New Car Assessment Program (NCAP); Safety Labeling, 4854-4864 [06-827]

Download as PDF 4854 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules amended by suspending paragraph (b) and adding a temporary paragraph (d) to read as follows: § 117.795 Jamaica Bay and Connecting Waterways. * * * * * (d) The New York City Highway Bridge (Belt Parkway), mile 0.8, across Mill Basin, need only open one moveable span for the passage of vessel traffic from March 1, 2006 through September 7, 2006. The draw need not be opened for the passage of vessel traffic from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays from May 15 through September 30, and on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. However, on these days the draw shall open on signal from the time two hours before to one hour after the predicted high tide(s). For the purpose of this section, predicted high tide(s) occur 15 minutes later than that predicted for Sandy Hook, as documented in the tidal current data, which is updated, generated and published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Ocean Service. Dated: January 22, 2006. David P. Pekoske, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 06–855 Filed 1–25–06; 4:03 pm] DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 16 and 39 [FAR Case 2003–008] RIN 9000–AJ74; Docket 2006–0015 Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2003–008, Share-In-Savings Contracting Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Proposed rule; withdrawal. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS AGENCIES: SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed to withdraw the proposed rule, FAR case 2003–008, Share-in-Savings Contracting, which was published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2004. The rule proposed amending the Federal Acquisition 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Dated: January 24, 2006. Gerald Zaffos, Director, Contract Policy Division. [FR Doc. 06–816 Filed 1–27–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–EP–S DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 575 [Docket No. NHTSA–2005–23216] RIN 2127–AJ76 New Car Assessment Program (NCAP); Safety Labeling National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: BILLING CODE 4910–15–M VerDate Aug<31>2005 Regulation (FAR) as it pertains to types of contracts and acquisition of information technology to address the inclusion of Share-in-Savings (SIS) contracting. However, the SIS concept was not reauthorized by Congress. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For clarification of content, contact Mr. Kenneth Buck at (202) 219–0311. Please cite FAR case 2003–008. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the FAR Secretariat, Room 4035, GS Building, Washington, DC 20405, (202) 501–4755. Jkt 208001 SUMMARY: One of the provisions of the recently enacted Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) requires new passenger vehicles to be labeled with safety rating information published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program. This document proposes a regulation to implement that new labeling requirement beginning September 1, 2007. DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that Docket Management receives them not later than March 31, 2006. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number and be submitted by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Web Site: https://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. Please note, if you are submitting petitions electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, we ask that the documents PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 submitted be scanned using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing the agency to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Comment heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information provided. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all petitions received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the petition (or signing the petition, 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 https://dms.dot.gov. For technical issues regarding the information in this document, please contact Mr. Nathaniel Beuse at (202) 366–1740. For legal issues, please contact Ms. Dorothy Nakama (202) 366– 2992. Both of these individuals may be reached by mail at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh St. SW., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview Section 10307 of the recently enacted Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU), Pub. L. 109–59 (August 10, 2005; 119 Stat. 1144), requires new passenger vehicles to be labeled with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) ratings. The Act specifies a number of detailed requirements for the label, including content, format, and E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules location.1 It also requires the Department of Transportation to issue regulations to ensure that the new labeling requirements are implemented by September 1, 2007. This document proposes a regulation to implement the new labeling requirement. Under the proposal: (1) New passenger vehicles must include specified NCAP information on the label required by the Automobile Information Disclosure Act (the ‘‘Monroney label’’ or price sticker); (2) The specified information includes a graphical depiction of the number of stars achieved for each assigned safety test; (3) Information describing the nature and meaning of the test data, and a reference to https://www.safercar.gov for additional vehicle safety information, is also required on the label; (4) The label must be legible and cover at least eight percent of the price sticker label or an area with a minimum length of 41⁄2 inches and a minimum height of 31⁄2 inches; (5) If a vehicle has not been tested by the agency or safety ratings have not been assigned, a statement to that effect in the appropriate rating category must be included; and (6) Ratings must be placed on new vehicles manufactured 30 or more days after notification to the manufacturer by NHTSA of ratings for those vehicles. II. Proposed Label For each of the sections described herein, NHTSA will discuss the proposed safety label requirement and the corresponding rationale. However, the agency notes that given the specificity set forth by the Congress in SAFETEA–LU, there is little discretion with most aspects of the proposed label. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS A. Location The Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958 (AIDA), 15 U.S.C. 1231–1233, requires the affixing of a retail price sticker to the windshield or side window of new automobiles. This label, also known as the ‘‘Monroney’’ label, may also include other information, such as information about fuel economy and vehicle content. SAFETEA–LU amended section 3 of AIDA to require the label to include NCAP vehicle safety ratings published by NHTSA. NHTSA has examined several existing Monroney labels, and recognizes that there is a limited amount of free or open space to accommodate additional 1 The text of the legislation can be found in Appendix A, following the proposed regulatory text. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 information, and that not all automobile manufacturers use the same layout for the Monroney label. Therefore, to allow manufacturers continued flexibility in designing their Monroney labels, we are not proposing a specific location on the Monroney label where the safety information (i.e., NCAP vehicle information) must be located. B. Covered Vehicles Under AIDA, Monroney labels are required on new ‘‘automobiles.’’ The Department of Justice (DOJ), which generally administers AIDA, has defined automobiles to include passenger vehicles and station wagons, and by extension passenger vans.2 The new safety labeling requirements apply to these vehicles, whether or not the vehicles have been rated by the agency. To provide consumers with the largest number of comparable vehicle ratings, the agency has been testing vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 lbs. or less.3 This is the limit in our frontal protection standard, so it has become the limit for our NCAP. Under SAFETEA–LU, the agency was also directed to provide rollover ratings for 15-passenger vans, which have a GVWR of more than 8,500 lbs. We also note that as to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, the safety standard that the side NCAP test procedure is based on, the agency has proposed an upgrade that would include vehicles up to 10,000 lbs. GVWR; FMVSS No. 214 is now applicable only to vehicles up to 6,000 lbs. GVWR. While NHTSA has not yet changed its selection criteria, as test procedures are upgraded the agency could potentially test vehicles up to 10,000 lbs for side impact. Additionally, the agency posts information about the safety features of these vehicles on its Web site. As such, the agency is proposing to require all new passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles (sport utility vehicles and vans) and buses with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs or less to have a section for NCAP ratings on the Monroney label, whether or not the vehicle has been tested by NHTSA. AIDA does not require Monroney labels for pickup trucks. We note, however, that manufacturers routinely include Monroney stickers on this class of vehicle, and we anticipate that manufacturers will voluntarily include the NCAP information as well. However, since Congress did not explicitly require information to be 2 See https://www.usdoj.gov/civil/ocl/monograph and click on ‘‘Automobile Information Disclosure.’’ 3 Additional information with regard to NHTSA’s testing practice can be found in Appendix B. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4855 provided for vehicles not required to provide a Monroney Label, this notice does not propose any requirement either. C. Content SAFETEA–LU requires that the safety label include ‘‘a graphic depiction of the number of stars, or other applicable rating, that corresponds to each such assigned safety rating displayed in a clearly differentiated fashion indicating the maximum possible safety rating’’ for front, side, and rollover testing conducted by the agency. The statute further specifies that the label must be legible, visible, and prominent and that it contain ‘‘information describing the nature and meaning of the crash test data presented and a reference to additional vehicle safety resources, including https://www.safecar.gov,’’ the NHTSA safety rating Web site. Finally, with regard to content, SAFETEA–LU specifies that ‘‘if an automobile has not been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the New Car Assessment Program, or safety ratings for such automobile have not been assigned in one or more rating categories, a statement to that effect’’ must appear. As will be more thoroughly discussed later, SAFETEA–LU limits the space for the NCAP label to 8 percent of the total area of the existing label or to an area with a minimum length of 41⁄2 inches and a minimum height of 31⁄2 inches. NHTSA believes it is Congress’ intent to also limit the NCAP label information to only that specified in SAFETEA–LU. NHTSA thus proposes that no additional information of any kind, other than the same information provided in a language other than English, may be voluntarily provided in the NCAP label area. NHTSA does not construe the same information provided in a language other than English to be additional information. Since 1994 the agency has used solid stars to translate vehicle test results in a format that consumers can understand, and the vehicles’ rating has been displayed using a graphical depiction of the number of stars as opposed to some other method. NHTSA has conducted a substantial amount of research, and has found that consumers easily understand the graphical depiction stars. NHTSA has also investigated various graphical displays, such as struck stars, hollow stars, and multi-colored stars, to further improve how information is displayed to consumers. The research has shown that consumers can become confused when solid stars are intermingled with different E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules representations such as struck stars, hollow stars, and the like.4 NHTSA is aware that both the European and Japanese consumer information programs have used shading while intermingling solid stars with grayed out stars, on a single line, to display a vehicle’s achieved star rating and the maximum possible rating. However, NHTSA is not aware of any consumer research to support this methodology. As such, based on its previous research, NHTSA believes that the use of solid stars, by themselves, is the most effective way to display a vehicle’s star rating to consumers. Therefore, the agency is proposing that the label use solid stars, in the appropriate rating category to represent a vehicle’s star rating. As discussed later in this document, we are also proposing to require the label to include a statement that ‘‘Star ratings range from 1 to 5 stars (# # # # #) with 5 being the highest’’. This proposed approach would fulfill the statutory requirement that the graphic depiction of the vehicle rating be displayed in a clearly differentiated fashion while also indicating the maximum possible rating. Because of workload limits at the available laboratories, new models selected for testing by NHTSA cannot be tested simultaneously and not all ratings can be available at the same time. As such, the agency relies on https:// www.safercar.gov to keep consumers informed on the current status of vehicles that will be tested and availability of new ratings as soon as they are available. The agency understands that manufacturers will not be able to keep the safety label as up to date as NHTSA can on a Web site. Therefore, the agency is proposing that the term ‘‘Not Rated’’ be used in the appropriate category until such time that a rating has been released by the agency. The term ‘‘not rated’’ will be used rather than ‘‘not tested’’ to prevent any consumer misconception that a vehicle has not been tested to ensure compliance with NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; all applicable new vehicles must conform and certify compliance to these safety standards before they can be sold in the United States. Later in this notice, we discuss the timing for including new ratings on the Monroney label. For the past several years, NHTSA has informed consumers of test occurrences resulting in safety concerns that are not included in the star rating. Examples of such safety concerns are high likelihoods of thigh injury, pelvic 4 ‘‘Focus Groups Regarding Presentations of Crash Test Anomalies’’ NHTSA–2004–19104–1. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 injury, or head injury; fuel leakage; and door openings. NHTSA believes these events are significant and has conducted research on this topic to explore consumer perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes on these occurrences. When asked about how safety concerns would influence their decision, most respondents responded that ‘‘having information about crash test anomalies is important and they would use the information to assist them in making a decision to purchase one vehicle over another.’’ 5 Furthermore, the agency believes that consumers would be misled if, when shopping for a vehicle, the NHTSA Web site indicated that there was a safety concern but none appeared on the label at the point of sale. Therefore, NHTSA is proposing that when a test occurrence indicates a safety concern, the following symbol be placed in the appropriate rating category positioned as a superscript to the right of the right-most star in the rating category.6 D. Format SAFETEA–LU specifies that the size or area of the NCAP label must be at least ‘‘8 percent of the total area of the existing label or an area with a minimum length of 41⁄2 inches and a minimum height of 31⁄2 inches.’’ 