Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Electric-Powered Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection, 44254-44257 [2019-17814]

Download as PDF 44254 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations WISCONSIN—2008 8-HOUR OZONE NAAQS—Continued [Primary and secondary] Designation Classification Designated area Date 1 Sheboygan County (part): Exclusive and west of the following roadways going from the northern county boundary to the southern county boundary: Highway 43, Wilson Lima Road, Minderhaud Road, County Road KK/Town Line Road, N 10th Street, County Road A S/Center Avenue, Gibbons Road, Hoftiezer Road, Highway 32, Palmer Road/Smies Road/Palmer Road, Amsterdam Road/County Road RR, Termaat Road. Shoreline Sheboygan County, WI 2 5 ............................ Sheboygan County (part): Inclusive and east of the following roadways going from the northern county boundary to the southern county boundary: Highway 43, Wilson Lima Road, Minderhaud Road, County Road KK/Town Line Road, N 10th Street, County Road A S/Center Avenue, Gibbons Road, Hoftiezer Road, Highway 32, Palmer Road/Smies Road/Palmer Road, Amsterdam Road/County Road RR, Termaat Road. * * 7/15/2019 * Type Date 1 Type Nonattainment 12/19/2016 Moderate. * * * * 1 This date is July 20, 2012, unless otherwise noted. 2 Excludes Indian country located in each area, unless otherwise noted. * * * * * * * 5 Attainment date is extended to July 20, 2019 for both Inland Sheboygan County, WI, and Shoreline Sheboygan County, WI, nonattainment areas. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2019–17796 Filed 8–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA–2019–0009] RIN 2127–AM10 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Electric-Powered Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule clarifies the direct contact protection requirements for high voltage connectors in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 305, ‘‘Electric-powered vehicles: electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection.’’ It amends the standard to make clear the allowance of high voltage connectors that require the use of a tool jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:08 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 to separate from their mating component. This final rule also makes three minor technical corrections to FMVSS No. 305. DATES: Effective date: This final rule is effective August 23, 2019. Compliance date: The compliance date for the amendments in this final rule is August 24, 2020. Optional early compliance is permitted. Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must be received not later than October 7, 2019. 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, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Note that all petitions received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Privacy Act: Please see the Privacy Act heading under Rulemaking Analyses and Notices. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: You may contact Ms. Shashi Kuppa, Office of Crashworthiness Standards; PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 telephone: 202–366–3827; facsimile: 202–493–2990, or Mr. Daniel Koblenz, Office of Chief Counsel; telephone: 202– 366–2992; facsimile: 202–366–3820. The mailing address of these officials is: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Alliance Comment to the NPRM III. Final Rule IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses I. Introduction On February 28, 2019, NHTSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 305, ‘‘Electric-powered vehicles: electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection.’’ 84 FR 6758. The NPRM proposed to amend the regulatory text of FMVSS No. 305 to explicitly permit high-voltage connectors that provide direct contact protection when connected to their mating component and that require the use of a tool to separate from their mating component. The regulatory text that was the subject of the NPRM was E:\FR\FM\23AUR1.SGM 23AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations adopted in a September 27, 2017 final rule (82 FR 44945) that sought to harmonize FMVSS No. 305 with Global Technical Regulations (GTRs) No. 13, ‘‘Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles,’’ and No. 20, ‘‘Electric Vehicle Safety.’’ The purpose of the February 2019 NPRM was to clarify certain wording of that final rule relating to high-voltage connectors. The agency explained that the proposed changes would not negatively affect motor vehicle safety. NHTSA also proposed three minor technical corrections to the standard. NHTSA’s reasoning and justification for the proposed changes were fully explained in the NPRM. NHTSA provided an abbreviated 15day comment period for the NPRM because the proposed changes were merely corrective and clarifying in nature, and because the changes would provide manufacturers with additional flexibility to meet the requirements of NHTSA’s September 27, 2017 final rule amending FMVSS No. 305. II. Alliance Comment to the NPRM NHTSA received just one comment on the NPRM, which was submitted by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) in support of the proposed change.1 The Alliance stated that it supported the proposed rule because the rule would clarify the direct contact protection requirements that apply to high voltage connectors, would explicitly permit the use of high voltage connectors that cannot be separated from their mating component without the use of tools, and would harmonize FMVSS No. 305 with GTRs No. 13 and No. 20.2 III. Final Rule After consideration of the comment submitted by the Alliance and all other pertinent matters, NHTSA adopts the amendments proposed in the NPRM for the reasons stated in the NPRM. IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES Executive Order 12866 and DOT Order 2100.6 We have considered the potential impact of this final rule under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, and DOT Order 2100.6 and have determined that it is nonsignificant. This rulemaking document was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 1 According to its website, the Alliance is an advocacy group that represents automakers who build 70% of all cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. (see https://autoalliance.org/). 