Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Request for Comment; Defect and Noncompliance Reporting and Notification, 45828-45834 [2019-18820]

Download as PDF jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 45828 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices Transportation is seeking approval to collect information from licensed drivers who have at least one speeding citation or conviction in the previous three years for a one-time voluntary study of the effects of an education course being developed that covers vehicle speeds, laws, and the risks of speeding on speeding behavior. NHTSA proposes to approach up to 250 drivers appearing at the Wake County, NC district court because of speeding infractions to ascertain their interest in participating in the study after their case has been adjudicated. Of those 250, we expect to collect information from 150 potential participants determine their eligibility for the study with the goal of recruiting 100 voluntary participants. The 100 participants will complete an informed consent form, three driver speeding questionnaires (before the course, right after the course, and one month after the course) to explore the effects of the course on their attitudes and beliefs regarding speeding as well as their tendency to speed, a course evaluation, and sensation-seeking questionnaire to measure psychological factors related to risky behaviors. In addition, NHTSA will collect naturalistic driving data, which involves unobtrusive observation of driving in a natural, on-road setting using a vehicle instrumented with position, speed, and other sensors. This collection is solely reporting, and there are no recordkeeping costs to the respondents. NHTSA will use the information to produce a technical report that presents the results of the study. The technical report will provide aggregate (summary) statistics and tables as well as the results of statistical analysis of the information, but it will not include any personal information. The technical report will be shared with State highway offices, local governments, and those who develop driver education and traffic safety communications that aim to reduce speed-related crashes. The total estimated burden for recruiting 250 participants (42 hours), for screening 150 participants (23 hours) and for 100 participants to complete the study (600 hours) is 665 total hours. Respondents: Participation in this study will be voluntary, and 100 participants will be recruited from drivers that attend the Wake County, NC district court because of speeding infractions after their case has been adjudicated. An estimated 250 people will be approached and have the study described to them, and 150 people will be screened to recruit the 100 who will complete the study. Participants will be licensed drivers over 18 years old who VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 have had a speeding citation in the past 3 years. Estimated Time per Participant: The estimated time for recruiting 250 possible participants is 10 minutes per person. The estimated time for screening the 150 possible participants is nine minutes per person to complete the screener questionnaire and provide contact information. The estimated time for the 100 study participants is six hours per person to complete the informed consent, take the three-hour and 30-minute course, complete all questionnaires, and wait for equipment to be installed and uninstalled from their vehicles. Total Estimated Burden Hours: The total estimated annual burden is 665 hours for the project activities. Participation in this study is voluntary, and there are no costs to respondents beyond the time spent completing the questionnaires and visits to the study facility. Frequency of Collection: This study is one-time data collection, and there will be no recurrence. Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use of the Information: NHTSA was established to reduce deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes on the Nation’s highways. As part of this statutory mandate, NHTSA is authorized to conduct research for the development of traffic safety programs. In 2017, there were 9,717 fatalities in speeding-related crashes—26% of all fatal crashes. Public information and education are important elements of any effective speed management program. Recent NHTSA research has indicated that many drivers feel they lack sufficient knowledge about speeding and would like more information on stopping distances, laws, and risks involved. This project is designed to examine the effectiveness of basic driver education covering speed, laws, and risks of speeding in changing driver attitudes and behaviors regarding speeding. This information will be useful to State highway offices, local governments, and those who develop driver education and traffic safety communications that aim to reduce speed-related crashes. Authority: 44 U.S.C. Section 3506(c)(2)(A). Issued in Washington, DC. Jon Krohmer, Associate Administrator, Acting, Research and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2019–18782 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [U.S. DOT Docket Number NHTSA–2016– 0065] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Request for Comment; Defect and Noncompliance Reporting and Notification National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below is being forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collections and their expected burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period was published on June 12, 2019. DATES: Comments must be submitted to OMB on or before September 30, 2019. ADDRESSES: Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: NHTSA Desk Officer, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Hench, Office of Chief Counsel (NCC–0100), Room W41–229, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202.366.2992. SUMMARY: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB for approval, it must first publish a document in the Federal Register providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information. OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be included in such a document. Under OMB’s regulation, see 5 CFR 1320.8(d), an agency must ask for public comment on the following: (i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) How to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. In compliance with these requirements, NHTSA asks for public comments on the following collection of information: Title: Defect and Noncompliance Reporting and Notification. Type of Request: Renewal of a currently approved information collection. Type of Review Requested: Regular. OMB Control Number: 2127–0004. Affected Public: Businesses or individuals. Abstract: The 60-day notice for this information collection received two (2) comments. One of those comments appears to have been placed on the incorrect docket. The other comment received was submitted by The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance). The Alliance offered comments on the scope of, and burdens associated with, the collection as it relates to the Takata Coordinated Remedy Program. A summary of these comments is below with the corresponding burden estimates, along with the agency’s response. This collection covers the information collection requirements found within various statutory provisions of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (Act), 49 U.S.C. 30101, et seq., that address and require manufacturer notifications to NHTSA of safety-related defects and failures to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, as well as the provision of particular information related to the ensuing owner and dealer notifications and free remedy campaigns that follow those notifications. The sections of the Act imposing these requirements include 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30119, 30120, and 30166. Many of these requirements are implemented through, and addressed with more specificity in, 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports (part 573) and 49 CFR 577, Defect and Noncompliance Notification (part 577). Pursuant to the Act, motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment manufacturers are obligated to notify, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 and then provide various information and documents to, NHTSA in the event a safety defect or noncompliance with FMVSS is identified in products they manufactured. See 49 U.S.C. 30118(b) and 49 CFR 573.6. Manufacturers are further required to notify owners, purchasers, dealers, and distributors about the safety defect or noncompliance. See 49 U.S.C. 30118(b), 30120(a); 49 CFR 577.7, 577.13. Manufacturers are required to provide to NHTSA copies of communications pertaining to recall campaigns that they issue to owners, purchasers, dealers, and distributors. See 49 U.S.C. 30166(f); 49 CFR 573.6(c)(10). Manufacturers are also required to file with NHTSA a plan explaining how they intend to reimburse owners and purchasers who paid to have their products remedied before being notified of the safety defect or noncompliance, and explain that plan in the notifications they issue to owners and purchasers about the safety defect or noncompliance. See 49 U.S.C. 30120(d) and 49 CFR 573.13. Manufacturers are further required to keep lists of the respective owners, purchasers, dealers, distributors, lessors, and lessees of the products determined to be defective or noncompliant and involved in a recall campaign, and are required to provide NHTSA with a minimum of six quarterly reports reporting on the progress of their recall campaigns. See 49 CFR 573.8 and 573.7, respectively. The Act and Part 573 also contain numerous information collection requirements specific to tire recall and remedy campaigns. These requirements relate to the proper disposal of recalled tires, including a requirement that the manufacturer conducting the tire recall submit a plan and provide specific instructions to certain persons (such as dealers and distributors) addressing that disposal, and a requirement that those persons report back to the manufacturer certain deviations from the plan. See 49 U.S.C. 30120(d) and 49 CFR 573.6(c)(9). The regulations also require that manufacturers report to NHTSA intentional and knowing sales or leases of defective or noncompliant tires. 49 U.S.C. 30166(n) and its implementing regulation found at 49 CFR 573.10 mandate that anyone who knowingly and willfully sells or leases for use on a motor vehicle a defective tire or a tire that is not compliant with FMVSS, and with actual knowledge that the tire manufacturer has notified its dealers of the defect or noncompliance as required under the Act, is required to report that sale or lease to NHTSA no more than five working days after the PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45829 person to whom the tire was sold or leased takes possession of it. Pursuant to its safety authorities, NHTSA is continuing its oversight of recalls of unprecedented complexity involving Takata air bag inflators.1 Under the Coordinated Remedy Program established to address this major issue, and the associated Coordinated Remedy Order as amended on December 9, 2016 (the ‘‘ACRO’’), manufacturers issue supplemental owner communications utilizing non-traditional means.2 Estimated Burden: NHTSA previously estimated an annual burden of 36,070 hours associated with this collection (of which 456 hours was contemplated for conducting supplemental recall communications under administrative order to achieve completion of the Takata recalls), $155,450,329 (of which $27,836,329 is contemplated for conducting supplemental recall communications under administrative order to achieve completion of the Takata recalls), and 274 respondents per year (19 vehicle manufacturers conducting supplemental recall communications under administrative order to achieve completion of the Takata recalls).3 Our prior estimates of the burden hours and cost associated with the requirements currently covered by this information collection require adjustment as follows. Based on current information, we estimate 249 distinct manufacturers filing an average of 988 Part 573 Safety Recall Reports each year. This is a change from our previous estimate of 963 Part 573 Safety Recall Reports filed by 274 manufacturers each year. In addition, with reference to the metric associated with NHTSA’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Look-up Tool regulation, see 49 CFR 573.15, we continue to estimate it takes the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers (those that produce more than 25,000 vehicles annually) additional burden hours to complete these Reports to NHTSA, as explored in more detail below. See 82 FR 60789 (December 22, 2017). Between 2015 and 2018, the major passenger-vehicle manufacturers conducted an average of 316 recalls annually. We continue to estimate that maintenance of the required owner, purchaser, dealer, and distributors lists requires 8 hours a year per manufacturer. We also continue to 1 See generally ‘‘Takata Recall Spotlight,’’ https:// www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/takata-recall-spotlight. 