Anthropomorphic Test Devices; Denial of Petition for Reconsideration Regarding the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy, Alpha Version, 13227-13229 [05-5342]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 52 / Friday, March 18, 2005 / Notices snow plows to strike them when operating over the hump. If the waiver is granted, NS would raise the height of the pilot plates or snow plow to allow more clearance and would re-adjust the height whenever it is necessary for a hump assigned locomotive to be moved from Bellevue or Roanoke yards. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested party desires an opportunity for oral comment, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number (FRA–2005– 20384) and must be submitted to the Docket Clerk, DOT Docket Management Facility, Room PL–401 (Plaza Level), 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Communications received within 45 days of the date of this notice will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered as far as practicable. All written communications concerning these proceedings are available for examination during regular business hours (9 a.m.–5 p.m.) at the above facility. All documents in the public docket are also available for inspection and copying on the Internet at the docket facility’s Web site at http://dms.dot.gov. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78). The Statement may also be found at http:// dms.dot.gov. Issued in Washington, DC on March 14, 2005. Grady C. Cothen, Jr., Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety Standards and Program Development. [FR Doc. 05–5363 Filed 3–17–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket Number: MARAD 2004–17114] [Docket No. NHTSA–2000–6940] Availability of a Finding of No Significant Impact Anthropomorphic Test Devices; Denial of Petition for Reconsideration Regarding the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy, Alpha Version Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. AGENCY: Notice of the availability of a finding of no significant impact. ACTION: SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to make available to the public the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) derived from the Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the Port of Anchorage (Port) Marine Terminal Redevelopment Project. The purpose of the project is to improve and enhance the existing dock and terminal capability at the Port to facilitate the transportation of goods and people within the State of Alaska. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel E. Yuska, Jr., Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Environmental Activities, U.S. Maritime Administration, 400 7th Street, SW., Room 7209, Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366–0714, fax (202) 366–6988. The Maritime Administration, in cooperation with the Port of Anchorage, completed an EA that studied potential environmental effects associated with the redevelopment of the marine terminal used by the Port. The EA considered potential effects to the natural and human environments including: Air quality; water quality; geology and soils; coastal resources; terrestrial resources; aquatic resources; navigation; hazardous materials; cultural and historic resources; visual and aesthetic resources; and other topics associated with the proposed action. The FONSI is based on the analysis presented in the Marine Terminal Redevelopment EA. The FONSI and the EA are available for review at Loussac Library in Anchorage or online at http:// www.portofanchorage.org and http:// dms.dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: (Authority: 49 CFR 1.66.) By Order of the Maritime Administrator. Dated: March 11, 2005. Joel C. Richard, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 05–5335 Filed 3–17–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P VerDate jul<14>2003 16:14 Mar 17, 2005 Jkt 205001 13227 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Denial of petition for reconsideration. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice denies an August 29, 2002, petition for reconsideration submitted by DaimlerChrysler. The petitioner asked the agency to delay the effective date of the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy, specified in the 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart O final rule, ‘‘Response to Petitions for Reconsideration’’ (67 FR 46400). For non-legal issues: Mr. Sean Doyle, Office of Crashworthiness Standards, NVS– 111, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366–1740. Facsimile: (202) 473– 2629. Electronic Mail: Sean.Doyle@nhtsa.dot.gov. For legal issues: Mr. Christopher Calamita, Office of Chief Counsel, NCC– 112, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366–2992. Facsimile: (202) 366– 3820. Electronic Mail: Christopher.Calamita@nhtsa.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background DaimlerChrysler petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in a letter dated August 29, 2002, to delay the September 13, 2002, effective date for the dummy specified in the Part 572, Subpart O final rule (67 FR 46400) until all issues related to the neck are resolved. In the mid 1990’s, there had been serious concern regarding air bag related fatalities and injuries to small female drivers seated close to deploying air bags in low speed crashes. Crash data showed that small-stature women often experienced a higher potential for serious injury in low speed crashes, even when properly restrained. To help deal with these concerns, NHTSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on September 18, 1998, to upgrade Federal Motor Vehicle E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 13228 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 52 / Friday, March 18, 2005 / Notices Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, ‘‘Occupant crash protection’’ (63 FR 49958). The NPRM proposed that vehicles be equipped with advanced air bags that meet new and more rigorous performance requirements. The NPRM proposed alternative options for complying with the new set of performance requirements to ensure that new air bags were designed to avoid causing injury to a broad array of occupants. After receiving public comments, the agency