Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems, Incorporation by Reference, 69388-69459 [2020-21477]

Download as PDF 69388 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA–2020–0093] RIN 2127–AL34 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems, Incorporation by Reference National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21), this document proposes to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, ‘‘Child restraint systems,’’ by updating the standard seat assembly on which child restraint systems (CRSs) are tested to determine their compliance with the standard’s dynamic performance requirements. This NPRM proposes other amendments to modernize FMVSS No. 213, including a lessening of restrictions in some of the standard’s owner registration and labeling requirements, to give manufacturers more flexibility in communicating with today’s parents for the purposes of increasing owner registrations for recall notification purposes and increasing the correct use of CRSs, respectively. NHTSA is also proposing ways to streamline the Agency’s use of test dummies to assess restraint performance, including simplifying the standard’s compliance tests to make them more reflective of the real-world use of CRSs today. The purpose of these and other proposals is to modernize the seat assembly and other aspects of FMVSS No. 213, to help ensure the continued effectiveness of CRSs in current and future vehicles. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 4, 2021. Proposed effective date: 180 days after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Proposed compliance date: Three years following the date of publication of a final rule in the Federal Register, with optional early compliance permitted. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the docket number identified in the heading of this document by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366–9332 before coming. • Fax: 202–493–2251. Regardless of how you submit your comments, please mention the docket number of this document. Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its decision-making process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.transportation.gov/privacy. In order to facilitate comment tracking and response, the agency encourages commenters to provide their name, or the name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely optional. Whether or not commenters identify themselves, all timely comments will be fully considered. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to www.regulations.gov, or the street address listed above. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366–9322 before coming. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues, you may call Cristina Echemendia, Office of Crashworthiness Standards (telephone: 202–366–6345) (fax: 202–493–2990). For legal issues, you may call Deirdre Fujita, Office of Chief Counsel (telephone: 202–366– 2992) (fax: 202–366–3820). Address: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Avenue SE, West Building, Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary a. Background b. Overview of this NPRM and Request for Comment II. Statutory Mandate a. National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (‘‘Vehicle Safety Act’’) b. MAP–21 c. NHTSA’s Views III. Updating the Representative Seat Assembly a. Background on This Proposed Seat Assembly b. Consistency with the Side Impact Bench c. Seat Geometry 1. Seat Back Angle 2. Seat Pan Angle 3. Seat Pan Length 4. Seat Back Height 5. Rear Seat Cushions i. Stiffness of the Bottom Seat Cushion ii. Thickness of the Bottom Seat Cushion iii. The Foam is Suitable for Use in the Standard’s Dynamic Test iv. Thickness of the Seat Back Foam v. Summary of Seat Assembly Features 6. Summary of Seat Geometry Features d. Seat Belt Anchorage Locations e. Child Restraint Anchorage System Locations IV. Installing CRSs with a Type 2 Belt Rather Than a Type 1 Belt V. Denial of Petition Regarding a Floor VI. No Safety Need to Increase Crash Pulse a. Introduction b. Safety Need—Crash Data Analysis c. Hard Copy Review of Case Files d. Globally, All Regulations Use a 30 MPH Test Speed e. Sled Testing of CRSs f. Agency Decision VII. Fleet Testing of CRSs on the New Seat Assembly Designs a. Initial Standard Seat Assembly Design (V1) b. Proposed Standard Seat Assembly Design (V2) VIII. Communicating with Today’s Parents a. CRS Owner Registration 1. Background 2. Overview 3. Proposed Changes to the Registration Program i. Information Card ii. Mail-in Card iii. Electronic Registration Form iv. Information on Labels and in Owners’ Manuals b. Information on Correctly Using CRSs 1. Removing Requirements for Specific Wording 2. Labeling of Use Information 3. Deleting S5.5.2(k)(2) 4. Other Requests of Evenflo and Safe Ride News Petition IX. Streamlining NHTSA’s Use of ATDs in Compliance Tests to Reflect CRS Use Today a. Introduction b. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 10– 13.6 kg (22–30 lb) c. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 13.6–18.2 kg (30–40 lb) E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules d. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 18– 29.5 kg (40–65 lb) e. Positioning the Legs of the HIII–3YO Dummy in Rear-Facing CRSs f. Table Summarizing Proposed Amendments g. Consistency with NHTSA’s Use of ATDs in the Proposed Side Impact Test X. School Bus CRSs XI. Child Passenger Safety Issues Arising from Research Findings XII. Proposed Lead Time XIII. Corrections and Other Minor Amendments a. Correct Reference b. Section 5.1.2.2 c. Table to S5.1.3.1(a) and Test Configuration II d. Updating reference to SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 XIV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses XV. Public Participation XVI. Appendix to Preamble jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 I. Executive Summary Consistent with MAP–21, NHTSA proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 to update the standard seat assembly on which child restraint systems (CRSs) are tested for compliance with the standard’s dynamic performance requirements. NHTSA also proposes lessening restrictions in some of the standard’s owner registration requirements to give manufacturers more flexibility to use current ways of communication for the purposes of increasing owner registrations for recall notification purposes. This NPRM proposes to lessen restrictions on the labeling requirements so manufacturers have the flexibility to provide CRS use information in statements, or a combination of statements and pictograms, in their own words at locations that they deem most effective in instructing caregivers on the correct use of the CRS. This NPRM also proposes ways to streamline the Agency’s use of test dummies to assess restraint performance, including simplifying NHTSA’s compliance tests to make them more reflective of the realworld use of CRSs today. In addition, NHTSA proposes amendments to FMVSS No. 213 to make the standard more design-neutral in accommodating CRSs that are designed for exclusive use on school bus seats.1 Lastly, NHTSA requests comment on several developments in child passenger safety, including the findings of research studies that raise safety concerns associated with some types of CRSs. 1 Currently, FMVSS No. 213 only permits a type of school bus ‘‘harness.’’ The proposed amendments would permit designs other than harnesses for this type of CRS. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 a. Background FMVSS No. 213 applies to all new child restraint systems (‘‘CRSs’’ or ‘‘child restraints’’) sold in this country. FMVSS No. 213 specifies performance requirements that must be met in a dynamic frontal sled test involving a 48 kilometer per hour (km/h) (30 mile per hour (mph)) velocity change, which is representative of a severe crash. Each child restraint is tested with an anthropomorphic test device (‘‘ATD’’ or ‘‘test dummy’’) while attached to a standardized seat assembly representative of a passenger vehicle seat (‘‘standard seat assembly’’). Currently, CRSs for infants and toddlers must meet minimum performance requirements when attached to the standard seat assembly by means of a lap belt. In addition, those CRSs must also meet those requirements in separate tests when attached by means of the lower anchorages of a child restraint anchorage system.2 Belt-positioning (booster) seats are tested on the standard seat assembly using a lap and shoulder belt, since the booster seats are specially designed to raise the child on a platform to obtain a proper fit of the vehicle lap and shoulder belts.3 Child restraints are highly effective in reducing the likelihood of death and injury in motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA estimates that, for children less than 1 year old, a child restraint can reduce the risk of fatality by 71 percent when used in a passenger car and by 58 percent when used in a pickup truck, van, or sport utility vehicle (SUV) (‘‘light truck’’). Child restraint effectiveness for children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old is 54 percent in passenger cars and 59 percent in light trucks.4 b. Overview of this NPRM and Request for Comment The main topics discussed in this document are highlighted below. This document retrospectively reviews and proposes revisions to FMVSS No. 213 to modernize the seat assembly and remove obsolete provisions from the standard. The Agency’s goal is to ensure the continued effectiveness of CRSs in current and future vehicles, thereby reducing the unreasonable risk of injury to children in motor vehicle crashes. (All references below are to 2 See 49 CFR 571.225. is also a 32 km/h (20 mph) test configuration for CRSs that have a certain type of torso restraint to ensure that the CRSs provide at least a minimum level of protection when the torso restraint is misused. See FMVSS No. 213 S6.1.1(b)(2), ‘‘Test Configuration II.’’ 4 Traffic Safety Facts—Children 2012 Data (April 2016). https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ Publication/812491. Last accessed on Aug 6, 2018. 3 There PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69389 subparagraphs in FMVSS No. 213 unless otherwise noted.) 1. As directed by § 31501(b) of MAP– 21, NHTSA proposes to amend the standard seat assembly (S6.1.1(a)(1)(ii)) so that it more closely resembles ‘‘a single representative motor vehicle rear seat.’’ The updated seat would have a seat cushion stiffness, seat geometry, and seat belt system (a lap/shoulder belt) (3-point or Type 2 belt system) that better represents rear seats of current passenger vehicle models. Given that Type 2 belts are required to be installed in passenger vehicles today, NHTSA proposes that CRSs meet the performance requirements of the standard while attached to the seat assembly with a Type 2 belt. We propose to delete, as obsolete, the current provisions in FMVSS No. 213 requiring CRSs to meet the standard’s requirements when attached to the seat assembly with a lap belt (2-point or Type 1 belt) (S5.3.2).5 Although features of the standard seat assembly will be updated, NHTSA believes that the differences between the updated and current seat assemblies will not significantly affect the performance of CRSs in meeting FMVSS No. 213. In developing this NPRM, NHTSA tested a wide variety of CRS designs in the market using the updated seat assembly. These CRSs had been certified by their manufacturers as meeting FMVSS No. 213’s performance criteria using the current seat assembly in the standard (which is representative of designs of older vehicle seats). In the tests on the updated seat assembly, all of the CRSs also met the standard’s performance requirements. These data indicate that new CRSs that will be certified as meeting FMVSS No. 213 on the new standard seat assembly will perform as well in older model year vehicles. 2. To make FMVSS No. 213 more responsive to the communication preferences and practices of today’s parents and to provide greater flexibility to manufacturers in responding to those preferences, this NPRM proposes to reduce the restrictions on the content and format of the owner registration card manufacturers must provide with new CRSs for purposes of recall notifications (S5.8). Manufacturers would still be required to provide the means to register by mail, but, at their option, would be able to use modern means of outreach and information 5 ‘‘Type 1’’ and ‘‘Type 2’’ seat belt assemblies are defined in FMVSS No. 209, ‘‘Seat belt assemblies.’’ This NPRM would not change the current requirement that CRSs also need to meet FMVSS No. 213 requirements while attached using a child restraint anchorage system. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69390 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules exchange and take advantage of the latest innovative technologies to increase owner registration rates. 3. To improve FMVSS No. 213’s labeling requirements to better instruct parents how best to use CRSs correctly, the NPRM proposes amendments to the labeling requirements (S5.5). FMVSS No. 213 currently requires manufacturers to label CRSs with information on the maximum height and weight of the children who can safely occupy the system (S5.5.2(f)). NHTSA believes there is a continued need for this ‘‘use information’’ to be permanently labeled on CRSs. However, to clarify the information, the NPRM proposes requiring that the information must be provided for each mode in which the CRS can be used (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster). Further, NHTSA proposes to lessen restrictions on the use information (S5.5, S5.6) by deleting requirements that prescribe specific wording about the height and weight ranges of children for whom the CRS is recommended and that specify that the label must be placed along other required statements in a warning label (S5.5.2(f), S5.5.2(g)(1)(i))). Instead, NHTSA proposes that, subject to the conditions listed below, manufacturers should have the flexibility to provide the use information in statements, or a combination of statements and pictograms, at visible locations that manufacturers deem most effective. The proposed conditions are based on sound best practice recommendations developed by the child passenger safety community, or are derived from our analyses of available data and other technical information. Manufacturers would have considerable flexibility to optimize the use information they provide for their CRSs, provided that the information meets these conditions. • Currently S5.5.2(f) requires child restraints to be labeled with the overall maximum and minimum height and weight ranges of the children for whom the CRS is recommended. In response to a petition for rulemaking from Evenflo and SafeRide News,6 NHTSA proposes that, for CRSs that can be used in multiple ‘‘modes’’ depending on the height and weight of the child (rearfacing, forward-facing, booster, etc.), the use information must be stated separately for each mode. To illustrate, instead of stating that a CRS (that can be used rear-facing and forward-facing) is for use by children weighing 5 to 65 lb (2.2–29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 6 A copy of the May 13, 2011 petition for rulemaking is in the docket. NHTSA is granting this request; this document denies other aspects of the petition. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 inches (121.9 centimeters (cm)), the label would indicate that the CRS is for use rear-facing by children weighing 5 to 40 lb (2.2 to 18.2 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches (121.9 cm), and forwardfacing by children weighing 30 to 65 lb (13.6 to 29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches (121.9 cm). The proposed condition would protect children under age 1-year 7 better by providing greater assurance that they are not turned forward-facing too soon. The proposed condition would also provide better guidance to caregivers on when to graduate a child from a rear-facing CRS to a forward-facing CRS with integral internal harness (car safety seat) and to a CRS in the booster seat mode. • Relatedly, the following condition better ensures a child under age 1 will be positioned rear-facing than forwardfacing. A child under age 1 is safest transported rear-facing. In seeking to achieve that end, FMVSS No. 213 currently specifies that forward-facing CRSs can only be recommended for children with a minimum weight of 9 kg (20 lb) (S5.5.2(k)(2)). However, the 9 kg (20 lb) threshold is too low. Although NHTSA meant for that weight to be a minimum, many CRSs use a weight of only 9 kg (20 lb), stating on their labels that a child may be forward-facing starting when he or she is 20 lb. NHTSA would like to raise the standard’s 20-lb threshold because it is too low to capture a sufficient population of oneyear-olds, as 9 kg (20 lb) is about the weight of an average 9-month-old. To increase the number of children under age 1 who are transported rear-facing, NHTSA proposes to raise this weight threshold to 12 kg (26.5 lb), which is the weight of a 95th percentile one-yearold.8 The Agency believes that the change to 26.5 lb would capture almost all one-year-olds and would therefore increase the number of children under age 1 transported rear-facing. • The following condition would enhance the protection of 3- to 4-yearold children traveling in motor vehicles. While FMVSS No. 213 currently specifies that booster seats can only be recommended for children with a minimum weight of 30 lb (S5.5.2(k)(2)), NHTSA tentatively believes this minimum should be raised to 18.4 kg 7 NHTSA and the entire child passenger safety community strongly recommend that children be kept riding rear-facing at least up to the age of 1year. Children under age 1 are safer rear-facing than forward-facing because in a crash the forces will be spread evenly across the child’s back and shoulders, the strongest part of the child’s body. Further, the back of the head rests against and is supported by the seating surface. 8 A 50th percentile 1-year-old weighs 22 lb. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 (40 lb). Crash data 9 show that, among 3and 4-year-olds, the risk of nonincapacitating to fatal injury 10 increases as much as 27 percent when the child is restrained in a booster seat rather than in a car safety seat (a CRS that has an integral internal harness). An 18.4 kg (40 lb) threshold corresponds generally to the weight of a 97th percentile 3-yearold (17.7 kg (39.3 lb)) and an 85th percentile 4-year-old. NHTSA believes that if booster seats were only recommended for children weighing a minimum of 18.4 kg (40 lb), more 3- and 4-year-olds will be transported in car safety seats, where they are better protected at that young age, than in booster seats. Booster seats are and continue to be a critical type of child restraint needed to restrain children properly in vehicles.11 Children will still transition to booster seats, but just when they are a little larger. 4. To simplify and make more realistic the Agency’s compliance testing of child restraint systems with various anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) (test dummies), this NPRM proposes the following changes. • NHTSA proposes streamlining the Agency’s selection of ATDs (test dummies) to assess CRS performance (S7). NHTSA would amend specifications for ATD selection (S7.1.2(c)) so that CRSs for children weighing 10 kg to 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb) would be tested with just the 12-monthold child test dummy (Child Restraint Air Bag Interaction (CRABI–12MO)), and would no longer be subject to being tested with the Hybrid III 3-year-old (HIII–3YO) test dummy. This proposed change would better align the dummy used in tests of infant carriers 12 with the size and weight of children typically restrained in infant carriers. • Similarly, NHTSA proposes amendments affecting CRSs labeled for children weighing from 13.6 kg to 18.2 9 ‘‘Booster Seat Effectiveness Estimates Based on CDS and State Data,’’ NHTSA Technical Report, DOT HS 811 338, July 2010. http://wwwnrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811338.pdf, last accessed on August 8, 2018. 10 The KABCO injury scale used is an on-thescene police-reported measure of injury. ‘‘K’’ is killed, ‘‘A’’ is incapacitating injury, ‘‘B’’ is nonincapacitating injury and ‘‘C’’ is possible injury. 11 NHTSA instructs that children should be restrained in a CRS for the child’s age and size. From birth through adulthood, children should be restrained first using a rear-facing car seat, then a forward-facing car seat, then a booster seat, and finally, the vehicle’s seat belts. https:// www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-boosterseats#age-size-rec. 12 An infant carrier is a rear-facing CRS designed to be readily used in and outside of the vehicle. It has a carrying handle that enables caregivers to tote the CRS plus child outside of the vehicle. Some come with a base that stays inside the vehicle onto which the carrier attaches. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules kg (30 to 40 lb). Currently, these CRSs are tested with the CRABI–12MO and the HIII–3YO. NHTSA tentatively believes that testing with the (22 lb) CRABI–12MO is unnecessary because the dummy is not representative of 13.6–18.2 kg (30–40 lb) children.13 This change would make NHTSA’s compliance tests more reflective of real world CRS use. • For CRSs for children in the 18.2 kg to 29.5 kg (40 to 65 lb) weight range, NHTSA proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 to specify testing solely with the state-of-the-art HIII–6YO child ATD. Due in part to issues relating to the HIII– 6YO’s performance in tests on the current (outdated) standard seat assembly, FMVSS No. 213 has provided manufacturers the option of NHTSA conducting compliance tests using the HIII–6YO or an older Hybrid II (H2) version of the test dummy (H2–6YO) (S7.1.2(d), S7.1.3). With the move to the updated seat assembly, the Agency believes the unrealistic chin-to-chest and head-to-knee contact problems seen in tests of the HIII–6YO on the current seat assembly would be eliminated. The HIII–6YO is preferred as it is a more biofidelic test device than the H2–6YO dummy, and more and more CRS manufacturers are using the HIII–6YO rather than the H2–6YO dummy. Further, phasing out of the older H2– 6YO is desirable because it is becoming more difficult to obtain replacement parts for the dummy. For these reasons, NHTSA is proposing to remove the optional use of the H2–6YO dummy and, instead, to adopt a provision that NHTSA will only use the HIII–6YO in compliance tests. NHTSA proposes sufficient lead time (e.g., 3 years after publication of a final rule) for the change. • Increasing numbers of CRSs are sold for use rear-facing with older children. To facilitate the Agency’s compliance testing of the restraints, NHTSA proposes a procedure for positioning the 3-year-old child test dummy’s legs when the dummy is rearfacing. The procedure involves placing the dummy’s legs up against the seat back and removing the dummy’s knee joint stops, which allows the legs to extend at the knee in the sled test and not brace the legs against the seat back. The proposed procedure is already used by some commercial test labs and CRS manufacturers to assess the suitability of rear-facing CRSs for older children. 13 If the CRS were also labeled as suitable for use by children weighing less than 13.6 kg (30 lb), then the CRS would be subject to testing with the CRABI–12MO. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 5. NHTSA proposes amendments to FMVSS No. 213 to accommodate different types of CRSs that are designed for exclusive use on school bus seats. These restraints are designed to install on school bus seats by way of straps wrapped around the school bus seat back or the seat back and seat pan (seat back mount or seat back and seat pan mounts). Currently FMVSS No. 213 permits a type of school bus ‘‘harness’’ (see S5.3.1(b) and S5.6.1.11). To permit restraints other than harnesses, the proposed amendments would include a new design-neutral definition for this type of CRS. This NPRM proposes specific requirements for the CRSs, including a warning label and instructions that indicate that the CRS must only be used on school bus seats. Estimated Benefits and Costs The proposal has the potential to provide safety benefits with, at most, minimal incremental costs. Updating Sled Assembly and Testing With Type 2 Belts The proposed updates to the sled test and testing with Type 2 belts would better align the performance of CRSs in compliance tests to that in real world crashes. NHTSA believes there would be benefits from making the FMVSS No. 213 test more representative of real world crashes, but quantification of the associated benefits/costs is not possible at this time due to a lack of data to make such an assessment. There would only be de minimus costs involved in changing the standard seat assembly used by NHTSA to assess CRS compliance. Manufacturers are not required to use the standard seat assembly, but as a practical matter they usually choose to do so, to test their CRSs as similarly as possible to the tests conducted by NHTSA. The one-time cost of the updated standard seat assembly sled buck is about $8,000. Whether a manufacturer chooses to build the assembly itself or uses one at an independent test facility, cost impacts are minimal when distributed among the hundreds of thousands of CRSs that would be sold by each manufacturer. NHTSA estimates that there would be little or no increased costs to child restraints to meet FMVSS No. 213’s requirements when tested on the new sled assembly. The Agency’s test data of representative CRSs in the fleet showed that virtually all CRSs met the standard’s requirements when tested on the new sled assembly. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69391 Registration Program The proposed changes to the registration card would provide flexibility to manufacturers in how they communicate with consumers and would likely help improve registration rates and recall completion rates. However, NHTSA cannot quantify the benefits at this time. The Agency estimates there would be no costs associated with the proposed changes. The proposed changes to the registration program would lessen restrictions and would be optional for manufacturers to implement. While the changes could affect the collection of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (discussed later in this preamble), there would be no additional material cost associated with the proposed changes to the registration card. Manufacturers could use the same card and just change the wording on them. Labeling The Agency believes that the proposed updates to the labeling requirements would benefit safety by reducing the premature graduation of children from rear-facing CRSs to forward-facing CRSs, and from forwardfacing CRSs to booster seats. The Agency estimates potentially 0.7 to 2.3 lives would be saved and 1.0 to 3.5 moderate-to-critical severity injuries would be prevented annually by raising the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for the use of forward-facing CRSs from 9 kg (20 lb) to 12 kg (26.5 lb). NHTSA also estimates potentially 1.2 to 4 lives would be saved and 1.6 to 5.2 moderate-to-critical injuries would be prevented by raising the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for use of booster seats from 13.6 kg (30 lb) to 18.2 kg (40 lb).14 The proposed changes to the labeling requirements would have minimal or no cost impacts, as mostly they are deregulatory. Manufacturers would be given the flexibility to provide required information in statements or a combination of statements and pictograms at locations that they deem most effective. Manufacturers may provide the recommended child weight and height ranges for the use of CRSs in a specific installation mode on existing voluntary labels by simply changing the minimum child weight limit values. Since no additional information would be required on the labels by this NPRM, the size of the label would not need to be increased. Thus, there would be minimal or no additional cost for the 14 The details of the benefits analysis are provided in the Appendix to this preamble. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69392 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 label. There would also be no decrease in sales of forward-facing car safety seats or of booster seats as a result of the proposal to raise the minimum child weight limit values for forward-facing CRSs and booster seats. Most forwardfacing CRSs cover a wide child weight range, so the labeling changes would only affect how consumers use the products and not the sale of them. For example, consumers would still purchase forward-facing car safety seats but would wait to use them until the child is at least 1. They would still purchase convertible 15 CRSs, but will delay turning the child forward-facing until the child is at least 1. Consumers would still purchase booster seats, but would use them when the child reaches 18.2 kg (40 lb) rather than 13.6 kg (30 lb). ATDs The proposed updates in how ATDs are used in the sled test for assessing CRS performance better accords with current CRS designs and best practices for transporting child passengers compared to the current specifications in FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA cannot quantify the possible safety benefits at this time. Manufacturers are not required to test their CRSs the way NHTSA tests child restraints in a compliance test. Assuming manufacturers choose to conduct the tests specified in FMVSS No. 213 to make their certifications of compliance, NHTSA believes there would be no cost increases associated with the proposals. Some of the proposed changes lessen testing burdens by reducing the extent of testing with ATDs. For example, the NPRM proposes that CRSs for children weighing 10 kg to 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb) would no longer be subject to testing with the HIII–3YO dummy. NHTSA estimates a reduction in testing cost of $540,000 for the current number of infant carrier models in the market. Also, CRS for children weighing 13.6–18.2 kg (30–40 lb) would no longer be tested with the CRABI– 12MO. The proposed positioning procedure for the legs of the HIII–3YO dummy in rear-facing CRSs is unlikely to have cost implications because the procedure is similar, if not identical, to that currently used by manufacturers. NHTSA believes there would only be minimal costs associated with NHTSA’s testing CRSs solely with the HIII–6YO dummy rather than the H2–6YO dummy. This is because there would be little or no design changes needed for 15 A convertible CRS is a type of CRS that can be used rear-facing or forward-facing with an internal harness system to secure a child. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 the CRSs due to this proposed update since nearly all the CRSs tested with the HIII–6YO in the proposed standard seat assembly complied with all the FMVSS No. 213 requirements.16 NHTSA’s testing also showed that CRSs that currently comply with FMVSS No. 213 using the H2–6YO dummy also met all the performance requirements in the standard when tested using the HIII– 6YO dummy in the proposed standard seat assembly. In addition, manufacturers increasingly are certifying at least some of their CRS models for older children using the HIII–6YO dummy rather than the H2– 6YO and so most manufacturers already have access to the HIII–6YO dummy and would not need to purchase the dummy as a result of this proposed update. We believe a lead time of three years is sufficient for redesigning CRSs that may need modifications to comply with the proposed updates to ATD selection for the sled test because most CRSs would need minor or no modifications to meet the proposed requirements. Further, a 3-year time frame aligns with the typical design cycle for CRSs, so any change needed to meet the requirements could be accommodated in the manufacturers’ normal refinement or refreshing of their designs. We note also that manufacturers have the option of not changing CRS designs in some instances, and may instead change the weight of the children for whom the CRS is recommended. Narrowing the population of children for whom the CRS is recommended in many instances would reduce the number of ATDs NHTSA would use in its compliance tests of the CRS. School Bus Child Restraint Systems The proposed changes to include in FMVSS No. 213 a new type of CRS manufactured for exclusive use on school bus seats would allow the sale of these products. The agency estimates there would be no cost impacts associated with the proposed changes because currently available products covered by the new definition of a school bus CRS already meet the proposed requirements. The benefits of the proposed changes are associated with the popularity of such CRSs in the pupil transportation industry for transporting preschool and specialneeds children. However, NHTSA cannot quantify these benefits at this time. 16 Of 21 tests with the HIII–6YO in the proposed seat assembly, all passed the performance metrics, except for one that failed head excursion limits. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 II. Statutory Authority This NPRM is issued under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.) and MAP–21. a. National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (‘‘Vehicle Safety Act’’) Under the Vehicle Safety Act, the Secretary of Transportation 17 is responsible for prescribing motor vehicle safety standards that are practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and are stated in objective terms.18 ‘‘Motor vehicle safety’’ is defined in the Vehicle Safety Act as ‘‘the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.’’ 19 ‘‘Motor vehicle safety standard’’ means a minimum performance standard for motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment.20 When prescribing such standards, the Secretary must consider all relevant, available motor vehicle safety information, and consider whether a standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the types of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for which it is prescribed.21 The Secretary must also consider the extent to which the standard will further the statutory purpose of reducing traffic crashes and associated deaths and injuries.22 b. MAP–21 MAP–21 incorporates Subtitle E, ‘‘Child Safety Standards.’’ Section 31501(b)(1) of Subtitle E requires that not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary 23 shall commence a rulemaking proceeding to amend the standard seat assembly specifications under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213 to simulate a single representative motor vehicle rear seat better. c. NHTSA’s Views NHTSA is issuing this NPRM under Vehicle Safety Act authority and MAP– 21. Section 31501(b)(2) of MAP–21 17 The responsibility for promulgation of Federal motor vehicle safety standards is delegated to NHTSA. 49 CFR 1.95. 18 49 U.S.C. 30111(a). 19 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(8). 20 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(9). 21 49 U.S.C. 30111(b). 22 Id. 23 Authority delegated to NHTSA. 49 CFR 1.95(p)(2). E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules directs NHTSA to issue a final rule amending the standard seat assembly of FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA believes that, in requiring a final rule amending ‘‘Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213,’’ MAP–21 envisions that the rulemaking on the standard seat assembly will accord with the requirements and considerations for FMVSSs under the Vehicle Safety Act. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 III. Updating the Representative Seat Assembly To update FMVSS No. 213’s assessment of CRS performance, NHTSA proposes to amend the standard seat assembly specified by FMVSS No. 213 to better simulate ‘‘a single representative motor vehicle rear seat,’’ as directed by § 31501(b) of MAP–21. The updated seat would comprise a stiffer seat cushion, representative seat geometry, and a 3-point seat belt (in lieu of the 2-point lap belt on the current seat assembly). The updated seat assembly would have only one seating position, unlike the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly, which has two positions. a. Background on This Proposed Seat Assembly In 2003, in response to the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act,24 NHTSA updated the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly to make it more representative of rear seats of the vehicle fleet (68 FR 37620, June 24, 2003).25 The 2003 final rule changed the seat assembly’s seat pan angle, seat back angle, spacing between the anchors of the lap belts and the rigidity of the seat back. Due to TREAD Act timeframes, limited agency resources and competing priorities, the update did not include modifications to the seat cushion.26 Aware that the seat cushion of the FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly was softer than the rear seat cushions of many new vehicles in the fleet, NHTSA continued to investigate seat cushion stiffness and other characteristics after the 2003 final rule. In 2012, the agency initiated a research program (‘‘Vehicle Rear Seat Study’’) as part of an initiative to assess the representativeness of the FMVSS No. 213 frontal impact sled test.27 The Vehicle Rear Seat Study surveyed vehicles in the fleet to compile data on the rear seat environment. The 24 November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106–414, Stat. 1800. 2003 final rule also updated the sled pulse to provide a wider test corridor. 26 A seat cushion consists of foam and a cover. 27 Aram, M.L., Rockwell, T., ‘‘Vehicle Rear Seat Study,’’ Technical Report, July 2012. Report available in the docket for this NPRM. study measured 43 individual rear seating positions in 24 model year (MY) 2010 vehicles. Measurements were obtained on features that included seat back angle and height, seat pan width, softness of the seat cushion, location of seat belts and locations of child restraint anchorage systems. NHTSA used data from the Vehicle Rear Seat Study in designing the seat assembly proposed in the January 28, 2014 NPRM on FMVSS No. 213’s side impact test.28 The dynamic sled test was originally developed by Takata Corporation. The agency used the vehicle survey data to guide the proposed seat design towards a seat assembly better representing the U.S. vehicle fleet. NHTSA sought to have the proposed seat assembly geometry and the belt and child restraint anchorage locations within one standard deviation of the average values in the current vehicle fleet. The proposed side impact bench seat assembly also had features of the seat assembly of Regulation No. 44 (R.44) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), ‘‘Uniform provisions concerning the approval of restraining devices for child occupants of power-driven vehicles (child restraint systems)’’ (ECE R.44). The January 28, 2014 side impact NPRM generated many comments on the proposed side impact seat assembly, notably with regard to the difficulty some commenters had in procuring the ECE R.44 seat cushion that had been proposed for inclusion in the seat assembly. Commenters also requested some changes to the lower anchorage specifications. b. Consistency with the Proposal for the Side Impact Bench As noted above, NHTSA’s January 28, 2014 NPRM proposing to add a dynamic side impact test to FMVSS No. 213 included specifications for a standard seat assembly that would be used in the compliance test. After reviewing the comments on the side impact proposal and other information, NHTSA is considering using the seat assembly proposed in this NPRM for the side impact test instead of the seat assembly that was proposed in the January 28, 2014 side impact NPRM. NHTSA believes that using the same specifications of the standard seat assembly (including seat geometry, seat 25 The VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 28 79 FR 4570, supra. As noted earlier, § 31501(a) of MAP–21 states that the Secretary shall issue a final rule amending FMVSS No. 213 to improve the protection of children seated in child restraint systems during side impact crashes. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69393 cushion, and anchorage locations 29) for both the side impact test and a frontal impact test makes sense, since the aim is to have a representative seat assembly and the same passenger vehicles are involved in side and frontal crashes. The standard seat assembly proposed in the January 2014 side impact NPRM is substantially like the seat proposed in this NPRM, but NHTSA believes this proposed seat assembly is a better seat assembly primarily regarding the cushion foam. The former specified use of the ECE R.44 seat cushion, while this proposed seat assembly incorporates seat cushion foam that is more representative of the seat cushion stiffness of the current vehicle fleet. This proposed seat cushion is also easier to procure than the ECE R.44 foam. Commenters to the January 2014 side impact NPRM expressed concerns about the difficulty to source the ECE R44 seat foam, which is only available from one overseas supplier.30 NHTSA tentatively believes that using the foam specified in this NPRM for the frontal test seat assembly would alleviate those concerns. There would be a few adjustments that would be made to the standard seat assembly proposed in the January 2014 side impact NPRM to make it like the seat assembly proposed today. This NPRM proposes cushion foam 101.6 mm (4 inches) thick while the ECE R.44 seat cushion is 127 mm (5 inches). If the foam specified in this NPRM is used in the side impact test, the intruding door structure of the side impact standard seat assembly would need to be lowered about an inch to maintain the vertical position of the intruding door relative to the standard seat assembly. Some adjustments would also be made to the seat belt anchorage locations and the seat back height proposed in the January 2014 NPRM. These and other issues are discussed in detail below in this preamble. The positioning of the child restraint anchorage system would be slightly moved so that the lower bars would be located where they are on the frontal test seat assembly proposed today.31 29 Anchorage locations are aligned to the corresponding seat assembly’s seat orientation reference line (SORL). 30 See also a memorandum documenting ex parte meeting with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), available at Docket No. NHTSA–2013–0055–0004. 31 NHTSA notes that the lower anchorage bars may not be configured like they are on the frontal test seat assembly proposed today. The lower anchorage design on the frontal test seat assembly consists of two side structures with a replaceable lower anchorage bar, a design that eases the bar’s replacement. NHTSA may not incorporate this E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM Continued 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Comments are requested on this issue of consistency between the seat assembly used in the side impact test and the seat assembly proposed in this NPRM for FMVSS No. 213’s frontal impact test. c. Seat Geometry 1. Seat Back Angle 2. Seat Pan Angle The Vehicle Rear Seat Study found that the average seat back angle of the surveyed vehicles was 20 degrees from vertical, with a standard deviation of 4 degrees.32 The seat back angle ranged from a minimum of 9 degrees to a maximum of 28 degrees from vertical. The Agency is proposing a seat back angle of 20 degrees on the updated test seat assembly. The value is representative of the seat back angles found in the vehicle fleet (within one standard deviation of the average values in the current fleet). Also, the proposed seat back angle would simplify the change to a new seat assembly in that it would be the same as the angle of the current FMVSS No. 213 test seat assembly and that of the originallyproposed standard seat for the side impact test. For the seat pan angle, the Vehicle Rear Seat Study found that the average angle was 13 degrees from the horizontal, with a standard deviation of 4 degrees.33 The seat pan angle ranged from a minimum of 7 degrees to a maximum of 23 degrees. The Agency is proposing to maintain a seat pan angle of 15 degrees on the updated test seat assembly. The measurement is representative of the seat pan angles found in the vehicle fleet (within one standard deviation of the average values in the current fleet). Also, the proposed seat pan angle would simplify the change to a new seat assembly in that it would be the same as the angle of the current FMVSS No. 213 test seat assembly and that of the originally-proposed standard seat assembly for the side impact test. The Agency notes that the seat pans of some vehicle rear seats are equipped particular anchorage design into the side impact seat assembly, as some commenters to the January 2014 side impact NPRM noted that the side structure of the lower anchorages can interfere with the lower anchorage attachments of the tested CRS. Instead, NHTSA is considering reconfiguring the design of the lower anchorages of the side impact seat assembly so that undue interference would be avoided. 32 The current seat back angle of the FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly is 20 degrees. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 The Vehicle Rear Seat Study measured the vehicles’ seat geometry and anchorage locations using a Seat Geometry Measuring Fixture (SGMF). The SGMF consisted of two wood blocks (600 mm x 88 mm x 38 mm) and PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 a 76 mm (3 inches) hinge (see Figure 1 below). To make the rear seat geometry measurements, the SGMF was positioned on the centerline of each rear seat position. Point A (see Figure 1), which corresponds to the hinge location of the SGMF, was the reference point for all measurements. with anti-submarining devices or are contoured in a manner to prevent submarining. The Agency did not replicate these features in the standard seat assembly for simplicity’s sake. NHTSA tentatively concludes that a seat pan angle of 15 degrees is representative of the seat pan angle of rear seats in the vehicle fleet and would be sufficient for evaluating the performance of CRSs attached to the seat. At the end of the seat geometry section, Table 3, infra, shows a comparison of the seat back and seat pan angles found in the vehicle fleet, and the proposed and current angles of the test seat assembly. 3. Seat Pan Length The Vehicle Rear Seat Study showed that the average seat pan length of the surveyed vehicles was 406 mm (16 inches) with a standard deviation of 38 mm (1.5 inches).34 33 The current seat pan angle of the FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly is 15 degrees. 34 The current FMVSS No. 213 test seat assembly has a seat pan length of 16.3 inch (416 mm). E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.004</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69394 4. Seat Back Height The Vehicle Rear Seat Study showed that the average height of the seat back was 688 mm (27 inches) with a standard deviation of 76 mm (3 inches) when the head restraint was included and 578 mm (22.7 inches) with a standard deviation of 60 mm (2.3 inches) when the head restraint was not included in the measurement.35 The Agency is proposing a seat back height of 573 mm (22.5 inches) for the The Agency compared the stiffness of rear seat cushions (consisting of foam and a cover) in the fleet to that of the seat cushions used in various test programs, including FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA first measured the quasi-static stiffness (force-deflection) of the seat cushions in rear seats of 13 MY 2003– 2008 passenger vehicles.36 The 13 passenger vehicles were representative of the current vehicle fleet, and comprise a mix of different vehicle types (passenger cars, SUVs, and minivans) produced by different vehicle manufacturers. A quasi-static load was applied at a rate of 0.374 mm/s using a 203 millimeters (mm) (8 inch) diameter disk shaped indentor. NHTSA compared the force-deflection values to those of the standard seat assembly specified in the New Programme for the Assessment of Child Restraint Systems (NPACS),37 ECE R.44, and FMVSS No. 213. The force-deflection curves of the different seat cushions are presented in Figure 2 below. The data showed that the current FMVSS No. 213 initial seat cushion stiffness (force for the first 25 mm of deflection) is less than that of the seat cushions in the 13 MY 2003–2008 vehicles. Conversely, the initial stiffness of the NPACS and the ECE R.44 seat cushions are greater than most of the measured vehicle seat cushions. Since CRSs are tested on the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly in a dynamic sled test, NHTSA also evaluated the dynamic stiffness of the various seat cushions. NHTSA compared the dynamic force-deflection (dynamic stiffness) of: The seat cushion in rear seats of 14 MY 2006–2011 vehicles, the seat foams specified in ECE R.44 and NPACS, and the seat cushion of the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly.38 The dynamic stiffness of the seat cushions and seat foams were determined using a pendulum impact device (PID), which consisted of an arm with a 152.4 mm (6 inch) diameter impactor (weighing 7.8 kg (17.2 lb)). The impactor was dropped at an average 35 The current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly has a seat back height of 20.35 inch (517 mm) and it does not have a head restraint. 36 Wietholter, K., Louden, A., and Sullivan, L. ‘‘Evaluation of Seat Foams for the FMVSS No. 213 Test Bench,’’ June 2016 available in the docket for this NPRM. 37 The NPACS consortium was funded in 2005 by governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, the Generalitat of Catalonia, and five non-governmental organizations. The objectives of NPACS is to provide scientifically based EU wide harmonized test and rating protocols to offer consumers clear and understandable information about dynamic performance and usability of child restraint systems. NPACS is similar to NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and the NCAP program administered in Europe (EuroNCAP), in that it is a voluntary consumer information program, rather than a binding regulation. The difference is that NPACS is designed to test CRSs, while NCAP focuses on vehicle performance. 38 The ECE and NPACS foams were tested with the foams placed on a flat adjustable table, while the FMVSS No. 213 seat cushion was tested with the cushion placed on the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly. The measured dynamic stiffness characteristics of the foam and cushion are not expected to differ significantly whether placed on a flat adjustable table or on a seat assembly. The Agency is proposing a seat pan length of 412 mm (16.2 inches), which is within one standard deviation of the average seat pan length in the current vehicle fleet. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 new standard seat assembly, which is within one standard deviation of the average seat back height when the head restraint is not included. 69395 VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 5. Rear Seat Cushions i. Stiffness of the Bottom Seat Cushion PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.005</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules impact velocity of 3.4 meters per second (m/s) (7.6 mph) on the seat cushion.39 The PID was instrumented with a triaxial accelerometer and an angular rate sensor to calculate the displacement and a uniaxial load cell to measure the force. Figure 3 below shows that the ECE R.44 and NPACS foams were found to be stiffer than the vehicle fleet. The FMVSS No. 213 foam, tested on the standard seat assembly with a cover, is on the low end of the vehicle fleet rear seat stiffness. Since the ECE R.44 and NPACS seat foam stiffness were found not to be representative of the current U.S. vehicle fleet (both quasi-static and dynamic stiffness), the agency developed a new seat cushion that would be representative. The foam used in the seat cushion was manufactured by The Woodbridge Group (Woodbridge),40 and is referred to as the ‘‘NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion’’ in this NPRM. The NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion consists of the foam material covered by the cover used in test procedures of ECE R.44. The ECE R.44 cover material is a sun shade cloth made of poly-acrylate fiber with a specific mass of 290 (g/m2) and a lengthwise and breadthwise breaking strength of 120 kg (264.5 lb) and 80 kg (176.3 lb), respectively.41 The dynamic force-deflection of the NHTSAWoodbridge standard seat cushion is shown below in Figure 4. NHTSA tentatively concludes that the stiffness of the NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion is satisfactorily representative of the average seat cushion stiffness found in the vehicle fleet (grey lines). 39 See ‘‘Evaluation of Seat Foams for the FMVSS No. 213 Test Bench,’’ June 2016, supra. A 3.4 m/s (7.6 mph) test speed was used. This speed resulted in the impact device compressing the foam similar to how the foam was compressed in FMVSS No. 213 sled tests with various test dummies. 40 The Woodbridge Group is a supplier of automotive seat foam, http://www.woodbridge group.com. 41 The properties of this new seat cushion would be fully specified in a drawing package accompanying this document to enable interested parties to manufacture this seat cushion. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.006</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69396 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules To simplify procurement of the desired seat cushion foam, Table 1 below sets forth characteristics of the NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion foam as determined by the test methods specified in ASTM D–3574–03, ‘‘Standard test methods for flexible cellular materials—slab, bonded, and molded urethane foam.’’ ‘‘IFD’’ refers to the indentation force-deflection (IFD) test, which measures the force required for 25 percent, 50 percent, and 65 percent deflection of the entire product sample.42 The compression forcedeflection (CFD) test measures the force required to compress a sample of the 69397 foam (50 mm (1.96 inch) by 50 mm and 25 mm (0.98 inch) thickness) by 50 percent. Further details of seat cushion characteristics are available in the drawings that are in the docket for this NPRM. TABLE 1—STIFFNESS OF THE NHTSA-WOODBRIDGE SEAT CUSHION FOAM Foam characteristics jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 ii. Thickness of the Bottom Seat Cushion NHTSA tentatively concludes that the bottom seat cushion foam should be 101.6 mm (4-inches) thick. A 101.6 mm (4-inch) thickness would be representative of the seat cushions on real world vehicles. The Vehicle Rear Seat Study found an average seat pan cushion thickness for both outboard and center seating positions of 90 mm (3.5 inches) with a standard deviation of 40 mm (1.5 inches), measured at the centerline of the seating position.43 A 42 Foam products are typically characterized by their IFD and density values rather than by their dynamic performance. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 47 kg/m3 (2.9 lb/ft3). 237 Newton (N) (53.2 lb). 440 Newton (N) (99 lb). 724 Newton (N) (162.7 lb). 6.6 kPa (137.8 lb/ft2). 101.6 mm (4 inch) seat cushion foam thickness for the seat pan also has the advantage of simplifying procurement of the foam since foam standard specifications, such as IFD, are provided by the manufacturer in 101.6 mm (4 inches) samples, as specified in test method B1 of ASTM D3574. Thus, specifying a 101.6 mm (4 inch) foam thickness would streamline compliance testing because foam of that size would be relatively simple to procure. iii. The Foam Is Suitable for Use in the Standard’s Dynamic Test The NHTSA-Woodbridge foam not only would be representative of foam in real world vehicles, it also appears suitable for use in the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. One concern about any foam used on the standard seat assembly is whether the foam would ‘‘bottom out’’ (fully compress) on to the rigid backing during the demanding conditions of the sled test. The current soft FMVSS No. 213 seat cushion has a tendency to bottom out in tests of 43 The current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly seat pan cushion has a thickness of 152.4 mm (6 inch). PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.007</GPH> Density ...................................................................................................... IFD (25% deflection) ................................................................................. IFD (50% deflection) ................................................................................. IFD (65% deflection) ................................................................................. CFD (50% compression) .......................................................................... Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules forward-facing CRSs using the heavier test dummies specified in FMVSS No. 213 (Hybrid III 6-year-old (HIII–6YO) and Hybrid III 10-year-old (HIII–10YO) child dummies). The Agency conducted FMVSS No. 213-type sled tests to evaluate whether the NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion would bottom out when tested in a severe impact test (35 g at 56.3 kilometers per hour (km/h) or 35 mph) using heavy dummies restrained in a heavy CRS. NHTSA used two samples of NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushions (101.6 mm (4 inches)) and the Graco Smart Seat in the test series. These pulse and test speeds were more severe than the test conditions specified in FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA selected the Graco Smart Seat for this testing because the CRS represents a heavy CRS relative to current CRSs in the market, weighing 9.5 kg (21 lb) without its base and 14.9 kg (33 lb) with its base (the base is used in rear-facing and forward-facing modes). The CRS was tested in rearfacing and forward-facing modes (with the base) using a HIII–3YO dummy and HIII–6YO dummy, and tested in the belt-positioning booster seat mode (without the base) using a HIII–6YO and HIII–10YO. In our tests, NHTSA considered the seat cushion to have bottomed out along the front edge if the seat cushion displacement exceeded 96.5 mm (3.8 inches). Seat cushion displacement at the front edge of the seat was measured by video analysis.44 Cushion displacement was not measured in the tests with rear-facing CRSs as the high rotation of the CRS did not allow for an accurate measurement. Test results are shown in Table 2 below. The NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion did not bottom out in any of the tests, even when subjected to the severe test conditions and when using a heavy test dummy and a heavy CRS. iv. Thickness of the Seat Back Foam was 76 mm (3 inches) with a standard deviation of 29 mm (1.14 inches), measured at the centerline of the seating position. The proposed seat back cushion thickness of 50.8 mm (2 inches) is within 1 standard deviation of the average seat back cushion thickness in the vehicle fleet. Further, while NHTSA does not believe that the seat back cushion significantly affects a CRS’s dynamic performance in the frontal sled test, the Agency recognizes that a seat back cushion on the thicker side could be a potential source of variability when testing CRSs with top tethers. When the tether is tightened, the back cushion can be compressed to varying degrees. Data do not indicate that differences in compression necessarily affect CRS For the seat back cushion, NHTSA proposes to use the NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion foam with a 50.8 mm (2 inch) thickness. A 50.8 mm (2 inch) thickness would be representative of seat back cushions in the fleet. The Vehicle Rear Seat Study showed that the overall seat back cushion thickness for outboard and center seating positions 44 ‘‘Evaluation of Seat Foams for the FMVSS No. 213 Test Bench,’’ June 2016, supra. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.008</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69398 69399 performance, but a 50.8 mm (2 inch) thick foam would reduce such differences and thus facilitate a more repeatable installation. The Agency notes also that specifying that the foam thickness is 50.8 mm (2 inches) would streamline the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. Foam manufacturers readily produce foams in 101.6 mm (4 inch) sections. A 101.6 mm (4 inch) thick foam slab can be easily cut into two 50.8 mm (2 inch) pieces to be used for the seat back. 6. Summary of Seat Geometry Features d. Seat Belt Anchorage Locations FMVSS No. 213 requires CRSs (other than belt-positioning booster seats) to meet the standard’s performance requirements while attached with a 2point belt (lap belt).45 In some tests, a top tether may be used to supplement the belt attachment. The current seat assembly has a 2-point belt for testing CRSs. To make FMVSS No. 213’s standard seat assembly more representative of the vehicle fleet, the NPRM proposes replacing the 2-point belt with a 3-point belt. (This NPRM also proposes requiring CRSs to be tested under FMVSS No. 213 while attached to the standard seat assembly using the 3-point belt.) Three-point belts were first required in outboard rear seats of passenger vehicles starting in MY 1990 and in trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles (including passenger vans and SUVs) starting in MY 1992. Three-point belts in center rear seats were phased-in between September 1, 2005 and September 1, 2007. The onthe-road passenger vehicle fleet is now predominantly comprised of vehicles with 3-point belts in all rear seating positions, and more and more vehicles will be so equipped in the near future. Therefore, to test CRSs with what will be the most common seat belt configuration in the vehicle fleet, the agency proposes to incorporate a 3-point belt in the proposed standard seat assembly.46 NHTSA began its assessment of where the seat belt anchorages should be located on the updated FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly by considering anchor location requirements in FMVSS No. 210, ‘‘Seat belt assembly anchorages.’’ 47 Figure 5 shows the side view of the proposed bench, the proposed location of the lap belt anchors and the FMVSS No. 210 corridor. This figure shows that the lap belt anchor locations on the proposed bench are within the FMVSS No. 210 corridor. 45 Belt-positioning booster seats are currently tested with a 3-point belt system, as these child restraint systems are designed for use with 3-point belts. 46 Incorporating a 3-point belt on the standard seat assembly would harmonize FMVSS No. 213 with the counterpart Canadian regulation (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) No. 213, ‘‘Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seat Safety Regulations’’). While the 3-point belt anchorage locations in the Canadian standard seat assembly are different than those in this proposal, Transport Canada is considering harmonizing its standard with NHTSA’s proposed changes. 47 FMVSS No. 210 specifies a location corridor for the lap belt anchorages which is between 30 and 75 degrees from the horizontal at the H-point. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Table 3 below shows a comparison of features of seating assemblies found in the vehicle fleet, and the proposed and current features of the FMVSS No. 213 test seat assembly. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.009</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 NHTSA also considered the data on real-world anchorage locations from the Vehicle Rear Seat Study. Table 4 below shows the average position along with the standard deviation of the lap and VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 shoulder belt anchorages measured in the 24 vehicles surveyed. Measurements were made with respect to Point A of the SGMF. The table also shows similar measurements of the seat belt anchorage PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 locations on the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly, the proposed seat assembly, along with those in ECE R.44 and NPACS. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.010</GPH> 69400 NHTSA also located the anchorages to avoid interference with the seat assembly structure in an FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. Interaction of the seat belt with the vehicle seat assembly, or the child restraint with a seat belt anchorage, could introduce variability in the test results. The shoulder belt anchor is located more rearward and higher than the average location from the vehicle survey to avoid interaction of the shoulder belt with the seat back cushion, and interaction of large high back boosters with the shoulder belt anchorage hardware. The lap belt anchors are located to be more rearward and lower than the average location from the vehicle survey, to avoid interaction of the seat belt and seat belt hardware with the seat cushion. Even with these adjustments, as shown in Table 4, supra, the fore/aft, lateral, and vertical positions of the lap and shoulder belt anchorages relative to point A for the proposed seat assembly are within one standard deviation of the average values found in the vehicle survey. e. Child Restraint Anchorage System Locations FMVSS No. 213 also requires CRSs to meet the standard’s performance requirements while attached by way of a child restraint anchorage system VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 (S5.3.2).48 In some tests, a top tether may be used to supplement the lower anchorage attachment (S6.1.2(a)(1)). The standard seat assembly of FMVSS No. 213 has a child restraint anchorage system consisting of two lower anchor bars and a top tether anchor. The child restraint anchorage system is configured as specified by FMVSS No. 225, ‘‘Child restraint anchorage systems,’’ for systems installed on vehicles. FMVSS No. 225 requires lower anchors to be 280 mm (11 inches) apart and have specific anchor geometry. In the Vehicle Rear Seat Study NHTSA measured the location of the lower anchor and the tether anchor in the vehicles. Table 5 below shows the location of the lower anchors and the tether anchor from Point A of the SGMF in the 24-vehicle survey, and that of the proposed FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly. The lower anchors of the proposed standard seat assembly have a 280 mm (11 inch) lateral spacing as specified in FMVSS No. 225. Each lower anchor metal bar is 37 mm (1.45 inches) long. The location of the lower anchorages selected for the proposed seat assembly is slightly lower than the average 48 Some CRSs, such as belt-positioning seats and harnesses, are excluded from this requirement. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69401 location in the vehicle survey.49 NHTSA located the anchorages slightly lower because anchorages positioned higher may cause some CRS attachments to interfere with the seat back cushion. Also, the Agency was concerned that CRSs designed with rigid attachments (that attach to the lower anchor bars without use of webbing) may adopt an incorrect installation angle when the bars are higher. NHTSA also chose an anchorage location more forward (closer to the seat bight) than the average from the Vehicle Rear Seat Study. The more forward location was selected to make it easier to install the CRS on the seat assembly in a compliance test, and to measure the tension in the belt webbing used for the lower anchorage attachment. Further, NHTSA anticipates that lower anchorages will likely be more forward than in current vehicles if future vehicles employ the design concepts discussed in NHTSA’s 2015 MAP–21 NPRM, supra, to improve the ease-ofuse of child restraint anchorage systems.50 Thus, while the proposed 49 The vertical location of the lower anchors in the proposed seat assembly is just 2 mm lower than one standard deviation below the average vertical location of lower anchors in the vehicle fleet. 50 NPRM to improve the ease-of-use of child restraint anchorage systems. 80 FR 3744, January 23, 2015. Docket No. NHTSA–2014–0123. The E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM Continued 02NOP2 EP02NO20.011</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 69402 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules lower anchorage location in the aft direction is not within one standard deviation of the average in the current vehicle fleet, NHTSA believes that the fleet will be changing. The proposed aft location of lower anchors for the upgraded standard seat would be representative of the average future vehicle fleet. NHTSA also used the Vehicle Rear Seat Study to position the tether anchorage on the new standard seat assembly. While FMVSS No. 225 permits the tether anchorage to be in a wide area in the vehicle, the study found that the tether anchorages are mostly centered along the designated seating position (DSP) centerline. Also, the anchorages are found in two main areas: The seat back at different heights (mainly in SUVs, hatchbacks, vans, and trucks) and the package shelf (mainly in sedans and coupe type vehicles). In a few vehicles, the tether anchorage is on the rear wall (pickup trucks) or the roof. Based on sales volumes, the number of vehicles with tether anchorages in the package shelf is about the same as those with tether anchorages in the seat back. The Agency proposes to locate the tether anchorage in the seat back area. NHTSA believes that locating the anchorage on the seat back, rather than in a position representing the package shelf, results in a slightly more demanding test as anchoring a CRS to the former causes more tether strap webbing to be used than if the anchor were directly aft of and closer to the CRS. More webbing used in the test may slightly increase the likelihood that higher head excursions could result, as webbing has a natural tendency to elongate in the sled test. The location of the tether anchorage in the proposed standard seat assembly is within one standard deviation of the average found by the Vehicle Rear Seat Study as shown in Table 5. TABLE 5—LOWER ANCHORS AND TETHER ANCHOR LOCATION FROM THE 24-VEHICLE SURVEY AND THOSE IN THE PROPOSED FMVSS NO. 213 STANDARD SEAT ASSEMBLY [All measurements are in millimeters from point A of the SGMF] Average from vehicle survey Lower Anchors .......................................................... Tether Anchors (Seat Back Position) ....................... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 IV. Installing CRSs With a Type 2 Belt Rather Than a Type 1 Belt To drive continued effective CRS performance in today’s vehicles, NHTSA proposes to require all CRSs to meet the performance requirements of FMVSS No. 213 while attached to the seat assembly with a Type 2 (lap/ shoulder) belt. Currently, CRSs are sled tested while attached with a Type 1 (lap) belt.51 With the prevalence of Type 2 belts in the rear seats of vehicles sold and on the road today, testing CRSs with the type of seat belt caregivers would be using better ensures the representativeness of the compliance test. Test data do not indicate any significant difference in performance in current child restraint designs when installed using a Type 1 versus a Type 2 belt.52 Adopting a requirement that CRSs meet the standard when tested with a Type 2 belt would be consistent with Canada’s CMVSS No. 213, supra. Since 2010, Transport Canada tests CRSs equipped with internal harnesses by installing them with a Type 2 belt.53 NPRM proposes to require vehicle manufacturers to place the anchorages within 2 centimeters from the seat bight. 51 NHTSA is not changing FMVSS No. 213’s requirement that covered CRSs must also meet the standard’s performance requirements while attached using a child restraint anchorage system. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 100 ± 21 137 ± 29 ¥12 ± 24 280 ± 88 0 ± 44 140 ± 281 Aft ............................................................................. Lateral ....................................................................... Vertical (¥) Below point A ....................................... Aft ............................................................................. Lateral ....................................................................... Vertical (¥) Below point A ....................................... Proposed FMVSS No. 213 58 140 ¥38 330 0 133 On January 28, 2011, Volvo petitioned NHTSA requesting that the Agency amend FMVSS No. 213 by: (1) Updating the seat cushion of the sled standard seat assembly; (2) allowing a lap/ shoulder belt fastening in the test procedure; and (3) adding a floor to the sled fixture used in the compliance test procedure. Volvo suggests that these amendments would make FMVSS No. 213 more reflective of real-world conditions and facilitate ‘‘rearwardfacing child seating for as long as practicable.’’ Volvo states that it offers add-on and built-in booster seats in the U.S., but does not offer child restraints for children under the age of 4 ‘‘primarily because of the inherent problems in [FMVSS] No. 213 and in showing compliance with this standard for larger rearward-facing child restraints.’’ The requests of items (1) and (2) above are being met by this rulemaking. The request for adding a floor (item (3)) is denied. NHTSA discusses this request below. Volvo believes that the most effective way to fasten a rear-facing child restraint is to use the seat belts or the ISOFIX 54 anchors together with a support leg extending down to the floor of the vehicle. Volvo states that this method of attachment has been available to Volvo and child restraint manufacturers in countries outside the U.S. for many years and has ‘‘proven to be very practicable.’’ Volvo states: ‘‘For the US, it is not, however, possible to certify this solution to FMVSS 213 since this standard does not offer a floor for the sled specified in the test procedure.’’ Volvo states that ‘‘the addition of the floor in the sled used in standard FMVSS 213 appears to be well justified since all cars in the modern car fleet would have a floor between the first and second rows of seats.’’ NHTSA is denying the request. The test parameters of the FMVSS No. 213 sled test replicate the real-world vehicle features and crash factors that bear on a child restraint’s performance in protecting a child in the real world. Included in those test parameters are the test seat assembly (seat geometry, seat 52 See results of test numbers 8917, 8922, 8919, 8923, 8929 and 8931 in Table 11 and test numbers 8917, 8922, 8919 and 8923 in Table 12 of this NPRM. 53 P.C. 2010–545 April 29, 2010. 2010–05–12 Canada Gazette Part II, Vol. 144, No. 10. 54 ISOFIX is a system for connecting child restraint systems to vehicles which consists of two rigid anchorages in the vehicle, two corresponding rigid attachments on the child restraint system and a means to limit the pitch rotation of the child restraint system. V. Denial of Petition Regarding a Floor PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 cushion characteristics), methods of child restraint attachment to the test seat assembly (lap belt, lap/shoulder belt, and child restraint anchorage system), the standard’s limits on head excursion, the sled crash pulse, and the test velocity. The test parameters are also chosen and designed to reflect how child restraints are actually used in the real world. Thus, as examples, the standard requires a universal and standardized means of attaching CRSs to reflect that CRS are used interchangeably in all models of vehicles. The standard’s test parameters include a test in which the CRS is installed without attaching a tether, because non-use of a top tether is prevalent. Studies from NHTSA’s National Child Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS),55 Safe Kids,56 and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 57 have shown that tether use is still low in the field. NCRUSS found that the overall tether use was 42 percent. Safe Kids found that overall tether usage in forward-facing CRSs with internal harnesses was only 29 percent. Tether use was 45 percent when the CRS was attached with lower anchorages and 15 percent when the CRS was attached with seat belts. IIHS researchers analyzed data from 479 vehicle observations and found that the top tether was used only 56 percent of the time. With prevalent tether nonuse in the field, NHTSA requires forwardfacing CRSs to meet minimum performance requirements while untethered in an FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. A generic floor would serve no purpose in the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. FMVSS No. 213 standardizes the method of attachment 55 National Child Restraint Use Special Study, DOT HS 811 679, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/ Api/Public/ViewPublication/812142. NCRUSS is a large-scale nationally-representative survey that involves both an inspection of the child passenger’s restraint system by a certified child passenger safety technician and a detailed interview of the driver. The survey collected information on drivers and on child passengers ages 0–8 years between June and August 2011. 56 ‘‘A Look Inside American Family Vehicles 2009–2010,’’ Safe Kids USA, September 2011. (http://www.safekids.org/assets/docs/safety-basics/ safety-tips-by-risk-area/sk-car-seat-report-2011.pdf.) The study was based on 79,000 observations from ‘‘car seat check’’ events and appointments that took place between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010. 57 Eichelberger, A. H., Decina, L.E., Jermakian, J. S., McCartt, A. T., ‘‘Use of top tether with forward facing child restraints: Observations and driver interviews,’’ IIHS, April 2013. IIHS surveyed and collected data at roughly 50 suburban sites near Fredericksburg, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC Shopping centers, recreation facilities, child-care centers, car seat checkpoints and healthcare facilities were among the locations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 to the vehicle seat and requires CRSs to meet the FMVSS No. 213’s dynamic performance requirements when attached to the test seat assembly using the standardized attachments (seat belt assembly; child restraint anchorage system). Standardization increases the likelihood of correct installation of child restraints, as consumers do not need to learn novel ways of installing child restraints each time a new child restraint is used. Standardization also ensures that the minimum level of protection provided by FMVSS No. 213 will be provided by each child restraint installed in every vehicle. The standardized attachment does not involve the vehicle floor. The presence of a floor structure on the FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly is not a matter of significance for the standard’s compliance test as CRSs are tested today. In asking for a floor, Volvo impliedly asks that CRSs should be permitted to use a ‘‘support leg’’ in the test to meet the minimum performance requirements of the standard. The Agency denies this request for several reasons. FMVSS No. 213 is written to prevent vehiclespecific CRSs, since the risk of misuse in a vehicle for which a CRS is not designed is high in this country. This is a concern when the leg is needed to meet the minimum performance requirements of the standard.58 Consumers might use the CRS in vehicles that may not be compatible with the use of a leg; using the CRS in a vehicle whose floor differs from the Volvo floor could have negative safety consequences when the floor attachment is needed to meet the minimum performance requirements of the standard. Or, consumers may not properly use a support leg. They might forget to use it, or might not attach it correctly to the vehicle floor. Data from NHTSA’s NCRUSS and IIHS, discussed above, show that there already exists a problem of consumers not using the CRS top tether. Volvo did not provide any information showing that consumers in this country would use the leg correctly. NHTSA also notes that Volvo did not suggest how the floor should be specified on the standard seat assembly. Under the FMVSSs, the strength and configuration of the vehicle’s belt system and child restraint anchorage system are standardized to ensure the vehicle attachments are sufficient to withstand the occupied CRS’s dynamic 58 FMVSS No. 213 does not prohibit Volvo or any other manufacturer from providing a support leg as long as the child restraint meets the standard’s minimum performance levels without the support leg. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69403 loads during a crash. The attachment strategies specified in the FMVSSs do not involve compressive loading to the vehicle floor, such as resulting from a support leg of a CRS. The FMVSSs also have no performance requirements for the vehicle floor to ensure stable installation of a support leg and sufficient rigor to withstand loading from a leg during a crash. NHTSA is concerned that the floor of some vehicles, such as those with a storage compartment under the seat, may not be strong enough to withstand the dynamic loads from a support leg. The petitioner’s request to allow the floor to contribute to the performance of the CRS introduces unacceptable uncertainty that the CRS would provide the requisite minimum protection in the real world. By stating that only the standardized means of attachment will be used in the compliance test, FMVSS No. 213 ensures that the performance of the child restraint in providing the minimum level of safety mandated by the standard is not dependent on a supplementary device that is suitable for only certain vehicle makes and models and that may or may not be used by the consumer. Since a support leg is not used in the standard’s compliance test, a floor on the seat assembly is unnecessary. Accordingly, NHTSA denies the request to add a floor to the sled used in the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. VI. No Safety Need to Increase Crash Pulse a. Introduction As part of NHTSA’s effort to ensure FMVSS No. 213 continues to drive effective CRS performance in today’s vehicle environment, the Agency examined the sufficiency of the FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse and 48 km/h (30 mph) test velocity used in compliance testing. NHTSA has evaluated this aspect of the test procedure in each of the Agency’s recurring retrospective reviews of the standard. In 2003, NHTSA considered increasing the severity of FMVSS No. 213’s sled acceleration pulse but decided against such a change. Instead, the Agency redesigned the pulse and established a corridor around it to allow the Agency to conduct compliance tests at velocities closer to the 48 km/h (30 mph) velocity specified in the standard.59 59 Under FMVSS No. 213 (S6.1.1(b)(1)), the dynamic test is at a velocity change of 48 km/h (30 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM Continued 02NOP2 69404 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 In that 2003 rulemaking proceeding, NHTSA requested comment on the corridor for the acceleration pulse and on the severity of the crash pulse. Commenters from all segments of the child passenger safety community were almost unanimous opposing an increase in the severity of the crash pulse. Commenters were concerned that an increase in the severity of the pulse would lead to higher costs and reduced usability of child restraints with minimal or no increase in benefits.60 After reviewing the comments and other factors, NHTSA decided not to increase the severity of the sled acceleration pulse. The Agency determined that increasing the severity could necessitate the redesign of many CRSs and increase costs of CRSs without a commensurate safety benefit. In that rulemaking, the Agency determined that the FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse was severe, similar to rigid barrier crash test accelerations of SUVs and trucks. Its severity was appropriately high to ensure that CRSs would maintain their structural integrity in just about all crashes involving children, and limit forces to the child’s head, neck, and torso to reasonable levels, no matter what vehicle the child is in. In preparing this NPRM, NHTSA again investigated the sufficiency of the FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse, particularly vis-a`-vis an evolving occupant protection environment. Since the 2003 final rule, the stringency of the belted test of FMVSS No. 208, ‘‘Occupant crash protection,’’ was increased from 48 km/h (30 mph) to 56 mph) ‘‘with the acceleration of the test platform entirely within the curve shown in . . . Figure 2A.’’ 60 To illustrate, SafetyBeltSafe commented that a velocity increase would make products more expensive and would not significantly improve CRS performance in the real world. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) stated that its review of NASS data files indicated that a 48 km/h (30 mph) change in velocity was more severe than at least 98 percent of frontal impact crashes involving children nationwide. UMTRI was concerned that increasing the velocity of the test is not likely to increase safety, but will increase consumer cost of CRSs and may lead to CRS designs that could make the restraints less effective or more easily misused at lower severity crashes, which occur much more frequently. IIHS stated that its review of NASS cases showed that CRSs designed to pass the current 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test are providing very good protection to children in frontal crashes and that there was no evidence that designing CRSs to withstand higher crash forces could have prevented or mitigated any of the serious or fatal injuries in the reviewed NASS cases. The only commenter supporting an increase in the FMVSS No. 213 pulse was ARCCA Inc., which believed that the standard’s pulse led to test velocities that were less severe than 48 km/h (30 mph) rigid barrier vehicle crash test acceleration pulses. (Docket No. NHTSA–2002–11707.) VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 km/h (35 mph),61 which raised the question whether FMVSS No. 213’s frontal test speed should be increased as well. In addition, more vehicles have become stiffer and/or smaller with high G crash acceleration pulses, and new kinds of CRSs have emerged for older and heavier children. With those developments in mind, NHTSA reevaluated the FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse and test velocity. Guiding Principles As stated earlier in this preamble, real world data show CRSs to be highly effective in reducing fatalities and injuries in motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA estimates that for children less than 1 year old, a CRS can reduce the risk of fatality by 71 percent when used in a passenger car and by 58 percent when used in a pickup truck, van, or SUV (light truck). Child restraint effectiveness for children between the ages 1 to 4 is 54 percent in passenger cars and 59 percent in light trucks.62 These effectiveness estimates would be further enhanced if the misuse rate of CRSs is reduced. Given that CRSs are already highly effective, the Agency carefully considers the unintended impacts of any rulemaking purporting to enhance CRS safety. Any enhancement that would markedly raise the price of the restraints could potentially have an adverse effect on their sales. The net effect on safety could be negative if the effect of sales losses exceeds the benefit of the improved performance of the restraints that are purchased. In addition, NHTSA also considers the effects of improved performance on the ease of using child restraints. If the use of CRSs becomes overly complex or unwieldy, the dual problems of misuse and nonuse of CRSs could be exacerbated. Thus, in considering the safety impacts of its efforts on FMVSS No. 213, the agency weighs those improvements against impacts on the price of restraints and CRS ease-of-use. With these guiding principles in mind, the agency evaluated the sufficiency of the current FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse and test velocity. NHTSA analyzed real world crash data, the regulations of other 61 FMVSS No. 208 sets forth vehicle frontal crash tests for evaluating occupant protection for adult passengers. Examples of vehicle countermeasures used to meet the requirements include lap/shoulder seat belts, belt tensioning devices, frontal head and thorax air bag systems, improved passenger compartment integrity and vehicle front-end crumple zones. 62 Traffic Safety Facts—Children 2013 Data. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ ViewPublication/812154. Last accessed on August 23, 2016. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 countries, and sled test data from tests the Agency conducted on the performance of CRSs when tested to different crash test speeds and sled acceleration pulses. b. Safety Need—Crash Data Analysis To learn more about the crash speeds of frontal crashes in which children are involved and to compare these to crashes involving older occupants, NHTSA analyzed the NASS–CDS data files for years 2008 to 2012 to determine the change in velocity distribution of non-rollover frontal crashes. During this 5-year period, there were 754 restrained children 12 years old (12–YO) and younger who were occupants of light passenger vehicles involved in nonrollover frontal crashes with a known (estimated) change in velocity. During this same 5-year period, there were 7,749 older occupants (restrained occupants older than 12 years of age) who were occupants of light passenger vehicles involved in non-rollover frontal crashes with a known (estimated) change in velocity. The analysis found that 99.47 percent of restrained children 12–YO and younger were involved in frontal crashes of speeds of 48 km/h (30 mph) or less, and 99.57 percent of such children were involved in frontal crashes of speeds of 56 km/h (35 mph) or less. In comparison, for older restrained occupants involved in frontal crashes, 98.5 percent and 99.27 percent were in crashes of speeds of 48 km/h (30 mph) or less and 56 km/h (35 mph) or less, respectively (Table 6). TABLE 6—CHANGE IN VELOCITY IN TOWAWAY, NON ROLLOVER, FRONTAL CRASHES WITH KNOWN CHANGE IN VELOCITY VALUES [NASS–CDS 2008–2012] * DV ≤30 mph (%) Restrained Children (0–12 yrs) .............. Other Restrained Occupants .................. DV ≤35 mph (%) 99.47 99.57 98.5 99.27 * unweighted data (754 restrained children 0–12 years old, 7,749 others) These data indicate that the 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test in FMVSS No. 213 ensures that CRSs are exposed to a crash condition which is at least as severe as 99.47 percent of such real-world incidents involving restrained children ages 0 to 12–YO, and that an increase in test speed to 56.3 km/h (35 mph) will only marginally increase the crashes covered by the standard. In contrast, E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69405 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 98.5 and 99.27 percent of older restrained occupants are involved in crashes with a change in velocity up to 48 km/h (30 mph) and 56.3 km/h (35 mph), respectively. The fraction of restrained children with change in velocity over 48 km/h (30 mph) (0.53 percent) is lower than that for older restrained occupants (1.5 percent), and this difference between the two groups is statistically significant.63 Likewise, the estimate for the fraction of restrained children with change in velocity over 56 km/h (35 mph) (0.43 percent) is lower than that for older occupants (0.73 percent), and this difference between the two groups is statistically significant. These results reveal that restrained children are more involved in lowerseverity crashes than older occupants. The percentage of frontal crashes of restrained children covered by the 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test (99.47 percent) is greater than the percentage of frontal crashes of older occupants (99.27 percent) covered by the 56 km/h (35 mph) vehicle crash test. The data show that the current FMVSS No. 213 48 km/ h (30 mph) sled test velocity does not equate to a diminished level of safety for restrained children as compared to older vehicle occupants. In fact, it could be argued that FMVSS No. 213’s 48 km/h (30 mph) test provides a higher degree of protection than the 56 km/h (35 mph) test of FMVSS No. 208 in terms of the breadth of the crashes they cover involving the relevant restrained population. c. Hard Copy Review of Case Files While a 56 km/h (35 mph) change in velocity would only cover an additional 0.1 percent of the crashes involving restrained children, NHTSA undertook a review of case files to determine whether a change in velocity could have possibly prevented fatal or serious injury to children involved in the additional 0.1 percent of crashes. Among children 0–12 YO restrained by CRSs in passenger vehicles, about 72 are killed in crashes annually and about 634 sustain AIS 2+ injury.64 To better understand the reason for injuries and fatalities among CRS-restrained children in frontal crashes, the agency reviewed all NASS–CDS and Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) 65 data files for the years 2003 to 2013 for instances in which children 12–YO and younger in CRSs 66 in rear seats of light passenger vehicles sustained AIS 3+ injuries in frontal crashes without rollover. Only those cases in which the change in velocity exceeded 40 km/h (25 mph) were considered to eliminate low severity impacts where injuries were likely due to factors such as the child being improperly restrained, or cases where information was unavailable to assess crash severity and cause of injury. There were 18 cases that met these selection criteria for the years 2003– 2013. Table 7 shows a summary of the case review of the 18 cases. TABLE 7—NASS–CDS & CIREN (2003–2013) CASE REVIEW: CHILDREN 12–YO AND YOUNGER RESTRAINED IN CRSS WITH AIS 3+ INJURIES IN FRONTAL IMPACT WITHOUT ROLLOVER WITH A CHANGE IN VELOCITY GREATER THAN 40 KM/H (25 MPH) jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Cause of AIS 3+ Injuries Total Percentage Gross CRS Misuse .................................................................................................................................................. Exceedingly Severe ................................................................................................................................................. Intrusion of the Front Seat Back ............................................................................................................................. Cargo intrusion ........................................................................................................................................................ Bracing ..................................................................................................................................................................... Could not be determined ......................................................................................................................................... 7 4 3 1 1 2 39 22 17 6 6 11 Total .................................................................................................................................................................. 18 100 The most frequent cause of AIS 3+ injury to children was gross CRS misuse. Gross CRS misuse included children restrained in a CRS intended for larger/heavier children, infant seat with the carrying handle improperly stowed, booster seats with only the lap belt used to restrain the child, and booster seat with no seat belt used. The second most frequent cause of AIS 3+ injury to CRS-restrained children was that the crash was exceedingly severe (beyond the severity of a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash). In three cases, the front seat back intruded into the restrained child’s occupant space resulting in head or leg injuries. In one case, the child’s right humerus was fractured due to intrusion of cargo from the trunk of the vehicle. In another case, the child’s arms were braced against the front seat back before the impact and the child sustained arm fractures during the crash. The cause for injury in the remaining two cases could not be determined due to lack of evidence and/or missing or unknown data. This hard copy case review indicates that AIS 3+ injuries to CRS-restrained children in frontal crashes are due to CRS misuse (39 percent), excessively severe crashes (beyond 56 km/h (35 mph) crash severity) (22 percent), and other factors unrelated to crash severity or CRS misuse. There is no indication that a CRS designed to meet a 56 km/ h (35 mph) FMVSS No. 213 compliance test would have prevented any of these injuries. The findings from the hard copy review are in accordance with the findings from NHTSA’s National Child Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS) that shows that car seat and booster seat misuse in the field is 46 percent, and that CRS misuse is a more frequent causal factor for AIS 3+ injury to restrained children than the severity of the crash.67 63 The analysis was conducted with unweighted data assuming random sample selection. 64 NASS–CDS data file 2005–2009, 79 FR 4577. 65 NHTSA’s Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) combines data collection with professional multidisciplinary analysis of medical and engineering evidence to determine injury causation in every crash investigation conducted. 66 Children in CRSs include children that may or may not be restrained by the internal harness of a CRS or the seat belt when using a booster seat. 67 ‘‘Findings of the National Child Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS),’’ DOT HS 812 142. May 2015. NCRUSS is a large-scale nationallyrepresentative survey that involves both an inspection of the child passenger’s restraint system by a technician and a detailed interview of the driver. The survey collected information on drivers and their child passengers of ages 0–8 years between June and August 2011. NCRUSS data were collected at 24 primary sampling units (PSUs) across the country. The PSUs were previously established from a separate ongoing data collection effort, the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). The PSUs are defined geographically, similar to cities or counties. The PSUs were selected to cover urban, rural, and suburban environments and are located in 17 different States. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69406 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules d. Globally, All Regulations Use a 30 MPH Test Speed In considering the sufficiency of the FMVSS No. 213 test speed, NHTSA examined the regulations for child restraint systems that are implemented in other countries. The review found that the frontal sled tests in all the CRS standards simulate a 48–50 km/h (30— 31.0 mph) crash (see Table 8). Standard Type of test Speed km/h UNECE R.44 68& R.129 69 (Europe) ........................................................................ Australia AS 1754 .................................................................................................... FMVSS/Canadian MVSS No. 213 ........................................................................... Sled Test ........................... Sled Test ........................... Sled Test ........................... 50 49 48.2 Speed mph 31.0 30.4 30.0 At the same time, the crash pulse used in FMVSS No. 213 appears more severe than that of the European and Australian regulations. Generally, for a given crash speed, vehicle crash acceleration pulses with higher peak acceleration, higher initial rise rate, and shorter duration are more severe and demanding on restraint systems. The peak acceleration of the FMVSS No. 213 sled pulse is comparable to that of the sled pulses used in other countries. The FMVSS No. 213 sled pulse corridor has a very rapid rise reaching peak acceleration much sooner than the ECE R.44/R.129 or the Australian regulations. The rapid initial rise in acceleration and the short duration of the FMVSS No. 213 acceleration pulse is also characteristic of more recent smaller passenger car models with stiff front-ends in the U.S. fleet. The duration of the FMVSS No. 213 pulse and the Australian regulation are comparable but much shorter than the ECE R.44/R.129. The Canadian standard (CMVSS No. 213) uses the same sled acceleration pulse corridor as that specified in FMVSS No. 213. Figure 6 shows the frontal sled pulses used in FMVSS/CMVSS No. 213, UNECE R44/R129 and the Australian regulations. e. Sled Testing of CRSs NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion. To assess how CRSs would perform when subjected to a 56 km/h (35 mph) pulse, the agency developed five pulses using passenger vehicle crash pulses of vehicles tested to the 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal barrier test of NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Table 9 below shows the velocity, crash pulse duration, and peak NHTSA tested different kinds of CRSs in FMVSS No. 213-type sled tests at 56.3 km/h (35 mph) and 48 km/h (30 mph) change of velocities. The Agency tested the CRSs on a sled assembly comprising the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly frame 70 and the 68 Japan, Korea, and China adopted ECE R.44 or a regulation based on the ECE R.44. 69 Regulation No. 129—Enhanced Child Restraint Systems (ECRS). Since July 2013, CRSs in Europe VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 (and other countries) can be approved in accordance with the new UN Regulation No. 129 for CRSs, also known as ‘‘I-Size Regulation.’’ R.129 requires all children under 15 months to be transported rear facing, adds requirement for vehicle CRS compatibility, and has a dynamic test for side impact protection. In contrast, ECE.R44 categorizes CRSs by weight groups and does not have a side impact test. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 70 The proposed test bench frame was not ready at the time the 56 km/h (35 mph) tests were performed. However, since the proposed seat assembly geometry is not significantly different from the current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly geometry, NHTSA believes the results are comparable to a test performed in the proposed upgraded seat assembly. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.012</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 TABLE 8—TEST SPEED OF FRONTAL SLED TESTS IN CRS STANDARDS FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules acceleration for each of the five sled acceleration pulses. The first row in Table 9 sets forth the characteristics of the current FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse, and the last row shows the characteristics of the average acceleration pulse of MY 2012 passenger vehicles in the 56 km/h (35 69407 mph) NCAP frontal crash test. Figure 7 shows the sled acceleration pulse profiles. TABLE 9—SLED AND VEHICLE ACCELERATION PULSE CHARACTERISTICS Pulse Velocity (mph) In the 2003 final rule (supra),72 the Agency identified factors of the acceleration pulse associated with crash severity: change in velocity, peak acceleration, and acceleration pulse duration. Generally, for the same change in velocity, acceleration pulses of higher peak acceleration and shorter duration are higher in crash severity. The 2003 final rule also identified a rapid rise in initial acceleration to be associated with higher crash severity. Applying these criteria to the acceleration pulses shown in Table 9 and Figure 7, pulse A could be the most severe and E the least severe. Although the current FMVSS No. 213 acceleration pulse (see Figure 7) 71 Average crash acceleration time histories from MY 2012 passenger vehicles in NCAP frontal crash tests. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 29.7 34.3 35.0 34.3–34.6 34.4–35.0 34.5–34.8 35.0 has lower peak Gs and a lower change in velocity than the other 5 sled acceleration pulses (A through E), the FMVSS No. 213 pulse is reasonably severe because of the rapid rise in acceleration in the initial portion of the pulse (for comparison, see acceleration pulses D and E). The sled acceleration pulses A, B, and C have a pulse shape and peak acceleration level similar to the 2012 NCAP average crash pulse. They have a sharp decline to approximately 17g then a gradual decline to approximately 35 g. Sled acceleration pulses D and E have a smoother sinusoidal shape with lower peak acceleration levels. 72 68 PO 00000 Peak acceleration (G) 81 91 95 101–103 100–105 111 104 23.0 33.5 31.5 29.0–29.3 26.9–29.0 25.6–25.8 32.0 Forward-Facing CRSs NHTSA tested three forward-facing CRSs equipped with internal harnesses on the sled using the five different 56.3 km/h (35 mph) sled pulses and the FMVSS No. 213 48 km/h (30 mph) pulse and the HIII–3YO and HIII–6YO dummies. The CRSs were attached to the standard seat assembly using the child restraint anchorage system (‘‘LATCH’’ lower anchors and tether). Test results showed the HIII–6YO dummy exhibiting unrepresentative kinematics during the test. In some tests, severe head-to-knee contact occurred due to the legs of the dummy rotating upwards during the test. The FR 37640. Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.013</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 213 ................................................................................................................... A ....................................................................................................................... B ....................................................................................................................... C ...................................................................................................................... D ...................................................................................................................... E ....................................................................................................................... Average NCAP 71 ............................................................................................. Duration (ms) Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Agency deemed this kinematic to be unrepresentative as it is unlikely that the legs of a 6YO child in a vehicle would rotate upwards; the front seat structure would impede such rotation. (The Agency attempted to retest the CRSs with the legs of the HIII–6YO tied to the seat assembly, but sometimes this did not prevent the legs from rotating upwards.) The Radian 65 model was tested with pulse E (with and without legs restrained) and in both tests the HIII– 6YO dummy head and chest injury measures exceeded the allowable threshold levels (see Table 10). The Radian 65 model was also tested with pulse D and the dummy’s chest acceleration exceeded threshold levels while HIC was barely within the threshold level (98.1 percent of 1,000 threshold level). There was chin-tochest contact for the HIII–6YO dummy in the tests with the Radian 65 that resulted in high head and chest injury measures. The Graco MyRide 65 was tested in 4 pulse types (A, C, D, and E) with the HIII–6YO dummy. In tests with pulses A, C, and D, the dummy’s HIC value exceeded the injury threshold level of 1,000 due to head-to-knee contact. When tested with the HIII–6YO dummy with pulse E, HIC and chest acceleration threshold levels were met, but HIC reached 993 (99.3 percent of 1,000 injury threshold). On average, in sled tests of the Graco MyRide 65, HIC values were 72 percent greater, chest acceleration were 16 percent higher, head excursions were 24 percent higher, VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.014</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69408 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules and knee excursions were 32 percent higher in tests with the 56 km/h (35 mph) sled pulses than in the corresponding tests with the FMVSS No. 213 sled pulse. The Graco ComfortSport CRS was tested using the HIII–3YO dummy with acceleration pulses B, C, and D. The CRS met the HIC and chest acceleration performance criteria; however, HIC and head excursions were at elevated levels near the performance limits. HIC values were on average 65 percent greater and head excursions were 30 percent higher in tests with the 56 km/h (35 mph) sled pulses than in the corresponding tests with the FMVSS No. 213 sled pulse. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Rear-Facing and Booster Seats NHTSA tested two rear-facing CRSs with the current FMVSS No. 213 acceleration and acceleration pulse C, using the HIII–3YO and CRABI–12MO dummies. Results showed no performance measures exceeding their corresponding threshold levels. However, HIC (953) was very close to the threshold value in the test with the infant carrier (Peg Perego Viaggio) with the CRABI–12MO dummy. NHTSA also conducted nine tests of the Evenflo Big Kid High Back Booster Seat with pulses A, B, C, D, and E, and three tests of the Evenflo Big Kid Backless Booster seat with pulses D and E. This test series used the HIII–6YO and HIII–10YO dummies. All the performance measures were within threshold levels in these tests. However, HIC was about 52 percent higher in tests with the 56 km/h sled pulse compared to the current FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse. Summary of Sled Test Data The tests conducted at 48.3 km/h (30 mph) and 56.3 km/h (35 mph) indicate that increasing the test speed to 56.3 km/h (35 mph): • Results in a high rate of failures of forward-facing CRSs tested with the HIII–6YO test dummy. This suggests that most forward-facing CRSs that are subject to testing with the HIII–6YO dummy would need redesigning to meet HIC and chest acceleration performance criteria. Alternatively, CRS manufacturers might choose not to sell forward-facing CRSs that are subject to testing with the HIII–6YO dummy, i.e., CRSs recommended for use by children weighing over 18.2 kg (40 lb),73 which would reduce the availability of those CRSs to the public. • Causes unrepresentative head-toknee contacts that result in high HIC 73 The agency is unable to estimate the number of CRS models that would need redesign due to the limited nature of the agency’s testing. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 values in convertible CRSs tested in a forward-facing configuration with the HIII–6YO. Real world data indicate that while head-to-knee contacts may be present in the real world during a crash, they do not result in head injuries. • Causes unrepresentative head-tochest contact for the HIII–6YO dummy in forward-facing CRSs that result in high head and chest injury measures. • Results in injury measures closer to the standard’s limit in some rear-facing CRSs and booster seats. This suggests that some rear-facing CRSs and booster seats may need modification. f. Agency Decision As discussed above, after reviewing real world crash data, regulations of other countries, and sled test data, the Agency has decided not to increase the test velocity of FMVSS No. 213 to 56.3 km/h (35 mph). To summarize, the reasons are as follows: • CRSs are already highly effective in preventing injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. NASS–CDS data files show that restrained children are more involved in lower-severity crashes than older occupants. The percentage of frontal crashes of restrained children covered by the 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test is greater than the percentage of frontal crashes of restrained older occupants covered by the 56 km/h (35 mph) vehicle crash test. The FMVSS No. 213 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test velocity does not equate to a diminished level of safety for restrained children as compared to older vehicle occupants. In fact, it could be argued that FMVSS No. 213’s 48 km/h (30 mph) test provides a higher degree of protection than the 56 km/h (35 mph) test of FMVSS No. 208 in terms of the breadth of the crashes they cover involving the relevant restrained population. • There is no safety need to raise the FMVSS No. 213 test speed to 56 km/h (35 mph). A 56 km/h (35 mph) change in velocity would only cover an additional 0.1 percent of the crashes involving restrained children, which suggests that the benefits accrued from a higher test velocity would be very small. While only an additional 0.1 percent of the crashes would be covered, NHTSA undertook a review of case files to determine whether a change in velocity could have possibly prevented fatal or serious injury to children involved in the additional 0.1 percent of crashes. The review showed that AIS 3+ injuries to CRS restrained children in frontal crashes are due to CRS misuse, excessively severe crashes beyond 56 km/h (35 mph) crash severity, and other factors unrelated to crash severity. There is no indication PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69409 that a CRS designed to meet a 56.3 km/ h (35 mph) FMVSS No. 213 compliance test would have prevented or mitigated any of these injuries. • It is unclear whether a 56 km/h (35 mph) test velocity is appropriate for the FMVSS No. 213 sled test environment with the larger size dummies. The test dummies used in the test showed possible unrepresentative dummy kinematics (exacerbated head-to-knee or chin-to-chest contact) that result in high injury measures near or above the established threshold limits. • There may be unintended safety consequences associated with raising the FMVSS No. 213 test speed to 56 km/ h (35 mph). The Agency’s sled tests conducted with various crash pulses of a 56 km/h (35mph) change in velocity indicate that the designs of many forward-facing CRSs would need to be changed to comply with performance requirements of a 56 km/h (35 mph) sled velocity test. The testing also suggests that some rear-facing CRSs and booster seats may need design modifications. The design changes may increase the weight, cost, and size of these CRSs. NHTSA is concerned that the design changes could potentially reduce the usability of CRSs, resulting in non-use or misuse of child restraints for no real benefit. In addition, there is a concern that CRSs redesigned to meet increased test velocities may not perform as well in the more common low speed crashes. • The current 48 km/h (30 mph) FMVSS No. 213 sled test velocity is similar, if not more severe, than those in CRS regulations of other countries. It may be considered more severe because of its rapid initial rise in acceleration and its short duration. Accordingly, after consideration of these factors, NHTSA has decided that raising the FMVSS No. 213 test speed to 56 km/h (35 mph) is unwarranted at this time. VII. Fleet Testing of CRSs on the New Seat Assembly Designs a. Initial Standard Seat Assembly Design (V1) NHTSA sled tested a wide array of CRSs to see how they performed on the initial seat assembly design 74 (referred 74 The initial standard seat assembly design (V1) used in these sled tests only differed from the proposed standard seat assembly (V2) in minor ways. The initial standard seat assembly used in these sled tests had a shorter seat back height and slightly different seat belt and child restraint anchorage locations. NHTSA performed tests on the proposed standard seat assembly (V2) of some of the CRSs that were tested on V1 standard seat assembly; results showed no significant difference E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM Continued 02NOP2 69410 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules to in this NPRM as Version 1 (V1)). The V1 seat assembly design drawings were placed in Docket No. NHTSA–2013– 0055–0002 on May 17, 2015. The tests were conducted with an acceleration pulse within the FMVSS No. 213 specified acceleration corridor, with a peak acceleration of 21.2 g and average sled velocity of 46.9 km/h (29.2 mph). All CRSs met the current FMVSS No. 213 performance requirements, as well as the proposed head excursion requirement for forward-facing CRSs in the untethered condition. The study consisted of 53 tests of 23 CRS models of 12 different makes (i.e. Chicco, Britax, Evenflo, etc.). The Agency 75 and booster type CRSs. The jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 in CRS performance on the two standard seat assemblies. These results are discussed in the next section. Because there were no significant differences in CRS performance on the two seat assemblies, the agency considers the results of CRS tests on V1 relevant in ascertaining the performance of CRSs on V2. 75 A combination CRS is a type of forward-facing car seat that is used with an internal harness system VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 Agency selected CRSs based on: Sales volume; CRS types, makes and models; CRS weight; CRS child weight/height recommendations; variety of design (different belt path location, base size for rear-facing only CRSs); and special features (such as an inflatable feature, presence of a support leg and of rigid attachments to child restraint anchorage systems). The CRSs represented a wide variety of CRSs from different manufacturers and are representative of the range of CRSs in the current market. Tests were performed with test dummies currently used in FMVSS No. 213, including the CRABI–12MO, HIII– 3YO, HIII–6YO and HIII–10YO. The CRSs equipped with harnesses were installed by means that included: (a) The lower anchors of a child restraint anchorage system; (b) lower anchors and tether; (c) 3-point belt; (d) 2-point belt; to secure a child. With removal of the internal harness, it can be used as a belt-positioning booster. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 (e) 3-point belt with tether; and (f) 2point belt with tether. Table 11 provides a test matrix of the CRS name, orientation, installation method, dummy used and injury measures. All the CRSs tested on the proposed standard seat assembly met all current performance requirements in FMVSS No. 213 except for one CRS (Evenflo Titan Elite). The HIC and chest acceleration values were below injury threshold levels of 1,000 and 60 g, respectively, in all the tests. The head and knee excursions of the dummies used in testing forward-facing CRSs and booster seats were below allowable limits (head excursion of 813 mm (32 inches) without tether use and 720 mm (28 inches) with tether use, knee excursion of 915 mm (36 inches)) with all the CRS models tested, except in a test with the Evenflo Titan Elite where the head excursion of the HIII–6YO dummy was 815 mm (32 inches). BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Table 12 shows that the back support angle of rear-facing CRSs did not exceed VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 70 degrees in any of the tests with the proposed standard seat assembly. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69411 EP02NO20.015</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Paired Tests jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 NHTSA compared some of the CRSs tested on the V1 standard seat assembly with available compliance test data (using the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly) to see whether changes in the standard seat assembly affected CRS performance. The comparison was limited in that current compliance tests of CRSs with internal harnesses are conducted with a 2-point belt to install the CRS (tethered and untethered conditions), while the fleet tests with the V1 standard seat assembly VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 were conducted with a 3-point attachment (tethered and untethered). In addition, some compliance tests used the H2–6YO at the manufacturer’s option, while all applicable fleet tests with the V1 standard seat assembly used the HIII–6YO dummy. Rear-Facing CRSs Table 13 compares the results of sled tests on the V1 standard seat assembly with results from compliance tests using the same rear-facing infant and convertible CRS models. All performance measures were below PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 threshold levels. Paired T-test indicated that at a 95 percent confidence level, the HIC injury measures of the CRABI– 12MO in tests with the V1 standard seat assembly were not significantly different from those with the current FMVSS No. 213 specified standard seat assembly. On the other hand, the chest acceleration of the CRABI–12MO was significantly different (lower) in tests with the V1 seat assembly than those in current compliance tests (p<0.01). The average reduction in chest acceleration when tested on the V1 standard seat assembly was 4.7 g. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.016</GPH> 69412 VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69413 EP02NO20.017</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Forward-Facing CRSs The results of the sled tests with the V1 standard seat assembly on forwardfacing CRSs, versus compliance tests, are shown in Table 14. The paired sled jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Booster Seats Results of paired sled tests of booster seats tested on the V1 standard seat assembly and on the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly are shown in Table 15. All injury measures were below injury threshold levels. The paired sled tests showed a 37.2 percent average reduction in HIC measures and VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 tests showed that all injury measures were below injury threshold levels. Paired T-test of each of the HIII–3YO performance measures in Table 14 showed no significant difference (95 percent confidence level) when tested in the V1 standard seat assembly and the current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly. Only one paired test was performed using the HIII–6YO dummy, so a paired T-test was not possible. a 29.3 percent average increase in head excursion in all the booster seat models tested on the proposed standard seat assembly compared to the paired compliance test. Paired T-test indicated that HIC injury measures and head excursions in booster seat tests with the V1 standard seat assembly were significantly different (95 percent confidence level) than those in tests with the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly. On the other hand, paired T-test indicated no significant difference (95 percent confidence level) in chest acceleration and knee excursions in tests with the V1 standard seat assembly and the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.018</GPH> 69414 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Summary of Sled Test Results With the V1 Standard Seat Assembly All CRSs tested on the V1 standard seat assembly, except for one, met the FMVSS No. 213 performance requirements. Comparing performance measures from a sample of sled tests conducted with the V1 standard seat assembly and from FMVSS No. 213 compliance tests indicate the following: • Rear-facing CRSs with CRABI– 12MO: No significant differences in HIC measures but chest accelerations were lower in tests with the V1 standard seat assembly. • Forward-facing CRSs with HIII– 3YO and HIII–6YO: No significant differences in any of the performance measures (HIC, chest acceleration, head excursion, and knee excursion). VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 • Booster seats with HIII–6YO: HIC measures were lower and head excursions were higher in tests with the V1 standard seat assembly. Chest accelerations and knee excursions were not significantly different from the compliance tests. • There were no high head acceleration spikes or severe chin-tochest contact in any of the sled tests with the proposed seat assembly. • Testing with the V1 standard seat assembly results in only some minor changes in CRS performance relative to the specified performance limits. b. Proposed Standard Seat Assembly Design (V2) During the research test series with the initial bench design (V1), a few glitches were noticed, primarily with PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69415 the anchorages and the seat back height. The lower anchorages deformed due to the loads during testing and the shoulder belt anchor was positioned in an overly outboard location causing the dummy to roll out of the shoulder belt in low back booster seat tests. The seat back height of the initial bench design was too low (not within one standard deviation of the average) and during low back booster seat testing, the dummies would hit the exposed metal seat back in the rebound phase causing a significant spike in head acceleration due to the contact. In response, the Agency modified the initial bench design (V1) by: (a) Changing the design of the lower anchorages to prevent their deformation and to facilitate their easy replacement; (b) placing the shoulder belt anchor in E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.019</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 69416 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 a more inboard position that was more representative of the anchor location in the vehicle fleet and that mitigated unrealistic dummy rollout during low back booster seat tests; and, (c) increasing the seat back height to one that was more representative of seat back height in the vehicle fleet, which would also mitigate dummy head strikes with metal structure behind the seat when testing low back booster seats. These changes to the initial bench design (V1) resulted in the proposed standard seat assembly (referred to in this NPRM as Version 2 (V2)). Schematics of these changes were placed on August 25, 2015 in Docket No. NHTSA–2013–0055–0008), with more detailed drawings placed there in July 2018. NHTSA performed a second series of sled tests with CRSs to see how they performed on V2 (the seat assembly proposed in this NPRM). The tests were conducted with an acceleration pulse within the FMVSS No. 213 specified acceleration corridor, with a peak acceleration of 21.2 g and average sled velocity of 46.9 km/h (29.2 mph). The study consisted of 40 tests of 24 CRS VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 models of 10 different CRS makes. NHTSA tested infant, convertible, combination and booster type CRSs. Twenty-two (22) tests also replicated the selection of tests performed with the V1 standard seat assembly, to compare the performance of 15 CRS models. Four (4) tests used previously-selected CRSs models but were tested in a different attachment configuration or used a different sized dummy. Fifteen (15) tests were performed with 10 newly-selected CRS models that included some newer models in the market with particular design features (i.e., Britax Clicktight technology, Graco Affix Booster with lower anchorage attachments) and expanded the variety of CRS makes and models evaluated with V1. Tests were performed with CRABI– 12MO, HIII–3YO, HIII–6YO and HIII– 10YO. Rear-facing and forward-facing CRSs equipped with harnesses were installed by means that included: (a) The lower anchors of a child restraint anchorage system; (b) lower anchors and tether; (c) 3-point belt; and (d), 3-point belt with tether as appropriate. Booster seats were tested using a 3-point belt, and in the case of the Graco Affix, the PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 lower anchors were attached to the bench per manufacturer’s instructions. Table 16 provides a test matrix of the CRS name, orientation, installation method, dummy used and injury measures. All the rear-facing CRSs, forward-facing CRSs with tether attached and booster seats tested on the proposed standard seat assembly (V2) met all performance requirements in FMVSS No. 213, regardless of the method of attachment to the seat (child restraint anchorage system or lap/ shoulder belt), for each of the dummies used. For forward-facing CRSs tested without the tether attached, HIC, chest acceleration, and knee excursions were below performance limits in all the tests regardless of the method of attachment to the standard seat assembly, for each of the dummies used. Head excursions were below the performance limits for all the CRSs tested with the HIII–3YO, HIII–6YO, and HIII–10YO except for one CRS model. The Diono Radian R120 tested without the tether attached exceeded the head excursion limit using the HIII–10YO dummy. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Comparison of sled tests on the initial (V1) and proposed (V2) standard seat assemblies with the same dummy VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 restrained in the same or similar CRS model show that dummy performance PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69417 measures were similar in both standard seat assemblies (see Table 17). E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.020</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 69418 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Paired T-test of rear-facing infant and convertible CRS models indicate that at a 95 percent confidence level, the HIC and chest acceleration injury measures in rear-facing infant and convertible CRS tests using the CRABI 12 MO and HIII–3YO dummy on V1 were not significantly different from those from tests on V2. Paired T-test of each of the HIII–3YO and HIII–6YO performance measures in VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 Table 17 showed no significant difference (95 percent confidence level) when tested on V1 compared to V2, except for knee excursions of the HIII– 6YO. Knee excursions of the HIII–6YO were on average 59 mm higher on the V1 standard seat assembly than on the V2 seat assembly. Paired T-test of each of the HIII–6YO head and knee excursions showed no significant difference (95% confidence PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 level) when tested on the V1 and proposed (V2) standard seat assemblies. HIC results showed a significant change (p<0.01) but HIC measures were well within the head injury threshold level of 1,000. Only one paired test was performed using the HIII–10YO dummy; therefore, a paired T-test was not possible. BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69419 EP02NO20.021</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.022</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69420 VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69421 EP02NO20.023</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Three CRS models (Evenflo Nurture, Graco Nautilus, and Graco Affix) were VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 tested three times on the proposed standard seat assembly (V2) to evaluate PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 repeatability of the sled tests. Results showed that the coefficient of variation E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.024</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69422 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 10 percent, which is repeatable (see Table 18). PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.025</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 (CV) of the injury measures was under 69423 69424 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules BILLING CODE 4910–59–C jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 The higher seat back in the V2 seat assembly was intended to reduce dummy head contact with rear seat structure of the seat assembly that was observed in the V1 seat assembly. While the number of head contacts with the rear seat structure were reduced compared to the V1 assembly, head contact still occurs in the V2 seat assembly when testing backless booster seats with the HIII–6YO dummy. For these tests, the HIC calculation was made using a head acceleration pulse truncated between 175–200 msec that corresponded to a time in the rebound phase before the head impact with the seat support structure. NHTSA seeks comment on whether, in the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test, HIC should be computed for backless booster seats tested with the HIII–6YO dummy using an acceleration pulse that is truncated to 175 msec. Summary of All Sled Test Performed on the Proposed Seat Assembly (V2) NHTSA performed 40 tests using 24 CRS models and 10 makes using the proposed seat assembly (V2). Results showed the following: • Rear-facing CRSs including infant carriers and convertibles tested with the CRABI–12MO or the HIII–3YO dummies: Six (6) CRS models were tested with the CRABI–12MO dummy and 4 were tested with the HIII–3YO dummy. All the CRSs tested met all the performance requirements. • Forward-facing CRSs tested with the HIII–3YO dummy: One (1) CRS model was tested with tether attached and two (2) CRS models were tested without tether attached. All CRSs tested met all the performance requirements. • Forward-facing CRSs tested with the HIII–6YO dummy: Four (4) CRSs tested with the tether attached met all the performance requirements. Four (4) CRS models were tested without the tether attached. All met all the performance requirements. • Forward-facing CRSs tested with the HIII–10YO dummy: One (1) CRS model was tested with the tether attached and 2 CRS models were tested without the use of the tether. The CRS tested with the tether attached met all performance requirements. The CRSs tested without the tether met all performance requirements, except for one that exceeded the head excursion limit. • Booster seats with the HIII–6YO dummy: Six (6) booster seat models were tested and all met all performance requirements. • Booster seats with the HIII–10YO dummy: Three (3) booster seat models VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 were tested and all met all performance requirements. VIII. Communicating With Today’s Parents NHTSA proposes to amend several of FMVSS No. 213’s owner information and labeling requirements to improve communication with today’s CRS owners. a. CRS Owner Registration 1. Background NHTSA established a CRS owner registration program in FMVSS No. 213 (S5.8) to increase the ‘‘completion rate’’ of recalled restraints, i.e., the percentage of recalled units sold to consumers for which the consumer contacts the manufacturer for free remedy of the defect or noncompliance.76 Prior to the registration program in FMVSS No. 213, there was a 10 to 13 percent completion rate for child restraint recalls. NHTSA believed that the CRS completion rate could be increased by disseminating recall information directly to individual owners. Prior to the program, consumers were only indirectly notified of a safety recall by notice to the general public. At the same time, CRS owners were eager to know if their CRS was recalled and were highly motivated to remedy their CRSs if the restraints had been recalled.77 Given this interest, NHTSA believed that owners were not completing the remedy because they were unaware that their CRS had been recalled. NHTSA adopted the registration program to facilitate direct notification of owners in a recall campaign. There are three aspects to the registration program: (a) Manufacturers’ providing a registration form to purchasers of new CRSs; (b) labeling on the CRS and in the owner’s manual to notify and register owners who did not use the mail-in card (this particularly targets second-hand owners of the CRS); and (c) recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers to maintain registrants’ contact information for 6 years in case a defect or noncompliance arose with the CRS leading to a safety recall (49 CFR part 588, ‘‘Child restraint systems recordkeeping requirements’’). This NPRM proposes changes to program aspects (a) and (b). With regard to (a) above, FMVSS No. 213 requires manufacturers to provide a standardized, postage-paid registration 76 Final rule, 57 FR 41428, September 10, 1992. NHTSA also issued the rule to assist the agency in determining whether manufacturers met their recall notification responsibilities under the Vehicle Safety Act, and to motivate owners to register CRSs for recall notification purposes. 77 NPRM, February 19, 1991, 56 FR 6603, 6604. PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 form with each CRS.78 The Agency designed the form in part using information obtained in a NHTSA study of consumers’ attitudes about the intended program.79 The researchers found that focus group participants— [I]ndicated that they would be most likely to return a pre-addressed, postage-prepaid card with an uncluttered graphic design that clearly and succinctly communicates the benefits of recall registration, differentiates itself from a warranty registration card, and requires minimal time and effort of the participant’s part. The study also showed that participants reacted favorably to the idea of being assured by the manufacturer that their names would not be placed on a mailing list if they registered their restraints. In view of the study’s findings, NHTSA standardized the form’s text and layout to increase the likelihood that the owners would register. The form consists of two parts (see Figures 9a and 9b of FMVSS No. 213). The first part (‘‘information card’’) contains a message on the importance of registering the CRS and instructions for registering.80 The information card is intended to motivate owners to register. The second part (‘‘mail-in card’’) is to be mailed in by the owner to register. On the mail-in card, manufacturers must preprint their return address and information identifying the model name or number of the CRS to which the form is attached, so that owners do not need to look up and provide that information themselves (a possible impediment to completing the registration). The card must have distinct spaces for the owner to fill in his/her name and address and must use tint to highlight to the owner that minimal input is required to register. To distinguish the mail-in card from a warranty card or some kind of advertisement material, the standard prohibits any other information from appearing on the card, except for identifying information that distinguishes a particular CRS from other systems of that model name or number. The card must meet minimum U.S. Postal Service size and thickness specifications so that it can be mailed as a postcard. To encourage consumers to mail back the card, manufacturers must pay the postage. 78 The form must be attached to a contactable surface of the CRS so that the owner will notice the form and need to handle it physically. 79 See March 9, 1993 final rule discussion of focus group testing by National Analysts, ‘‘Child Safety Seat Registration: The Consumer View,’’ February 1991, 57 FR at 41426. 80 In 2005, NHTSA amended the requirements to permit information regarding online registration to be included on this part of the owner registration form (September 9, 2005; 70 FR 53569). E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 2. Overview The CRS owner registration program has had mixed success. Prior to the registration program in FMVSS No. 213, there was a 10 to 13 percent completion rate for child restraint recalls. The average recall completion rate is about 40 percent in recent years, which, while much higher than that before the program, is still low compared to the completion rate for vehicle recalls.81 When NHTSA issued the final rule adopting the registration program (1992), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) had information showing a return rate for warranty cards of 20 to 30 percent for cards that did not have postage paid and 40 percent for cards that had postage paid. The current average registration rate for child restraint systems is only 23 percent, even with a postage-paid card. NHTSA’s intention in issuing this NPRM is to raise the 23 percent CRS owner registration rate. By raising the registration rate, the Agency seeks to raise the CRS recall completion rate. NHTSA is taking graduated steps to raise the CRS owner registration rate. NHTSA’s CRS registration program primarily involves the interaction between the CRS manufacturer and the CRS owner; the primary instrument enabling and facilitating that interaction is the registration form required by S5.8 of the standard.82 CRS manufacturers have expressed to NHTSA their interest in exploring different registration methods, given the advances in communication technologies. They would like to optimize the design of the registration form to increase registrations. However, the current registration form requirements prevent CRS manufacturers from changing the language and format of the form to capture the consumer’s interest and persuade them to register. In response, the agency is proposing to provide flexibility to CRS manufacturers in the content and format of the form. NHTSA believes that manufacturers will take advantage of additional flexibilities to craft more 81 The average recall completion rate for vehicles for the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015 is 79 percent. 82 This NPRM focuses on improving the registration form to enhance the interaction between manufacturers and owners but the agency asks for comment on ways registration rates could possibly improve by the involvement of third parties, such as retailers and other dealers. NHTSA is interested in learning about programs that have involved point-of-sale registration, the practicalities of the arrangement (e.g., how the merchant conveyed the owner information to the manufacturer), and the successes and challenges associated with them. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 optimized and effective forms of communication that will lead to higher rates of registration without introducing consumer confusion that could have an adverse effect on registration. The Agency requests comment on this assumption for all aspects of the proposed changes here. Twenty-eight (28) years have passed since the final rule 83 establishing the registration program for FMVSS No. 213. Since that time, a generation of children has grown to become the new parents of today. This new generation grew up with and continues to interact with vast, rapidly-changing advancements in electronic communication and information technology. To make FMVSS No. 213 more responsive to the communication preferences and practices of today’s parents, this NPRM would provide manufacturers leeway to use additional modern and creative means of outreach and information exchange in an effort to increase owner registration rates. NHTSA’s purpose in allowing this flexibility is to allow CRS manufacturers the opportunity to cultivate their method of communicating with their customer-caregivers and to use innovative ways to get their customers to register. At the same time, however, NHTSA believes that the registration form also must be designed to meet the needs of owners who may not have access to or may not be comfortable with modern electronic means of communication. The Agency has drafted the proposed amendatory language in a way that maintains features of the current form for owners who would register by mail. NHTSA also recognizes that reducing the restrictions on the content and format of the form reduces the standardization of the form, which raises some concerns. The standardized registration form is readily recognizable, easy to understand and designed with carefully considered text and formatting features. When manufacturers are given substantial leeway to design content and format, it introduces a risk that some designs may be confusing or ineffective. This proposal provides more flexibility but also limits certain aspects of design that NHTSA believes would be ineffective, such as advertisements on the form, and the Agency requests comment on whether any other aspects should be similarly prohibited. Likewise, the Agency requests comment on whether any of the design aspects that the agency has proposed to cease being standardized should, instead, remain standardized. 83 Final PO 00000 rule, 57 FR 41428, September 10, 1992. Frm 00039 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69425 Further, in the event NHTSA finalizes the proposal to increase flexibility here, NHTSA anticipates that it will monitor the content and format that manufacturers use on the forms to see if more standardization is needed. Standardization might be appropriate not only to disallow confusing or ineffective designs, but to promote particularly effective content and format that have resulted in increased registration rates. 3. Proposed Changes to the Registration Program i. Information Card The information card is the top part of the two-part registration form shown in Figures 9a and 9b of FMVSS No. 213. The size, font, color, and layout of the information card are currently prescribed in Figures 9a and 9b, as is the attachment method (fold/ perforation) of the information card to the lower part of the form (the mail-in card). The information card sets forth: (a) Prescribed wording advising the consumer of the importance of registering; (b) prescribed instructions on how to register; and (c) prescribed statements that the mail-in card is preaddressed and that postage is already paid. The Agency proposes to remove the restrictions on size, font, color, layout, and attachment method of the information card portion. These changes would provide flexibility to CRS manufacturers on how the required information is presented to the consumer. The Agency believes that these changes have the potential to increase registration rates, but does not have information suggesting the extent to which this would occur and requests comments on what effect, in any, these changes will have on increasing registration rates. Comments are also requested on whether a two-part registration form format is warranted. Assuming it is, this NPRM proposes that manufacturers can decide how the information card is attached to the mailin card. The agency believes that the information card should be easily detachable from the mail-in card portion, without the use of scissors and the like. In addition, the agency is proposing to amend the requirements in (a) and (b) above such that the wording would no longer be prescribed. Instead, CRS manufacturers would be given leeway to use their own words to convey the importance of registering the CRS and to instruct how registration is achieved. NHTSA would allow statements explaining how consumers can use E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69426 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules electronic (or any other means) of registering, as long as instructions are provided on using the paper card for registering (including that the mail-in card is pre-addressed and that the postage is pre-paid). NHTSA requests comment on any benefits or safety risks of allowing manufacturers to provide their own language here. NHTSA also proposes to permit or possibly require a statement that the information collected through the registration process will not be used by the manufacturer for any purpose other than contacting the consumer in the event of a recall. Comments are requested on NHTSA’s requiring such a statement. NHTSA also proposes to continue to prohibit any other information unrelated to the registration of the CRS, such as advertising or warranty information. These proposed changes to the information card, if adopted, would affect the collection of information, ‘‘Consolidated Child Restraint System Registration, Labeling and Defect Notification,’’ OMB Control Number: 2127–0576. This NPRM includes a request for comment on the collection of information. Comments are requested from manufacturers on whether they plan to take advantage of this increased flexibility in providing information to consumers to motivate them to register their child restraints. ii. Mail-In Card The Agency proposes that the mail-in card portion of the form (the lower half of the form depicted in Figures 9a and 9b of FMVSS No. 213) does not need to be changed.84 The current mail-in card has the basic elements needed for registering by mail, including the necessary owner contact information, preprinted CRS restraint information (Figure 9a), manufacturer’s preprinted address and prepaid postage information (Figure 9b), and minimum size of the card (important so it can be mailed to the manufacturer as a postcard). NHTSA requests comment on whether other elements should be added to or eliminated from the currently required mail-in card, and if leeway should be given on how the card is formatted. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 iii. Electronic Registration Form FMVSS No. 213 currently permits manufacturers to provide a web address on the information card to enable owners to register online (S5.8.1(d)). 84 Typographical errors would be corrected, such as the spelling of the words ‘‘postage’’ and ‘‘mailed.’’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 The web address must provide a direct link to an ‘‘electronic registration form’’ meeting the requirements of S5.8.2 of the standard. Under S5.8.2, the electronic registration form must conform to a specified format and have certain content, including: (a) A prescribed message to advise the consumer of the importance of registering; (b) prescribed instructions on how to register; and, (c) fields to record the CRS’s model name or number and date of manufacture, and the owner’s name, mailing address, and optionally, the owner’s email address. This NPRM proposes to amend S5.8.1(d) so that the electronic form may be reached by using methods other than a web address. For instance, should consumers be able to access the electronic form by a code (such as a QR 85 code)? NHTSA is also considering amending S5.8.l to delete the specific reference to an ‘‘electronic registration form,’’ and, instead, reference any electronic means to register owners. With regard to the requirements for the electronic registration form (S5.8.2), NHTSA proposes to change the requirements for elements (a) and (b) above, from NHTSA-prescribed messages to messages crafted by the CRS manufacturer conveying the importance of registering and instructions on how to register. Comments are requested on whether S5.8.2 should be further amended, possibly by rescinding some of the requirements in that section. What changes are needed to allow innovative electronic methods for registering CRSs? How can FMVSS No. 213 facilitate use of those technologies? What benefits or safety risks would be introduced by allowing these flexibilities? iv. Information on Labels and in Owners’ Manuals NHTSA also proposes that provisions in FMVSS No. 213 requiring information on registering CRSs on child restraint labels 86 and in owners’ manuals 87 also be amended in the manner discussed above. b. Information on Correctly Using CRSs NHTSA proposes to lessen restrictions in labeling and owner’s manual requirements so that manufacturers have more flexibility in providing information on correct CRS use (S5.5, S5.6). The agency intends for 85 QR code means Quick Response Code. This is a matrix barcode similar to a standard Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode but has greater storage capacity. Usually QR codes are used for product tracking, item identification and general marketing. 86 See S5.5.2(m) and S5.5.5(k). 87 See S5.6.1.7 and S5.6.2.2. PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 manufacturers to determine the words and diagrams that most effectively instruct consumers on using their CRSs and to determine how the labeling should be presented to communicate best with consumers. The goal of the proposal is to increase the correct use of CRSs. 1. Removing Requirements for Specific Wording FMVSS No. 213 requires manufacturers to label CRSs with information on the maximum height and weight of the children who can safely occupy the system (S5.5.2(f)). NHTSA believes there is a continued need for this ‘‘use information’’ to be permanently labeled on CRSs. However, because S5.5.2(f) prescribes specific statements for the label that have become dated and that are not optimized for particular CRS designs and features, the agency proposes to rescind the requirement that they be used. Instead, NHTSA proposes requiring that the information be provided for each mode the CRS can be used (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster) and, subject to the conditions discussed below, manufacturers would have the flexibility to provide the use information in statements or a combination of statements and pictograms at locations that they deem most effective. The proposed conditions are based on sound best practice recommendations developed by the child passenger safety community. Conditions on the Provided Use Information i. NHTSA and the entire child passenger safety community strongly recommend that children up to the age of 1 be kept riding rear-facing at least up to the age of 1. NHTSA further recommends that children 1 to 3 years of age ride rear-facing as long as possible, until they reach the manufacturer-recommended upper height or weight limit for riding rearfacing in the CRS, and that children 4 to 7 years of age ride forward-facing in CRSs with internal harnesses as long as they are within the height and weight limits allowed by the CRS’s manufacturer.88 With these recommendations in mind, NHTSA proposes that the use information manufacturers provide for CRSs that can be used in multiple ‘‘modes’’ (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster) must provide information about the weight and height of children for 88 https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/ Right-Car-Seat-Age-Size.htm?view=full. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69427 each mode of use. Currently S5.5.2(f) requires the overall maximum and minimum height and weight ranges of the children for whom the CRS is recommended, which are not broken down by modes of use. The requirement to parse the height and weight ranges by mode would result in clearer instructions on when to turn a child forward-facing, so that children are not turned forward-facing too soon. To illustrate, instead of stating that a convertible (a CRS that can be used rearfacing and forward-facing) is for use by children weighing 5 to 65 lb (2.3 to 29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches (121.9 centimeters (cm)), the statements or a combination of statements and pictograms would indicate that the CRS is used rear-facing by children weighing 5 to 40 lb (2.3 to 18.1 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches (121.9 cm), and forward-facing by children weighing 27 to 65 lb (12.2 to 29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches (121.9 cm). This information may be provided in combination with pictograms on labels already provided on the CRS, as shown in Figure 8. Evenflo and SafeRide News have requested this amendment in a petition for rulemaking, supra. NHTSA grants this part of the petition. ii. Given the need for children to be kept rear-facing at least up to the age of 1, NHTSA proposes that CRSs may only be recommended for forward-facing use by children weighing a minimum of 12 kg (26.5 lb). The 26.5 lb value corresponds to the weight of a 95th percentile 1-year-old. This provision would apply to CRSs designed to be used only forward-facing and to CRSs that are designed for use rear-facing for infants and forward-facing for older children (i.e., the latter restraints cannot use a ‘‘turnaround weight’’ that is less than 12 kg (26.5 lb)). The purpose of this provision is to increase the number of children younger than 1 that are transported rear-facing, because a child under 1 is significantly safer rear-facing than forward-facing in a crash. FMVSS No. 213 currently sets the minimum weight recommendation for a child in a forward-facing CRS at 9 kg (20 lb) (S5.5.2(k)(2)), but that weight is too low to capture a sufficiently full population of children 1-year-old and younger. A 50th percentile 1-year-old weighs 10 kg (22 lb); hence the 9 kg (20 lb) threshold is unsatisfactory because it does not cover more than half the children under 1 year of age. The change to 12 kg (26.5 lb) would capture almost all 1-year-olds and would therefore increase the likelihood that children under 1 will be transported rear-facing. Another benefit from the 12 kg (26.5 lb) minimum weight would be to increase the likelihood that more young toddlers would be transported rear- facing. Rear-facing CRSs support the infant or toddler’s posterior torso, neck, head, and pelvis and help to distribute crash forces over the entire body. Developmental considerations, including incomplete vertebral ossification, more horizontally oriented spinal facet joints, and excessive ligamentous laxity put young children at risk for head and spinal cord injury. Rear-facing CRSs address this risk by supporting the child’s head, preventing the relatively large head from moving independently of the proportionately smaller neck. Although NHTSA recommends that children 1 to 3 ride in rear-facing child restraints as long as possible to address the above risks, many caregivers are not following this recommendation and instead appear to be following labeling instructions that specify a turnaround weight of 9kg (20 lb).89 NCRUSS 90 data indicate that, among children weighing less than 9 kg (20 lb), 93 percent were restrained in a rear-facing CRS, yet among children weighing 9 to 13.1 kg (20 to 29 lb), only 22 percent were restrained in a rear-facing CRS. The weight of 12 kg (26.5 lb) corresponds to the weight of a 75th percentile 18month-old (18MO) and about a 50th percentile 2-year-old. Raising the turnaround weight to 12 kg (26.5 lb) would help keep a larger percentage of very young children restrained rearfacing. As explained in the Appendix to this NPRM, NHTSA estimates 0.7 to 2.3 lives saved and 1.0 to 3.5 moderate to serious injuries prevented by this amendment. iii. NHTSA currently recommends that children riding forward-facing should be restrained in CRSs with internal harnesses (car safety seats) as long as possible before transitioning to a booster seat. FMVSS No. 213 permits booster seats only to be recommended for children weighing at least 13.6 kg (30 lb) (S5.5.2(f)). Based on an analysis of field data and other considerations, NHTSA believes the 13.6 kg (30 lb) value should be raised. Thirty pounds corresponds to the weight of a 50th percentile 3-year-old, and to the weight of a 95th percentile 18-month-old; i.e., children too small to be safely protected in a booster seat. NHTSA proposes to amend S5.5.2(f) to raise the 13.6 kg (30 lb) limit to 18.2 kg (40 lb), which is greater than the weight of a 97th percentile 3-year-old (17.7 kg (39.3 lb)) and approximately the weight of an 85th percentile 4-year-old. NHTSA’s field data analyses indicate risks associated with booster seat use by 3- and 4-year-old children.91 The Agency conducted statistical analyses of field data (NASS CDS data from 1998– VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 89 As noted above, S5.5.2(k)(2) permits a turnaround weight of 9 kg (20 lb). Although NHTSA meant for that weight to be a minimum, many CRSs use a turnaround weight of only 9kg (20 lb). 90 ‘‘Findings of the National Child Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS),’’ supra. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 91 ‘‘Booster Seat Effectiveness Estimates Based on CDS and State Data,’’ NHTSA Technical Report, DOT HS 811 338, July 2010. http://wwwnrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811338.pdf, last accessed on October 1, 2018. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.026</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 69428 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 2008 and 17 combined years of State data from Kansas, Washington and Nebraska) to estimate the effect of early graduation from CRSs with an internal harness (car safety seats) to booster seats. NHTSA found that among 3- and 4-year-olds, there was as much as a 27 percent increased risk in nonincapacitating to fatal injury when restrained in booster seats compared to car safety seats. The analysis indicated that this effect may be more pronounced for children 3 years old and younger than for older children. These data indicate a need to keep children in CRSs with internal harnesses (car safety seats) until after the child turns 4 years old.92 NHTSA estimates this change could save 1.2 to 4 lives and prevent 1.6 to 5.2 moderate to serious injuries. In addition, NHTSA’s proposed side impact test for CRSs would only apply to child restraints recommended for children weighing less than 18.2 kg (40 lb). Keeping children in car safety seats longer (until at least a weight of 18.2 kg (40 lb)) would enhance their protection in side impacts as well. 2. Labeling of Use Information The Agency proposes deleting a requirement in S5.5.2(g)(1)(i) that the use information required by S5.5.2(f) must be in a specific warning label. The use information would still be on the CRS in a visible location, but would not have to be part of the ‘‘warning label’’ statements. NHTSA tentatively concludes that if S5.5.2(f) is amended as proposed in this NPRM, the use information that S5.5.2(f) provides will be clearer to consumers, and there would not be a need to highlight the information on the specific warning label at issue. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 3. Deleting S5.5.2(k)(2) This NPRM proposes deleting the labeling requirement of S5.5.2(k)(2), as S5.5.2(k)(2) would duplicate the information of S5.5.2(f) if the latter were amended as described above. Both provisions would instruct consumers to use the rear-facing CRS with children weighing under a specified weight limit. 4. Other Requests of Evenflo and Safe Ride News Petition Evenflo and Safe Ride News (SRN) request that NHTSA amend S5.5.2(k)(2) to reference a turnaround age (of 2 years old). The petitioners refer to the age of 2 based on a then-American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation that children use rear-facing CRSs up to at least age 2 or until they reach the 92 A 50th percentile 48-month-old weighs 16.1 kg (35.5 lb). VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 highest weight or height of the particular CRS they are using.93 NHTSA is denying this request. As explained above, the Agency believes that the label specified by S5.5.2(k)(2) is no longer necessary given the labeling changes proposed in this NPRM, and has proposed deleting that statement. Instead, NHTSA is proposing that manufacturers include statements, or a combination of statements and pictograms, specifying the manufacturer’s recommendations for the mass and height ranges of children who can safely occupy the system in each applicable mode (i.e., rear-facing, forward-facing, or booster), subject to NHTSA’s amended minimum weight recommendations. NHTSA believes that the proposed change addresses the concerns of Evenflo and SRN’s relating to caregiver confusion on the wording of the label, as the requirement to parse the height and weight ranges by mode would result in clearer instructions on when to turn a child forward-facing, so that children are not turned forwardfacing sooner than recommended. In addition, the proposed labeling changes align with NHTSA’s recommendation that children under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat, and children 1–3 years old ride rear-facing as long as possible, until they reach the manufacturerrecommended upper height or weight limit for riding rear-facing in the CRS. As discussed above, rear-facing CRSs address the risk of head and spinal cord injury for infants and toddlers, and the longer that these children are transported rear-facing, the longer they can take advantage of the posterior torso, neck, head, and pelvis support that a rear-facing CRS provides. However, since children of the same age vary by size, NHTSA declines to refer to a hard age on the CRS label. CRSs are made to protect the child occupant based on the management of crash forces based on the child’s height and weight, not his or her age. NHTSA’s recommendations aim to provide general guidance to the public on what CRSs are appropriate to use during specific child age ranges, as an agebased recommendation is easier for consumers to remember than a weightbased one. Raising the minimum weight for forward-facing CRSs to children that weigh a minimum of 12 kg (26.5 lb), while also including the maximum weight and height for each mode on the 93 AAP Updates Recommendation on Car Seats (March 21, 2011), available at https:// web.archive.org/web/20170824075402/https:// www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/ pages/aap-updates-recommendation-on-carseats.aspx. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 label, aligns with NHTSA’s recommendations by ensuring children are almost always kept in rear-facing seats until they are at least age 1, while also making clear that children over age 1 who are below the maximum weight and height for a seat’s rear facing mode can remain rear-facing. NHTSA continues to recommend that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the maximum height or weight limit allowed by the CRS manufacturer. NHTSA believes that it is also important to note that the AAP has since updated their 2011 recommendation on car seat use by removing the specific age 2 milestone.94 AAP’s 2018 best practice recommendation is that, ‘‘All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing CRS as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their CRS’s manufacturer.’’ AAP’s 2018 recommendation is aligned with NHTSA’s recommendation. Accordingly, the Agency believes that, for the CRS label, specifying the appropriate child weight and height ranges is more accurate to identify the child occupant for whom the CRS is designed to protect than specifying an age. NHTSA is also denying the petitioners’ request to delete a requirement that the use information include the heights of the children who can occupy the system safely. The petitioners request that NHTSA delete this requirement because they believe ‘‘overall child height is not the most useful measure.’’ The petitioners suggest that consumers be instead directed to ‘‘follow height requirements described in the owner’s manual, up to a maximum of ll inches (ll cm).’’ The petitioners believe that the caregiver can determine whether his or her child’s height is within the maximum for the seat and can be alerted to important information on height by the CRS owner’s manual. NHTSA denies this request. The Agency does not believe that the caregiver should be referred to the CRS owner’s manual for information on the height limits for a child to use the restraint safely, because many consumers do not consult the manual.95 94 Benjamin D. Hoffman, M.D., FAAP, New child passenger safety seat guidance advises kids to rise rear-facing as long as possible; drops age criterion (Aug. 30, 2018), https://www.aappublications.org/ news/2018/08/30/passengersafety083018. 95 Findings from NCRUSS (DOT HS 811 679, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ ViewPublication/812142) indicate that only 66 percent of caregivers consulted the user’s manual when installing a child restraint. There was no E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules The Agency believes that height information should be permanently attached to the CRS where it is readily available and easily accessible. IX. Streamlining NHTSA’s Use of ATDs in Compliance Tests To Reflect CRS Use Today a. Introduction To simplify and to make more evaluative NHTSA’s compliance testing of CRSs, this NPRM proposes to streamline how the Agency uses ATDs (test dummies) to assess CRS performance. Many of these changes would make the Agency’s use of the ATDs more reflective of how CRSs are used today. The proposed changes are discussed below. By way of background, child restraint systems must meet FMVSS No. 213’s performance requirements when dynamically tested with test dummies that represent children of various ages. The current dummies used in compliance testing are the newborn infant, the CRABI–12MO, HIII–3YO, HIII–6YO or the H2–6YO, and the HIII– 10-year-old child dummy. NHTSA selects which test dummy to use based in part on the height and weight of the children for whom the manufacturer recommends for the child restraint (see S7 of FMVSS No. 213). To illustrate, Table 19 below shows which 69429 dummies NHTSA uses to test child restraints based on the height and weight recommendations established for the restraint by the manufacturer. If a child restraint is recommended for a range of children whose weight overlaps, in whole or in part, two or more of the weight ranges in the table, the restraint is subject to testing with the dummies specified for each of those ranges. Thus, for example, if a child restraint is recommended for children having weights from 10 kg to 22.7 kg (22—50 lb), it would be subject to testing with the CRABI–12MO, the HIII– 3YO, and the HIII–6YO or H2–6YO dummies. TABLE 19—CURRENT USE OF DUMMIES BASED ON MANUFACTURER’S WEIGHT RECOMMENDATION [571.213, S7] CRS recommended for use by children of these weights— Are compliance tested by NHTSA with these ATDs (subparts refer to 49 CFR part 572) Weight (W) ≤5 kg (11 lb), Height (H) ≤650 mm (25.5 inches) ................. Weight 5 kg (11 lb) <W ≤10 kg (22 lb), Height 650 mm (25.5 inches) <H ≤850 mm (33.5 inches). Weight 10 kg (22 lb) <W ≤18.2 kg (40 lb), Height 850 mm (33.5 inches) <H ≤1100 mm (43.3 inches). Weight 18kg (40 lb) <W ≤22.7 kg (50 lb), Height 1100 mm (43.3 inches) <H ≤1250 mm (49.2 inches). Weight 22.7 kg (50 lb) <W ≤30 kg (65 lb), Height 1100 mm (43.3 inches) <H ≤1250 mm (49.2 inches). Weight greater than 30 kg (65 lb), Height greater than 1250 mm (49.2 inches). Newborn (subpart K). Newborn (subpart K), CRABI–12MO (subpart R). CRABI–12MO (subpart R), HIII–3YO (subpart P). HIII–6YO (subpart N) or H2–6YO (subpart I) (manufacturer’s option). HIII–6YO (subpart N) or H2–6YO (subpart I) (manufacturer’s option), and weighted HIII–6YO (subpart S). HIII–10YO (subpart T).* * No HIC measured with HIII–10YO. (Note: CRSs with internal harnesses that weigh more than 30 kg (65 lb) with an ATD are not tested with that ATD on the child restraint anchorage system of the standard seat assembly.) Currently under FMVSS No. 213, CRSs labeled for use by children in the weight range 10 kg to 18.2 kg (22 lb to 40 lb) are subject to testing with the CRABI 12MO and the HIII–3YO dummy (S7.1.2(c)). This NPRM proposes to amend these specifications so that child restraints would not be subject to testing with the 3YO dummy unless the recommended weights of children for whom the CRS is marketed is 13.6 to 18.2 kg (30—40 lb). NHTSA proposes this change because, as a practical matter, 3YOs are too large to fit in a CRS recommended for children in the lower end of the 10 to 18.2 kg (22—40 lb) weight range. The intent of this change is to reduce unnecessary test burdens. NHTSA proposes amending S7.1.2(c) by splitting the 10 to 18.2 kg (22—40 lb) weight range into a 10 to 13.6 kg (22— 30 lb) and a 13.6 to 18.2 kg (30—40 lb) weight range. CRSs recommended for children in the former range (10 to 13.6 kg (22—30 lb)) would be tested with the CRABI 12MO, while CRSs for children in the latter (13.6 to 18.2 kg (30—40 lb)) would be tested with the HIII–3YO.96 NHTSA is particularly mindful of the effect the amendment would have on infant carriers.97 The current CRS market has infant carrier models recommended for children weighing up to 10 kg (22 lb), 13.6 kg (30 lb), 15.8 kg (35 lb), and 18.2 kg (40 lb) and with child height limits ranging from 736 mm (29 inches) to 889 mm (35 inches). Absent the amendment, these infant carriers would be subject to testing with the HIII–3YO (35 lb) dummy rear-facing. However, the HIII–3YO dummy (stature of 945 mm (37.2 inches)) does not fit easily in infant carriers. Current infant carriers would also likely fail FMVSS No. 213’s head containment requirement (S5.1.3.2) with the HIII– 3YO without substantial redesign that would add weight, bulk and cost to the CRS. Given the purpose of infant carriers, there does not seem be a safety need warranting such redesign. Current infant carriers are convenient to use with infants and are popular with parents. The availability and ease-of-use of current carriers may result in more infants riding rear-facing than if the carriers were heavier, bulkier and more expensive. NHTSA expects that the proposed amendment would not necessitate any design changes in infant carriers. Currently there are a number of infant carriers that are marketed for children weighing up to 15.8 kg (35 lb) or 18.2 kg (40 lb). The Agency expects that manufacturers will reduce the maximum weight recommendations such that the restraints would be specific detail on what topic in the manual was reviewed. 96 As a practical matter, most CRS would be subject to testing using at least two ATDs since most CRS are sold for children of weights spanning more than one weight category. A CRS that is recommended for a weight range that overlaps, in whole or in part, two or more of the weight ranges is subject to testing with the ATDs specified for each of those ranges (571.213, S7). 97 An infant carrier is a rear-facing CRS designed to be readily used in and outside of the vehicle. It has a carrying handle that enables caregivers to tote the CRS plus child outside of the vehicle. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 b. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 10–13.6 kg (22–30 lb) VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69430 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 marketed for children up to 13.6 kg (30 lb). Because NHTSA does not believe that the infant carriers are significantly used by children weighing more than 13.6 kg (30 lb),98 the proposed amendment is not likely to engender an unfulfilled need for the carriers by over13.6 kg (30 lb) children. On the other hand, if a manufacturer would like to continue marketing its infant carrier for children weighing more than 13.6 kg (30 lb), it may do so, provided it can certify that the CRS can meet the performance requirements of FMVSS No. 213 when tested with the HIII–3YO test dummy. Comments are requested on this issue. This NPRM also proposes to amend S7.1.2’s height specifications for testing with the ATDs so that height categories are consistent with the corresponding weight limits. This is to simplify the standard. This proposal is explained further below. Currently S7.1.2(b) specifies that the newborn and CRABI–12MO dummies are used to test CRSs recommended for children in a height range from 650 mm to 850 mm. The average height of a 12MO child is 750 mm (29.5 inches), not 850 mm. NHTSA proposes to change the upper end of that height range to 750 mm (29.5 inches), to correspond to the average height of a 12MO child (750 mm (29.5 inches)) (which also is the height of the CRABI– 12MO ATD). The revised height range would be part of a new S7.1.1(b). Similarly, as discussed earlier, proposed S7.1.1(c) specifies that the CRABI–12MO dummy would be used to test a CRS recommended for children weighing 10 to 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb). A child weighing 13.6 kg (30 lb) on average is about 870 mm (34.3 inches) tall. (The 95th percentile 18MO child weighs about 13.6 (30 lb) and has a corresponding height of about 870 mm (34.3 inches).) Therefore, to make the height specifications for testing with ATDs consistent with the corresponding weight limits, this NPRM proposes that CRSs would be tested with the CRABI– 12MO if they are recommended for children in the weight range of up to 13.6 kg (30 lb) or in the height range of up 870 mm (34.3 inches). 98 Feedback from child passenger safety technicians involved in child restraint system checks indicates that infants usually outgrow infant carriers because of reaching the height limit of the carrier rather than the weight limit. Further, as an infant reaches a 13.6 kg (30 lb) weight, the weight of the infant and the infant carrier together becomes too heavy for a caregiver to pull out of the vehicle and carry around by a handle. Therefore, parents often switch to a convertible or all-in one CRS as the child weight nears 13.6 kg (30 lb). VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 c. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 13.6–18.2 kg (30–40 lb) This NPRM proposes amendments affecting CRSs labeled for use by children of weights from 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg (30–40 lb). Currently, these CRSs are subject to testing with the CRABI–12MO and the HIII–3YO (S7.1.2(c)).99 NHTSA has tentatively determined that the CRSs do not need to be tested with the CRABI–12MO, since the 10 kg (22 lb) dummy is not representative of 13.6 to 18.2 kg (30–40 lb) children for whom the restraint is intended.100 A new S7.1.1(d) would apply to these CRSs. The new S7.1.1(d) would specify that NHTSA would test CRSs recommended for children in the weight range of 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg (30—40 lb) with the HIII– 3YO dummy. Also, to make the height specification for testing with the ATD consistent with the corresponding weight limit proposed in S7.1.1(c), NHTSA proposes to use the HIII–3YO dummy to test CRSs recommended for children in the height range of 870 mm to 1,100 mm (34.3 to 43.3 inches), instead of 850 mm to 1,100 mm (33.5 to 43.3 inches). d. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 18–29.5 kg (40–65 lb) FMVSS No. 213 currently provides child restraint manufacturers the option of having NHTSA use the HIII–6YO or the H2–6YO in compliance tests of CRSs for children weighing 18 to 29.5 kg (40 to 65 lb) (S7.1.3). This NPRM proposes to test these CRSs only with the HIII– 6YO. The HIII–6YO is preferred as it is a more biofidelic test device than the H2–6YO dummy, and more and more CRS manufacturers are using the HIII rather than the H2–6YO dummy. Further, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain replacement parts for the older H2–6YO dummy. NHTSA adopted the HIII–6YO in FMVSS No. 213 in response to a mandate in the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act 101 that directed NHTSA to consider a number of rulemakings to improve CRS safety, including one on incorporating use of the HIII–6YO in FMVSS No. 213 compliance tests. NHTSA incorporated the ATD into FMVSS No. 213 after determining in its rulemaking that the dummy is ‘‘considerably more biofidelic’’ than the H2–6YO dummy, 99 The CRABI–12MO is not used to test a booster seat (S7.1.2(c)). 100 However, if such a CRS were also labeled for use by children weighing less than 13.6 kg (30 lb), then the CRS would be subject to testing with the CRABI–12MO. 101 November 1, 2000, Public Law 106–414, 114 Stat. 1800. PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 and with enhanced capability to measure an array of impact responses never before measured by a child test dummy, such as neck moments and chest deflection.102 Problems arose after adoption of the HIII–6YO in FMVSS No. 213, however. The HIII–6YO had been successfully used in low-risk deployment and static suppression compliance tests of advanced air bags under FMVSS No. 208, ‘‘Occupant crash protection.’’ However, in the FMVSS No. 213 test environment where no air bag is present, the HIII–6YO exhibited unrealistic chin-to-chest and head-toknee contact in tests of booster seats, which resulted in inordinately high, often times failing HIC values recorded by the dummy. NHTSA responded by adopting a provision permitting the optional use of the H2–6YO dummy in place of the HIII–6YO. NHTSA originally intended the matter as an interim measure to provide manufacturers time to adjust to the new ATD, and later, on extension, to provide NHTSA time to develop seating procedures for the dummy.103 However, in 2011, NHTSA issued a final rule to permit optional use of the H2– 6YO ‘‘until further notice.’’ The Agency announced that, while the HIII–6YO is an advanced test dummy with state-ofthe-art capabilities and is used by some CRS manufacturers in certifying restraints, NHTSA wanted to complete ongoing efforts to improve the HIII–6YO dummy to make it more useful as an FMVSS No. 213 test device before testing child restraints solely with the ATD.104 Since 2011, NHTSA has pursued long-term improvements to the biofidelity of the HIII–6YO. Part of NHTSA’s work involves development of a Large Omnidirectional Child (LODC) dummy using the HIII–10YO dummy, formulating LODC concepts and mechanisms that can eventually be adapted to the design of a 6YO prototype.105 102 Final rule, 68 FR 37620, June 24, 2003. FR 44520, July 28, 2005; 73 FR 45355, August 5, 2008. The Hybrid III ATD was called the ‘‘HIII–6C’’and the Hybrid II was called the ‘‘H2–6C’’ in these documents. 104 76 FR 55825, September 9, 2011. 105 The improvements in the prototype HIII–10YO LODC dummy include: A head with pediatric mass properties; a neck that produces head lag with free Z-axis rotation at the atlanto-occipital joint; a flexible thoracic spine; multi-point thoracic deflection measurement capability; skeletal anthropometry representative of a seated child; and an abdomen that can directly measure belt loading. More information on the LODC dummy can be found at: http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NVS/ Public%20Meetings/SAE/2016/ Development%20of%20the%20LODC%20ATDSAE2016.pdf. 103 70 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69431 Yet also since 2011, new information indicates NHTSA may not need to wait longer to use the HIII–6YO solely as the 6YO child ATD in FMVSS No. 213 compliance tests. While developing this NPRM, NHTSA tested the HIII–6YO in booster seats and in CRSs with internal harnesses (‘‘harnessed-CRSs’’) on the proposed standard seat assembly and found that the ATD did not exhibit high head injury measures and high head acceleration spikes in the dynamic tests. Chin-to-chest contact occurred at times, but it was a significantly softer contact than the contact observed in tests on the current seat assembly. On the proposed seat assembly, the high HIC values and the high head acceleration spikes that had been measured by the dummy on the current seat assembly were absent. NHTSA believes this change is due to the firmer seat cushion on the proposed assembly that prevents the CRS from bottoming out against the seat frame. The difference in head accelerations due to the different seat assemblies is illustrated below. Figure 9 shows the head accelerations of the HIII–6YO in tests on the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly in booster seats (solid lines), and on the proposed standard seat assembly in booster seats (dashed lines) and in forward-facing harnessed-CRSs (dotted lines). As shown in the figure, the peak head accelerations curves of the HIII–6YO in tests with the proposed standard seat assembly are lower in magnitude than in tests with the current seat assembly and show the absence of severe head acceleration spikes.106 Those data are consistent with other data showing that the HIII–6YO dummy measures lower peak head acceleration and HIC on the proposed seat assembly than on the current FMVSS No. 213 assembly. As shown in Table 20 below, the average peak head acceleration and average HIC of the HIII–6YO on the proposed standard seat assembly were 52.9 g and 447.4, respectively. The average peak head acceleration and average HIC of the HIII–6YO dummy in tests conducted on the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly were 77.6 g and 976.2, respectively. This amounted to an average peak head acceleration that was 31.8 percent lower and an average HIC that was 54.2 percent lower when the proposed standard seat assembly is used versus the current seat assembly. Again, we attribute the overall change in magnitude in peak head acceleration to the stiffer seat cushion foam in the proposed standard seat assembly. BILLING CODE 4910–59–P 106 Full detail of the sled tests results are discussed in Section VII of this preamble, supra. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.027</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules BILLING CODE 4910–59–C In short, these data indicate that updating the standard seat assembly would eradicate the impediments found VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 in the past to using the HIII–6YO dummy in compliance tests. When CRSs are tested on the proposed, more realistic standard seat assembly, the PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 HIII–6YO’s chin-to-chest contact is absent or significantly reduced in severity. The absence of contact or softer chin-to-chest contact results in lower E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.028</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69432 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules HIC scores compared to the HICs from tests of both the HIII–6YO and the H2– 6YO on the current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly. Thus, we believe we should terminate the optional use of the H2– 6YO in compliance tests, as the primary reason NHTSA permitted continued use of the H2–6YO is no longer valid. Another reason is to improve our overall assessment of CRS performance in the FMVSS No. 213 test. The HIII– 6YO dummy is more biofidelic than the H2–6YO dummy.107 The HIII–6YO has been shown to have good kinematics replicating that of a human in slow speed sled testing, exhibiting similar head and pelvis excursion as human children.108 Testing CRSs on the updated (proposed) standard seat assembly in itself would yield dummy kinematics more representative of the kinematics of restrained children in real world frontal crashes than current tests, given the proposed seat assembly is specially designed to represent a current vehicle rear seat. However, having the HIII–6YO be a part of the test would amplify that realism. Importantly, using the HIII–6YO could improve our assessment of CRS performance particularly in the significant safety area of head injury. NASS–CDS data from 1995–2009 show that 39 percent of AIS 2+ injuries to restrained children in frontal crashes are to the head and face, with 59 percent of these injuries due to contact with the seat and back support.109 Mandatory use of the HIII–6YO in compliance testing 69433 could boost those efforts to address the head injury problem. The HIII–6YO dummy yields a more accurate depiction of the restrained child’s head excursion and would help better ensure CRSs are designed to prevent head impacts. Test data indicate the HIII–6YO exhibits more head excursion than the older H2–6YO dummy in FMVSS No. 213 tests. Table 21 shows paired sled test data of the HIII–6YO on the proposed seat assembly and the H2–6YO on the current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly, with the dummies restrained in the same or equivalent booster seat model. Paired Ttests indicated that the measured differences in HIC and head excursion were significant (p-value <0.01). BILLING CODE 4910–59–P The average HIC, chest acceleration, and head and knee excursions are shown in Table 22. 107 HIII–6YO also has extended instrumentation capability in many areas, such as in the neck and chest, which would be advantageous in the event a need should arise to measure the corresponding risk of injury to children in child restraints. 108 Seacrist, T., et al., ‘‘Kinematic Comparison of the Hybrid III and Q-Series Pediatric ATDs to VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 Pediatric Volunteers in Low-Speed Frontal Crashes,’’ 56th Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, October 2012. 109 In a study of 28 cases of children ages 0 to 15 who sustained AIS 2+ head or face injuries in a frontal crash, researchers found that the front row seat back and the B-pillar were the most commonly PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 contacted components. Arbogast, K.B., S. Wozniak, Locey, C.M., Maltese, M.R., and Zonfrillo, M.R. (2012). Head impact contact points for restrained child occupants. Traffic Injury Prevention, 13(2):172–81. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.029</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 BILLING CODE 4910–59–C 69434 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules TABLE 22—AVERAGE HIC, CHEST ACCELERATION, HEAD EXCURSION, AND KNEE EXCURSION OF THE HIII–6YO ON THE PROPOSED SEAT ASSEMBLY AND THE H2–6YO ON THE CURRENT SEAT ASSEMBLY USING THE SAME BOOSTER SEAT MODEL ATD Chest acceleration HIC HIII–6YO on proposed seat assembly ............................... H2–6YO on current seat assembly ................................... 288 492 Head excursion 43 g 46 g 537 mm 416 mm Knee excursion 584 mm 533 mm jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 T-test showed that there was no significant difference (p-value<0.15) between the chest acceleration and knee excursion measures of the HIII– 6YO in the proposed seat assembly and the H2–6YO on the current standard seat assembly when restrained in the same booster seat model. NHTSA requests comments on whether using the HIII–6YO and the updated seat assembly would examine more closely the ability of CRSs to manage the kinematics of a restrained child in modern vehicles than a test with the H2–6YO. NHTSA is also concerned that replacement parts for the ATD are becoming increasingly more difficult for the agency to procure. Although NHTSA’s crash test dummies are designed to be durable and capable of withstanding crash testing without unreasonably breaking, all test dummies need refurbishment and parts replacement from time to time. As the H2–6YO is not a state-of-the-art dummy, it has become more difficult for NHTSA to obtain replacement parts for the ATD. The Agency is concerned that as parts become harder to obtain, NHTSA’s inability to obtain parts will delay and impede its compliance test program. Ending the optional use of the H2–6YO dummy in compliance testing would avoid that potential problem. NHTSA does not believe that terminating the optional use of the H2– 6YO dummy would affect the manufacture of current child restraints significantly. First, while the head and knee excursions of the HIII–6YO dummy were greater than those of the H2–6YO, the excursion levels were well below FMVSS No. 213’s excursion limits.110 Second, most CRS manufacturers are already using the HIII–6YO dummy to test some or all of their CRS models. Information from manufacturers to NHTSA in 2014 showed that 43 percent of CRS manufacturers use the HIII–6YO to test their CRSs, 21 percent use the H2–6YO and 36 percent use both dummies for testing their various CRS models. Manufacturers using both the H2–6YO and HIII–6YO dummies test at 110 Since not every CRS on the market was tested, there may be some that may need some design changes to meet the head excursion limit when tested with the HIII–6YO on the proposed seat assembly. However, the design changes would be warranted for child safety, as using the HIII–6YO better replicates the kinematics of an actual child than the H2–6YO. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 least 50 percent of their models using the HIII–6YO dummy. For the above reasons, NHTSA is proposing to specify in FMVSS No. 213 that the agency will only use the HIII– 6YO and not the H2–6YO dummy, with provision of sufficient lead time (e.g., 3 years after publication of a final rule) for the change. Comments are requested on the issues discussed above. e. Positioning the Legs of the HIII–3YO Dummy in Rear-Facing CRSs Because CRSs labeled for use by children in the 10 kg–18.2 kg (22–40 lb) weight range are often sold to be used rear-facing, we seek to make more evaluative our compliance testing of these CRSs when so used. Under current FMVSS No. 213, rearfacing CRSs labeled for use by children in the 10 kg–18.2 kg (22–40 lb) weight range are subject to testing with the (33 lb) HIII–3YO test dummy. In the past, testing with the 3YO dummy rear-facing has been complicated by the dummy’s legs oftentimes getting crammed against the seat back 111 and the Agency not knowing how it ought to position the ATD’s legs in the compliance test. In this NPRM, we propose a dummy leg positioning procedure that calls for placing the ATD’s legs up against the seat back and removing the test dummy’s knee joint stops to allow the leg to extend at the knee in the dynamic test. The procedure is already used by some commercial test labs and CRS manufacturers to test rear-facing CRSs for older children. The positioning procedure is based on data analyzing toddler lower extremity postures when seated in rear-facing CRSs. NHTSA initiated a research project conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) to identify toddlers’ common lower extremity postures.112 UMTRI evaluated 29 subjects ages 18- to 111 Positioning the HIII- 3YO dummy in a rearfacing CRSs has proven difficult in laboratory tests because of the bracing interaction between the legs of the dummy and the seat which can change the pre-test set recline angle of the rear-facing CRS and the pre-test applied lap belt tension. 112 ‘‘Toddler Lower Extremity Posture in Child Restraint Systems,’’ March 2015, UMTRI–2014–8. PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 36-months in two rear-facing conditions (wide and narrow seat).113 UMTRI took anthropometry measures, surface scans and coordinate measures to evaluate the toddler seating postures. UMTRI found that the most common seating postures for toddlers in rearfacing restraints are with the child’s legs bent and ‘‘relaxed’’ with the bottom part of the feet up against the seat back, and with the child’s legs spread and ‘‘feet flat against each other.’’ These seating positions are not achievable by the HIII– 3YO dummy due to the dummy’s limited hip range of motion. However, the children also frequently sat with their legs bent and elevated against the vehicle seat back. The HIII–3YO’s legs are able to achieve this bent and elevated position. We have tentatively decided to position the HIII–3YO’s legs bent and elevated in rear-facing seats as shown by many of the children in the UMTRI study. Positioning the ATD’s legs this way would replicate a typical position many children take in a rear-facing CRS. As noted above, the proposed procedure is already used by some commercial test labs and CRS manufacturers to test rearfacing CRSs for older children. As part of the study, UMTRI conducted sled tests to compare the proposed positioning protocol to those used by Transport Canada in Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) No. 213 and by various commercial test labs and CRS manufacturers, to assess differences, if any, in CRS performance and the ease-of-use of the procedures.114 UMTRI evaluated the following protocols: (a) Positioning the ATD in an unaltered state (baseline); 115 (b) removing knee joint stops to allow the leg to extend at the knee (NHTSA’s proposed procedure); (c) removing lower leg completely (used by CMVSS 113 UMTRI also identified the children’s common lower extremity postures in forward-facing seats (long and short cushion). Id. 114 ‘‘Assessment of ATD Selection and Use for Dynamic Testing of Rear Facing Restraint Systems Designed for Larger Toddlers.’’ UMTRI–2014–12. March 2015. 115 Experienced bracing between the seat and CRS because of the legs. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69435 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules No. 213); (d) removing lower leg and attaching the shank mass to the sides or top of thigh (used by CMVSS No. 213); and (e) bending the leg at the knee. The sled tests were conducted using three convertible child restraints (Graco Comfort Sport, Cosco Scenera and Cosco Scenera 40RF). Test results in Table 23 show that the different seating procedures had little effect on the response data (HIC, chest acceleration, seat back rotation) obtained from tests of the three restraints.116 Table 23 shows that the coefficient of variation of the different dummy configurations in three different CRSs was less than 10 percent except for one that showed an 11 percent CV for HIC. TABLE 23—HIII–3YO RESPONSES IN SLED TESTS WITH DIFFERENT SEATING CONFIGURATIONS UMTRI test number (NT12##) 53 54 55 52 ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... Average .................................. Standard Deviation ................. CV .......................................... 50 49 48 51 ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... Average .................................. STD ........................................ CV .......................................... 41 42 45 46 44 ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... ................................................... Average .................................. STD ........................................ CV .......................................... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Dummy configuration CRS Cosco Cosco Cosco Cosco Scenera Scenera Scenera Scenera A–Baseline ...................... B–Kneestop ..................... D–Shank .......................... E–Bent Knee ................... 57 59 56 57 342 293 296 334 39 38 39 37 ............................................ ............................................ ............................................ .......................................... .......................................... .......................................... 57.3 1.3 2% 316.3 25.4 8% 38.3 1.0 3% Cosco Cosco Cosco Cosco ............. ............. ............. ............. A–Baseline ...................... B–Kneestop ..................... D–Shank .......................... E–Bent ............................. 55 55 54 55 383 359 361 337 38 40 40 37 ............................................ ............................................ ............................................ .......................................... .......................................... .......................................... 54.8 0.5 1% 360.0 18.8 5% 38.8 1.5 4% Graco Graco Graco Graco Graco .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... A–Baseline ...................... B–Kneestop ..................... C—No leg ........................ D–Shank .......................... E–Bent ............................. 54 54 51 51 55 358 350 364 436 334 41 45 41 35 40 ............................................ ............................................ ............................................ .......................................... .......................................... .......................................... 53 1.9 4% 368.4 39.4 11% 40.4 3.6 9% Scenera Scenera Scenera Scenera Comfort Comfort Comfort Comfort Comfort 40 40 40 40 Sport Sport Sport Sport Sport segments were not sufficiently coupled using tape and it added bulk to the thigh area of the dummy. We are also concerned that the added bulk of the reattached segments can create fit issues in narrow CRSs.117 In summary, more and more CRSs are sold for use rear-facing with older children. The proposed positioning procedure would facilitate NHTSA’s compliance testing of the CRSs to the requirements of FMVSS No. 213. The procedure involves removing the dummy’s knee joint stops to allow the 116 ‘‘Assessment of ATD Selection and Use for Dynamic Testing of Rear Facing Restraint Systems Designed for Larger Toddlers,’’ supra. 117 UMTRI also tested a CRABI–18MO by adding mass to the torso and thigh of the dummy to achieve a 33–35 lb weight. UMTRI found that while adding mass to the CRABI–18MO dummy was not difficult, the flexible weights have to be attached around the torso of the dummy which changes the shape of the dummy and may affect the ATD’s biofidelity. In addition, the CRABI–18MO is not incorporated into 49 CFR part 572. Therefore, the CRABI–18MO was not further considered. 118 NHTSA and UMTRI explored making changes to the HIII–3YO dummy to allow it to achieve the ‘‘relaxed’’ and ‘‘feet flat against each other’’ postures shown by toddlers in the study. Efforts involved reshaping the dummy’s thigh flesh and changing the thigh joint to a ball-and-socket joint to improve the range of motion of the dummy’s 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Chest acceleration 3 ms clip (g) HIC .................. .................. .................. .................. UMTRI also found that sled testing went more smoothly with some of the procedures than with others. An unaltered HIII–3YO dummy installation (baseline) created the most interaction (bracing) between the dummy’s legs and the standard seat assembly. Removing the HIII–3YO knee joint and bending the legs at the knee (proposed procedure) were found to be easy to do in the lab and added little time to the testing process. Removing the HIII–3YO lower legs and attaching them to the upper leg was not a simple task; the reattached VerDate Sep<11>2014 Max seat back angle (degrees) Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 leg to bend freely at the knee. Removing the knee joint stops results in a seating posture that toddlers adopt in real life, minimizes the possibility of bracing between the CRS and the standard seat assembly, is a task easily accomplished in the test lab and minimizes changes to the HIII–3YO dummy.118 f. Table Summarizing Proposed Amendments Table 24 below illustrates this NPRM’s proposed weight categories discussed above. hips. However, prototypes showed that making those changes yielded little improvement in the seating posture and that a more involved effort would be needed to attain the postures. Since the test data indicated that different seating procedures had little effect on the response data, we decided there was not a sufficient need to pursue modifying the HIII–3YO dummy. ‘‘Toddler Lower Extremity Posture in Child Restraint Systems,’’ supra. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69436 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules TABLE 24—PROPOSED USE OF DUMMIES BASED ON MANUFACTURER’S WEIGHT AND HEIGHT RECOMMENDATIONS CRS recommended for use by children of these weights and heights— Are compliance tested by NHTSA with these ATDs (subparts refer to 49 CFR part 572) Weight (W) ≤5 kg (11 lb), Height (H) ≤650 mm (25.5 inches) ................. Weight 5 kg (11 lb) <W ≤10 kg (22 lb), Height 650 mm (25.5 inches) <H ≤750 mm (29.5 inches). Weight 10 kg (22 lb) <W ≤13.6 kg (30 lb), Height 750 mm (29.5 inches) <H ≤870 mm (34.3 inches). Weight 13.6 kg (30 lb) <W ≤18.2 kg (40 lb), Height 870 mm (34.3 inches) <H ≤1100 mm (43.3 inches). Weight 18.2 kg (40 lb) <W ≤22.7 kg (50 lb), Height 1100 mm (43.3 inches) <H ≤1250 mm (49.2 inches). Weight 22.7 kg (50 lb) <W ≤29.5 kg (65 lb), Height 1100 mm (43.3 inches) <H ≤1250 mm (49.2 inches). Weight greater than 29.5 kg (65 lb), Height greater than 1250 mm (49.2 inches). Newborn (subpart K). Newborn (subpart K), CRABI–12MO (subpart R). CRABI–12MO (subpart R). HIII–3YO (subpart P). HIII–6YO (subpart N). HIII–6YO (subpart N) and weighted HIII–6YO (subpart S). HIII–10YO (subpart T *). * HIC is not a pass/fail criterion when testing with the HIII–10YO dummy. (Note: CRSs with internal harnesses exceeding 29.5 kg (65 lb) with an ATD are not tested with that ATD on the child restraint anchorage system of the standard seat assembly.) jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 g. Consistency With NHTSA’s Use of ATDs in the Proposed Side Impact Test NHTSA requests comment on the merits of adopting the above proposed dummy selection categories in the January 28, 2014 proposed side impact test for CRSs, regarding CRSs for children weighing up to 18.2 kg (40 lb). The January 28, 2014 NPRM referred to the weight categories currently in FMVSS No. 213 to determine which ATD NHTSA would use in a side impact compliance test. That is, NHTSA proposed to use the CRABI–12MO dummy to test CRSs designed for children weighing up to 10 kg (22 lb), and to use a newly-developed side impact ATD (called the ‘‘Q3s’’) to test CRSs for children weighing 10 to 18.2 kg (22–40 lb). To align the side impact test with this frontal impact test proposal, NHTSA is considering using the CRABI–12MO to test CRSs designed for children weighing up to 13.6 kg (30 lb), and using the Q3s (3YO dummy) to test CRSs designed for children weighing 13.6 to 18.2 kg (30–40 lb) in the side impact test. The Agency’s reasons for considering this change are the same ones discussed above in this NPRM relating to fitting the ATDs in the CRSs and how representative the ATDs are of the children who would be using the CRS. Further, NHTSA believes it would make sense for CRSs to be tested with the same ATDs in both the frontal impact and side impact tests. X. School Bus CRSs FMVSS No. 213 permits a type of CRS that is designed for exclusive use on school buses. The CRS type is a ‘‘harness,’’ which the standard defines in S4 as ‘‘a combination pelvic and upper torso child restraint system that consists primarily of flexible material, such as straps, webbing or similar VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 material, and that does not include a rigid seating structure for the child.’’ NHTSA amended FMVSS No. 213 to accommodate harnesses manufactured for use on school bus seats because many school districts and school bus operators needed a product with a seat back mount to transport preschoolers, children who need help sitting upright, and children who need to be physically restrained because of physical or behavioral needs.119 The seat back mount of the specialized harnesses manufactured for use on school bus seats does not use a seat belt to attach to the seat and thus can be used on large school buses without seat belts, which most large school buses do not have. NHTSA has become aware of a CRS that is also designed exclusively for school bus use. The CRS uses a seat back mount to attach to the school bus seat without the use of a seat belt. However, because the CRS is not a harness, it does not qualify as a school bus harness under the wording of the standard and is not permitted under FMVSS No. 213.120 NHTSA proposes amendments to FMVSS No. 213 to make the standard more design-neutral regarding CRSs that are designed for exclusive use on school bus seats. To permit restraints for exclusive school bus use other than harnesses, the proposed amendments would include a new design-neutral definition for this type of CRS. NHTSA proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 so that CRSs manufactured for exclusive use on school bus seats could be certified using a seat back mount or a seat back and seat pan mount attachment method. Specifically, 119 69 FR 10928, March 9, 2004. letter to IMMI, September 21, 2016 https://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/14001678%20IMMI%20STAR%20crs.htm. 120 NHTSA PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 NHTSA proposes to add a definition of ‘‘school bus child restraint system’’ in S4 of FMVSS No. 213 that would define the term as a child restraint system (including harnesses), sold for exclusive use on school bus seats, that has a label conforming with S5.3.1(b) of FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA proposes amending S5.3.1(b) to require school bus CRSs to bear a permanent warning label, depicted in Figure 12 of FMVSS No. 213, that is permanently affixed to the part of the harness or strap that attaches the CRS to a vehicle seat back. This label must be plainly visible when installed and easily readable, the message area must be white with black text and no less than 20 square centimeters, and the pictogram shall be gray and black with a red circle and slash on a white background and no less than 20 mm in diameter. NHTSA proposes to amend table S5.1.3.1(a) which specifies the head and knee excursion requirements. School bus CRSs would be subject to the current excursion limit requirements for harnesses manufactured for use on school bus seats when installed using a seat back mount or seat back and seat pan mounts. Also, NHTSA proposes to amend the table to S5.3.2 to indicate that school bus CRSs must meet the relevant requirements of the standard when attached with a seat back mount or seat back and seat pan mounts. This NPRM also proposes to amend S5.6.1.11 of FMVSS No. 213 to require that printed instructions accompanying these school bus CRSs include the warning statement: ‘‘WARNING! This restraint must only be used on school bus seats. Entire seat directly behind must be unoccupied or have restrained occupants.’’ E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules School bus CRSs would not be required to have lower attachments to install the CRS using the child restraint anchorage system, nor would they be required to meet performance requirements when tested using seat belt and lower anchorages attachment methods. School bus CRSs would not need to have alternative methods of attachments other than the seat back mount or seat back and seat pan mounts because school bus seats do not always have seat belts and/or lower anchorages. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 XI. Child Passenger Safety Issues Arising From Research Findings NHTSA requests comment on several developments in child passenger safety that have arisen in the research context. The Agency would like commenters’ views on how best to approach those developments. The Agency has docketed a paper that discusses these issues in more detail. 1. NHTSA has reviewed research reports on testing done on certain kinds of child restraints—CRSs not yet widely available in the U.S—that raise concerns about a potential unreasonable risk of submarining 121 or ejection from these devices in some crash scenarios. The CRSs in question are inflatable booster seats, and ‘‘shield-type’’ child restraints (shield-only-CRSs) available in markets overseas. Comments are requested on the findings of the reports.122 (a) Inflatable booster seats: Transport Canada conducted 25–30 mph frontal impact crash tests of different vehicle models, with the HIII–6YO and HIII– 10YO dummies restrained in inflatable boosters in rear seats. In the tests, the dummies experienced significant submarining due to excessive compression of the inflatable booster during the crash event. Booster seats sold in Canada are required to compress by not more than 25 mm when subjected to a 2,250 N quasi-static compression force. Inflatable booster seats cannot meet the requirements of this quasi-static compression test and so inflatable boosters are not sold in Canada. Comments are requested on the findings of the research crash tests conducted in Canada, on the booster seat compression test requirements in Canada, and on the safety need to have a compression test in FMVSS No. 213. (b) Shield-only-CRSs: Shield-onlyCRSs only have a shield to restrain a young child’s upper torso, lower torso, and crotch. While such CRSs are 121 ‘‘Submarining’’ refers to the tendency for a restrained occupant to slide forward feet first under the lap belt during a vehicle crash, which could result in serious abdominal, pelvic, and spinal injuries. 122 Reports documenting vehicle crash tests using inflatable and shield-type CRSs are available in the docket for this NPRM. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 currently not available in the U.S., there are a wide variety of shield-only-CRSs in Europe intended for children weighing less than 13.6 kg (30 lb). Child dummies (representing children aged 18-months old and 3-years-old) restrained in shield-only-CRSs in simulated vehicle rollover tests, 64 km/ h (40 mph) offset frontal impact vehicle crash tests, and in 64 km/h (40 mph) Allgemeiner Deutsher Automobil-Club (ADAC) type frontal impact sled tests were completely or partially ejected from the CRSs. These test results raise concern about the ability of a shieldonly-CRS to retain small children in the CRS in certain crashes or in a rollover. NHTSA seeks comment on the findings of these research tests. Should FMVSS No. 213 require shield-only-CRSs to have additional shoulder belts and a crotch strap, similar to the requirements for child restraints that have belts designed to restrain the child (S5.4.3.3)? 2. NHTSA requests information on a matter showing up in the field concerning children under 1YO outgrowing infant carriers by height much earlier than by weight. Research studies conducted at UMTRI 123 show that some infant carriers marketed as suitable for children up to 13.6 kg (30 lb), which is greater than the weight of a 95th percentile 1 YO and an average 1.5 YO, cannot ‘‘fit’’ the height of a 95th percentile 1 YO or an average 1.5 YO.124 NHTSA believes that infant carriers’ height and weight recommendations should better match the children for whom the CRS is recommended. NHTSA seeks comment on UMTRI’s research findings regarding how current infant carriers fit children that they are designed for. Should infant carriers’ height and weight recommendations better match up to better accommodate the children for whom the CRS is recommended? 3. NHTSA has supported the development of computer models of children of different weights and heights to assist CRS manufacturers in designing child restraints that better fit the children for whom the CRS is recommended.125 These virtual models 123 Manary. M., et al., ‘‘Comparing the CRABI–12 and CRABI–18 for Infant Child Restraint System Evaluation.’’ June 2015. DOT HS 812 156. The report is available in the docket for this NPRM. 124 Field experience indicates that children at the higher end of growth charts typically outgrow the carriers by height at around 9–10 months. 125 NHTSA has sponsored an UMTRI project developing toddler virtual dummies for use in improving of the fit of CRSs to child passengers. Information on a 2015 UMTRI workshop describing development of the toddler virtual fit dummies can be found at: http://umtri.umich.edu/our-results/ projects/umtri-workshop-new-tools-child-occupantprotection. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69437 are available to the public to improve the fit of CRSs to children.126 NHTSA requests comments from manufacturers and other parties on whether they used the models and whether the models were helpful. XII. Proposed Lead Time This NPRM proposes that the compliance date for most of the amendments in this rulemaking action would be three years following the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, with optional early compliance permitted (exceptions are discussed below). NHTSA tentatively believes that a 3-year period is in the public interest because CRS manufacturers would need to gain familiarity with the new standard seat assembly and new test protocols, and would need time to assess their products’ conformance to the new FMVSS No. 213 test requirements. They would need time to implement design and production changes as needed. A 3year lead time also aligns with the typical design cycle of child restraints. Exceptions to the proposed 3-year compliance date would be as follows. NHTSA proposes a 180-day compliance date for the proposed changes to registration card requirements and the proposed changes to permit school bus child restraint systems (early optional compliance would be permitted). A 1year compliance date is proposed for labeling requirement changes (early optional compliance would be permitted). NHTSA would like to implement these changes as early as possible to attain the safety benefits they can achieve. The proposed time should provide enough time to change the card and labels. The proposed 180-day compliance date would be sufficient for school bus CRSs since the proposed amendment would remove a restriction on the manufacture of such products. XIII. Corrections and Other Minor Amendments This NPRM proposes a few housekeeping and other amendments to the text of FMVSS No. 213. a. Correct Reference The Agency would amend S5.5.2(l)(3)(i) of FMVSS No. 213 by correcting a reference to ‘‘S5.5.2(l)(3)(A)(i), (ii), or (iii).’’ The reference would be corrected to refer to ‘‘S5.5.2(l)(3)(i)(A), (B), or (C).’’ 126 Toddler virtual models available for download at: http://childshape.org/toddler/manikins/. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69438 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules b. Section 5.1.2.2 The Agency is removing and reserving S5.1.2.2 because it applies to CRSs manufactured before August 1, 2005 and so is no longer applicable. caregiver. If this happens, Test Configuration II ensures that the restraint will offer some minimal protection even when the CRS is not properly used. c. Table to S5.1.3.1(a) and Test Configuration II The Agency is correcting the table to S5.1.3.1(a), which specifies performance criteria and test conditions for FMVSS No. 213’s occupant excursion requirements for add-on forward-facing CRSs. When NHTSA created the table the agency inadvertently did not include a reference to Test Configuration II of FMVSS No. 213.127 NHTSA seeks to correct this oversight. Test Configuration II is a 32 km/h (20 mph) ‘‘misuse’’ test that applies to CRSs that are ‘‘equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2.’’ 128 (S6.1.2(a)(2).) 129 In Test Configuration II, NHTSA tests those types of CRSs without attaching ‘‘any of the child restraint belts unless they are an integral part of the fixed or movable surface.’’ 130 In addition, the child restraint is untethered (S6.1.2(a)(2)(i)). The tested child restraint must meet all the dynamic performance requirements of the standard, not just excursion requirements, when tested in this manner.131 Test Configuration II is intended to address the possibility that the restraint’s internal belt system will be misused or not used at all by the d. Updating Reference to SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 Current specifications of the test device for built-in child restraints in FMVSS No. 213 (S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G)) require that instrumentation and data processing be in conformance with SAE Recommended Practice J211 (June 1980), ‘‘Instrumentation for Impact Tests.’’ SAE Recommended Practice J211 has been revised several times since June 1980 and most test facilities are currently using newer versions of the document. FMVSS No. 208, ‘‘Occupant crash protection,’’ currently refers to the document as SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (March 1995). The 1995 version of SAE J211/1 is consistent with the current requirements for instrumentation and data processing in FMVSS No. 213. Using the same Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995) in S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G) would update the FMVSS No. 213 provisions and facilitate the processing of test results when combining a test of built-in child restraints with an FMVSS No. 208 test. Therefore, NHTSA proposes updating the reference to SAE Recommended Practice J211(1980) in sections S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G) to SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995).132 127 NHTSA adopted the table into FMVSS No. 213 in a March 5, 1999 final rule establishing the requirements for child restraint anchorage systems for vehicles and corresponding requirements for CRSs (64 FR 10786). 128 S5.2.2.2 states that each forward-facing child restraint system shall have no fixed or movable surface: (a) directly forward of the dummy and intersected by a horizontal line, parallel to the seat orientation reference line (term defined in S4 of FMVSS No. 213), in the case of the add-on child restraint system, or parallel to a vertical plane through the longitudinal center line of the vehicle seat, in the case of a built-in child restraint system, and (b) passing through any portion of the dummy, except for surfaces which restrain the dummy when the system is tested in accordance with S6.1.2(a)(2), so that the child restraint system shall conform to the requirements of S5.1.2 and S5.1.3.1. 129 S6.1.2(a)(2)(i) and (ii) also state that Test Configuration II applies to ‘‘backless child restraint system[s] with a top anchorage strap’’ and to a ‘‘built-in booster seat with a top anchorage strap.’’ NHTSA is proposing to remove references in FMVSS No. 213 to those CRSs because such restraints are no longer or have never been produced. 130 See FMVSS No. 213 S10.2.1(b)(2) and S10.2.2(c)(2). 131 The CRSs must also meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 213 when tested to Test Configuration I’s 48 km/h (30 mph) tests. The CRSs’ internal belts are attached in Test Configuration I but the top tether cannot be attached to meet FMVSS No. 213’s head excursion limit of 813 mm (32 inches) and the other dynamic performance requirements in S5.1 of the standard. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 XIV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, E.O. 13563, and DOT Rulemaking Procedures The Agency has considered the impact of this rulemaking action under E.O. 12866, E.O. 13563, and the Department of Transportation’s administrative rulemaking procedures set forth in 49 CFR part 5, subpart B. This rulemaking is not considered significant and was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review.’’ Estimated Benefits and Costs The NPRM proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 by (a) updating the standard seat assembly to represent better the rear seating environment in the current vehicle fleet, (b) amending several labeling and owner information 132 NHTSA would also reference the updated SAE J211/1 in the compliance test procedure proposed for FMVSS No. 213a’s side impact test. See 79 FR at 4603, S6.1.2(f). PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 requirements to improve communication with today’s CRS owners and to align with current best practices for child passenger safety, and (c) amending how NHTSA uses ATDs to make the Agency’s compliance tests more evaluative of CRS performance. The proposal would provide some safety benefits with, at most, minimal incremental costs. Updated Sled Assembly The proposed updates to the sled test would better align the performance of CRSs in compliance tests to that in real world crashes. NHTSA tested 24 CRS models representing the market of infant carrier, convertible, all-in-one, and booster type CRSs on the proposed standard seat assembly with the appropriate size dummies. All but one forward-facing CRS models met the current and proposed performance requirements. The Diono Radian tested with the HIII– 10YO dummy met all performance requirements except for the head excursion limit in the untethered condition. Based on these data, the Agency believes that only a few CRSs may need minor redesign to meet the requirements in the proposed standard seat assembly (V2).133 NHTSA believes that a lead time of three years is sufficient for the redesign. The Agency has not estimated a cost of this redesign, assuming the redesign could be incorporated into a typical business model involving manufacturers refining child restraint designs to freshen their product lines. The refinements result in new product offerings that appeal to consumers and help manufacturers remain competitive. There would be costs involved in changing the standard seat assembly used by NHTSA to assess CRS compliance. Manufacturers are not required to use the standard seat assembly, but as a practical matter they usually choose to do so, to test their CRSs as similarly to the tests conducted by NHTSA. The one-time cost of the updated standard seat assembly sled 133 Preliminary tests with the proposed standard seat assembly using an average 23.3 g peak acceleration pulse and an average 47.5 km/h (29.5 mph) velocity within the FMVSS No. 213 acceleration corridor showed dummy HIC and chest accelerations in some booster seats, tested with the HIII–6YO and HIII–10YO dummies, near or exceeding allowable threshold levels. While NHTSA expects that some booster seats may need to be redesigned to meet the performance measures when tested with a higher acceleration pulse, these redesigns could be accomplished without additional material cost. For example, different foams could be used in the CRS seating cushions that work better with the proposed stiffer standard seat cushion foam to lower the HIC and chest g values. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 buck is about $8,000. If a manufacturer chooses to build the assembly itself or uses one at an independent test facility, either way there would be minimal cost impacts when the cost of the assembly and testing CRSs is distributed among the hundreds of thousands of CRSs that would be sold by each manufacturer. Labeling and Owner Registration The Agency believes that the proposed updates to the labeling requirements would benefit safety by reducing the premature graduation of children from rear-facing CRSs to forward-facing CRSs, and from forwardfacing CRSs to booster seats. The Agency estimates 1.9 to 6.3 lives would be saved and 2.6 to 8.7 moderate-tocritical severity injuries would be prevented annually by aligning FMVSS No. 213’s use instructions with current best practices on transporting children.134 The proposed changes to the labeling requirements would have minimal or no cost impacts, as mostly they are deregulatory. Manufacturers would be given the flexibility to provide required information in statements or a combination of statements and pictograms at locations that they deem most effective. Manufacturers may provide the recommended child weight and height ranges for the use of CRSs in a specific installation mode on existing voluntary labels by simply changing the minimum child weight limit values. Since no additional information would be required on the labels by this NPRM, the size of the label would not need to be increased. Thus, there would be minimal or no additional cost for the label. There would also be no decrease in sales of forward-facing car safety seats or of booster seats as a result of the proposal to raise the minimum child weight limit values for forward-facing CRSs and booster seats. Most forwardfacing CRSs cover a wide child weight range, so the labeling changes would only affect how consumers use the products and not the sale of them. For example, consumers would still purchase forward-facing car safety seats but would wait to use them forwardfacing until the child is at least 1. They would still purchase convertible CRSs, but will delay turning the child forwardfacing until the child is at least 1. Consumers would still purchase booster seats, but would use them only from when the child reaches 18.2 kg (40 lb). The proposed changes to the registration program generally lessen restrictions and are optional for 134 Details of the benefits analysis are provided in the Appendix to this NPRM. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 manufacturers to implement. These proposed changes to the registration card would provide flexibility to manufacturers in how they communicate with consumers and would likely help improve registration rates and recall completion rates. NHTSA cannot quantify the benefits at this time. NHTSA estimates there would be no costs associated with the proposed changes. While the changes could affect the collection of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (which is discussed later in this section), there would be no additional material cost associated with the proposed changes to the registration card or to the CRS label or owner manual pertaining to registration. Manufacturers could use the same card and labels and just change the wording on them. ATDs The proposed updates of how ATDs are used in the sled test for assessing CRS performance better accords with current CRS designs and best practices for transporting child passengers compared to the current specifications in FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA cannot quantify the possible safety benefits at this time. Some of the proposed changes lessen testing burdens by reducing the extent of testing with ATDs. For example, the NPRM proposes that CRSs for children weighing 10 kg to 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb) would no longer be subject to testing with the HIII–3YO dummy. NHTSA estimates a reduction in testing cost of $540,000 for the current number of infant carrier models in the market.135 Also, CRSs for children weighing 13.6– 18.2 kg (30–40 lb) would no longer be tested with the CRABI–12MO. However, the Agency does not expect any reduction in testing costs from this latter modification since all CRSs with internal harnesses are sold for children weighing less than 13.6 kg (30 lb), and so would still be subject to testing with the CRABI–12MO in that regard. The proposed positioning procedure for the 135 There are currently 45 infant carrier models with recommended upper weight limit exceeding 10 kg (22 lb). Each rear-facing CRS is tested in three different configurations on the standard seat assembly with each dummy used for testing the CRS: (1) CRS installed using seat belts, (2) CRS installed using the lower anchors and no tether, and (3) CRS installed without the base using the lower anchors and no tether. The cost of a sled test is estimated at $4,000. Therefore, the cost savings by not testing the 45 infant carrier models using the HIII–3YO dummy is estimated to be $540,000 (= $4,000 × 3 × 45). Since manufacturers typically conduct more than one test in each of the CRS installation configurations, NHTSA expects the actual cost savings to be greater than the estimated $540,000. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69439 legs of the HIII–3YO dummy in rearfacing CRSs is unlikely to have cost implications because the procedure is the same as that currently used by manufacturers. Similarly, NHTSA believes that testing CRSs solely with the HIII–6YO rather than the H2–6YO dummy would not have significant cost implications. This is because there would be little or no design changes needed for the CRSs due to this proposed update since nearly all the CRSs tested with the HIII– 6YO in the proposed standard seat assembly complied with all the FMVSS No. 213 requirements.136 NHTSA’s testing also showed that CRSs that currently comply with FMVSS No. 213 using the H2–6YO dummy also met all the performance requirements in the standard when tested using the HIII– 6YO dummy in the proposed standard seat assembly. In addition, manufacturers are increasingly certifying at least some of their CRS models for older children using the HIII–6YO dummy rather than the H2– 6YO and so most manufacturers already have access to the HIII–6YO dummy and would not need to purchase the dummy as a result of this proposed update. Most CRS manufacturers hire commercial test labs to test their CRSs for conformance with FMVSS No. 213 requirements. These labs already have the HIII–6YO dummy since some of their CRS manufacturer clients currently want to certify their CRSs based on tests with the HIII–6YO dummy. Thus, there would not be a cost increase to purchase and test with the dummy. NHTSA believes that a lead time of three years is sufficient for redesigning CRSs that may need modifications to comply with the proposed updates to ATD selection for the sled test because most CRSs would need minor or no modifications as a result of the proposed updates. Further, a 3-year time frame aligns with the typical design cycle for CRSs. The Agency notes also that manufacturers have the option of not changing CRS designs in some instances, and may instead change the weight of the children for whom the CRS is recommended. Narrowing the population of children for whom the CRS is recommended could result in reducing the number of ATDs NHTSA and manufacturers use in compliance and certification tests, respectively. School Bus Child Restraint Systems The proposed changes to include in FMVSS No. 213 a new type of CRS 136 Of 21 tests with the HIII–6YO in the proposed seat assembly, all passed the performance metrics, except for one that failed head excursion limits. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69440 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules manufactured for exclusive use on school bus seats would allow the sale of these products. The Agency estimates there would be no cost impacts associated with the proposed changes because the amendment would permit more products to be sold for school bus use. The benefits of the proposed changes are associated with the popularity of such CRSs in the pupil transportation industry for transporting preschool and special-needs children. However, NHTSA cannot quantify these benefits at this time. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Executive Order 13771 Executive Order 13771 titled ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,’’ directs that, unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed. In addition, any new incremental costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent permitted by law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs. Only those rules deemed significant under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review,’’ are subject to these requirements. As discussed above, this rule is not a significant rule under Executive Order 12866 and, accordingly, is not subject to the offset requirements of 13771. This proposed rule is expected to be an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action because NHTSA believes it would reduce the cost of complying with NHTSA’s requirements. The proposed rule would amend FMVSS No. 213 to update the standard seat assembly and reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary or outdated requirements, such as unnecessary testing of infant carriers with the 3YO dummy. The proposal to eliminate unnecessary testing with the 3YO test dummy would result in a reduction in testing costs of $540,000 for the current number of infant carrier models in the market. Removing the restrictions in the owner registration program will enable manufacturers to interact with consumers using modern methods of communication, which should encourage design innovation and productivity. Proposals to update labels and owners’ manuals would not increase costs, as manufacturers would be replacing current labels and manuals with updated versions. NHTSA estimates that virtually all CRSs made in the U.S. would meet FMVSS No. 213’s performance requirements on the proposed seat assembly. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions), unless the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Agencies must also provide a statement of the factual basis for this certification. I certify that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NHTSA estimates there to be 29 manufacturers of child restraints, none of which are small businesses. Even if there were a small CRS manufacturer, the impacts of this proposed rule would not be significant. NHTSA believes that virtually all CRSs would meet FMVSS No. 213’s requirements on the new seat assembly without modification. Manufacturers may need to change the labels on their child restraints pursuant to the proposed requirements, but the changes are minor and would entail switching out values on current labels. National Environmental Policy Act NHTSA has analyzed this proposed rule for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act and determined that it would not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) NHTSA has examined this proposed rule pursuant to Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional consultation with States, local governments or their representatives is mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The Agency has concluded that the rulemaking would not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The proposed rule would not have ‘‘substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ NHTSA rules can preempt in two ways. First, the National Traffic and PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express preemption provision: When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter. 49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1). It is this statutory command by Congress that preempts any nonidentical State legislative and administrative law addressing the same aspect of performance. The express preemption provision described above is subject to a savings clause under which ‘‘[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from liability at common law.’’ 49 U.S.C. 30103(e). Pursuant to this provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express preemption provision are generally preserved. However, the Supreme Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied preemption of such State common law tort causes of action by virtue of NHTSA’s rules, even if not expressly preempted. This second way that NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon there being an actual conflict between an FMVSS and the higher standard that would effectively be imposed on motor vehicle manufacturers if someone obtained a State common law tort judgment against the manufacturer, notwithstanding the manufacturer’s compliance with the NHTSA standard. Because most NHTSA standards established by an FMVSS are minimum standards, a State common law tort cause of action that seeks to impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers will generally not be preempted. However, if and when such a conflict does exist—for example, when the standard at issue is both a minimum and a maximum standard— the State common law tort cause of action is impliedly preempted. See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000). Pursuant to Executive Orders 13132 and 12988, NHTSA has considered whether this proposed rule could or should preempt State common law causes of action. The Agency’s ability to announce its conclusion regarding the preemptive effect of one of its rules reduces the likelihood that preemption will be an issue in any subsequent tort litigation. To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the language E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of this proposed rule and finds that this proposed rule, like many NHTSA rules, would prescribe only a minimum safety standard. As such, NHTSA does not intend that this proposed rule would preempt State tort law that would effectively impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers than that established by this proposed rule. Establishment of a higher standard by means of State tort law would not conflict with the minimum standard proposed here. Without any conflict, there could not be any implied preemption of a State common law tort cause of action. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Civil Justice Reform With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation, section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, ‘‘Civil Justice Reform’’ (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996) requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. This document is consistent with that requirement. Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as follows. The preemptive effect of this proposed rule is discussed above. NHTSA notes further that there is no requirement that individuals submit a petition for reconsideration or pursue other administrative proceeding before they may file suit in court. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Under the National Technology Transfer and dvancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) (Pub. L. 104–113), all Federal agencies and departments shall use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and departments. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., material specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the SAE VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 International (SAE). The NTTAA directs agencies to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. NHTSA searched for but did not find voluntary consensus standards directly applicable to the amendments proposed in this NPRM, other than the minor proposal to update the reference to SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 to the March 1995 version. However, consistent with the NTTAA, NHTSA reviewed the procedures and regulations developed globally to test child restraints dynamically and found areas of common ground.137 While there is no single procedure or regulation of another country that sufficiently replicates frontal crashes occurring in the U.S., the agency considered various aspects of international regulations pertaining to the testing of child restraint systems. NHTSA analyzed aspects of the seating assemblies used by NPACS, ECE R.44 and Transport Canada’s CMVSS No. 213 and the frontal test speeds used worldwide in sled tests. NHTSA proposes a requirement to test CRSs with Type 2 (3point) seat belts, which is consistent with CMVSS No. 213. NHTSA tentatively concludes that the provisions would increase CRS safety, and would promote harmonization of our countries’ regulatory approaches in testing CRSs. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104–4, requires Federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). Adjusting this amount by the implicit gross domestic product price deflator for the year 2010 results in $136 million (110.993/81.606 = 1.36). This NPRM would not result in a cost of $136 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector. Thus, this NPRM is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 of the UMRA. 137 The NTTAA seeks to support efforts by the Federal government to ensure that agencies work with their regulatory counterparts in other countries to address common safety issues. Circular No. A–119, ‘‘Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities,’’ January 27, 2016, p. 15. PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69441 Executive Order 13609 (Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation) The policy statement in section 1 of E.O. 13609 provides, in part: The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. NHTSA requests public comment on the ‘‘regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments’’ concerning the subject matter of this rulemaking. In the discussion above on the NTTAA, NHTSA has noted that it has reviewed the procedures and regulations developed by Transport Canada regarding testing CRSs with Type 2 (3-point) seat belts, and tentatively agrees with the merits of the CMVSS No. 213 provision. Comments are requested on the above policy statement and the implications it has for this rulemaking. If you have any responses to these questions, please write to NHTSA with your views. Paperwork Reduction Act Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. Before seeking OMB approval, Federal agencies must provide a 60-day public comment period and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each collection of information requirement. NHTSA believes the proposed changes to the owner registration program (571.213, S5.8) constitute changes to a ‘‘collection of information’’ requirement for child restraint system manufacturers. NHTSA is providing a 60-day comment period on reporting burdens and other matters associated with the proposal. OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be included in the request for comment document. Under OMB’s regulation (at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)), an agency must ask for public comment on the following: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69442 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; 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 proposed collection of information: Title: ‘‘Consolidated Child Restraint System Registration, Labeling and Defect Notifications.’’ OMB Control Number: 2127–0576. Requested Expiration Date of Approval: Three years from the approval date. Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection. Affected Public: Businesses, Individuals and Households. Summary of the Collection of Information: Child restraint manufacturers are required to provide an owner registration card for purchasers of child restraint systems in accordance with title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 571, section 213, ‘‘Child restraint systems.’’ The registration card is required to be perforated into two parts. The top part (information part) contains a message and suitable instructions to be retained by the purchaser. The size, font, color, and layout of the top part are currently prescribed in Figures 9a and 9b,138 as is the attachment method (fold/ perforation) of the information card to the lower part of the form (the mail-in card). The top part of the registration card sets forth: (a) Prescribed wording advising the consumer of the importance of registering; (b) prescribed instructions on how to register; and (c) prescribed statements that the mail-in card is pre-addressed and that postage is already paid. The bottom part (the mail-in card) is to be returned to the manufacturer by the purchaser. The bottom part includes prepaid return postage, the pre-printed 138 Prescribed in FMVSS No. 213, ‘‘Child restraint systems.’’ As discussed in this preamble, this NPRM proposes to relieve some of those restrictions. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 name/address of the manufacturer, the pre-printed model and date of manufacture, and spaces for the purchaser to fill in his/her name and address. Optionally, child restraint manufacturers are permitted to add to the registration form: (a) Specified statements informing CRS owners that they may register online; (b) the internet address for registering with the company; (c) revisions to statements reflecting use of the internet to register; and (d) a space for the consumer’s email address. Child restraint manufacturers are also required to provide printed instructions with new CRSs, with step-by-step information on how the restraint is to be used, and a permanently attached label that gives ‘‘quick look’’ information on matters such as use instructions and information on registering the CRS. Under this NPRM, the Agency is proposing to amend the requirements that prescribe wording advising the consumer of the importance of registering and instructing how to register. NHTSA proposes to stop prescribing the wording. Instead, CRS manufacturers would be given leeway to use their own words to convey the importance of registering the CRS and to instruct how registration is achieved. NHTSA would allow statements instructing consumers to use electronic (or any other means) of registering, as long as instructions are provided on using the paper card for registering (including that the mail-in card is preaddressed and that the postage is prepaid). NHTSA also proposes to permit or possibly require a statement that the information collected through the registration process will not be used by the manufacturer for any purpose other than contacting the consumer in the event of a recall. The Agency also proposes to remove restrictions on manufacturers on their use of size, font, color, layout, and attachment method of the information card portion. NHTSA proposes to continue a current provision that prohibits any other information unrelated to the registration of the CRS, such as advertising or warranty information. If the proposed changes to the information card are adopted, NHTSA anticipates a change to the hour burden or costs associated with the revised information card, labels and owner’s manuals. Child restraint manufacturers produce, on average, a total of approximately 15,000,000 child restraints per year. NHTSA estimates there are 29 CRS manufacturers with 159 distinct CRS models. PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 The hour burden associated with the revised label consists of the child restraint manufacturer: (a) Designing the information card with statements to instruct how to register, encourage registration and optionally, how to register electronically and how the submitted information will be used; and (b) updating this information on the existing information card, label and instruction manual. NHTSA assumes for purposes of this NPRM analysis that each manufacturer would design the registration information on the information card, label and manuals 5 times per year, whether it is to use different registration cards designs in different CRS models or to adapt the design to improve registrations. The Agency estimates 50 hours of additional burden per child restraint manufacturer for the designing of the registration card (information card portion), labels and manuals that no longer have prescribed text (50 hours × 5 designs/year × 29 CRS manufacturers = 7,250 hours annually). Estimated Additional Annual Burden: 7,250 hours. Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques of other forms of information technology. You may submit comments (identified by the DOT Docket ID Number above) by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 202–493–2251. Regardless of how you submit your comments, you should mention the docket number of this document. You may call the Docket at (202) 366–9826. Please identify the proposed collection of information for which a comment is provided, by referencing its OMB E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules clearance number. It is requested, but not required, that two copies of the comment be provided. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). Regulation Identifier Number The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Plain Language Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write all rules in plain language. Application of the principles of plain language includes consideration of the following questions: • Have we organized the material to suit the public’s needs? • Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated? • Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that isn’t clear? • Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand? • Would more (but shorter) sections be better? • Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams? • What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand? NHTSA has considered these questions and attempted to use plain language in writing this proposed rule. Please inform the agency if you can suggest how NHTSA can improve its use of plain language. Incorporation by Reference In updating the standard seat assembly used in the FMVSS No. 213 frontal test, NHTSA would incorporate by reference a drawing package titled, ‘‘NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA–213– VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 2019,’’ dated May 2019, into FMVSS No. 213 (49 CFR 571.213). The drawing package consists of detailed drawings of and other materials related to the proposed standard seat assembly. Interested persons could use the drawing package to manufacture the standard seat assembly for their own use if they wished to do so. NHTSA has placed a copy of the drawing package in the docket for this NPRM. Interested parties can download a copy of the drawing package or view the materials on line by accessing www.Regulations.gov. We also will place a copy of the drawing package in the docket of the final rule that incorporates the new standard seat assembly into FMVSS No. 213. This NPRM also proposes to change an incorporation by reference of SAE Recommended Practice J211, ‘‘Instrumentation for Impact Tests,’’ revised 1980, to a 1995 version of J211 (J211/1). SAE J211/1, Revised March 1995, ‘‘Instrumentation for Impact Test—Part 1—Electronic Instrumentation,’’ provides guidelines and recommendations for techniques of measurement with electronic instrumentation used in impact tests. These include a series of performance recommendations for data channels, guidelines for selecting a frequency response class for electronic instrumentation, and guidelines on sign convention and digital data processing. The Director of the Federal Register has already approved the incorporation by reference of SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995) into 49 CFR part 571 (see 49 CFR 571.5(l)(4)). Interested parties can obtain a copy of the SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (March 1995) ‘‘Instrumentation for Impact Test—Part 1—Electronic Instrumentation,’’ from SAE International, 400 Commonwealth Drive, Warrendale, PA 15096. Telephone: (724) 776–4841, website: www.sae.org. XV. Public Participation How do I prepare and submit comments? To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the Docket Number in your comments. Your comments must be written and in English. Your comments must not be more than 15 pages long. NHTSA established this limit to encourage you to write your primary comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary additional documents to your comments, and there is no limit on the length of the attachments. PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69443 If you are submitting comments electronically as a PDF (Adobe) file, NHTSA asks that the documents be submitted using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing NHTSA to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. Please note that pursuant to the Data Quality Act, in order for substantive data to be relied on and used by NHTSA, it must meet the information quality standards set forth in the OMB and DOT Data Quality Act guidelines. Accordingly, NHTSA encourages you to consult the guidelines in preparing your comments. DOT’s guidelines may be accessed at https:// www.transportation.gov/regulations/ dot-information-dissemination-qualityguidelines. Tips for Preparing Your Comments When submitting comments, please remember to: Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number). Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, and substitute language for your requested changes. Describe any assumptions you make and provide any technical information and/or data that you used. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats. To ensure that your comments are considered by the agency, make sure to submit them by the comment period deadline identified in the DATES section above. For additional guidance on submitting effective comments, see https://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_ For_Submitting_Effective_ Comments.pdf. How can I be sure my comments were received? If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket Management will return the postcard by mail. How do I submit confidential business information? If you wish to submit any information under a claim of confidentiality, you E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69444 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules should submit three copies of your complete submission, including the information you claim to be confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, you should submit a copy from which you have deleted the claimed confidential business information to the docket. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be confidential business information, you should include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in our confidential business information regulation. (49 CFR part 512.) Will the Agency consider late comments? NHTSA will consider all comments that the docket receives before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under DATES. To the extent possible, NHTSA will also consider comments that the docket receives after that date. If the docket receives a comment too late for the agency to consider it in developing a final rule, NHTSA will consider that comment as an informal suggestion for future rulemaking action. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 How can I read the comments submitted by other people? You may read the comments received by the docket at the address given above under ADDRESSES. You may also see the comments on the internet (http:// regulations.gov). Please note that even after the comment closing date, NHTSA will continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, the agency recommends that you periodically check the docket for new material. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78). List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571 Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, and Tires; Incorporation by Reference. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR part 571 as set forth below. PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for Part 571 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117 and 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95. 2. Section 571.5 is amended by adding and reserving paragraphs (k)(5) through (8), adding paragraph (k)(9), and revising paragraph (l)(4), to read as follows: ■ § 571.5 Matter incorporated by reference. * * * * * (k) * * * (5) [Reserved.] (6) [Reserved.] (7) [Reserved.] (8) [Reserved.] (9) Drawing Package, ‘‘NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA–213–2019,’’ (consisting of drawings and a bill of materials), May 2019, into § 571.213. (l) * * * (4) SAE Recommended Practice J211/ 1, revised March 1995, ‘‘Instrumentation for Impact Test—Part 1—Electronic Instrumentation’’ into §§ 571.202a; 571.208; 571.213; 571.213a 571.218; 571.403. * * * * * ■ 3. Section 571.213 is amended by— ■ Adding, in alphabetical order, a definition of ‘‘school bus child restraint system’’ to S4; ■ Removing and reserving S5.1.2.2; ■ Revising S5.1.3.1(a); ■ Revising S5.3.1(b); ■ Revising S5.3.2; ■ Revising the introductory text of S5.5.2; ■ Revising S5.5.2(f), S5.5.2(g)(1)(i), removing and reserving S5.5.2(k)(2); ■ Removing and reserving S5.5.2(l)(2), revising S5.5.2(l)(3)(i); ■ Revising S5.5.2(m), S5.5.5(f), S5.5.5(k), S5.6.1.7, S5.6.1.11, S5.6.2.2, S5.8.1, S5.8.2, and S5.9(a); ■ Adding S6.1.1(a)(1)(i) and revising S6.1.1(a)(1)(ii); ■ Revising S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G); ■ Removing and reserving S6.1.1(c); ■ Revising S6.1.2(a), S6.1.2(a)(1) and S6.1.2(a)(2) and S6.2(d)(1)(ii); ■ Adding S7.1.1; PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Revising the introductory paragraph to S7.1.2; ■ Revising S7.1.3, and, ■ Adding S10.2.2(e), and Figures 1D, 1D’, 1E, 1E’, 9c and 9d. The revised and added text and figures read as follows: ■ § 571.213 Child restraint systems. * * * * * S4. Definitions * * * School bus child restraint system means a child restraint system (including a harness) manufactured and sold only for use on school bus seats, that has a label conforming with S5.3.1(b). * * * * * S5.1.2.2 [Reserved] * * * * * S5.1.3.1 * * * (a)(1) For each add-on child restraint system manufactured before [date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]— (i) No portion of the test dummy’s head shall pass through a vertical transverse plane that is 720 mm or 813 mm (as specified in table 2 to this S5.1.3.1(a)) forward of point Z on the Standard Seat Assembly No. NHTSA– 213–2003, measured along the center SORL (as illustrated in figure 1B of this standard); and (ii) Neither knee pivot point shall pass through a vertical transverse plane that is 915 mm forward of point Z on the Standard Seat Assembly No. NHTSA– 213–2003, measured along the center SORL. * * * (2) For each add-on child restraint system manufactured on or after [date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]— (i) No portion of the test dummy’s head shall pass through a vertical transverse plane that is 720 mm or 813 mm (as specified in table 3 to this S5.1.3.1(a)) forward of point Z on the Standard Seat Assembly No. NHTSA– 213–2019, measured along the center SORL (as illustrated in figure 1D of this standard); and (ii) Neither knee pivot point shall pass through a vertical transverse plane that is 915 mm forward of point Z on the Standard Seat Assembly No. NHTSA– 213–2019, measured along the center SORL. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 69445 TABLE 2 TO S5.1.3.1(a)—ADD-ON FORWARD-FACING CHILD RESTRAINTS MANUFACTURED BEFORE [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule] Explanatory note: in the test specified in 2nd column, the child restraint is attached to the test seat assembly in the manner described below, subject to certain conditions When this type of child restraint Is tested in accordance with— These excursion limits apply Harnesses, backless booster seats and restraints designed for use by physically handicapped children. School bus child restraint systems. Belt-positioning seats .............. S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A) ... Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm Attached with lap belt; in addition, if a tether is provided, it is attached. S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A) ... Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm S6.1.2(a)(1)(ii) ....... Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm Child restraints other than harnesses, backless booster seats, restraints designed for use by physically handicapped children, school bus child restraint systems, and belt-positioning seats. S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(B) ... S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(D) ... .......................... .......................... .......................... S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A) ... .......................... S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(C) ... Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm ............................................ ............................................ ............................................ Head 720 mm; Knee 915 mm ............................................ Head 720 mm; Knee 915 mm Attached with seat back mount, or seat back and seat pan mounts. Attached with lap and shoulder belt; no tether is attached. Attached with lap belt; no tether is attached. Attached to lower anchorages of child restraint anchorage system; no tether is attached. Attached with lap belt; in addition, if a tether is provided, it is attached. S6.1.2(a)(2)(i) ........ Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm Child restraints equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has belts that are not an integral part of that fixed or movable surface. Attached to lower anchorages of child restraint anchorage system; in addition, if a tether is provided, it is attached. Attached with lap belt or lower anchorages of child restraint anchorage system; no tether is attached. TABLE 3 TO S5.1.3.1(a)—ADD-ON FORWARD-FACING CHILD RESTRAINTS MANUFACTURED ON OR AFTER jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule] Explanatory note: in the test specified in 2nd column, the child restraint is attached to the test seat assembly in the manner described below, subject to certain conditions When this type of child restraint Is tested in accordance with— These excursion limits apply Harnesses and restraints designed for use by physically handicapped children. School bus child restraint systems. Booster seats .......................... S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A) Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm. Attached with lap and shoulder belt; in addition, if a tether is provided, it is attached. S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A) Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(B) Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm Child restraints other than harnesses, restraints designed for use by physically handicapped children, school bus child restraint systems, and booster seats. S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(B) S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(D) .......................... S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A) .......................... S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(C) .......................... .......................... Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm ............................................ Head 720 mm; Knee 915 mm ............................................ Head 720 mm; Knee 915 mm ............................................ ............................................ Child restraints equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has belts that are not an integral part of that fixed or movable surface. S6.1.2(a)(2)(i) ........ Head 813 mm; Knee 915 mm Attached with seat back mount, or seat back and seat pan mounts. Attached with lap and shoulder belt; no tether is attached. Attached with lap and shoulder belt; no tether is attached. Attached to lower anchorages of child restraint anchorage system; no tether is attached. Attached with lap and shoulder belt; in addition, if a tether is provided, it is attached. Attached to lower anchorages of child restraint anchorage system; in addition, if a tether is provided, it is attached. Attached with lap and shoulder belt or lower anchorages of child restraint anchorage system; no tether is attached. * * * * * S5.3.1 * * * (b) School bus child restraint systems must have a label, that conforms in content to Figure 12 and to the requirements of S5.3.1(b)(1) through S5.3.1(b)(3) of this standard, and that is permanently affixed to the part of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 school bus child restraint system that attaches the system to a vehicle seat back. (1) The label must be plainly visible when installed and easily readable. (2) The message area must be white with black text. The message area must be no less than 20 square centimeters. PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 (3) The pictogram shall be gray and black with a red circle and slash on a white background. The pictogram shall be no less than 20 mm in diameter. S5.3.2 Each add-on child restraint system manufactured before [ date 3 years after date of publication of final rule] and each add-on child restraint E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69446 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules system manufactured on or after [date 3 years after date of publication of final rule] shall be capable of meeting the requirements of this standard when installed solely by each of the means indicated in the following tables 5 and 6, respectively, for the particular type of child restraint system: TABLE 5 TO S5.3.2 MEANS OF INSTALLATION FOR CHILD RESTRAINTS MANUFACTURED BEFORE [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule] Type of add-on child restraint system Type 1 seat belt assembly Type 1 seat belt assembly plus a tether anchorage, if needed Child restraint anchorage system Type 2 seat belt assembly Seat back mount, or seat back and seat pan mounts School bus child restraint systems .......................... Other harnesses ...................................................... Car beds .................................................................. Rear-facing restraints ............................................... Belt-positioning seats ............................................... All other child restraints ........................................... ................ ................ X X ................ X ................................ X ................................ ................................ ................................ X .............................. .............................. .............................. X .............................. X ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ X ........................ X .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. TABLE 6 TO S5.3.2 MEANS OF INSTALLATION FOR CHILD RESTRAINTS MANUFACTURED ON OR AFTER [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule] Type of add-on child restraint system Type 2 seat belt assembly plus a tether anchorage, if needed Child restraint anchorage system Type 2 seat belt assembly Seat back mount, or seat back and seat pan mounts School bus child restraint systems .............................................. Other harnesses .......................................................................... Car beds ...................................................................................... Rear-facing restraints .................................................................. Booster seats ............................................................................... All other child restraints ............................................................... ................................ X ................................ ................................ ................................ X .............................. .............................. .............................. X .............................. X ........................ ........................ X X X X X .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. .............................. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 * * * * * S5.5.2 The information specified in paragraphs (a) through (e) and paragraphs (g) through (m) of this section shall be stated in the English language and in letters and numbers that are not smaller than 10 point type. Unless otherwise specified, the information shall be labeled on a white background with black text. Unless written in all capitals, the information shall be stated in sentence capitalization. * * * * * (f) Statements or a combination of statements and pictograms specifying the manufacturer’s recommendations for the mass and height ranges of children who can safely occupy the system in each applicable mode (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster), except manufacturers shall not recommend forward-facing child restraint systems with internal harnesses for children of masses less than 12 kg (26.5 lb), and shall not recommend booster seats for children of masses less than 18.4 kg (40 lb). For seats that can only be used as belt-positioning seats, manufacturers must include the maximum and minimum recommended height, but may delete the reference to maximum weight. * * * * * (g) * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 (1) * * * (i) As appropriate, the statements required by the following sections will be bulleted and placed after the statement required by 5.5.2(g)(1) in the following order: 5.5.2(k)(1), 5.5.2(h), 5.5.2(j), and 5.5.2(i). * * * * * (k)(1) * * * (2) [Reserved] * * * * * (l) * * * (2) [Reserved] (3) * * * (i) If the child restraint is designed to meet the requirements of this standard when installed by the child restraint anchorage system according to S5.3.2, and if the sum of the weight of the child restraint and the maximum child weight recommended for the child restraint when used with the restraint’s internal harness or components is greater than 65 lb when used forward-facing or rearfacing, include the following statement on this installation diagram: ‘‘Do not install by this method for a child weighing more than *.’’ At the manufacturer’s option, ‘‘*’’ is the child weight limit in English units in accordance with S5.5.2(l)(3)(i)(A), (B) or (C). The corresponding child weight limit in metric units may also be PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 included in the statement at the manufacturer’s option. * * * * * (m) Statements informing the owner of the importance of registering the child restraint for recall purposes and instructing the owner how to register the child restraint at least by mail and by telephone, providing a U.S. telephone number. The following statement must also be provided: ‘‘For recall information, call the U.S. Government’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1–888–327–4236 (TTY: 1–800–424– 9153), or go to www.NHTSA.gov.’’ * * * * * S5.5.5 * * * (f) The same statement(s) provided under S5.5.2(f). * * * * * (k) Statements informing the owner of the importance of registering the child restraint for recall purposes and instructing the owner how to register the child restraint at least by mail and by telephone, providing a U.S. telephone number. The following statement must also be provided: ‘‘For recall information, call the U.S. Government’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1–888–327–4236 (TTY: 1–800–424– 9153), or go to www.NHTSA.gov.’’ * * * * * E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules S5.6.1.7 Statements informing the owner of the importance of registering the child restraint for recall purposes and instructing the owner how to register the child restraint at least by mail and by telephone, providing a U.S. telephone number. The following statement must also be provided: ‘‘For recall information, call the U.S. Government’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1–888–327–4236 (TTY: 1–800–424– 9153), or go to www.NHTSA.gov.’’ * * * * * S5.6.1.11 For school bus child restraint systems, the instructions must include the following statement: ‘‘WARNING! This restraint must only be used on school bus seats. Entire seat directly behind must be unoccupied or have restrained occupants.’’ (The instruction’s reference to a ‘‘restrained occupant’’ refers to an occupant restrained by any user-appropriate vehicle restraint or child restraint system (e.g., lap belt, lap and shoulder belt, booster seat or other child restraint system.) * * * * * S5.6.2.2 The instructions for each built-in child restraint system other than a factory-installed restraint shall include statements informing the owner of the importance of registering the child restraint for recall purposes and instructing the owner how to register the child restraint at least by mail and by telephone, providing a U.S. telephone number. The following statement must also be provided: ‘‘For recall information, call the U.S. Government’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1–888–327–4236 (TTY: 1–800–424– 9153), or go to www.NHTSA.gov.’’ * * * * * S5.8.1 Attached registration form. (a) Each child restraint system, except a factory-installed built-in restraint system, shall have a registration form attached to any surface of the restraint that contacts the dummy when the dummy is positioned in the system in accordance with S6.1.2 of Standard 213. The form shall not have advertising or any information other than that related to registering the child restraint system. (b) Each attached form shall provide a mail-in postcard that conforms in size, and in basic content and format to the forms depicted in Figures 9c and 9d of this section. (1) The mail-in postcard shall: (i) Have a thickness of at least 0.007 inches and not more than 0.0095 inches; (ii) Be pre-printed with the information identifying the child restraint for recall purposes, such as the model name or number and date of manufacture (month, year) of the child VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 restraint system to which the form is attached; (iii) Contain space for the owner to record his or her name, mailing address, email address, and other pertinent information; and (iv) Be addressed to the manufacturer, and be postage paid. (c) The registration form attached to the child restraint shall also provide information: (1) Informing the owner of the importance of registering the child restraint; and, (2) Instructing the owner how to register the CRS. (3) Manufacturers must provide statements informing the purchaser that the registration card is pre-addressed and that postage has been paid. (4) Manufacturers may provide instructions to register the child restraint electronically. If an electronic registration form is used, it must meet the requirements of S5.8.2 of this section. (5) Manufacturers must provide statements to the owner explaining that the registration card is not a warranty card, and that the information collected from the owner will not be used for marketing purposes. S5.8.2 Electronic registration form. (a) Each electronic registration form must meet the requirements of this S5.8.2. Each form shall: (1) Contain statements at the top of the form: (i) Informing the owner of the importance of registering the CRS; and, (ii) Instructing the owner how to register the CRS. (2) Provide as required registration fields, space for the purchaser to record the model name or number and date of manufacture (month, year) of the child restraint system, and space for the purchaser to record his or her name and mailing address. At the manufacturer’s option, a space is provided for the purchaser to record his or her email address. (b) No advertising information shall appear on the electronic registration form. (c) The electronic registration form may provide information identifying the manufacturer or a link to the manufacturer’s home page, a field to confirm submission, and a prompt to indicate any incomplete or invalid fields prior to submission. (d) If a manufacturer printed the electronic address (in form of a website or code) on the attached registration form provided pursuant to S5.8.1, the electronic registration form shall be accessed directly by the electronic address. Accessing the electronic PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69447 address (in form of a website or code) that contains the electronic registration form shall not cause additional screens or electronic banners to appear. S5.9 * * * (a)(1) Each add-on child restraint system manufactured before [ date 3 years after publication date of final rule], other than a car bed, harness, school bus child restraint system, and belt-positioning seat, shall have components permanently attached that enable the restraint to be securely fastened to the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system specified in Standard No. 225 (§ 571.225) and depicted in Drawing Package SAS–100–1000, Standard Seat Belt Assembly with Addendum A or in Drawing Package, ‘‘NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA–213–2003’’ (both incorporated by reference, see § 571.5). The connectors must be attached to the addon child restraint by use of a tool, such as a screwdriver. In the case of rearfacing child restraints with detachable bases, only the base is required to have the components. [NHTSA notes: inclusion of the following text was proposed by a January 23, 2015 NPRM, 80 FR 3744, 3775. ‘‘The connectors designed to attach the add-on child restraint to the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system shall be permanently marked with the pictogram in Figure 15. The pictogram is not less than 9 mm in diameter.’’] (2) Each add-on child restraint system manufactured on or after [ date 3 years after publication date of final rule], other than a car bed, harness, school bus child restraint system and beltpositioning seat, shall have components permanently attached that enable the restraint to be securely fastened to the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system specified in Standard No. 225 (§ 571.225) and depicted in Drawing Package, ‘‘NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA–213–2019’’ (incorporated by reference, see § 571.5). The connectors must be attached to the add-on child restraint by use of a tool, such as a screwdriver. In the case of rear-facing child restraints with detachable bases, only the base is required to have the components. [NHTSA notes: inclusion of the following text would be consistent with a January 23, 2015 NPRM, 80 FR at 3775. ‘‘The connectors designed to attach the add-on child restraint to the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system shall be permanently marked with the pictogram in Figure 15. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69448 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules The pictogram is not less than 9 mm in diameter.’’] * * * * * S6.1.1 * * * (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) The test device for add-on restraint systems manufactured before date 3 years after publication date of final rule] is a standard seat assembly consisting of a simulated vehicle bench seat, with three seating positions, which is depicted in Drawing Package, ‘‘NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA–213–2003,’’ (consisting of drawings and a bill of materials) dated June 3, 2003 (incorporated by reference; see § 571.5). The assembly is mounted on a dynamic test platform so that the center SORL of the seat is parallel to the direction of the test platform travel and so that movement between the base of the assembly and the platform is prevented. As illustrated in Figures 1A and 1B of this standard, attached to the seat belt anchorage points provided on the standard seat assembly are Type 1 seat belt assemblies in the case of add-on child restraint systems other than beltpositioning seats, or Type 2 seat belt assemblies in the case of beltpositioning seats. These seat belt assemblies meet the requirements of Standard No. 209 (§ 571.209) and have webbing with a width of not more than 2 inches, and are attached to the anchorage points without the use of retractors or reels of any kind. As illustrated in Figures 1A’ and 1B’ of this standard, attached to the standard seat assembly is a child restraint anchorage system conforming to the specifications of Standard No. 225 (§ 571.225). (ii) The test device for add-on restraint systems manufactured on or after [ date 3 years after publication date of final rule] is a standard seat assembly consisting of a simulated vehicle rear seat which is depicted in Drawing Package, ‘‘NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA–213–2019,’’ (consisting of drawings and a bill of materials) dated May 2019 (incorporated by reference; see § 571.5). The assembly is mounted on a dynamic test platform so that the center SORL of the seat is parallel to the direction of the test platform travel and so that movement between the base of the assembly and the platform is prevented. As illustrated in Figures 1D and 1E of this standard, attached to the seat belt anchorage points provided on the standard seat assembly is a Type 2 seat belt assembly. The seat belt assembly meets the requirements of Standard No. 209 (§ 571.209) and has VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 webbing with a width of not more than 2 inches, and are attached to the anchorage points without the use of retractors or reels of any kind. As illustrated in Figures 1D’ and 1E’ of this standard, attached to the standard seat assembly is a child restraint anchorage system conforming to the specifications of Standard No. 225 (§ 571.225). (2) * * * (i) * * * (B) The platform is instrumented with an accelerometer and data processing system having a frequency response of 60 Hz channel frequency class as specified in SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995), ‘‘Instrumentation for Impact Tests,’’ (incorporated by reference, see § 571.5). The accelerometer sensitive axis is parallel to the direction of test platform travel. (ii) * * * (G) All instrumentation and data reduction is in conformance with SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995), ‘‘Instrumentation for Impact Tests,’’ (incorporated by reference, see § 571.5). * * * * * S6.1.1(c) [Reserved] S6.1.2 Dynamic test procedure. (a) Activate the built-in child restraint or attach the add-on child restraint to the seat assembly in any of the following manners, at the agency’s option. (1) Test configuration I. (i) Child restraints other than beltpositioning seats, manufactured before [date 3 years from date of publication of final rule]. Attach the child restraint in any of the following manners specified in S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A) through (D), unless otherwise specified in this standard. (A) Install the child restraint system at the center seating position of the standard seat assembly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1, except that the standard lap belt is used and, if provided, a tether strap may be used. Attach school bus child restraint systems in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1, i.e., the seat back or seat back and seat pan mounts are used. (B) Except for a harness, a school bus child restraint system, a backless child restraint system with a tether strap, and a restraint designed for use by physically handicapped children, install the child restraint system at the center seating position of the standard seat assembly as in S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A), except that no tether strap (or any other supplemental device) is used. (C) Install the child restraint system using the child restraint anchorage PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 system at the center seating position of the standard seat assembly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1. The tether strap, if one is provided, is attached to the tether anchorage. (D) Install the child restraint system using only the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system as in S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(C). No tether strap (or any other supplemental device) is used. (ii) Belt-positioning seats manufactured before [ date 3 years from date of publication of final rule]. A beltpositioning seat is attached to either outboard seating position of the standard seat assembly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1 using only the standard vehicle lap and shoulder belt and no tether (or any other supplemental device). Place the belt-positioning seat on the standard seat assembly such that the center plane of the belt-positioning seat is parallel and aligned to the center plane of the outboard seating positions on the standard seat assembly and the base of the belt-positioning seat is flat on the standard seat assembly cushion. Move the belt-positioning seat rearward on the standard seat assembly until some part of the belt-positioning seat touches the standard seat assembly back. Keep the belt-positioning seat and the seating position center plane aligned as much as possible. Apply 133 N (30 pounds) of force to the front of the belt-positioning seat rearward into the standard seat assembly and release. (iii) In the case of each built-in child restraint system, activate the restraint in the specific vehicle shell or the specific vehicle, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided in accordance with S5.6.2. (iv) Child restraints other than booster seats, manufactured on or after [ date 3 years from date of publication of final rule]. At the agency’s option, attach the child restraint in any of the following manners specified in S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A) through (D), unless otherwise specified in this standard. (A) Install the child restraint system on the standard seat assembly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1, except that the standard lap and shoulder belt is used and, if provided, a tether strap may be used. Attach the school bus child restraint system in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1, i.e., the seat back or seat back and seat pan mounts are used. E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules (B) Except for a harness, a school bus child restraint system, and a restraint designed for use by physically handicapped children, install the child restraint system on the standard seat assembly as in S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A), except that no tether strap (or any other supplemental device) is used. (C) Install the child restraint system using the child restraint anchorage system on the standard seat assembly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1. The tether strap, if one is provided, is attached to the tether anchorage. (D) Install the child restraint system using only the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system as in S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(C). No tether strap (or any other supplemental device) is used. (v) Booster seats manufactured on or after [date 3 years from date of publication of final rule]. A booster seat is attached to the standard seat assembly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1 using only the standard lap and shoulder belt and no tether (or any other supplemental device). Place the booster seat on the standard seat assembly such that the center plane of the booster seat is parallel and aligned to the center plane of the standard seat assembly and the base of the booster seat is flat on the standard seat assembly cushion. Move the booster seat rearward on the standard seat assembly until some part of the booster seat touches the standard seat assembly back. Keep the booster seat and the seating position center plane aligned as much as possible. Apply 133 N (30 pounds) of force to the front of the booster seat rearward into the standard seat assembly and release. (2) Test configuration II. (i) In the case of each add-on child restraint system manufactured before [ date 3 years from date of publication of final rule] which is equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has belts that are not an integral part of that fixed or movable surface, install the add-on child restraint system at the center seating position of the standard seat assembly using only the standard seat lap belt to secure the system to the standard seat. Do not attach the top tether. In the case of each add-on child restraint system manufactured on or after [ date 3 years from date of publication of final rule] which is equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has belts that are not an integral part of that fixed or movable surface, install the add-on child restraint system on the standard seat assembly using only the VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 lap and shoulder belt to secure the system to the standard seat, or at NHTSA’s option, only the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system. Do not attach the top tether. (ii) In the case of each built-in child restraint system which is equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has belts that are not an integral part of that fixed or movable surface, activate the system in the specific vehicle shell or the specific vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions provided in accordance with S5.6.2. * * * * * (d) Belt adjustment. (1) * * * (i) * * * (ii) All Type I belt systems used to attach an add-on child restraint to the standard seat assembly, and any provided additional anchorage belt (tether), are tightened to a tension of not less than 53.5 N and not more than 67 N, as measured by a load cell used on the webbing portion of the belt. All belt systems used to attach a school bus child restraint system are also tightened to a tension of not less than 53.5 N and not more than 67 N, by measurement means specified in this paragraph. * * * * * S7.1.1 Child restraints that are manufactured on or after date three years after date of publication of the final rule], are subject to the following provisions. (a) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having a mass of not greater than 5 kg (11 lb), or by children in a specified height range that includes any children whose height is not greater than 650 mm, is tested with a 49 CFR part 572 subpart K dummy (newborn infant dummy). (b) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having a mass greater than 5 kg but not greater than 10 kg (11 to 22 lb), or by children in a specified height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 650 mm but not greater than 750 mm, is tested with a 49 CFR part 572 subpart K dummy (newborn infant dummy), and a part 572 subpart R dummy (CRABI 12month-old infant dummy). (c) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass range that PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 69449 includes any children having a mass greater than 10 kg but not greater than 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb), or by children in a specified height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 750 mm but not greater than 870 mm, is tested with a part 572 subpart R dummy (CRABI 12-month-old infant dummy). (d) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having a mass greater than 13.6 kg but not greater than 18.2 kg (30 to 40 lb), or by children in a specified height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 870 mm but not greater than 1100 mm, is tested with a part 572 subpart P dummy (Hybrid III 3-year-old dummy). (e) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having a mass greater than 18.2 kg (40 lb) but not greater than 22.7 kg (50 lb), or by children in a specified height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 1100 mm but not greater than 1250 mm is tested with a 49 CFR part 572, subpart N dummy (Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy). (f) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having a mass greater than 22.7 kg (50 lb) but not greater than 29.5 kg (65 lb) or by children in a specified height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 1100 mm but not greater than 1250 mm is tested with a 49 CFR part 572, subpart N dummy (Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy) and with a part 572, subpart S dummy (Hybrid III 6-year-old weighted dummy). (g) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass range that includes any children having a mass greater than 29.5 kg (65 lb) or by children in a specified height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 1250 mm is tested with a 49 CFR part 572, subpart T dummy (Hybrid III 10-year-old dummy). S7.1.2 Child restraints that are manufactured before [ date three years after date of publication of the final rule], are subject to the following provisions and S7.1.3. * * * * * S7.1.3 Voluntary use of alternative dummies. For child restraint systems E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 manufactured before [ date 3 years after date of publication of a final rule], at the manufacturer’s option (with said option irrevocably selected prior to, or at the time of, certification of the restraint), when this section specifies use of the 49 CFR part 572, subpart N (Hybrid III 6year-old dummy) test dummy, the test dummy specified in 49 CFR part 572, subpart I (Hybrid II 6-year-old dummy) may be used in place of the subpart N test dummy. * * * * * S10.2.2 * * * (e)(1) When using the Hybrid III 3year-old (part 572, subpart P) dummy in a rear-facing child restraint system with VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 an internal restraint system, remove the knee stop screw (210–6516 in drawing 210–5000–1,-2; incorporated by reference, see § 571.5) from the right and left knee so as to let the knees hyperextend. (2) Place the Subpart P dummy in the forward- or rear-facing child restraint system being tested so that the back of the dummy torso contacts the back support surface of the system. For a child restraint system equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that is being tested under the conditions of test configuration II, do not attach any of the child restraint belts unless they are an integral part of the PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 fixed or movable surface. For all other child restraint systems and for a child restraint system with a fixed or movable surface that is being tested under the conditions of test configuration I, attach all appropriate child restraint belts and tighten them as specified in S6.1.2. Attach all appropriate vehicle belts and tighten them as specified in S6.1.2. Position each movable surface in accordance with the instructions that the manufacturer provided under S5.6.1 or S5.6.2. Figures to § 571.213 * * * * * BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.030</GPH> 69450 VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69451 EP02NO20.031</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.032</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69452 VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69453 EP02NO20.033</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules VerDate Sep<11>2014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 EP02NO20.034</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 69454 69455 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules BILLING CODE 4910–59–C safety and are anticipated to have a beneficial effect on child passenger safety. This appendix provides the data and analysis methodology to illustrate and estimate that beneficial effect, in terms of potential lives saved and injuries prevented. Note: The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. Appendix to Preamble Estimation of Potential Benefits From the Proposed Increase in the ManufacturerRecommended Minimum Child Weight for Use of Forward-Facing CRSs and Booster Seats Under FMVSS No. 213, manufacturers label their child restraints with information about the children for whom the CRS is recommended, based on the children’s height and weight. Children should be rear-facing until they are at least 1 year in age, as physically they are safer riding rear-facing so that their head and neck are supported by the CRS back structure in a crash. Currently, the standard requires forward-facing child restraints to be recommended for children weighing a minimum of 9 kg (20 lb). This NPRM proposes to raise this minimum to 12 kg (26.5 lb), because 12 kg (26.5 lb) corresponds to the weight of a 95th percentile one-year-old. In addition, FMVSS No. 213 currently requires booster seats to be recommended for children weighing at least 13.6 kg (30 lb). This NPRM proposes to raise that weight limit to 18.2 kg (40 lb). The proposed increase in the manufacturerrecommended minimum child weight for forward-facing CRSs reduce the premature graduation from rear-facing CRSs to forwardfacing CRSs, and from forward-facing car safety seats to booster seats. The proposed changes would align the standard with current best practices on child passenger (1) Increasing Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum Child Weight for Forward-Facing CRS Use From 9 kg to 12 kg (20 lb to 26.5 lb) Increasing the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for use of forwardfacing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg (20 lb to 26.5 lb) could potentially reduce premature graduation of children to forward-facing CRSs. NHTSA recommends 139 that all children up to the age of one year should always ride in rear-facing CRSs and that children 1 to 3 years of age ride in rear-facing CRSs as long as possible and until they reach the upper height or weight limit allowed by the CRS’s manufacturer. By supporting the entire posterior torso, neck, head, and pelvis, a rear-facing CRS distributes crash forces over the entire body rather than focusing them only at belt contact points as with a forward-facing CRS. Therefore, biomechanical experts, together with the child passenger safety community, recommend rear-facing CRS use for infants and toddlers. To determine the potential lives saved and injuries prevented by this proposal, the Agency reviewed literature and analyzed available data for: (a) Estimating the incremental effectiveness of rear-facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs in protecting children in crashes; (b) determining the number of children killed and injured in CRSs categorized by age of child; (c) the percentage of children by age in rear-facing and forward-facing CRSs; (d) the percentage of children by age weighing less than 12 kg (26.5 lb); and, (e) the percentage of caregivers who would follow manufacturer’s instructions provided on CRS labels and the users’ manual regarding use of the CRS. Incremental Effectiveness of Rear-Facing CRSs Over Forward-Facing CRSs McMurry, et al.140 examined the National Automotive Sampling System— Crashworthiness Data System (NASS–CDS) data files for the years 1988–2015 to compare the injury risk for children up to the age of 2 years in rear-facing CRSs and forwardfacing CRSs. The data showed an extremely low injury rate in children up to 2 years of age in both rear-facing CRSs and forwardfacing CRSs. McMurry noted that children 2– YO and younger experienced lower rates of injury when restrained in rear-facing CRSs than when restrained in forward-facing CRSs, but this difference was not statistically significant. Due to the absence of any other field data to estimate the incremental effectiveness of rear-facing CRS over forwardfacing CRSs for children up to 2 years of age, NHTSA used the weighted data in NASS– CDS reported by McMurry, as shown in Table A–1. Though the weighted data is provided as a percentage, it can still be used to determine incremental effectiveness of rear-facing CRS over forward-facing CRS since effectiveness is estimated from a ratio of injured to uninjured occupants. TABLE A–1—NUMBER OF INJURED AND UNINJURED CHILD OCCUPANTS BY AGE AND CRS ORIENTATION (RFCRS OR FFCRS) ALONG WITH SURVEY-WEIGHTED PERCENTAGES [NASS–CDS 1988–2015] Age RFCRS FFCRS Infants (0–11 months) Uninjured .......................................................................................................................................... Injured .............................................................................................................................................. 551 (99.4%) 27 (0.6%) Effectiveness of RFCRSs over FFCRSs ......................................................................................... 71 (99.3%) 3 (0.7%) =1-(0.6/99.4)/(0.7/99.3) = 0.144 1 year-olds (12–23 months) Uninjured .......................................................................................................................................... Injured .............................................................................................................................................. 98 (99.8%) 3 (0.2%) jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Effectiveness of RFCRSs over FFCRSs ......................................................................................... 339 (99.5%) 14 (0.5%) =1-(0.2/99.8)/(0.5/99.5) = 0.601 McMurry’s data in Table A–1 shows that the effectiveness of rear-facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs for 0–11 months is 14.4 percent and that for 12–23 months is 60.1 percent. Based on biomechanical testing, the incremental protection offered by rear-facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs should be greater for smaller/younger children than larger/older children. The 60.1 percent incremental effectiveness of rear-facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs for 12–23 monthold children seems to be rather high considering the low fatality and injury rates for this age group, so the agency used the same effectiveness rate for this age group as that computed for the 0–11 month age group. Therefore, for estimating the potential benefits of raising the minimum child weight limit for forward-facing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg, the incremental effectiveness of 14.4 percent was used for rear-facing CRSs in preventing fatalities among children 0 to 23 months over that of forward-facing CRSs. 139 NHTSA’s Car Seat Recommendations: https:// www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/ nhtsacarseatrecommendations.pdf. 140 McMurry, T.L., Arbogast, K.B., Sherwood, C.P., Vaca, F., Bull, M., Crandall, J.R., Kent, R.W., ‘‘Rear-facing versus forward-facing child restraints: an updated assessment,’’ Injury Prevention, 2017;0:1–5.doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2017–042512. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Number of Children Retrained in CRSs Killed Annually in Motor Vehicle Crashes The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data files for the 5-year period from 2010 to 2014 were analyzed to determine the annual average number of children restrained E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69456 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules in CRSs killed in motor vehicle crashes (see Table A–2). These data files were also analyzed to determine the percentage of fatally injured children in different types of CRSs (rear-facing CRSs, forward-facing CRSs, and booster seats) (see Table A–3). TABLE A–2—AVERAGE ANNUAL FATALITIES AMONG 0–7 YEAR-OLD CHILDREN RESTRAINED IN CRSS IN REAR SEATING POSITIONS OF LIGHT VEHICLES [2010–2014 FARS] Age (years) Crash mode <1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total Percent total Rollover .................... Front ......................... Side .......................... Near-side .................. Far-side .................... Rear .......................... 9.4 9.2 8.2 5.2 3 4.2 8.2 11.8 6.2 3.8 2.4 5.6 6.6 9 5.4 3.6 1.8 4.2 6.2 11.8 6 4 2 3 6.2 8.8 3.6 1.8 1.8 3.2 6.2 5.8 3 1.8 1.2 2.6 3.6 4.6 2.6 1.8 0.8 1.4 2.2 2.2 1.8 1.2 0.6 0.8 48.6 63.2 36.8 23.2 13.6 25.0 28.0 36.4 21.2 13.4 7.8 14.4 Total .................. 31 31.8 25.2 27 21.8 17.6 12.2 7 173.6 100.0 TABLE A–3—PERCENTAGE OF FATALLY INJURED CHILDREN RESTRAINED IN DIFFERENT CRS TYPES OF CRSS IN REAR SEATING POSITIONS OF LIGHT VEHICLES BY AGE OF CHILD [FARS 2010–2014] Age (years) <1 (percent) CRS type RFCRS ............................................. FFCRS ............................................. Booster ............................................. 1 (percent) 73.5 26.5 0.0 Percentage of Children 0 to 3–YO Weighing Less Than 12 kg (26.5 lb) The percent of children weighing less than 12 kg (26.5 lb) for children of age less than 1 year, 1-year, 2 years, and 3-years was 2 (percent) 11.9 85.1 3.0 3 (percent) 1.6 78.7 19.7 4 (percent) 0.0 58.2 41.8 determined using the 2000 Center for Disease Control (CDC) Growth Charts. The percent of girls and boys weighing less than 12 kg from the growth charts for each month from newborn to 36 months of age was determined 5 (percent) 0.0 38.5 58.5 6 (percent) 0.0 36.5 63.5 7 (percent) 0.0 23.1 76.9 0.0 11.1 88.9 and averaged for 12-month periods to determine the percentage of children weighing less than 12 kg for less than 1-year, 1-year, 2-years, and 3-years of age (see Table A–4).141 TABLE A–4—PERCENT OF CHILDREN WEIGHING LESS THAN 12 kg (26.5 lb) BY CHILD AGE [2000 CDC growth charts] <1 YO (percent) 1 YO (percent) 2 YO (percent) 3 YO (percent) 99.8 71.4 22.3 0 Percentile ......................................................................................................... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 Percentage of Caregivers Following Information on CRS Use on CRS Labels or the Users’ Manual The proposed raising of the manufacturerrecommended minimum child weight for use of forward-facing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg could reduce premature graduation of children from rear-facing CRSs to forwardfacing CRSs. However, this is contingent upon caregivers reading and following the manufacturer-supplied information on CRS use on the CRS labels and the Users’ manual. There is no field data on the percentage of caregivers who would follow the information on CRS labels or the manual but inferences can be made from studies on CRS misuse. NHTSA conducted a detailed review of side impact crashes for the years 2002—2009 142 141 Data from 2000 CDC http://www.cdc.gov/ growthcharts. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 and frontal impact crashes for the years 2003–2013 143 where a CRS restrained child was killed. This review showed that, among survivable side and front crashes with a child fatality, nearly half the children were incorrectly restrained in CRSs, meaning that the CRSs were either not installed appropriately in the vehicle and/or the children were not restrained correctly in CRSs in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Further, NHTSA’s National Child Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS) published in 2015 noted CRS misuse of about 46 percent (DOT HS 812 157). This high rate of CRS misuse means that a change in the minimum child weight for use of forwardfacing CRSs that is provided on CRS labels and in the Users’ manual is highly unlikely to lead to all caregivers making the switch, as existing instructions themselves are not followed by all caregivers. The Agency does not have further information on the efficacy of instructions on CRS labels and the manual and is therefore using the low rates of 15 percent and 50 percent of caregivers that would follow the instructions on the CRS labels and manual for forward-facing CRS use. 142 PRIA for the January 28, 2014 NPRM to include a side impact test in FMVSS No. 213 (79 FR 4570, Docket No. NHTSA–2014–0012). 143 This NPRM upgrading the frontal sled test in FMVSS No. 213. PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Estimating Lives Saved Using the information derived from field data on the incremental effectiveness of rearfacing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs, the number of children killed who are restrained in forward-facing CRSs, the percentage of children weighing less than 12 kg, and the assumptions regarding caregivers following CRS use instructions supplied by the E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69457 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules manufacturer, the agency estimates that the lives of 0.7–2.3 children 0–2 YO could be saved (see Table A–5) by raising the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for use of forward-facing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg. TABLE A–5—ESTIMATE OF POTENTIAL LIVES SAVED FROM THE PROPOSED INCREASE IN THE MANUFACTURERRECOMMENDED MINIMUM CHILD WEIGHT FOR USE OF FORWARD-FACING CRSS FROM 9 kg TO 12 kg Age (years) <1 Average Annual Fatalities (a) ...................................................................................................... Percent in FFCRS (b) .................................................................................................................. Percent weight less than 26.5 lb (c) ............................................................................................ Target Population (d) = (a)×(b)×(c) ............................................................................................. Effectiveness of RFCRSs vs FFCRSs (e) ................................................................................... Percent people following instructions (f) ..................................................................................... Benefits for 15% follow instructions (d)×(e)×0.15 ........................................................................ Benefits for 50% follow instructions (d)×(e)×0.5 .......................................................................... Moderate-to-Critical Injuries Prevented Among Children Restrained in CRSs in Motor Vehicle Crashes The agency analyzed NASS–CDS data files for the year 2010–2014 to determine average annual Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) 144 1 31 26.5% 99.8% 8.2 14.4% 15%–50% 0.2 0.6 2 31.8 85.1% 71.4% 19.3 14.4% 15%–50% 0.4 1.4 25.2 78.7% 22.3% 4.4 14.4% 15%–50% 0.1 0.3 2+ injured children who are restrained in CRSs in rear seating positions of light vehicles. On an annual average, there were 31 children under 1 year of age and 77 children 1–2 years old that sustained AIS 2+ injuries for the period 2010–2014 (See Table A–6). TABLE A–6—AVERAGE ANNUAL ESTIMATES OF 0 TO 7 YEAR-OLD CRS RESTRAINED CHILDREN WITH AIS 2+ INJURIES IN REAR SEATING POSITIONS OF LIGHT PASSENGER VEHICLES INVOLVED IN MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES BY CRASH MODE [Weighted data NASS–CDS 2010–2014] Age (years) Crash mode Under 1 1–2 YO 3 YO * 4–7 YO Total Rollover ................................................................................ Front ..................................................................................... Side ...................................................................................... Near-side .............................................................................. Far-side ................................................................................ Rear ..................................................................................... 0 0 30 29 1 1 0 55 14 5 9 7 0 37 10 4 6 5 172 47 1 0 1 73 172 139 55 38 17 86 Total .............................................................................. 31 77 51 293 452 * NASS–CDS data have very few cases of restrained injured children. For this reason, the ages are grouped together. About 40% of AIS 2+ injuries among AIS 2+ 1–3 YO children are to 3-year-old children. Therefore, the number of 1–2 YO children injured is 128*0.6 = 77. The information on whether children were restrained in RFCRS or FFCRS was not available in many cases in the NASS–CDS data files so this information was obtained from the National Child Restraint Use Survey System (NCRUSS) 145 as shown in Table A–7.146 TABLE A–7—TYPE OF CRS USED TO RESTRAIN CHILDREN IN NON-FATAL CRASHES [NCRUSS] RFCRS percent jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 under 1YO ....................................................................................................... 1–2YO .............................................................................................................. 3 YO ................................................................................................................. 4–7YO .............................................................................................................. FFCRS percent 96 11 ........................ ........................ Booster percent 4 86 76 30 Seat belt percent 1 2 22 64 ........................ 1 2 6 As before, 15 percent to 50 percent of caregivers were assumed would follow the manufacturer’s instructions on CRS labels or the Users’ manual regarding CRS use and would keep children weighing less than 12 kg (26.5 lb) in rear-facing CRSs. Using these assumptions along with the percentage effectiveness of RFCRSs over FFCRS and the 2010–2014 NASS–CDS data, the agency 144 The Abbreviated Injury Scale is a 6-point ranking system used for ranking the severity of injuries. AIS2+ Injuries means injuries of severity level 2 (moderate), 3 (serious), 4 (severe), 5 (critical) according to the Abbreviate Injury Scale. www.aaam.org. 145 National Child Restraint Use Special Study, DOT HS 811 679, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/ Api/Public/ViewPublication/812142. NCRUSS is a large-scale nationally-representative survey that involves both an inspection of the child passenger’s restraint system by a certified child passenger safety technician and a detailed interview of the driver. The survey collected information on drivers and child passengers ages 0–8 years between June and August 2011. 146 Tables C–5 and C–6 of DOT–HS–812142. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69458 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules estimated that 1.0–3.5 AIS 2+ injuries could be prevented for children 0–2 YO (see Table A–8) by the proposed change in the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight limit for forward-facing CRS use. TABLE A–8—ESTIMATE OF INJURIES PREVENTED FROM THE PROPOSED INCREASE IN THE MANUFACTURER-RECOMMENDED MINIMUM CHILD WEIGHT FOR USE OF FORWARD-FACING CRSS FROM 9 kg TO 12 kg Age (years) <1 Average Annual AIS 2+ injured children (a) ............................................................................................................ Percent in FFCRS (b) .............................................................................................................................................. Percent weight less than 12 kg (26.5 lb) (c) ........................................................................................................... Target Population (d) = (a)x(b)x(c) .......................................................................................................................... Effectiveness of RFCRSs vs FFCRSs (e) ............................................................................................................... Percent people following label (f) ............................................................................................................................ Benefits for 15% follow label (d)x(e)x0.15 .............................................................................................................. Benefits for 50% follow label (d)x(e)x0.50 .............................................................................................................. The agency estimates that the increase in the minimum child weight from 9 kg to 12 kg for FFCRS use could potentially save 0.7– 2.3 lives and prevent 1.0–3.5 AIS 2+ injuries. (2) Increasing Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum Child Weight for Booster Seat Use Increasing the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for booster seat use from 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg (30 lb to 40 lb) would reduce premature graduation from forward- facing CRSs to booster seats. NHTSA determined that among 3- to 4-year-olds, there is a 27 percent increased risk of moderate to fatal injuries when restrained in booster seats compared to forward-facing CRSs.147 The effectiveness of FFCRS over booster seats is likely reduced for older children who may be taller and have improved belt fit in a booster seat. So, for children 5—7 years of age, NHTSA assumed 31 4.0% 99.8% 1.2 14.4% 15%–50% 0.0 0.1 1–2 77 86.0% 71.4% 47.3 14.4% 15%–50% 1.0 3.4 that there is a 10 percent increased risk of fatal injuries when restrained in booster seats compared to forward-facing CRSs. An average 3-year old weighs 13.6 kg (30 lb) and an average 4-year old weighs 16.1 kg (35.5 lb). Using the 2000 Center for Disease Control (CDC) Growth Charts, the agency determined the percentage of children weighing less than 18.2 kg (40 lb) for each age group (see Table A–9). TABLE A–9. PERCENT OF CHILDREN WEIGHING LESS THAN 18.2 kg (40 lb) BY AGE OF CHILD [2000 CDC growth charts] 2 YO (percent) 3 YO (percent) 4 YO (percent) 5 YO (percent) 6 YO (percent) 7 YO (percent) Percentile ................................................. 100 100 82.5 50 20 4 To determine the lives saved by increasing the minimum child weight for booster seat use, the agency: (1) Used the fatality data in Table A–2, the percentage of children in booster seats in Table A–3, and the percentage of children weighing less than 18.2 kg (40 lb) in Table A–9; (2) made the same assumptions that 15 percent to 50 percent of caregivers would follow manufacturer’s instructions in the CRS labels and/or Users’ manual and keep children weighing less than 18.2 kg (40 lb) in CRSs with internal harnesses, and (3) followed a similar analysis method as in Table A–5. Based on this analysis, the agency estimates that 1.2- 4 lives could potentially be saved (see Table A–10) by raising the manufacturerrecommended minimum child weight for booster seat use from 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg (30 lb to 40 lb). TABLE A–10—ESTIMATE OF LIVES SAVED FOR PROPOSED LABEL CHANGE INCREASING WEIGHT OF CHILDREN IN BOOSTER SEATS FROM 13.6 TO 18.2 kg [30 to 40 lb] Age jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 2 Average Annual Fatalities (a) .................. Percent in booster seats (b) .................... Percent weight less than 18.2 kg (40 lb) (c) .............................................. Target Population (d) = (a)x(b)x(c) .......... Effectiveness of FFCRSs vs Boosters (e) Percent people following label (f) ............ Benefits for 50% follow label (d)x(e)x0.15 Benefits for 15% follow label (d)x(e)x0.5 3 4 5 6 25.2 19.7% 27 41.8% 21.8 58.5% 17.6 63.5% 12.2 76.9% 7 88.9% 100.0% 5.0 27.0% 15%-50% 0.2 0.7 100.0% 11.3 27.0% 15%-50% 0.5 1.5 82.5% 10.5 27.0% 15%-50% 0.4 1.4 50.0% 5.6 10.0% 15%-50% 0.1 0.3 20.0% 1.9 10.0% 15%-50% 0.0 0.1 4.0% 0.2 10.0% 15%-50% 0.0 0.0 147 DOT HS 811 338 July 2010—Booster seat effectiveness estimates based on CDS and State data. VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 7 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2 69459 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / Proposed Rules Using the data in Table A–6 and Table A– 7 and following the analysis as shown in Table A–10, the number of AIS 2+ injuries were estimated that could potentially be prevented by the proposed increase in the minimum child weight recommendation for booster seat use from 13.6 to 18.2 kg (30 to 40 lb). This analysis, shown in Table A–11, estimated that 1.6–5.2 AIS 2+ injuries could be prevented. TABLE A–11—ESTIMATE OF INJURIES PREVENTED FOR PROPOSED INCREASE IN MANUFACTURER-RECOMMENDED MINIMUM CHILD WEIGHT FOR BOOSTER SEAT USE FROM 13.6 TO 18.2 kg [30 to 40 lb] Age 1–3 Average Annual AIS 2+ injured children (a) ............................................................................................................ Percent in Boosters (b) ............................................................................................................................................ Percent weight less than 18.2 kg (40 lb) (c) ........................................................................................................... Target Population (d) = (a)×(b)×(c) ......................................................................................................................... Effectiveness of FFCRSs vs. boosters (e) .............................................................................................................. Percent people following label (f) ............................................................................................................................ Benefits for 70% follow label (d)×(e)×(f) .................................................................................................................. Benefits for 15% follow label (d)×(e)×0.15 .............................................................................................................. The agency estimates that the increase in the minimum child weight for booster seat use from 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg (30 lb to 40 lb) could potentially save 1.2–4 lives and prevent 1.6–5.2 AIS 2+ injuries. In summary, the proposed increase in the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for forward-facing CRS use and booster seat use could potential save 1.9 to 6.3 lives and prevent 2.6 to 8.7 AIS 2+ injuries. 128 9.0% 100.0% 11.5 27.0% 15%–50% 0.5 1.6 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS2 22:38 Oct 30, 2020 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 293 64.0% 39.1% 73.4 10.0% 15%–50% 1.1 3.7 Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8. James C. Owens, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–21477 Filed 10–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 4–7 E:\FR\FM\02NOP2.SGM 02NOP2