7 We are proposing to include this requirement in the regulation. We are also proposing to require that the text be legible and in English. We note that some manufacturers may wish to also use Spanish or other languages to convey this important safety information to consumers who do not speak English or for whom English is not their first language. NHTSA is not proposing to restrict in any way a manufacturer’s ability to provide NCAP information in additional languages, given that the required information is first provided in English and that the additional information does not confuse or obscure the required information in English. NHTSA has reviewed the literature and believes that there is no single ‘‘best’’ font type for readability; therefore we are not proposing a single font type. To ensure that the label is 5 ‘‘Focus Groups Regarding Presentations of Crash Test Anomalies’’ NHTSA–2004–19104–1. 6 Detailed information concerning the specific safety rating will be published in a NHTSA press release as well as posted on the safercar.gov Web site. 7 NHTSA believes the phrase ‘‘existing label’’ means the existing Monroney label as specified by 15 U.S.C. 1232. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 readable, the agency is proposing that the text ‘‘Frontal Crash,’’ ‘‘Side Crash,’’ ‘‘Rollover,’’ ‘‘Driver,’’ ‘‘Passenger,’’ ‘‘Front Seat,’’ ‘‘Rear Seat’’ and ‘‘Not Rated,’’ where applicable, the star graphic indicating each rating, as well as any text in the header and footer areas of the label have a minimum font size of 12 point. This would make the text consistent with NHTSA’s Automobile Parts Content Label (49 CFR part 583), often contained on the Monroney label, which specifies a minimum font size of 12 point (see 49 CFR 583.5(d)). NHTSA is aware that the Automobile Parts Content Label also allows a minimum font size of 10 point for explanatory notes, however due to the minimum space requirements for this safety label, NHTSA is specifying that all other text or symbols on the label must have a minimum font size of 8 point. We are also proposing to require that, unless otherwise noted, the background be in a color that contrasts easily with dark text and that dark text be used. We believe that this would help to ensure a stark contrast so that the information can be easily read. From its experience in previous label rulemakings, NHTSA believes that backgrounds that are gray or are similar in contrast to black or dark text are difficult to read. The agency is proposing to require that the safety label portion of the Monroney label be surrounded by a dark line and sub-divided into six areas described as a heading area, frontal crash area, side crash area, rollover area, general text area, and footer area. We are proposing to require that these areas be arranged such that the heading area is at the top, followed by the frontal, side, rollover, general, and footer area (at the bottom) and that the frontal, side, rollover, and general areas be separated from each other by a black line. We believe that the dark line around the border of the label would help to distinguish the NHTSA safety information from the other information on the Monroney label. The purpose of specifying separate sub areas and separating them with a dark line would be to add clarity by grouping the applicable safety rating together with the applicable test information. We believe this would enable consumers to readily distinguish and decipher the various pieces of information being displayed on the safety label. The format of each sub area is outlined below. Heading Area The heading area would help consumers find and identify the NHTSA safety information on the Monroney E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 EP30JA06.000</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS 4856 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules classes on the same lot. As such, NHTSA is proposing that the statement ‘‘Frontal ratings should ONLY be compared to other vehicles of similar size and weight’’ be the second line in the general area. Frontal Area Currently, NHTSA provides consumers with frontal crash ratings for two seating positions; the driver and the right front passenger. Ratings for each seating position are based on the combined chance of serious injury to the head and chest. On the Web site https://www.safercar.gov, in the agency’s advertising guidelines for manufacturers, and in the agency’s publication of ‘‘Buying A Safer Car,’’ the term ‘‘Frontal Crash’’ and ‘‘Frontal Star Rating’’ are used interchangeably to describe the frontal crash test results, whereas the driver and the right front passenger test positions are only referred to as ‘‘Driver’’ and ‘‘Passenger,’’ respectively. In keeping with the existing terminology, NHTSA is proposing that ‘‘Frontal Crash’’ be used to describe the frontal crash test ratings and that ‘‘Driver’’ and ‘‘Passenger’’ be used to describe the seating positions and the applicable star rating. NHTSA believes it would be redundant to repeat the term ‘‘Rating’’ here since it is already used in the header area. We also believe that the term ‘‘Frontal Crash’’ is a more general term and more appropriate than ‘‘Frontal Star Rating’’. Additionally, the terms ‘‘Driver’’ and ‘‘Passenger’’ are easily understood, have been used in NHTSA publications for some time, and are used by manufacturers in their advertising. For this section, NHTSA is also proposing to require that the statement ‘‘Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a frontal impact’’ be provided at the bottom of the frontal area to help explain to consumers the nature and meaning of the test. This generic statement would also provide the agency the flexibility to update the rating (for example with additional injury criteria) without conducting further rulemaking to update the label. Lastly, due to the nature of NHTSA’s frontal crash test, those ratings can only be compared to the vehicles in the same weight class. The agency believes that until such time as NHTSA’s frontal ratings no longer require this additional information, that it would be inappropriate and misleading to not include this information at the point of sale. This is especially true given that consumers are generally familiar with the different classes of vehicles and could be comparing vehicles in different Side Area The agency currently conducts side impact tests that provide consumers with side ratings for the first and second row of a vehicle. For each of these positions, ratings are based on the chance of serious injury to the chest. On the Web site https://www.safercar.gov, in the agency’s advertising guidelines for manufacturers, and in the agency’s publication of ‘‘Buying A Safer Car,’’ the term ‘‘Side Crash’’ and ‘‘Side Star Rating’’ are used interchangeably to describe the side crash test results. The first and second row test positions are referred to as ‘‘Front Seat’’ and ‘‘Rear Seat’’, and ‘‘Front Passenger’’ and ‘‘Rear Passenger’’ interchangeably. In keeping with the existing terminology, NHTSA is proposing that ‘‘Side Crash’’ be used as opposed to ‘‘Side Star Rating’’ to describe the side crash test ratings, and that ‘‘Front Seat’’ and ‘‘Rear Seat’’ be used to describe the seating positions and the applicable star rating. For the side area, NHTSA is also proposing that the statement ‘‘Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a side impact’’ be used at the bottom of this section to help explain to consumers the nature and meaning of the test. As stated previously, this generic statement will also allow the agency the flexibility to update the label without conducting further rulemaking. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 Rollover Area The rollover tests currently conducted by the agency measure the chances that a vehicle will roll over in a singlevehicle crash. Ratings are based on the combined results of the static measurement of the vehicle and the results of a dynamic test. On the NHTSA Web site https:// www.safercar.gov, in the agency’s advertising guidelines for manufacturers and in the agency’s publication of ‘‘Buying A Safer Car,’’ the term ‘‘Rollover’’ and ‘‘Rollover Rating’’ are used interchangeably to describe the test results. As such, NHTSA is proposing that ‘‘Rollover’’ be used to describe the rollover test results. Furthermore, some vehicles can have both a 4 x 2 and 4 x 4 version, each of which can have a different rollover rating. Therefore, the agency wants to make clear that the NCAP rollover rating that appears on a vehicle must be the rating that applies to the trim version of that vehicle, i.e., 4 x 2 or 4 x 4. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 As discussed previously it would be redundant to include the term ‘‘rating’’ in the title. Furthermore, NHTSA is proposing that the statement ‘‘Star ratings based on the risk of rollover in a single-vehicle crash’’ be used at the bottom of the rollover area to help explain to consumers the nature and meaning of the rollover tests. General Area By their very nature, rating systems have a highest and lowest scale. For its five-star rating system, the agency has used wording such as ‘‘ratings range from one to five stars’’ to indicate to consumers that the maximum rating in each category is five stars.8 As such, NHTSA believes that the safety label should also contain similar wording and that this wording should be the first line in the general area. Therefore, NHTSA is proposing that the text ‘‘Star ratings range from 1 to 5 stars (# # # # #) with 5 being the highest’’ be used to remind consumers that the maximum rating is five stars. We believe this fulfills the Congressional requirement that the graphic depiction of the vehicle rating be displayed in a clearly differentiated fashion while also indicating the maximum possible rating. As mentioned previously, when applicable, NHTSA is proposing that safety concerns be noted next to the appropriate rating category. On the NHTSA Web site, information describing the safety concern and any remedy taken by the manufacturer is described by clicking on the hypertext. Given the space constraints for safety information and in the Monroney label in general, NHTSA recognizes that requiring manufacturers to include the same level of safety information on the label as on the NHTSA Web site could easily make the text illegible. However, NHTSA does believe it is important that the label indicate to consumers where they can find additional information on the safety concern. As such, NHTSA proposes that when testing identifies a safety concern associated with a vehicle, the following symbol be placed in the appropriate rating category positioned as a superscript to the right of the star rating, as well as the text ‘‘Safety Concern: Visit https:// www.safercar.gov.’’ Finally, NHTSA is proposing that the text ‘‘Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’’ appear as the last line in the general area. 8 https://www.safercar.gov, Agency Press Releases, ‘‘Buying a Safer Car Brochure’’. E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 EP30JA06.001</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS label. The agency is proposing that the heading read ‘‘Government Safety Ratings’’ and to require that the heading area be printed with a dark background that easily contrasts with white lettering and that white lettering be used. 4857 4858 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules NHTSA believes that placing this statement at the bottom of the general area would give consumers the added confidence that manufacturers are not supplying the ratings and that the ratings are from a government agency. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS Footer Area A footer area would help consumers identify the agency’s Web site where additional NHTSA safety information can be found. The agency is proposing that the heading read ‘‘VISIT www.safercar.gov’’ and that the footer area be printed with a dark background that easily contrasts with white lettering. This also would fulfill the mandate from Congress that the label contain reference to https:// www.safercar.gov and additional vehicle safety resources, as the Web site provides other safety information. E. Notification In June of each year, NHTSA collects vehicle information from vehicle manufacturers to help the agency identify new vehicle models and redesigns, as well as which vehicles are carry-over models.9 Once the agency performs its analysis of the information provided, the carry-over models, new models not being tested, and new models to be tested are then posted to the agency’s Web site https:// www.safercar.gov.10 The agency also sends a letter to each manufacturer indicating which models are selected for NCAP testing. The agency plans to maintain this current process. However, in addition to the letter sent to manufacturers indicating which models have been selected for testing, the agency now plans to send a separate letter to officially inform each manufacturer which models the agency has determined to be a carry-over and their NCAP star rating(s). NHTSA plans to provide these letters to the manufacturers as soon as a determination is made regarding the status of vehicles (carryover or noncarryover) to ensure that the manufacturers can place NCAP star ratings on these models as soon as they begin the new year of production. For newly tested vehicles, the agency will maintain its current quality control process and posting of results to the Web site. Once NHTSA has completed the quality control process, the agency 9 Carry-over models are vehicles that have been tested under the NCAP in previous years, and whose design has not changed, therefore retaining the previous safety rating. 10 Through carry-over and new testing, NCAP provides ratings for about 80 percent of the vehicle fleet each year. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 plans to send a letter to the manufacturer of the tested vehicle, informing them of the rating that has been given to the vehicle. This letter will also inform the manufacturer the agency’s determination as to which trim lines and corporate twins the ratings will be applied.11 F. Timing In order for this labeling program to be effective and to provide timely NCAP information to consumers, vehicles should have their ratings displayed as soon as possible. Therefore, the agency is proposing to require vehicle manufacturers to place the NCAP ratings on the Monroney label of new vehicles manufactured 30 days or more after receipt of NHTSA notification of the test results. The agency believes that this is a reasonable time frame since the Monroney label will already have a section for the NCAP star rating (whether or not the vehicle has been rated). The only change that would need to be made on the label is placing the number of stars and safety concern (if applicable) that the vehicle received in the appropriate section. Consequently, the agency has tentatively concluded that 30 days after receipt of NHTSA notification is a sufficient amount of time for the manufacturer to begin labeling new vehicles, but requests specific comment on this issue. NHTSA is not proposing to require manufacturers to reprint Monroney labels for vehicles that were produced prior to agency notification; the vehicles that are required to have the NCAP star rating will be determined by the vehicle manufacturing date. NHTSA has tentatively determined that the cost and burden on manufacturers of such a requirement would have little benefit in a large number of cases. This is especially true since some vehicles would have already been sold. However, under our proposal, we would allow manufacturers to voluntarily re-label vehicles, should they choose, by replacing the entire Monroney label (not just the section with the NCAP information). Despite providing information on a significant portion of vehicles in the U.S. fleet, the agency does not rate every single vehicle nor is it able to retest vehicles that have undergone a significant safety improvement during the model year. Therefore, in 1987, the agency published a notice establishing 11 This determination will be based on the information submitted to the agency as part of its annual collection of information. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 an optional test program.12 The optional program serves to provide consumers with up-to-date safety information on new vehicles that have undergone a mid-model year production change, models with optional safety equipment that the agency had not selected for testing, or a make and model not selected for testing by the agency. The optional NCAP operates according to the same guidelines and procedures as the regular NCAP. To qualify for the optional NCAP, the manufacturer must submit evidence that a significant safety change has been made, and then the optional test must be approved by NHTSA. Every year, a number of tests are conducted under this program, with many being mid-model year safety changes. For those vehicles that fall into this category, and whose ratings may no longer be accurate (because the production change has occurred prior to NHTSA granting the request), the agency is proposing that when the agency grants an optional NCAP request, a manufacturer may immediately begin to label those changed vehicles as ‘‘Not Rated.’’ Upon completion of the optional NCAP quality control, the manufacturer would be notified of the results and then be required to display the ratings on the Monroney Label. III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures NHTSA has considered the impact of this 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 ‘‘non-significant’’ under the Department of Transportation’s regulatory policies and procedures. The agency concludes that if this rule were made final, the impacts of the amendments would be so minimal that preparation of a full regulatory evaluation is not required. This NPRM proposes a regulation to implement a statutory requirement for manufacturers to add NCAP rating information to the existing Monroney label. We have considered and concluded that the one-time design cost, the cost of redesign to replace ‘‘Not Rated’’ with stars each time a vehicle is rated, and the increase in cost of adding the NCAP safety information to the existing Monroney label all to be minor. 12 Initial criteria published on August 21, 1987 (52 FR 31691), and then revised on February 5, 1988 (53 FR 3479). E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules No other NCAP procedures would be modified as a result of this rulemaking. We estimate that the cost of a label about this size would be $0.08 to $0.14 per vehicle (in 2004 dollars). This assumes that the size of the Monroney label is made larger to include this information. If the label is kept the same size and this information is just added to the label, the cost would be about $0.01 per vehicle. In either case, the costs are considered minimal. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The Small Business Administration’s regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small business, in part, as a business entity ‘‘which operates primarily within the United States.’’ (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NHTSA has considered the effects of this proposed rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. There are four small motor vehicle manufacturers in the United States building vehicles that would be affected by this rule. I certify that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rationale for this certification is that we do not believe that this proposal adds a significant economic cost (estimated to be less than $0.15 per vehicle) to a motor vehicle. C. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), a person is not required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. For the following reasons, NHTSA concludes that if made final, this rulemaking would not impose any new collection of VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 information requirements for which a 5 CFR part 1320 clearance must be obtained. As earlier described, this rule, if made final, would require vehicle manufacturers to include on Monroney labels, the safety rating information published by NCAP. This NPRM proposes how NHTSA will describe the appearance of the label, and specify to the manufacturers, in both individual letters to the manufacturers and on NHTSA’s NCAP Web site (https:// www.safercar.gov) the information specific to a particular motor vehicle model and make that the vehicle manufacturer must put on the Monroney label. Because, if this rule is made final, NHTSA will specify the format of the label, and the information each manufacturer must include on the Monroney label, this ‘‘collection of information’’ falls within the exception described in 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2) which states in part: ‘‘The public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public is not included within this definition.’’ NCAP ratings are created by NHTSA. This rule, if made final, would require vehicle manufacturers to take NHTSA’s NCAP ratings (which NHTSA will supply to each manufacturer) and report them on Monroney labels, thus disclosing them to potential customers (i.e., the public). For this reason, this proposed rule, if made final, would impose a ‘‘collection of information’’ requirement for which 5 CFR part 1320 approval need not be obtained. D. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has analyzed this proposed rule for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act and has determined that if made final, the rule 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 a process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.’’ ‘‘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 compliance costs, and that is not PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4859 required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, the agency consults with State and local governments, or the agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. NHTSA also may 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 proposed rule in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 and has determined that it does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. If made final, this rule will have no substantial effects on the States, on the current Federal-State relationship, or on the current distribution of power and responsibilities among the various local officials. F. Civil Justice Reform This proposed rule will not have any retroactive effect. Parties are not required to exhaust administrative remedies before filing 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 agency searched for, but did not find any voluntary consensus standards relevant to this proposed rule. H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act This proposed rule will not impose any unfunded mandates under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. This rule will not result in costs of $100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA. E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 4860 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules 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 include them in your comments on this NPRM. J. Privacy Act Statement Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments or petitions 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 https://dms.dot.gov. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS IV. Public Comment Comments are sought on the proposed requirements discussed herein and not on the usefulness of such a labeling requirement. To facilitate analysis of the comments, it is requested that responses be organized by the requirements listed above. Suggestions for additional requirements are also sought. NHTSA will consider all comments and suggestions in deciding what changes, if any, should be made to the label. Given the timeframe, NHTSA would request that other suggestions include any available data and supporting rationale, and research needed to implement them to assist the agency in evaluating their merit. How Do I Prepare and Submit Comments? Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket number of this document in your comments. Your comments must be no longer than 15 pages long (49 CFR 553.21). We VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 establish this limit to encourage the preparation of comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary additional documents to your comments. There is no limit to the length of the attachments. Please submit two copies of your comments, including the attachments, to Docket Management at the address given at the beginning of this document under ADDRESSES. How Can I Be Sure That My Comments Were Received? If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by mail. How Do I Submit Confidential Business Information? If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. This submission must include the information that you are claiming to be private; that is, confidential business information. In addition, you should submit two copies, from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information, to Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be confidential business information, you should include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in our confidential business information regulation (49 CFR part 512). Will the Agency Consider Late Comments? We will consider all comments that are received by Docket Management before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider comments that Docket Management receives after that date. If Docket Management receives a comment too late for us to consider in developing a proposal concerning this label, we will consider that comment as an informal suggestion for future rulemaking action. How Can I Read Comments Submitted by Other People? Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 https://dms.dot.gov. You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES. The hours of the Docket are indicated above in the same location. You may also review the comments on the Internet. To access the comments on the Internet, take the following steps: 1. Go to the Docket Management System (DMS) Web page of the Department of Transportation (https:// dms.dot.gov/). 2. On that page, click on ‘‘Search.’’ 3. On the next page (https:// dms.dot.gov/search/), type in the fourdigit docket number shown at the beginning of this document. Example: If the docket number were ‘‘NHTSA– 1998–1234,’’ you would type ‘‘1234.’’ After typing the docket number, click on ‘‘Search.’’ 4. On the next page, which contains docket summary information for the docket you selected, click on the desired comments. You can download the comments. Please note that even after the comment closing date we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically check the Docket for new material. V. Proposed Regulatory Text List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 575 Consumer protection, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tires. In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR part 575 would be amended to read as follows: PART 575—CONSUMER INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 575 would be revised to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 32302, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30166, and 30168, P.L. 104–414, 114 Stat. 1800, P.L. 109–59, 119 Stat. 1144, 15 U.S.C. 1232(g); delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 2. The heading for subpart A would be revised to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules Subpart A—Regulations Issued Under Section 112(d) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act; General 3. Subpart D would be added to read as follows: Subpart D—Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU); Consumer Information cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS § 575.301 Vehicle Labeling of Safety Rating Information. (a) Purpose and Scope. The purpose of this section is to aid potential purchasers in the selection of new passenger motor vehicles by providing them with safety rating information developed by NHTSA in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing. Manufacturers of passenger motor vehicles described in paragraph (b) of this section are required to include this information on the Monroney label. Although NHTSA also makes the information available through means such as postings at https:// www.safercar.gov and https:// www.nhtsa.dot.gov, the additional Monroney label information is intended to provide consumers with relevant information at the point of sale. (b) Application. This section applies to passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles (sport utility vehicles and vans), and buses with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less manufactured on or after September 1, 2007. (c) Definitions. The terms bus, multipurpose passenger vehicle and passenger car have the meanings assigned to them in 49 CFR part 571.3. Monroney label means the label placed on new automobiles with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and other consumer information, as specified at 15 U.S.C. sections 1231– 1233. Safety rating label means the label with NCAP safety rating information, as specified at 15 U.S.C. section 1232(g). The safety rating label is part of the Monroney label. (d) Required Label. (1) Each vehicle to which this section applies must have a safety rating label as part of the Monroney label, which meets the requirements specified in paragraph (e) of this section and which conforms in format and sequence to the sample label depicted in Figure 1 of this section. (2) The label must depict the star ratings for that vehicle as reported to the vehicle manufacturer by NHTSA. (3) For vehicle tests for which NHTSA reports a safety concern as part of the star rating, the label must depict the VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 related symbol depicted in Figure 3 of this section and the wording ‘‘Safety Concern: Visit https://www.safercar.gov for more details.’’ (4) Whenever NHTSA reports a new safety rating to a manufacturer, including any safety concerns, the manufacturer must include the new information on vehicles manufactured on or after the date 30 days after receipt by the manufacturer of the information. (5) If the agency grants a request for an optional NCAP test, the manufacturer may depict the vehicle as untested for that particular test. (6) The text ‘‘Frontal Crash,’’ ‘‘Side Crash,’’ ‘‘Rollover,’’ ‘‘Driver,’’ ‘‘Passenger’’, ‘‘Front Seat’’, ‘‘Rear Seat’’ and ‘‘Not Rated,’’ where applicable, the star graphic indicating each rating, as well as any text in the header and footer areas of the label must have a minimum font size of 12 point. All remaining text or symbols on the label including the star graphic specified in paragraph (d)(8)(ii) of this section, must have a minimum font size of 8 point. (e) Required information and format. (1) Label Border. The label must be surrounded by a solid dark line that is a minimum of 3 points in width. (2) Label Size and legibility. The label must be presented in a legible, visible, and prominent fashion that covers at least 8 percent of the total area of the Monroney label or must cover an area with a minimum of 41⁄2 inches in length and 31⁄2 inches in height on the Monroney label. (3) Heading Area. The text must read ‘‘Government Safety Ratings’’ in boldface, capital letters that are in a font that easily contrasts with a dark background, and be centered over the entire top length of the label. (4) Frontal Crash Area. (i) The frontal crash area must be placed below the heading area, and must be of a dark text against a light background. Both the driver and the right front passenger frontal crash test ratings must be displayed with the maximum star ratings achieved. (ii) The text ‘‘Frontal Crash’’ must be in boldface, cover two lines, and must be aligned along the left side of the label. (iii) The text ‘‘Driver’’ must be on the same line as the text ‘‘Frontal Crash’’ and must be aligned in the center of the label. The achieved star rating for ‘‘Driver’’ must be on the same line, aligned to the right of the label. (iv) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for the ‘‘Driver’’ position, the text ‘‘Not Rated’’ must be used in boldface. (v) The text ‘‘Passenger’’ must be on the same line as the text ‘‘Frontal PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4861 Crash’’, below the text ‘‘Driver’’, and aligned in the center of the label. The achieved star rating for ‘‘Passenger’’ must be on the same line, aligned to the right of the label. (vi) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for ‘‘Passenger’’, the text ‘‘Not Rated’’ in boldface must be used. (vii) The text: ‘‘Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a frontal impact’’ must be placed at the bottom of the frontal crash area. (viii) ‘‘Frontal ratings should ONLY be compared to other vehicles of similar size and weight.’’ (5) Side Crash Area. (i) The side crash area must be below the frontal crash area, separated by a dark line that is a minimum of three points in width. The text must be dark against a light background. Both the driver and the rear seat passenger side crash test rating must be displayed with the maximum star rating achieved. (ii) The text ‘‘Side Crash’’ must cover two lines, and be aligned along the left side of the label in boldface. (iii) The text ‘‘Front Seat’’ must be on the same line as the text ‘‘Side Crash’’ and be aligned in the center of the label. The achieved star rating for ‘‘Front Seat’’ must be on the same line and aligned to the right of the label. (iv) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for ‘‘Front Seat’’, the text ‘‘Not Rated’’ in boldface must be used. (v) The text ‘‘Rear Seat’’ must be on the same line as the text ‘‘Side Crash’’, below the text ‘‘Front Seat’’, and aligned in the center of the label. The achieved star rating for ‘‘Rear Seat’’ must be on the same line, aligned to the right of the label. (vi) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for ‘‘Rear Seat’’, the text ‘‘Not Rated’’ in boldface must be used. (vii) The text: ‘‘Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a side impact’’ must be placed at the bottom of the side crash area. (6) Rollover Area. (i) The rollover area must be below the side crash area, separated by a dark line that is a minimum of three points in width. The text must be dark against a light background. The rollover test rating must be displayed with the maximum star rating achieved. (ii) The text ‘‘Rollover’’ must be aligned along the left side of the label in boldface. The achieved star rating must be on the same line, aligned to the right of the label. (iii) If NHTSA has not tested the vehicle, the text ‘‘Not Rated’’ in boldface must be used. (iv) The text: ‘‘Star ratings based on the risk of rollover in a single vehicle E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS crash’’ must be placed at the bottom of the rollover area. (7) Graphics. The star graphic is depicted in Figure 2 of this section and the safety concern graphic is depicted in Figure 3 of this section. (8) General Information. (i) This information must be below the rollover area, separated by a black line that is a minimum of three points in width. The text must be dark against a light VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 background. The text must state the following, in the specified order: (ii) ‘‘Star ratings range from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the highest.’’ (iii) ‘‘If there is a safety concern, provide the graphic in Figure 3 followed by the words ‘‘Visit www.safercar.gov for more details’’. (iv) ‘‘Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’’. (9) Footer Area. (i) The footer area must be below the rollover area, PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 separated by a black line that is a minimum of three points in width. (ii) The footer area must be printed in a dark color that contrasts with the background of the label. (iii) The footer area must contain the text: ‘‘VISIT www.safercar.gov’’ in boldface letters that are in white font. (iv) The footer area must be centered over the entire bottom length of the label. E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 EP30JA06.002</GPH> 4862 Editorial Note: The following appendices will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. Appendix A—Relevant Statutory Language (For Explanatory Purposes— Not Part of the Proposed Regulatory Text) cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS On August 10, 2005, the President of the United States signed H.R. 3 into law (SAFETEA–LU) which requires the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to ensure that the section’s labeling requirements, which amend section 3 of the Automobile Information Disclosure (AID) Act (15 U.S.C. 1232), are implemented by September 1, 2007. These labeling requirements concern the safety rating information published by NHTSA’s NCAP. Section 10307 reads as follows: ‘‘AMENDMENT OF AUTOMOBILE INFORMATION DISCLOSURE ACT. (a) Safety Labeling Requirement—Section 3 of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1232) is amended— (1) by striking ‘‘and’’ after the semicolon in subsection (e); (2) by inserting ‘‘and’’ after the semicolon in subsection (f)(3); (3) by striking ‘‘(3).’’ in subsection (f)(4) and inserting ‘‘(3);’’; and (4) by adding at the end the following: (g) if one or more safety ratings for such automobile have been assigned and formally published or released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the New Car Assessment Program, information about safety ratings that— (1) includes a graphic depiction of the number of stars, or other applicable rating, that corresponds to each such assigned safety rating displayed in a clearly differentiated VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 fashion indicating the maximum possible safety rating; (2) refers to frontal impact crash tests, side impact crash tests, and rollover resistance tests (whether or not such automobile has been assigned a safety rating for such tests); (3) contains information describing the nature and meaning of the crash test data presented and a reference to additional vehicle safety resources, including https:// www.safecar.gov; and (4) is presented in a legible, visible, and prominent fashion and covers at least— (A) 8 percent of the total area of the label; or (B) an area with a minimum length of 41⁄2 inches and a minimum height of 31⁄2 inches; and (h) if an automobile has not been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the New Car Assessment Program, or safety ratings for such automobile have not been assigned in one or more rating categories, a statement to that effect. (b) Regulations—The Secretary of Transportation shall issue regulations to ensure that the labeling requirements under subsections (g) and (h) of section 3 of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act, as added by subsection (a), are implemented by September 1, 2007.’’ Appendix B—Background Information About NCAP (For Explanatory Purposes, Not Part of the Proposed Regulatory Text) Both the frontal and side NCAP test programs are based on FMVSS No. 208 and No. 214 respectively. For FMVSS No. 208 the weight limit is a GVWR of 8,500 lbs. and for FMVSS No. 214 that weight limit is a GVWR of 6,000 lbs. Additionally, these standards PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4700 4863 apply to passenger vehicles, sport utility vehicles (SUV’s), vans, and pickups. For rollover, there is no associated FMVSS and the agency established in its final decision notice establishing the program, that it has the ability to test vehicles with a GVWR of up to 10,000 lbs. Many vehicle manufacturers offer optional equipment, like side air bags and electronic stability control, on their vehicles that could affect the vehicles’ test results. Similarly, the agency recognizes that many vehicles come in two-door or four-door versions, and/or 4x4 or 4x2 version. Pickup trucks are also often available in regular cab, extended cab, and four-door cab versions. To alleviate test burden, the agency tests 4x2 pickup trucks and 4x4 sport utility vehicles in the frontal and side NCAP tests. These ratings are then applicable to all versions of 4x4 pickup trucks and 4x2 sport utility vehicles respectively. For rollover, both 4x4 and 4x2 pickups and sport utility vehicles are tested due to the differences in performance in rollover NCAP. Under most circumstances, only extended cab pickup trucks are tested. The resulting ratings are applied to regular cab and four-door pickup trucks as well. Manufacturers will always have an opportunity to provide data showing that the 4x2/4x4, or the regular cab/extended cab models perform differently. Optional tests on these vehicles will then be available to the manufacturers who wish to perform them. For both the crash and rollover programs, the agency will consider 2- and 4-door models to be separate vehicles unless the manufacturer provides data showing that the two perform the same. E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1 EP30JA06.003</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules 4864 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 19 / Monday, January 30, 2006 / Proposed Rules Issued on: January 24, 2006. Stephen R. Kratzke, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 06–827 Filed 1–27–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration 49 CFR Part 611 [Docket No. FTA–2005–22841] RIN 2132–AA81 Major Capital Investment Projects Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: This advance notice of proposed rulemaking provides interested parties with the opportunity to comment on the characteristics and requirements proposed by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for a new capital investment program. This new program, ‘‘Small Starts’’, is a discretionary grant program for public transportation capital projects that run along a dedicated corridor or a fixed guideway, have a total project cost of less than $250 million, and are seeking less than $75 million in Small Starts program funding. This Small Starts program is a component of the existing New Starts program, but will offer project sponsors an expedited and streamlined application and review process. Consistent with the intent and provisions of the new public transit statute, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA– LU), FTA hopes to simplify the planning and project development process for proposed Small Starts projects in a number of ways. In addition to the reduced number of evaluation measures specified in SAFETEA–LU, the process may be further simplified by allowing small projects to conduct alternatives analysis with a reduced set of alternatives, allowing evaluation measures for mobility and cost-effectiveness to be developed without having to rely on complicated travel demand modeling procedures in some cases, and possibly defining some classes of low-cost improvements that are pre-approved as effective and cost-effective in certain contexts. DATES: Comments must be received by March 10, 2006. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:05 Jan 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 Written Comments: Submit written comments to the Dockets Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room PL–401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Comments. You may submit comments identified by the docket number (FTA–2005–22841) by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Web Site: https://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. • Fax: 1–202–493–2478. • Mail: Docket Management System; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590– 001. • Hand Delivery: To the Docket Management System; Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this notice. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https://dms.dot.gov including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to https:// dms.dot.gov at any time or to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron Fisher, Office of Planning and Environment, telephone (202) 366– 4033, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for FTA, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: I. Background On August 10, 2005, President Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA– LU). Section 3011 of SAFETEA–LU made a number of changes to 49 U.S.C. PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5309, which authorizes the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) fixed guideway capital investment program known as ‘‘New Starts’’. In addition to the changes made to the New Starts program, for which FTA intends to issue separate policy guidance and a revised regulation, section 5309 has been amended to add a new subsection (3) containing a new capital investment program category for projects requesting federal funding of less than $75,000,000 with a total project cost of less than $250,000,000. That new capital investment program, which will be referred to as the ‘‘Small Starts’’ program, is the subject of this ANPRM. FTA plans to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the near future that will address changes to the existing New Starts program made by section 3011 of SAFETEA–LU, as well as a proposal for the Small Starts program based on comments received in response to this ANPRM. SAFETEA–LU created the new Small Starts program category by amending section 5309(e) of Chapter 53 of Title 49, United States Code. At the same time, the current process for larger new fixed guideway and extension (‘‘New Starts’’) projects was continued (with some modifications) under section 5309(d). The conference report accompanying SAFETEA–LU indicates the expectation that projects in this new ‘‘Small Starts’’ category would be ‘‘advanced through an expedited and streamlined evaluation and rating process.’’ The New Starts process now required under section 5309(d) for larger new fixed guideway and extension projects has been in place for some time and we believe represents the point of departure from which the new Small Starts category should be developed. The New Starts process was first outlined by a Statement of Policy in 1976 and was refined in subsequent Statements of Policy in 1978, 1980, and 1984. In the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987, the process called for in the Statements of Policy was enacted into law, and was subsequently modified by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. A Statement of Policy in 1997 and further amendments in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, enacted in 1998, culminated in the current Final rule on Major Capital Investments (Title 49; Vol. 6 CFR611.1), issued in December 2000 and went into effect in April 2001. Under the process laid out in statute and in the December 2000 Final Rule, New Starts projects, like all transportation investments in metropolitan areas, must emerge from a E:\FR\FM\30JAP1.SGM 30JAP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 19 (Monday, January 30, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4854-4864]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-827]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 575