published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) on November 5, 1999, for FMVSS No. 208 (64 FR 60556) outlining the proposed Nij neck injury criterion. DaimlerChrysler submitted comments on December 23, 1999, (NHTSA Docket No. NHTSA–99–6407) in response to the SNPRM citing its concerns over the need and usefulness of the Nij specification as an adequate neck injury measure in the advanced air bag rule, and questioning the sufficiency of the Hybrid III neck to measure appropriately the injury producing forces and movements as they relate to the human neck. Complementing the November 5, 1999, proposed rulemaking, the agency incorporated in 49 CFR Part 572 the specifications for the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy (65 FR 10961) on March 1, 2000. This dummy was incorporated to permit assessment of the potential for injury to smallstature adults and teenagers in frontal crashes and to facilitate the development of technologies that would minimize the risk of injury from deploying air bags, in part, through application of Nij as an injury assessment measure. In response to the March 1, 2000, final rule, DaimlerChrysler submitted a petition for reconsideration on April 14, 2000, again stating its concern with the need for and use of Nij and the adequacy of the HIII 5th Percentile Female Dummy’s neck. After consideration of DaimlerChrysler’s and others’ comments to the November 1999 SNPRM, the agency published a final rule amending FMVSS No. 208 on May 12, 2000 (65 FR 30680), adopting the proposed neck injury criteria. Since the publication of the advanced air bag final rule, DaimlerChrysler has submitted additional petitions to FMVSS No. 208 on June 26, 2000, and February 1, 2002, reiterating its previous objection regarding Nij and the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy’s neck. The agency first addressed DaimlerChrysler’s petitions for reconsideration concerning the adequacy of the Nij and the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy’s VerDate jul<14>2003 16:14 Mar 17, 2005 Jkt 205001 neck in the response to petitions for reconsideration of the advanced air bag rulemaking published on December 18, 2001 (66 FR 65376). On July 15, 2002, the agency likewise denied the DaimlerChrysler petition for reconsideration (submitted April 14, 2000) of the adoption of the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female into 49 CFR Part 571, Subpart O (67 FR 46400). Analysis In its petition for reconsideration dated August 29, 2002, DaimlerChrysler claimed that it either did not clearly communicate its position in its April 14, 2000, petition for reconsideration of the final rule (Subpart O) or NHTSA misinterpreted what DaimlerChrysler was attempting to convey. In particular DaimlerChrysler stated that: 1. DaimlerChrysler only petitioned to discontinue use of the Nij in conjunction with the Hybrid-III neck and did not petition to discontinue use of the neck; 2. The agency believes that DaimlerChrysler contends that the neck muscles do not contribute to global moments of the neck, when DaimlerChrysler’s position is that moments generated due to neck muscles do not contribute to injury; and 3. The agency did not address DaimlerChrysler’s claim that the basis of the moment component of the Nij is the local moments, and that the global moments (the moments measured by the Hybrid III [neck]) cannot be used to estimate the local moments. 4. DaimlerChrysler questioned the accuracy of the response of the Hybrid III dummy neck with regards to the moments recorded when there was little head rotation. After consideration of DaimlerChrysler’s August 29, 2002, petition for reconsideration of 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart O final rule, NHTSA concludes that there is no reasonable justification to delay the implementation date of the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy final rule as the petitioner requested. The issues in this petition for reconsideration were raised by DaimlerChrysler previously, twice in petitions of FMVSS No. 208 (June 26, 2000, Docket No. 00–7013 and February 1, 2002, Docket No. 01–1110) and once in a petition of 49 CFR Part 572 (April 14, 2000, Docket No. 00–6940). The agency fully understood and considered the issues raised by DaimlerChrysler when it denied those three previous petitions. The agency does not believe it is appropriate to challenge the validity of Nij in a petition for reconsideration of a rule implementing or amending 49 PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 CFR Part 572, Subpart O, since the Nij neck injury criteria is specified in FMVSS No. 208 and is not relevant to 49 CFR Part 572. NHTSA fully understands that DaimlerChrysler only petitioned to discontinue use of the Nij in conjunction with the Hybrid III neck and did not petition to completely discontinue use of the neck. NHTSA acknowledges the likelihood that injury causing moments are those of the ligamentous spine when some moment levels are exceeded, as does the agency acknowledge that the global neck moments, measured by the Hybrid III dummy neck, may include some contribution from the muscle pairs, as well as the local moment at the occipital condyle (OC). However, the agency disagrees that Nij cannot be used with the Hybrid III dummy neck, since the criteria was developed and validated for that particular dummy neck.1 Furthermore, the Nij was adjusted to account for possible muscle contribution. DaimlerChrysler also questioned the accuracy of the response of the Hybrid III dummy neck with regards to the moments recorded when there was little head rotation. The agency’s analysis of air bag loading patterns with the Hybrid III neck showed that in nearly all cases with high moments at the OC, there was also a corresponding high shear force caused by direct contact between the air bag and the neck. This correlation between a high OC moment and high shear force measured by the upper and lower neck load cells were recorded only when the air bag directly contacted the neck. Moreover, this direct neck contact did not always result in significant head rotation. The agency, therefore, believes the moments being recorded are appropriate because they are partly accounted for by the shear force that is occurring during contact. Lastly, the Transportation Equity Act (TEA 21) initially specified the implementation