Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Occupant Crash Protection, 51129-51132 [E6-14256]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 29, 2006 / Rules and Regulations ‘‘06’’ is the year of requalification, and ‘‘X’’ represents the symbols described in paragraphs (f)(2) through (f)(9) of this section. * * * * * (f) * * * (9) For designation of the eddy current examination combined with a visual inspection, the marking is as illustrated in paragraph (d) of this section, except the ‘‘X’’ is replaced with the letters ‘‘VE.’’ I 8. In part 180, Appendix C is added to read as follows: cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Appendix C to Part 180—Eddy Current Examination With Visual Inspection for DOT 3AL Cylinders Manufactured of Aluminum Alloy 6351–T6 1. Examination Procedure. Each facility performing eddy current examination with visual inspection must develop, update, and maintain a written examination procedure applicable to the test equipment it uses to perform eddy current examinations. 2. Visual examinations. Visual examinations of the neck and shoulder area of the cylinder must be conducted in accordance with CGA pamphlet C–6.1 (IBR; see § 171.7 of this subchapter). 3. Eddy Current Equipment. A reference ring and probe for each DOT–3AL cylinder manufactured of aluminum alloy 6351–T6 to be inspected must be available at the examination facility. Eddy current equipment must be capable of accurately detecting the notches on the standard reference ring. 4. Eddy Current Reference Ring. The reference ring must be produced to represent each cylinder to be tested. The reference ring must include artificial notches to simulate a neck crack. The size of the artificial notch (depth and length) must have a depth less than or equal to 1⁄3 of the wall thickness of the neck and a length greater than or equal to two threads. The standard reference must have a drawing that includes the diameter of the ring, and depth and length of each notch. 5. Condemnation Criteria. A cylinder must be condemned if the eddy current examination combined with visual examination reveals any crack in the neck or shoulder of 2 thread lengths or more. 6. Examination equipment records. Records of eddy current inspection equipment shall contain the following information: (i) Equipment manufacturer, model number and serial number. (ii) Probe description and unique identification (e.g., serial number, part number, etc.). 7. Eddy current examination reporting and record retention requirements. Daily records of eddy current examinations must be maintained by the person who performs the requalification until either the expiration of the requalification period or until the cylinder is again requalified, whichever occurs first. These records shall be made available for inspection by a representative of the Department on request. Eddy current examination records shall contain the following information: VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:37 Aug 28, 2006 Jkt 208001 (i) Specification of each standard reference ring used to perform the eddy current examination. (ii) DOT specification or exemption number of the cylinder; manufacturer’s name or symbol; owner’s name or symbol, if present; serial number; and, date of manufacture. (iii) Name of test operator performing the eddy current examination. (iv) Date of eddy current examination. (vi) Acceptance/condemnation results (e.g. pass or fail). (vii) Retester identification number. 8. Personnel Qualification Requirements. Each person who performs eddy current and visual examinations, and evaluates and certifies retest results must be certified by the employer that he/she has been properly trained and tested in the eddy current and visual examination procedures. 9. Training Records. A record of current training must be maintained for each employee who performs eddy current and visual examinations in accordance with § 172.704(d). Issued in Washington, DC, on August 22, 2006, under authority delegated in 49 CFR part 1. Thomas J. Barrett, Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–14255 Filed 8–28–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P 51129 (NPRM) published May 19, 2005, NHTSA proposed the needed installation procedures and proposed an effective date for the final rule following the NPRM. The agency anticipated in the NPRM that a final rule would be issued by September 1, 2006, that provided sufficient leadtime for vehicles to meet the suppression requirements with LATCH-equipped child restraints. Because we have not completed our response to the comments to the NPRM, this final rule delays, for one year, the compliance date of the requirement for vehicles to meet the air bag suppression requirement with LATCH-equipped child restraints. This delay allows us additional time to publish our final action on the rulemaking. The amendments made by this final rule are effective September 1, 2006. The compliance date for the requirement for vehicles to meet the air bag suppression requirements with LATCH-equipped child restraints is delayed until September 1, 2007. Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must be received not later than October 13, 2006. DATES: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must refer to the docket and notice number set forth above and be submitted to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, with a copy to Docket Management, Room PL– 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. 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 Rulemaking Analyses and Notices. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, go to https://dms.dot.gov, or to 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. ADDRESSES: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA–2005–21244] RIN 2127–AJ59 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Occupant Crash Protection National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; delay of compliance date. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Under the current version of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, vehicles that are manufactured on or after September 1, 2006, are certified to the suppression requirements and have a child restraint anchorage system, commonly referred to as a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children or ‘‘LATCH’’ system, in the right front passenger seating position must suppress the air bag for that position when a child restraint is installed at that position with the LATCH system. However, the standard does not yet specify detailed procedures for installing that type of child restraint in order to conduct the suppression test. In a notice of proposed rulemaking PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carla Cuentas, Office of Crashworthiness Standards, Light Duty Vehicle Division (telephone 202–366– 1740, fax 202–493–2739); or Deirdre Fujita, Office of Chief Counsel (telephone 202–366–2992, fax 202–366– 3820). Both of these officials can be reached at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\29AUR1.SGM 29AUR1 51130 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 29, 2006 / Rules and Regulations I. Background Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, ‘‘Occupant crash protection’’ (49 CFR 571.208), requires passenger vehicles to be equipped with safety belts and frontal air bags for the protection of vehicle occupants in crashes. On May 12, 2000, NHTSA published a final rule to require that air bags be designed to provide improved frontal crash protection for all occupants, by means that include advanced air bag technology (‘‘Advanced Air Bag Rule,’’ 65 FR 30680, Docket No. NHTSA 00–7013). Under the Advanced Air Bag Rule, manufacturers are provided several compliance options in order to minimize the risk to infants and small children from deploying air bags, including an option to suppress an air bag in the presence of a child restraint system (CRS). Manufacturers choosing to rely on an air bag suppression system to minimize the risk to children in a CRS must ensure that the vehicle complies with the suppression requirements when tested with the CRSs specified in Appendix A of the standard (see S19, S21 and S23 of FMVSS No. 208). On November 19, 2003, NHTSA revised Appendix A by adding two CRSs that are equipped with components that attach to a vehicle’s LATCH 1 system (68 FR 65179, Docket No. NHTSA 03– 16476). On August 20, 2004, the agency responded to a request for additional leadtime by extending the compliance date (from September 1, 2004 to September 1, 2006). Thus, under that final rule, vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2006, and certified as meeting the suppression requirements must meet the requirements when tested with the LATCH-equipped CRSs installed on a LATCH system (69 FR 51598; Docket No. NHTSA 2004– 18905). The NPRM cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES FMVSS No. 208 currently does not provide a specific procedure for installing a LATCH-equipped CRS in a 1 ‘‘LATCH’’ stands for ‘‘Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children,’’ a term that was developed by child restraint manufacturers and retailers to refer to the standardized child restraint anchorage system that vehicle manufacturers must install in vehicles pursuant to FMVSS No. 225 Child Restraint Anchorage Systems (49 CFR 571.225). The Latch system is comprised of two lower anchorages and one tether anchorage. Each lower anchorage is a rigid round rod or bar onto which the connector of a child restraint system can be attached. FMVSS No. 225 does not permit vehicle manufacturers to install LATCH systems in front designated seating positions unless the vehicle has an air bag on-off switch meeting the requirements of S4.5.4 of FMVSS No. 208. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:37 Aug 28, 2006 Jkt 208001 vehicle in order to conduct air bag suppression testing. To address this, NHTSA published an NPRM on May 19, 2005, proposing a specific procedure for installing LATCH-equipped CRSs (70 FR 28878, Docket 21244; extension of comment period, July 13, 2005, 70 FR 40280). The agency believed that the procedure, which was based on how CRSs are installed in the real world, would provide for repeatable and reproducible installation of the child restraints (70 FR 28878; Docket 21244). II. Extension of Compliance Date The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (the Alliance) submitted several comments on the NPRM. General Motors, a member of the Alliance, also commented separately. These commenters expressed concerns that aspects of the proposed test procedure allowed for ‘‘too much variability to be a suitable test procedure’’ (Alliance comment, August 17, 2005), and recommended a number of modifications to improve the procedure. Because we have not completed our response to the comments to the NPRM, and due to the closeness of the September 1, 2006 compliance date, this final rule delays, for one year, the effective date of the requirement that vehicles manufactured certify that their vehicles comply with the suppression requirements when tested with the LATCH-equipped CRSs. This delay allows us additional time to take final action on the proposal. As to whether additional lead time beyond that provided by the September 1, 2007 date is needed to allow for manufacturer implementation of the test procedures, that issue will be addressed by the final rule completing this rulemaking action (RIN 2127–AJ59). We find good cause for making this rule delaying the current September 1, 2006 compliance date effective in less than 30 days, i.e., September 1, 2006. For reasons discussed in our proposal, we tentatively concluded that certain amendments should be made that would provide needed guidance to manufacturers, and also that the compliance date of the relevant requirements should be delayed. If the September 1, 2006 compliance date were not changed, the absence of any established test procedures would affect the ability of manufacturers to certify compliance with those requirements. PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures This rulemaking document was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866. It is not considered to be significant under E.O. 12866 or the Department’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979). This document delays the date on which a requirement that certain vehicles meet the air bag suppression requirements with LATCHequipped CRSs is to become effective. Since the delay maintains the status quo, manufacturers will incur no costs as a result of this document The impacts of today’s amendment are so minimal so as not to warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 60l et seq., NHTSA has evaluated the effects of this action on small entities. I hereby certify that this final rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The delay of the effective date preserves the status quo and will not affect the responsibilities of small entities. C. Executive Order No. 13132 NHTSA has analyzed this final rule in accordance with the principles and criteria set forth in Executive Order 13132, Federalism, and has determined that this rule does not have sufficient Federal implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. The rule will not have any substantial impact on the States, or on the current Federal-State relationship, or on the current distribution of power and responsibilities among the various local officials. However, under 49 U.S.C. 30103, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in effect, a State may not adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable to the same aspect of performance which is not identical to the Federal standard, except to the extent that the state requirement imposes a higher level of performance and applies only to vehicles procured for the State’s use. D. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has analyzed this rule for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that implementation of this action would not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment. E:\FR\FM\29AUR1.SGM 29AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 29, 2006 / Rules and Regulations E. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the new procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. This final rule does not establish any new information collection requirements. rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This final rule will not result in expenditures by State, local or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector in excess of $100 million annually. F. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) (Public Law 104–113), ‘‘all Federal agencies and departments shall use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and departments.’’ There are no voluntary consensus standards affecting this final rule. I. Executive Order 13045 Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be ‘‘economically significant’’ as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental, health, or safety risk that NHTSA has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. This final rule is not subject to the Executive Order because it is not economically significant as defined in E.O. 12866. G. Civil Justice Reform This final rule will not have any retroactive effect. As noted above in the discussion of Executive Order No. 13132, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in effect, a State may not adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable to the same aspect of performance which is not identical to the Federal standard, except to the extent that the state requirement imposes a higher level of performance and applies only to vehicles procured for the State’s use. 49 U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for judicial review of final rules establishing, amending or revoking Federal motor vehicle safety standards. That section does not require submission of a petition for reconsideration or other administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court. H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits and other effects of proposed or final J. Executive Order 13211 Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 18, 2001) applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, and is likely to have a significantly adverse effect on the supply of, distribution of, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. This final rule is not subject to E.O. 13211. K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. L. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 51131 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. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571 Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tires. In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends chapter V of title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations by amending 49 CFR part 571 as follows: I PART 571—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 571 of Title 49 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117 and 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 2. Section 571.208 is amended by revising section C of Appendix A, to read as follows: I § 571.208 Standard No. 208; Occupant crash protection. * * * * * Appendix A to § 571.208—Selection of Child Restraint Systems * * * * * C. Any of the following forward facing toddler and forward-facing convertible child restraint systems, manufactured on or after December 1, 1999, may be used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to test the suppression system of a vehicle that is manufactured on or after the effective date and prior to the termination date specified in the table below and that has been certified as being in compliance with 49 CFR 571.208 S19, or S21. (Note: Any child restraint listed in this subpart that is not recommended for use in a rear-facing position by its manufacturer is excluded from use in S20.2.1.4): Effective and termination dates cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES January 17, 2002 Britax Roundabout 161 .................................................................................................. Britax Expressway ......................................................................................................... Century Encore 4612 ..................................................................................................... Century STE 1000 4416 ................................................................................................ Cosco Olymp ian 02803 ................................................................................................ Cosco Touriva 02519 .................................................................................................... Evenflo Horizon V 425 ................................................................................................... Evenflo Medallion 254 ................................................................................................... Safety 1st Comfort Ride 22–400 ................................................................................... VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:37 Aug 28, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Effective .............................. ............................................. Effective .............................. Effective .............................. Effective .............................. Effective .............................. Effective .............................. Effective .............................. ............................................. E:\FR\FM\29AUR1.SGM 29AUR1 September 1, 2007 Remains Effective. Effective. Remains Effective. Remains Effective. Remains Effective. Remains Effective. Remains Effective. Remains Effective. Effective. 