2 The Alliance further requested that NHTSA host a public compliance workshop to assist industry stakeholders with understanding and complying with the September 27, 2017 final rule. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 (OMB) under E.O. 12866. The changes in this final rule largely clarify or correct text adopted by a September 27, 2017 final rule and will have no significant effect on the national economy. This final rule clarifies the direct contact protection requirements that apply to high voltage connectors, and explicitly permits the use of high voltage connectors that cannot be separated from their mating component without the use of tools. Executive Order 13771 E.O. 13771, ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,’’ directs that, unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed. In addition, any new incremental costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent permitted by law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs. Per OMB Memorandum M–17–21, only those rules deemed significant under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866 are considered E.O. 13771 regulatory actions. This final rule is not significant under E.O. 12866, and is therefore not considered an E.O. 13771 regulatory action. Regulatory Flexibility Act NHTSA has considered the effects of this final rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996). I certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Any small manufacturers that might be affected by this final rule are already subject to the requirements of FMVSS No. 305. This final rule merely clarifies or corrects text adopted by the September 27, 2017 final rule. This rulemaking action does not impose any additional restrictions that will affect small entities, and in fact, will give greater design flexibility to manufacturers of electric vehicles. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that implementation of this action will not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) NHTSA has examined today’s final rule pursuant to Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255; Aug. 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 44255 consultation with States, local governments, or their representatives is mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The agency has concluded that the final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The final rule does not 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.’’ NHTSA rules can have preemptive effect in two ways. First, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express preemption provision, stating that when a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter. 49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1). It is this statutory command that preempts any non-identical State legislative and administrative law addressing the same aspect of performance. The express preemption provision described above is subject to a savings clause under which ‘‘[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from liability at common law.’’ 49 U.S.C. 30103(e). Pursuant to this provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express preemption provision are generally preserved. However, the Supreme Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied preemption of State common law tort causes of action by virtue of NHTSA’s rules—even if not expressly preempted. This second way that NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon the existence of an actual conflict between an FMVSS and the higher standard that would effectively be imposed on motor vehicle manufacturers if someone obtained a State common law tort judgment against the manufacturer— notwithstanding the manufacturer’s compliance with the NHTSA standard. Because most NHTSA standards established by an FMVSS are minimum standards, a State common law tort cause of action that seeks to impose a higher standard on motor vehicle E:\FR\FM\23AUR1.SGM 23AUR1 44256 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES manufacturers will generally not be preempted. However, if and when such a conflict does exist—for example, when the standard at issue is both a minimum and a maximum standard—the State common law tort cause of action is impliedly preempted. See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000). Pursuant to E.O. 13132, NHTSA has considered whether this final rule preempts State common law causes of action. The agency’s ability to announce its conclusion regarding the preemptive effect of one of its rules reduces the likelihood that preemption will be an issue in any subsequent tort litigation. To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the language and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of today’s final rule and finds that this rule, like many NHTSA rules, prescribes only a minimum safety standard. Accordingly, NHTSA does not intend that this final rule preempt state tort law that effectively imposes a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers than that established by today’s final rule. Establishment of a higher standard by means of State tort law would not conflict with the minimum standard established by this document. Without any conflict, there could not be any implied preemption of a State common law tort cause of action. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation, section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, ‘‘Civil Justice Reform’’ (61 FR 4729; Feb. 7, 1996), requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) specifies whether administrative proceedings are to be required before parties file suit in court; (6) adequately defines key terms; and (7) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. This document is consistent with that requirement. Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as follows. The issue of preemption is discussed above. NHTSA notes further that there is no requirement that individuals submit a petition for reconsideration or pursue other administrative proceedings before they may file suit in court. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 Privacy Act Please note that anyone can search the electronic form of all documents received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78), or online at http:// www.dot.gov/privacy.html. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (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. There are no information collection requirements associated with this final rule. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) (Pub. L. 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.’’ Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. Pursuant to the above requirements, the agency conducted a review of voluntary consensus standards to determine if any were applicable to this final rule. NHTSA searched for but did not find voluntary consensus standards directly applicable to the amendments in this final rule. However, consistent with the NTTAA, this final rule is aligned with regulations developed globally on electric vehicle safety, namely GTR No. 13 and GTR No. 20.3 The GTRs permit 3 The NTTAA seeks to support efforts by the Federal government to ensure that agencies work with their regulatory counterparts in other countries to address common safety issues. Circular No. A– 119, ‘‘Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities,’’ January 27, 2016, p. 15. PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the use of high voltage connectors that cannot be separated from their mating component without the use of tools. We believe that the amendments to FMVSS No. 305 would promote harmonization of our countries’ regulatory approaches on electric vehicles and HFCVs. 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). We note that as this final rule only makes minor adjustments and clarifications to FMVSS No. 305, it will not result in expenditures by any of the aforementioned entities of over $100 million annually. Executive Order 13609 (Promoting Regulatory Cooperation) Executive Order 13609 states that the regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. This final rule harmonizes FMVSS No. 305 with provisions that are in GTRs No. 13 and No. 20. Specifically, the primary clarification made by this document—that the use of connectors that cannot be separated from their mating component without the use of tools is permissible under FMVSS No. 305—brings FMVSS No. 305 into alignment with GTRs No. 13 and No. 20 requirements relating to high voltage connectors, and so will further the goals of E.O. 13609. Regulation Identifier Number The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal E:\FR\FM\23AUR1.SGM 23AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 164 / Friday, August 23, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571 Imports, Motor vehicles, Motor vehicle safety. In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends 49 CFR part 571 as follows: PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 571 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8. 2. Amend § 571.305 by a. Adding (in alphabetical order) a definition for ‘‘High voltage live part’’ to S4; ■ b. Revising S5.4.1.5; ■ c. Revising the introductory text of S8; and, ■ d. Revising S9.2(a). The addition and revisions read as follows: ■ ■ § 571.305 Standard No. 305; Electricpowered vehicles; electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with RULES * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 * * 17:08 Aug 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 S4. Definitions. * * * * High voltage live part means a live part of a high voltage source. * * * * * S5.4.1.5 Connectors. All connectors shall provide direct contact protection by: (a) Meeting the requirements specified in S5.4.1.4 when the connector is connected to its corresponding mating component; and, (b) If a connector can be separated from its mating component without the use of a tool, meeting at least one of the following conditions from (b)(1), (2), or (3) of this section: (1) The connector meets the requirements of S5.4.1.4 when separated from its mating component; (2) The voltage of the live parts becomes less than or equal to 60 VDC or 30 VAC within one second after the connector is separated from its mating component; or, (3) The connector requires at least two distinct actions to separate from its mating component and there are other components that must be removed in order to separate the connector from its mating component and these other components cannot be removed without the use of tools. * * * * * S8. Test procedure for on-board electrical isolation monitoring system. Prior to any impact test, the * PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 44257 requirements of S5.4.4 for the on-board electrical isolation monitoring system shall be tested using the following procedure. * * * * * S9.2 * * * (a) Test method using a resistance tester. The resistance tester is connected to the measuring points (the electrical chassis and any exposed conductive part of electrical protection barriers or any two simultaneously reachable exposed conductive parts of electrical protection barriers that are less than 2.5 meters from each other), and the resistance is measured using a resistance tester that can supply current levels of at least 0.2 Amperes with a resolution of 0.01 ohms or less. The resistance between two exposed conductive parts of electrical protection barriers that are less than 2.5 meters from each other may be calculated using the separately measured resistances of the relevant parts of the electric path. * * * * * Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.5. Heidi Renate King, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–17814 Filed 8–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\23AUR1.SGM 23AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 164 (Friday, August 23, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 44254-44257]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-17814]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0009]
RIN 2127-AM10


