Make Inoperative Provisions; Vehicle Modifications To Accommodate People With Disabilities, 51673-51679 [05-17244]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. J. Privacy Act Please note that 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. 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 will not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Parts 571 Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tires. a horizontal plane 660 mm above the seating reference point (SgRP) of that seating position; and (b) A vehicle body or frame component, including trim, that incorporates an upper seat belt anchorage conforming to the requirements of S4.2.1 and S4.3.2 of 49 CFR 571.210, that is located forward of the rearmost outboard designated seating position, and that extends above a horizontal plane 460 mm above the SgRP of that seating position located rearward of the anchorage. (c) The seat belt mounting structure is not a pillar, roll bar, brace or stiffener, side rail, seat, interior rear quarter panel, or part of the roof. * * * * * S6.3 * * * (e) Any target located on the seat belt mounting structures, door frames and other door frames before December 1, 2005. * * * * * Dated: August 25, 2005. Jeffrey W. Runge, Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–17294 Filed 8–29–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P In consideration of the foregoing, Part 571 is amended as follows: I PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 1. The authority citation for part 571 continues to read as follows: I 49 CFR Part 595 Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 2011, 30115, 30166 and 30177; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. [Docket No. NHTSA–2004–19092] 2. Section 571.201 is amended by revising the definition of Seat belt mounting structure in S3, adding the definition of Interior rear quarter panel to S3 in alphabetical order, and revising S6.3(e) to read as follows: Make Inoperative Provisions; Vehicle Modifications To Accommodate People With Disabilities I § 571.201 Standard No. 201; Occupant protection in interior impact. * * * * * S3. Definitions. * * * Interior rear quarter panel means a vehicle interior component located between the rear edge of the side door frame, the front edge of the rearmost seat back, and the daylight opening. * * * * * Seat belt mounting structure means: (a) A vehicle body or frame component, including trim, that incorporates an upper seat belt anchorage conforming to the requirements of S4.2.1 and S4.3.2 of 49 CFR 571.210, that is located rearward of the rearmost outboard designated seating position, and that extends above VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 RIN 2127–AJ07 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: To facilitate further the modification of vehicles to accommodate individuals with disabilities, this final rule expands the existing exemptions from the ‘‘make inoperative’’ provision of the Vehicle Safety Act. Responding to petitions for rulemaking from members of the mobility industry, this document expands the exemption to include exemptions from provisions of the advanced air bag requirements, the child restraint anchorage system requirements, and the upper interior head protection requirements. DATES: The effective date for this final rule is October 31, 2005. PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51673 Petitions for reconsideration. Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must received not later than October 17, 2005. ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of the final rule must refer to the docket and notice number set forth above and be submitted to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, with a copy to Docket Management, Room PL– 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, you may call Ms. Gayle Dalrymple, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards at (202) 366–5559. Her fax number is (202) 366–7002. For legal issues, you may call Ms. Dorothy Nakama, Office of Chief Counsel at (202) 366–2992. Her fax number is (202) 366– 3820. You may send mail to both of these officials at the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 400 Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires vehicle manufacturers to certify that their vehicles comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (49 U.S.C. 30112 et seq.). The Act further prohibits manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and repair businesses from knowingly making inoperative any part or device or element of design installed in or on a motor vehicle that is in compliance with an applicable standard (49 U.S.C. 30122; ‘‘make inoperative’’ provision). Any action that removes or disables safety equipment or features installed to comply with an applicable standard, or that degrades the performance of such equipment or features could lead to the assessment of civil penalties. Section 30122 authorizes regulations to exempt a person from the make inoperative provision if the agency decides the exemption is consistent with motor vehicle safety and the purpose and policy of the Safety Act. To facilitate the modification of motor vehicles for persons with disabilities, NHTSA provides a limited exception from the make inoperative provision. While a vast majority of Americans can drive and ride in a motor vehicle as produced and certified by manufacturers, individuals with disabilities often require special modifications to accommodate their particular needs. Some of these modifications may require removal of E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 51674 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations federally required safety equipment. In these instances, if individuals with disabilities are to drive and ride in a motor vehicle in these instances, federally required safety features must be made inoperative. Recognizing the specialized transportation needs of individuals with disabilities, NHTSA established an exemption from the make inoperative provision. 49 CFR 595 Subpart C, ‘‘Vehicle Modifications To Accommodate People With Disabilities,’’ permits repair businesses to modify certain types of federally required safety equipment and features under specified circumstances. This exemption from the make inoperative provision was established because the previous policy of considering and responding to requests on a case-by-case basis was not effective or efficient for the vehicle modifiers, the persons requiring the modifications, or the agency. (66 FR 12638; February 27, 2001.) When establishing the exemption from the make inoperative provision, the agency considered that, as of 1997, approximately 383,000 vehicles had some type of adaptive equipment installed in them to accommodate a driver or passenger with a disability.1 We also recognized that the modification of vehicles to accommodate persons with disabilities would increase in frequency as the population ages and as a greater number of individuals with physical disabilities take advantage of opportunities presented by the Americans With Disabilities Act.2 Using 2002 data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, we estimate the number of personal motor vehicles modified for use by persons with disabilities existing in the U.S. in 2002 was about 1,123,000, with a 95 percent confidence interval from 743,000 to 1,504,000. An estimated 75 percent of modified vehicles were modified for the driver (including vehicles modified for both driver and passenger). The estimated proportion of the U.S. personal motor vehicle fleet that are modified for use by people with disabilities is 0.0051 (0.51 percent) with a confidence interval from 0.0034 to 0.0067. We estimate that in 2002, 814,000 households had one modified vehicle and another 155,000 households had two modified vehicles.3 The exemption from the make inoperative provision facilitates 1 Estimating the Number of Vehicles Adapted for Use by Persons with Disabilities, NHTSA Research Note, 1997. 2 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq. 3 2002 National Transportation Availability and Use Survey, Bureau of Transportation Statistics. VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 modifications by providing guidance to modifiers on the type of modifications that can be made without unduly decreasing the level of safety provided to the vehicle occupants and to others. Included in the exemption are the seat belt and passive restraint requirements for passenger cars, and light trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles, under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant crash protection 4 and head impact protection requirements for certain target points under FMVSS No. 201, Occupant protection in interior impacts.5 II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking In response to petitions for rulemaking from Bruno Independent Living Aids (Bruno), the Adaptive Driving Alliance (ADA) 6 and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), NHTSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking on September 17, 2004 (69 FR 56018) (DOT Docket No. NHTSA– 2004–19092). The agency proposed to amend the exemption from the make inoperative provision under 49 CFR Part 595, by adding the FMVSS No. 208 advanced air bag requirements, a limited exemption for the FMVSS No. 225 LATCH requirements, and a limited exemption for the FMVSS No. 201 upper interior head protection requirements. Each of the proposed changes is summarized below. Advanced Air Bag Requirements After the exemption from the make inoperative provision was published on February 27, 2001, the agency published a final rule that added requirements to FMVSS No. 208 to reduce the risk of serious air bag-induced injuries, especially to small women and young children, and to improve the safety for all occupants by means that include advanced air bag technology. (65 FR 30680; May 12, 2002.) The advanced air bag technology requirements are being phased in beginning September 1, 2003, with full compliance required September 1, 2006. Motor vehicles subject to the phase-in will be required to minimize air bag risks by automatically turning off the air bag in the presence of an occupant who is a young child or deploy the air bag in a manner less likely to cause serious or fatal injury to an out of position occupant. Among the technologies used to comply with these requirements are 4 Under 49 CFR 595.7(c)(14). CFR 595.7(c)(7). 6 The ADA is a trade association representing dealers and manufacturers that modify and sell vehicles adapted for people with disabilities. 