51132 * * Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 167 / Tuesday, August 29, 2006 / Rules and Regulations * * * BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA 2006–24497] RIN 2127–AI93 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Occupant Protection in Interior Impact National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; delay of compliance date. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: Our safety standard on occupant protection in interior impact requires, in part, that light vehicles provide head protection when an occupant’s head strikes upper interior components, such as pillars, side rails, headers, and the roof during a crash. While these requirements already apply to most vehicles, the compliance date for altered vehicles and vehicles built in two or more stages is September 1, 2006. In April 2006, we responded to two petitions for rulemaking by proposing certain amendments to the head protection requirements as they apply to these vehicles. We also proposed to delay the compliance date of the requirements for these vehicles until September 1, 2008. Given the short period of time until the current September 1, 2006 compliance date, and as a partial step toward completing action on the April 2006 proposal, we are, by this final rule, delaying the compliance date for one year. This will give us time to fully analyze the comments and reach a decision on other aspects of the proposal, including the proposed additional delay in the compliance date. DATES: The amendments made by this final rule are effective September 1, 2006. The compliance date for the head impact protection requirements for altered vehicles and vehicles built in two or more stages is delayed until September 1, 2007. Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must be received not later than October 13, 2006. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:32 Aug 28, 2006 Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must refer to the docket and notice number set forth above and be submitted to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, with a copy to Docket Management, Room PL– 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Note that all documents received will be posted without change to https://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under Rulemaking Analyses and Notices. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, go to https://dms.dot.gov, or to 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The following persons at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590: For technical and policy issues: Lori Summers, Office of Crashworthiness Standards, telephone: (202) 366–4917, facsimile: (202) 366–4329, e-mail: Lori.Summers@dot.gov. For legal issues: Edward Glancy, Office of the Chief Counsel, telephone: (202) 366–2992, facsimile: (202) 366– 3820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 201, Occupant Protection in Interior Impact, requires, in part, that light vehicles provide head protection when an occupant’s head strikes upper interior components, such as pillars, side rails, headers, and the roof during a crash. While these requirements already apply to most vehicles, the compliance date for altered vehicles and vehicles built in two or more stages is September 1, 2006. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) petitioned the agency to exclude permanently certain types of altered vehicles and vehicles manufactured in two or more stages from these requirements. On April 24, 2006, NHTSA published in the Federal Register (71 FR 20932) a document responding to these petitions for rulemaking and proposing certain amendments to the standard. Based on a careful consideration of both the safety benefits of the upper interior protection requirements, and practicability concerns relating to ADDRESSES: Issued: August 22, 2006. Nicole R. Nason, Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–14256 Filed 8–28–06; 8:45 am] Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 vehicles built in two or more stages and certain altered vehicles, we proposed to limit these requirements to only the front seating positions of those vehicles. Further, we tentatively concluded that it is appropriate to exclude a narrow group of multi-stage vehicles delivered to the final stage manufacturer without an occupant compartment because of impracticability concerns. We also proposed to delay the effective date of the head impact protection requirements as they apply to final stage manufacturers and alterers until September 1, 2008. We received two comments on the proposal, from RVIA and NTEA. Both commenters supported delaying the existing compliance date. The two commenters also each raised a number of issues about certain aspects of our proposal, and asked the agency to provide additional relief. Given the short period of time until the current September 1, 2006 compliance date, and as a partial step toward completing action on the April 2006 proposal, we have decided, at this time, to delay the compliance date for one year. This will give us time to fully analyze the comments and reach a decision on other aspects of the proposal, including the proposed additional delay in the compliance date. We find good cause for making this rule delaying the current September 1, 2006 compliance date effective in less than 30 days, i.e., September 1, 2006. For reasons discussed in our April 2006 proposal, we have tentatively concluded that certain amendments should be made that would provide relief to final stage manufacturers and alterers, and also that the compliance date of the relevant requirements should be delayed. If the September 1, 2006 compliance date were not changed, it is likely that some final stage manufacturers and alterers would need to immediately stop producing or altering some of the specialty vehicles they provide. Regulatory Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and to the requirements of the Executive Order. The Order defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: E:\FR\FM\29AUR1.SGM 29AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 167 (Tuesday, August 29, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51129-51132]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-14256]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2005-21244]
RIN 2127-AJ59