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Electric-Powered 
Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule clarifies the direct contact protection 
requirements for high voltage connectors in Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 305, ``Electric-powered vehicles: 
electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection.'' It amends the 
standard to make clear the allowance of high voltage connectors that 
require the use of a tool to separate from their mating component. This 
final rule also makes three minor technical corrections to FMVSS No. 
305.

DATES: 
    Effective date: This final rule is effective August 23, 2019.
    Compliance date: The compliance date for the amendments in this 
final rule is August 24, 2020. Optional early compliance is permitted.
    Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of 
this final rule must be received not later than October 7, 2019.

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, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Note that all petitions 
received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided.
    Privacy Act: Please see the Privacy Act heading under Rulemaking 
Analyses and Notices.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: You may contact Ms. Shashi Kuppa, 
Office of Crashworthiness Standards; telephone: 202-366-3827; 
facsimile: 202-493-2990, or Mr. Daniel Koblenz, Office of Chief 
Counsel; telephone: 202-366-2992; facsimile: 202-366-3820. The mailing 
address of these officials is: National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Alliance Comment to the NPRM
III. Final Rule
IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

I. Introduction

    On February 28, 2019, NHTSA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 305, ``Electric-powered vehicles: electrolyte 
spillage and electrical shock protection.'' 84 FR 6758. The NPRM 
proposed to amend the regulatory text of FMVSS No. 305 to explicitly 
permit high-voltage connectors that provide direct contact protection 
when connected to their mating component and that require the use of a 
tool to separate from their mating component. The regulatory text that 
was the subject of the NPRM was

[[Page 44255]]

adopted in a September 27, 2017 final rule (82 FR 44945) that sought to 
harmonize FMVSS No. 305 with Global Technical Regulations (GTRs) No. 
13, ``Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles,'' and No. 20, ``Electric Vehicle 
Safety.'' The purpose of the February 2019 NPRM was to clarify certain 
wording of that final rule relating to high-voltage connectors. The 
agency explained that the proposed changes would not negatively affect 
motor vehicle safety. NHTSA also proposed three minor technical 
corrections to the standard. NHTSA's reasoning and justification for 
the proposed changes were fully explained in the NPRM.
    NHTSA provided an abbreviated 15-day comment period for the NPRM 
because the proposed changes were merely corrective and clarifying in 
nature, and because the changes would provide manufacturers with 
additional flexibility to meet the requirements of NHTSA's September 
27, 2017 final rule amending FMVSS No. 305.

II. Alliance Comment to the NPRM

    NHTSA received just one comment on the NPRM, which was submitted by 
the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) in support of the 
proposed change.\1\ The Alliance stated that it supported the proposed 
rule because the rule would clarify the direct contact protection 
requirements that apply to high voltage connectors, would explicitly 
permit the use of high voltage connectors that cannot be separated from 
their mating component without the use of tools, and would harmonize 
FMVSS No. 305 with GTRs No. 13 and No. 20.\2\
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    \1\ According to its website, the Alliance is an advocacy group 
that represents automakers who build 70% of all cars and light 
trucks sold in the U.S. (see https://autoalliance.org/).
    \2\ The Alliance further requested that NHTSA host a public 
compliance workshop to assist industry stakeholders with 
understanding and complying with the September 27, 2017 final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Final Rule

    After consideration of the comment submitted by the Alliance and 
all other pertinent matters, NHTSA adopts the amendments proposed in 
the NPRM for the reasons stated in the NPRM.

IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

Executive Order 12866 and DOT Order 2100.6

    We have considered the potential impact of this final rule under 
Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, and DOT Order 2100.6 and have determined 
that it is nonsignificant. This rulemaking document was not reviewed by 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under E.O. 12866. The changes 
in this final rule largely clarify or correct text adopted by a 
September 27, 2017 final rule and will have no significant effect on 
the national economy. This final rule clarifies the direct contact 
protection requirements that apply to high voltage connectors, and 
explicitly permits the use of high voltage connectors that cannot be 
separated from their mating component without the use of tools.

