the recall remedy. This added pressure could have the unintended 
consequence of releasing less effective remedies, MEMA posited. It 
could also impact business relationships between manufacturers and 
suppliers, with manufacturers taking their business elsewhere if a 
supplier cannot accommodate a manufacturer's demands.
    Selander commented that manufacturers generally notify owners 
quickly when an imminent safety risk is present.
    The Alliance and Toyota commented that any required interim 
notification letters should not be required to follow all of part 577's 
requirements for notifications to owners and purchasers. As one 
example, the required language about contacting a dealer to schedule 
the recall remedy could be a point of distinct confusion when a remedy 
is not, in reality, available. Toyota noted that some owners may 
confuse a remedy notice with an earlier issued interim letter, and 
dispose of the letter. Toyota also commented that the proposals 
regarding the format of recall notification envelopes should only be 
applied to the remedy notices.
    The Alliance also tied this proposal to our other proposal 
requiring vehicle manufacturers to offer a VIN-based recalls lookup 
tool on their Web site. The Alliance commented that the requirement to 
host a recalls look-up tool on manufacturers' own Web sites further 
reduces the need to restrict owner notification letters to 60 days from 
the date the manufacturer notifies NHTSA.
    We have carefully considered all of the comments we received. The 
agency has decided to adopt the amendment to 49 CFR 577.5(a) and 
577.7(a)(1) as proposed to achieve the goal of prompt notice to owners 
and purchasers. That is, manufacturers must notify owners and 
purchasers no later than sixty (60) days from the date the manufacturer 
files its defect or noncompliant information report pursuant to the 
requirements of 49 U.S.C. 30119 and 49

[[Page 51407]]

CFR part 573. And in cases where the remedy is unavailable within sixty 
(60) days, the manufacturer will be required to send an ``interim'' 
notice to owners and purchasers. To clarify, this requires 
manufacturers to mail their owner notification letters within sixty 
(60) days, not ensure that each owner or purchaser receives their 
notification within sixty (60) days. The latter is largely outside of 
the vehicle manufacturer's control and relies upon uncontrollable 
factors like mail delivery inconsistencies and delays.
    NHTSA and industry commenters disagree when owners and purchasers 
should be notified about a safety defect or failure to comply with 
minimum safety standards. In general the industry agrees with NHTSA 
that notification of a safety-related defect is important and should be 
expeditious, yet maintains that it is appropriate to withhold such 
notification until the recalling manufacturer is ready to execute the 
recall remedy. In our view, we do not believe it is unreasonable for a 
manufacturer to notify an owner or purchaser within sixty (60) days of 
the existence of a safety defect or noncompliance, even if the remedy 
is not yet available. Owners should be promptly made aware of critical 
safety issues in order to make an informed judgment and to take 
measures to protect themselves and others from the risks and 
consequences associated with a safety defect or noncompliance.
    We do not disagree with manufacturers that our implementation of a 
60-day notification requirement on all safety recalls may cause concern 
for some owners, and it may also create minor annoyance with dealers 
and manufacturers who respond to owner contacts when a remedy is not 
available at the time the manufacturer notifies the owner of the 
recall. However, we must balance the risks of these concerns with an 
owner's right to be properly informed and empowered to make his or her 
decision about using the vehicle or equipment while waiting for a 
remedy to become available. We simply do not agree with the industry 
commenters that owners are better off being uninformed about critical 
safety risks when recall remedies, irrespective of the reason, are 
delayed beyond sixty (60) days from the time of a manufacturer's recall 
decision.
    The industry speculates, without any support, that sixty (60) day 
notices will create owner confusion or frustration that would reduce 
completion rates. We do not agree. Unlike 20 years ago when we last 
considered this issue, with today's technology, the public is made 
aware of safety defects immediately following a manufacturer's 
submission of a part 573 report. News media regularly report a defect 
or noncompliance through the Internet, twitter, blogs, email 
notifications, television and print when the part 573 report is filed 
with NHTSA, which is well before the owner or purchaser receives the 
owner notification letter from the manufacturer. With such media 
attention, owners and purchasers are regularly informed of safety 
recalls involving their vehicles, which to NHTSA's knowledge have not 
created inordinate owner confusion or frustration. Because owners often 
become aware of recalls soon after the filing of a part 573 report, 
under the case-by-case approach, owners and purchasers are often left 
without the benefit of safety information from the manufacturer for 
long periods of time, relying only upon media reports. In the agency's 
view, it is this lengthy period of silence between the owner's 
knowledge of the existence of a safety defect and the manufacturer's 
notification where owner confusion or frustration can arise. With 
silence from manufacturers, this appears more confusing and frustrating 
to consumers than interim notifications from manufacturers, advising 
owners or purchasers with explicit information about the recall remedy, 
and what can be done before the remedy is available. Contrary to the 
industry, we believe owner and consumer confusion could be alleviated 
by the prompt notification to owners and purchasers within sixty (60) 
days of filing a Part 573.
    Several comments questioned the need for this amendment and opined 
that past practices of allowing manufacturers full discretion to decide 
when they notify owners has worked well for decades. We disagree that 
the current process has worked well, as our recent experience has shown 
that the case-by-case approach has become unreliable. Indeed, a number 
of manufacturers have taken a significant amount of time after the 
determination of a defect to notify owners of critical safety defects. 
An examination of recalls between 2001 and 2010 found that a full 25 
percent of recalls took longer than 60 days before owners were 
notified. Considering that the agency processes an average of 650 
recalls a year, this is significant. It amounts to hundreds of recalls 
a year impacting millions of owners, on which manufacturers have taken 
months to notify owners of safety critical problems. While NHTSA has 
not exercised its authority to order a manufacturer to issue an owner 
notification by a date certain, we are not persuaded that maintaining 
the status quo will adequately inform owners of the risks surrounding a 
safety related defect. Instead of an approach that may leave owners 
unaware of critical safety information for potentially long periods of 
time, we believe an approach of a date certain is warranted because it 
provides safety information with uniformity and regularity to the owner 
notification process.
    Also, we have in the past, currently, and expect in the future, to 
have safety recalls where due to the nature of the remedy, the size of 
the recall population, or some combination of other factors, the 
recall's launch is delayed many months or even a year. If we were to 
apply the case-by-case approach the industry recommends and follow it 
to its logical conclusion, owners may not receive any notification from 
a manufacturer about a safety risk for many months simply because there 
is nothing the manufacturer can do about the problem.
    As to the assertion that a recalls look-up tool reduces the need 
for prompt notification because owners will have at their fingertips 
information that will inform of a recall, we agree that a recalls look-
up tool is an excellent resource for owner information, but it is not a 
substitute for the manufacturer's required notification under 49 U.S.C. 
30119. Furthermore, a VIN-based online recalls lookup tool will not 
assist owners of defective equipment, child seats, or tires. In many 
cases, only mailed notification letters to registered owners will 
succeed in alerting the owner to the recall.
    Several commenters indicated manufacturers uniformly agree to 
agency requests to expedite owner notifications, and challenge the 
agency to identify cases where manufacturers have not acceded to 
requests. We do not agree with this assessment. Our experience has been 
very different. We have had numerous incidents where manufacturers have 
not easily agreed to agency requests to notify within sixty (60) days.
    When we last considered interim notices in a 1995 rulemaking, we 
agreed to consider recalls on a case-by-case basis to determine if a 
particular recall warranted an interim recall notification letter 
mailing. See 60 FR 17254. We declined to institute a proposed thirty 
(30) day notification requirement. Since that time, we have 
reconsidered such an approach and, for the reasons expressed above, 
have arrived at a different conclusion.
    The case-by-case approach that industry advocates places the burden 
on NHTSA to use its limited administrative resources to ascertain facts 
and make

[[Page 51408]]

assessments on owner notification as to each of the 650 recalls (on 
average) we process each year. It requires the agency to affirmatively 
object to a manufacturer's plans, then justify our objection to the 
manufacturer, and engage in a discussion approaching negotiation over 
timing. We simply do not have the resources to conduct 650 (or 
thereabouts) individual assessments a year, and believe it could lead 
to inconsistent decision-making.
    We do not disagree with the assertion that manufacturers generally 
notify owners more quickly in recalls involving imminent threats. And, 
even if we did, as the industry commenters have noted, we have at our 
discretion a separate regulatory provision under Sec.  577.5(b) to 
address those cases. Nevertheless, we do not agree that because 
manufacturers generally may react and notify more quickly in these 
cases, that this discharges the requirement of providing owners 
reasonably prompt notification on recalls at large or obviates the 
pervasive issue of manufacturers delaying notifications until remedies 
are available.
    We note that our proposal, to require owner notification within 
sixty (60) days does not prevent manufacturers from notifying more 
quickly. We encourage manufacturers to mail affected owners as early as 
the manufacturer can reasonably do so.
    The Alliance and Toyota commented that strict adherence to part 
577's requirements on content should be reconsidered, and that the 
contents of those notifications be determined on a case-by-case basis. 
We do not agree that individualized assessments and decisions are 
necessary. We believe that the regulation's requirements are 
sufficiently flexible so as to permit a manufacturer to inform the 
owner, at the very least, that a remedy is under development and not 
yet available, and that the owner can expect to receive another 
notification from the manufacturer when the remedy is available. Many 
manufacturers have issued such interim notifications without any 
requirement to do so. Since manufacturers must submit draft 
notifications to the agency for review, any individual issues to the 
extent they exist can be addressed and managed then.
    Toyota commented that the label NHTSA proposed for recall 
notification envelopes as well as some part 577 verbiage should only be 
placed on the remedy notice, as they help motivate owners to seek the 
recall remedy. We do not agree. Interim notifications are as important 
as notifications in which a free remedy is ready and available. A 
primary objective of owner notification is to inform the owner of the 
defect (or noncompliance) and its risk. This information is safety 
critical and so we believe use of the logo, as well as the current part 
577 owner letter verbiage, to be equally as applicable to interim 
notices.
    Accordingly, after review and consideration of the comments, the 
agency has decided to adopt the amendment to 49 CFR 577.5(a)(1) as 
proposed to achieve the statutory goal of prompt notice to owners and 
purchasers, while providing flexibility to manufacturers in unusual 
circumstances.
ii. ``IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL'' on Owner Notification Letters
    Our proposal to add the phrase ``URGENT SAFETY RECALL'' to the top 
of all part 577 owner notification letters received comments from: the 
Advocates, NATM, Honda, the Alliance, Selander, and MEMA.
    The Advocates expressed general support for this proposal. Global 
Automakers and Honda both expressed support for this proposal. Both 
suggested the word ``Important'' or ``Urgent'' be used consistently on 
the envelope and letter, but expressed no preference as to which word 
is selected.
    The Alliance and Selander both commented that the phrase ``URGENT 
SAFETY RECALL'' should not be placed on interim notification letters as 
there would be no urgent action the owner could take if the remedy is 
not yet available.
    We agree that the term ``urgent'' could be fairly construed to 
imply immediate action from the owner is expected. Accordingly, after 
reviewing and considering comments for this proposal, we will adopt the 
proposal with this slight modification. We will amend Sec.  577.5(a) to 
require the phrase ``IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL'' instead of the proposed 
phrase ``URGENT SAFTEY RECALL.''
iii. Inclusion of Vehicle Identification Numbers in Owner Notification 
Letters
    The Alliance, the Advocates, NATM, Honda, EMA, Global Automakers, 
and MEMA all commented on our proposal to require the owner's VIN be 
printed at the top of the owner notification letter.
    The Alliance and the Advocates supported this proposal. Honda and 
EMA expressed concern regarding the fixed location of the VIN at the 
top of the owner letter. Honda explained that their owners receive 
standardized letters, but that the owner's name and address only appear 
on a VIN Information Change Card (VICC), which is visible through the 
envelope window. Honda noted that matching up a custom-printed owner 
letter with each owner's VICC would double the cost of their owner 
notification mailings. MEMA and EMA raised the issue of owners that 
have multiple vehicles affected by a recall, as is the case with many 
commercial fleets or rental car companies. EMA suggested allowing 
manufacturers to attach a separate list of VINs.
    Global Automakers commented that they do not support the placement 
of the owner's VIN on both the owner notification letter and the 
envelope. MEMA commented that this proposal would add to the 
administrative and printing burdens for smaller manufacturers. MEMA 
added that there was no assurance that these new requirement will draw 
any more attention than the current owner notification requirements.
    We decided to adopt the proposal to amend Sec.  577(b) to require 
manufacturers add the VIN of the affected vehicle, but in view of the 
comments over location, will not dictate the location of that 
information, and only require that it be in a conspicuous location. We 
reiterate that we proposed only that the VIN be on the notification; we 
did not propose to require it to be on the envelope.
    We also reiterate that adding the VIN to the notification letter 
was a suggestion the GAO provided based upon focus group research it 
conducted. We continue to support this recommendation and do not 
believe the cost associated with it is onerous.
    On the issue of multiple VINs associated with one owner, we leave 
it to the discretion of the manufacturer as to how it informs the owner 
that they have multiple vehicles affected, so long as whatever approach 
is taken demonstrates that the notification is complete. We agree with 
EMA that one approach is to provide a list of VINs with the 
notification. Another approach may be to, instead of printing a single 
VIN on the letter, include a list of multiple vehicles and VINs that 
are impacted. We take no position on the approach a manufacturer takes 
to meet the requirement to place affected VINs in a conspicuous place 
in the owner notification letter.
    After review and consideration of the comments, we have decided to 
adopt the proposal to add the VIN(s) of the affected vehicle to the 
owner notification letter, but permit the manufacturer to determine a 
place on the letter, as long as it meets the requirement that it is in 
a conspicuous location within the notification.