5 49 PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 a variety of seat position, occupant weight, and pattern sensors incorporated into the seat structure. In its petition for rulemaking, Bruno requested that the advanced air bag requirements be included with the other FMVSS No. 208 requirements excluded from the make inoperative provision. Bruno stated that the installation of one of its mobility aid products, the Turning Automotive Seat (TAS) could be accomplished without making a conventional air bag inoperative, but would require deactivation of advanced air bag features. Bruno stated that maintaining the operation of seat position and occupant sensing devices used to comply with the advanced air bag requirements for numerous makes and models of motor vehicles is beyond its capability. ADA’s August 8, 2002 petition provided additional support for Bruno’s request. The ADA argued that it is no more feasible for modifiers to comply with the advanced air bag requirements than the ‘‘existing air bag requirements,’’ which are currently exempted. Petitioners argued that maintaining compliance with the advanced air bag requirements would require modifiers to reinstall, modify, or design complex components of the air bag system. Petitioners further argued that the advanced air bag requirements are just as incompatible with the one-of-a kind, custom-fitted nature of vehicle modifications to accommodate a specific individual’s disability as the current FMVSS No. 208 requirements in Part 595. In response to the petitions for rulemaking, NHTSA proposed to expand the make inoperative exemptions established at 49 CFR 595.7(c)(14) by adding to it the following sections of FMVSS No. 208: S15, Rigid barrier test requirements using 5th percentile adult female dummies; S17, Offset frontal deformable barrier requirements using 5th percentile adult female test dummies; S19, Requirements to provide protection for infants in rear facing and convertible child restraints and car beds; S21, Requirements using 3-year-old child dummies; S23, Requirements using 6-year-old child dummies; S25, Requirements using an out-ofposition 5th percentile adult female at the driver position. In many instances, a vehicle modification requiring an exemption for the advanced air bag requirements would also rely on the current E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations exemption from the occupant crash protection requirements of S5, Occupant crash protection requirements for the 50th percentile adult male dummy, of FMVSS No. 208. NHTSA stated that it expected that modifications requiring an exemption from the advanced air bag requirements in conjunction with the exemption from S5, as well as those requiring only an exemption from the advanced air bag regulations, would affect a very small number of motor vehicles each year in comparison to the overall number of motor vehicles in the country. In the NPRM, the agency tentatively concluded that these modifications would be essential to enable individuals with a disability to use a motor vehicle. Additionally, seating positions modified under the proposed exemption would accommodate specific, individual needs making it less likely that these seating positions would be used by other occupants who would benefit either from the air bag itself, or from those features designed to minimize air bag risk. We recognize that in most cases, the decision to deactivate the air bag, or not, will be a product of the equipment, the vehicle and the method of installation. We strongly urge the vehicle manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and modifiers to work together to determine whether the air bag actually needs to be deactivated for these different combinations. There may be seating, equipment and vehicle combinations in which air bag deactivation is not necessary. However, these situations should be studied carefully so that modification does not result in inadvertent air bag suppression or overly forceful deployment. LATCH Requirements Prior to establishing the exemption from the make inoperative provision (published on February 27, 2001), the agency established FMVSS No. 225, which requires motor vehicles to be equipped with a lower anchorage and tether anchorage (LATCH 7) system designed exclusively to secure child restraint systems. (64 FR 10786; March 5, 1999; ‘‘LATCH rule’’.) 7 ‘‘LATCH’’ stands for ‘‘Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children,’’ a term that was developed by child restraint manufacturers and retailers to refer to the standardized child restraint anchorage system required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 225, Child Restraint Anchorage Systems (49 CFR 571.225). This system has two lower anchorages and one tether anchorage. Each lower anchorage includes a rigid round rod or bar onto which the connector of a child restraint system can be snapped. The bars will be loated at the intersection of the vehicle seat cushion and seat back. The upper anchorage is a fixture to which the tether of a child restraint system can be hooked. VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 FMVSS No. 225 requires vehicles with three or more forward-facing rear designated seating positions, manufactured on or after September 1, 2002, to be equipped with: (1) A LATCH system at not fewer than two forwardfacing rear designated seating positions, with at least one system installed at a forward facing seating position in the second row in each vehicle that has three or more rows; and, (2) a tether anchorage at a third forward-facing rear designated seating position. Under S5(b) of FMVSS No. 225, a vehicle may be equipped with a built-in child restraint system conforming to the requirements of FMVSS No. 213, Child restraint systems, instead of one of the required tether anchorages or child restraint anchorage systems. These LATCH requirements provide a more uniform method of securing a child restraint system and reduce the likelihood that a child restraint will be installed incorrectly. In its petition for rulemaking, the ADA stated that compliance with LATCH requirements would possibly not be feasible for businesses modifying motor vehicles to accommodate disabled drivers and passengers. The ADA explained that: When, as part of modifying a vehicle for a disabled individual, an entire row of seats needs to be modified or removed (e.g. to allow wheelchair egress and ingress), then Part 595 must permit removal of the tethers and child restraint anchorages at those modified or removed locations. Otherwise, vehicle modifiers will be required to reengineer child restraint anchorages for installation at locations not contemplated by [the vehicle manufacturers]. Modifying a vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair could result in seating configurations that would take the vehicle out of compliance with FMVSS No. 225. If a vehicle with three rows of seating were to have LATCH systems in the second and third rows, removal of that second row to permit wheelchair access to the driver’s seat would remove the vehicle from compliance with FMVSS No. 225. Beyond this example, there are a myriad of van seating arrangements, desired wheelchair restraint positions, and vehicle entry/ exit applications that could remove a vehicle from compliance with FMVSS No. 225. Since the agency could not anticipate all of these potential combinations and provide modifiers specific instructions for each situation, NHTSA proposed in the NPRM an amendment that would establish flexibility in the modification configurations and still allow a child seat to be restrained safely. NHTSA PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51675 proposed an exemption be added to 49 CFR 595.7, to read as follows: (c)(16) 49 CFR 571.225 in any case in which an existing child restraint anchorage system, or built-in child restraint system relied upon for compliance with 571.225, must be removed to accommodate a person with a disability, provided the vehicle contains at least one tether anchorage which complies with 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8 in one of the rear passenger designated seating positions. If no rear designated seating position exists after the vehicle modification, a tether anchorage complying with the requirements described above must be located at a front passenger seat. Any tether anchorage attached to a seat that is relocated shall continue to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8. A child seat could still be installed in a modified vehicle through the use of the vehicle’s seat belt system and still have the advantage of the tether. The proposed exemption was based on the approach suggested by the ADA. The ADA suggested that if a vehicle complies with FMVSS No. 225 by having two LATCH systems and a tether anchorage in the second row of seating and no LATCH anchorages in the third row of seating, any modification resulting in the removal of the second row of seating would require the modifier to install complete LATCH systems in the third row of seating. Under the agency’s proposal, the modifier was only required to install a tether anchorage. NHTSA noted that if the proposal were made final, the tether anchorage(s) attached to any relocated seat would be required to remain compliant with 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8 upon relocation. NHTSA tentatively concluded that this requirement was within the capabilities of modifiers. FMVSS No. 225 requires that vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2002, that do not have any forwardfacing rear designated seating positions must have a compliant tether anchorage at each front passenger designated seating position (S4.4(c)). In the September 17, 2004 NPRM, NHTSA stated that if a vehicle were to be modified such that only front designated seating positions remained, the agency expected that modifiers would be able to install conforming tether anchorages at the front forwardfacing passenger designated seating positions (if not already provided by the original vehicle manufacturer). NHTSA sought comment on whether modifiers should be required to add tether anchorages to designated seating positions that were not so equipped by the original vehicle manufacturer. E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 51676 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Upper Interior Head Protection Requirements On August 18, 1995, the agency issued a final rule amending FMVSS No. 201 to improve head protection in impacts with upper interior components of certain vehicles (60 FR 43031). The final rule significantly expanded the scope of FMVSS No. 201. Previously, the standard applied to the instrument panel, seat backs, interior compartment doors, arm rests and sun visors only. To determine compliance with the upper interior impact requirements, the final rule added procedures for a new invehicle component test in which a Free Motion Headform (FMH) is fired at certain target locations on the upper interior of a vehicle at an impact speed of up to and including 24 km/h (15 mph). The resultant data must not exceed a Head Injury Criterion score of 1000. The standard, as further amended on April 8, 1997 (67 FR 16718), provided manufacturers with four alternate phase-in schedules for complying with the upper interior impact requirements. Twice, the agency extended the effective date for manufacturers of vehicles built in two or more stages, which now must comply with the expanded FMVSS No. 201 requirements on and after September 1, 2006 (68 FR 51706; August 28, 2003). In the rulemaking that established the make inoperative exemption, NHTSA recognized that compliance with FMVSS No. 201 at some target points could be problematic for certain modifications, specifically the installation of a platform lift. Thus, currently, Part 595 includes an exemption to FMVSS No. 201 with respect to: (a) Targets located on the right siderail, the right B-pillar and the first right side ‘‘other’’ pillar adjacent to the stowed platform of a lift or ramp that stows vertically, inside the vehicle. (b) Targets located on the left siderail, the left B-pillar and the first left side ‘‘other’’ pillar adjacent to the stowed platform of a lift or ramp that stows vertically, inside the vehicle. (c) Targets located on the rear header and the rearmost pillars adjacent to the stowed platform of a lift or ramp that stows vertically, inside the vehicle (49 CFR 595.7(c)(7)). The ADA and NMEDA each submitted a separate petition for rulemaking requesting that NHTSA expand the exemption of FMVSS No. 201 to include the provisions pertaining to upper interior head protection. The ADA requested that 49 CFR 595.7 be amended to include exemptions for VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 requirements related to: (1) Targets located on any hand grip or vertical stanchion bar; and (2) all of S6 of 571.201 in any case in which accommodating a person’s disability necessitates raising the roof or door, or lowering the floor of the vehicle. In the NPRM, the agency proposed to amend the exemption from the make inoperative provision by adding a limited exemption from the upper interior head protection requirements of FMVSS No. 201. This amendment would facilitate the raising of a vehicle roof and the lowering of a vehicle floor in order to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Also, in instances where a vehicle is not equipped with a grab bar, or the originally equipped grab bar is insufficient to accommodate an individual with a disability, the proposal would facilitate the installing of handles or stanchion bars. In the NPRM, the agency stated that it has already recognized the potential impact of the upper interior head protection requirements on manufacturers of vehicles manufactured in two or more stages and has provided additional lead time for compliance. The potential impacts of the upper interior head protection requirements on vehicle modifiers are analogous to those on manufacturers of vehicles manufactured in two or more stages. Part 595 Title The agency also proposed to amend the title of Part 595 from ‘‘Retrofit OnOff Switches for Air Bags,’’ to ‘‘Make Inoperative Provisions.’’ In the NPRM, NHTSA stated that this amendment would reflect the fact that 49 CFR Part 595 addresses more matters than the retrofit of motor vehicles with on-off switches for air bags. III. Public Comments and Final Rule In response to the NPRM, NHTSA received comments from: the Adaptive Driving Alliance (ADA); the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (CDVR), the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA); and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). The commenters supported the proposed changes, as discussed below. Overview In supporting the NPRM, the NADA stated that the proposed exemptions ‘‘would facilitate vehicle alterations and modifications designed to satisfy the needs of disabled customers.’’ The NMEDA provided specific comments regarding the proposed changes regarding the LATCH requirements. NMEDA stated that requiring a tether PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 anchorage in the second row will provide a means to secure a child seat in the vehicle, and that NMEDA will be able to provide guidance to the modifiers for installation of a tether anchorage in the event that the existing seat does not have one installed at the original equipment manufacturer’s level. NMEDA further stated that considering the allowable area in which the tether anchorage may be installed, it did not foresee difficulty in locating or safely installing such an anchor. Since most of the ‘‘concerned vehicles’’ have a second row seat, NMEDA stated that it did not anticipate that the front row seat would have to be equipped with a tether anchorage. Specific Questions Although it supported the rulemaking, the ADA commented on the proposed changes affecting FMVSS No. 208 and No. 225. Regarding FMVSS No. 208, the ADA stated its belief that since S14 of FMVSS No. 208 ‘‘mandates compliance with the advanced air bag requirements,’’ S14 should be added to the list of sections set forth in 49 CFR 595.7(c)(14). NHTSA agrees. We note that S14.5 of FMVSS No. 208 specifies differing requirements for meeting barrier test requirements using 50th percentile adult male dummies, depending on which S14 provision a vehicle is certified as meeting. Since some provisions mandate compliance, this final rule amends 49 CFR 595.7(c)(14) to include S14 of FMVSS No. 208. The ADA also addressed the proposed inclusion in Part 595 of FMVSS No. 225 requirements, questioning whether the final sentence proposed for 49 CFR 595.7(c)(16): ‘‘Any tether anchorage attached to a seat that is relocated shall continue to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8’’ is appropriate. The ADA commented that: Proposed (c)(16) would require that ‘‘* * * the vehicle contain at least one tether anchorage which complies with 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8 in one of the rear passenger designated seating positions. If no rear designated seating position exists after the vehicle modification, a tether anchorage complying with the requirements described above must be located at a front passenger seat.’’ It is thus not clear why the proposed final sentence of (c)(16) is necessary, given that relocating a seat could cause issues as regards maintaining the tether. NHTSA’s response is that the ADA’s comment appears to assume that after modification, only one tether anchorage will remain in the rear. Therefore, if a vehicle must have a compliant tether anchorage and there is only one tether E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations anchorage present, the last sentence of the proposed regulatory language would be redundant. However, there may be other tether anchorages in the vehicle, in addition to the tether anchorage in the relocated seat, that comply with S6, S7, and S8 at rear seating positions. Without the last sentence, if there are other tether anchorages, the relocated tether(s) would not have to comply with the applicable provisions of FMVSS No. 225. It is NHTSA’s position, (with which NMEDA agreed in its comments) that vehicle modifiers should have the technical capability to relocate a tether anchorage such that the relocated tether anchorage complies with S6, S7, and S8 of FMVSS No. 225. Further, all tether anchorages should meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 225, since they will likely be used with the child restraint. For these reasons, in the final rule, the last sentence of 595.7(c)(16) is retained. Upper Interior Head Protection Requirements NHTSA received no public comments in response to the proposed exemption from the make inoperative provision by adding limited exemptions from the upper interior head protection requirements of FMVSS No. 201. Therefore, NHTSA adopts as final the language proposed at 595.7(c)(7)(iv) and (v). Other Issues The California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (CDVR) sought to bring attention to issues involving side air bags and ‘‘transfer seat bases.’’ The CDVR explained that these seat bases move the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) seat back to allow a wheelchair user to move more easily from the wheelchair into the OEM seat. The OEM seat is then powered back into the driver’s position. The CDVR noted that some of the OEM seats have side air bags in the seat backs, but there appeared to be nothing in the NPRM requiring the OEM wiring to the seat backs to be retained to maintain the functioning of the airbag. Agency response: The ‘‘make inoperative’’ exemptions proposed in the NPRM did not include exemptions for the side air bags in the seat backs. Provisions relating to side air bags in seat backs is outside the scope of the rulemaking. Conclusion The comments supported the changes to Part 595. This final rule makes final the language (with the exception of adding an exception for S14 to S595.7(c)(14)) proposed in the NPRM of VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 September 17, 2004. Further, since we received no comments on the proposed change to the title of Part 595, in this final rule, we are changing the title of Part 595 to: ‘‘Make Inoperative Provisions.’’ IV. Effective Date In the NPRM, NHTSA proposed an effective date of 60 days after the final rule is published. None of the public comments addressed the effective date issue. NHTSA notes that this final rule removes a restriction on the modification of vehicles for persons with disabilities. To further the interest of providing vehicle modifiers the flexibility required to accommodate these individuals, since good cause has been shown to do so, and since NHTSA has determined it would be in the public interest to do so, the changes in this final rule becomes effective 60 days after the publication in the Federal Register. V. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures NHTSA has considered the impact of this final proposed rule under Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation’s regulatory policies and procedures. This rulemaking document was not reviewed under E.O. 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review.’’ This action has been determined to be ‘‘nonsignificant’’ under the Department of Transportation’s regulatory policies and procedures. NHTSA has determined that the impacts of this rule are so minimal that a full regulatory evaluation is not warranted. The agency believes that the expanded exemptions will not have any avoidable adverse safety effects on individuals with disabilities. The exemptions allow an individual with a disability to operate or ride in a motor vehicle, while maintaining the benefit of all of the compatible safety standards. Absent the modifications permitted by this rulemaking, individuals with disabilities might not be able to use the vehicles in question, resulting in less freedom of mobility. Furthermore, NHTSA does not expect many individuals without a disability to use seating positions specially modified for individuals with a disability. As previously noted above, the number of affected standards remains small and the number of vehicles that modified in accordance with this final rule is relatively small. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act We have considered the effects of this rulemaking action under the Regulatory PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51677 Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) Most motor vehicle modifiers affected by this final rule are considered small entities. I hereby certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The statement of the factual basis for this certification is that, as explained above, this final rule adds several occupant crash protection requirements, vehicle LATCH requirements, and upper interior head protection requirements to the current list of requirements exempted from the Make Inoperative Provision. While most modifiers are considered small entities, the final rule results in no significant economic impact on small entities since the final rule permits greater flexibility when modifying a vehicle to accommodate an individual with a disability. There may be slight economically beneficial effects of this final rule, because the affected small manufacturers would not have to ensure that they ‘‘make inoperative’’ compliance of a vehicle with provisions of the occupant crash protection requirements, vehicle LATCH requirements, and upper interior head protection requirements, when the vehicles are modified to accommodate an individual with a disability. C. Paperwork Reduction Act The collection of information burden under the labeling and recordkeeping requirements of 49 CFR 595.7, OMB clearance numbers 2127–0512 and 2127–0635, respectively, will not increase as a result of this final rule. The agency anticipates that any vehicle modification using one of the exemptions will be made in conjunction with one or more modifications based on the current exemptions. A vehicle modifier using one of the exemptions permitted in this final rule will only be required to list the exemption along with the other exemptions on the required disclosure label to the consumer. The vehicle labeling and recordkeeping requirements vary not according to the number of exemptions per vehicle, but by the total number of vehicles modified. D. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has analyzed this final rule for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act and determined that it will not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment. E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) Executive Order 13132 requires NHTSA to develop an accountable process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 51678 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.’’ The phrase ‘‘policies that have federalism implications’’ is defined in the Executive Order 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.’’ Under Executive Order 13132, the agency may not issue a regulation with Federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal Government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or the agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. NHTSA may also not issue a regulation with federalism implications and that preempts State law unless the agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. The agency has analyzed this rulemaking action in accordance with the principles and criteria contained 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 final rule will have no substantial effects on the States, or on the current Federal-State relationship, or on the current distribution of power and responsibilities among the various local officials. F. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) Pursuant to Executive Order 12988 ‘‘Civil Justice Reform,’’ we have considered whether this final rule would have any retroactive effect. NHTSA concludes that this final rule will not have any retroactive effect. Under 49 U.S.C. 30103, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in effect, a State may not adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable to the same aspect of performance which is not identical to the Federal standard, except to the extent that the State requirement imposes a higher level of performance and applies only to vehicles procured for the State’s use. 49 U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for judicial review of final rules establishing, amending, or revoking Federal motor vehicle safety standards. That section does not require VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 submission of a petition for reconsideration or other administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court. G. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104– 113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272) directs us to use voluntary consensus standards in regulatory activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. We have sought for but did not find any voluntary consensus standard bearing on this rulemaking. H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires Federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million in any one year (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). Before promulgating a rule for which a written statement is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most costeffective, or least burdensome alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation why that alternative was not adopted. This final rule will not impose any unfunded mandates under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. This final rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of more than $100 million annually. Accordingly, this final rule is PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA. I. Plain Language Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write all rules in plain language. Application of the principles of plain language includes consideration of the following questions: —Have we organized the material to suit the public’s needs? —Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated? —Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that is not clear? —Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand? —Would more (but shorter sections be better? —Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams? —What else could we do to make this rulemaking easier to understand? If you have any responses to these questions, please address them to the persons listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: section at the beginning of this document. J. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 595 Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles. In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA is amending 49 CFR part 595 as follows: I 1. The heading to Part 595 is revised to read as follows: I PART 595—MAKE INOPERATIVE EXEMPTIONS 2. The authority citation for Part 595 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30122 and 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 3. Section 595.7 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(7)(iv) and (v), by revising paragraph (c)(14) and by adding paragraph (c)(16) to read as follows: I § 595.7 Requirements for vehicle modifications to accommodate people with disabilities. * E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM * * 31AUR1 * * Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations (c) * * * * * * * (7) * * * (iv) Targets located on any hand grip or vertical stanchion bar. (v) All of S6 of 571.201 in any case in which the disability necessitates raising the roof or door, or lowering the floor of the vehicle. * * * * * (14) S4.1.5(a)(1), S4.1.5.1(a)(3), S4.2.6.2, S5, S7.1, S7.2, S7.4, S14, S15, S16, S17, S18, S19, S20, S21, S22, S23, S24, S25, S26 and S27 of 49 CFR 571.208 for the designated seating position modified, provided Type 2 or Type 2A seat belts meeting the requirements of 49 CFR 571.209 and 571.210 are installed at that position. * * * * * (16) 49 CFR 571.225 in any case in which an existing child restraint anchorage system, or built-in child restraint system relied upon for compliance with 571.225 must be removed to accommodate a person with a disability, provided the vehicle contains at least one tether anchorage which complies with 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8 in one of the rear passenger designated seating positions. If no rear designated seating position exists after the vehicle modification, a tether anchorage complying with the requirements described above must be located at a front passenger seat. Any tether anchorage attached to a seat that is relocated shall continue to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8. * * * * * * Issued on: August 25, 2005. Jeffrey W. Runge, Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–17244 Filed 8–30–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration 49 CFR Part 1540 RIN 1652–ZA05 Prohibited Items; Allowing Scissors for Ostomates Transportation Security Administration (TSA), DHS. ACTION: Interpretive rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document amends the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) interpretive rule that provides guidance to the public on the types of property that TSA considers VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:14 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 weapons, explosives, and incendiaries prohibited in airport sterile areas, in the cabins of aircraft, or in passengers’ checked baggage. This document also amends TSA’s guidance on the types of items permitted in sterile areas, the cabins of aircraft, and in passengers’ checked baggage. This document adds as permitted items certain small scissors that persons with ostomies need. DATES: Effective August 29, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sandra Cammoroto, Office of the Chief Operating Officer, TSA–18, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 22202–4220; telephone (571) 227–1823. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability of Documents You can get an electronic copy using the Internet by— (1) Searching the Department of Transportation’s electronic Docket Management System (DMS) Web page (http://dms.dot.gov/search); (2) Accessing the Government Printing Office’s Web page at http:// www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/ aces140.html; or (3) Visiting TSA’s Law and Policy Web page at http://www.tsa.gov and accessing the link for ‘‘Law and Policy’’ at the top of the page. In addition, copies are available by writing or calling the individual in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Make sure to identify the docket number of this rulemaking. Statutory and Regulatory Background TSA is an agency in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), operating under the direction of the Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration). TSA is responsible for security in all modes of transportation, including aviation. See 49 U.S.C. 114(d). Under TSA’s regulation on acceptance and screening of individuals and accessible property, 49 CFR 1540.111, an individual (other than a law enforcement or other authorized individual)— ‘‘* * * may not have a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, on or about the individual’s person or accessible property— (1) When performance has begun of the inspection of the individual’s person or accessible property before entering a sterile area, or before boarding an aircraft for which screening is conducted under § 1544.201 or § 1546.201 of this chapter; (2) When the individual is entering or in a sterile area; or (3) When the individual is attempting to board or onboard an aircraft for which screening is conducted under § 1544.201 or § 1546.201 of this chapter.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 51679 On February 14, 2003, TSA published an interpretive rule that provided guidance to the public on the types of property TSA considers to be weapons, explosives, and incendiaries prohibited on an individual’s person or accessible property, items permitted on an individual’s person or accessible property, and items prohibited in checked baggage (68 FR 7444). On March 3, 2003, TSA subsequently published technical corrections to the interpretive rule at 68 FR 9902. On December 17, 2004, the President signed into law the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) (Pub. L. 108–458). Section 4025 of IRTPA in part requires TSA to add butane lighters to its list of prohibited items and to make any other modifications to the prohibited items list that TSA considers appropriate. Accordingly, on March 1, 2005, TSA published an amendment to the interpretive rule (70 FR 9877) adding all lighters to the list of prohibited items. TSA now is modifying the interpretive rule to provide an exception for certain scissors used by ostomates. Small Ostomy Scissors Are Now Permitted Under the interpretive rule, TSA presently considers all metal scissors with pointed tips to be weapons. Therefore, individuals are prohibited from carrying these types of scissors in an airport sterile area or in the cabin of an aircraft. Metal scissors with blunt tips and plastic scissors are permitted. TSA is modifying the interpretive rule to exempt from the prohibited items list ostomy scissors. An ostomate is a person who has undergone a surgical procedure known as ostomy, which involves creating an opening in the person’s abdomen. The opening is called a stoma. Human waste passes through the stoma into a collection pouch. An ostomy appliance consists of a positioning plate (or wafer or flange) that attaches to the collection pouch surrounding the stoma. Because no two stomas are alike, few ostomates can use manufactured pre-cut wafers. The ostomate, by using a chart provided with the collection pouch, must use pointed scissors to cut out the appropriate size of the cut-to-fit positioning plate. Round or dull scissors will not easily penetrate or cut through the positioning plate’s heavy rubber or neoprene material. The adhesive backing that attaches the plate to the skin around the stoma increases the solidity of the material. The collection pouch must be changed, and the stoma cleaned, each time the pouch fills up. The schedule E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 31, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51673-51679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-17244]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 595