[Docket No. NHTSA-2005-23216]
RIN 2127-AJ76


New Car Assessment Program (NCAP); Safety Labeling

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: One of the provisions of the recently enacted Safe, 
Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy 
for Users (SAFETEA-LU) requires new passenger vehicles to be labeled 
with safety rating information published by the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program. This 
document proposes a regulation to implement that new labeling 
requirement beginning September 1, 2007.

DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that 
Docket Management receives them not later than March 31, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number and be submitted 
by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Web Site: https://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site. Please note, if 
you are submitting petitions electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, we 
ask that the documents submitted be scanned using an Optical Character 
Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing the agency to search and copy 
certain portions of your submissions.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public 
Comment heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this 
document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to https://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information provided.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
petitions received into any of our dockets by the name of the 
individual submitting the petition (or signing the petition, 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 https://dms.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues regarding the 
information in this document, please contact Mr. Nathaniel Beuse at 
(202) 366-1740. For legal issues, please contact Ms. Dorothy Nakama 
(202) 366-2992. Both of these individuals may be reached by mail at the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh St. SW., 
Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview

    Section 10307 of the recently enacted Safe, Accountable, Flexible, 
Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), 
Pub. L. 109-59 (August 10, 2005; 119 Stat. 1144), requires new 
passenger vehicles to be labeled with the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) 
ratings. The Act specifies a number of detailed requirements for the 
label, including content, format, and

[[Page 4855]]

location.\1\ It also requires the Department of Transportation to issue 
regulations to ensure that the new labeling requirements are 
implemented by September 1, 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The text of the legislation can be found in Appendix A, 
following the proposed regulatory text.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This document proposes a regulation to implement the new labeling 
requirement. Under the proposal:
    (1) New passenger vehicles must include specified NCAP information 
on the label required by the Automobile Information Disclosure Act (the 
``Monroney label'' or price sticker);
    (2) The specified information includes a graphical depiction of the 
number of stars achieved for each assigned safety test;
    (3) Information describing the nature and meaning of the test data, 
and a reference to https://www.safercar.gov for additional vehicle 
safety information, is also required on the label;
    (4) The label must be legible and cover at least eight percent of 
the price sticker label or an area with a minimum length of 4\1/2\ 
inches and a minimum height of 3\1/2\ inches;
    (5) If a vehicle has not been tested by the agency or safety 
ratings have not been assigned, a statement to that effect in the 
appropriate rating category must be included; and
    (6) Ratings must be placed on new vehicles manufactured 30 or more 
days after notification to the manufacturer by NHTSA of ratings for 
those vehicles.

II. Proposed Label

    For each of the sections described herein, NHTSA will discuss the 
proposed safety label requirement and the corresponding rationale. 
However, the agency notes that given the specificity set forth by the 
Congress in SAFETEA-LU, there is little discretion with most aspects of 
the proposed label.

A. Location

    The Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958 (AIDA), 15 U.S.C. 
1231-1233, requires the affixing of a retail price sticker to the 
windshield or side window of new automobiles. This label, also known as 
the ``Monroney'' label, may also include other information, such as 
information about fuel economy and vehicle content. SAFETEA-LU amended 
section 3 of AIDA to require the label to include NCAP vehicle safety 
ratings published by NHTSA.
    NHTSA has examined several existing Monroney labels, and recognizes 
that there is a limited amount of free or open space to accommodate 
additional information, and that not all automobile manufacturers use 
the same layout for the Monroney label. Therefore, to allow 
manufacturers continued flexibility in designing their Monroney labels, 
we are not proposing a specific location on the Monroney label where 
the safety information (i.e., NCAP vehicle information) must be 
located.

B. Covered Vehicles

    Under AIDA, Monroney labels are required on new ``automobiles.'' 
The Department of Justice (DOJ), which generally administers AIDA, has 
defined automobiles to include passenger vehicles and station wagons, 
and by extension passenger vans.\2\ The new safety labeling 
requirements apply to these vehicles, whether or not the vehicles have 
been rated by the agency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See https://www.usdoj.gov/civil/ocl/monograph and click on 
``Automobile Information Disclosure.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To provide consumers with the largest number of comparable vehicle 
ratings, the agency has been testing vehicles with a gross vehicle 
weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 lbs. or less.\3\ This is the limit in our 
frontal protection standard, so it has become the limit for our NCAP. 
Under SAFETEA-LU, the agency was also directed to provide rollover 
ratings for 15-passenger vans, which have a GVWR of more than 8,500 
lbs. We also note that as to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 214, the safety standard that the side NCAP test procedure 
is based on, the agency has proposed an upgrade that would include 
vehicles up to 10,000 lbs. GVWR; FMVSS No. 214 is now applicable only 
to vehicles up to 6,000 lbs. GVWR. While NHTSA has not yet changed its 
selection criteria, as test procedures are upgraded the agency could 
potentially test vehicles up to 10,000 lbs for side impact. 
Additionally, the agency posts information about the safety features of 
these vehicles on its Web site. As such, the agency is proposing to 
require all new passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles (sport 
utility vehicles and vans) and buses with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs or less 
to have a section for NCAP ratings on the Monroney label, whether or 
not the vehicle has been tested by NHTSA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Additional information with regard to NHTSA's testing 
practice can be found in Appendix B.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    AIDA does not require Monroney labels for pickup trucks. We note, 
however, that manufacturers routinely include Monroney stickers on this 
class of vehicle, and we anticipate that manufacturers will voluntarily 
include the NCAP information as well. However, since Congress did not 
explicitly require information to be provided for vehicles not required 
to provide a Monroney Label, this notice does not propose any 
requirement either.

C. Content

    SAFETEA-LU requires that the safety label include ``a graphic 
depiction of the number of stars, or other applicable rating, that 
corresponds to each such assigned safety rating displayed in a clearly 
differentiated fashion indicating the maximum possible safety rating'' 
for front, side, and rollover testing conducted by the agency. The 
statute further specifies that the label must be legible, visible, and 
prominent and that it contain ``information describing the nature and 
meaning of the crash test data presented and a reference to additional 
vehicle safety resources, including https://www.safecar.gov,'' the NHTSA 
safety rating Web site. Finally, with regard to content, SAFETEA-LU 
specifies that ``if an automobile has not been tested by the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the New Car Assessment 
Program, or safety ratings for such automobile have not been assigned 
in one or more rating categories, a statement to that effect'' must 
appear.
    As will be more thoroughly discussed later, SAFETEA-LU limits the 
space for the NCAP label to 8 percent of the total area of the existing 
label or to an area with a minimum length of 4\1/2\ inches and a 
minimum height of 3\1/2\ inches. NHTSA believes it is Congress' intent 
to also limit the NCAP label information to only that specified in 
SAFETEA-LU. NHTSA thus proposes that no additional information of any 
kind, other than the same information provided in a language other than 
English, may be voluntarily provided in the NCAP label area. NHTSA does 
not construe the same information provided in a language other than 
English to be additional information.
    Since 1994 the agency has used solid stars to translate vehicle 
test results in a format that consumers can understand, and the 
vehicles' rating has been displayed using a graphical depiction of the 
number of stars as opposed to some other method. NHTSA has conducted a 
substantial amount of research, and has found that consumers easily 
understand the graphical depiction stars.
    NHTSA has also investigated various graphical displays, such as 
struck stars, hollow stars, and multi-colored stars, to further improve 
how information is displayed to consumers. The research has shown that 
consumers can become confused when solid stars are intermingled with 
different

[[Page 4856]]

representations such as struck stars, hollow stars, and the like.\4\ 
NHTSA is aware that both the European and Japanese consumer information 
programs have used shading while intermingling solid stars with grayed 
out stars, on a single line, to display a vehicle's achieved star 
rating and the maximum possible rating. However, NHTSA is not aware of 
any consumer research to support this methodology.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ ``Focus Groups Regarding Presentations of Crash Test 
Anomalies'' NHTSA-2004-19104-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As such, based on its previous research, NHTSA believes that the 
use of solid stars, by themselves, is the most effective way to display 
a vehicle's star rating to consumers. Therefore, the agency is 
proposing that the label use solid stars, in the appropriate rating 
category to represent a vehicle's star rating. As discussed later in 
this document, we are also proposing to require the label to include a 
statement that ``Star ratings range from 1 to 5 stars ([starf] [starf] 
[starf] [starf] [starf]) with 5 being the highest''. This proposed 
approach would fulfill the statutory requirement that the graphic 
depiction of the vehicle rating be displayed in a clearly 
differentiated fashion while also indicating the maximum possible 
rating.
    Because of workload limits at the available laboratories, new 
models selected for testing by NHTSA cannot be tested simultaneously 
and not all ratings can be available at the same time. As such, the 
agency relies on https://www.safercar.gov to keep consumers informed on 
the current status of vehicles that will be tested and availability of 
new ratings as soon as they are available. The agency understands that 
manufacturers will not be able to keep the safety label as up to date 
as NHTSA can on a Web site. Therefore, the agency is proposing that the 
term ``Not Rated'' be used in the appropriate category until such time 
that a rating has been released by the agency. The term ``not rated'' 
will be used rather than ``not tested'' to prevent any consumer 
misconception that a vehicle has not been tested to ensure compliance 
with NHTSA's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; all applicable new 
vehicles must conform and certify compliance to these safety standards 
before they can be sold in the United States. Later in this notice, we 
discuss the timing for including new ratings on the Monroney label.
    For the past several years, NHTSA has informed consumers of test 
occurrences resulting in safety concerns that are not included in the 
star rating. Examples of such safety concerns are high likelihoods of 
thigh injury, pelvic injury, or head injury; fuel leakage; and door 
openings. NHTSA believes these events are significant and has conducted 
research on this topic to explore consumer perceptions, opinions, 
beliefs, and attitudes on these occurrences. When asked about how 
safety concerns would influence their decision, most respondents 
responded that ``having information about crash test anomalies is 
important and they would use the information to assist them in making a 
decision to purchase one vehicle over another.'' \5\ Furthermore, the 
agency believes that consumers would be misled if, when shopping for a 
vehicle, the NHTSA Web site indicated that there was a safety concern 
but none appeared on the label at the point of sale. Therefore, NHTSA 
is proposing that when a test occurrence indicates a safety concern, 
the following symbol
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP30JA06.000

be placed in the appropriate rating category positioned as a 
superscript to the right of the right-most star in the rating 
category.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ ``Focus Groups Regarding Presentations of Crash Test 
Anomalies'' NHTSA-2004-19104-1.
    \6\ Detailed information concerning the specific safety rating 
will be published in a NHTSA press release as well as posted on the 
safercar.gov Web site.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Format