2 See generally ‘‘Notice of Coordinated Remedy Program Proceeding for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag Inflator,’’ available at https:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0055. 3 See 82 FR 60789, 60790 (December 22, 2017). E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 45830 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices estimate it takes a major passengervehicle manufacturer 40 hours to complete each notification report to NHTSA, and it takes all other manufacturers 4 hours. Accordingly, we estimate the annual burden hours related to the reporting to NHTSA of a safety defect or noncompliance for the 17 major passenger vehiclemanufacturers to be 12,640 hours annually (316 notices × 40 hours/ report), and that all other manufacturers require a total of 2,688 hours annually (672 notices × 4 hours/report) to file their notices. Thus, the estimated annual burden hours related to the reporting to NHTSA of a safety defect or noncompliance is 17,320 hours (12,640 hours + 2,688 hours) + (249 MFRs × 8 hours to maintain purchaser lists).4 We continue to estimate that an additional 40 hours will be needed to account for major passenger-vehicle manufacturers adding details to Part 573 Safety Recall Reports relating to the intended schedule for notifying its dealers and distributors, and tailoring its notifications to dealers and distributors in accordance with the requirements of 49 CFR 577.13. An additional 2 hours will be needed to account for this obligation in other manufacturers’ Safety Recall Reports. This burden is estimated at 13,984 hours annually (672 notices × 2 hours/ notification) + (316 notices × 40 hours/ notification). 49 U.S.C. 30166(f) requires manufacturers to provide to the Agency copies of all communications regarding defects and noncompliances sent to owners, purchasers, and dealerships. Manufacturers must index these communications by the year, make, and model of the vehicle as well as provide a concise summary of the subject of the communication. We continue to estimate this burden requires 3 hours for each vehicle recall for the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers, and 30 minutes for all other manufacturers for each vehicle recall. This totals an estimated 1,284 hours annually (316 recalls × 3 hours for the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers) + (672 recalls × .5 for all other manufacturers). In the event a manufacturer supplied the defective or noncompliant product to independent dealers through independent distributors, that manufacturer is required to include in its notifications to those distributors an instruction that the distributors are then to provide copies of the manufacturer’s notification of the defect or 4 For more information about how we derived these and certain other estimates, please see 81 FR 70269 (October 11, 2016). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 noncompliance to all known distributors or retail outlets further down the distribution chain within five working days. See 49 CFR 577.7(c)(2)(iv). As a practical matter, this requirement would only apply to equipment manufacturers, since vehicle manufacturers generally sell and lease vehicles through a dealer network, and not through independent distributors. We believe our previous estimate of 87 equipment recalls per year needs to be adjusted to 91 equipment recalls per year to better reflect recent data. We have estimated the burden associated with these notifications (identifying retail outlets, making copies of the manufacturer’s notice, and mailing) to be 5 hours per recall campaign. Assuming an average of 3 distributors per equipment item, which is a liberal estimate given that many equipment manufacturers do not use independent distributors, the total number of burden hours associated with this third-party notification requirement is approximately 1,365 hours per year (91 recalls × 3 distributors × 5 hours). As for the burden linked with a manufacturer’s preparation of and notification concerning its reimbursement for pre-notification remedies, we continue to estimate that the preparation of a reimbursement plan takes approximately 4 hours annually. We also continue to estimate that an additional 1.5 hours per year is spent by the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers adapting the plan to particular defect and noncompliance notifications to NHTSA and adding tailored language about the plan to a particular safety recall’s owner notification letters, while an additional .5 hours per year is spent on this task by all other manufacturers. And we continue to estimate that an additional 12 hours annually is spent disseminating plan information, for a total of 4,794 annual burden hours ((249 MFRs × 4 hours to prepare plan) + (316 recalls × 1.5 hours tailoring plan for each recall) + (672 recalls × .5 hours) + (249 MFRs × 12 hours to disseminate plan information)). The Safety Act and 49 CFR part 573 also contain numerous information collection requirements specific to tire recall and remedy campaigns, as well as a statutory and regulatory reporting requirement that anyone who knowingly and intentionally sells or leases a defective or noncompliant tire notify NHTSA of that activity. Manufacturers are required to include specific information related to tire disposal in the notifications they provide NHTSA concerning identification of a safety defect or PO 00000 Frm 00122 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 noncompliance with FMVSS in their tires, as well as in the notifications they issue to their dealers or other tire outlets participating in the recall campaign. See 49 CFR 573.6(c)(9). We believe our previous estimate of 12 tire recalls per year needs to be adjusted to 11 tire recalls per year to better reflect recent data. We continue to estimate that the inclusion of this additional information will require an additional two hours of effort beyond the subtotal above associated with non-tire recall campaigns. This additional effort consists of one hour for the NHTSA notification and one hour for the dealer notification for a total of 22 burden hours (11 tire recalls a year × 2 hours per recall). Manufacturer-owned or controlled dealers are required to notify the manufacturer and provide certain information should they deviate from the manufacturer’s disposal plan. Consistent with our previous analysis, we continue to ascribe zero burden hours to this requirement since to date no such reports have been provided, and our original expectation that dealers would comply with manufacturers’ plans has proven accurate. Accordingly, we estimate 22 burden hours a year will be spent complying with the tire recall campaign requirements found in 49 CFR 573.6(c)(9). The agency continues to estimate 1 burden hour annually will be spent preparing and submitting reports of a defective or noncompliant tire being intentionally sold or leased under 49 U.S.C. 30166(n) and its implementing regulation at 49 CFR 573.10. We continue to expect that nine vehicle manufacturers, who did not operate VIN-based recalls lookup systems prior to August 2013, incur certain recurring burdens on an annual basis. We continue to estimate that 100 burden hours will be spent on system and database administrator support. These 100 burden hours include: Backup data management and monitoring; database management, updates, and log management; and data transfer, archiving, quality assurance, and cleanup procedures. We continue to estimate another 100 burden hours will be incurred on web/application developer support. These burdens include: Operating system and security patch management; application/web server management; and application server system and log files management. We continue to estimate these burdens will total 1,800 hours each year (9 MFRs × 200 hours). We also continue to estimate the recurring costs of these burden hours will be $30,000 per E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices manufacturer.5 Furthermore, we continue to estimate that the total cost to the industry from these recurring expenses will total $270,000, on an annual basis (9 MFRs × $30,000). Changes to 49 CFR part 573 in 2013 required 27 manufacturers to update each recalled vehicle’s repair status no less than every 7 days, for 15 years from the date the VIN is known to be included in the recall. This ongoing requirement to update the status of a VIN for 15 years continues to add a recurring burden on top of the one-time burden to implement and operate these online search tools. We continue to estimate that 8 affected motorcycle manufacturers will make recalled VINs available for an average of 2 recalls each year and 19 affected passenger-vehicle manufacturers will make recalled VINs available for an average of 8 recalls each year. We believe it will take no more than 1 hour, and potentially less with automated systems, to update the VIN status of vehicles that have been remedied under the manufacturer’s remedy program. We continue to estimate this will require 8,736 burden hours per year (1 hour × 2 recalls × 52 weeks × 8 MFRs + 1 hour × 8 recalls × 52 weeks × 19 MFRs) to support the requirement to update the recalls completion status of each VIN in a recall at least weekly for 15 years. As the number of Part 573 Recall Reports has increased in recent years, so has the number of quarterly reports that track the completion of safety recalls. Our previous estimate of 4,498 quarterly reports received annually is now revised upwards to 5,512 quarter reports received annually. We continue to estimate it takes manufacturers 1 hour to gather the pertinent information for each quarterly report, and 10 additional hours for the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers to submit electronic reports. We therefore now estimate that the quarterly reporting burden pursuant to Part 573 totals 5,682 hours ((5,512 quarterly reports × 1 hour/report) + (17 MFRs × 10 hours for electronic submission)). We continue to estimate a small burden of 2 hours annually in order to set up a manufacturer’s online recalls portal account with the pertinent contact information and maintaining/ updating their account information as needed. We estimate this will require a total of 498 hours annually (2 hours × 249 MFRs). 5 $8,000 (for data center hosting for the physical server) + $12,000 (for system and database administrator support) + $10,000 (for web/ application developer support) = $30,000. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 We continue to estimate that 20 percent of Part 573 reports will involve a change or addition regarding recall components, and that at two hours per amended report, this totals 396 burden hours per year (988 recalls × .20 = 193 recalls; 198 × 2 = 396 hours). As to the requirement that manufacturers notify NHTSA in the event of a bankruptcy, we expect this notification to take an estimated 2 hours to draft and submit to NHTSA. We continue to estimate that only 10 manufacturers might submit such a notice to NHTSA each year, so we calculate the total burden at 20 hours (10 MFRs × 2 hours). We continue to estimate that it takes the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers an average of 11 hours to draft their notification letters, submit them to NHTSA for review, and then finalize them for mailing to their affected owners and purchasers. We also continue to estimate it takes 8 hours for all other manufacturers to perform this task. Accordingly, we estimate that the 49 CFR part 577 requirements result in 8,852 burden hours annually (11 hours per recall × 316 recalls per year) + (8 hours per recall × 672 recalls per year). The burden estimate associated with the regulation that requires interim owner notifications within 60 days of filing a Part 573 Safety Recall Report must be revised upward. We previously calculated that about 12 percent of past recalls require an interim notification mailing, but recent trends show that 13 percent of recalls require an interim owner notification mailing. We continue to estimate the preparation of an interim notification can take up to 10 hours. We therefore estimate that 1,250 burden hours are associated with the 60-day interim notification requirement (963 recalls × .13 = 125 recalls; 125 recalls times 10 hours per recall = 1,250 hours). As for costs associated with notifying owners and purchasers of recalls, to reflect an increase in postage rates, we are revising our estimate of the cost of first-class mail notification to $1.53 per notification, on average. This cost estimate includes the costs of printing and mailing, as well as the costs vehicle manufacturers may pay to third-party vendors to acquire the names and addresses of the current registered owners from state and territory departments of motor vehicles. In reviewing recent recall figures, we determined that an estimated 51.4 million letters are mailed yearly totaling $78,642,000 ($1.53 per letter × 51,400,000 letters). The requirement in 49 CFR part 577 for a manufacturer to notify their affected customers within 60 days would add an additional PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45831 $10,223,460 (51,400,000 letters × .13 requiring interim owner notifications = 6,682,000 letters; 6,682,000 × $1.53 = $10,023,000). In total, we estimate that the current 49 CFR part 577 requirements cost manufacturers a total of $88,865,460 annually ($78,642,000 for owner notification letters + $10,223,460 for interim notification letters = $88,865,460). As discussed above, to address the scope and complexity of the Takata recalls, NHTSA issued the ACRO, which requires affected vehicle manufacturers to conduct supplemental owner notification efforts in coordination with NHTSA and the Independent Monitor of Takata. On December 23, 2016, the Monitor, in consultation with NHTSA, issued Coordinated Communications Recommendations for vehicle owner outreach (‘‘CCRs’’), which includes a recommendation that vehicle manufacturers provide at least one form of consumer outreach per month for vehicles in a launched recall campaign (i.e., a recall where parts are available) until the vehicle is remedied (unless otherwise accounted for as scrapped, stolen, exported, or otherwise unreachable under certain procedures in the ACRO). See CCRs ¶ 1(b); ACRO ¶¶ 45–46. The Monitor also recommended that manufacturers utilize at least three non-traditional means of communication (e.g., postcards; email; telephone calls; text message; social media) as part of their overall outreach strategy. See CCRs ¶ 1(a). And the Monitor recommended including certain content in these communications, including certain safety-risk information. See id. ¶ 2. If a vehicle manufacturer does not wish to follow the Monitor’s recommendations, the ACRO permits the manufacturer to propose an alternative communication strategy to NHTSA and the Monitor. ACRO ¶ 42. As noted above, two comments were submitted in response to the 60-day notice of this information collection. One of those comments appears to have been placed on the incorrect docket. The other comment, filed by The Alliance (which also attached two previously filed comments regarding this collection), responded to several facets of the notice that touch on two primary issues: (1) The extent to which various provisions of the ACRO are subject to the PRA (and whether the investigatory exception applies to the PRA in this context); and (2) the accuracy of the agency’s burden estimate. The Alliance commented that it believes that NHTSA should account for additional cost burdens under the E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 45832 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices ACRO beyond the monthly outreach recommended under the CCRs. See Comments (Aug. 12, 2019) at 2–4. The Alliance also commented that NHTSA underestimated the costs associated with this monthly outreach, and that NHTSA should provide separate burden estimates for each category of outreach and compare those burdens with ‘‘evidence of effectiveness.’’ See id. at 2, 5. In addition, The Alliance commented that NHTSA should account for Monitor-conducted surveys and other activities, and provide ‘‘information justifying the practical utility’’ of supplemental non-traditional outreach. See id. at 5. The Alliance further commented that it disagrees with NHTSA’s discounting of its cost estimates based on vehicle manufacturer settlement agreements in multi-district litigation proceedings. Id. As to the extent to which various provision of the ACRO in addition to the CCRs described above are subject to the PRA, The Alliance previously commented that the investigatory exception to the PRA applies ‘‘ ‘only after a case file or equivalent is opened with respect to a particular party . . . and only with respect to ‘an administrative action, investigation or audit involving an agency against specific individuals or entities.’ ’’ Comments (Jan. 22, 2018) at 2 (quoting 5 CFR 1320.4(a)(2), (c)). The Alliance’s position is that ‘‘if there is any relevant investigation,’’ it is an investigation against Takata—not the affected automakers, because they ‘‘are not the target’’ of the investigation. Id. Therefore, the Alliance believes NHTSA should account for burdens associated with other provisions of the ACRO, beyond the monthly-outreach recommendations in the CCRs. See id. at 3–4. NHTSA is not persuaded that it should deviate from its approach. The plain meaning of the statute specifically exempts collections of information ‘‘during the conduct of . . . an administrative action, investigation, or audit involving an agency against specific individuals or entities.’’ 44 U.S.C. 3518(c)(1)(B)(ii) (emphasis added); 5 CFR 1320.4(a)(2), 1320.3(c). NHTSA’s investigation is clearly directed at ‘‘specific individuals or entities’’—both Takata and the 19 specifically named vehicle manufacturers that installed defective Takata inflators. See Opening Resume for EA15–001.6 Indeed, the Coordinated Remedy Order did not originally contain numerous vehicle 6 https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/inv/2015/INOAEA15001-4970.PDF. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 manufacturers that were, subsequently, added to the Program.7 After an expansion of the recalls in light of new information, NHTSA specifically added seven ‘‘newly affected’’ vehicle manufacturers to the Coordinated Remedy Program in its Third Amendment to the Coordinated Remedy Order. See ACRO ¶¶ 8, 10, 31.8 Thus, contrary to Alliance and Global’s suggestion, these orders are not generalized so as to apply broadly ‘‘to a category of individuals or entities, such as a class of licensees or an industry’’ under the PRA. See Comments (January 22, 2018) at 2 (citing 5 CFR 1320.4(c)). Rather, the orders are limited to specific vehicle manufacturers the Agency has identified as affected by the Takata air bag recalls. See also Shell Oil Co. v. Babbitt, 945 F. Supp. 792, 806 (D. Del. 1996) (rejecting argument that agency’s investigations were limited to subjects covered in forms agency uses for routine inquiries, noting it is untenable to ‘‘to limit [the agency] in a way that would seriously curtail its investigative efforts and in a way Congress never intended in passing’’ an agency statute and the PRA); id. at 805–06 (observing a ‘‘long line of cases recognizing that an administrative agency’s authority when it requests records and undertakes investigatory functions related to its responsibilities is very broad’’); Lonsdale v. United States, 919 F.2d 1440, 1445 (10th Cir. 1990) (recognizing courts holding that PRA is inapplicable to forms requesting information issued in investigation against an individual to determine tax liability); Pitts v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Memo 2010–101, 10 (May 6, 2010) (rejecting interpretation that PRA applies to tax collection due-process hearings because the hearings involve a ‘‘category of individuals’’ asked to submit a form). In sum, NHTSA is conducting an ongoing administrative action and investigation into particular parties— both Takata and the specifically enumerated affected vehicle manufacturers—as governed by the Takata Coordinated Remedy Program. 7 The ‘‘original affected manufacturers’’ were: BMW of North America, LLC; FCA US, LLC; Daimler Trucks North America, LLC; Daimler Vans USA, LLC; Ford Motor Company; General Motors, LLC; American Honda Motor Company; Mazda North American Operations; Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.; Nissan North America, Inc.; Subaru of America, Inc.; and Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing. 8 These newly affected manufacturers were: Ferrari North America, Inc.; Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC; McLaren Automotive, Ltd.; Mercedes-Benz US, LLC; Tesla Motors, Inc.; Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.; and, based on a Memorandum of Understanding with the Agency, Karma Automotive (as to certain Fisker vehicles). PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Program is constructed and implemented through various Agency orders (principally the Coordinated Remedy Order and amendments) directed specifically at a discrete, finite number of entities, including only those vehicle manufacturers affected by the Takata recalls. Accordingly, NHTSA’s responses to comments and its burden estimates are limited to the monthlyoutreach recommendation in the CCRs. Furthermore, to the burden estimate, NHTSA acknowledges the ‘‘wide variety of outreach methods contemplated by the ACRO,’’ and agrees with the Alliance’s recognition that estimating per-VIN outreach cost is a difficult task given that outreach populations change and, with those changes, the methods necessary to engage those populations also changes. See Comments (Jan. 22, 2018) at 4; Comments (Aug. 12, 2019). The Alliance notes that costs of outreach per VIN may have increased as the recalls have progressed. Comments (Aug. 12, 2019) at 2. The Alliance also states that NHTSA should separately estimate the burdens for each category of outreach and compare the burden with the outreach’s effectiveness. Id. The CCR provisions recommend ‘‘[e]ngaging in outreach specific to the Takata airbag recall employing at least three’’ methods of non-traditional outreach, ‘‘to ensure that each vehicle in a launched campaign receives at least one form of outreach per month until the vehicle is repaired’’ (unless the vehicle can otherwise be accounted for as set forth in the ACRO). CCRs at 1 (emphases in original). Thus, the CCRs provide manufacturers wide latitude, and what specific outreach methods a vehicle manufacturer employs is the vehicle manufacturer’s decision.9 The CCRs do not state that vehicle manufacturers must engage in, e.g., canvassing when the remaining recalled vehicle population reaches a certain threshold. NHTSA and the Independent Monitor have simply identified for vehicle manufacturers potential ways to achieve high completion rates for certain vehicle populations. NHTSA recognizes that as vehicles are repaired, the harder-to-reach owners comprise a larger portion of the remaining unrepaired population, and that as manufacturers adopt more intensive outreach methods, outreach may prove more expensive. NHTSA also notes, however, that while certain forms of non-traditional outreach may be more expensive than others (such as 9 If a vehicle manufacturer does not wish to follow the Monitor’s recommendations, the ACRO permits the manufacturer to propose an alternative communication strategy to NHTSA and the Monitor. ACRO ¶ 42. E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES canvassing), such outreach may not be occurring on a monthly basis, nor for all affected VINs. Balancing these considerations, NHTSA is revising its estimate of the cost of monthly outreach upward to $10/VIN per month, and welcomes further comment on the particular combination of outreach methods in which manufacturers are engaging on a monthly basis and associated costs therewith. In addition, although The Alliance does not specifically comment on the burden hours associated with non-traditional outreach,10 NHTSA recognizes that as the recalls progress and there is more frequent implementation of moreintensive outreach methods, the associated burden hours may also increase. Accordingly, NHTSA is also revising its estimate of the monthly burden upward from 2 hours to 10 hours to prepare and administer nontraditional outreach. NHTSA welcomes any additional insights from The Alliance regarding the specifics of its members’ outreach costs and burdens. As to the effectiveness and ‘‘practical utility’’ of outreach under the CCRs, this is in part reflected in the 2017 State of the Takata Airbag Recalls report from the Independent Monitor.11 Notably, completion percentages for recalls of the oldest vehicles under the Takata Coordinated Remedy Program avoided a ‘‘leveling off’’ in completion percentage typically observed for recall campaigns involving vehicles 10 years or older, and this can be attributed to, at least in part, the ACRO and associated CCRs.12 Another example is the completion percentages for Priority Group 4 vehicles which, for the first two quarters, were triple that of the completion percentages for recall campaigns launched prior to Coordinated Remedy Order in their first two quarters.13 And a further example can be seen in completion percentages in the first six quarters for Priority Group 4 vehicles, which were twice as high compared to completion percentages in the first six quarters for vehicles with recall campaigns that 10 In its August 12, 2019 comments, The Alliance notes the burden associated with monthly outreach ‘‘[v]aries widely among manufacturers, but includes multi-OEM canvassing activities that are very labor intensive.’’ Id. at 4. 11 This report is available at https:// www.nhtsa.gov/recall-spotlight/state-takata-recalls. 12 See State of the Takata Airbag Recalls at 66, fig.37. 13 See id. at 68, fig.39. Recall campaigns for Priority Group 4 vehicles were scheduled to launch March 31, 2017—after the ACRO and CCRs were issued. Most recall campaigns launched at that time. As noted in the Independent Monitor’s report, before the issuance of the ACRO and the CCRs, recall campaigns ‘‘used mainly infrequent, letteronly communication.’’ See id. at 67. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 were already underway before the Coordinated Remedy Order.14 As noted in the Monitor’s report, those campaigns ‘‘achieved in just two quarters what previously took more than five.’’ 15 The Monitor’s recent Update on the State of the Takata Airbag Recalls further discusses the efficacy of outreach, including an observation that most 2017 focus-group participants indicated that contact for a reminder regarding a serious, urgent safety risk should occur at least weekly, with almost two-thirds of survey respondents indicating several notifications each month would be appropriate.16 Maintaining such momentum— through mechanisms such as monthly outreach—is vital to the success of the recalls. And this is a goal in which Congress continues to take significant interest, including at a hearing on the issue on March 20, 2018. The Takata Monitor testified at that hearing: ‘‘Vehicle manufacturers using frequent, multi-channel outreach have seen completion percentages nearly twice as high as rates for vehicle manufacturers using traditional letter outreach, when targeting similarly situated vehicles over the same period of time.’’ 17 Two vehicle manufacturers likewise testified about their use of innovative outreach strategies to reach consumers and convince them to come in for a free repair.18 As to accounting for Monitorconducted surveys and other activities, as a general matter, monitors are ‘‘an independent third-party, not an employee or agent of the corporation or of the Government.’’ 19 Moreover, for the 14 Again, recall campaigns for Priority Group 4 vehicles were scheduled to launch March 31, 2017—after the ACRO and CCRs were issued. Most recall campaigns launched at that time. Note that Priority Group 4 data for quarters 3 through 6 consist of data from one vehicle manufacturer, which launched its Priority Group 5 campaign early (and therefore, at the time of the report, had six quarters of data). 15 See id. at 69, fig.40. 16 Update on the State of the Takata Airbag Recalls (2018) at 14, fig.9, available at http:// www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/ documents/update_on_the_state_of_the_takata_ airbag_recalls.v2.pdf. The Agency and the Independent Monitor have been and remain open to sharing information about the efficacy of certain methods of outreach to better guide vehicle manufacturers in executing their recall campaigns. 17 Written Testimony of John D. Buretta, Independent Monitor, https:// www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/ hearings?ID=EAE03543-B332-480F-8390B301E8F79CBB. 18 Written testimony of Rick Schostek, Honda North America; Written Testimony of Desi Ujkashevic, Ford Motor Company, https:// www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/ hearings?ID=EAE03543-B332-480F-8390B301E8F79CBB. 19 https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminalresource-manual-163-selection-and-use-monitors. PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45833 reasons described above, any such ‘‘collection of information’’ is subject to the PRA’s investigatory exception. Additionally, it should be noted that such research was not a prerequisite to the implementation of the monthlyoutreach provisions in the CCRs. As NHTSA previously observed in its notices, various other sources served as the bases for this recommendation.20 As to discounting our cost estimates based on vehicle manufacturers’ settlement agreements in multi-district litigation proceedings, The Alliance’s position is essentially that the ACRO predates the MDL settlement, and that ‘‘[t]he settling companies would have set aside more than $1Billion to comply with [the] ACRO, even if there had been no MDL settlement.’’ 21 Comments (Aug. 12, 2019) at 5. The Agency disagrees that this dictates a change in its approach. While the ACRO predates the MDL settlements, the agency must, on an ongoing basis, consider all attendant circumstances and be forward-looking in estimating the costs associated with its initiatives—consistent with the forward-looking purpose of its statute: ‘‘to reduce traffic accidents and deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents.’’ 49. U.S.C. 30101; see id. 30118(c)(1) (notification of vehicle owners of a defect); id. 30119 (notification procedures); id. 30120(d) (manufacturer’s remedy program). At present, settling vehicle manufacturers have already chosen to enter into these settlement agreements, and looking forward, these vehicle manufacturers must comply with its terms—including provisions for enhanced outreach efforts. It is appropriate that NHTSA’s burden estimate discounts for enhanced outreach that will occur regardless of the ACRO. In fact, the Agency’s view is that outreach conducted under the settlements appear to satisfy the minimum recommendations of the ACRO and CCRs. The Alliance’s comments that costs associated with the ACRO were considered when executing the settlement agreements, or that manufacturers would have set aside those funds to comply with the ACRO in the absence of a settlement, do not affect this. But for NHTSA’s ACRO, as NHTSA is presently submitting its information-collection renewal, settling 20 See 82 FR 45941, 45945 & ns.5-–6 (Oct. 2, 2017); 82 FR 60789, 60794 & n.6 (Dec. 22, 2017). 21 Those manufacturers are Toyota; Subaru; Nissan; BMW; Mazda; Honda; and Ford. See generally In re: Takata Airbag Products Liab. Litig., 14–cv–24009, MDL No. 2599 (S.D. Fla.). Our 60-day notice only accounted for six vehicle manufacturers that have entered into settlement agreements—there are seven. E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 45834 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices MDL vehicle manufacturers would still conduct outreach that would satisfy the ACRO’s requirements—and therefore the monthly outreach under the ACRO is not a marginal ‘‘burden’’ for those vehicle manufacturers for which the Agency must account in this collection. To account for the progression of the recalls since its last notice, NHTSA is revising its previous estimates associated with this part of the collection. NHTSA continues to estimate a yearly average of 19 manufacturers will be issuing monthly supplemental communications over the next three years pursuant to the ACRO and the CCRs. Manufacturers may satisfy the CCRs through third-party vendors (which have been utilized by many manufacturers), in-house strategies, or some combination thereof. NHTSA estimates the cost for supplemental communications at $10.00 per VIN per month. The volume of outreach required by the ACRO and the CCRs (and the costs associated with that outreach) is a function of the number of unrepaired vehicles that are in a launched campaign and are not otherwise accounted for as scrapped, stolen, exported, or otherwise unreachable. The schedule in Paragraph 35 of the ACRO delineates the expected remedy completion rate, by quarter, of vehicles in a launched remedy campaign. Utilizing these variables, we now estimate an initial annualized cost over the next three years of $1,018,882,470 per year, with an annualized discount of $541,833,140 to account for outreach conducted pursuant to the MDL settlement agreements by seven vehicle manufacturers, for a net annualized cost of $477,049,330. NHTSA estimates that manufacturers will take an average of 10 hours each month drafting or customizing supplemental recall communications utilizing nontraditional means, submitting them to NHTSA for review, and finalizing them to send to affected owners and purchasers. NHTSA therefore estimates that 2280 burden hours annually are associated with issuing these supplemental recall communications, with an annualized discount of 840 hours to account for outreach conducted pursuant to the MDL settlement agreements by seven vehicle manufacturers, for a net annualized burden of 1440 hours. Because of the forgoing burden estimates, we are revising the burden estimate associated with this collection. The 49 CFR part 573 and 49 CFR part 577 requirements found in today’s notice will require 66,004 hours each year. NHTSA estimates the labor cost for VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:52 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 compiling and submitting the required information under 49 CFR parts 573 and 577 to be $33.98 per hour using the Bureau of Labor’s mean hourly wage estimate for technical writers in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry (Standard Occupational Classification # 27–3042).22 NHTSA thus estimates that it will cost vehicle manufacturers $2,242,815.92 in wage costs to comply with the Part 573 and 577 requirements. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that for private industry workers, wages represent 70.1% of total compensation.23 Therefore, the total labor cost associated with the hourly burden is estimated to be $3,199,453. Accordingly, manufacturers impacted by 49 CFR part 573 and 49 CFR part 577 requirements will incur a recurring annual cost estimated at $92,334,913 total. The burden estimate in this collection contemplated for conducting supplemental recall communications under administrative order to achieve completion of the Takata recalls is 1440 hours each year. That administrative order contemplates impacted manufacturers incurring an annual cost estimated at $477,049,330. NHTSA also estimates the labor cost for compiling and submitting the required information to be $35.28 per hour using the Bureau of Labor’s mean hourly wage estimate for Media and Communications Workers in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry (Standard Occupational Classification #27–3000).24 Assuming that 1440 hours per year would be associated with issuing supplemental recall communications, at an average cost of $35.28 per hour, NHTSA estimates vehicle manufacturers will incur $50,803.20 (1440 hours × $35.28) annually in wage costs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that for private industry workers, wages represent 70.1% of total compensation.25 Therefore, the total labor cost associated with the hourly 22 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates NAICS 336100— Motor Vehicle Manufacturing, May 2018, https:// www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_336100.htm#470000, last accessed August 26, 2019; US Office of Management and Budget. Standard Occupation Classification Manual, 2018. 23 Employer Costs for Employee Compensation– March 2019, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ ecec.pdf, last accessed August 26, 2019. 24 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates NAICS 336100— Motor Vehicle Manufacturing, May 2018, https:// www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_336100.htm#470000, last accessed August 26, 2019; US Office of Management and Budget. Standard Occupation Classification Manual, 2018. 25 Employer Costs for Employee CompensationMarch 2019, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ ecec.pdf, last accessed August 26, 2019. PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 burden of supplemental recall communications is estimated to be $72,472.47. Therefore, in total, we estimate the burden associated with this collection to be 67,444 hours each year, with a recurring annual cost estimated at $569,456,715.47. Estimated Number of Respondents— NHTSA estimates that there will be approximately 249 manufacturers per year filing defect or noncompliance reports and completing the other information collection responsibilities associated with those filings. NHTSA estimates there will be an average of 19 manufacturers each year conducting supplemental nontraditional monthly outreach pursuant to administrative order in an enforcement action associated with the Takata recalls. Jeffrey Giuseppe, Associate Administrator for Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2019–18820 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am]18820 BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service Proposed Allowance of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Transitional Guidance Under Sections 162(f) and 6050X With Respect to Certain Fines, Penalties, and Other Amounts Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: The Internal Revenue Service, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Currently, the IRS is soliciting comments concerning transitional guidance under sections 162(f) and 6050X with respect to certain fines, penalties, and other amounts. DATES: Written comments should be received on or before October 29, 2019 to be assured of consideration. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Laurie Brimmer, Internal Revenue Service, Room 6129, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20224. Requests for additional information or copies of the regulations should be directed to R. Joseph Durbala, at Internal Revenue Service, Room 6129, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 169 (Friday, August 30, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45828-45834]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18820]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[U.S. DOT Docket Number NHTSA-2016-0065]


Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Request for 
Comment; Defect and Noncompliance Reporting and Notification

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this 
notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) 
abstracted below is being forwarded to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of 
the information collections and their expected burden. The Federal 
Register Notice with a 60-day comment period was published on June 12, 
2019.

DATES: Comments must be submitted to OMB on or before September 30, 
2019.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, OMB, Attention: NHTSA Desk Officer, 725 17th Street NW, 
Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Hench, Office of Chief Counsel 
(NCC-0100), Room W41-229, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, 
DC 20590. Telephone: 202.366.2992.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB 
for approval, it must first publish a document in the Federal Register 
providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of 
the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of 
information. OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be 
included in such a document. Under OMB's regulation, see 5 CFR 
1320.8(d), an agency must ask for public comment on the following:
    (i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether the information will have practical utility;
    (ii) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the

[[Page 45829]]

validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
    (iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    (iv) How to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses.
    In compliance with these requirements, NHTSA asks for public 
comments on the following collection of information:
    Title: Defect and Noncompliance Reporting and Notification.
    Type of Request: Renewal of a currently approved information 
collection.
    Type of Review Requested: Regular.
    OMB Control Number: 2127-0004.
    Affected Public: Businesses or individuals.
    Abstract: The 60-day notice for this information collection 
received two (2) comments. One of those comments appears to have been 
placed on the incorrect docket. The other comment received was 
submitted by The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance). The 
Alliance offered comments on the scope of, and burdens associated with, 
the collection as it relates to the Takata Coordinated Remedy Program. 
A summary of these comments is below with the corresponding burden 
estimates, along with the agency's response.
    This collection covers the information collection requirements 
found within various statutory provisions of the Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act of 1966 (Act), 49 U.S.C. 30101, et seq., that address and require 
manufacturer notifications to NHTSA of safety-related defects and 
failures to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 
in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, as well as the provision 
of particular information related to the ensuing owner and dealer 
notifications and free remedy campaigns that follow those 
notifications. The sections of the Act imposing these requirements 
include 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30119, 30120, and 30166. Many of these 
requirements are implemented through, and addressed with more 
specificity in, 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports (part 573) and 49 CFR 577, Defect and 
Noncompliance Notification (part 577).
    Pursuant to the Act, motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment 
manufacturers are obligated to notify, and then provide various 
information and documents to, NHTSA in the event a safety defect or 
noncompliance with FMVSS is identified in products they manufactured. 
See 49 U.S.C. 30118(b) and 49 CFR 573.6. Manufacturers are further 
required to notify owners, purchasers, dealers, and distributors about 
the safety defect or noncompliance. See 49 U.S.C. 30118(b), 30120(a); 
49 CFR 577.7, 577.13. Manufacturers are required to provide to NHTSA 
copies of communications pertaining to recall campaigns that they issue 
to owners, purchasers, dealers, and distributors. See 49 U.S.C. 
30166(f); 49 CFR 573.6(c)(10).
    Manufacturers are also required to file with NHTSA a plan 
explaining how they intend to reimburse owners and purchasers who paid 
to have their products remedied before being notified of the safety 
defect or noncompliance, and explain that plan in the notifications 
they issue to owners and purchasers about the safety defect or 
noncompliance. See 49 U.S.C. 30120(d) and 49 CFR 573.13. Manufacturers 
are further required to keep lists of the respective owners, 
purchasers, dealers, distributors, lessors, and lessees of the products 
determined to be defective or noncompliant and involved in a recall 
campaign, and are required to provide NHTSA with a minimum of six 
quarterly reports reporting on the progress of their recall campaigns. 
See 49 CFR 573.8 and 573.7, respectively.
    The Act and Part 573 also contain numerous information collection 
requirements specific to tire recall and remedy campaigns. These 
requirements relate to the proper disposal of recalled tires, including 
a requirement that the manufacturer conducting the tire recall submit a 
plan and provide specific instructions to certain persons (such as 
dealers and distributors) addressing that disposal, and a requirement 
that those persons report back to the manufacturer certain deviations 
from the plan. See 49 U.S.C. 30120(d) and 49 CFR 573.6(c)(9). The 
regulations also require that manufacturers report to NHTSA intentional 
and knowing sales or leases of defective or noncompliant tires.
    49 U.S.C. 30166(n) and its implementing regulation found at 49 CFR 
573.10 mandate that anyone who knowingly and willfully sells or leases 
for use on a motor vehicle a defective tire or a tire that is not 
compliant with FMVSS, and with actual knowledge that the tire 
manufacturer has notified its dealers of the defect or noncompliance as 
required under the Act, is required to report that sale or lease to 
NHTSA no more than five working days after the person to whom the tire 
was sold or leased takes possession of it.
    Pursuant to its safety authorities, NHTSA is continuing its 
oversight of recalls of unprecedented complexity involving Takata air 
bag inflators.\1\ Under the Coordinated Remedy Program established to 
address this major issue, and the associated Coordinated Remedy Order 
as amended on December 9, 2016 (the ``ACRO''), manufacturers issue 
supplemental owner communications utilizing non-traditional means.\2\
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    \1\ See generally ``Takata Recall Spotlight,'' https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/takata-recall-spotlight.
    \2\ See generally ``Notice of Coordinated Remedy Program 
Proceeding for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag Inflator,'' 
available at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0055.
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    Estimated Burden: NHTSA previously estimated an annual burden of 
36,070 hours associated with this collection (of which 456 hours was 
contemplated for conducting supplemental recall communications under 
administrative order to achieve completion of the Takata recalls), 
$155,450,329 (of which $27,836,329 is contemplated for conducting 
supplemental recall communications under administrative order to 
achieve completion of the Takata recalls), and 274 respondents per year 
(19 vehicle manufacturers conducting supplemental recall communications 
under administrative order to achieve completion of the Takata 
recalls).\3\ Our prior estimates of the burden hours and cost 
associated with the requirements currently covered by this information 
collection require adjustment as follows.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ See 82 FR 60789, 60790 (December 22, 2017).
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    Based on current information, we estimate 249 distinct 
manufacturers filing an average of 988 Part 573 Safety Recall Reports 
each year. This is a change from our previous estimate of 963 Part 573 
Safety Recall Reports filed by 274 manufacturers each year. In 
addition, with reference to the metric associated with NHTSA's Vehicle 
Identification Number (VIN) Look-up Tool regulation, see 49 CFR 573.15, 
we continue to estimate it takes the 17 major passenger-vehicle 
manufacturers (those that produce more than 25,000 vehicles annually) 
additional burden hours to complete these Reports to NHTSA, as explored 
in more detail below. See 82 FR 60789 (December 22, 2017). Between 2015 
and 2018, the major passenger-vehicle manufacturers conducted an 
average of 316 recalls annually.
    We continue to estimate that maintenance of the required owner, 
purchaser, dealer, and distributors lists requires 8 hours a year per 
manufacturer. We also continue to

[[Page 45830]]