of advanced air bags by September 1, 2002. The agency used provisions allowed in the Act to extend the implementation date from September 1, 2002 to September 1, 2003, (January 1, 2003, Docket No. 02– 14270). To further ease the transition, a phase-in period was established with the first year of implementation reduced 1 ‘‘Development of Improved Injury Criteria for the Assessment of Advanced Automotive Restraint Systems—II’’ and ‘‘Supplemental: Development of Improved Injury Criteria for the Assessment of Advanced Automotive Restraint Systems—II’’ (NHTSA Docket # 1999–6407). E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 52 / Friday, March 18, 2005 / Notices to 20% of the vehicle production.2 Consequently, 20% of the vehicle fleet already complies with the advanced air bag requirements, and within the next few months the majority of the vehicle fleet (65% of model year 2005 vehicles) will comply with the advanced air bag requirements. To date, there have been no manufacturers unable to meet the FMVSS No. 208 Nij requirements. Conclusion Inasmuch as the DaimlerChrysler’s petition did not provide further test data to support its petition, and the Nij limits are practicable and have contributed to the elimination of special risks for small-statured occupants, the agency finds no reason or justification for giving the DaimlerChrysler petition further consideration. Accordingly, the DaimlerChrysler Petition for Reconsideration of August 29, 2002, is hereby denied. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30162; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 49 CFR 501.8. Issued on: March 14, 2005. Stephen R. Kratzke, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 05–5342 Filed 3–17–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2005–20649] Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 2003– 2004 Porsche Cayenne Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of receipt of petition for decision that nonconforming 2003–2004 Porsche Cayenne multipurpose passenger vehicles are eligible for importation. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that 2003–2004 Porsche Cayenne multipurpose passenger vehicles that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards, are eligible for importation into the United States because (1) they are substantially similar to vehicles that were originally 2 The second year of the phase-in requires 65% of the production to comply with the advanced air bag requirement. VerDate jul<14>2003 16:14 Mar 17, 2005 Jkt 205001 manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States and that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with the safety standards, and (2) they are capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards. DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is April 18, 2005. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number and notice number, and be submitted to: Docket Management, Room PL–401, 400 Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC 20590. [Docket hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.]. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202–366–3151). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, certified under 49 U.S.C. 30115, and of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and affords interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the close of the comment period, NHTSA decides, on the basis of the petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this decision in the Federal Register. US SPECS of Aberdeen, Maryland (Registered Importer 03–321) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether nonconforming 2003–2004 Porsche PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13229 Cayenne multipurpose passenger vehicles are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which US SPECS believes are substantially similar are 2003–2004 Porsche Cayenne multipurpose passenger vehicles that were manufactured for importation into, and sale in, the United States and certified by their manufacturer as conforming to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards. The petitioner claims that it carefully compared non-U.S. certified 2003–2004 Porsche Cayenne multipurpose passenger vehicles to their U.S.-certified counterparts, and found the vehicles to be substantially similar with respect to compliance with most Federal motor vehicle safety standards. US SPECS submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 2003–2004 Porsche Cayenne multipurpose passenger vehicles as originally manufactured, conform to many Federal motor vehicle safety standards in the same manner as their U.S. certified counterparts, or are capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards. Specifically, the petitioner claims that non-U.S. certified 2003–2004 Porsche Cayenne multipurpose passenger vehicles are identical to their U.Scertified counterparts with respect to compliance with Standard Nos. 102 Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect, 103 Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems, 104 Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems, 106 Brake Hoses, 113 Hood Latch System, 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles Other than Passenger Cars, 124 Accelerator Control Systems, 135 Passenger Car Brake Systems, 201 Occupant Protection in Interior Impact, 202 Head Restraints, 204 Steering Control Rearward Displacement, 205 Glazing Materials, 207 Seating Systems, 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, 212 Windshield Mounting, 214 Side Impact Protection, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials. The petitioner also contends that the vehicles are capable of being readily altered to meet the following standards, in the manner indicated: Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: Replacement or conversion of the speedometer to read in miles per hours. Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: Installation, on vehicles that are not already so equipped, of U.S.-model headlamps, front side marker lamps, E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 52 (Friday, March 18, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13227-13229]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-5342]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2000-6940]