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Occupant Crash Protection

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

ACTION: Final rule; delay of compliance date.

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SUMMARY: Under the current version of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, vehicles that are manufactured on or after 
September 1, 2006, are certified to the suppression requirements and 
have a child restraint anchorage system, commonly referred to as a 
Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children or ``LATCH'' system, in the 
right front passenger seating position must suppress the air bag for 
that position when a child restraint is installed at that position with 
the LATCH system. However, the standard does not yet specify detailed 
procedures for installing that type of child restraint in order to 
conduct the suppression test. In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
published May 19, 2005, NHTSA proposed the needed installation 
procedures and proposed an effective date for the final rule following 
the NPRM. The agency anticipated in the NPRM that a final rule would be 
issued by September 1, 2006, that provided sufficient leadtime for 
vehicles to meet the suppression requirements with LATCH-equipped child 
restraints.
    Because we have not completed our response to the comments to the 
NPRM, this final rule delays, for one year, the compliance date of the 
requirement for vehicles to meet the air bag suppression requirement 
with LATCH-equipped child restraints. This delay allows us additional 
time to publish our final action on the rulemaking.

DATES: The amendments made by this final rule are effective September 
1, 2006. The compliance date for the requirement for vehicles to meet 
the air bag suppression requirements with LATCH-equipped child 
restraints is delayed until September 1, 2007.
    Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of 
this final rule must be received not later than October 13, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must refer 
to the docket and notice number set forth above and be submitted to the 
Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, with a copy to Docket 
Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. 
Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:/
/dms.dot.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see 
the Privacy Act heading under Rulemaking Analyses and Notices.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, go 
to https://dms.dot.gov, or to 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carla Cuentas, Office of 
Crashworthiness Standards, Light Duty Vehicle Division (telephone 202-
366-1740, fax 202-493-2739); or Deirdre Fujita, Office of Chief Counsel 
(telephone 202-366-2992, fax 202-366-3820). Both of these officials can 
be reached at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 51130]]