[[Page 51409]]

Therefore, we are amending 49 CFR 577.5(b) accordingly.
iv. Inclusion of Standardized Label on Owner Notification Letter 
Envelopes
    Our proposal to amend 49 CFR 577.5(a) to add a standardized label 
to the owner notification envelope received comments from the Alliance, 
Toyota, and Selander who agreed that such a label will help separate 
important safety recall notifications from other marketing mailers. The 
Alliance, EMA and RVIA suggested changes in the location of the label. 
We proposed that this label be located on the front, lower-left corner 
of the envelope. The Alliance suggested that a single location not be 
specified in the rule, but left to the discretion of each manufacturer. 
EMA suggested that the label be as close to the bottom left corner as 
possible. The RVIA suggested that manufacturers be allowed to place the 
label on one side or the other, at their discretion.
    Honda, Global Automakers, and EMA suggested changes to the proposed 
lead time for this proposal. Honda supported this proposal while noting 
that a change from a sixty (60) day lead time to a phase-in period 
would allow the use of existing inventory. Global Automakers agreed 
that a sixty (60) day lead time would create the wasteful expense of 
destroying old supplies. EMA also requested a longer lead time for this 
proposal, preferably a one-year lead time to coordinate the 
implementation of new envelopes.
    The Alliance commented that the NPRM preamble referenced the phrase 
``Important Safety Recall Notice,'' whereas the label image reads 
``Important Safety Recall Information.'' MEMA commented that requiring 
the label on envelopes and the notification letter may create an 
administrative and printing cost burden for smaller manufacturers, and 
argued that it is not clear that this proposal will have any impact on 
recall completion.
    We have decided to adopt the proposal to amend Sec.  577.5(a) to 
require the label on the front of the envelope with a slight 
modification. We agree with the Alliance that the precise location of 
the label on the front of the envelope does not need to be specified. 
Today's final rule leaves the label's placement to the discretion of 
the manufacturer so long as it is not obscured by postage or other 
labeling or stamping. We also understand the need for a longer lead 
time to avoid unnecessary waste and cost. We believe a phased-in lead 
time of six (6) months from the date the final rule is reasonable and 
provides more than sufficient time for manufacturers to use their 
existing supplies and order new stock. Also, should NHTSA change or 
update the label in the future, we will ensure manufacturers are given 
proper notice through the NHTSA Online Recalls Portal. We will also 
ensure manufacturers are given ample time to make the necessary 
changes.
    We thank the Alliance for its comment identifying the inconsistency 
in language used in our NPRM's preamble and the image of the label we 
provide in the Appendices. We clarify that the label image is correct 
and should read ``Important Safety Recall Information.'' An example of 
the standardized label can be found in Appendix E.
    We appreciate MEMA's questioning the need or benefit of the label. 
As an initial matter, we clarify that the label is only required on the 
envelope, and not the letter, as MEMA's comment appears to suggest. We 
agree it is not certain that this label will have the positive impacts 
we expect. Nevertheless, we believe increase recalls completion rates 
is an important objective and merits industry taking this small step in 
expectation of increasing recall completion rates and thereby reducing 
risks of injuries and death to motorists.
5. Requirements for Manufacturers to Keep NHTSA Informed of Changes and 
Updates in Defect and Noncompliance Information Reports
    In the NPRM, we proposed to amend Sec.  573.6(b) in two respects. 
We proposed that manufacturers supply information not available at the 
time of their initial report, and information that later becomes 
updated or changed, within five working days of when that information 
becomes available. We also proposed that manufacturers complete a 90-
day review of their Part 573 Reports for completeness and accuracy.
i. Submission of Information Not Available at the Time of the Initial 
Part 573 Report, and Amended Information, Within Five Working Days
    Our proposal, for manufacturers to supply missing and amended Part 
573 Information Reports within five working days, received comments 
from The Alliance, the Advocates, Selander, MEMA, MBUSA, and Global 
Automakers.
    The Advocates supported this proposal agreeing it would increase 
the accuracy and timeliness of reports. The Alliance, EMA, and MBUSA 
commented that they do not object to the proposal. Global Automakers 
felt five working days was not sufficient or reasonable and proposed 
the requirement be set at 10 working days.
    The Alliance, Toyota, and MEMA all requested clarification as to 
the term ``becomes available'' since information becomes available to 
different levels of the company at different times. The Alliance 
commented that information needs to be confirmed before being submitted 
to NHTSA. Toyota noted that the person with the newly available 
information might not be the decision-maker. Toyota also suggested that 
the regulatory text be changed to allow the manufacturer, through its 
normal process, to supply the information once it has confirmed the 
accuracy of the information. MEMA also suggested updated information 
should be submitted within five working days after a manufacturer's 
good faith determination.
    MEMA requested that Sec.  573.6(c)(4), the requirement that 
specifies the percentage of vehicles estimated to actually contain the 
defect or noncompliance be omitted from this proposal. MEMA noted that 
this percentage is a ``moving target'' and can change frequently. MEMA 
believes the burden to update this could be substantial.
    After review and consideration of the comments, we concur with 
these comments with the exception of Global Automakers' request to 
extend the timeframe from five working days to 10 working days.
    We will strike the requirement to update within five working days 
as it applies to the requirement to report the percentage of vehicles 
estimated to actually contain the defect or noncompliance found in 
paragraph (c)(4) of Sec.  573.6. Unlike other elements required to be 
reported in Sec.  573.6, such as the identity of the products being 
recalled, the size of the population, and the manufacturer's planned 
dates for notifying owners, the agency's and the public's need for an 
update of this percentage figure is not as vital after the initial 
report is filed.
    We do not agree with Honda's assessment that five working days is 
an insufficient amount of time for a manufacturer to update the agency 
with new or changed information. A time frame of five working days is 
consistent with the amount of time manufacturers have to submit their 
initial Part 573 Information Report.
    Accordingly, we will amend Sec.  573.6(b) to require new or missing 
Part 573 Report information to be submitted within five working days of 
when the accuracy of the information has been confirmed. In addition, 
in order to clarify that the requirement to update

[[Page 51410]]

applies to safety recalls, and not to other campaigns a manufacturer 
may conduct that are not subject to the requirements of part 573, we 
are today making a technical correction to specify that a manufacturer 
must provide the NHTSA assigned ``recall'' number when informing of 
changes and updates.
ii. 90-Day Review of Part 573 Information Report for Completeness and 
Accuracy
    In the NPRM, we proposed to require that 90 days after making the 
remedy available manufacturers review their Part 573 Information Report 
for completeness and accuracy. We received comments from the Advocates, 
the Alliance, Toyota, Harley-Davidson, and EMA on our proposal.
    A number of the comments reflected that the purpose of this 
proposal is achieved largely through our proposal to require any 
changes or updates to part 573 reports be submitted within five working 
days. Harley-Davidson and EMA, for example, commented that this 
proposal is too burdensome and unnecessary. Harley-Davidson noted that 
the proposal to supply new or updated part 573 information within five 
days renders this 90-day certification duplicative. EMA echoed this 
comment and added that a 90-day certification would effectively close 
out a Part 573 Information Report and forestall any updates to the 
report.
    The Alliance and Toyota commented that they do not oppose this 
proposal, however they do not believe a separate submission is the most 
efficient way to achieve the goal of ensuring accurate Part 573 
information. The Alliance and Toyota suggested that this 90-day 
certification be added to a manufacturer's first quarterly report.
    MBUSA commented that they worry this proposal could ``. . . 
establish an unworkable requirement to `certify' the completeness and 
accuracy of the Part 573 Report.'' MBUSA suggested that the regulatory 
text be changed so that manufacturers only certify as to the accuracy 
of the report based on the information the manufacturer has available 
at that time.
    MEMA commented that NHTSA does not have the statutory authority to 
implement this proposal. MEMA added that the authority given to NHTSA 
in MAP-21, to promulgate rules requiring manufacturers certify the 
accuracy and completeness of information reported to NHTSA, only 
applies to defect or noncompliance investigations, not Part 573 
Information Reports.
    We do not agree with MEMA's view that we do not have the authority 
to make this change. We have considerable discretion to determine the 
contents of manufacturer notifications to us, as well as establishing 
the timing for those notifications. See 49 U.S.C. 30119. It is 
illogical to hold that we would not similarly have the discretion to 
decide when changes or updates would be required to be submitted.
    Nevertheless, after considering comments, we agree that the change 
to require submission of additional or changed information within five 
working days does, for the most part, address our concerns that safety 
recall information be timely submitted so that we, and the public, 
remain properly informed. Accordingly, we have not adopted this 
proposal.
6. Requirement To Notify NHTSA in the Event of Filing of Bankruptcy 
Petition of a Recalling Manufacturer
    In the NPRM, our proposal to amend part 573 to add new Sec.  573.16 
to require manufacturers to notify NHTSA in the event of filing a 
bankruptcy petition, received comment from one party. The Advocates 
commented favorably and said they agree that this regulation will allow 
NHTSA to protect the interests of owners and consumers of recalled 
vehicles and equipment. Accordingly, we are adopting the proposal as 
written.

VI. Lead Time

    We understand that manufacturers need lead time to modify their 
existing EWR databases and software. Today's amendments that require 
some lead time include the requirement for light vehicle manufacturers 
to provide the vehicle type and fuel and/or propulsion system type in 
their quarterly EWR submissions as well as the addition of Stability 
Control systems, FCA, LDP, Foundation Brake Systems, Automatic Braking 
Controls and Backover Prevention components to EWR reporting. Because 
manufacturers will need time to modify existing EWR databases and 
software to conform their systems to meet the today's amendments, the 
lead time will be one year from the date the final rule is published. 
We believe one year is an adequate amount of time for manufacturers to 
comply with today's amendments. Accordingly, the effective date for the 
amendments to light vehicle type, light vehicle fuel and/or propulsion 
system reporting and components, including the electronic submission of 
substantially similar vehicle listings, will be the first reporting 
quarter that is one year from the date the final rule is published.
    We understand that adopting today's regulations requiring larger 
vehicle manufacturers to supply VIN information electronically on their 
Web sites and in the manner specified will require those manufacturers 
to modify or adjust their existing databases and software. We further 
understand that the requirements to file online Part 573 Reports and 
quarterly reports (where applicable) using the forms prescribed will 
also necessitate some lead time, including time for manufacturers to 
register and be provided passwords and to conduct training of staff. 
The effective date for these requirements will be one year from the 
date the final rule is published. However, we look forward to working 
with manufacturers to test the system prior to the effective date for 
these requirements.
    For the requirement that part 577 owner notification letter 
envelopes contain a new label with the logos of the U.S. Department of 
Transportation and NHTSA, we will allow a lead time of 180 days from 
the date of the final rule publication for manufacturers to ensure all 
envelopes being mailed contain this label. However, we encourage 
manufacturers to adopt this requirement as soon as practicable, within 
those 180 days.
    For the remaining requirements affecting requirements under parts 
573 and 577, we believe a shorter lead time is appropriate because the 
new requirements do not involve changes to technology or investment of 
additional resources. Accordingly, the effective date for all remaining 
requirements that are newly adopted will be 60 days after the date the 
final rule is published.