Executive Order 13771

    E.O. 13771, ``Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory 
Costs,'' directs that, unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive 
department or agency publicly proposes for notice and comment or 
otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two 
existing regulations to be repealed. In addition, any new incremental 
costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent permitted by 
law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs. Per OMB Memorandum 
M-17-21, only those rules deemed significant under section 3(f) of E.O. 
12866 are considered E.O. 13771 regulatory actions. This final rule is 
not significant under E.O. 12866, and is therefore not considered an 
E.O. 13771 regulatory action.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NHTSA has considered the effects of this final rule under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996). I 
certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Any small 
manufacturers that might be affected by this final rule are already 
subject to the requirements of FMVSS No. 305. This final rule merely 
clarifies or corrects text adopted by the September 27, 2017 final 
rule. This rulemaking action does not impose any additional 
restrictions that will affect small entities, and in fact, will give 
greater design flexibility to manufacturers of electric vehicles.

National Environmental Policy Act

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

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    NHTSA has examined today's final rule pursuant to Executive Order 
13132 (64 FR 43255; Aug. 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional 
consultation with States, local governments, or their representatives 
is mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The agency has concluded 
that the final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation 
of a federalism summary impact statement. The final rule does not 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.''
    NHTSA rules can have preemptive effect in two ways. First, the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express 
preemption provision, stating that when a motor vehicle safety standard 
is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of 
a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to 
the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed 
under this chapter. 49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1). It is this statutory command 
that preempts any non-identical State legislative and administrative 
law addressing the same aspect of performance.
    The express preemption provision described above is subject to a 
savings clause under which ``[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety 
standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from 
liability at common law.'' 49 U.S.C. 30103(e). Pursuant to this 
provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle 
manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express 
preemption provision are generally preserved. However, the Supreme 
Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied 
preemption of State common law tort causes of action by virtue of 
NHTSA's rules--even if not expressly preempted.
    This second way that NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon the 
existence of an actual conflict between an FMVSS and the higher 
standard that would effectively be imposed on motor vehicle 
manufacturers if someone obtained a State common law tort judgment 
against the manufacturer--notwithstanding the manufacturer's compliance 
with the NHTSA standard. Because most NHTSA standards established by an 
FMVSS are minimum standards, a State common law tort cause of action 
that seeks to impose a higher standard on motor vehicle

[[Page 44256]]

manufacturers will generally not be preempted. However, if and when 
such a conflict does exist--for example, when the standard at issue is 
both a minimum and a maximum standard--the State common law tort cause 
of action is impliedly preempted. See Geier v. American Honda Motor 
Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000).
    Pursuant to E.O. 13132, NHTSA has considered whether this final 
rule preempts State common law causes of action. The agency's ability 
to announce its conclusion regarding the preemptive effect of one of 
its rules reduces the likelihood that preemption will be an issue in 
any subsequent tort litigation.
    To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the language 
and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of today's final 
rule and finds that this rule, like many NHTSA rules, prescribes only a 
minimum safety standard. Accordingly, NHTSA does not intend that this 
final rule preempt state tort law that effectively imposes a higher 
standard on motor vehicle manufacturers than that established by 
today's final rule. Establishment of a higher standard by means of 
State tort law would not conflict with the minimum standard established 
by this document. Without any conflict, there could not be any implied 
preemption of a State common law tort cause of action.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation, 
section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice Reform'' (61 FR 
4729; Feb. 7, 1996), requires that Executive agencies make every 
reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies 
the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing 
Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for 
affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; 
(4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) specifies 
whether administrative proceedings are to be required before parties 
file suit in court; (6) adequately defines key terms; and (7) addresses 
other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship 
under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. This document is 
consistent with that requirement.
    Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as follows. The issue of 
preemption is discussed above. NHTSA notes further that there is no 
requirement that individuals submit a petition for reconsideration or 
pursue other administrative proceedings before they may file suit in 
court.