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 212 (Monday, November 2, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 69388-69459]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-21477]



[[Page 69387]]

Vol. 85

Monday,

No. 212

November 2, 2020

Part II





 Department of Transportation





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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration





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49 CFR Part 571





Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems, 
Incorporation by Reference; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 85 , No. 212 / Monday, November 2, 2020 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 69388]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2020-0093]
RIN 2127-AL34


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems, 
Incorporation by Reference

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comment.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st 
Century Act (MAP-21), this document proposes to amend Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, ``Child restraint systems,'' 
by updating the standard seat assembly on which child restraint systems 
(CRSs) are tested to determine their compliance with the standard's 
dynamic performance requirements. This NPRM proposes other amendments 
to modernize FMVSS No. 213, including a lessening of restrictions in 
some of the standard's owner registration and labeling requirements, to 
give manufacturers more flexibility in communicating with today's 
parents for the purposes of increasing owner registrations for recall 
notification purposes and increasing the correct use of CRSs, 
respectively. NHTSA is also proposing ways to streamline the Agency's 
use of test dummies to assess restraint performance, including 
simplifying the standard's compliance tests to make them more 
reflective of the real-world use of CRSs today. The purpose of these 
and other proposals is to modernize the seat assembly and other aspects 
of FMVSS No. 213, to help ensure the continued effectiveness of CRSs in 
current and future vehicles.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 4, 2021.
    Proposed effective date: 180 days after publication of the final 
rule in the Federal Register.
    Proposed compliance date: Three years following the date of 
publication of a final rule in the Federal Register, with optional 
early compliance permitted.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the docket number identified in 
the heading of this document by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. To be 
sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 366-9332 before 
coming.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Regardless of how you submit your comments, please mention the 
docket number of this document.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public 
Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this 
document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits 
comments from the public to better inform its decision-making process. 
DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal 
information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as 
described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can 
be reviewed at www.transportation.gov/privacy. In order to facilitate 
comment tracking and response, the agency encourages commenters to 
provide their name, or the name of their organization; however, 
submission of names is completely optional. Whether or not commenters 
identify themselves, all timely comments will be fully considered.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to www.regulations.gov, or the street address 
listed above. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call 
(202) 366-9322 before coming. Follow the online instructions for 
accessing the dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues, you may call 
Cristina Echemendia, Office of Crashworthiness Standards (telephone: 
202-366-6345) (fax: 202-493-2990). For legal issues, you may call 
Deirdre Fujita, Office of Chief Counsel (telephone: 202-366-2992) (fax: 
202-366-3820). Address: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West 
Building, Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Executive Summary
    a. Background
    b. Overview of this NPRM and Request for Comment
II. Statutory Mandate
    a. National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (``Vehicle 
Safety Act'')
    b. MAP-21
    c. NHTSA's Views
III. Updating the Representative Seat Assembly
    a. Background on This Proposed Seat Assembly
    b. Consistency with the Side Impact Bench
    c. Seat Geometry
    1. Seat Back Angle
    2. Seat Pan Angle
    3. Seat Pan Length
    4. Seat Back Height
    5. Rear Seat Cushions
    i. Stiffness of the Bottom Seat Cushion
    ii. Thickness of the Bottom Seat Cushion
    iii. The Foam is Suitable for Use in the Standard's Dynamic Test
    iv. Thickness of the Seat Back Foam
    v. Summary of Seat Assembly Features
    6. Summary of Seat Geometry Features
    d. Seat Belt Anchorage Locations
    e. Child Restraint Anchorage System Locations
IV. Installing CRSs with a Type 2 Belt Rather Than a Type 1 Belt
V. Denial of Petition Regarding a Floor
VI. No Safety Need to Increase Crash Pulse
    a. Introduction
    b. Safety Need--Crash Data Analysis
    c. Hard Copy Review of Case Files
    d. Globally, All Regulations Use a 30 MPH Test Speed
    e. Sled Testing of CRSs
    f. Agency Decision
VII. Fleet Testing of CRSs on the New Seat Assembly Designs
    a. Initial Standard Seat Assembly Design (V1)
    b. Proposed Standard Seat Assembly Design (V2)
VIII. Communicating with Today's Parents
    a. CRS Owner Registration
    1. Background
    2. Overview
    3. Proposed Changes to the Registration Program
    i. Information Card
    ii. Mail-in Card
    iii. Electronic Registration Form
    iv. Information on Labels and in Owners' Manuals
    b. Information on Correctly Using CRSs
    1. Removing Requirements for Specific Wording
    2. Labeling of Use Information
    3. Deleting S5.5.2(k)(2)
    4. Other Requests of Evenflo and Safe Ride News Petition
IX. Streamlining NHTSA's Use of ATDs in Compliance Tests to Reflect 
CRS Use Today
    a. Introduction
    b. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 10-13.6 kg (22-30 lb)
    c. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 13.6-18.2 kg (30-40 lb)

[[Page 69389]]

    d. Testing CRSs for Children Weighing 18-29.5 kg (40-65 lb)
    e. Positioning the Legs of the HIII-3YO Dummy in Rear-Facing 
CRSs
    f. Table Summarizing Proposed Amendments
    g. Consistency with NHTSA's Use of ATDs in the Proposed Side 
Impact Test
X. School Bus CRSs
XI. Child Passenger Safety Issues Arising from Research Findings
XII. Proposed Lead Time
XIII. Corrections and Other Minor Amendments
    a. Correct Reference
    b. Section 5.1.2.2
    c. Table to S5.1.3.1(a) and Test Configuration II
    d. Updating reference to SAE Recommended Practice J211/1
XIV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses
XV. Public Participation
XVI. Appendix to Preamble

I. Executive Summary

    Consistent with MAP-21, NHTSA proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 to 
update the standard seat assembly on which child restraint systems 
(CRSs) are tested for compliance with the standard's dynamic 
performance requirements. NHTSA also proposes lessening restrictions in 
some of the standard's owner registration requirements to give 
manufacturers more flexibility to use current ways of communication for 
the purposes of increasing owner registrations for recall notification 
purposes. This NPRM proposes to lessen restrictions on the labeling 
requirements so manufacturers have the flexibility to provide CRS use 
information in statements, or a combination of statements and 
pictograms, in their own words at locations that they deem most 
effective in instructing caregivers on the correct use of the CRS. This 
NPRM also proposes ways to streamline the Agency's use of test dummies 
to assess restraint performance, including simplifying NHTSA's 
compliance tests to make them more reflective of the real-world use of 
CRSs today. In addition, NHTSA proposes amendments to FMVSS No. 213 to 
make the standard more design-neutral in accommodating CRSs that are 
designed for exclusive use on school bus seats.\1\ Lastly, NHTSA 
requests comment on several developments in child passenger safety, 
including the findings of research studies that raise safety concerns 
associated with some types of CRSs.
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    \1\ Currently, FMVSS No. 213 only permits a type of school bus 
``harness.'' The proposed amendments would permit designs other than 
harnesses for this type of CRS.
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a. Background

    FMVSS No. 213 applies to all new child restraint systems (``CRSs'' 
or ``child restraints'') sold in this country. FMVSS No. 213 specifies 
performance requirements that must be met in a dynamic frontal sled 
test involving a 48 kilometer per hour (km/h) (30 mile per hour (mph)) 
velocity change, which is representative of a severe crash. Each child 
restraint is tested with an anthropomorphic test device (``ATD'' or 
``test dummy'') while attached to a standardized seat assembly 
representative of a passenger vehicle seat (``standard seat 
assembly''). Currently, CRSs for infants and toddlers must meet minimum 
performance requirements when attached to the standard seat assembly by 
means of a lap belt. In addition, those CRSs must also meet those 
requirements in separate tests when attached by means of the lower 
anchorages of a child restraint anchorage system.\2\ Belt-positioning 
(booster) seats are tested on the standard seat assembly using a lap 
and shoulder belt, since the booster seats are specially designed to 
raise the child on a platform to obtain a proper fit of the vehicle lap 
and shoulder belts.\3\
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    \2\ See 49 CFR 571.225.
    \3\ There is also a 32 km/h (20 mph) test configuration for CRSs 
that have a certain type of torso restraint to ensure that the CRSs 
provide at least a minimum level of protection when the torso 
restraint is misused. See FMVSS No. 213 S6.1.1(b)(2), ``Test 
Configuration II.''
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    Child restraints are highly effective in reducing the likelihood of 
death and injury in motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA estimates that, for 
children less than 1 year old, a child restraint can reduce the risk of 
fatality by 71 percent when used in a passenger car and by 58 percent 
when used in a pickup truck, van, or sport utility vehicle (SUV) 
(``light truck''). Child restraint effectiveness for children between 
the ages of 1 and 4 years old is 54 percent in passenger cars and 59 
percent in light trucks.\4\
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    \4\ Traffic Safety Facts--Children 2012 Data (April 2016). 
https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/Publication/812491. Last 
accessed on Aug 6, 2018.
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b. Overview of this NPRM and Request for Comment

    The main topics discussed in this document are highlighted below. 
This document retrospectively reviews and proposes revisions to FMVSS 
No. 213 to modernize the seat assembly and remove obsolete provisions 
from the standard. The Agency's goal is to ensure the continued 
effectiveness of CRSs in current and future vehicles, thereby reducing 
the unreasonable risk of injury to children in motor vehicle crashes. 
(All references below are to subparagraphs in FMVSS No. 213 unless 
otherwise noted.)
    1. As directed by Sec.  31501(b) of MAP-21, NHTSA proposes to amend 
the standard seat assembly (S6.1.1(a)(1)(ii)) so that it more closely 
resembles ``a single representative motor vehicle rear seat.'' The 
updated seat would have a seat cushion stiffness, seat geometry, and 
seat belt system (a lap/shoulder belt) (3-point or Type 2 belt system) 
that better represents rear seats of current passenger vehicle models. 
Given that Type 2 belts are required to be installed in passenger 
vehicles today, NHTSA proposes that CRSs meet the performance 
requirements of the standard while attached to the seat assembly with a 
Type 2 belt. We propose to delete, as obsolete, the current provisions 
in FMVSS No. 213 requiring CRSs to meet the standard's requirements 
when attached to the seat assembly with a lap belt (2-point or Type 1 
belt) (S5.3.2).\5\
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    \5\ ``Type 1'' and ``Type 2'' seat belt assemblies are defined 
in FMVSS No. 209, ``Seat belt assemblies.'' This NPRM would not 
change the current requirement that CRSs also need to meet FMVSS No. 
213 requirements while attached using a child restraint anchorage 
system.
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    Although features of the standard seat assembly will be updated, 
NHTSA believes that the differences between the updated and current 
seat assemblies will not significantly affect the performance of CRSs 
in meeting FMVSS No. 213. In developing this NPRM, NHTSA tested a wide 
variety of CRS designs in the market using the updated seat assembly. 
These CRSs had been certified by their manufacturers as meeting FMVSS 
No. 213's performance criteria using the current seat assembly in the 
standard (which is representative of designs of older vehicle seats). 
In the tests on the updated seat assembly, all of the CRSs also met the 
standard's performance requirements. These data indicate that new CRSs 
that will be certified as meeting FMVSS No. 213 on the new standard 
seat assembly will perform as well in older model year vehicles.
    2. To make FMVSS No. 213 more responsive to the communication 
preferences and practices of today's parents and to provide greater 
flexibility to manufacturers in responding to those preferences, this 
NPRM proposes to reduce the restrictions on the content and format of 
the owner registration card manufacturers must provide with new CRSs 
for purposes of recall notifications (S5.8). Manufacturers would still 
be required to provide the means to register by mail, but, at their 
option, would be able to use modern means of outreach and information

[[Page 69390]]

exchange and take advantage of the latest innovative technologies to 
increase owner registration rates.
    3. To improve FMVSS No. 213's labeling requirements to better 
instruct parents how best to use CRSs correctly, the NPRM proposes 
amendments to the labeling requirements (S5.5). FMVSS No. 213 currently 
requires manufacturers to label CRSs with information on the maximum 
height and weight of the children who can safely occupy the system 
(S5.5.2(f)). NHTSA believes there is a continued need for this ``use 
information'' to be permanently labeled on CRSs. However, to clarify 
the information, the NPRM proposes requiring that the information must 
be provided for each mode in which the CRS can be used (rear-facing, 
forward-facing, booster). Further, NHTSA proposes to lessen 
restrictions on the use information (S5.5, S5.6) by deleting 
requirements that prescribe specific wording about the height and 
weight ranges of children for whom the CRS is recommended and that 
specify that the label must be placed along other required statements 
in a warning label (S5.5.2(f), S5.5.2(g)(1)(i))). Instead, NHTSA 
proposes that, subject to the conditions listed below, manufacturers 
should have the flexibility to provide the use information in 
statements, or a combination of statements and pictograms, at visible 
locations that manufacturers deem most effective.
    The proposed conditions are based on sound best practice 
recommendations developed by the child passenger safety community, or 
are derived from our analyses of available data and other technical 
information. Manufacturers would have considerable flexibility to 
optimize the use information they provide for their CRSs, provided that 
the information meets these conditions.
     Currently S5.5.2(f) requires child restraints to be 
labeled with the overall maximum and minimum height and weight ranges 
of the children for whom the CRS is recommended. In response to a 
petition for rulemaking from Evenflo and SafeRide News,\6\ NHTSA 
proposes that, for CRSs that can be used in multiple ``modes'' 
depending on the height and weight of the child (rear-facing, forward-
facing, booster, etc.), the use information must be stated separately 
for each mode. To illustrate, instead of stating that a CRS (that can 
be used rear-facing and forward-facing) is for use by children weighing 
5 to 65 lb (2.2-29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches (121.9 
centimeters (cm)), the label would indicate that the CRS is for use 
rear-facing by children weighing 5 to 40 lb (2.2 to 18.2 kg) and with 
heights up to 48 inches (121.9 cm), and forward-facing by children 
weighing 30 to 65 lb (13.6 to 29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches 
(121.9 cm). The proposed condition would protect children under age 1-
year \7\ better by providing greater assurance that they are not turned 
forward-facing too soon. The proposed condition would also provide 
better guidance to caregivers on when to graduate a child from a rear-
facing CRS to a forward-facing CRS with integral internal harness (car 
safety seat) and to a CRS in the booster seat mode.
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    \6\ A copy of the May 13, 2011 petition for rulemaking is in the 
docket. NHTSA is granting this request; this document denies other 
aspects of the petition.
    \7\ NHTSA and the entire child passenger safety community 
strongly recommend that children be kept riding rear-facing at least 
up to the age of 1-year. Children under age 1 are safer rear-facing 
than forward-facing because in a crash the forces will be spread 
evenly across the child's back and shoulders, the strongest part of 
the child's body. Further, the back of the head rests against and is 
supported by the seating surface.
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     Relatedly, the following condition better ensures a child 
under age 1 will be positioned rear-facing than forward-facing. A child 
under age 1 is safest transported rear-facing. In seeking to achieve 
that end, FMVSS No. 213 currently specifies that forward-facing CRSs 
can only be recommended for children with a minimum weight of 9 kg (20 
lb) (S5.5.2(k)(2)). However, the 9 kg (20 lb) threshold is too low. 
Although NHTSA meant for that weight to be a minimum, many CRSs use a 
weight of only 9 kg (20 lb), stating on their labels that a child may 
be forward-facing starting when he or she is 20 lb. NHTSA would like to 
raise the standard's 20-lb threshold because it is too low to capture a 
sufficient population of one-year-olds, as 9 kg (20 lb) is about the 
weight of an average 9-month-old. To increase the number of children 
under age 1 who are transported rear-facing, NHTSA proposes to raise 
this weight threshold to 12 kg (26.5 lb), which is the weight of a 95th 
percentile one-year-old.\8\ The Agency believes that the change to 26.5 
lb would capture almost all one-year-olds and would therefore increase 
the number of children under age 1 transported rear-facing.
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    \8\ A 50th percentile 1-year-old weighs 22 lb.
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     The following condition would enhance the protection of 3- 
to 4-year-old children traveling in motor vehicles. While FMVSS No. 213 
currently specifies that booster seats can only be recommended for 
children with a minimum weight of 30 lb (S5.5.2(k)(2)), NHTSA 
tentatively believes this minimum should be raised to 18.4 kg (40 lb). 
Crash data \9\ show that, among 3- and 4-year-olds, the risk of non-
incapacitating to fatal injury \10\ increases as much as 27 percent 
when the child is restrained in a booster seat rather than in a car 
safety seat (a CRS that has an integral internal harness). An 18.4 kg 
(40 lb) threshold corresponds generally to the weight of a 97th 
percentile 3-year-old (17.7 kg (39.3 lb)) and an 85th percentile 4-
year-old. NHTSA believes that if booster seats were only recommended 
for children weighing a minimum of 18.4 kg (40 lb), more 3- and 4-year-
olds will be transported in car safety seats, where they are better 
protected at that young age, than in booster seats. Booster seats are 
and continue to be a critical type of child restraint needed to 
restrain children properly in vehicles.\11\ Children will still 
transition to booster seats, but just when they are a little larger.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ ``Booster Seat Effectiveness Estimates Based on CDS and 
State Data,'' NHTSA Technical Report, DOT HS 811 338, July 2010. 
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811338.pdf, last accessed on 
August 8, 2018.
    \10\ The KABCO injury scale used is an on-the-scene police-
reported measure of injury. ``K'' is killed, ``A'' is incapacitating 
injury, ``B'' is non-incapacitating injury and ``C'' is possible 
injury.
    \11\ NHTSA instructs that children should be restrained in a CRS 
for the child's age and size. From birth through adulthood, children 
should be restrained first using a rear-facing car seat, then a 
forward-facing car seat, then a booster seat, and finally, the 
vehicle's seat belts. https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#age-size-rec.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4. To simplify and make more realistic the Agency's compliance 
testing of child restraint systems with various anthropomorphic test 
devices (ATDs) (test dummies), this NPRM proposes the following 
changes.
     NHTSA proposes streamlining the Agency's selection of ATDs 
(test dummies) to assess CRS performance (S7). NHTSA would amend 
specifications for ATD selection (S7.1.2(c)) so that CRSs for children 
weighing 10 kg to 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb) would be tested with just the 
12-month-old child test dummy (Child Restraint Air Bag Interaction 
(CRABI-12MO)), and would no longer be subject to being tested with the 
Hybrid III 3-year-old (HIII-3YO) test dummy. This proposed change would 
better align the dummy used in tests of infant carriers \12\ with the 
size and weight of children typically restrained in infant carriers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ An infant carrier is a rear-facing CRS designed to be 
readily used in and outside of the vehicle. It has a carrying handle 
that enables caregivers to tote the CRS plus child outside of the 
vehicle. Some come with a base that stays inside the vehicle onto 
which the carrier attaches.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Similarly, NHTSA proposes amendments affecting CRSs 
labeled for children weighing from 13.6 kg to 18.2