VII. Privacy Act Statement

    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) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies require this agency to make 
determinations as to whether a regulatory action is ``significant'' and 
therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the 
aforementioned Executive Orders. Executive Order 12866 defines a 
``significant regulatory

[[Page 51411]]

action'' as one that is likely to result in a rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    This document was reviewed under E.O. 12866, E.O. 13563, and the 
Department of Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. This 
rulemaking has been determined to be not ``significant'' under 
Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation's regulatory 
policies and procedures. The effects of these amendments have been 
analyzed in a Final Regulatory Evaluation, available in the docket of 
this rulemaking action. The amendments being made with this document 
that relate to adding reporting fields for light vehicle and medium-
heavy vehicle manufacturers (including the new requirement to split the 
service brake category into two new categories) would place only a 
minimal burden on EWR manufacturers through a one-time adjustment to 
their EWR databases and software. The agency estimates that the 
amendments will result in a one-time burden of $83,981 per light 
vehicle manufacturer and $14,888 per bus, emergency vehicle, and 
medium-heavy vehicle manufacturer (in 2011 dollars).
    In addition, the amendments being made by this rule that relate to 
new requirements that certain vehicle manufacturers make safety recall 
information available on the Internet will result in a one-time burden 
of $26,455 for each of the nine (9) vehicle manufacturers that do not 
currently offer look-up tools. Each of these nine (9) manufacturers 
will also incur an annual cost burden of $30,000 to maintain these 
systems. An additional eighteen (18) light vehicle manufacturers who 
already operate these newly required database systems will each incur a 
one-time burden of $7,010 to support the exchange of safety recall 
information to NHTSA's Web site www.safercar.gov. The agency also 
estimates an annual cost burden of $133,930 per manufacturer for the 
amendments to part 577 to notify owners and purchaser of recalled motor 
vehicles and motor vehicle equipment.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
requires agencies to evaluate the potential effects of their proposed 
and final rules on small businesses, small organizations and small 
governmental jurisdictions. Section 605 of the RFA allows an agency to 
certify a rule, in lieu of preparing an analysis, if the rulemaking is 
not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.
    This rule would affect all motor vehicle and motor vehicle 
equipment manufacturers. The changes to the EWR regulations, the 
foreign defect reporting regulation, defect and noncompliance 
information reports, and defect and noncompliance notifications would 
affect manufacturers of light vehicles, buses, emergency vehicles, 
medium-heavy vehicles, motorcycles and trailers, tires and motor 
vehicle equipment.
    In order to determine if any of these manufacturers are small 
entities under the RFA, NHTSA reviewed the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) codes. Business entities are defined as 
small businesses using the NAICS code, for Small Business 
Administration (SBA) assistance. One of the criteria for determining 
size, as stated in 13 CFR 121.201, is the number of employees in the 
firm. For establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing or 
assembling automobiles and light and medium-heavy duty trucks, buses, 
new tires, or motor vehicle body manufacturing, the firm must have less 
than 1,000 employees to be classified as a small business. For 
establishments manufacturing the safety systems for which reporting 
will be required, the firm must have less than 750 employees to be 
classified as a small business. For establishments manufacturing truck 
trailers, motorcycles, child restraints, re-tread tires, other vehicles 
equipment and alterers, and second-stage manufacturers, the firm must 
have less than 500 employees to be classified as a small business. In 
determining the number of employees, all employees from the parent 
company and its subsidiaries are considered and compared to the 1,000 
employee threshold. Many of the bus companies are owned by other larger 
companies.
    The agency separately published a Final Regulatory Evaluation that 
includes a regulatory flexibility analysis. That document sets forth in 
detail the agency's analysis and is located in the docket.
    The agency believes that there are a substantial number of small 
businesses that will be affected by the amendments to the Early Warning 
Rule, the Foreign Defect Reporting Rule, the Defect and Noncompliance 
Information Reports, and Defect and Noncompliance Notification; 
however, we do not believe that the requirements, which involve 
reporting and recordkeeping, will amount to a significant impact as 
discussed in the Cost section of the Final Regulatory Evaluation. As 
explained in section V.B.1.i above, in this rule the agency is not 
requiring smaller manufacturers to establish an online VIN-lookup 
system, which accounts for many of the new estimated costs burdens.
    In summary, as stated in the agency's Final Regulatory Evaluation, 
these amendments will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small businesses. For the reasons stated in the 
Final Regulatory Evaluation, the agency believes that the amendments to 
Part 573, Part 577 and 579 will not have a significant economic impact 
on vehicle manufacturers, and motor vehicle equipment manufacturers 
including tire manufacturers affected by this rule. Accordingly, I 
certify that this final rule would not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132 on ``Federalism'' requires us to develop an 
accountable process to ensure ``meaningful and timely input by State 
and local officials in the development of ``regulatory policies that 
have federalism implications.'' The Executive Order defines this phrase 
to include regulations ``that 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.'' The agency has analyzed this rule in 
accordance with the principles and criteria set forth in Executive 
Order 13132 and has determined that it will not have sufficient 
federalism implications to warrant consultation with State and local 
officials or the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. 
The changes made by this final rule only affect a rule that regulates 
submission and disclosure of information by manufacturers of motor 
vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, which does not have substantial 
direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and

[[Page 51412]]

the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among 
the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 
13132.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires 
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 expenditures by State, local or tribal governments, 
in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million 
annually (adjusted annually for inflation with base year of 1995). 
Today's requirements would not result in expenditures by State, local 
or tribal governments. Our requirements only apply to motor vehicle and 
equipment manufacturers. The changes are estimated to result in a one-
time cost of about $12.7 million for EWR and Part 573 changes and about 
$7.77 million annually in recurring costs to manufacturers for 
notifying owners and purchasers of recalls under the changes to Part 
577, as well as the maintenance of manufacturer VIN-based recalls 
lookup tools. This rule does not result in expenditures by motor 
vehicles and equipment manufacturers of more than $130 million annually 
and, therefore, does not require an assessment per the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice Reform'' \12\ 
the agency has considered whether this rule would have any retroactive 
effect. We conclude that it would not have a retroactive or preemptive 
effect, and judicial review of it may be obtained pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
702. That section does not require that a petition for reconsideration 
be filed prior to seeking judicial review.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ See 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless 
the collection displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
control number. An Information Collection Request (ICR) for the 
proposed revisions to the existing information collections was 
submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and 
comment in conjunction with the publication of the NPRM. NHTSA and OMB 
received one comment, from the Alliance, in response to the ICR. That 
comment, and the agency's responses, are discussed in Section V, above. 
In light of the differences between today's final rule and the 
proposal, an amended ICR is being submitted to OMB for review and 
comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collections 
and their expected burden.
    The collection of information associated with the existing part 579 
is titled ``Reporting of Information and Documents About Potential 
Defects'' and has been assigned OMB Control Number 2127-0616. This 
collection was approved by OMB. The collection of information 
associated with the existing part 573 and portions of part 577 is 
titled, ``Defect and Noncompliance Reporting and Notification.'' This 
collection was approved by OMB and has been assigned OMB Control Number 
2127-0004.
1. Part 579 Collections
    When NHTSA most recently requested renewal of the information 
collection associated with part 579, the agency estimated that the 
collection of information would result in 2,355 responses, with a total 
of 82,391 burden hours on affected manufacturers. These estimates were 
based on 2006 EWR data. The agency has published two amendments to the 
EWR regulation since then which will affect the reporting burden on 
manufacturers. On May 29, 2007, the agency eliminated the requirement 
to produce hard copies of a subset of field reports known as ``product 
evaluation reports.'' 72 FR 29435. On September 17, 2009, NHTSA issued 
a final rule that modified the reporting thresholds for quarterly EWR 
reports. 74 FR 47740. The reporting threshold for light vehicle, 
medium-heavy vehicle (excluding buses and emergency vehicles), 
motorcycle, and trailer manufacturers was changed from an annual 
production of 500 vehicles to an annual production of 5,000 vehicles. 
The reporting threshold for emergency vehicles stayed the same, but the 
reporting threshold for bus manufacturers was changed from an annual 
production of 500 vehicles to an annual production of 100 vehicles.
    The net effect of all of these changes to the various reporting 
thresholds for the different vehicle types was to reduce the overall 
number of manufacturers required to report certain information and the 
amount of information those manufacturers are required to report. 
Because these changes will affect the burden on manufacturers, our 
burden hour estimates need to be adjusted.
a. Adjusted Estimates for Current Information Collections
    In the EWR Final Regulatory Evaluation (July 2002, NHTSA docket 
8677), it was assumed that reviewing and/or processing would 
be required for death and injury claims/notices, property damage 
claims, non-dealer field reports, and foreign death claims. It was also 
assumed that customer complaints, warranty claims, and dealer field 
reports would not impose incremental burden hours since computer 
systems were set up to automatically count these aggregate data points. 
Table 1 below shows the number of documents submitted in 2011 by 
reporting type.
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

[[Page 51413]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20AU13.015

    The agency assumed that a total of 5 minutes would be required to 
process each report with the exception of foreign death claims. For 
these, it would require 15 minutes. Multiplying this average number of 
minutes times the number of documents NHTSA receives in each reporting 
category will yield burden hours (see Table 2).

[[Page 51414]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20AU13.016

    The burden hours associated with aggregate data submissions for 
customer complaints, warranty claims, and dealer field reports are 
included in reporting and computer maintenance hours. The burden hours 
for computer maintenance are calculated by multiplying the hours of 
computer use (for a given category) by the number of manufacturers 
reporting in a category. Similarly, reporting burden hours are 
calculated by multiplying hours used to report for a given category by 
the number of manufacturers for the category. Using these methods and 
the number of manufacturers who reported in 2011, we have estimated the 
burden hours for reporting cost and computer maintenance (see Table 3).