[Docket No. NHTSA-2004-19092]
RIN 2127-AJ07


Make Inoperative Provisions; Vehicle Modifications To Accommodate 
People With Disabilities

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: To facilitate further the modification of vehicles to 
accommodate individuals with disabilities, this final rule expands the 
existing exemptions from the ``make inoperative'' provision of the 
Vehicle Safety Act. Responding to petitions for rulemaking from members 
of the mobility industry, this document expands the exemption to 
include exemptions from provisions of the advanced air bag 
requirements, the child restraint anchorage system requirements, and 
the upper interior head protection requirements.

DATES: The effective date for this final rule is October 31, 2005.
    Petitions for reconsideration. Petitions for reconsideration of 
this final rule must received not later than October 17, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of the final rule must refer 
to the docket and notice number set forth above and be submitted to the 
Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, with a copy to Docket 
Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, you may call Ms. 
Gayle Dalrymple, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards at (202) 366-5559. 
Her fax number is (202) 366-7002. For legal issues, you may call Ms. 
Dorothy Nakama, Office of Chief Counsel at (202) 366-2992. Her fax 
number is (202) 366-3820. You may send mail to both of these officials 
at the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 400 Seventh 
St., SW., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires vehicle 
manufacturers to certify that their vehicles comply with all applicable 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards (49 U.S.C. 30112 et seq.). The 
Act further prohibits manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and repair 
businesses from knowingly making inoperative any part or device or 
element of design installed in or on a motor vehicle that is in 
compliance with an applicable standard (49 U.S.C. 30122; ``make 
inoperative'' provision). Any action that removes or disables safety 
equipment or features installed to comply with an applicable standard, 
or that degrades the performance of such equipment or features could 
lead to the assessment of civil penalties. Section 30122 authorizes 
regulations to exempt a person from the make inoperative provision if 
the agency decides the exemption is consistent with motor vehicle 
safety and the purpose and policy of the Safety Act.
    To facilitate the modification of motor vehicles for persons with 
disabilities, NHTSA provides a limited exception from the make 
inoperative provision. While a vast majority of Americans can drive and 
ride in a motor vehicle as produced and certified by manufacturers, 
individuals with disabilities often require special modifications to 
accommodate their particular needs. Some of these modifications may 
require removal of

[[Page 51674]]

federally required safety equipment. In these instances, if individuals 
with disabilities are to drive and ride in a motor vehicle in these 
instances, federally required safety features must be made inoperative.
    Recognizing the specialized transportation needs of individuals 
with disabilities, NHTSA established an exemption from the make 
inoperative provision. 49 CFR 595 Subpart C, ``Vehicle Modifications To 
Accommodate People With Disabilities,'' permits repair businesses to 
modify certain types of federally required safety equipment and 
features under specified circumstances. This exemption from the make 
inoperative provision was established because the previous policy of 
considering and responding to requests on a case-by-case basis was not 
effective or efficient for the vehicle modifiers, the persons requiring 
the modifications, or the agency. (66 FR 12638; February 27, 2001.)
    When establishing the exemption from the make inoperative 
provision, the agency considered that, as of 1997, approximately 
383,000 vehicles had some type of adaptive equipment installed in them 
to accommodate a driver or passenger with a disability.\1\ We also 
recognized that the modification of vehicles to accommodate persons 
with disabilities would increase in frequency as the population ages 
and as a greater number of individuals with physical disabilities take 
advantage of opportunities presented by the Americans With Disabilities 
Act.\2\ Using 2002 data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 
we estimate the number of personal motor vehicles modified for use by 
persons with disabilities existing in the U.S. in 2002 was about 
1,123,000, with a 95 percent confidence interval from 743,000 to 
1,504,000. An estimated 75 percent of modified vehicles were modified 
for the driver (including vehicles modified for both driver and 
passenger). The estimated proportion of the U.S. personal motor vehicle 
fleet that are modified for use by people with disabilities is 0.0051 
(0.51 percent) with a confidence interval from 0.0034 to 0.0067. We 
estimate that in 2002, 814,000 households had one modified vehicle and 
another 155,000 households had two modified vehicles.\3\
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    \1\ Estimating the Number of Vehicles Adapted for Use by Persons 
with Disabilities, NHTSA Research Note, 1997.
    \2\ 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.
    \3\ 2002 National Transportation Availability and Use Survey, 
Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
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    The exemption from the make inoperative provision facilitates 
modifications by providing guidance to modifiers on the type of 
modifications that can be made without unduly decreasing the level of 
safety provided to the vehicle occupants and to others. Included in the 
exemption are the seat belt and passive restraint requirements for 
passenger cars, and light trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, 
Occupant crash protection \4\ and head impact protection requirements 
for certain target points under FMVSS No. 201, Occupant protection in 
interior impacts.\5\
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    \4\ Under 49 CFR 595.7(c)(14).
    \5\ 49 CFR 595.7(c)(7).
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II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    In response to petitions for rulemaking from Bruno Independent 
Living Aids (Bruno), the Adaptive Driving Alliance (ADA) \6\ and the 
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), NHTSA 
published a notice of proposed rulemaking on September 17, 2004 (69 FR 
56018) (DOT Docket No. NHTSA-2004-19092). The agency proposed to amend 
the exemption from the make inoperative provision under 49 CFR Part 
595, by adding the FMVSS No. 208 advanced air bag requirements, a 
limited exemption for the FMVSS No. 225 LATCH requirements, and a 
limited exemption for the FMVSS No. 201 upper interior head protection 
requirements. Each of the proposed changes is summarized below.
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    \6\ The ADA is a trade association representing dealers and 
manufacturers that modify and sell vehicles adapted for people with 
disabilities.
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Advanced Air Bag Requirements

    After the exemption from the make inoperative provision was 
published on February 27, 2001, the agency published a final rule that 
added requirements to FMVSS No. 208 to reduce the risk of serious air 
bag-induced injuries, especially to small women and young children, and 
to improve the safety for all occupants by means that include advanced 
air bag technology. (65 FR 30680; May 12, 2002.) The advanced air bag 
technology requirements are being phased in beginning September 1, 
2003, with full compliance required September 1, 2006. Motor vehicles 
subject to the phase-in will be required to minimize air bag risks by 
automatically turning off the air bag in the presence of an occupant 
who is a young child or deploy the air bag in a manner less likely to 
cause serious or fatal injury to an out of position occupant. Among the 
technologies used to comply with these requirements are a variety of 
seat position, occupant weight, and pattern sensors incorporated into 
the seat structure.
    In its petition for rulemaking, Bruno requested that the advanced 
air bag requirements be included with the other FMVSS No. 208 
requirements excluded from the make inoperative provision. Bruno stated 
that the installation of one of its mobility aid products, the Turning 
Automotive Seat (TAS) could be accomplished without making a 
conventional air bag inoperative, but would require deactivation of 
advanced air bag features. Bruno stated that maintaining the operation 
of seat position and occupant sensing devices used to comply with the 
advanced air bag requirements for numerous makes and models of motor 
vehicles is beyond its capability.
    ADA's August 8, 2002 petition provided additional support for 
Bruno's request. The ADA argued that it is no more feasible for 
modifiers to comply with the advanced air bag requirements than the 
``existing air bag requirements,'' which are currently exempted. 
Petitioners argued that maintaining compliance with the advanced air 
bag requirements would require modifiers to reinstall, modify, or 
design complex components of the air bag system. Petitioners further 
argued that the advanced air bag requirements are just as incompatible 
with the one-of-a kind, custom-fitted nature of vehicle modifications 
to accommodate a specific individual's disability as the current FMVSS 
No. 208 requirements in Part 595.
    In response to the petitions for rulemaking, NHTSA proposed to 
expand the make inoperative exemptions established at 49 CFR 
595.7(c)(14) by adding to it the following sections of FMVSS No. 208:

S15, Rigid barrier test requirements using 5th percentile adult female 
dummies;
S17, Offset frontal deformable barrier requirements using 5th 
percentile adult female test dummies;
S19, Requirements to provide protection for infants in rear facing and 
convertible child restraints and car beds;
S21, Requirements using 3-year-old child dummies;
S23, Requirements using 6-year-old child dummies;
S25, Requirements using an out-of-position 5th percentile adult female 
at the driver position.

    In many instances, a vehicle modification requiring an exemption 
for the advanced air bag requirements would also rely on the current

[[Page 51675]]

exemption from the occupant crash protection requirements of S5, 
Occupant crash protection requirements for the 50th percentile adult 
male dummy, of FMVSS No. 208. NHTSA stated that it expected that 
modifications requiring an exemption from the advanced air bag 
requirements in conjunction with the exemption from S5, as well as 
those requiring only an exemption from the advanced air bag 
regulations, would affect a very small number of motor vehicles each 
year in comparison to the overall number of motor vehicles in the 
country.
    In the NPRM, the agency tentatively concluded that these 
modifications would be essential to enable individuals with a 
disability to use a motor vehicle. Additionally, seating positions 
modified under the proposed exemption would accommodate specific, 
individual needs making it less likely that these seating positions 
would be used by other occupants who would benefit either from the air 
bag itself, or from those features designed to minimize air bag risk. 
We recognize that in most cases, the decision to deactivate the air 
bag, or not, will be a product of the equipment, the vehicle and the 
method of installation. We strongly urge the vehicle manufacturers, 
equipment manufacturers, and modifiers to work together to determine 
whether the air bag actually needs to be deactivated for these 
different combinations. There may be seating, equipment and vehicle 
combinations in which air bag deactivation is not necessary. However, 
these situations should be studied carefully so that modification does 
not result in inadvertent air bag suppression or overly forceful 
deployment.

LATCH Requirements

    Prior to establishing the exemption from the make inoperative 
provision (published on February 27, 2001), the agency established 
FMVSS No. 225, which requires motor vehicles to be equipped with a 
lower anchorage and tether anchorage (LATCH \7\) system designed 
exclusively to secure child restraint systems. (64 FR 10786; March 5, 
1999; ``LATCH rule''.)
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    \7\ ``LATCH'' stands for ``Lower Anchors and Tethers for 
Children,'' a term that was developed by child restraint 
manufacturers and retailers to refer to the standardized child 
restraint anchorage system required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standards No. 225, Child Restraint Anchorage Systems (49 CFR 
571.225). This system has two lower anchorages and one tether 
anchorage. Each lower anchorage includes a rigid round rod or bar 
onto which the connector of a child restraint system can be snapped. 
The bars will be loated at the intersection of the vehicle seat 
cushion and seat back. The upper anchorage is a fixture to which the 
tether of a child restraint system can be hooked.
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    FMVSS No. 225 requires vehicles with three or more forward-facing 
rear designated seating positions, manufactured on or after September 
1, 2002, to be equipped with: (1) A LATCH system at not fewer than two 
forward-facing rear designated seating positions, with at least one 
system installed at a forward facing seating position in the second row 
in each vehicle that has three or more rows; and, (2) a tether 
anchorage at a third forward-facing rear designated seating position. 
Under S5(b) of FMVSS No. 225, a vehicle may be equipped with a built-in 
child restraint system conforming to the requirements of FMVSS No. 213, 
Child restraint systems, instead of one of the required tether 
anchorages or child restraint anchorage systems. These LATCH 
requirements provide a more uniform method of securing a child 
restraint system and reduce the likelihood that a child restraint will 
be installed incorrectly.
    In its petition for rulemaking, the ADA stated that compliance with 
LATCH requirements would possibly not be feasible for businesses 
modifying motor vehicles to accommodate disabled drivers and 
passengers. The ADA explained that:

    When, as part of modifying a vehicle for a disabled individual, 
an entire row of seats needs to be modified or removed (e.g. to 
allow wheelchair egress and ingress), then Part 595 must permit 
removal of the tethers and child restraint anchorages at those 
modified or removed locations. Otherwise, vehicle modifiers will be 
required to reengineer child restraint anchorages for installation 
at locations not contemplated by [the vehicle manufacturers].

    Modifying a vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair could result in 
seating configurations that would take the vehicle out of compliance 
with FMVSS No. 225. If a vehicle with three rows of seating were to 
have LATCH systems in the second and third rows, removal of that second 
row to permit wheelchair access to the driver's seat would remove the 
vehicle from compliance with FMVSS No. 225. Beyond this example, there 
are a myriad of van seating arrangements, desired wheelchair restraint 
positions, and vehicle entry/exit applications that could remove a 
vehicle from compliance with FMVSS No. 225.
    Since the agency could not anticipate all of these potential 
combinations and provide modifiers specific instructions for each 
situation, NHTSA proposed in the NPRM an amendment that would establish 
flexibility in the modification configurations and still allow a child 
seat to be restrained safely. NHTSA proposed an exemption be added to 
49 CFR 595.7, to read as follows:

    (c)(16) 49 CFR 571.225 in any case in which an existing child 
restraint anchorage system, or built-in child restraint system 
relied upon for compliance with 571.225, must be removed to 
accommodate a person with a disability, provided the vehicle 
contains at least one tether anchorage which complies with 49 CFR 
571.225 S6, S7 and S8 in one of the rear passenger designated 
seating positions. If no rear designated seating position exists 
after the vehicle modification, a tether anchorage complying with 
the requirements described above must be located at a front 
passenger seat. Any tether anchorage attached to a seat that is 
relocated shall continue to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR 
571.225 S6, S7 and S8.

    A child seat could still be installed in a modified vehicle through 
the use of the vehicle's seat belt system and still have the advantage 
of the tether.
    The proposed exemption was based on the approach suggested by the 
ADA. The ADA suggested that if a vehicle complies with FMVSS No. 225 by 
having two LATCH systems and a tether anchorage in the second row of 
seating and no LATCH anchorages in the third row of seating, any 
modification resulting in the removal of the second row of seating 
would require the modifier to install complete LATCH systems in the 
third row of seating. Under the agency's proposal, the modifier was 
only required to install a tether anchorage. NHTSA noted that if the 
proposal were made final, the tether anchorage(s) attached to any 
relocated seat would be required to remain compliant with 49 CFR 
571.225 S6, S7 and S8 upon relocation. NHTSA tentatively concluded that 
this requirement was within the capabilities of modifiers.
    FMVSS No. 225 requires that vehicles manufactured on or after 
September 1, 2002, that do not have any forward-facing rear designated 
seating positions must have a compliant tether anchorage at each front 
passenger designated seating position (S4.4(c)). In the September 17, 
2004 NPRM, NHTSA stated that if a vehicle were to be modified such that 
only front designated seating positions remained, the agency expected 
that modifiers would be able to install conforming tether anchorages at 
the front forward-facing passenger designated seating positions (if not 
already provided by the original vehicle manufacturer).
    NHTSA sought comment on whether modifiers should be required to add 
tether anchorages to designated seating positions that were not so 
equipped by the original vehicle manufacturer.