    SAFETEA-LU specifies that the size or area of the NCAP label must 
be at least ``8 percent of the total area of the existing label or an 
area with a minimum length of 4\1/2\ inches and a minimum height of 
3\1/2\ inches.'' \7\ We are proposing to include this requirement in 
the regulation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ NHTSA believes the phrase ``existing label'' means the 
existing Monroney label as specified by 15 U.S.C. 1232.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We are also proposing to require that the text be legible and in 
English. We note that some manufacturers may wish to also use Spanish 
or other languages to convey this important safety information to 
consumers who do not speak English or for whom English is not their 
first language. NHTSA is not proposing to restrict in any way a 
manufacturer's ability to provide NCAP information in additional 
languages, given that the required information is first provided in 
English and that the additional information does not confuse or obscure 
the required information in English.
    NHTSA has reviewed the literature and believes that there is no 
single ``best'' font type for readability; therefore we are not 
proposing a single font type. To ensure that the label is readable, the 
agency is proposing that the text ``Frontal Crash,'' ``Side Crash,'' 
``Rollover,'' ``Driver,'' ``Passenger,'' ``Front Seat,'' ``Rear Seat'' 
and ``Not Rated,'' where applicable, the star graphic indicating each 
rating, as well as any text in the header and footer areas of the label 
have a minimum font size of 12 point. This would make the text 
consistent with NHTSA's Automobile Parts Content Label (49 CFR part 
583), often contained on the Monroney label, which specifies a minimum 
font size of 12 point (see 49 CFR 583.5(d)). NHTSA is aware that the 
Automobile Parts Content Label also allows a minimum font size of 10 
point for explanatory notes, however due to the minimum space 
requirements for this safety label, NHTSA is specifying that all other 
text or symbols on the label must have a minimum font size of 8 point. 
We are also proposing to require that, unless otherwise noted, the 
background be in a color that contrasts easily with dark text and that 
dark text be used. We believe that this would help to ensure a stark 
contrast so that the information can be easily read. From its 
experience in previous label rulemakings, NHTSA believes that 
backgrounds that are gray or are similar in contrast to black or dark 
text are difficult to read.
    The agency is proposing to require that the safety label portion of 
the Monroney label be surrounded by a dark line and sub-divided into 
six areas described as a heading area, frontal crash area, side crash 
area, rollover area, general text area, and footer area. We are 
proposing to require that these areas be arranged such that the heading 
area is at the top, followed by the frontal, side, rollover, general, 
and footer area (at the bottom) and that the frontal, side, rollover, 
and general areas be separated from each other by a black line.
    We believe that the dark line around the border of the label would 
help to distinguish the NHTSA safety information from the other 
information on the Monroney label. The purpose of specifying separate 
sub areas and separating them with a dark line would be to add clarity 
by grouping the applicable safety rating together with the applicable 
test information. We believe this would enable consumers to readily 
distinguish and decipher the various pieces of information being 
displayed on the safety label. The format of each sub area is outlined 
below.
Heading Area
    The heading area would help consumers find and identify the NHTSA 
safety information on the Monroney

[[Page 4857]]

label. The agency is proposing that the heading read ``Government 
Safety Ratings'' and to require that the heading area be printed with a 
dark background that easily contrasts with white lettering and that 
white lettering be used.
Frontal Area
    Currently, NHTSA provides consumers with frontal crash ratings for 
two seating positions; the driver and the right front passenger. 
Ratings for each seating position are based on the combined chance of 
serious injury to the head and chest. On the Web site https://
www.safercar.gov, in the agency's advertising guidelines for 
manufacturers, and in the agency's publication of ``Buying A Safer 
Car,'' the term ``Frontal Crash'' and ``Frontal Star Rating'' are used 
interchangeably to describe the frontal crash test results, whereas the 
driver and the right front passenger test positions are only referred 
to as ``Driver'' and ``Passenger,'' respectively.
    In keeping with the existing terminology, NHTSA is proposing that 
``Frontal Crash'' be used to describe the frontal crash test ratings 
and that ``Driver'' and ``Passenger'' be used to describe the seating 
positions and the applicable star rating. NHTSA believes it would be 
redundant to repeat the term ``Rating'' here since it is already used 
in the header area. We also believe that the term ``Frontal Crash'' is 
a more general term and more appropriate than ``Frontal Star Rating''. 
Additionally, the terms ``Driver'' and ``Passenger'' are easily 
understood, have been used in NHTSA publications for some time, and are 
used by manufacturers in their advertising.
    For this section, NHTSA is also proposing to require that the 
statement ``Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a frontal 
impact'' be provided at the bottom of the frontal area to help explain 
to consumers the nature and meaning of the test. This generic statement 
would also provide the agency the flexibility to update the rating (for 
example with additional injury criteria) without conducting further 
rulemaking to update the label.
    Lastly, due to the nature of NHTSA's frontal crash test, those 
ratings can only be compared to the vehicles in the same weight class. 
The agency believes that until such time as NHTSA's frontal ratings no 
longer require this additional information, that it would be 
inappropriate and misleading to not include this information at the 
point of sale. This is especially true given that consumers are 
generally familiar with the different classes of vehicles and could be 
comparing vehicles in different classes on the same lot. As such, NHTSA 
is proposing that the statement ``Frontal ratings should ONLY be 
compared to other vehicles of similar size and weight'' be the second 
line in the general area.
Side Area
    The agency currently conducts side impact tests that provide 
consumers with side ratings for the first and second row of a vehicle. 
For each of these positions, ratings are based on the chance of serious 
injury to the chest. On the Web site https://www.safercar.gov, in the 
agency's advertising guidelines for manufacturers, and in the agency's 
publication of ``Buying A Safer Car,'' the term ``Side Crash'' and 
``Side Star Rating'' are used interchangeably to describe the side 
crash test results. The first and second row test positions are 
referred to as ``Front Seat'' and ``Rear Seat'', and ``Front 
Passenger'' and ``Rear Passenger'' interchangeably.
    In keeping with the existing terminology, NHTSA is proposing that 
``Side Crash'' be used as opposed to ``Side Star Rating'' to describe 
the side crash test ratings, and that ``Front Seat'' and ``Rear Seat'' 
be used to describe the seating positions and the applicable star 
rating. For the side area, NHTSA is also proposing that the statement 
``Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a side impact'' be used 
at the bottom of this section to help explain to consumers the nature 
and meaning of the test. As stated previously, this generic statement 
will also allow the agency the flexibility to update the label without 
conducting further rulemaking.
Rollover Area
    The rollover tests currently conducted by the agency measure the 
chances that a vehicle will roll over in a single-vehicle crash. 
Ratings are based on the combined results of the static measurement of 
the vehicle and the results of a dynamic test. On the NHTSA Web site 
https://www.safercar.gov, in the agency's advertising guidelines for 
manufacturers and in the agency's publication of ``Buying A Safer 
Car,'' the term ``Rollover'' and ``Rollover Rating'' are used 
interchangeably to describe the test results. As such, NHTSA is 
proposing that ``Rollover'' be used to describe the rollover test 
results.
    Furthermore, some vehicles can have both a 4 x 2 and 4 x 4 version, 
each of which can have a different rollover rating. Therefore, the 
agency wants to make clear that the NCAP rollover rating that appears 
on a vehicle must be the rating that applies to the trim version of 
that vehicle, i.e., 4 x 2 or 4 x 4.
    As discussed previously it would be redundant to include the term 
``rating'' in the title. Furthermore, NHTSA is proposing that the 
statement ``Star ratings based on the risk of rollover in a single-
vehicle crash'' be used at the bottom of the rollover area to help 
explain to consumers the nature and meaning of the rollover tests.
General Area
    By their very nature, rating systems have a highest and lowest 
scale. For its five-star rating system, the agency has used wording 
such as ``ratings range from one to five stars'' to indicate to 
consumers that the maximum rating in each category is five stars.\8\ As 
such, NHTSA believes that the safety label should also contain similar 
wording and that this wording should be the first line in the general 
area. Therefore, NHTSA is proposing that the text ``Star ratings range 
from 1 to 5 stars ([starf] [starf] [starf] [starf] [starf]) with 5 
being the highest'' be used to remind consumers that the maximum rating 
is five stars. We believe this fulfills the Congressional requirement 
that the graphic depiction of the vehicle rating be displayed in a 
clearly differentiated fashion while also indicating the maximum 
possible rating.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ https://www.safercar.gov, Agency Press Releases, ``Buying a 
Safer Car Brochure''.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As mentioned previously, when applicable, NHTSA is proposing that 
safety concerns be noted next to the appropriate rating category. On 
the NHTSA Web site, information describing the safety concern and any 
remedy taken by the manufacturer is described by clicking on the 
hypertext. Given the space constraints for safety information and in 
the Monroney label in general, NHTSA recognizes that requiring 
manufacturers to include the same level of safety information on the 
label as on the NHTSA Web site could easily make the text illegible. 
However, NHTSA does believe it is important that the label indicate to 
consumers where they can find additional information on the safety 
concern. As such, NHTSA proposes that when testing identifies a safety 
concern associated with a vehicle, the following symbol
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP30JA06.001

be placed in the appropriate rating category positioned as a 
superscript to the right of the star rating, as well as the text 
``Safety Concern: Visit https://www.safercar.gov.''
    Finally, NHTSA is proposing that the text ``Source: National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)'' appear as the last line 
in the general area.

[[Page 4858]]

NHTSA believes that placing this statement at the bottom of the general 
area would give consumers the added confidence that manufacturers are 
not supplying the ratings and that the ratings are from a government 
agency.
Footer Area
    A footer area would help consumers identify the agency's Web site 
where additional NHTSA safety information can be found. The agency is 
proposing that the heading read ``VISIT www.safercar.gov'' and that the 
footer area be printed with a dark background that easily contrasts 
with white lettering. This also would fulfill the mandate from Congress 
that the label contain reference to https://www.safercar.gov and 
additional vehicle safety resources, as the Web site provides other 
safety information.