[[Page 51415]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20AU13.017

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    Thus, the total burden hours for EWR death and injury data, 
aggregate data and non-dealer field reports is 7,178 (Table 2) + 3,956 
(Table 3) + 33,170 (Table 3) = 44,304 burden hours.
    In order to provide the information required for foreign safety 
campaigns, manufacturers must (1) determine whether vehicles or 
equipment that are covered by a foreign safety recall or other safety 
campaign are identical or substantially similar to vehicles or 
equipment sold in the United States, (2) prepare and submit reports of 
these campaigns to the agency, and (3) where a determination or notice 
has been made in a language other than English, translate the 
determination or notice into English before transmitting it to the 
agency. NHTSA estimated that preparing and submitting each foreign 
defect report (foreign recall campaign) would require 1 hour of 
clerical staff and that translation of determinations into English 
would require 2 hours of technical staff (Note: this assumes that all 
foreign campaign reports would require translation, which is unlikely). 
NHTSA received 104 foreign recall reports in 2011 which results in 104 
hours for preparation and submission of the reports (104 defect reports 
x 1 hour clerical = 104 hours) and 208 hours for technical time (104 
foreign recall reports x 2 hours technical = 208 hours.)
    With respect to the burden of determining identical or 
substantially similar vehicles or equipment to those sold in the United 
States, manufacturers of motor vehicles are required to submit not 
later than November 1 of each year, a document that identifies foreign 
products and their domestic counterparts. NHTSA continues to estimate 
that the annual list could be developed with 8 hours of professional 
staff time. NHTSA has received lists from 85 manufacturers for 2011, 
resulting in 680 burden hours (85 vehicle manufacturers x 8 hours = 680 
hours).
    Therefore, the total annual hour burden on manufacturers for 
reporting foreign safety campaigns and substantially similar vehicles/
equipment is 992 hours (680 hours professional time + 104 hours 
clerical time + 208 hours technical time).
    Section 579.5 also requires manufacturers to submit notices, 
bulletins, customer satisfaction campaigns, consumer advisories and 
other communications that are sent to more than one dealer or owner. 
Manufacturers are required to submit this information monthly. However, 
the burden hours associated with this information were inadvertently 
not included in the overall burden hours calculated and submitted when 
the agency most recently requested renewal of the information 
collection. Therefore, we have estimated the burden hours necessary for 
manufacturers to comply with this requirement.
    Section 579.5 does not require manufacturer to create these 
documents. Manufacturers are only required to send copies to NHTSA. 
Therefore, the burden hours are only those associated with collecting 
the documents, preparing them for mailing, and sending them to NHTSA. 
Manufacturers are required to submit the documents within 5 working 
days after the end of the month in which they were issued. 
Manufacturers are allowed to submit them by mail, by facsimile or by 
email. Most manufacturers submit them by email (about 75 percent), some 
manufacturers send in paper copies by mail and others send in 
electronic copies on disk by mail.
    NHTSA receives about 7,000 notices a year. We estimate that it 
takes about 5 minutes to collect, prepare and send a notice to NHTSA. 
Therefore, we estimate that it takes 7,000 documents x 5 minutes = 
35,000 minutes or 584 hours for manufacturers to submit notices as 
required under Part 579.5.
    Based on the foregoing, we estimate the burden hours for 
manufacturer to comply with the current EWR requirements, the foreign 
campaign requirements and the Part 579.5 requirements total 45,880 
burden hours (44,304 hours for EWR requirements + 992 hours for foreign 
campaign requirements + 584 hours for Part 579.5).
b. New Collections
    NHTSA estimates there will be a one-time increase of 27,016 burden 
hours on those reporting under Part 579, Subpart C associated with the 
requirements in today's final rule. Adding vehicle type, fuel and/or 
propulsion system type, and

[[Page 51416]]

four new components (stability control, FCA, LDP, and backover 
prevention\13\) to the vehicle EWR reporting is likely to create a one-
time cost for manufacturers to amend their reporting template and 
revise their software system to appropriately categorize the data. We 
estimate that one-time cost to revise EWR databases and software 
finalized in today's rule would involve two weeks of a computer 
programmer's time and 8 hours of a manager's time per one component or 
fuel/propulsion element. Thus, an increase in burden hours for light 
vehicle manufacturers will be 80 hours x 6 EWR codes \14\ to add to the 
template = 480 hours for a computer programmer and 8 hours x 6 = 48 
hours for a computer manager or 528 burden hours. For bus, emergency 
vehicle and medium/heavy vehicle manufacturers, we estimate 80 hours 
for computer programmers and 8 hours for computer manager to add the 
stability control and/or RSC component. There are currently 40 light 
vehicle manufacturers and 67 bus (29), emergency vehicle (8) and 
medium-heavy vehicle (30) manufacturers which would be affected by 
today's final rule. The additional burden hours for light vehicle 
manufacturers would be 528 x 40 = 21,120 more burden hours. For bus, 
emergency vehicle and medium/heavy vehicle manufacturers, we estimate 
an additional 88 x 67 = 5,896 burden hours. For these reasons, NHTSA 
estimates industry will incur a one-time increase of 27,016 more burden 
hours to implement these requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Splitting the ``service brake'' category into ``foundation 
brake'' and ``automatic brake controls'' is not included in this 
analysis because simply dividing already collected information into 
two categories rather than one does not increase the burden hours or 
cost of collecting and reporting the information.
    \14\ vehicle type, 4 components and fuel/propulsion
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As for today's changes to part 579, subpart B, we believe the 
burden associated with adding a requirement that manufacturers supply 
the list of substantially similar vehicles electronically will be 
minimal. The agency believes the electronic submission of annual 
substantially similar vehicle information will take an additional hour 
for an IT technician to submit their lists to NHTSA. There are about 85 
substantially similar vehicle list submissions per year and about 80 
percent are already submitted electronically. Thus, we estimate that 
manufacturers will incur about 17 additional burden hours per year to 
submit substantially similar vehicle lists electronically. We estimate 
there will be increase of 17 burden hours on those reporting under part 
579, subpart B.
    We estimate that the total burden hours associated with the part 
579 requirements would be 45,880 hours for current reporting 
requirements plus 27,016 hours for new requirements plus 17 hours for 
the electronic submission of substantially similar list, for a total of 
72,913 burden hours.
    Apart from the burden hours estimated above, several of our 
requirements in this final rule involve investment as well as recurring 
costs. We estimate these costs as follows:
    We estimate there will be a one-time cost for the manufacturers to 
revise their data categorization and collection process and software 
systems to report vehicle type, fuel and/or propulsion system type, and 
the new components: ESC (for light vehicles), ESC/RSC (for medium and 
heavy vehicles), FCW, LDW, and Backover Prevention on the amended 
templates. Once EWR systems are revised, additional on-going burdens 
should be negligible as manufacturers already have established EWR 
operations.
    In the NPRM we estimated that the one-time cost incurred per 
manufacturer to revise the EWR collection and categorization process, 
databases and software systems to report the new categories on the 
amended template would include 2 weeks of a computer programmer's time 
for, and 8 hours of a manager's time. Based on $113 per hour for a 
computer programmer and $166 per hour for a manager, we estimated the 
following cost for each of the 40 light vehicle manufacturers that 
submit EWR information: $113 per hour/computer programmer x 80 hours x 
6 = $54,240; $166 per hour/manager x 8 hours x 6 = $7,968. Thus, the 
estimated total cost for each of the 40 light vehicle manufacturers to 
revise the collection process, databases and software systems to add 
vehicle type, fuel and/or propulsion system type, and the ESC, FCW, LDW 
and backover prevention components to the amended EWR template amounts 
to: $54,240 computer programming cost + $7,968 managerial cost = 
$62,208 per light vehicle manufacturer. This amounted to a total cost 
of $2,488,320 for the 40 light vehicle manufacturers.
    Based on the same costs per hour to revise the EWR template, we 
estimated, in the NPRM, the following cost for each of the 67 
manufacturers of buses (29), emergency vehicles (8), and medium/heavy 
vehicles (30) that report EWR information, as follows: $113 per hour/
computer programmer x 80 hours x 1 stability control component = 
$9,040; $166 per hour/manager x 8 hours x 1 stability control and/or 
RSC component = $1,328. Thus, the estimated total cost for each of the 
67 manufacturers of buses, emergency vehicles and medium/heavy vehicles 
to revise the data categorization and collection process, databases and 
software systems to add the stability control and/or RSC component to 
the amended EWR template amounts to $9,040 computer programming cost + 
$1,328 managerial cost = $10,368 per manufacturer. This amounted to a 
total cost of $694,656 for the 67 manufacturers of buses, emergency 
vehicles, and medium/heavy vehicles.
    The Alliance stated, in its comment to the NPRM (its Appendix C) 
and its comment to the ICR, that the agency had ``grossly 
underestimated the costs of the proposed amendments'' to the EWR 
components. The Alliance estimated costs of $337,516 per manufacturer 
for a light vehicle manufacturer total of $13 million for 40 light 
vehicle manufacturers. However, Alliance based its estimate on an 
incorrect reading of the NPRM which would have required manual review 
and expert judgment on each record to place records into the new 
categories. As we explained in Section V of this notice, the agency did 
not intend for manufacturers to change the automated processes they use 
to submit EWR data. Therefore, we cannot rely on the Alliance's 
estimate of costs. Honda commented to the NPRM that it had no 
difficulties with the new EWR categories and it estimated a total of 
$135,000 and 1,350 person hours for a one-time change to the reporting 
process to accommodate the new categories. Honda's cost estimate is 
more than twice the agency's estimate. However, Honda did not submit 
details of its estimate based on labor categories and labor rates, so 
we cannot evaluate where we differ. In light of the comments received, 
we reconsidered our estimates and have revised the estimates to include 
a range of 80 to 120 hours per change for the computer programmer's 
time, with no change in the management level. Thus our revised cost 
estimate is that the one-time cost incurred per manufacturer to revise 
the EWR collection and categorization process, databases and software 
systems to report the new information on the amended template will 
include two to three weeks of a computer programmer's time, and eight 
hours of a manager's time. Based on $113 per hour for a computer 
programmer and $166 per hour for a manager, we estimate the following 
cost for each of the 40 light vehicle manufacturers that submit EWR 
information: $113 per hour/computer

[[Page 51417]]

programmer x 80 to 120 hours x 6 EWR codes to add to the template = 
$54,240 to $81,360; $166 per hour/manager x 8 hours x 6 = $7,968. Thus, 
the estimated total cost for each of the 40 light vehicle manufacturers 
to revise the collection process, databases and software systems to add 
vehicle type, fuel and/or propulsion system type, and the ESC, FCW, LDW 
and backover prevention components to the amended EWR template amounts 
to: $54,240 to $81,360 computer programming cost + $7,968 managerial 
cost = $62,208 to $89,328 per light vehicle manufacturer. This amounts 
to a total cost of $2,488,320 to $3,573,120 for the 40 light vehicle 
manufacturers.
    Based on the same costs per hour to revise the EWR template, we 
revise our estimate of cost for each of the 67 manufacturers of buses 
(29), emergency vehicles (8), and medium/heavy vehicles (30) that 
report EWR information, as follows: $113 per hour/computer programmer x 
80 hours to 120 x 1 stability control component = $9,040 to $13,560; 
$166 per hour/manager x 8 hours x 1 stability control and/or RSC 
component = $1,328. Thus, the estimated total cost for each of the 67 
manufacturers of buses, emergency vehicles and medium/heavy vehicles to 
revise the data categorization and collection process, databases and 
software systems to add the stability control and/or RSC component to 
the amended EWR template amounts to $9,040 to $13,560 computer 
programming cost + $1,328 managerial cost = $10,368 to $14,888 per 
manufacturer. This amounts to a total cost of $694,656 to $997,496 for 
the 67 manufacturers of buses, emergency vehicles, and medium/heavy 
vehicles.
    Thus, we estimate that the upper bound of the one-time cost for 
each of the 40 light vehicle manufacturers affected by the final rule, 
at $89,328 per manufacturer; plus the upper bound of the one-time cost 
for each of the 67 manufacturers of buses (29), emergency vehicles (8), 
and medium/heavy vehicles (30), at $14,888 per manufacturer, amounts to 
a total of $4.57 million for all of these manufacturers to revise the 
collection and categorization processes, database, and software systems 
to report on the amended template.
    The agency will incur costs to implement software modifications to 
the EWR database. The IT development hours incurred by the contractor 
to the agency for these changes is estimated to be approximately 470 
hours. Using an average hourly rate for labor cost of $109 for IT 
labor, the total cost for the 470 hours incurred by the agency's 
contract labor amounts to $51,230.
2. Parts 573 and 577 Collections
    The approved information collection associated with part 573 and 
portions of part 577 presently holds an estimated annual burden of 
21,370 hours associated with an estimated 175 respondents per year. The 
control number for these collections is OMB Control Number 2127-0004. 
For information concerning how we calculated these estimates please see 
the Federal Register Notices 76 FR 17186 (March 28, 2011) and 76 FR 
34803 (June 14, 2011).
    We are revising these estimates today. First, for several of the 
collections currently covered by this clearance, we have more current 
information on which to base our estimates, and so we are making 
adjustments to those estimates to more accurately assess burden and 
cost. Second, some of the proposals we are adopting through today's 
notice are new collections that impose additional burden and cost.
a. Adjusted Estimates for Current Information Collections
    Our prior estimates of the number of manufacturers each year that 
would be required to provide information under part 573, the number of 
recalls for which part 573 information collection requirements would 
need to be met, and the number of burden hours associated with the 
requirements currently covered by this information collection require 
adjustment as explained below.
    Based on then current information, we calculated in 2011 for 
purposes of renewing our clearance, an average of 650 part 573 
information reports were filed with NHTSA each year by approximately 
175 distinct manufacturers (MFRs). More recent years' recall data 
reflect higher recall volumes as well as increased participation by 
separate and distinct manufacturers. In consideration of newer figures, 
we are adjusting our estimate to 280 distinct manufacturers filing an 
average of 680 Part 573 Information Reports each year.
    We continue to estimate that it takes a manufacturer an average of 
4 hours to complete each notification report to NHTSA and that 
maintenance of the required owner, purchaser, dealer and distributors 
lists requires 8 hours a year per manufacturer. Accordingly, the 
subtotal estimate of annual burden hours related to the reporting to 
NHTSA of a safety defect or noncompliance and maintenance of owner and 
purchaser lists is 4,960 hours annually ((680 notices x 4 hours/report) 
+ (280 MFRs x 8 hours)).
    In addition, we continue to estimate an additional 2 hours will be 
needed to add to a manufacturer's information report details relating 
to the manufacturer's intended schedule for notifying its dealers and 
distributors, and tailoring its notifications to dealers and 
distributors in accordance with the requirements of 49 CFR 577.13. This 
would total to an estimated 1,360 hours annually (680 notices x 2 
hours/report).
    In the event a manufacturer supplied the defect or noncompliant 
product to independent dealers through independent distributors, that 
manufacturer is required to include in its notifications to those 
distributors an instruction that the distributors are to then provide 
copies of the manufacturer's notification of the defect or 
noncompliance to all known distributors or retail outlets further down 
the distribution chain within five working days. See 49 CFR 
577.8(c)(2)(iv). As a practical matter, this requirement would only 
apply to equipment manufacturers since vehicle manufacturers generally 
sell and lease vehicles through a dealer network, and not through 
independent distributors. We believe our previous estimate of roughly 
90 equipment recalls per year needs to be adjusted to 80 equipment 
recalls per year to better reflect recent recall figures. Although the 
distributors are not technically under any regulatory requirement to 
follow that instruction, we expect that they will, and have estimated 
the burden associated with these notifications (identifying retail 
outlets, making copies of the manufacturer's notice, and mailing) to be 
5 hours per recall campaign. Assuming an average of 3 distributors per 
equipment item, (which is a liberal estimate given that many equipment 
manufacturers do not use independent distributors) the total number of 
burden hours associated with this third party notification burden is 
approximately 1,200 hours per year (80 recalls x 3 distributors x 5 
hours).
    As for the burden linked with a manufacturer's preparation of and 
notification concerning its reimbursement for pre-notification 
remedies, consistent with previous estimates (see 69 FR 11477 (March 
10, 2004)), we continue to estimate that preparing a plan for 
reimbursement takes approximately 8 hours annually, and that an 
additional 2 hours per year is spent tailoring the plan to particular 
defect and noncompliance notifications to NHTSA and adding tailored 
language about the plan to a particular safety recall's owner 
notification letters. In