[[Page 51676]]

Upper Interior Head Protection Requirements

    On August 18, 1995, the agency issued a final rule amending FMVSS 
No. 201 to improve head protection in impacts with upper interior 
components of certain vehicles (60 FR 43031). The final rule 
significantly expanded the scope of FMVSS No. 201. Previously, the 
standard applied to the instrument panel, seat backs, interior 
compartment doors, arm rests and sun visors only. To determine 
compliance with the upper interior impact requirements, the final rule 
added procedures for a new in-vehicle component test in which a Free 
Motion Headform (FMH) is fired at certain target locations on the upper 
interior of a vehicle at an impact speed of up to and including 24 km/h 
(15 mph). The resultant data must not exceed a Head Injury Criterion 
score of 1000.
    The standard, as further amended on April 8, 1997 (67 FR 16718), 
provided manufacturers with four alternate phase-in schedules for 
complying with the upper interior impact requirements. Twice, the 
agency extended the effective date for manufacturers of vehicles built 
in two or more stages, which now must comply with the expanded FMVSS 
No. 201 requirements on and after September 1, 2006 (68 FR 51706; 
August 28, 2003).
    In the rulemaking that established the make inoperative exemption, 
NHTSA recognized that compliance with FMVSS No. 201 at some target 
points could be problematic for certain modifications, specifically the 
installation of a platform lift. Thus, currently, Part 595 includes an 
exemption to FMVSS No. 201 with respect to:
    (a) Targets located on the right siderail, the right B-pillar and 
the first right side ``other'' pillar adjacent to the stowed platform 
of a lift or ramp that stows vertically, inside the vehicle.
    (b) Targets located on the left siderail, the left B-pillar and the 
first left side ``other'' pillar adjacent to the stowed platform of a 
lift or ramp that stows vertically, inside the vehicle.
    (c) Targets located on the rear header and the rearmost pillars 
adjacent to the stowed platform of a lift or ramp that stows 
vertically, inside the vehicle (49 CFR 595.7(c)(7)).
    The ADA and NMEDA each submitted a separate petition for rulemaking 
requesting that NHTSA expand the exemption of FMVSS No. 201 to include 
the provisions pertaining to upper interior head protection. The ADA 
requested that 49 CFR 595.7 be amended to include exemptions for 
requirements related to: (1) Targets located on any hand grip or 
vertical stanchion bar; and (2) all of S6 of 571.201 in any case in 
which accommodating a person's disability necessitates raising the roof 
or door, or lowering the floor of the vehicle.
    In the NPRM, the agency proposed to amend the exemption from the 
make inoperative provision by adding a limited exemption from the upper 
interior head protection requirements of FMVSS No. 201. This amendment 
would facilitate the raising of a vehicle roof and the lowering of a 
vehicle floor in order to accommodate individuals with disabilities. 
Also, in instances where a vehicle is not equipped with a grab bar, or 
the originally equipped grab bar is insufficient to accommodate an 
individual with a disability, the proposal would facilitate the 
installing of handles or stanchion bars.
    In the NPRM, the agency stated that it has already recognized the 
potential impact of the upper interior head protection requirements on 
manufacturers of vehicles manufactured in two or more stages and has 
provided additional lead time for compliance. The potential impacts of 
the upper interior head protection requirements on vehicle modifiers 
are analogous to those on manufacturers of vehicles manufactured in two 
or more stages.

Part 595 Title

    The agency also proposed to amend the title of Part 595 from 
``Retrofit On-Off Switches for Air Bags,'' to ``Make Inoperative 
Provisions.'' In the NPRM, NHTSA stated that this amendment would 
reflect the fact that 49 CFR Part 595 addresses more matters than the 
retrofit of motor vehicles with on-off switches for air bags.

III. Public Comments and Final Rule

    In response to the NPRM, NHTSA received comments from: the Adaptive 
Driving Alliance (ADA); the California Department of Vocational 
Rehabilitation (CDVR), the National Automobile Dealers Association 
(NADA); and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association 
(NMEDA). The commenters supported the proposed changes, as discussed 
below.

Overview

    In supporting the NPRM, the NADA stated that the proposed 
exemptions ``would facilitate vehicle alterations and modifications 
designed to satisfy the needs of disabled customers.'' The NMEDA 
provided specific comments regarding the proposed changes regarding the 
LATCH requirements. NMEDA stated that requiring a tether anchorage in 
the second row will provide a means to secure a child seat in the 
vehicle, and that NMEDA will be able to provide guidance to the 
modifiers for installation of a tether anchorage in the event that the 
existing seat does not have one installed at the original equipment 
manufacturer's level. NMEDA further stated that considering the 
allowable area in which the tether anchorage may be installed, it did 
not foresee difficulty in locating or safely installing such an anchor. 
Since most of the ``concerned vehicles'' have a second row seat, NMEDA 
stated that it did not anticipate that the front row seat would have to 
be equipped with a tether anchorage.

Specific Questions

    Although it supported the rulemaking, the ADA commented on the 
proposed changes affecting FMVSS No. 208 and No. 225. Regarding FMVSS 
No. 208, the ADA stated its belief that since S14 of FMVSS No. 208 
``mandates compliance with the advanced air bag requirements,'' S14 
should be added to the list of sections set forth in 49 CFR 
595.7(c)(14). NHTSA agrees. We note that S14.5 of FMVSS No. 208 
specifies differing requirements for meeting barrier test requirements 
using 50th percentile adult male dummies, depending on which S14 
provision a vehicle is certified as meeting. Since some provisions 
mandate compliance, this final rule amends 49 CFR 595.7(c)(14) to 
include S14 of FMVSS No. 208.
    The ADA also addressed the proposed inclusion in Part 595 of FMVSS 
No. 225 requirements, questioning whether the final sentence proposed 
for 49 CFR 595.7(c)(16): ``Any tether anchorage attached to a seat that 
is relocated shall continue to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR 
571.225 S6, S7 and S8'' is appropriate. The ADA commented that:

    Proposed (c)(16) would require that ``* * * the vehicle contain 
at least one tether anchorage which complies with 49 CFR 571.225 S6, 
S7 and S8 in one of the rear passenger designated seating positions. 
If no rear designated seating position exists after the vehicle 
modification, a tether anchorage complying with the requirements 
described above must be located at a front passenger seat.'' It is 
thus not clear why the proposed final sentence of (c)(16) is 
necessary, given that relocating a seat could cause issues as 
regards maintaining the tether.

    NHTSA's response is that the ADA's comment appears to assume that 
after modification, only one tether anchorage will remain in the rear. 
Therefore, if a vehicle must have a compliant tether anchorage and 
there is only one tether

[[Page 51677]]

anchorage present, the last sentence of the proposed regulatory 
language would be redundant. However, there may be other tether 
anchorages in the vehicle, in addition to the tether anchorage in the 
relocated seat, that comply with S6, S7, and S8 at rear seating 
positions. Without the last sentence, if there are other tether 
anchorages, the relocated tether(s) would not have to comply with the 
applicable provisions of FMVSS No. 225. It is NHTSA's position, (with 
which NMEDA agreed in its comments) that vehicle modifiers should have 
the technical capability to relocate a tether anchorage such that the 
relocated tether anchorage complies with S6, S7, and S8 of FMVSS No. 
225. Further, all tether anchorages should meet the requirements of 
FMVSS No. 225, since they will likely be used with the child restraint. 
For these reasons, in the final rule, the last sentence of 595.7(c)(16) 
is retained.

Upper Interior Head Protection Requirements

    NHTSA received no public comments in response to the proposed 
exemption from the make inoperative provision by adding limited 
exemptions from the upper interior head protection requirements of 
FMVSS No. 201. Therefore, NHTSA adopts as final the language proposed 
at 595.7(c)(7)(iv) and (v).

Other Issues

    The California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (CDVR) 
sought to bring attention to issues involving side air bags and 
``transfer seat bases.'' The CDVR explained that these seat bases move 
the original equipment manufacturers' (OEM) seat back to allow a 
wheelchair user to move more easily from the wheelchair into the OEM 
seat. The OEM seat is then powered back into the driver's position. The 
CDVR noted that some of the OEM seats have side air bags in the seat 
backs, but there appeared to be nothing in the NPRM requiring the OEM 
wiring to the seat backs to be retained to maintain the functioning of 
the airbag.
    Agency response: The ``make inoperative'' exemptions proposed in 
the NPRM did not include exemptions for the side air bags in the seat 
backs. Provisions relating to side air bags in seat backs is outside 
the scope of the rulemaking.