estimate it takes a major passenger-vehicle manufacturer 40 hours to 
complete each notification report to NHTSA, and it takes all other 
manufacturers 4 hours. Accordingly, we estimate the annual burden hours 
related to the reporting to NHTSA of a safety defect or noncompliance 
for the 17 major passenger vehicle-manufacturers to be 12,640 hours 
annually (316 notices x 40 hours/report), and that all other 
manufacturers require a total of 2,688 hours annually (672 notices x 4 
hours/report) to file their notices. Thus, the estimated annual burden 
hours related to the reporting to NHTSA of a safety defect or 
noncompliance is 17,320 hours (12,640 hours + 2,688 hours) + (249 MFRs 
x 8 hours to maintain purchaser lists).\4\
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    \4\ For more information about how we derived these and certain 
other estimates, please see 81 FR 70269 (October 11, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We continue to estimate that an additional 40 hours will be needed 
to account for major passenger-vehicle manufacturers adding details to 
Part 573 Safety Recall Reports relating to the intended schedule for 
notifying its dealers and distributors, and tailoring its notifications 
to dealers and distributors in accordance with the requirements of 49 
CFR 577.13. An additional 2 hours will be needed to account for this 
obligation in other manufacturers' Safety Recall Reports. This burden 
is estimated at 13,984 hours annually (672 notices x 2 hours/
notification) + (316 notices x 40 hours/notification).
    49 U.S.C. 30166(f) requires manufacturers to provide to the Agency 
copies of all communications regarding defects and noncompliances sent 
to owners, purchasers, and dealerships. Manufacturers must index these 
communications by the year, make, and model of the vehicle as well as 
provide a concise summary of the subject of the communication. We 
continue to estimate this burden requires 3 hours for each vehicle 
recall for the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers, and 30 minutes 
for all other manufacturers for each vehicle recall. This totals an 
estimated 1,284 hours annually (316 recalls x 3 hours for the 17 major 
passenger-vehicle manufacturers) + (672 recalls x .5 for all other 
manufacturers).
    In the event a manufacturer supplied the defective or noncompliant 
product to independent dealers through independent distributors, that 
manufacturer is required to include in its notifications to those 
distributors an instruction that the distributors are then to provide 
copies of the manufacturer's notification of the defect or 
noncompliance to all known distributors or retail outlets further down 
the distribution chain within five working days. See 49 CFR 
577.7(c)(2)(iv). As a practical matter, this requirement would only 
apply to equipment manufacturers, since vehicle manufacturers generally 
sell and lease vehicles through a dealer network, and not through 
independent distributors. We believe our previous estimate of 87 
equipment recalls per year needs to be adjusted to 91 equipment recalls 
per year to better reflect recent data. We have estimated the burden 
associated with these notifications (identifying retail outlets, making 
copies of the manufacturer's notice, and mailing) to be 5 hours per 
recall campaign. Assuming an average of 3 distributors per equipment 
item, which is a liberal estimate given that many equipment 
manufacturers do not use independent distributors, the total number of 
burden hours associated with this third-party notification requirement 
is approximately 1,365 hours per year (91 recalls x 3 distributors x 5 
hours).
    As for the burden linked with a manufacturer's preparation of and 
notification concerning its reimbursement for pre-notification 
remedies, we continue to estimate that the preparation of a 
reimbursement plan takes approximately 4 hours annually. We also 
continue to estimate that an additional 1.5 hours per year is spent by 
the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers adapting the plan to 
particular defect and noncompliance notifications to NHTSA and adding 
tailored language about the plan to a particular safety recall's owner 
notification letters, while an additional .5 hours per year is spent on 
this task by all other manufacturers. And we continue to estimate that 
an additional 12 hours annually is spent disseminating plan 
information, for a total of 4,794 annual burden hours ((249 MFRs x 4 
hours to prepare plan) + (316 recalls x 1.5 hours tailoring plan for 
each recall) + (672 recalls x .5 hours) + (249 MFRs x 12 hours to 
disseminate plan information)).
    The Safety Act and 49 CFR part 573 also contain numerous 
information collection requirements specific to tire recall and remedy 
campaigns, as well as a statutory and regulatory reporting requirement 
that anyone who knowingly and intentionally sells or leases a defective 
or noncompliant tire notify NHTSA of that activity.
    Manufacturers are required to include specific information related 
to tire disposal in the notifications they provide NHTSA concerning 
identification of a safety defect or noncompliance with FMVSS in their 
tires, as well as in the notifications they issue to their dealers or 
other tire outlets participating in the recall campaign. See 49 CFR 
573.6(c)(9). We believe our previous estimate of 12 tire recalls per 
year needs to be adjusted to 11 tire recalls per year to better reflect 
recent data. We continue to estimate that the inclusion of this 
additional information will require an additional two hours of effort 
beyond the subtotal above associated with non-tire recall campaigns. 
This additional effort consists of one hour for the NHTSA notification 
and one hour for the dealer notification for a total of 22 burden hours 
(11 tire recalls a year x 2 hours per recall).
    Manufacturer-owned or controlled dealers are required to notify the 
manufacturer and provide certain information should they deviate from 
the manufacturer's disposal plan. Consistent with our previous 
analysis, we continue to ascribe zero burden hours to this requirement 
since to date no such reports have been provided, and our original 
expectation that dealers would comply with manufacturers' plans has 
proven accurate.
    Accordingly, we estimate 22 burden hours a year will be spent 
complying with the tire recall campaign requirements found in 49 CFR 
573.6(c)(9).
    The agency continues to estimate 1 burden hour annually will be 
spent preparing and submitting reports of a defective or noncompliant 
tire being intentionally sold or leased under 49 U.S.C. 30166(n) and 
its implementing regulation at 49 CFR 573.10.
    We continue to expect that nine vehicle manufacturers, who did not 
operate VIN-based recalls lookup systems prior to August 2013, incur 
certain recurring burdens on an annual basis. We continue to estimate 
that 100 burden hours will be spent on system and database 
administrator support. These 100 burden hours include: Backup data 
management and monitoring; database management, updates, and log 
management; and data transfer, archiving, quality assurance, and 
cleanup procedures. We continue to estimate another 100 burden hours 
will be incurred on web/application developer support. These burdens 
include: Operating system and security patch management; application/
web server management; and application server system and log files 
management. We continue to estimate these burdens will total 1,800 
hours each year (9 MFRs x 200 hours). We also continue to estimate the 
recurring costs of these burden hours will be $30,000 per

[[Page 45831]]

manufacturer.\5\ Furthermore, we continue to estimate that the total 
cost to the industry from these recurring expenses will total $270,000, 
on an annual basis (9 MFRs x $30,000).
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    \5\ $8,000 (for data center hosting for the physical server) + 
$12,000 (for system and database administrator support) + $10,000 
(for web/application developer support) = $30,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Changes to 49 CFR part 573 in 2013 required 27 manufacturers to 
update each recalled vehicle's repair status no less than every 7 days, 
for 15 years from the date the VIN is known to be included in the 
recall. This ongoing requirement to update the status of a VIN for 15 
years continues to add a recurring burden on top of the one-time burden 
to implement and operate these online search tools. We continue to 
estimate that 8 affected motorcycle manufacturers will make recalled 
VINs available for an average of 2 recalls each year and 19 affected 
passenger-vehicle manufacturers will make recalled VINs available for 
an average of 8 recalls each year. We believe it will take no more than 
1 hour, and potentially less with automated systems, to update the VIN 
status of vehicles that have been remedied under the manufacturer's 
remedy program. We continue to estimate this will require 8,736 burden 
hours per year (1 hour x 2 recalls x 52 weeks x 8 MFRs + 1 hour x 8 
recalls x 52 weeks x 19 MFRs) to support the requirement to update the 
recalls completion status of each VIN in a recall at least weekly for 
15 years.
    As the number of Part 573 Recall Reports has increased in recent 
years, so has the number of quarterly reports that track the completion 
of safety recalls. Our previous estimate of 4,498 quarterly reports 
received annually is now revised upwards to 5,512 quarter reports 
received annually. We continue to estimate it takes manufacturers 1 
hour to gather the pertinent information for each quarterly report, and 
10 additional hours for the 17 major passenger-vehicle manufacturers to 
submit electronic reports. We therefore now estimate that the quarterly 
reporting burden pursuant to Part 573 totals 5,682 hours ((5,512 
quarterly reports x 1 hour/report) + (17 MFRs x 10 hours for electronic 
submission)).
    We continue to estimate a small burden of 2 hours annually in order 
to set up a manufacturer's online recalls portal account with the 
pertinent contact information and maintaining/updating their account 
information as needed. We estimate this will require a total of 498 
hours annually (2 hours x 249 MFRs).
    We continue to estimate that 20 percent of Part 573 reports will 
involve a change or addition regarding recall components, and that at 
two hours per amended report, this totals 396 burden hours per year 
(988 recalls x .20 = 193 recalls; 198 x 2 = 396 hours).
    As to the requirement that manufacturers notify NHTSA in the event 
of a bankruptcy, we expect this notification to take an estimated 2 
hours to draft and submit to NHTSA. We continue to estimate that only 
10 manufacturers might submit such a notice to NHTSA each year, so we 
calculate the total burden at 20 hours (10 MFRs x 2 hours).
    We continue to estimate that it takes the 17 major passenger-
vehicle manufacturers an average of 11 hours to draft their 
notification letters, submit them to NHTSA for review, and then 
finalize them for mailing to their affected owners and purchasers. We 
also continue to estimate it takes 8 hours for all other manufacturers 
to perform this task. Accordingly, we estimate that the 49 CFR part 577 
requirements result in 8,852 burden hours annually (11 hours per recall 
x 316 recalls per year) + (8 hours per recall x 672 recalls per year).
    The burden estimate associated with the regulation that requires 
interim owner notifications within 60 days of filing a Part 573 Safety 
Recall Report must be revised upward. We previously calculated that 
about 12 percent of past recalls require an interim notification 
mailing, but recent trends show that 13 percent of recalls require an 
interim owner notification mailing. We continue to estimate the 
preparation of an interim notification can take up to 10 hours. We 
therefore estimate that 1,250 burden hours are associated with the 60-
day interim notification requirement (963 recalls x .13 = 125 recalls; 
125 recalls times 10 hours per recall = 1,250 hours).
    As for costs associated with notifying owners and purchasers of 
recalls, to reflect an increase in postage rates, we are revising our 
estimate of the cost of first-class mail notification to $1.53 per 
notification, on average. This cost estimate includes the costs of 
printing and mailing, as well as the costs vehicle manufacturers may 
pay to third-party vendors to acquire the names and addresses of the 
current registered owners from state and territory departments of motor 
vehicles. In reviewing recent recall figures, we determined that an 
estimated 51.4 million letters are mailed yearly totaling $78,642,000 
($1.53 per letter x 51,400,000 letters). The requirement in 49 CFR part 
577 for a manufacturer to notify their affected customers within 60 
days would add an additional $10,223,460 (51,400,000 letters x .13 
requiring interim owner notifications = 6,682,000 letters; 6,682,000 x 
$1.53 = $10,023,000). In total, we estimate that the current 49 CFR 
part 577 requirements cost manufacturers a total of $88,865,460 
annually ($78,642,000 for owner notification letters + $10,223,460 for 
interim notification letters = $88,865,460).
    As discussed above, to address the scope and complexity of the 
Takata recalls, NHTSA issued the ACRO, which requires affected vehicle 
manufacturers to conduct supplemental owner notification efforts in 
coordination with NHTSA and the Independent Monitor of Takata. On 
December 23, 2016, the Monitor, in consultation with NHTSA, issued 
Coordinated Communications Recommendations for vehicle owner outreach 
(``CCRs''), which includes a recommendation that vehicle manufacturers 
provide at least one form of consumer outreach per month for vehicles 
in a launched recall campaign (i.e., a recall where parts are 
available) until the vehicle is remedied (unless otherwise accounted 
for as scrapped, stolen, exported, or otherwise unreachable under 
certain procedures in the ACRO). See CCRs ] 1(b); ACRO ]] 45-46. The 
Monitor also recommended that manufacturers utilize at least three non-
traditional means of communication (e.g., postcards; email; telephone 
calls; text message; social media) as part of their overall outreach 
strategy. See CCRs ] 1(a). And the Monitor recommended including 
certain content in these communications, including certain safety-risk 
information. See id. ] 2. If a vehicle manufacturer does not wish to 
follow the Monitor's recommendations, the ACRO permits the manufacturer 
to propose an alternative communication strategy to NHTSA and the 
Monitor. ACRO ] 42.
    As noted above, two comments were submitted in response to the 60-
day notice of this information collection. One of those comments 
appears to have been placed on the incorrect docket. The other comment, 
filed by The Alliance (which also attached two previously filed 
comments regarding this collection), responded to several facets of the 
notice that touch on two primary issues: (1) The extent to which 
various provisions of the ACRO are subject to the PRA (and whether the 
investigatory exception applies to the PRA in this context); and (2) 
the accuracy of the agency's burden estimate. The Alliance commented 
that it believes that NHTSA should account for additional cost burdens 
under the