[[Page 51418]]

sum, these required activities add an additional 3,600 annual burden 
hours ((280 manufacturers x 8 hours) + (680 recalls x 2 hours)).
    The Act and Part 573 also contain numerous information collection 
requirements specific to tire recall and remedy campaigns, as well as a 
statutory and regulatory reporting requirement that anyone that 
knowingly and intentionally sells or leases a defective or noncompliant 
tire notify NHTSA of that activity.
    Manufacturers are required to include specific information relative 
to tire disposal in the notifications they provide NHTSA concerning 
identification of a safety defect or noncompliance with FMVSS in their 
tires, as well as in the notifications they issue to their dealers or 
other tire outlets participating in the recall campaign. See 49 CFR 
573.6(c)(9). We previously estimated about 10 tire recall campaigns per 
year; however, we are adjusting this figure to 15 tire campaigns per 
year to better reflect recent figures. We estimate that the inclusion 
of this additional information will require an additional two hours of 
effort beyond the subtotal above associated with non-tire recall 
campaigns. This additional effort consists of one hour for the NHTSA 
notification and one hour for the dealer notification for a total of 30 
burden hours (15 tire recalls a year x 2 hours per recall).
    Manufacturer owned or controlled dealers are required to notify the 
manufacturer and provide certain information should they deviate from 
the manufacturer's disposal plan. Consistent with our previous 
analysis, we continue to ascribe zero burden hours to this requirement 
since to date no such reports have been provided and our original 
expectation that dealers would comply with manufacturers' plans has 
proven true.
    Accordingly, we estimate 30 burden hours a year will be spent 
complying with the tire recall campaign requirements found in 49 CFR 
573.6(c)(9).
    Additionally, because the agency has yet to receive a single report 
of a defective or noncompliant tire being intentionally sold or leased 
in the fourteen years since this rule was proposed, our previous 
estimate of zero burden hours remains unchanged with this notice.
    NHTSA's supporting information for the current Part 577 information 
collection did not include estimates of the burden linked with the 
requirement to notify owners and purchasers of a safety recall. Today, 
we estimate that burden. We estimate that it takes manufacturers an 
average of 8 hours to draft their notification letters, submit them to 
NHTSA for review, and then finalize them for mailing to their affected 
owners and purchasers. We calculate that the Part 577 requirements 
result in 5,440 burden hours annually (8 hours per recall x 680 recalls 
per year).
b. New Collections Associated With the Final Rule
    We estimate that today's final rule, which amends many of the 
reporting and recordkeeping requirements, will increase the costs and 
burdens of the associated collections of information. We summarize 
these changes and our estimates of the associated cost and burden in 
this section.
    We recognize that our regulation to require owner notifications 
within 60 days of filing a part 573 report will increase the burden 
hours associated with the requirement to notify owners and purchasers 
of a safety recall. We calculated that about 25 percent of past recalls 
did not include an owner notification mailing within 60 days of the 
filing of the part 573 report. Under the requirements, manufacturers 
will have to send two letters in these cases: an interim notification 
of the defect or noncompliance within 60 days and a supplemental letter 
notifying owners and purchasers of the available remedy. Accordingly, 
we estimate that 1,360 burden hours will be added by this 60-day 
interim notification requirement (680 recalls x .25 = 170 recalls; 170 
recalls times 8 hours per recall = 1,360 hours). Therefore we calculate 
the total burden created by part 577 to notify owners and purchasers of 
defective vehicles or motor vehicle equipment at 6,800 hours (5,440 + 
1,360).
    As for costs associated with notifying owners and purchasers of 
recalls, we estimate this costs $1.50 per notification on average. This 
cost estimate includes the costs of printing, mailing, as well as the 
costs vehicle manufacturers may pay to third-party vendors to acquire 
the names and addresses of the current registered owners from state and 
territory departments of motor vehicles. In reviewing recent recall 
figures, we determined that an estimated 20 million letters are mailed 
yearly totaling $30,000,000 ($1.50 per letter x 20,000,000 letters). 
The changes to part 577 requiring a manufacturer to notify their 
affected customers within 60 days would add an additional $7,500,000 
(20,000,000 letters x .25 requiring interim owner notifications = 
5,000,000 letters; 5,000,000 x $1.50 = $7,500,000). In total we 
estimate that the part 577 requirements along with the new requirement 
to require notifications within 60 days will cost manufacturers a total 
of $37,500,000 annually ($30,000,000 owner notification letters + 
$7,500,000 interim notification letters = $37,500,000).
    In the NPRM we estimated several new burdens hour calculations due 
to the proposed requirement that large, light vehicle manufacturers 
will transmit the VINs of recalled vehicles to NHTSA, and update the 
repair status of those VINs on a daily basis. The Alliance submitted a 
comment to us and OMB that this proposal was unnecessarily burdensome 
and costly, and that our estimates were unrealistically low. The 
Alliance's concerns, as well as others submitted in response to our 
NPRM presenting similar objections, were summarized in much detail 
earlier in this document, and we do not repeat them here. We are not 
adopting this proposal, and therefore any costs or burdens we earlier 
calculated are no longer applicable. Accordingly, we have removed from 
our cost and burden analysis here those costs and burdens we calculated 
and on which we requested comment in the NPRM. In their place, we 
estimate the costs and burdens associated with the alternative proposal 
that we are adopting today.
    We estimated 172 burden hours for compiling an initial VIN list 
that would be transmitted to NHTSA's database. As we are not 
implementing this proposal, we have removed the 172 hours we calculated 
for this burden. We have also removed the 12,180 burden hours 
calculated for the one-time investments these manufacturers were 
estimated to spend configuring their computer systems to transmit VINs 
to NHTSA.
    Because we are not requiring manufacturers to transmit VINs to 
NHTSA and update the repair status of recalled vehicles on a daily 
basis, we believe the burden associated with the added requirement that 
manufacturers make available on the internet the VINs associated with 
their recalled vehicles will be minimal. As discussed earlier, 
manufacturers are already required to have ready at the agency's 
request a list of VINs for vehicles covered by each recall. They must 
also have the status of the remedy of each vehicle on that list at the 
end of each quarterly reporting period, and so they will know the 
vehicles (and associated VINs) that have not been remedied and be able 
to provide updated information. They must, as a practical matter, and 
in order to meet the requirement that they identify current owners 
based on State registration data (which is accessed using VINs), be 
able to provide the States with a list of VINs, and, more

[[Page 51419]]