I. Background

    Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, ``Occupant 
crash protection'' (49 CFR 571.208), requires passenger vehicles to be 
equipped with safety belts and frontal air bags for the protection of 
vehicle occupants in crashes. On May 12, 2000, NHTSA published a final 
rule to require that air bags be designed to provide improved frontal 
crash protection for all occupants, by means that include advanced air 
bag technology (``Advanced Air Bag Rule,'' 65 FR 30680, Docket No. 
NHTSA 00-7013). Under the Advanced Air Bag Rule, manufacturers are 
provided several compliance options in order to minimize the risk to 
infants and small children from deploying air bags, including an option 
to suppress an air bag in the presence of a child restraint system 
(CRS).
    Manufacturers choosing to rely on an air bag suppression system to 
minimize the risk to children in a CRS must ensure that the vehicle 
complies with the suppression requirements when tested with the CRSs 
specified in Appendix A of the standard (see S19, S21 and S23 of FMVSS 
No. 208). On November 19, 2003, NHTSA revised Appendix A by adding two 
CRSs that are equipped with components that attach to a vehicle's LATCH 
\1\ system (68 FR 65179, Docket No. NHTSA 03-16476). On August 20, 
2004, the agency responded to a request for additional leadtime by 
extending the compliance date (from September 1, 2004 to September 1, 
2006). Thus, under that final rule, vehicles manufactured on or after 
September 1, 2006, and certified as meeting the suppression 
requirements must meet the requirements when tested with the LATCH-
equipped CRSs installed on a LATCH system (69 FR 51598; Docket No. 
NHTSA 2004-18905).
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    \1\ ``LATCH'' stands for ``Lower Anchors and Tethers for 
Children,'' a term that was developed by child restraint 
manufacturers and retailers to refer to the standardized child 
restraint anchorage system that vehicle manufacturers must install 
in vehicles pursuant to FMVSS No. 225 Child Restraint Anchorage 
Systems (49 CFR 571.225). The Latch system is comprised of two lower 
anchorages and one tether anchorage. Each lower anchorage is a rigid 
round rod or bar onto which the connector of a child restraint 
system can be attached. FMVSS No. 225 does not permit vehicle 
manufacturers to install LATCH systems in front designated seating 
positions unless the vehicle has an air bag on-off switch meeting 
the requirements of S4.5.4 of FMVSS No. 208.
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The NPRM

    FMVSS No. 208 currently does not provide a specific procedure for 
installing a LATCH-equipped CRS in a vehicle in order to conduct air 
bag suppression testing. To address this, NHTSA published an NPRM on 
May 19, 2005, proposing a specific procedure for installing LATCH-
equipped CRSs (70 FR 28878, Docket 21244; extension of comment period, 
July 13, 2005, 70 FR 40280). The agency believed that the procedure, 
which was based on how CRSs are installed in the real world, would 
provide for repeatable and reproducible installation of the child 
restraints (70 FR 28878; Docket 21244).

II. Extension of Compliance Date

    The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (the Alliance) submitted 
several comments on the NPRM. General Motors, a member of the Alliance, 
also commented separately. These commenters expressed concerns that 
aspects of the proposed test procedure allowed for ``too much 
variability to be a suitable test procedure'' (Alliance comment, August 
17, 2005), and recommended a number of modifications to improve the 
procedure.
    Because we have not completed our response to the comments to the 
NPRM, and due to the closeness of the September 1, 2006 compliance 
date, this final rule delays, for one year, the effective date of the 
requirement that vehicles manufactured certify that their vehicles 
comply with the suppression requirements when tested with the LATCH-
equipped CRSs. This delay allows us additional time to take final 
action on the proposal. As to whether additional lead time beyond that 
provided by the September 1, 2007 date is needed to allow for 
manufacturer implementation of the test procedures, that issue will be 
addressed by the final rule completing this rulemaking action (RIN 
2127-AJ59).
    We find good cause for making this rule delaying the current 
September 1, 2006 compliance date effective in less than 30 days, i.e., 
September 1, 2006. For reasons discussed in our proposal, we 
tentatively concluded that certain amendments should be made that would 
provide needed guidance to manufacturers, and also that the compliance 
date of the relevant requirements should be delayed. If the September 
1, 2006 compliance date were not changed, the absence of any 
established test procedures would affect the ability of manufacturers 
to certify compliance with those requirements.

III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This rulemaking document was not reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget under E.O. 12866. It is not considered to be 
significant under E.O. 12866 or the Department's Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979). This document delays 
the date on which a requirement that certain vehicles meet the air bag 
suppression requirements with LATCH-equipped CRSs is to become 
effective. Since the delay maintains the status quo, manufacturers will 
incur no costs as a result of this document The impacts of today's 
amendment are so minimal so as not to warrant preparation of a 
regulatory evaluation.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 60l et 
seq., NHTSA has evaluated the effects of this action on small entities. 
I hereby certify that this final rule will not have a significant 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The delay of the 
effective date preserves the status quo and will not affect the 
responsibilities of small entities.