Privacy Act

    Please note that anyone can search the electronic form of all 
documents received into any of our dockets by the name of the 
individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or online at 
http://www.dot.gov/privacy.html.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (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. There are no 
information collection requirements associated with this final rule.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 
(NTTAA) (Pub. L. 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.'' Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs us to provide Congress, through OMB, 
explanations when we decide not to use available and applicable 
voluntary consensus standards.
    Pursuant to the above requirements, the agency conducted a review 
of voluntary consensus standards to determine if any were applicable to 
this final rule. NHTSA searched for but did not find voluntary 
consensus standards directly applicable to the amendments in this final 
rule.
    However, consistent with the NTTAA, this final rule is aligned with 
regulations developed globally on electric vehicle safety, namely GTR 
No. 13 and GTR No. 20.\3\ The GTRs permit the use of high voltage 
connectors that cannot be separated from their mating component without 
the use of tools. We believe that the amendments to FMVSS No. 305 would 
promote harmonization of our countries' regulatory approaches on 
electric vehicles and HFCVs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The NTTAA seeks to support efforts by the Federal government 
to ensure that agencies work with their regulatory counterparts in 
other countries to address common safety issues. Circular No. A-119, 
``Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary 
Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities,'' 
January 27, 2016, p. 15.
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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). We note that 
as this final rule only makes minor adjustments and clarifications to 
FMVSS No. 305, it will not result in expenditures by any of the 
aforementioned entities of over $100 million annually.

Executive Order 13609 (Promoting Regulatory Cooperation)

    Executive Order 13609 states that the regulatory approaches taken 
by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory 
agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences 
between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their 
foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the 
ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. 
In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation 
can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that 
are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. 
International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or 
prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements.
    This final rule harmonizes FMVSS No. 305 with provisions that are 
in GTRs No. 13 and No. 20. Specifically, the primary clarification made 
by this document--that the use of connectors that cannot be separated 
from their mating component without the use of tools is permissible 
under FMVSS No. 305--brings FMVSS No. 305 into alignment with GTRs No. 
13 and No. 20 requirements relating to high voltage connectors, and so 
will further the goals of E.O. 13609.

Regulation Identifier Number

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal

[[Page 44257]]

Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the 
Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN 
contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this 
action in the Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicles, Motor vehicle safety.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends 49 CFR part 571 as 
follows:

PART 571--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

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

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30166; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.


0
2. Amend Sec.  571.305 by
0
a. Adding (in alphabetical order) a definition for ``High voltage live 
part'' to S4;
0
b. Revising S5.4.1.5;
0
c. Revising the introductory text of S8; and,
0
d. Revising S9.2(a).

    The addition and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  571.305  Standard No. 305; Electric-powered vehicles; electrolyte 
spillage and electrical shock protection.

* * * * *
    S4. Definitions.
* * * * *
    High voltage live part means a live part of a high voltage source.
* * * * *
    S5.4.1.5 Connectors. All connectors shall provide direct contact 
protection by:
    (a) Meeting the requirements specified in S5.4.1.4 when the 
connector is connected to its corresponding mating component; and,
    (b) If a connector can be separated from its mating component 
without the use of a tool, meeting at least one of the following 
conditions from (b)(1), (2), or (3) of this section:
    (1) The connector meets the requirements of S5.4.1.4 when separated 
from its mating component;
    (2) The voltage of the live parts becomes less than or equal to 60 
VDC or 30 VAC within one second after the connector is separated from 
its mating component; or,
    (3) The connector requires at least two distinct actions to 
separate from its mating component and there are other components that 
must be removed in order to separate the connector from its mating 
component and these other components cannot be removed without the use 
of tools.
* * * * *
    S8. Test procedure for on-board electrical isolation monitoring 
system. Prior to any impact test, the requirements of S5.4.4 for the 
on-board electrical isolation monitoring system shall be tested using 
the following procedure.
* * * * *
    S9.2 * * *
    (a) Test method using a resistance tester. The resistance tester is 
connected to the measuring points (the electrical chassis and any 
exposed conductive part of electrical protection barriers or any two 
simultaneously reachable exposed conductive parts of electrical 
protection barriers that are less than 2.5 meters from each other), and 
the resistance is measured using a resistance tester that can supply 
current levels of at least 0.2 Amperes with a resolution of 0.01 ohms 
or less. The resistance between two exposed conductive parts of 
electrical protection barriers that are less than 2.5 meters from each 
other may be calculated using the separately measured resistances of 
the relevant parts of the electric path.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
1.95 and 501.5.
Heidi Renate King,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-17814 Filed 8-22-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P