Anthropomorphic Test Devices; Denial of Petition for 
Reconsideration Regarding the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test 
Dummy, Alpha Version

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

ACTION: Denial of petition for reconsideration.

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

SUMMARY: This notice denies an August 29, 2002, petition for 
reconsideration submitted by DaimlerChrysler. The petitioner asked the 
agency to delay the effective date of the Hybrid III 5th Percentile 
Female Test Dummy, specified in the 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart O final 
rule, ``Response to Petitions for Reconsideration'' (67 FR 46400).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues: Mr. Sean Doyle, 
Office of Crashworthiness Standards, NVS-111, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. 
Telephone: (202) 366-1740. Facsimile: (202) 473-2629. Electronic Mail: 
Sean.Doyle@nhtsa.dot.gov.
    For legal issues: Mr. Christopher Calamita, Office of Chief 
Counsel, NCC-112, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-2992. 
Facsimile: (202) 366-3820. Electronic Mail: 
Christopher.Calamita@nhtsa.dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    DaimlerChrysler petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA), in a letter dated August 29, 2002, to delay the 
September 13, 2002, effective date for the dummy specified in the Part 
572, Subpart O final rule (67 FR 46400) until all issues related to the 
neck are resolved.
    In the mid 1990's, there had been serious concern regarding air bag 
related fatalities and injuries to small female drivers seated close to 
deploying air bags in low speed crashes. Crash data showed that small-
stature women often experienced a higher potential for serious injury 
in low speed crashes, even when properly restrained. To help deal with 
these concerns, NHTSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
on September 18, 1998, to upgrade Federal Motor Vehicle

[[Page 13228]]

Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, ``Occupant crash protection'' (63 FR 
49958). The NPRM proposed that vehicles be equipped with advanced air 
bags that meet new and more rigorous performance requirements. The NPRM 
proposed alternative options for complying with the new set of 
performance requirements to ensure that new air bags were designed to 
avoid causing injury to a broad array of occupants. After receiving 
public comments, the agency published a supplemental notice of proposed 
rulemaking (SNPRM) on November 5, 1999, for FMVSS No. 208 (64 FR 60556) 
outlining the proposed Nij neck injury criterion. DaimlerChrysler 
submitted comments on December 23, 1999, (NHTSA Docket No. NHTSA-99-
6407) in response to the SNPRM citing its concerns over the need and 
usefulness of the Nij specification as an adequate neck injury measure 
in the advanced air bag rule, and questioning the sufficiency of the 
Hybrid III neck to measure appropriately the injury producing forces 
and movements as they relate to the human neck.
    Complementing the November 5, 1999, proposed rulemaking, the agency 
incorporated in 49 CFR Part 572 the specifications for the Hybrid III 
5th Percentile Female Test Dummy (65 FR 10961) on March 1, 2000. This 
dummy was incorporated to permit assessment of the potential for injury 
to small-stature adults and teenagers in frontal crashes and to 
facilitate the development of technologies that would minimize the risk 
of injury from deploying air bags, in part, through application of Nij 
as an injury assessment measure. In response to the March 1, 2000, 
final rule, DaimlerChrysler submitted a petition for reconsideration on 
April 14, 2000, again stating its concern with the need for and use of 
Nij and the adequacy of the HIII 5th Percentile Female Dummy's neck.
    After consideration of DaimlerChrysler's and others' comments to 
the November 1999 SNPRM, the agency published a final rule amending 
FMVSS No. 208 on May 12, 2000 (65 FR 30680), adopting the proposed neck 
injury criteria. Since the publication of the advanced air bag final 
rule, DaimlerChrysler has submitted additional petitions to FMVSS No. 
208 on June 26, 2000, and February 1, 2002, reiterating its previous 
objection regarding Nij and the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test 
Dummy's neck.
    The agency first addressed DaimlerChrysler's petitions for 
reconsideration concerning the adequacy of the Nij and the Hybrid III 
5th Percentile Female Test Dummy's neck in the response to petitions 
for reconsideration of the advanced air bag rulemaking published on 
December 18, 2001 (66 FR 65376). On July 15, 2002, the agency likewise 
denied the DaimlerChrysler petition for reconsideration (submitted 
April 14, 2000) of the adoption of the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female 
into 49 CFR Part 571, Subpart O (67 FR 46400).