C. Executive Order No. 13132

    NHTSA has analyzed this final rule in accordance with the 
principles and criteria set forth in Executive Order 13132, Federalism, 
and has determined that this rule does not have sufficient Federal 
implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or 
the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. The rule will 
not have any substantial impact on the States, or on the current 
Federal-State relationship, or on the current distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various local officials. However, under 49 
U.S.C. 30103, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in 
effect, a State may not adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable 
to the same aspect of performance which is not identical to the Federal 
standard, except to the extent that the state requirement imposes a 
higher level of performance and applies only to vehicles procured for 
the State's use.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

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

[[Page 51131]]

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the new procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995, a person is not required to respond to a collection of 
information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid 
OMB control number. This final rule does not establish any new 
information collection requirements.

F. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 
(NTTAA) (Public Law 104-113), ``all Federal agencies and departments 
shall use technical standards that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as 
a means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the 
agencies and departments.'' There are no voluntary consensus standards 
affecting this final rule.

G. Civil Justice Reform

    This final rule will not have any retroactive effect. As noted 
above in the discussion of Executive Order No. 13132, whenever a 
Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in effect, a State may not 
adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable to the same aspect of 
performance which is not identical to the Federal standard, except to 
the extent that the state requirement imposes a higher level of 
performance and applies only to vehicles procured for the State's use. 
49 U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for judicial review of final 
rules establishing, amending or revoking Federal motor vehicle safety 
standards. That section does not require submission of a petition for 
reconsideration or other administrative proceedings before parties may 
file suit in court.

H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires agencies to 
prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits and other effects 
of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to 
result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually 
(adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This final rule will 
not result in expenditures by State, local or tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector in excess of $100 million 
annually.

I. Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) applies to any 
rule that: (1) Is determined to be ``economically significant'' as 
defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental, health, or 
safety risk that NHTSA has reason to believe may have a 
disproportionate effect on children. This final rule is not subject to 
the Executive Order because it is not economically significant as 
defined in E.O. 12866.

J. Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 18, 2001) applies to any 
rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined 
under E.O. 12866, and is likely to have a significantly adverse effect 
on the supply of, distribution of, or use of energy; or (2) that is 
designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. This final rule is 
not subject to E.O. 13211.

K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

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

L. Privacy Act

    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.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Tires.

0
In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends chapter V of title 49 
of the Code of Federal Regulations by amending 49 CFR part 571 as 
follows:

PART 571--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 571 of Title 49 continues to read as 
follows:

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


0
2. Section 571.208 is amended by revising section C of Appendix A, to 
read as follows:


Sec.  571.208  Standard No. 208; Occupant crash protection.

* * * * *

Appendix A to Sec.  571.208--Selection of Child Restraint Systems

* * * * *
    C. Any of the following forward facing toddler and forward-
facing convertible child restraint systems, manufactured on or after 
December 1, 1999, may be used by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration to test the suppression system of a vehicle that is 
manufactured on or after the effective date and prior to the 
termination date specified in the table below and that has been 
certified as being in compliance with 49 CFR 571.208 S19, or S21. 
(Note: Any child restraint listed in this subpart that is not 
recommended for use in a rear-facing position by its manufacturer is 
excluded from use in S20.2.1.4):

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Effective and termination dates
                                  --------------------------------------
                                    January 17, 2002   September 1, 2007
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Britax Roundabout 161............  Effective.........  Remains
                                                        Effective.
Britax Expressway................  ..................  Effective.
Century Encore 4612..............  Effective.........  Remains
                                                        Effective.
Century STE 1000 4416............  Effective.........  Remains
                                                        Effective.
Cosco Olymp ian 02803............  Effective.........  Remains
                                                        Effective.
Cosco Touriva 02519..............  Effective.........  Remains
                                                        Effective.
Evenflo Horizon V 425............  Effective.........  Remains
                                                        Effective.
Evenflo Medallion 254............  Effective.........  Remains
                                                        Effective.
Safety 1st Comfort Ride 22-400...  ..................  Effective.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 51132]]

* * * * *

    Issued: August 22, 2006.
Nicole R. Nason,
Administrator.
 [FR Doc. E6-14256 Filed 8-28-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P