E. Notification

    In June of each year, NHTSA collects vehicle information from 
vehicle manufacturers to help the agency identify new vehicle models 
and redesigns, as well as which vehicles are carry-over models.\9\ Once 
the agency performs its analysis of the information provided, the 
carry-over models, new models not being tested, and new models to be 
tested are then posted to the agency's Web site https://
www.safercar.gov.\10\ The agency also sends a letter to each 
manufacturer indicating which models are selected for NCAP testing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Carry-over models are vehicles that have been tested under 
the NCAP in previous years, and whose design has not changed, 
therefore retaining the previous safety rating.
    \10\ Through carry-over and new testing, NCAP provides ratings 
for about 80 percent of the vehicle fleet each year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency plans to maintain this current process. However, in 
addition to the letter sent to manufacturers indicating which models 
have been selected for testing, the agency now plans to send a separate 
letter to officially inform each manufacturer which models the agency 
has determined to be a carry-over and their NCAP star rating(s). NHTSA 
plans to provide these letters to the manufacturers as soon as a 
determination is made regarding the status of vehicles (carryover or 
non-carryover) to ensure that the manufacturers can place NCAP star 
ratings on these models as soon as they begin the new year of 
production.
    For newly tested vehicles, the agency will maintain its current 
quality control process and posting of results to the Web site. Once 
NHTSA has completed the quality control process, the agency plans to 
send a letter to the manufacturer of the tested vehicle, informing them 
of the rating that has been given to the vehicle. This letter will also 
inform the manufacturer the agency's determination as to which trim 
lines and corporate twins the ratings will be applied.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ This determination will be based on the information 
submitted to the agency as part of its annual collection of 
information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. Timing

    In order for this labeling program to be effective and to provide 
timely NCAP information to consumers, vehicles should have their 
ratings displayed as soon as possible. Therefore, the agency is 
proposing to require vehicle manufacturers to place the NCAP ratings on 
the Monroney label of new vehicles manufactured 30 days or more after 
receipt of NHTSA notification of the test results. The agency believes 
that this is a reasonable time frame since the Monroney label will 
already have a section for the NCAP star rating (whether or not the 
vehicle has been rated). The only change that would need to be made on 
the label is placing the number of stars and safety concern (if 
applicable) that the vehicle received in the appropriate section. 
Consequently, the agency has tentatively concluded that 30 days after 
receipt of NHTSA notification is a sufficient amount of time for the 
manufacturer to begin labeling new vehicles, but requests specific 
comment on this issue.
    NHTSA is not proposing to require manufacturers to reprint Monroney 
labels for vehicles that were produced prior to agency notification; 
the vehicles that are required to have the NCAP star rating will be 
determined by the vehicle manufacturing date. NHTSA has tentatively 
determined that the cost and burden on manufacturers of such a 
requirement would have little benefit in a large number of cases. This 
is especially true since some vehicles would have already been sold. 
However, under our proposal, we would allow manufacturers to 
voluntarily re-label vehicles, should they choose, by replacing the 
entire Monroney label (not just the section with the NCAP information).
    Despite providing information on a significant portion of vehicles 
in the U.S. fleet, the agency does not rate every single vehicle nor is 
it able to retest vehicles that have undergone a significant safety 
improvement during the model year. Therefore, in 1987, the agency 
published a notice establishing an optional test program.\12\ The 
optional program serves to provide consumers with up-to-date safety 
information on new vehicles that have undergone a mid-model year 
production change, models with optional safety equipment that the 
agency had not selected for testing, or a make and model not selected 
for testing by the agency. The optional NCAP operates according to the 
same guidelines and procedures as the regular NCAP. To qualify for the 
optional NCAP, the manufacturer must submit evidence that a significant 
safety change has been made, and then the optional test must be 
approved by NHTSA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Initial criteria published on August 21, 1987 (52 FR 
31691), and then revised on February 5, 1988 (53 FR 3479).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Every year, a number of tests are conducted under this program, 
with many being mid-model year safety changes. For those vehicles that 
fall into this category, and whose ratings may no longer be accurate 
(because the production change has occurred prior to NHTSA granting the 
request), the agency is proposing that when the agency grants an 
optional NCAP request, a manufacturer may immediately begin to label 
those changed vehicles as ``Not Rated.'' Upon completion of the 
optional NCAP quality control, the manufacturer would be notified of 
the results and then be required to display the ratings on the Monroney 
Label.

III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    NHTSA has considered the impact of this 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 ``non-significant'' under the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. The agency 
concludes that if this rule were made final, the impacts of the 
amendments would be so minimal that preparation of a full regulatory 
evaluation is not required.
    This NPRM proposes a regulation to implement a statutory 
requirement for manufacturers to add NCAP rating information to the 
existing Monroney label. We have considered and concluded that the one-
time design cost, the cost of redesign to replace ``Not Rated'' with 
stars each time a vehicle is rated, and the increase in cost of adding 
the NCAP safety information to the existing Monroney label all to be 
minor.

[[Page 4859]]

No other NCAP procedures would be modified as a result of this 
rulemaking.
    We estimate that the cost of a label about this size would be $0.08 
to $0.14 per vehicle (in 2004 dollars). This assumes that the size of 
the Monroney label is made larger to include this information. If the 
label is kept the same size and this information is just added to the 
label, the cost would be about $0.01 per vehicle. In either case, the 
costs are considered minimal.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make 
available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that 
describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). 
The Small Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR part 121 
define a small business, in part, as a business entity ``which operates 
primarily within the United States.'' (13 CFR 121.105(a)). No 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency 
certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of 
the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    NHTSA has considered the effects of this proposed rule under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. There are four small motor vehicle 
manufacturers in the United States building vehicles that would be 
affected by this rule. I certify that this proposed rule would not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The rationale for this certification is that we do not 
believe that this proposal adds a significant economic cost (estimated 
to be less than $0.15 per vehicle) to a motor vehicle.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) 
(PRA), a person is not required to respond to a collection of 
information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid 
OMB control number. For the following reasons, NHTSA concludes that if 
made final, this rulemaking would not impose any new collection of 
information requirements for which a 5 CFR part 1320 clearance must be 
obtained. As earlier described, this rule, if made final, would require 
vehicle manufacturers to include on Monroney labels, the safety rating 
information published by NCAP. This NPRM proposes how NHTSA will 
describe the appearance of the label, and specify to the manufacturers, 
in both individual letters to the manufacturers and on NHTSA's NCAP Web 
site (https://www.safercar.gov) the information specific to a particular 
motor vehicle model and make that the vehicle manufacturer must put on 
the Monroney label.
    Because, if this rule is made final, NHTSA will specify the format 
of the label, and the information each manufacturer must include on the 
Monroney label, this ``collection of information'' falls within the 
exception described in 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2) which states in part: ``The 
public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal 
government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public 
is not included within this definition.''
    NCAP ratings are created by NHTSA. This rule, if made final, would 
require vehicle manufacturers to take NHTSA's NCAP ratings (which NHTSA 
will supply to each manufacturer) and report them on Monroney labels, 
thus disclosing them to potential customers (i.e., the public). For 
this reason, this proposed rule, if made final, would impose a 
``collection of information'' requirement for which 5 CFR part 1320 
approval need not be obtained.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this proposed rule for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act and has determined that if made 
final, the rule 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 a process to ensure 
``meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' 
``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 compliance 
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, the agency consults with 
State and local governments, or the agency consults with State and 
local officials early in the process of developing the proposed 
regulation. NHTSA also may 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 proposed rule in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 and has 
determined that it does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation 
of a federalism summary impact statement. If made final, this rule will 
have no substantial effects on the States, on the current Federal-State 
relationship, or on the current distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various local officials.

F. Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule will not have any retroactive effect. Parties 
are not required to exhaust administrative remedies before filing 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 agency searched for, but did not find any 
voluntary consensus standards relevant to this proposed rule.

H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This proposed rule will not impose any unfunded mandates under the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. This rule will not result in 
costs of $100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. Thus, this 
rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the 
UMRA.

[[Page 4860]]

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 include them 
in your comments on this NPRM.

J. Privacy Act Statement

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments or 
petitions 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 https://dms.dot.gov.

IV. Public Comment

    Comments are sought on the proposed requirements discussed herein 
and not on the usefulness of such a labeling requirement. To facilitate 
analysis of the comments, it is requested that responses be organized 
by the requirements listed above. Suggestions for additional 
requirements are also sought. NHTSA will consider all comments and 
suggestions in deciding what changes, if any, should be made to the 
label. Given the timeframe, NHTSA would request that other suggestions 
include any available data and supporting rationale, and research 
needed to implement them to assist the agency in evaluating their 
merit.

How Do I Prepare and Submit Comments?

    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your 
comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket 
number of this document in your comments.
    Your comments must be no longer than 15 pages long (49 CFR 553.21). 
We establish this limit to encourage the preparation of comments in a 
concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary additional documents 
to your comments. There is no limit to the length of the attachments.
    Please submit two copies of your comments, including the 
attachments, to Docket Management at the address given at the beginning 
of this document under ADDRESSES.

How Can I Be Sure That My Comments Were Received?

    If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of 
your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the 
envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket 
Management will return the postcard by mail.

How Do I Submit Confidential Business Information?

    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete 
submission, including the information you claim to be confidential 
business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. This submission must include the 
information that you are claiming to be private; that is, confidential 
business information. In addition, you should submit two copies, from 
which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information, 
to Docket Management at the address given above under ADDRESSES. When 
you send a comment containing information claimed to be confidential 
business information, you should include a cover letter setting forth 
the information specified in our confidential business information 
regulation (49 CFR part 512).

Will the Agency Consider Late Comments?

    We will consider all comments that are received by Docket 
Management before the close of business on the comment closing date 
indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also 
consider comments that Docket Management receives after that date. If 
Docket Management receives a comment too late for us to consider in 
developing a proposal concerning this label, we will consider that 
comment as an informal suggestion for future rulemaking action.

How Can I Read Comments Submitted by Other People?

    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 
https://dms.dot.gov.
    You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the 
address given above under ADDRESSES. The hours of the Docket are 
indicated above in the same location.
    You may also review the comments on the Internet. To access the 
comments on the Internet, take the following steps:
    1. Go to the Docket Management System (DMS) Web page of the 
Department of Transportation (https://dms.dot.gov/).
    2. On that page, click on ``Search.''
    3. On the next page (https://dms.dot.gov/search/), type in the four-
digit docket number shown at the beginning of this document. Example: 
If the docket number were ``NHTSA-1998-1234,'' you would type ``1234.'' 
After typing the docket number, click on ``Search.''
    4. On the next page, which contains docket summary information for 
the docket you selected, click on the desired comments. You can 
download the comments.
    Please note that even after the comment closing date we will 
continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes 
available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, 
we recommend that you periodically check the Docket for new material.

V. Proposed Regulatory Text

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 575

    Consumer protection, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Tires.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR part 575 would be amended 
to read as follows:

PART 575--CONSUMER INFORMATION

    1. The authority citation for part 575 would be revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 32302, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30166, and 
30168, P.L. 104-414, 114 Stat. 1800, P.L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, 15 
U.S.C. 1232(g); delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

    2. The heading for subpart A would be revised to read as follows:

[[Page 4861]]

Subpart A--Regulations Issued Under Section 112(d) of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act; General

    3. Subpart D would be added to read as follows:

Subpart D--Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU); Consumer Information


Sec.  575.301  Vehicle Labeling of Safety Rating Information.