[[Page 45832]]

ACRO beyond the monthly outreach recommended under the CCRs. See 
Comments (Aug. 12, 2019) at 2-4. The Alliance also commented that NHTSA 
underestimated the costs associated with this monthly outreach, and 
that NHTSA should provide separate burden estimates for each category 
of outreach and compare those burdens with ``evidence of 
effectiveness.'' See id. at 2, 5. In addition, The Alliance commented 
that NHTSA should account for Monitor-conducted surveys and other 
activities, and provide ``information justifying the practical 
utility'' of supplemental non-traditional outreach. See id. at 5. The 
Alliance further commented that it disagrees with NHTSA's discounting 
of its cost estimates based on vehicle manufacturer settlement 
agreements in multi-district litigation proceedings. Id.
    As to the extent to which various provision of the ACRO in addition 
to the CCRs described above are subject to the PRA, The Alliance 
previously commented that the investigatory exception to the PRA 
applies `` `only after a case file or equivalent is opened with respect 
to a particular party . . . and only with respect to `an administrative 
action, investigation or audit involving an agency against specific 
individuals or entities.' '' Comments (Jan. 22, 2018) at 2 (quoting 5 
CFR 1320.4(a)(2), (c)). The Alliance's position is that ``if there is 
any relevant investigation,'' it is an investigation against Takata--
not the affected automakers, because they ``are not the target'' of the 
investigation. Id. Therefore, the Alliance believes NHTSA should 
account for burdens associated with other provisions of the ACRO, 
beyond the monthly-outreach recommendations in the CCRs. See id. at 3-
4.
    NHTSA is not persuaded that it should deviate from its approach. 
The plain meaning of the statute specifically exempts collections of 
information ``during the conduct of . . . an administrative action, 
investigation, or audit involving an agency against specific 
individuals or entities.'' 44 U.S.C. 3518(c)(1)(B)(ii) (emphasis 
added); 5 CFR 1320.4(a)(2), 1320.3(c). NHTSA's investigation is clearly 
directed at ``specific individuals or entities''--both Takata and the 
19 specifically named vehicle manufacturers that installed defective 
Takata inflators. See Opening Resume for EA15-001.\6\ Indeed, the 
Coordinated Remedy Order did not originally contain numerous vehicle 
manufacturers that were, subsequently, added to the Program.\7\ After 
an expansion of the recalls in light of new information, NHTSA 
specifically added seven ``newly affected'' vehicle manufacturers to 
the Coordinated Remedy Program in its Third Amendment to the 
Coordinated Remedy Order. See ACRO ]] 8, 10, 31.\8\
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    \6\ https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/inv/2015/INOA-EA15001-4970.PDF.
    \7\ The ``original affected manufacturers'' were: BMW of North 
America, LLC; FCA US, LLC; Daimler Trucks North America, LLC; 
Daimler Vans USA, LLC; Ford Motor Company; General Motors, LLC; 
American Honda Motor Company; Mazda North American Operations; 
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.; Nissan North America, Inc.; 
Subaru of America, Inc.; and Toyota Motor Engineering and 
Manufacturing.
    \8\ These newly affected manufacturers were: Ferrari North 
America, Inc.; Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC; McLaren 
Automotive, Ltd.; Mercedes-Benz US, LLC; Tesla Motors, Inc.; 
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.; and, based on a Memorandum of 
Understanding with the Agency, Karma Automotive (as to certain 
Fisker vehicles).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, contrary to Alliance and Global's suggestion, these orders 
are not generalized so as to apply broadly ``to a category of 
individuals or entities, such as a class of licensees or an industry'' 
under the PRA. See Comments (January 22, 2018) at 2 (citing 5 CFR 
1320.4(c)). Rather, the orders are limited to specific vehicle 
manufacturers the Agency has identified as affected by the Takata air 
bag recalls. See also Shell Oil Co. v. Babbitt, 945 F. Supp. 792, 806 
(D. Del. 1996) (rejecting argument that agency's investigations were 
limited to subjects covered in forms agency uses for routine inquiries, 
noting it is untenable to ``to limit [the agency] in a way that would 
seriously curtail its investigative efforts and in a way Congress never 
intended in passing'' an agency statute and the PRA); id. at 805-06 
(observing a ``long line of cases recognizing that an administrative 
agency's authority when it requests records and undertakes 
investigatory functions related to its responsibilities is very 
broad''); Lonsdale v. United States, 919 F.2d 1440, 1445 (10th Cir. 
1990) (recognizing courts holding that PRA is inapplicable to forms 
requesting information issued in investigation against an individual to 
determine tax liability); Pitts v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 
T.C. Memo 2010-101, 10 (May 6, 2010) (rejecting interpretation that PRA 
applies to tax collection due-process hearings because the hearings 
involve a ``category of individuals'' asked to submit a form).
    In sum, NHTSA is conducting an ongoing administrative action and 
investigation into particular parties--both Takata and the specifically 
enumerated affected vehicle manufacturers--as governed by the Takata 
Coordinated Remedy Program. The Program is constructed and implemented 
through various Agency orders (principally the Coordinated Remedy Order 
and amendments) directed specifically at a discrete, finite number of 
entities, including only those vehicle manufacturers affected by the 
Takata recalls. Accordingly, NHTSA's responses to comments and its 
burden estimates are limited to the monthly-outreach recommendation in 
the CCRs.
    Furthermore, to the burden estimate, NHTSA acknowledges the ``wide 
variety of outreach methods contemplated by the ACRO,'' and agrees with 
the Alliance's recognition that estimating per-VIN outreach cost is a 
difficult task given that outreach populations change and, with those 
changes, the methods necessary to engage those populations also 
changes. See Comments (Jan. 22, 2018) at 4; Comments (Aug. 12, 2019). 
The Alliance notes that costs of outreach per VIN may have increased as 
the recalls have progressed. Comments (Aug. 12, 2019) at 2. The 
Alliance also states that NHTSA should separately estimate the burdens 
for each category of outreach and compare the burden with the 
outreach's effectiveness. Id.
    The CCR provisions recommend ``[e]ngaging in outreach specific to 
the Takata airbag recall employing at least three'' methods of non-
traditional outreach, ``to ensure that each vehicle in a launched 
campaign receives at least one form of outreach per month until the 
vehicle is repaired'' (unless the vehicle can otherwise be accounted 
for as set forth in the ACRO). CCRs at 1 (emphases in original). Thus, 
the CCRs provide manufacturers wide latitude, and what specific 
outreach methods a vehicle manufacturer employs is the vehicle 
manufacturer's decision.\9\ The CCRs do not state that vehicle 
manufacturers must engage in, e.g., canvassing when the remaining 
recalled vehicle population reaches a certain threshold. NHTSA and the 
Independent Monitor have simply identified for vehicle manufacturers 
potential ways to achieve high completion rates for certain vehicle 
populations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ If a vehicle manufacturer does not wish to follow the 
Monitor's recommendations, the ACRO permits the manufacturer to 
propose an alternative communication strategy to NHTSA and the 
Monitor. ACRO ] 42.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA recognizes that as vehicles are repaired, the harder-to-reach 
owners comprise a larger portion of the remaining unrepaired 
population, and that as manufacturers adopt more intensive outreach 
methods, outreach may prove more expensive. NHTSA also notes, however, 
that while certain forms of non-traditional outreach may be more 
expensive than others (such as

[[Page 45833]]