than likely, that list would be in an electronic format that can be 
transferred readily to each State for its use in compiling its list of 
owner names and addresses associated with each VIN. Any added burden, 
therefore, is reduced to time and costs associated with making this 
data available online as well as in a format that adheres to the Web 
site guidelines NHTSA is establishing in this final rule.
    Many of the large, light vehicle manufacturers covered by this 
requirement already operate VIN-based safety recall search tools 
online, either directly sourced or through a third party. At the time 
the NPRM was published in 2012, twenty-nine (29) light vehicle 
manufacturers met or exceeded the production volumes used to determine 
applicability to this new requirement. Using newly updated production 
figures, we have revised the number of affected manufacturers down to 
twenty-seven (27). We expect the count of manufacturers to fluctuate 
given the ever-changing nature of production volumes.
    Based on comments received from our NPRM and online research we 
have conducted, 18 of the 27 manufacturers impacted by this rule 
already provide a VIN-based recalls lookup service on their Web site, 
or through a third party Web site like www.carfax.com. We found that 
nine manufacturers do not currently offer this service online so they 
will bear a higher burden to implement this service. As noted above, we 
believe that manufacturers already maintain electronic copies of VIN 
lists as a practical matter of business, so their only burden would be 
the time associated with updating their Web sites with this 
functionality.
    To establish a VIN-based recalls lookup service, we estimate that 
each of these nine manufacturers will spend a total of 12 hours 
creating the infrastructure needed to add a VIN-based recalls lookup 
service to their Web sites. These 12 hours includes the time needed for 
a senior developer to setup and configure the server (8 hours) and for 
a mid-level developer to test the security and connectivity of the 
system (4 hours). We estimate these burdens total 108 hours (9 MFRs x 
12 hours). We estimate the costs of these burden hours will be $5,000 
per manufacturer.\15\ We estimate that the total cost to the industry 
from these one-time infrastructure expenses will total $45,000 (9 MFRs 
x $5,000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ $2,000 (to purchase and configure physical servers) + 
$1,600 (to obtain requisite licenses needed for operating systems, 
application servers, and database servers) + $1,000 (8 burden hours 
for server setup and configuration at the rate of $125/hr) + $400 (4 
burden hours for security and connectivity testing at the rate of 
$100/hr) = $5,000
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We estimate that each of these nine manufacturers will also incur 
labor burdens related to the setup of their online recalls tools. Each 
manufacturer will need to establish requirements, analysis, and designs 
for their new recalls lookup tool. Also, additional burdens will stem 
from: the creation of the VIN search interface; database setup to host 
the recall information; data refresh procedures to populate recall 
information; server side VIN code lookup and recall status retrieval; 
integration with existing manufacturer Web site; and application 
testing. We estimate that these tasks will be performed by a software 
solution architect (15 hours), a senior web application developer (30 
hours), and a mid-level software developer/tester (103 hours), totaling 
148 burden hours per manufacturer. We estimate these burdens to total 
1,332 hours (9 MFRs x 148 hours). We estimate the costs of these burden 
hours will be $14,445 per manufacturer.\16\ We estimate that the total 
cost to the industry from these one-time setup expenses will total 
$130,005 (9MFRs x $14,445).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ $1,875 (15 burden hours at the software solution architect 
rate of $125/hr) + $3,300 (30 burden hours at the senior web 
application developer rate of $110/hr) + $9,270 (103 burden hours at 
the mid-level software developer/tester rate of $90/hr) = $14,445
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We also believe these nine manufacturers, who do not currently 
operate a VIN-based recalls lookup system, will incur certain recurring 
burdens on an annual basis. We estimate that 100 burden hours will be 
spent on system and database administrator support. These 100 burden 
hours includes: backup data management and monitoring; database 
management, updates, and log management; and data transfer, archiving, 
quality assurance, and cleanup procedures. We estimate another 100 
burden hours will be incurred on web/application developer support. 
These burdens include: operating system and security patch management; 
application/web server management; and application server system and 
log files management. We estimate these burdens to total 1,800 hours 
each year after the first year (9 MFRs x 200 hours). We estimate the 
recurring costs of these burden hours will be $30,000 per 
manufacturer.\17\ We estimate that the total cost to the industry from 
these recurring expenses will total $270,000 in the first year, and 
recurring on an annual basis (9MFRs x $30,000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ $8,000 (for data center hosting for the physical server) + 
$12,000 (for system and database administrator support) + $10,000 
(for web/application developer support) = $30,000
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All 27 manufacturers impacted by this requirement will be required 
to meet certain technical access requirements that we have specified in 
the final rule preamble. These requirements will also allow for NHTSA 
to provide search results, when requested, to online users of NHTSA's 
www.safercar.gov Web site. We included the following software 
development burdens in our estimate: requirements analysis; API design; 
API code development; securing the API with a NHTSA key; testing; and 
API deployment. We estimate these tasks will be performed by a software 
solution architect (6 hours), a senior web application developer (16 
hours), and a mid-level software developer/tester (50 hours), totaling 
72 burden hours per manufacturer. We estimate this burden to total 
1,944 burden hours (27 MFRs x 72 hours). We estimate that the cost of 
these burden hours will be $7,010 per manufacturer.\18\ We estimate 
that the total one-time cost to the industry from these technical 
access requirements will total $189,270 (27 MFRs x $7,010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ $750 (6 burden hours at the software solution architect 
rate of $125/hr) + $1,760 (16 burden hours at the senior web 
application developer rate of $110/hr) + $4,500 (50 burden hours at 
the mid-level software developer/tester rate of $90/hr) = $7,010
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also, we estimate that the one-time VIN list creation, related to 
the recall campaigns from the past 15 years, will require 60 burden 
hours. This estimate includes the time needed to for software 
development (24 hours), data preparation (24 hours), and file naming 
(12 hours). We calculate that this burden will only be incurred one-
time since manufacturers should only need to perform this ``seeding'' 
of recalls completion information on older recalls one time. We do not 
have the data, and comments received in response to our NPRM almost 
universally did not inform, how far back those search tools reached. 
Accordingly, we assume that all 27 manufacturers will incur this 
burden. We calculate a total one-time burden of 1,620 hours total (27 
MFRs x 60 hours) associated with this requirement on manufacturers to 
provide access to 15 years of recalls completion data.
    This new requirement will allow these 27 manufacturers to update 
each recalled vehicle's repair status no less than every 7 days, for 15 
years from the date the VIN is known to be included in the recall. This 
ongoing requirement to update the status of a VIN for 15 years will add 
an additional recurring burden on top of the one-time burden to 
implement and operate these online

[[Page 51420]]

search tools. We calculate that 8 affected motorcycle manufacturers 
will now make recalled VINs available for an average of 2 recalls each 
year and 19 affected light vehicle manufacturers will make recalled 
VINs available for an average of 8 recalls each year. We believe it 
will take no more than 1 hour, and potentially much less with automated 
systems, to update the VIN status of vehicles that have been remedied 
under the manufacturer's remedy program. We estimate this will add an 
additional 8,736 burden hours per year (1 hour x 2 recalls x 52 weeks x 
8 MFRs + 1 hour x 8 recalls x 52 weeks x 19 MFRs) to support the 
requirement to update the recalls completion status of each VIN in a 
recall at least weekly for 15 years.
    Our original proposal, for manufacturers to submit VINs 
electronically to NHTSA, reduced the burden hours associated with 
quarterly reporting by 3,760 hours annually. As quarterly reporting 
requirements will not change with the alternative proposal we are 
adopting today, quarterly reporting burdens will remain at 12,000 
burden hours (3,000 quarterly reports x 4 hours/report).
    As to the new requirement that manufacturers utilize NHTSA's new 
online recalls portal for the submission of all recall documents, we 
believe there will be minimal burden. Manufacturers typically produce 
their Part 573 reports by entering the needed data into a computer word 
processor, emailing and/or printing and mailing their report. NHTSA's 
new online recalls portal will simply replace the manufacturer's data 
entry method and delivery with a standardized online form. We do 
believe there will be some unmeasured burden reduction by having a 
centralized Web site where manufacturers can find assistance in 
conducting their recall and upload all of their recall documents. 
However, we do estimate a small burden of 2 hours annually in order to 
set up their recalls portal account with the pertinent contact 
information and maintaining/updating their account information as 
needed. We estimate this will require a total of 560 hours annually (2 
hours x 280 MFRs).
    We recognize that manufacturers will incur additional burden in 
meeting the new requirement to submit changes or additions to the 
information supplied in an earlier part 573 report. In our experience, 
roughly 10 percent of safety recalls involve a change or addition to 
the information supplied in a 573 Report. The vast majority of these 
changes or additions are to only a single, discrete, informational 
component, such as a change in the number of products to be recalled or 
a change in the manufacturer's estimation of when it will begin its 
owner and dealer notifications. As such, these amended reports are 
relatively simple and straightforward and will require little time to 
submit through NHTSA's new online recalls portal.
    In view of the fact that the requirement to inform NHTSA of a 
change or update in these recall components is new, we will liberally 
assume that the number of amended reports will double. Therefore, we 
assume that 20 percent of Part 573 reports will involve a change or 
addition. At 30 minutes per amended report, this will add an additional 
68 burden hours per year (680 recalls x .20 = 136 recalls; 136/2 = 68 
hours).
    As for the active review of the Part 573 Information Report 
conducted within 90 days of the recall's available remedy, we have not 
adopted this proposal as part of this final rule. This proposal was 
calculated to add 340 hours each year, but this amount has been removed 
from our estimate.
    As to the requirement that manufacturers notify NHTSA in the event 
of a bankruptcy, we expect this notification to take an estimated 2 
hours to draft and submit to NHTSA. We estimate that only 10 
manufacturers might submit such a notice to NHTSA each year, so we 
calculate the total burden at 20 hours (10 MFRs x 2 hours).
    Due to the initial burdens associated with the new requirement that 
certain vehicle manufacturers make publicly available recall completion 
information, searchable by VIN, our burden estimate is higher for the 
first year of this rule. The part 573 and part 577 requirements found 
in this rule will require 46,138 burden hours in the first year of this 
rule and then 41,134 hours each subsequent year. Due to this range of 
estimates, we are including the higher estimate of 46,138 burden hours 
in our ICR. Accordingly, the requirements of this final rule will 
result in an additional 24,748 burden hours a year, for a total of 
46,138 burden hours for OMB Control Number 2127-0004.
    We estimate the incremental costs associated with today's 
amendments total $12.7 million ($4.57 million for EWR + $634,275 for 
Part 573 VIN changes + $7.5 million in recall notification letters) in 
the first year. We estimate $7.5 million recurring costs annually in 
the second and subsequent years for recall notification letters and 
$270,000 recurring costs annually for nine manufacturers to service and 
maintain their online VIN based recalls lookup tools, for a total of 
$7.77 million recurring costs annually.

G. Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045 applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined 
to be ``economically significant'' as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) 
concerns an environmental, health or safety risk that NHTSA has reason 
to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the 
regulatory action meets both criteria, we must evaluate the 
environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, 
and explain why the planned regulation is preferable to other 
potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered 
by us.
    This rulemaking is not economically significant.

H. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in or about 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.

I. Data Quality Act

    Section 515 of the FY 2001 Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 106-554, section 515, codified at 44 U.S.C. 
3516 historical and statutory note), commonly referred to as the Data 
Quality Act, directed OMB to establish government-wide standards in the 
form of guidelines designed to maximize the ``quality,'' 
``objectivity,'' ``utility,'' and ``integrity'' of information that 
Federal agencies disseminate to the public. As noted in the EWR final 
rule (67 FR 45822), NHTSA has reviewed its data collection, generation, 
and dissemination processes in order to ensure that agency information 
meets the standards articulated in the OMB and DOT guidelines. Where a 
rule change is requiring additional reporting by manufacturers, the new 
requirements will serve to improve the quality of the data NHTSA 
receives under the EWR rule, enabling the agency to be more efficient 
and productive in proactively searching for potential safety concerns 
as mandated through the TREAD Act.

J. Executive Order 13609: Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation

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

    The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may 
differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address 
similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the 
regulatory approaches of U.S.

[[Page 51421]]

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.

    We requested public comment on whether (a) ``regulatory approaches 
taken by foreign governments'' concerning the subject matter of this 
rulemaking and (b) the above policy statement, have any implications 
for this rulemaking. We did not receive any comments in response to 
this section.

K. National Environmental Policy Act

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

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Parts 573, 577, and 579

    Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Tires.

Regulatory Text

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA requests that 49 CFR parts 
573, 577, and 579 be amended as set forth below:

PART 573--DEFECT AND NONCOMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITY AND REPORTS

0
1. Revise the authority citation for part 573 to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30102, 30103, 30116-30121, 30166, Pub. L. 
112-141, 126 Stat. 405; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 
49 CFR 501.8.


0
2. Amend Sec.  573.6 by revising paragraphs (b), (c)(2)(iii), and 
(c)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  573.6  Defect and noncompliance information report.

* * * * *
    (b) Each report shall be submitted not more than 5 working days 
after a defect in a vehicle or item of equipment has been determined to 
be safety related, or a noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety 
standard has been determined to exist. At a minimum, information 
required by paragraphs (c)(1), (2), and (5) of this section shall be 
submitted in the initial report. The remainder of the information 
required by paragraph (c) of this section that is not available within 
the five-day period shall be submitted within 5 working days after the 
manufacturer has confirmed the accuracy of the information. In 
addition, each manufacturer shall amend information required by 
paragraphs (c)(2), (3), and (8)(i) or (ii) within 5 working days after 
it has new information that updates or corrects information that was 
previously reported. Each manufacturer submitting new information 
relative to a previously submitted report shall refer to the recall 
campaign number when a number has been assigned by the NHTSA.
    (c) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (iii) In the case of items of motor vehicle equipment, the 
identification shall be by the generic name of the component (tires, 
child seating systems, axles, etc.), part number (for tires, a range of 
tire identification numbers, as required by 49 CFR 574.5), size and 
function if applicable, the inclusive dates (month and year) of 
manufacture if available, brand (or trade) name, model name, model 
number, as applicable, and any other information necessary to describe 
the items.
* * * * *
    (5) A description of the defect or noncompliance, including both a 
brief summary and a detailed description, with graphic aids as 
necessary, of the nature and physical location (if applicable) of the 
defect or noncompliance. In addition, the manufacturer shall identify 
and describe the risk to motor vehicle safety reasonably related to the 
defect or noncompliance consistent with its evaluation of risk required 
by 49 CFR 577.5(f).
* * * * *

0
3. Revise Sec.  573.9 to read as follows:


Sec.  573.9  Address for submitting required reports and other 
information.