    (a) Purpose and Scope. The purpose of this section is to aid 
potential purchasers in the selection of new passenger motor vehicles 
by providing them with safety rating information developed by NHTSA in 
its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing. Manufacturers of 
passenger motor vehicles described in paragraph (b) of this section are 
required to include this information on the Monroney label. Although 
NHTSA also makes the information available through means such as 
postings at https://www.safercar.gov and https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov, the 
additional Monroney label information is intended to provide consumers 
with relevant information at the point of sale.
    (b) Application. This section applies to passenger cars, 
multipurpose passenger vehicles (sport utility vehicles and vans), and 
buses with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less manufactured on or after 
September 1, 2007.
    (c) Definitions.
    The terms bus, multipurpose passenger vehicle and passenger car 
have the meanings assigned to them in 49 CFR part 571.3.
    Monroney label means the label placed on new automobiles with the 
manufacturer's suggested retail price and other consumer information, 
as specified at 15 U.S.C. sections 1231-1233.
    Safety rating label means the label with NCAP safety rating 
information, as specified at 15 U.S.C. section 1232(g). The safety 
rating label is part of the Monroney label.
    (d) Required Label. (1) Each vehicle to which this section applies 
must have a safety rating label as part of the Monroney label, which 
meets the requirements specified in paragraph (e) of this section and 
which conforms in format and sequence to the sample label depicted in 
Figure 1 of this section.
    (2) The label must depict the star ratings for that vehicle as 
reported to the vehicle manufacturer by NHTSA.
    (3) For vehicle tests for which NHTSA reports a safety concern as 
part of the star rating, the label must depict the related symbol 
depicted in Figure 3 of this section and the wording ``Safety Concern: 
Visit https://www.safercar.gov for more details.''
    (4) Whenever NHTSA reports a new safety rating to a manufacturer, 
including any safety concerns, the manufacturer must include the new 
information on vehicles manufactured on or after the date 30 days after 
receipt by the manufacturer of the information.
    (5) If the agency grants a request for an optional NCAP test, the 
manufacturer may depict the vehicle as untested for that particular 
test.
    (6) The text ``Frontal Crash,'' ``Side Crash,'' ``Rollover,'' 
``Driver,'' ``Passenger'', ``Front Seat'', ``Rear Seat'' and ``Not 
Rated,'' where applicable, the star graphic indicating each rating, as 
well as any text in the header and footer areas of the label must have 
a minimum font size of 12 point. All remaining text or symbols on the 
label including the star graphic specified in paragraph (d)(8)(ii) of 
this section, must have a minimum font size of 8 point.
    (e) Required information and format. (1) Label Border. The label 
must be surrounded by a solid dark line that is a minimum of 3 points 
in width.
    (2) Label Size and legibility. The label must be presented in a 
legible, visible, and prominent fashion that covers at least 8 percent 
of the total area of the Monroney label or must cover an area with a 
minimum of 4\1/2\ inches in length and 3\1/2\ inches in height on the 
Monroney label.
    (3) Heading Area. The text must read ``Government Safety Ratings'' 
in boldface, capital letters that are in a font that easily contrasts 
with a dark background, and be centered over the entire top length of 
the label.
    (4) Frontal Crash Area. (i) The frontal crash area must be placed 
below the heading area, and must be of a dark text against a light 
background. Both the driver and the right front passenger frontal crash 
test ratings must be displayed with the maximum star ratings achieved.
    (ii) The text ``Frontal Crash'' must be in boldface, cover two 
lines, and must be aligned along the left side of the label.
    (iii) The text ``Driver'' must be on the same line as the text 
``Frontal Crash'' and must be aligned in the center of the label. The 
achieved star rating for ``Driver'' must be on the same line, aligned 
to the right of the label.
    (iv) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for the ``Driver'' 
position, the text ``Not Rated'' must be used in boldface.
    (v) The text ``Passenger'' must be on the same line as the text 
``Frontal Crash'', below the text ``Driver'', and aligned in the center 
of the label. The achieved star rating for ``Passenger'' must be on the 
same line, aligned to the right of the label.
    (vi) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for ``Passenger'', 
the text ``Not Rated'' in boldface must be used.
    (vii) The text: ``Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a 
frontal impact'' must be placed at the bottom of the frontal crash 
area.
    (viii) ``Frontal ratings should ONLY be compared to other vehicles 
of similar size and weight.''
    (5) Side Crash Area. (i) The side crash area must be below the 
frontal crash area, separated by a dark line that is a minimum of three 
points in width. The text must be dark against a light background. Both 
the driver and the rear seat passenger side crash test rating must be 
displayed with the maximum star rating achieved.
    (ii) The text ``Side Crash'' must cover two lines, and be aligned 
along the left side of the label in boldface.
    (iii) The text ``Front Seat'' must be on the same line as the text 
``Side Crash'' and be aligned in the center of the label. The achieved 
star rating for ``Front Seat'' must be on the same line and aligned to 
the right of the label.
    (iv) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for ``Front Seat'', 
the text ``Not Rated'' in boldface must be used.
    (v) The text ``Rear Seat'' must be on the same line as the text 
``Side Crash'', below the text ``Front Seat'', and aligned in the 
center of the label. The achieved star rating for ``Rear Seat'' must be 
on the same line, aligned to the right of the label.
    (vi) If NHTSA has not released the star rating for ``Rear Seat'', 
the text ``Not Rated'' in boldface must be used.
    (vii) The text: ``Star ratings based on the risk of injury in a 
side impact'' must be placed at the bottom of the side crash area.
    (6) Rollover Area. (i) The rollover area must be below the side 
crash area, separated by a dark line that is a minimum of three points 
in width. The text must be dark against a light background. The 
rollover test rating must be displayed with the maximum star rating 
achieved.
    (ii) The text ``Rollover'' must be aligned along the left side of 
the label in boldface. The achieved star rating must be on the same 
line, aligned to the right of the label.
    (iii) If NHTSA has not tested the vehicle, the text ``Not Rated'' 
in boldface must be used.
    (iv) The text: ``Star ratings based on the risk of rollover in a 
single vehicle

[[Page 4862]]

crash'' must be placed at the bottom of the rollover area.
    (7) Graphics. The star graphic is depicted in Figure 2 of this 
section and the safety concern graphic is depicted in Figure 3 of this 
section.
    (8) General Information. (i) This information must be below the 
rollover area, separated by a black line that is a minimum of three 
points in width. The text must be dark against a light background. The 
text must state the following, in the specified order:
    (ii) ``Star ratings range from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the 
highest.''
    (iii) ``If there is a safety concern, provide the graphic in Figure 
3 followed by the words ``Visit www.safercar.gov for more details''.
    (iv) ``Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(NHTSA)''.
    (9) Footer Area. (i) The footer area must be below the rollover 
area, separated by a black line that is a minimum of three points in 
width.
    (ii) The footer area must be printed in a dark color that contrasts 
with the background of the label.
    (iii) The footer area must contain the text: ``VISIT 
www.safercar.gov'' in boldface letters that are in white font.
    (iv) The footer area must be centered over the entire bottom length 
of the label.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP30JA06.002


[[Page 4863]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP30JA06.003


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

Appendix A--Relevant Statutory Language (For Explanatory Purposes--Not 
Part of the Proposed Regulatory Text)

    On August 10, 2005, the President of the United States signed 
H.R. 3 into law (SAFETEA-LU) which requires the Secretary of 
Transportation to issue regulations to ensure that the section's 
labeling requirements, which amend section 3 of the Automobile 
Information Disclosure (AID) Act (15 U.S.C. 1232), are implemented 
by September 1, 2007. These labeling requirements concern the safety 
rating information published by NHTSA's NCAP. Section 10307 reads as 
follows:

``AMENDMENT OF AUTOMOBILE INFORMATION DISCLOSURE ACT.

    (a) Safety Labeling Requirement--Section 3 of the Automobile 
Information Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1232) is amended--
    (1) by striking ``and'' after the semicolon in subsection (e);
    (2) by inserting ``and'' after the semicolon in subsection 
(f)(3);
    (3) by striking ``(3).'' in subsection (f)(4) and inserting 
``(3);''; and
    (4) by adding at the end the following:
    (g) if one or more safety ratings for such automobile have been 
assigned and formally published or released by the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration under the New Car Assessment Program, 
information about safety ratings that--
    (1) includes a graphic depiction of the number of stars, or 
other applicable rating, that corresponds to each such assigned 
safety rating displayed in a clearly differentiated fashion 
indicating the maximum possible safety rating;
    (2) refers to frontal impact crash tests, side impact crash 
tests, and rollover resistance tests (whether or not such automobile 
has been assigned a safety rating for such tests);
    (3) contains information describing the nature and meaning of 
the crash test data presented and a reference to additional vehicle 
safety resources, including https://www.safecar.gov; and
    (4) is presented in a legible, visible, and prominent fashion 
and covers at least--
    (A) 8 percent of the total area of the label; or
    (B) an area with a minimum length of 4\1/2\ inches and a minimum 
height of 3\1/2\ inches; and
    (h) if an automobile has not been tested by the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration under the New Car Assessment Program, 
or safety ratings for such automobile have not been assigned in one 
or more rating categories, a statement to that effect.
    (b) Regulations--The Secretary of Transportation shall issue 
regulations to ensure that the labeling requirements under 
subsections (g) and (h) of section 3 of the Automobile Information 
Disclosure Act, as added by subsection (a), are implemented by 
September 1, 2007.''

Appendix B--Background Information About NCAP (For Explanatory 
Purposes, Not Part of the Proposed Regulatory Text)

    Both the frontal and side NCAP test programs are based on FMVSS 
No. 208 and No. 214 respectively. For FMVSS No. 208 the weight limit 
is a GVWR of 8,500 lbs. and for FMVSS No. 214 that weight limit is a 
GVWR of 6,000 lbs. Additionally, these standards apply to passenger 
vehicles, sport utility vehicles (SUV's), vans, and pickups. For 
rollover, there is no associated FMVSS and the agency established in 
its final decision notice establishing the program, that it has the 
ability to test vehicles with a GVWR of up to 10,000 lbs.
    Many vehicle manufacturers offer optional equipment, like side 
air bags and electronic stability control, on their vehicles that 
could affect the vehicles' test results. Similarly, the agency 
recognizes that many vehicles come in two-door or four-door 
versions, and/or 4x4 or 4x2 version. Pickup trucks are also often 
available in regular cab, extended cab, and four-door cab versions. 
To alleviate test burden, the agency tests 4x2 pickup trucks and 4x4 
sport utility vehicles in the frontal and side NCAP tests. These 
ratings are then applicable to all versions of 4x4 pickup trucks and 
4x2 sport utility vehicles respectively. For rollover, both 4x4 and 
4x2 pickups and sport utility vehicles are tested due to the 
differences in performance in rollover NCAP. Under most 
circumstances, only extended cab pickup trucks are tested. The 
resulting ratings are applied to regular cab and four-door pickup 
trucks as well.
    Manufacturers will always have an opportunity to provide data 
showing that the 4x2/4x4, or the regular cab/extended cab models 
perform differently. Optional tests on these vehicles will then be 
available to the manufacturers who wish to perform them. For both 
the crash and rollover programs, the agency will consider 2- and 4-
door models to be separate vehicles unless the manufacturer provides 
data showing that the two perform the same.


[[Page 4864]]


    Issued on: January 24, 2006.
Stephen R. Kratzke,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.

[FR Doc. 06-827 Filed 1-27-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P