Conclusion

    The comments supported the changes to Part 595. This final rule 
makes final the language (with the exception of adding an exception for 
S14 to S595.7(c)(14)) proposed in the NPRM of September 17, 2004. 
Further, since we received no comments on the proposed change to the 
title of Part 595, in this final rule, we are changing the title of 
Part 595 to: ``Make Inoperative Provisions.''

IV. Effective Date

    In the NPRM, NHTSA proposed an effective date of 60 days after the 
final rule is published. None of the public comments addressed the 
effective date issue. NHTSA notes that this final rule removes a 
restriction on the modification of vehicles for persons with 
disabilities. To further the interest of providing vehicle modifiers 
the flexibility required to accommodate these individuals, since good 
cause has been shown to do so, and since NHTSA has determined it would 
be in the public interest to do so, the changes in this final rule 
becomes effective 60 days after the publication in the Federal 
Register.

V. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    NHTSA has considered the impact of this final proposed rule under 
Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation's regulatory 
policies and procedures. This rulemaking document was not reviewed 
under E.O. 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review.'' This action has 
been determined to be ``nonsignificant'' under the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. NHTSA has 
determined that the impacts of this rule are so minimal that a full 
regulatory evaluation is not warranted.
    The agency believes that the expanded exemptions will not have any 
avoidable adverse safety effects on individuals with disabilities. The 
exemptions allow an individual with a disability to operate or ride in 
a motor vehicle, while maintaining the benefit of all of the compatible 
safety standards. Absent the modifications permitted by this 
rulemaking, individuals with disabilities might not be able to use the 
vehicles in question, resulting in less freedom of mobility.
    Furthermore, NHTSA does not expect many individuals without a 
disability to use seating positions specially modified for individuals 
with a disability. As previously noted above, the number of affected 
standards remains small and the number of vehicles that modified in 
accordance with this final rule is relatively small.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We have considered the effects of this rulemaking action under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) Most motor vehicle 
modifiers affected by this final rule are considered small entities. I 
hereby certify that this final rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
statement of the factual basis for this certification is that, as 
explained above, this final rule adds several occupant crash protection 
requirements, vehicle LATCH requirements, and upper interior head 
protection requirements to the current list of requirements exempted 
from the Make Inoperative Provision. While most modifiers are 
considered small entities, the final rule results in no significant 
economic impact on small entities since the final rule permits greater 
flexibility when modifying a vehicle to accommodate an individual with 
a disability. There may be slight economically beneficial effects of 
this final rule, because the affected small manufacturers would not 
have to ensure that they ``make inoperative'' compliance of a vehicle 
with provisions of the occupant crash protection requirements, vehicle 
LATCH requirements, and upper interior head protection requirements, 
when the vehicles are modified to accommodate an individual with a 
disability.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information burden under the labeling and 
recordkeeping requirements of 49 CFR 595.7, OMB clearance numbers 2127-
0512 and 2127-0635, respectively, will not increase as a result of this 
final rule. The agency anticipates that any vehicle modification using 
one of the exemptions will be made in conjunction with one or more 
modifications based on the current exemptions. A vehicle modifier using 
one of the exemptions permitted in this final rule will only be 
required to list the exemption along with the other exemptions on the 
required disclosure label to the consumer. The vehicle labeling and 
recordkeeping requirements vary not according to the number of 
exemptions per vehicle, but by the total number of vehicles modified.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

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

E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132 requires NHTSA to develop an accountable 
process to ensure ``meaningful and

[[Page 51678]]

timely input by State and local officials in the development of 
regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' The phrase 
``policies that have federalism implications'' is defined in the 
Executive Order 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.'' Under 
Executive Order 13132, the agency may not issue a regulation with 
Federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct costs, and 
that is not required by statute, unless the Federal Government provides 
the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by 
State and local governments, or the agency consults with State and 
local officials early in the process of developing the proposed 
regulation. NHTSA may also not issue a regulation with federalism 
implications and that preempts State law unless the agency consults 
with State and local officials early in the process of developing the 
proposed regulation.
    The agency has analyzed this rulemaking action in accordance with 
the principles and criteria contained 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 final rule will have no 
substantial effects on the States, or on the current Federal-State 
relationship, or on the current distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various local officials.

F. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12988 ``Civil Justice Reform,'' we have 
considered whether this final rule would have any retroactive effect. 
NHTSA concludes that this final rule will not have any retroactive 
effect. Under 49 U.S.C. 30103, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety 
standard is in effect, a State may not adopt or maintain a safety 
standard applicable to the same aspect of performance which is not 
identical to the Federal standard, except to the extent that the State 
requirement imposes a higher level of performance and applies only to 
vehicles procured for the State's use. 49 U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a 
procedure for judicial review of final rules establishing, amending, or 
revoking Federal motor vehicle safety standards. That section does not 
require submission of a petition for reconsideration or other 
administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court.

G. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272) 
directs us to use voluntary consensus standards in regulatory 
activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress, through OMB, 
explanations when we decide not to use available and applicable 
voluntary consensus standards. We have sought for but did not find any 
voluntary consensus standard bearing on this rulemaking.

H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires Federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more 
than $100 million in any one year (adjusted for inflation with base 
year of 1995). Before promulgating a rule for which a written statement 
is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify 
and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt 
the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative 
that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 
do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, 
section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other than the least 
costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the 
agency publishes with the final rule an explanation why that 
alternative was not adopted.
    This final rule will not impose any unfunded mandates under the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. This final rule will not result 
in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector of more than $100 million annually. 
Accordingly, this final rule is not subject to the requirements of 
sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

I. Plain Language

    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write all rules in 
plain language. Application of the principles of plain language 
includes consideration of the following questions:

--Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
--Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated?
--Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that is not clear?
--Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of 
headings, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
--Would more (but shorter sections be better?
--Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams?
--What else could we do to make this rulemaking easier to understand?

    If you have any responses to these questions, please address them 
to the persons listed in the For Further Information Contact: section 
at the beginning of this document.

J. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may 
use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document 
to find this action in the Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 595

    Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles.


0
In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA is amending 49 CFR part 595 as 
follows:
0
1. The heading to Part 595 is revised to read as follows:

PART 595--MAKE INOPERATIVE EXEMPTIONS

0
2. The authority citation for Part 595 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30122 and 30166; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

0
3. Section 595.7 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(7)(iv) and (v), by 
revising paragraph (c)(14) and by adding paragraph (c)(16) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  595.7  Requirements for vehicle modifications to accommodate 
people with disabilities.

* * * * *

[[Page 51679]]

    (c) * * *
* * * * *
    (7) * * *
    (iv) Targets located on any hand grip or vertical stanchion bar.
    (v) All of S6 of 571.201 in any case in which the disability 
necessitates raising the roof or door, or lowering the floor of the 
vehicle.
* * * * *
    (14) S4.1.5(a)(1), S4.1.5.1(a)(3), S4.2.6.2, S5, S7.1, S7.2, S7.4, 
S14, S15, S16, S17, S18, S19, S20, S21, S22, S23, S24, S25, S26 and S27 
of 49 CFR 571.208 for the designated seating position modified, 
provided Type 2 or Type 2A seat belts meeting the requirements of 49 
CFR 571.209 and 571.210 are installed at that position.
* * * * *
    (16) 49 CFR 571.225 in any case in which an existing child 
restraint anchorage system, or built-in child restraint system relied 
upon for compliance with 571.225 must be removed to accommodate a 
person with a disability, provided the vehicle contains at least one 
tether anchorage which complies with 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8 in 
one of the rear passenger designated seating positions. If no rear 
designated seating position exists after the vehicle modification, a 
tether anchorage complying with the requirements described above must 
be located at a front passenger seat. Any tether anchorage attached to 
a seat that is relocated shall continue to comply with the requirements 
of 49 CFR 571.225 S6, S7 and S8.
* * * * *

    Issued on: August 25, 2005.
Jeffrey W. Runge,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-17244 Filed 8-30-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P