    All submissions, except as otherwise required by this part, shall 
be submitted to NHTSA on the Internet Web page http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Manufacturers. A manufacturer must use the templates provided 
at this Web page for all submissions required under this section. 
Defect and noncompliance information reports required by Sec.  573.6 of 
this part shall be submitted using one of the following forms, 
depending upon the type of product that is the subject of the report: 
``Defect and/or Noncompliance Information Report Form--Vehicles;'' 
``Defect and/or Noncompliance Information Report Form--Equipment;'' 
``Defect and/or Noncompliance Information Report Form--Tires;'' 
``Defect and/or Noncompliance Information Report Form--Child 
Restraints;'' ``Defect and/or Noncompliance Information Report--Vehicle 
Alterers.'' Reports required under Sec.  573.7 of this part shall be 
submitted using the form, ``Quarterly Report Form'' also located at 
this Web page.

0
4. Add Sec.  573.15 to read as follows:


Sec.  573.15   Public Availability of Motor Vehicle Recall Information.

    (a) General--Manufacturers that have manufactured for sale, sold, 
offered for sale, introduced or delivered for introduction in 
interstate commerce, or imported into the United States 25,000 or more 
light vehicles or 5,000 or more motorcycles in the current calendar 
year or the prior calendar year shall make motor vehicle safety recall 
information applicable to the vehicles they manufactured available to 
the public on the Internet. The information shall be in a format that 
is searchable by vehicle make and model and vehicle identification 
number (VIN), that preserves consumer privacy, and that includes 
information about each recall that has not been completed for each 
vehicle.
    (b) Specific requirements--The system that manufacturers use to 
provide the information as specified in paragraph (a) of this section 
must also meet the following requirements:
    (1) Be free of charge and not require users to register or submit 
information, other than a make, model, and a VIN, in order to obtain 
information on recalls;
    (2) Have a hyperlink (Internet link) to it conspicuously placed on 
the manufacturer's main United States' Web page;
    (3) Not include sales or marketing messages with the page for 
entering a make, model, and VIN, or with the page where the results are 
displayed;
    (4) Allow users to search a vehicle's recall remedy status, and 
report that a recall has not been completed on that vehicle, as soon as 
possible and no later than the date when the manufacturer includes that 
vehicle on its list compiled for purposes of 49 CFR 573.8(a);
    (5) Ensure safety recalls subject to paragraph (b)(4) of this 
section are conspicuously placed first, before any other information 
that is displayed;
    (6) For vehicles that have been identified as covered by a safety 
recall, but for which the recall remedy is not yet available, state 
that the vehicle is covered by the safety recall and that the remedy is 
not yet available;

[[Page 51422]]

    (7) Be updated at least once every seven (7) calendar days. The 
date of the last update must display on both the page for entering the 
make, model, and VIN to search for recall completion information and 
the results page;
    (8) Where the search results in identification of a recall that has 
not been completed, state the recall campaign number NHTSA assigned to 
the matter; state the date the defect or noncompliance was reported 
pursuant to part 573; provide a brief description of the safety defect 
or noncompliance identified in the manufacturer's information report 
filed pursuant to this part; describe the risk to safety consistent 
with the manufacturer's description given in the terms required by 
parts 573 and 577; and describe the remedy program;
    (9) At a minimum, include recall completion information for each 
vehicle covered by any safety recall for which the owner notification 
campaign started at any time within the previous fifteen (15) calendar 
years;
    (10) State the earliest date for which recall completion 
information is available, either on the search page or on the results 
page, and provide information for all owner notification campaigns 
after that date;
    (11) Instruct the user to contact the manufacturer if the user has 
questions or wishes to question the accuracy of any information, and 
provide a hyperlink or other contact information for doing so;
    (12) Ensure, through adherence with technical specifications that 
NHTSA makes available through a secure area of its Web site http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Manufacturers/RecallsPortal, the secure 
electronic transfer of the recall information and data required to be 
made publicly available by this section, to NHTSA for its use in 
displaying that information and data on its Web sites or other public 
portals.

0
5. Add Sec.  573.16 as follows:


Sec.  573.16  Reporting bankruptcy petition.

    Each manufacturer that files a bankruptcy petition, or is the 
subject of an involuntary petition for which relief has been ordered, 
pursuant to Title 11 of the United States Code, 11 U.S.C. 101 et seq., 
shall provide NHTSA a report as specified below.
    (a) The name of the court, the docket number, and the name, address 
and telephone number of the manufacturer's legal representative;
    (b) A copy of the bankruptcy petition;
    (c) A list of the recalls for which the manufacturer filed a 
``Defect and noncompliance information report'' with NHTSA pursuant to 
49 CFR 573.6; and
    (d) The information specified in 49 CFR 573.7(b) for each recall 
listed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
    (e) Each report pursuant to this section must be received by NHTSA 
not more than 5 working days after the date the petition is filed in 
the United States Bankruptcy Court. Reports shall be addressed to the 
Associate Administrator for Enforcement, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, Attention: Recall Management Division (NVS-215), 
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, or submitted as an 
attachment to an email message to [email protected] in a portable 
document format (.pdf).

PART 577--DEFECT AND NONCOMPLIANCE NOTIFICATION

0
6. Revise the authority citation for part 577 to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30102, 30103, 30116-121, 30166; delegation 
of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 49 CFR 501.8.


0
7. Amend Sec.  577.5 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  577.5  Notification pursuant to a manufacturer's decision.

    (a) When a manufacturer of motor vehicles or replacement equipment 
determines that any motor vehicle or item of replacement equipment 
produced by the manufacturer contains a defect that relates to motor 
vehicle safety, or fails to conform to an applicable Federal motor 
vehicle safety standard, or the manufacturer files a defect or 
noncompliance information report under 49 CFR part 573, the 
manufacturer shall provide notification in accordance with Sec.  
577.7(a), unless the manufacturer is exempted by the Administrator 
(pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) or 30120(h)) from giving such 
notification. The notification shall contain the information specified 
in this section. The information required by paragraphs (b) and (c) of 
this section shall be presented in the form and order specified. The 
information required by paragraphs (d) through (h) of this section may 
be presented in any order. Except as authorized by the Administrator, 
the manufacturer shall submit a copy of its proposed owner notification 
letter, including any provisions or attachments related to 
reimbursement, to NHTSA's Recall Management Division (NVS-215) no fewer 
than five (5) Federal Government business days before it intends to 
begin mailing it to owners. The manufacturer shall mark the outside of 
each envelope in which it sends an owner notification letter with a 
notation that includes the phrase ``SAFETY RECALL NOTICE,'' all in 
capital letters and in a type that is larger than that used in the 
address section, and is also distinguishable from the other type in a 
manner other than size. It shall also imprint on the outside of this 
envelope a label, one inch by three inches in size and located on the 
front of the envelope. The label to be used is located at http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Manufacturers/RecallsPortal/SafetyRecallLabel. 
This label shall not be used for any purpose other than compliance with 
this paragraph by any entity outside of the Department of 
Transportation. Except where the format of the envelope has been 
previously approved by NHTSA's Recall Management Division (NVS-215), 
each manufacturer must submit the envelope format it intends to use to 
that division at least five Federal Government business days before 
mailing the notification to owners. Submission of envelopes and 
proposed owner notification letters shall be made by the means 
identified in 49 CFR 573.9. Notification sent to an owner whose address 
is in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall be written in both English 
and Spanish.
    (b) At the top of the notification, there must be the statement 
``IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL,'' in all capital letters and in a type size 
that is larger than that used in the remainder of the letter. Then 
immediately below, for vehicle recalls, there must be the statement 
``This notice applies to your vehicle, (manufacturer to insert VIN for 
the particular vehicle).'' If VIN placement is not possible in this 
location, the VIN must then be placed in another conspicuous location 
within the notification. Immediately below the foregoing, there must be 
the opening statement: ``This notice is sent to you in accordance with 
the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.''
* * * * *

0
8. Amend Sec.  577.7 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (a)(1) 
and adding a second sentence to read as follows:


Sec.  577.7  Time and manner of notification.

    (a) * * *
    (1) Be furnished no later than 60 days from the date the 
manufacturer files its defect or noncompliance information report under 
part 573. In the event that the remedy for the defect or noncompliance 
is not available at the time of notification, the manufacturer shall 
issue a second notification in accordance with the requirements of

[[Page 51423]]

this part once that remedy is available. * * *
* * * * *

PART 579--REPORTING OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS ABOUT 
POTENTIAL DEFECTS

0
9. Revise the authority citation for part 579 to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30102-103, 30112, 30117-121, 30166-167; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 49 CFR 501.8.

Subpart A--General


0
10. Amend Sec.  579.4 in paragraph (c) by:
0
a. Adding in alphabetical order definitions of ``Automatic brake 
controls,'' ``Backover prevention system,'' ``Compressed natural gas 
(CNG),'' ``Compression ignition fuel (CIF),'' ``Electric battery power 
(EBP),'' ``Electronic stability control'';
0
b. Redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) in the definition of 
``Equipment'' as paragraphs (i) and (ii);
0
c. Adding in alphabetical order definitions of ``Forward collision 
avoidance system,'' ``Fuel and/or propulsion system type,'' ``Fuel-cell 
power (FCP),'' ``Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV),'' ``Hydrogen combustion 
power (HCP),'' ``Lane departure prevention system,''
0
d. Redesignating paragraphs (1) through (4) in the definition of 
``Minimal specificity'' as paragraphs (i) through (iv);
0
e. Adding in alphabetical order definitions of ``Plug-in hybrid (PHV)'' 
and ``Roll stability control'';
0
f. Revising the definition of ``Service brake system''; and
0
g. Adding in alphabetical order definitions of ``Spark ignition fuel 
(SIF)'' and ``Visibility''.
    The additions and revision read as follows:


Sec.  579.4  Terminology.