Analysis

    In its petition for reconsideration dated August 29, 2002, 
DaimlerChrysler claimed that it either did not clearly communicate its 
position in its April 14, 2000, petition for reconsideration of the 
final rule (Subpart O) or NHTSA misinterpreted what DaimlerChrysler was 
attempting to convey. In particular DaimlerChrysler stated that:
    1. DaimlerChrysler only petitioned to discontinue use of the Nij in 
conjunction with the Hybrid-III neck and did not petition to 
discontinue use of the neck;
    2. The agency believes that DaimlerChrysler contends that the neck 
muscles do not contribute to global moments of the neck, when 
DaimlerChrysler's position is that moments generated due to neck 
muscles do not contribute to injury; and
    3. The agency did not address DaimlerChrysler's claim that the 
basis of the moment component of the Nij is the local moments, and that 
the global moments (the moments measured by the Hybrid III [neck]) 
cannot be used to estimate the local moments.
    4. DaimlerChrysler questioned the accuracy of the response of the 
Hybrid III dummy neck with regards to the moments recorded when there 
was little head rotation.
    After consideration of DaimlerChrysler's August 29, 2002, petition 
for reconsideration of 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart O final rule, NHTSA 
concludes that there is no reasonable justification to delay the 
implementation date of the Hybrid III 5th Percentile Female Test Dummy 
final rule as the petitioner requested. The issues in this petition for 
reconsideration were raised by DaimlerChrysler previously, twice in 
petitions of FMVSS No. 208 (June 26, 2000, Docket No. 00-7013 and 
February 1, 2002, Docket No. 01-1110) and once in a petition of 49 CFR 
Part 572 (April 14, 2000, Docket No. 00-6940). The agency fully 
understood and considered the issues raised by DaimlerChrysler when it 
denied those three previous petitions. The agency does not believe it 
is appropriate to challenge the validity of Nij in a petition for 
reconsideration of a rule implementing or amending 49 CFR Part 572, 
Subpart O, since the Nij neck injury criteria is specified in FMVSS No. 
208 and is not relevant to 49 CFR Part 572.
    NHTSA fully understands that DaimlerChrysler only petitioned to 
discontinue use of the Nij in conjunction with the Hybrid III neck and 
did not petition to completely discontinue use of the neck. NHTSA 
acknowledges the likelihood that injury causing moments are those of 
the ligamentous spine when some moment levels are exceeded, as does the 
agency acknowledge that the global neck moments, measured by the Hybrid 
III dummy neck, may include some contribution from the muscle pairs, as 
well as the local moment at the occipital condyle (OC). However, the 
agency disagrees that Nij cannot be used with the Hybrid III dummy 
neck, since the criteria was developed and validated for that 
particular dummy neck.\1\ Furthermore, the Nij was adjusted to account 
for possible muscle contribution.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ ``Development of Improved Injury Criteria for the Assessment 
of Advanced Automotive Restraint Systems--II'' and ``Supplemental: 
Development of Improved Injury Criteria for the Assessment of 
Advanced Automotive Restraint Systems--II'' (NHTSA Docket  
1999-6407).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DaimlerChrysler also questioned the accuracy of the response of the 
Hybrid III dummy neck with regards to the moments recorded when there 
was little head rotation. The agency's analysis of air bag loading 
patterns with the Hybrid III neck showed that in nearly all cases with 
high moments at the OC, there was also a corresponding high shear force 
caused by direct contact between the air bag and the neck. This 
correlation between a high OC moment and high shear force measured by 
the upper and lower neck load cells were recorded only when the air bag 
directly contacted the neck. Moreover, this direct neck contact did not 
always result in significant head rotation. The agency, therefore, 
believes the moments being recorded are appropriate because they are 
partly accounted for by the shear force that is occurring during 
contact.
    Lastly, the Transportation Equity Act (TEA 21) initially specified 
the implementation of advanced air bags by September 1, 2002. The 
agency used provisions allowed in the Act to extend the implementation 
date from September 1, 2002 to September 1, 2003, (January 1, 2003, 
Docket No. 02-14270). To further ease the transition, a phase-in period 
was established with the first year of implementation reduced

[[Page 13229]]

to 20% of the vehicle production.\2\ Consequently, 20% of the vehicle 
fleet already complies with the advanced air bag requirements, and 
within the next few months the majority of the vehicle fleet (65% of 
model year 2005 vehicles) will comply with the advanced air bag 
requirements. To date, there have been no manufacturers unable to meet 
the FMVSS No. 208 Nij requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The second year of the phase-in requires 65% of the 
production to comply with the advanced air bag requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusion

    Inasmuch as the DaimlerChrysler's petition did not provide further 
test data to support its petition, and the Nij limits are practicable 
and have contributed to the elimination of special risks for small-
statured occupants, the agency finds no reason or justification for 
giving the DaimlerChrysler petition further consideration. Accordingly, 
the DaimlerChrysler Petition for Reconsideration of August 29, 2002, is 
hereby denied.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30162; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 
1.50 and 49 CFR 501.8.

    Issued on: March 14, 2005.
Stephen R. Kratzke,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 05-5342 Filed 3-17-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P