canvassing), such outreach may not be occurring on a monthly basis, nor 
for all affected VINs. Balancing these considerations, NHTSA is 
revising its estimate of the cost of monthly outreach upward to $10/VIN 
per month, and welcomes further comment on the particular combination 
of outreach methods in which manufacturers are engaging on a monthly 
basis and associated costs therewith. In addition, although The 
Alliance does not specifically comment on the burden hours associated 
with non-traditional outreach,\10\ NHTSA recognizes that as the recalls 
progress and there is more frequent implementation of more-intensive 
outreach methods, the associated burden hours may also increase. 
Accordingly, NHTSA is also revising its estimate of the monthly burden 
upward from 2 hours to 10 hours to prepare and administer non-
traditional outreach. NHTSA welcomes any additional insights from The 
Alliance regarding the specifics of its members' outreach costs and 
burdens.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ In its August 12, 2019 comments, The Alliance notes the 
burden associated with monthly outreach ``[v]aries widely among 
manufacturers, but includes multi-OEM canvassing activities that are 
very labor intensive.'' Id. at 4.
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    As to the effectiveness and ``practical utility'' of outreach under 
the CCRs, this is in part reflected in the 2017 State of the Takata 
Airbag Recalls report from the Independent Monitor.\11\ Notably, 
completion percentages for recalls of the oldest vehicles under the 
Takata Coordinated Remedy Program avoided a ``leveling off'' in 
completion percentage typically observed for recall campaigns involving 
vehicles 10 years or older, and this can be attributed to, at least in 
part, the ACRO and associated CCRs.\12\ Another example is the 
completion percentages for Priority Group 4 vehicles which, for the 
first two quarters, were triple that of the completion percentages for 
recall campaigns launched prior to Coordinated Remedy Order in their 
first two quarters.\13\ And a further example can be seen in completion 
percentages in the first six quarters for Priority Group 4 vehicles, 
which were twice as high compared to completion percentages in the 
first six quarters for vehicles with recall campaigns that were already 
underway before the Coordinated Remedy Order.\14\ As noted in the 
Monitor's report, those campaigns ``achieved in just two quarters what 
previously took more than five.'' \15\ The Monitor's recent Update on 
the State of the Takata Airbag Recalls further discusses the efficacy 
of outreach, including an observation that most 2017 focus-group 
participants indicated that contact for a reminder regarding a serious, 
urgent safety risk should occur at least weekly, with almost two-thirds 
of survey respondents indicating several notifications each month would 
be appropriate.\16\
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    \11\ This report is available at https://www.nhtsa.gov/recall-spotlight/state-takata-recalls.
    \12\ See State of the Takata Airbag Recalls at 66, fig.37.
    \13\ See id. at 68, fig.39. Recall campaigns for Priority Group 
4 vehicles were scheduled to launch March 31, 2017--after the ACRO 
and CCRs were issued. Most recall campaigns launched at that time. 
As noted in the Independent Monitor's report, before the issuance of 
the ACRO and the CCRs, recall campaigns ``used mainly infrequent, 
letter-only communication.'' See id. at 67.
    \14\ Again, recall campaigns for Priority Group 4 vehicles were 
scheduled to launch March 31, 2017--after the ACRO and CCRs were 
issued. Most recall campaigns launched at that time. Note that 
Priority Group 4 data for quarters 3 through 6 consist of data from 
one vehicle manufacturer, which launched its Priority Group 5 
campaign early (and therefore, at the time of the report, had six 
quarters of data).
    \15\ See id. at 69, fig.40.
    \16\ Update on the State of the Takata Airbag Recalls (2018) at 
14, fig.9, available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/update_on_the_state_of_the_takata_airbag_recalls.v2.pdf. The Agency 
and the Independent Monitor have been and remain open to sharing 
information about the efficacy of certain methods of outreach to 
better guide vehicle manufacturers in executing their recall 
campaigns.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Maintaining such momentum--through mechanisms such as monthly 
outreach--is vital to the success of the recalls. And this is a goal in 
which Congress continues to take significant interest, including at a 
hearing on the issue on March 20, 2018. The Takata Monitor testified at 
that hearing: ``Vehicle manufacturers using frequent, multi-channel 
outreach have seen completion percentages nearly twice as high as rates 
for vehicle manufacturers using traditional letter outreach, when 
targeting similarly situated vehicles over the same period of time.'' 
\17\ Two vehicle manufacturers likewise testified about their use of 
innovative outreach strategies to reach consumers and convince them to 
come in for a free repair.\18\
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    \17\ Written Testimony of John D. Buretta, Independent Monitor, 
https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=EAE03543-B332-480F-8390-B301E8F79CBB.
    \18\ Written testimony of Rick Schostek, Honda North America; 
Written Testimony of Desi Ujkashevic, Ford Motor Company, https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=EAE03543-B332-480F-8390-B301E8F79CBB.
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    As to accounting for Monitor-conducted surveys and other 
activities, as a general matter, monitors are ``an independent third-
party, not an employee or agent of the corporation or of the 
Government.'' \19\ Moreover, for the reasons described above, any such 
``collection of information'' is subject to the PRA's investigatory 
exception. Additionally, it should be noted that such research was not 
a prerequisite to the implementation of the monthly-outreach provisions 
in the CCRs. As NHTSA previously observed in its notices, various other 
sources served as the bases for this recommendation.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-163-selection-and-use-monitors.
    \20\ See 82 FR 45941, 45945 & ns.5--6 (Oct. 2, 2017); 82 FR 
60789, 60794 & n.6 (Dec. 22, 2017).
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    As to discounting our cost estimates based on vehicle 
manufacturers' settlement agreements in multi-district litigation 
proceedings, The Alliance's position is essentially that the ACRO 
predates the MDL settlement, and that ``[t]he settling companies would 
have set aside more than $1Billion to comply with [the] ACRO, even if 
there had been no MDL settlement.'' \21\ Comments (Aug. 12, 2019) at 5. 
The Agency disagrees that this dictates a change in its approach. While 
the ACRO predates the MDL settlements, the agency must, on an ongoing 
basis, consider all attendant circumstances and be forward-looking in 
estimating the costs associated with its initiatives--consistent with 
the forward-looking purpose of its statute: ``to reduce traffic 
accidents and deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents.'' 
49. U.S.C. 30101; see id. 30118(c)(1) (notification of vehicle owners 
of a defect); id. 30119 (notification procedures); id. 30120(d) 
(manufacturer's remedy program).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Those manufacturers are Toyota; Subaru; Nissan; BMW; Mazda; 
Honda; and Ford. See generally In re: Takata Airbag Products Liab. 
Litig., 14-cv-24009, MDL No. 2599 (S.D. Fla.). Our 60-day notice 
only accounted for six vehicle manufacturers that have entered into 
settlement agreements--there are seven.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At present, settling vehicle manufacturers have already chosen to 
enter into these settlement agreements, and looking forward, these 
vehicle manufacturers must comply with its terms--including provisions 
for enhanced outreach efforts. It is appropriate that NHTSA's burden 
estimate discounts for enhanced outreach that will occur regardless of 
the ACRO. In fact, the Agency's view is that outreach conducted under 
the settlements appear to satisfy the minimum recommendations of the 
ACRO and CCRs. The Alliance's comments that costs associated with the 
ACRO were considered when executing the settlement agreements, or that 
manufacturers would have set aside those funds to comply with the ACRO 
in the absence of a settlement, do not affect this. But for NHTSA's 
ACRO, as NHTSA is presently submitting its information-collection 
renewal, settling

[[Page 45834]]

MDL vehicle manufacturers would still conduct outreach that would 
satisfy the ACRO's requirements--and therefore the monthly outreach 
under the ACRO is not a marginal ``burden'' for those vehicle 
manufacturers for which the Agency must account in this collection.
    To account for the progression of the recalls since its last 
notice, NHTSA is revising its previous estimates associated with this 
part of the collection. NHTSA continues to estimate a yearly average of 
19 manufacturers will be issuing monthly supplemental communications 
over the next three years pursuant to the ACRO and the CCRs. 
Manufacturers may satisfy the CCRs through third-party vendors (which 
have been utilized by many manufacturers), in-house strategies, or some 
combination thereof. NHTSA estimates the cost for supplemental 
communications at $10.00 per VIN per month.
    The volume of outreach required by the ACRO and the CCRs (and the 
costs associated with that outreach) is a function of the number of 
unrepaired vehicles that are in a launched campaign and are not 
otherwise accounted for as scrapped, stolen, exported, or otherwise 
unreachable. The schedule in Paragraph 35 of the ACRO delineates the 
expected remedy completion rate, by quarter, of vehicles in a launched 
remedy campaign.
    Utilizing these variables, we now estimate an initial annualized 
cost over the next three years of $1,018,882,470 per year, with an 
annualized discount of $541,833,140 to account for outreach conducted 
pursuant to the MDL settlement agreements by seven vehicle 
manufacturers, for a net annualized cost of $477,049,330. NHTSA 
estimates that manufacturers will take an average of 10 hours each 
month drafting or customizing supplemental recall communications 
utilizing non-traditional means, submitting them to NHTSA for review, 
and finalizing them to send to affected owners and purchasers. NHTSA 
therefore estimates that 2280 burden hours annually are associated with 
issuing these supplemental recall communications, with an annualized 
discount of 840 hours to account for outreach conducted pursuant to the 
MDL settlement agreements by seven vehicle manufacturers, for a net 
annualized burden of 1440 hours.
    Because of the forgoing burden estimates, we are revising the 
burden estimate associated with this collection. The 49 CFR part 573 
and 49 CFR part 577 requirements found in today's notice will require 
66,004 hours each year. NHTSA estimates the labor cost for compiling 
and submitting the required information under 49 CFR parts 573 and 577 
to be $33.98 per hour using the Bureau of Labor's mean hourly wage 
estimate for technical writers in the motor vehicle manufacturing 
industry (Standard Occupational Classification # 27-3042).\22\ NHTSA 
thus estimates that it will cost vehicle manufacturers $2,242,815.92 in 
wage costs to comply with the Part 573 and 577 requirements. The Bureau 
of Labor Statistics estimates that for private industry workers, wages 
represent 70.1% of total compensation.\23\ Therefore, the total labor 
cost associated with the hourly burden is estimated to be $3,199,453. 
Accordingly, manufacturers impacted by 49 CFR part 573 and 49 CFR part 
577 requirements will incur a recurring annual cost estimated at 
$92,334,913 total.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage 
Estimates NAICS 336100--Motor Vehicle Manufacturing, May 2018, 
https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_336100.htm#47-0000, last 
accessed August 26, 2019; US Office of Management and Budget. 
Standard Occupation Classification Manual, 2018.
    \23\ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation-March 2019, 
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf, last accessed August 
26, 2019.
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    The burden estimate in this collection contemplated for conducting 
supplemental recall communications under administrative order to 
achieve completion of the Takata recalls is 1440 hours each year. That 
administrative order contemplates impacted manufacturers incurring an 
annual cost estimated at $477,049,330. NHTSA also estimates the labor 
cost for compiling and submitting the required information to be $35.28 
per hour using the Bureau of Labor's mean hourly wage estimate for 
Media and Communications Workers in the motor vehicle manufacturing 
industry (Standard Occupational Classification #27-3000).\24\ Assuming 
that 1440 hours per year would be associated with issuing supplemental 
recall communications, at an average cost of $35.28 per hour, NHTSA 
estimates vehicle manufacturers will incur $50,803.20 (1440 hours x 
$35.28) annually in wage costs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics 
estimates that for private industry workers, wages represent 70.1% of 
total compensation.\25\ Therefore, the total labor cost associated with 
the hourly burden of supplemental recall communications is estimated to 
be $72,472.47.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage 
Estimates NAICS 336100--Motor Vehicle Manufacturing, May 2018, 
https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_336100.htm#47-0000, last 
accessed August 26, 2019; US Office of Management and Budget. 
Standard Occupation Classification Manual, 2018.
    \25\ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation-March 2019, 
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf, last accessed August 
26, 2019.
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    Therefore, in total, we estimate the burden associated with this 
collection to be 67,444 hours each year, with a recurring annual cost 
estimated at $569,456,715.47.
    Estimated Number of Respondents--NHTSA estimates that there will be 
approximately 249 manufacturers per year filing defect or noncompliance 
reports and completing the other information collection 
responsibilities associated with those filings. NHTSA estimates there 
will be an average of 19 manufacturers each year conducting 
supplemental nontraditional monthly outreach pursuant to administrative 
order in an enforcement action associated with the Takata recalls.

Jeffrey Giuseppe,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2019-18820 Filed 8-29-19; 8:45 am]18820
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P