* * * * *
    (c). * * *
    Automatic brake controls means systems and devices for automatic 
control of the braking system, including but not limited to, brake-
assist components (vacuum booster, hydraulic modulator, etc.), antilock 
braking systems, traction control systems, and enhanced braking 
systems. The term includes all associated switches, control units, 
connective elements (such as wiring harnesses, hoses, piping, etc.), 
and mounting elements (such as brackets, fasteners, etc.).
* * * * *
    Backover prevention system means a system that has a visual image 
of the area directly behind a vehicle that is provided in a single 
location to the vehicle operator and by means of indirect vision.
* * * * *
    Compressed natural gas (CNG) means a system that uses compressed 
natural gas to propel a motor vehicle.
    Compression ignition fuel (CIF) means a system that uses diesel or 
any diesel-based fuels to propel a motor vehicle. This includes 
biodiesel.
* * * * *
    Electric battery power (EBP) means a system that uses only 
batteries to power an electric motor to propel a motor vehicle.
* * * * *
    Electronic stability control system for light vehicles is used as 
defined in S4. of Sec.  571.126 of this chapter.
    Electronic stability control system for buses, emergency vehicles, 
and medium/heavy vehicles means a system that has all the following 
attributes:
    (i) Augments vehicle directional stability by applying and 
adjusting the vehicle brake torques individually at each wheel position 
on at least one front and at least one rear axle of the vehicle to 
induce correcting yaw moment to limit vehicle oversteer and to limit 
vehicle understeer;
    (ii) Enhances rollover stability by applying and adjusting the 
vehicle brake torques individually at each wheel position on at least 
one front and at least one rear axle of the vehicle to reduce lateral 
acceleration of a vehicle;
    (iii) Is computer-controlled with the computer using a closed-loop 
algorithm to induce correcting yaw moment and enhance rollover 
stability;
    (iv) Has a means to determine the vehicle's lateral acceleration;
    (v) Has a means to determine the vehicle's yaw rate and to estimate 
its side slip or side slip derivative with respect to time;
    (vi) Has a means to estimate vehicle mass or, if applicable, 
combination vehicle mass;
    (vii) Has a means to monitor driver steering input;
    (viii) Has a means to modify engine torque, as necessary, to assist 
the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle and/or combination 
vehicle; and
    (ix) Can provide brake pressure to automatically apply on a truck 
tractor and modulate the brake torques of a towed semi-trailer.
* * * * *
    Forward collision avoidance system means
    (i) A system that:
    (A) Has an algorithm or software to determine distance and relative 
speed of an object or another vehicle directly in the forward lane of 
travel; and
    (B) Provides an audible, visible, and/or haptic warning to the 
driver of a potential collision with an object in the vehicle's forward 
travel lane.
    (ii) The system may also include a feature that:
    (A) Pre-charges the brakes prior to, or immediately after, a 
warning is issued to the driver;
    (B) Closes all windows, retracts the seat belts, and/or moves 
forward any memory seats in order to protect the vehicle's occupants 
during or immediately after a warning is issued; or
    (C) Applies any type of braking assist or input during or 
immediately after a warning is issued.
* * * * *
    Foundation brake system means all components of the service braking 
system of a motor vehicle intended for the transfer of braking 
application force from the operator to the wheels of a vehicle, 
including components such as the brake pedal, master cylinder, fluid 
lines and hoses, brake calipers, wheel cylinders, brake discs, brake 
drums, brake pads, brake shoes, and other related equipment installed 
in a motor vehicle in order to comply with FMVSS Nos. 105, 121, 122, or 
135 (except equipment relating specifically to the parking brake). The 
term includes all associated switches, control units, connective 
elements (such as wiring harnesses, hoses, piping, etc.), and mounting 
elements (such as brackets, fasteners, etc.).
    Fuel and/or propulsion system type means the variety of fuel and/or 
propulsion systems used in a motor vehicle, as follows: compressed 
natural gas (CNG); compression ignition fuel (CIF); electric battery 
power (EBP); fuel-cell power (FCP); hybrid electric vehicle (HEV); 
hydrogen combustion power (HCP); plug-in hybrid (PHV); spark ignition 
fuel (SIF); and other (OTH).
    Fuel-cell power (FCP) means a system that uses fuel cells to 
generate electricity to power an electric motor to propel a motor 
vehicle.
* * * * *
    Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) means a system that uses a 
combination of an electric motor and internal combustion engine to 
propel a motor vehicle but is not capable of recharging its batteries 
by plugging in to an external electric current.
    Hydrogen combustion power (HCP) means a system that uses hydrogen 
to

[[Page 51424]]

propel a vehicle through means other than a fuel cell.
* * * * *
    Lane departure prevention system means
    (i) A system that:
    (A) Has an algorithm or software to determine the vehicle's 
position relative to the lane markers and the vehicle's projected 
direction; and
    (B) Provides an audible, visible, and/or haptic warning to the 
driver of unintended departure from a travel lane.
    (ii) The system may also include a feature that:
    (A) Applies the vehicle's stability control system to assist the 
driver to maintain lane position during or immediately after the 
warning is issued;
    (B) Applies any type of steering input to assist the driver to 
maintain lane position during or immediately after the warning is 
issued; or
    (C) Applies any type of braking pressure or input to assist the 
driver to maintain lane position during or immediately after the 
warning is issued.
* * * * *
    Plug-in hybrid (PHV) means a system that combines an electric motor 
and an internal combustion engine to propel a motor vehicle and is 
capable of recharging its batteries by plugging in to an external 
electric current.
* * * * *
    Roll stability control system means a system that:
    (i) Enhances rollover stability by applying and adjusting the 
vehicle brake torques to reduce lateral acceleration of a vehicle;
    (ii) Is computer-controlled with the computer using a closed-loop 
algorithm to enhance rollover stability;
    (iii) Has a means to determine the vehicle's lateral acceleration;
    (iv) Has a means to determine the vehicle mass or, if applicable, 
combination vehicle mass;
    (v) Has a means to modify engine torque, as necessary, to assist 
the driver in maintaining rollover stability of the vehicle and/or 
combination vehicle; and
    (vi) Can provide brake pressure to automatically apply on a truck 
tractor and modulate the brake torques of a towed semi-trailer.
* * * * *
    Service brake system means all components of the service braking 
system of a motor vehicle intended for the transfer of braking 
application force from the operator to the wheels of a vehicle, 
including the foundation braking system, such as the brake pedal, 
master cylinder, fluid lines and hoses, braking assist components, 
brake calipers, wheel cylinders, brake discs, brake drums, brake pads, 
brake shoes, and other related equipment installed in a motor vehicle 
in order to comply with FMVSS Nos. 105, 121, 122, or 135 (except 
equipment relating specifically to a parking brake). This term also 
includes systems and devices for automatic control of the brake system 
such as antilock braking, traction control, and enhanced braking, but 
does not include systems or devices necessary only for electronic 
stability control, or roll stability control. The term includes all 
associated switches, control units, connective elements (such as wiring 
harnesses, hoses, piping, etc.), and mounting elements (such as 
brackets, fasteners, etc.).
* * * * *
    Spark ignition fuel (SIF) means, in the context of reporting fuel 
and/or propulsion system type, a system that uses gasoline, ethanol, or 
methanol based fuels to propel a motor vehicle.
* * * * *
    Visibility means the systems and components of a motor vehicle 
through which a driver views the surroundings of the vehicle including 
windshield, side windows, back window, and rear view mirrors, and 
systems and components used to wash and wipe windshields and back 
windows. This term includes those vehicular systems and components that 
can affect the ability of the driver to clearly see the roadway and 
surrounding area, such as the systems and components identified in 
FMVSS Nos. 103, 104, and 111. This term also includes the defogger, 
defroster system, the heater core, blower fan, windshield wiper 
systems, mirrors, windows and glazing material, heads-up display (HUD) 
systems, and exterior view-based television systems for medium-heavy 
vehicles, but does not include exterior view-based television systems 
for light vehicles which are defined under ``Backover prevention 
system'' and exterior lighting systems which are defined under 
``Lighting.'' This term includes all associated switches, control 
units, connective elements (such as wiring harnesses, hoses, piping, 
etc.), and mounting elements (such as brackets, fasteners, etc.).
* * * * *

0
11. Amend Sec.  579.6 by redesignating paragraph (b) as paragraph 
(b)(1) and adding paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  579.6  Address for submitting reports and other information.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) The annual list of substantially similar vehicles submitted 
pursuant to Sec.  579.11(e) of this part shall be submitted to NHTSA's 
early warning data repository identified on NHTSA's Web page http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ewr/ewr.cfm. A manufacturer shall use the 
template provided at the early warning Web site, also identified on 
NHTSA's Web page http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ewr/xls.cfm, for 
submitting the list.
* * * * *

Subpart C--Reporting of Early Warning Information


0
12. Amend Sec.  579.21 by:
0
a. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (a);
0
b. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (b)(2);
0
c. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (c); and
0
d. Adding a fifth sentence to paragraph (c).
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  579.21  Reporting requirements for manufacturers of 5,000 or more 
light vehicles annually.

* * * * *
    (a) Production information. Information that states the 
manufacturer's name, the quarterly reporting period, the make, the 
model, the model year, the type, the platform, the fuel and/or 
propulsion system type coded as follows: CNG (compressed natural gas), 
CIF (compression ignition fuel), EBP (electric battery power), FCP 
(fuel-cell power), HEV (hybrid electric vehicle), HCP (hydrogen 
combustion power), PHV (plug-in hybrid), SIF (spark ignition fuel) and 
OTH (Other), and the number of vehicles produced. * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) For each incident described in paragraph (b)(1) of this 
section, the manufacturer shall separately report the make, model, 
model year, the type, the fuel and/or propulsion system type (as 
specified in paragraph (a)), and VIN of the vehicle, the incident date, 
the number of deaths, the number of injuries for incidents occurring in 
the United States, the State or foreign country where the incident 
occurred, each system or component of the vehicle that allegedly 
contributed to the incident, and whether the incident involved a fire 
or rollover, coded as follows: 01 steering system, 02 suspension 
system, 03 foundation brake system, 04 automatic brake controls, 05 
parking brake, 06 engine and engine cooling system, 07 fuel system, 10

[[Page 51425]]

power train, 11 electrical system, 12 exterior lighting, 13 visibility, 
14 air bags, 15 seat belts, 16 structure, 17 latch, 18 vehicle speed 
control, 19 tires, 20 wheels, 22 seats, 23 fire, 24 rollover, 25 
electronic stability control system, 26 forward collision avoidance 
system, 27 lane departure prevention system, 28 backover prevention 
system, 98 where a system or component not covered by categories 01 
through 22 or 25 through 28, is specified in the claim or notice, and 
99 where no system or component of the vehicle is specified in the 
claim or notice. * * *
    (c) Numbers of property damage claims, consumer complaints, 
warranty claims, and field reports. Separate reports on the numbers of 
those property damage claims, consumer complaints, warranty claims, and 
field reports which involve the systems and components that are 
specified in codes 01 through 22, or 25 through 28 in paragraph (b)(2) 
of this section, or a fire (code 23), or rollover (code 24). * * * For 
each report, the manufacturer shall separately state the vehicle type 
and fuel and/or propulsion system type if the manufacturer stated more 
than one vehicle type or fuel and/or propulsion system type for a 
particular make, model, model year in paragraph (a) of this section.
* * * * *

0
13. Amend Sec.  579.22 by:
0
a. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (b)(2);
0
b. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (c); and
0
c. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (d).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  579.22  Reporting requirements for manufacturers of 100 or more 
buses, manufacturers of 500 or more emergency vehicles and 
manufacturers of 5,000 or more medium-heavy vehicles (other than buses 
and emergency vehicles) annually.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) For each incident described in paragraph (b)(1) of this 
section, the manufacturer shall separately report the make, model, 
model year, and VIN of the bus, emergency vehicle or medium-heavy 
vehicle, the incident date, the number of deaths, the number of 
injuries for incidents occurring in the United States, the State or 
foreign country where the incident occurred, each system or component 
of the vehicle that allegedly contributed to the incident, and whether 
the incident involved a fire or rollover, coded as follows: 01 steering 
system, 02 suspension system, 03 service brake system, hydraulic, 04 
service brake system, air, 05 parking brake, 06 engine and engine 
cooling system, 07 fuel system, gasoline, 08 fuel system, diesel, 09 
fuel system, other, 10 power train, 11 electrical, 12 exterior 
lighting, 13 visibility, 14 air bags, 15 seat belts, 16 structure, 17 
latch, 18 vehicle speed control, 19 tires, 20 wheels, 21 trailer hitch, 
22 seats, 23 fire, 24 rollover, 25 electronic stability control system 
and/or roll stability control system, 98 where a system or component 
not covered by categories 01 through 22 or 25 is specified in the claim 
or notice, and 99 where no system or component of the vehicle is 
specified in the claim or notice. * * *
    (c) Numbers of property damage claims, consumer complaints, 
warranty claims, and field reports. Separate reports on the numbers of 
those property damage claims, consumer complaints, warranty claims, and 
field reports which involve the systems and components that are 
specified in codes 01 through 22, or 25 in paragraph (b)(2) of this 
section, or a fire (code 23), or rollover (code 24). * * *
    (d) Copies of field reports. For all buses, emergency vehicles and 
medium-heavy vehicles manufactured during a model year covered by the 
reporting period and the nine model years prior to the earliest model 
year in the reporting period, a copy of each field report (other than a 
dealer report or a product evaluation report) involving one or more of 
the systems or components identified in paragraph (b)(2) of this 
section, or fire, or rollover, containing any assessment of an alleged 
failure, malfunction, lack of durability, or other performance problem 
of a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment (including any 
part thereof) that is originated by an employee or representative of 
the manufacturer and that the manufacturer received during a reporting 
period. * * *

    Note: The following appendices will not appear in the Code of 
Federal Regulations.

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

Appendix A

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[[Page 51427]]


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Appendix C

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Appendix D

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[[Page 51462]]



Appendix E
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20AU13.054


    Issued on: August 9, 2013.
David L. Strickland,
Administrator, NHTSA.
[FR Doc. 2013-19785 Filed 8-14-13; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-C