[[Page 69391]]

kg (30 to 40 lb). Currently, these CRSs are tested with the CRABI-12MO 
and the HIII-3YO. NHTSA tentatively believes that testing with the (22 
lb) CRABI-12MO is unnecessary because the dummy is not representative 
of 13.6-18.2 kg (30-40 lb) children.\13\ This change would make NHTSA's 
compliance tests more reflective of real world CRS use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ If the CRS were also labeled as suitable for use by 
children weighing less than 13.6 kg (30 lb), then the CRS would be 
subject to testing with the CRABI-12MO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     For CRSs for children in the 18.2 kg to 29.5 kg (40 to 65 
lb) weight range, NHTSA proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 to specify 
testing solely with the state-of-the-art HIII-6YO child ATD. Due in 
part to issues relating to the HIII-6YO's performance in tests on the 
current (outdated) standard seat assembly, FMVSS No. 213 has provided 
manufacturers the option of NHTSA conducting compliance tests using the 
HIII-6YO or an older Hybrid II (H2) version of the test dummy (H2-6YO) 
(S7.1.2(d), S7.1.3). With the move to the updated seat assembly, the 
Agency believes the unrealistic chin-to-chest and head-to-knee contact 
problems seen in tests of the HIII-6YO on the current seat assembly 
would be eliminated. The HIII-6YO is preferred as it is a more 
biofidelic test device than the H2-6YO dummy, and more and more CRS 
manufacturers are using the HIII-6YO rather than the H2-6YO dummy. 
Further, phasing out of the older H2-6YO is desirable because it is 
becoming more difficult to obtain replacement parts for the dummy. For 
these reasons, NHTSA is proposing to remove the optional use of the H2-
6YO dummy and, instead, to adopt a provision that NHTSA will only use 
the HIII-6YO in compliance tests. NHTSA proposes sufficient lead time 
(e.g., 3 years after publication of a final rule) for the change.
     Increasing numbers of CRSs are sold for use rear-facing 
with older children. To facilitate the Agency's compliance testing of 
the restraints, NHTSA proposes a procedure for positioning the 3-year-
old child test dummy's legs when the dummy is rear-facing. The 
procedure involves placing the dummy's legs up against the seat back 
and removing the dummy's knee joint stops, which allows the legs to 
extend at the knee in the sled test and not brace the legs against the 
seat back. The proposed procedure is already used by some commercial 
test labs and CRS manufacturers to assess the suitability of rear-
facing CRSs for older children.
    5. NHTSA proposes amendments to FMVSS No. 213 to accommodate 
different types of CRSs that are designed for exclusive use on school 
bus seats. These restraints are designed to install on school bus seats 
by way of straps wrapped around the school bus seat back or the seat 
back and seat pan (seat back mount or seat back and seat pan mounts). 
Currently FMVSS No. 213 permits a type of school bus ``harness'' (see 
S5.3.1(b) and S5.6.1.11). To permit restraints other than harnesses, 
the proposed amendments would include a new design-neutral definition 
for this type of CRS. This NPRM proposes specific requirements for the 
CRSs, including a warning label and instructions that indicate that the 
CRS must only be used on school bus seats.
Estimated Benefits and Costs
    The proposal has the potential to provide safety benefits with, at 
most, minimal incremental costs.
Updating Sled Assembly and Testing With Type 2 Belts
    The proposed updates to the sled test and testing with Type 2 belts 
would better align the performance of CRSs in compliance tests to that 
in real world crashes. NHTSA believes there would be benefits from 
making the FMVSS No. 213 test more representative of real world 
crashes, but quantification of the associated benefits/costs is not 
possible at this time due to a lack of data to make such an assessment.
    There would only be de minimus costs involved in changing the 
standard seat assembly used by NHTSA to assess CRS compliance. 
Manufacturers are not required to use the standard seat assembly, but 
as a practical matter they usually choose to do so, to test their CRSs 
as similarly as possible to the tests conducted by NHTSA. The one-time 
cost of the updated standard seat assembly sled buck is about $8,000. 
Whether a manufacturer chooses to build the assembly itself or uses one 
at an independent test facility, cost impacts are minimal when 
distributed among the hundreds of thousands of CRSs that would be sold 
by each manufacturer.
    NHTSA estimates that there would be little or no increased costs to 
child restraints to meet FMVSS No. 213's requirements when tested on 
the new sled assembly. The Agency's test data of representative CRSs in 
the fleet showed that virtually all CRSs met the standard's 
requirements when tested on the new sled assembly.
Registration Program
    The proposed changes to the registration card would provide 
flexibility to manufacturers in how they communicate with consumers and 
would likely help improve registration rates and recall completion 
rates. However, NHTSA cannot quantify the benefits at this time. The 
Agency estimates there would be no costs associated with the proposed 
changes. The proposed changes to the registration program would lessen 
restrictions and would be optional for manufacturers to implement. 
While the changes could affect the collection of information pursuant 
to the Paperwork Reduction Act (discussed later in this preamble), 
there would be no additional material cost associated with the proposed 
changes to the registration card. Manufacturers could use the same card 
and just change the wording on them.
Labeling
    The Agency believes that the proposed updates to the labeling 
requirements would benefit safety by reducing the premature graduation 
of children from rear-facing CRSs to forward-facing CRSs, and from 
forward-facing CRSs to booster seats. The Agency estimates potentially 
0.7 to 2.3 lives would be saved and 1.0 to 3.5 moderate-to-critical 
severity injuries would be prevented annually by raising the 
manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for the use of forward-
facing CRSs from 9 kg (20 lb) to 12 kg (26.5 lb). NHTSA also estimates 
potentially 1.2 to 4 lives would be saved and 1.6 to 5.2 moderate-to-
critical injuries would be prevented by raising the manufacturer-
recommended minimum child weight for use of booster seats from 13.6 kg 
(30 lb) to 18.2 kg (40 lb).\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ The details of the benefits analysis are provided in the 
Appendix to this preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed changes to the labeling requirements would have 
minimal or no cost impacts, as mostly they are deregulatory. 
Manufacturers would be given the flexibility to provide required 
information in statements or a combination of statements and pictograms 
at locations that they deem most effective. Manufacturers may provide 
the recommended child weight and height ranges for the use of CRSs in a 
specific installation mode on existing voluntary labels by simply 
changing the minimum child weight limit values. Since no additional 
information would be required on the labels by this NPRM, the size of 
the label would not need to be increased. Thus, there would be minimal 
or no additional cost for the

[[Page 69392]]

label. There would also be no decrease in sales of forward-facing car 
safety seats or of booster seats as a result of the proposal to raise 
the minimum child weight limit values for forward-facing CRSs and 
booster seats. Most forward-facing CRSs cover a wide child weight 
range, so the labeling changes would only affect how consumers use the 
products and not the sale of them. For example, consumers would still 
purchase forward-facing car safety seats but would wait to use them 
until the child is at least 1. They would still purchase convertible 
\15\ CRSs, but will delay turning the child forward-facing until the 
child is at least 1. Consumers would still purchase booster seats, but 
would use them when the child reaches 18.2 kg (40 lb) rather than 13.6 
kg (30 lb).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ A convertible CRS is a type of CRS that can be used rear-
facing or forward-facing with an internal harness system to secure a 
child.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ATDs
    The proposed updates in how ATDs are used in the sled test for 
assessing CRS performance better accords with current CRS designs and 
best practices for transporting child passengers compared to the 
current specifications in FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA cannot quantify the 
possible safety benefits at this time.
    Manufacturers are not required to test their CRSs the way NHTSA 
tests child restraints in a compliance test. Assuming manufacturers 
choose to conduct the tests specified in FMVSS No. 213 to make their 
certifications of compliance, NHTSA believes there would be no cost 
increases associated with the proposals. Some of the proposed changes 
lessen testing burdens by reducing the extent of testing with ATDs. For 
example, the NPRM proposes that CRSs for children weighing 10 kg to 
13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb) would no longer be subject to testing with the 
HIII-3YO dummy. NHTSA estimates a reduction in testing cost of $540,000 
for the current number of infant carrier models in the market. Also, 
CRS for children weighing 13.6-18.2 kg (30-40 lb) would no longer be 
tested with the CRABI-12MO. The proposed positioning procedure for the 
legs of the HIII-3YO dummy in rear-facing CRSs is unlikely to have cost 
implications because the procedure is similar, if not identical, to 
that currently used by manufacturers.
    NHTSA believes there would only be minimal costs associated with 
NHTSA's testing CRSs solely with the HIII-6YO dummy rather than the H2-
6YO dummy. This is because there would be little or no design changes 
needed for the CRSs due to this proposed update since nearly all the 
CRSs tested with the HIII-6YO in the proposed standard seat assembly 
complied with all the FMVSS No. 213 requirements.\16\ NHTSA's testing 
also showed that CRSs that currently comply with FMVSS No. 213 using 
the H2-6YO dummy also met all the performance requirements in the 
standard when tested using the HIII-6YO dummy in the proposed standard 
seat assembly. In addition, manufacturers increasingly are certifying 
at least some of their CRS models for older children using the HIII-6YO 
dummy rather than the H2-6YO and so most manufacturers already have 
access to the HIII-6YO dummy and would not need to purchase the dummy 
as a result of this proposed update.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Of 21 tests with the HIII-6YO in the proposed seat 
assembly, all passed the performance metrics, except for one that 
failed head excursion limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We believe a lead time of three years is sufficient for redesigning 
CRSs that may need modifications to comply with the proposed updates to 
ATD selection for the sled test because most CRSs would need minor or 
no modifications to meet the proposed requirements. Further, a 3-year 
time frame aligns with the typical design cycle for CRSs, so any change 
needed to meet the requirements could be accommodated in the 
manufacturers' normal refinement or refreshing of their designs. We 
note also that manufacturers have the option of not changing CRS 
designs in some instances, and may instead change the weight of the 
children for whom the CRS is recommended. Narrowing the population of 
children for whom the CRS is recommended in many instances would reduce 
the number of ATDs NHTSA would use in its compliance tests of the CRS.
School Bus Child Restraint Systems
    The proposed changes to include in FMVSS No. 213 a new type of CRS 
manufactured for exclusive use on school bus seats would allow the sale 
of these products. The agency estimates there would be no cost impacts 
associated with the proposed changes because currently available 
products covered by the new definition of a school bus CRS already meet 
the proposed requirements. The benefits of the proposed changes are 
associated with the popularity of such CRSs in the pupil transportation 
industry for transporting preschool and special-needs children. 
However, NHTSA cannot quantify these benefits at this time.

II. Statutory Authority

    This NPRM is issued under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act (49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.) and MAP-21.

a. National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (``Vehicle Safety 
Act'')

    Under the Vehicle Safety Act, the Secretary of Transportation \17\ 
is responsible for prescribing motor vehicle safety standards that are 
practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and are stated in 
objective terms.\18\ ``Motor vehicle safety'' is defined in the Vehicle 
Safety Act as ``the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk 
of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or 
performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death 
or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor 
vehicle.'' \19\ ``Motor vehicle safety standard'' means a minimum 
performance standard for motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment.\20\ 
When prescribing such standards, the Secretary must consider all 
relevant, available motor vehicle safety information, and consider 
whether a standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the 
types of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for which it is 
prescribed.\21\ The Secretary must also consider the extent to which 
the standard will further the statutory purpose of reducing traffic 
crashes and associated deaths and injuries.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ The responsibility for promulgation of Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards is delegated to NHTSA. 49 CFR 1.95.
    \18\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(a).
    \19\ 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(8).
    \20\ 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(9).
    \21\ 49 U.S.C. 30111(b).
    \22\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. MAP-21

    MAP-21 incorporates Subtitle E, ``Child Safety Standards.'' Section 
31501(b)(1) of Subtitle E requires that not later than 2 years after 
the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary \23\ shall commence a 
rulemaking proceeding to amend the standard seat assembly 
specifications under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213 
to simulate a single representative motor vehicle rear seat better.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Authority delegated to NHTSA. 49 CFR 1.95(p)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. NHTSA's Views

    NHTSA is issuing this NPRM under Vehicle Safety Act authority and 
MAP-21. Section 31501(b)(2) of MAP-21

[[Page 69393]]

directs NHTSA to issue a final rule amending the standard seat assembly 
of FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA believes that, in requiring a final rule 
amending ``Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213,'' MAP-21 
envisions that the rulemaking on the standard seat assembly will accord 
with the requirements and considerations for FMVSSs under the Vehicle 
Safety Act.

III. Updating the Representative Seat Assembly

    To update FMVSS No. 213's assessment of CRS performance, NHTSA 
proposes to amend the standard seat assembly specified by FMVSS No. 213 
to better simulate ``a single representative motor vehicle rear seat,'' 
as directed by Sec.  31501(b) of MAP-21. The updated seat would 
comprise a stiffer seat cushion, representative seat geometry, and a 3-
point seat belt (in lieu of the 2-point lap belt on the current seat 
assembly). The updated seat assembly would have only one seating 
position, unlike the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly, 
which has two positions.

a. Background on This Proposed Seat Assembly

    In 2003, in response to the Transportation Recall Enhancement, 
Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act,\24\ NHTSA updated the 
FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly to make it more representative of 
rear seats of the vehicle fleet (68 FR 37620, June 24, 2003).\25\ The 
2003 final rule changed the seat assembly's seat pan angle, seat back 
angle, spacing between the anchors of the lap belts and the rigidity of 
the seat back. Due to TREAD Act timeframes, limited agency resources 
and competing priorities, the update did not include modifications to 
the seat cushion.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, Stat. 1800.
    \25\ The 2003 final rule also updated the sled pulse to provide 
a wider test corridor.
    \26\ A seat cushion consists of foam and a cover.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aware that the seat cushion of the FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly was 
softer than the rear seat cushions of many new vehicles in the fleet, 
NHTSA continued to investigate seat cushion stiffness and other 
characteristics after the 2003 final rule. In 2012, the agency 
initiated a research program (``Vehicle Rear Seat Study'') as part of 
an initiative to assess the representativeness of the FMVSS No. 213 
frontal impact sled test.\27\ The Vehicle Rear Seat Study surveyed 
vehicles in the fleet to compile data on the rear seat environment. The 
study measured 43 individual rear seating positions in 24 model year 
(MY) 2010 vehicles. Measurements were obtained on features that 
included seat back angle and height, seat pan width, softness of the 
seat cushion, location of seat belts and locations of child restraint 
anchorage systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Aram, M.L., Rockwell, T., ``Vehicle Rear Seat Study,'' 
Technical Report, July 2012. Report available in the docket for this 
NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA used data from the Vehicle Rear Seat Study in designing the 
seat assembly proposed in the January 28, 2014 NPRM on FMVSS No. 213's 
side impact test.\28\ The dynamic sled test was originally developed by 
Takata Corporation. The agency used the vehicle survey data to guide 
the proposed seat design towards a seat assembly better representing 
the U.S. vehicle fleet. NHTSA sought to have the proposed seat assembly 
geometry and the belt and child restraint anchorage locations within 
one standard deviation of the average values in the current vehicle 
fleet. The proposed side impact bench seat assembly also had features 
of the seat assembly of Regulation No. 44 (R.44) of the United Nations 
Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), ``Uniform provisions concerning 
the approval of restraining devices for child occupants of power-driven 
vehicles (child restraint systems)'' (ECE R.44).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ 79 FR 4570, supra. As noted earlier, Sec.  31501(a) of MAP-
21 states that the Secretary shall issue a final rule amending FMVSS 
No. 213 to improve the protection of children seated in child 
restraint systems during side impact crashes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The January 28, 2014 side impact NPRM generated many comments on 
the proposed side impact seat assembly, notably with regard to the 
difficulty some commenters had in procuring the ECE R.44 seat cushion 
that had been proposed for inclusion in the seat assembly. Commenters 
also requested some changes to the lower anchorage specifications.

b. Consistency with the Proposal for the Side Impact Bench

    As noted above, NHTSA's January 28, 2014 NPRM proposing to add a 
dynamic side impact test to FMVSS No. 213 included specifications for a 
standard seat assembly that would be used in the compliance test. After 
reviewing the comments on the side impact proposal and other 
information, NHTSA is considering using the seat assembly proposed in 
this NPRM for the side impact test instead of the seat assembly that 
was proposed in the January 28, 2014 side impact NPRM. NHTSA believes 
that using the same specifications of the standard seat assembly 
(including seat geometry, seat cushion, and anchorage locations \29\) 
for both the side impact test and a frontal impact test makes sense, 
since the aim is to have a representative seat assembly and the same 
passenger vehicles are involved in side and frontal crashes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Anchorage locations are aligned to the corresponding seat 
assembly's seat orientation reference line (SORL).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The standard seat assembly proposed in the January 2014 side impact 
NPRM is substantially like the seat proposed in this NPRM, but NHTSA 
believes this proposed seat assembly is a better seat assembly 
primarily regarding the cushion foam. The former specified use of the 
ECE R.44 seat cushion, while this proposed seat assembly incorporates 
seat cushion foam that is more representative of the seat cushion 
stiffness of the current vehicle fleet. This proposed seat cushion is 
also easier to procure than the ECE R.44 foam. Commenters to the 
January 2014 side impact NPRM expressed concerns about the difficulty 
to source the ECE R44 seat foam, which is only available from one 
overseas supplier.\30\ NHTSA tentatively believes that using the foam 
specified in this NPRM for the frontal test seat assembly would 
alleviate those concerns.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ See also a memorandum documenting ex parte meeting with the 
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), available at 
Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0055-0004.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There would be a few adjustments that would be made to the standard 
seat assembly proposed in the January 2014 side impact NPRM to make it 
like the seat assembly proposed today. This NPRM proposes cushion foam 
101.6 mm (4 inches) thick while the ECE R.44 seat cushion is 127 mm (5 
inches). If the foam specified in this NPRM is used in the side impact 
test, the intruding door structure of the side impact standard seat 
assembly would need to be lowered about an inch to maintain the 
vertical position of the intruding door relative to the standard seat 
assembly. Some adjustments would also be made to the seat belt 
anchorage locations and the seat back height proposed in the January 
2014 NPRM. These and other issues are discussed in detail below in this 
preamble. The positioning of the child restraint anchorage system would 
be slightly moved so that the lower bars would be located where they 
are on the frontal test seat assembly proposed today.\31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ NHTSA notes that the lower anchorage bars may not be 
configured like they are on the frontal test seat assembly proposed 
today. The lower anchorage design on the frontal test seat assembly 
consists of two side structures with a replaceable lower anchorage 
bar, a design that eases the bar's replacement. NHTSA may not 
incorporate this particular anchorage design into the side impact 
seat assembly, as some commenters to the January 2014 side impact 
NPRM noted that the side structure of the lower anchorages can 
interfere with the lower anchorage attachments of the tested CRS. 
Instead, NHTSA is considering reconfiguring the design of the lower 
anchorages of the side impact seat assembly so that undue 
interference would be avoided.

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[[Page 69394]]

    Comments are requested on this issue of consistency between the 
seat assembly used in the side impact test and the seat assembly 
proposed in this NPRM for FMVSS No. 213's frontal impact test.

c. Seat Geometry

    The Vehicle Rear Seat Study measured the vehicles' seat geometry 
and anchorage locations using a Seat Geometry Measuring Fixture (SGMF). 
The SGMF consisted of two wood blocks (600 mm x 88 mm x 38 mm) and a 76 
mm (3 inches) hinge (see Figure 1 below). To make the rear seat 
geometry measurements, the SGMF was positioned on the centerline of 
each rear seat position. Point A (see Figure 1), which corresponds to 
the hinge location of the SGMF, was the reference point for all 
measurements.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.004

1. Seat Back Angle
    The Vehicle Rear Seat Study found that the average seat back angle 
of the surveyed vehicles was 20 degrees from vertical, with a standard 
deviation of 4 degrees.\32\ The seat back angle ranged from a minimum 
of 9 degrees to a maximum of 28 degrees from vertical.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ The current seat back angle of the FMVSS No. 213 seat 
assembly is 20 degrees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency is proposing a seat back angle of 20 degrees on the 
updated test seat assembly. The value is representative of the seat 
back angles found in the vehicle fleet (within one standard deviation 
of the average values in the current fleet). Also, the proposed seat 
back angle would simplify the change to a new seat assembly in that it 
would be the same as the angle of the current FMVSS No. 213 test seat 
assembly and that of the originally-proposed standard seat for the side 
impact test.
2. Seat Pan Angle
    For the seat pan angle, the Vehicle Rear Seat Study found that the 
average angle was 13 degrees from the horizontal, with a standard 
deviation of 4 degrees.\33\ The seat pan angle ranged from a minimum of 
7 degrees to a maximum of 23 degrees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ The current seat pan angle of the FMVSS No. 213 seat 
assembly is 15 degrees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency is proposing to maintain a seat pan angle of 15 degrees 
on the updated test seat assembly. The measurement is representative of 
the seat pan angles found in the vehicle fleet (within one standard 
deviation of the average values in the current fleet). Also, the 
proposed seat pan angle would simplify the change to a new seat 
assembly in that it would be the same as the angle of the current FMVSS 
No. 213 test seat assembly and that of the originally-proposed standard 
seat assembly for the side impact test.
    The Agency notes that the seat pans of some vehicle rear seats are 
equipped with anti-submarining devices or are contoured in a manner to 
prevent submarining. The Agency did not replicate these features in the 
standard seat assembly for simplicity's sake. NHTSA tentatively 
concludes that a seat pan angle of 15 degrees is representative of the 
seat pan angle of rear seats in the vehicle fleet and would be 
sufficient for evaluating the performance of CRSs attached to the seat.
    At the end of the seat geometry section, Table 3, infra, shows a 
comparison of the seat back and seat pan angles found in the vehicle 
fleet, and the proposed and current angles of the test seat assembly.
3. Seat Pan Length
    The Vehicle Rear Seat Study showed that the average seat pan length 
of the surveyed vehicles was 406 mm (16 inches) with a standard 
deviation of 38 mm (1.5 inches).\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ The current FMVSS No. 213 test seat assembly has a seat pan 
length of 16.3 inch (416 mm).

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

[[Page 69395]]

    The Agency is proposing a seat pan length of 412 mm (16.2 inches), 
which is within one standard deviation of the average seat pan length 
in the current vehicle fleet.
4. Seat Back Height
    The Vehicle Rear Seat Study showed that the average height of the 
seat back was 688 mm (27 inches) with a standard deviation of 76 mm (3 
inches) when the head restraint was included and 578 mm (22.7 inches) 
with a standard deviation of 60 mm (2.3 inches) when the head restraint 
was not included in the measurement.\35\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ The current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly has a seat back 
height of 20.35 inch (517 mm) and it does not have a head restraint.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency is proposing a seat back height of 573 mm (22.5 inches) 
for the new standard seat assembly, which is within one standard 
deviation of the average seat back height when the head restraint is 
not included.
5. Rear Seat Cushions
i. Stiffness of the Bottom Seat Cushion
    The Agency compared the stiffness of rear seat cushions (consisting 
of foam and a cover) in the fleet to that of the seat cushions used in 
various test programs, including FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA first measured 
the quasi-static stiffness (force-deflection) of the seat cushions in 
rear seats of 13 MY 2003-2008 passenger vehicles.\36\ The 13 passenger 
vehicles were representative of the current vehicle fleet, and comprise 
a mix of different vehicle types (passenger cars, SUVs, and minivans) 
produced by different vehicle manufacturers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ Wietholter, K., Louden, A., and Sullivan, L. ``Evaluation 
of Seat Foams for the FMVSS No. 213 Test Bench,'' June 2016 
available in the docket for this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A quasi-static load was applied at a rate of 0.374 mm/s using a 203 
millimeters (mm) (8 inch) diameter disk shaped indentor. NHTSA compared 
the force-deflection values to those of the standard seat assembly 
specified in the New Programme for the Assessment of Child Restraint 
Systems (NPACS),\37\ ECE R.44, and FMVSS No. 213. The force-deflection 
curves of the different seat cushions are presented in Figure 2 below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ The NPACS consortium was funded in 2005 by governments of 
the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, the Generalitat of 
Catalonia, and five non-governmental organizations. The objectives 
of NPACS is to provide scientifically based EU wide harmonized test 
and rating protocols to offer consumers clear and understandable 
information about dynamic performance and usability of child 
restraint systems. NPACS is similar to NHTSA's New Car Assessment 
Program (NCAP) and the NCAP program administered in Europe 
(EuroNCAP), in that it is a voluntary consumer information program, 
rather than a binding regulation. The difference is that NPACS is 
designed to test CRSs, while NCAP focuses on vehicle performance.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.005

    The data showed that the current FMVSS No. 213 initial seat cushion 
stiffness (force for the first 25 mm of deflection) is less than that 
of the seat cushions in the 13 MY 2003-2008 vehicles. Conversely, the 
initial stiffness of the NPACS and the ECE R.44 seat cushions are 
greater than most of the measured vehicle seat cushions.
    Since CRSs are tested on the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly 
in a dynamic sled test, NHTSA also evaluated the dynamic stiffness of 
the various seat cushions. NHTSA compared the dynamic force-deflection 
(dynamic stiffness) of: The seat cushion in rear seats of 14 MY 2006-
2011 vehicles, the seat foams specified in ECE R.44 and NPACS, and the 
seat cushion of the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly.\38\ The 
dynamic stiffness of the seat cushions and seat foams were determined 
using a pendulum impact device (PID), which consisted of an arm with a 
152.4 mm (6 inch) diameter impactor (weighing 7.8 kg (17.2 lb)). The 
impactor was dropped at an average

[[Page 69396]]

impact velocity of 3.4 meters per second (m/s) (7.6 mph) on the seat 
cushion.\39\ The PID was instrumented with a tri-axial accelerometer 
and an angular rate sensor to calculate the displacement and a uniaxial 
load cell to measure the force.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ The ECE and NPACS foams were tested with the foams placed 
on a flat adjustable table, while the FMVSS No. 213 seat cushion was 
tested with the cushion placed on the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat 
assembly. The measured dynamic stiffness characteristics of the foam 
and cushion are not expected to differ significantly whether placed 
on a flat adjustable table or on a seat assembly.
    \39\ See ``Evaluation of Seat Foams for the FMVSS No. 213 Test 
Bench,'' June 2016, supra. A 3.4 m/s (7.6 mph) test speed was used. 
This speed resulted in the impact device compressing the foam 
similar to how the foam was compressed in FMVSS No. 213 sled tests 
with various test dummies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Figure 3 below shows that the ECE R.44 and NPACS foams were found 
to be stiffer than the vehicle fleet. The FMVSS No. 213 foam, tested on 
the standard seat assembly with a cover, is on the low end of the 
vehicle fleet rear seat stiffness.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.006

    Since the ECE R.44 and NPACS seat foam stiffness were found not to 
be representative of the current U.S. vehicle fleet (both quasi-static 
and dynamic stiffness), the agency developed a new seat cushion that 
would be representative. The foam used in the seat cushion was 
manufactured by The Woodbridge Group (Woodbridge),\40\ and is referred 
to as the ``NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion'' in this NPRM. The NHTSA-
Woodbridge seat cushion consists of the foam material covered by the 
cover used in test procedures of ECE R.44. The ECE R.44 cover material 
is a sun shade cloth made of poly-acrylate fiber with a specific mass 
of 290 (g/m\2\) and a lengthwise and breadthwise breaking strength of 
120 kg (264.5 lb) and 80 kg (176.3 lb), respectively.\41\ The dynamic 
force-deflection of the NHTSA-Woodbridge standard seat cushion is shown 
below in Figure 4. NHTSA tentatively concludes that the stiffness of 
the NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion is satisfactorily representative of 
the average seat cushion stiffness found in the vehicle fleet (grey 
lines).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ The Woodbridge Group is a supplier of automotive seat foam, 
http://www.woodbridgegroup.com.
    \41\ The properties of this new seat cushion would be fully 
specified in a drawing package accompanying this document to enable 
interested parties to manufacture this seat cushion.

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

[[Page 69397]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.007

    To simplify procurement of the desired seat cushion foam, Table 1 
below sets forth characteristics of the NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion 
foam as determined by the test methods specified in ASTM D-3574-03, 
``Standard test methods for flexible cellular materials--slab, bonded, 
and molded urethane foam.'' ``IFD'' refers to the indentation force-
deflection (IFD) test, which measures the force required for 25 
percent, 50 percent, and 65 percent deflection of the entire product 
sample.\42\ The compression force-deflection (CFD) test measures the 
force required to compress a sample of the foam (50 mm (1.96 inch) by 
50 mm and 25 mm (0.98 inch) thickness) by 50 percent. Further details 
of seat cushion characteristics are available in the drawings that are 
in the docket for this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ Foam products are typically characterized by their IFD and 
density values rather than by their dynamic performance.

      Table 1--Stiffness of the NHTSA-Woodbridge Seat Cushion Foam
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Foam characteristics
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Density................................  47 kg/m\3\ (2.9 lb/ft\3\).
IFD (25% deflection)...................  237 Newton (N) (53.2 lb).
IFD (50% deflection)...................  440 Newton (N) (99 lb).
IFD (65% deflection)...................  724 Newton (N) (162.7 lb).
CFD (50% compression)..................  6.6 kPa (137.8 lb/ft\2\).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Thickness of the Bottom Seat Cushion
    NHTSA tentatively concludes that the bottom seat cushion foam 
should be 101.6 mm (4-inches) thick. A 101.6 mm (4-inch) thickness 
would be representative of the seat cushions on real world vehicles. 
The Vehicle Rear Seat Study found an average seat pan cushion thickness 
for both outboard and center seating positions of 90 mm (3.5 inches) 
with a standard deviation of 40 mm (1.5 inches), measured at the 
centerline of the seating position.\43\ A 101.6 mm (4 inch) seat 
cushion foam thickness for the seat pan also has the advantage of 
simplifying procurement of the foam since foam standard specifications, 
such as IFD, are provided by the manufacturer in 101.6 mm (4 inches) 
samples, as specified in test method B1 of ASTM D3574. Thus, specifying 
a 101.6 mm (4 inch) foam thickness would streamline compliance testing 
because foam of that size would be relatively simple to procure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ The current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly seat pan cushion 
has a thickness of 152.4 mm (6 inch).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

iii. The Foam Is Suitable for Use in the Standard's Dynamic Test
    The NHTSA-Woodbridge foam not only would be representative of foam 
in real world vehicles, it also appears suitable for use in the FMVSS 
No. 213 compliance test. One concern about any foam used on the 
standard seat assembly is whether the foam would ``bottom out'' (fully 
compress) on to the rigid backing during the demanding conditions of 
the sled test. The current soft FMVSS No. 213 seat cushion has a 
tendency to bottom out in tests of

[[Page 69398]]

forward-facing CRSs using the heavier test dummies specified in FMVSS 
No. 213 (Hybrid III 6-year-old (HIII-6YO) and Hybrid III 10-year-old 
(HIII-10YO) child dummies).
    The Agency conducted FMVSS No. 213-type sled tests to evaluate 
whether the NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushion would bottom out when tested 
in a severe impact test (35 g at 56.3 kilometers per hour (km/h) or 35 
mph) using heavy dummies restrained in a heavy CRS. NHTSA used two 
samples of NHTSA-Woodbridge seat cushions (101.6 mm (4 inches)) and the 
Graco Smart Seat in the test series. These pulse and test speeds were 
more severe than the test conditions specified in FMVSS No. 213.
    NHTSA selected the Graco Smart Seat for this testing because the 
CRS represents a heavy CRS relative to current CRSs in the market, 
weighing 9.5 kg (21 lb) without its base and 14.9 kg (33 lb) with its 
base (the base is used in rear-facing and forward-facing modes). The 
CRS was tested in rear-facing and forward-facing modes (with the base) 
using a HIII-3YO dummy and HIII-6YO dummy, and tested in the belt-
positioning booster seat mode (without the base) using a HIII-6YO and 
HIII-10YO.
    In our tests, NHTSA considered the seat cushion to have bottomed 
out along the front edge if the seat cushion displacement exceeded 96.5 
mm (3.8 inches). Seat cushion displacement at the front edge of the 
seat was measured by video analysis.\44\ Cushion displacement was not 
measured in the tests with rear-facing CRSs as the high rotation of the 
CRS did not allow for an accurate measurement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ ``Evaluation of Seat Foams for the FMVSS No. 213 Test 
Bench,'' June 2016, supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Test results are shown in Table 2 below. The NHTSA-Woodbridge seat 
cushion did not bottom out in any of the tests, even when subjected to 
the severe test conditions and when using a heavy test dummy and a 
heavy CRS.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.008

iv. Thickness of the Seat Back Foam
    For the seat back cushion, NHTSA proposes to use the NHTSA-
Woodbridge seat cushion foam with a 50.8 mm (2 inch) thickness. A 50.8 
mm (2 inch) thickness would be representative of seat back cushions in 
the fleet. The Vehicle Rear Seat Study showed that the overall seat 
back cushion thickness for outboard and center seating positions was 76 
mm (3 inches) with a standard deviation of 29 mm (1.14 inches), 
measured at the centerline of the seating position. The proposed seat 
back cushion thickness of 50.8 mm (2 inches) is within 1 standard 
deviation of the average seat back cushion thickness in the vehicle 
fleet.
    Further, while NHTSA does not believe that the seat back cushion 
significantly affects a CRS's dynamic performance in the frontal sled 
test, the Agency recognizes that a seat back cushion on the thicker 
side could be a potential source of variability when testing CRSs with 
top tethers. When the tether is tightened, the back cushion can be 
compressed to varying degrees. Data do not indicate that differences in 
compression necessarily affect CRS

[[Page 69399]]

performance, but a 50.8 mm (2 inch) thick foam would reduce such 
differences and thus facilitate a more repeatable installation.
    The Agency notes also that specifying that the foam thickness is 
50.8 mm (2 inches) would streamline the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. 
Foam manufacturers readily produce foams in 101.6 mm (4 inch) sections. 
A 101.6 mm (4 inch) thick foam slab can be easily cut into two 50.8 mm 
(2 inch) pieces to be used for the seat back.
6. Summary of Seat Geometry Features
    Table 3 below shows a comparison of features of seating assemblies 
found in the vehicle fleet, and the proposed and current features of 
the FMVSS No. 213 test seat assembly.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.009

d. Seat Belt Anchorage Locations

    FMVSS No. 213 requires CRSs (other than belt-positioning booster 
seats) to meet the standard's performance requirements while attached 
with a 2-point belt (lap belt).\45\ In some tests, a top tether may be 
used to supplement the belt attachment. The current seat assembly has a 
2-point belt for testing CRSs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ Belt-positioning booster seats are currently tested with a 
3-point belt system, as these child restraint systems are designed 
for use with 3-point belts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To make FMVSS No. 213's standard seat assembly more representative 
of the vehicle fleet, the NPRM proposes replacing the 2-point belt with 
a 3-point belt. (This NPRM also proposes requiring CRSs to be tested 
under FMVSS No. 213 while attached to the standard seat assembly using 
the 3-point belt.) Three-point belts were first required in outboard 
rear seats of passenger vehicles starting in MY 1990 and in trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles (including passenger vans and SUVs) 
starting in MY 1992. Three-point belts in center rear seats were 
phased-in between September 1, 2005 and September 1, 2007. The on-the-
road passenger vehicle fleet is now predominantly comprised of vehicles 
with 3-point belts in all rear seating positions, and more and more 
vehicles will be so equipped in the near future. Therefore, to test 
CRSs with what will be the most common seat belt configuration in the 
vehicle fleet, the agency proposes to incorporate a 3-point belt in the 
proposed standard seat assembly.\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ Incorporating a 3-point belt on the standard seat assembly 
would harmonize FMVSS No. 213 with the counterpart Canadian 
regulation (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) No. 213, 
``Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seat Safety 
Regulations''). While the 3-point belt anchorage locations in the 
Canadian standard seat assembly are different than those in this 
proposal, Transport Canada is considering harmonizing its standard 
with NHTSA's proposed changes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA began its assessment of where the seat belt anchorages should 
be located on the updated FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly by 
considering anchor location requirements in FMVSS No. 210, ``Seat belt 
assembly anchorages.'' \47\ Figure 5 shows the side view of the 
proposed bench, the proposed location of the lap belt anchors and the 
FMVSS No. 210 corridor. This figure shows that the lap belt anchor 
locations on the proposed bench are within the FMVSS No. 210 corridor.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ FMVSS No. 210 specifies a location corridor for the lap 
belt anchorages which is between 30 and 75 degrees from the 
horizontal at the H-point.

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

[[Page 69400]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.010

    NHTSA also considered the data on real-world anchorage locations 
from the Vehicle Rear Seat Study. Table 4 below shows the average 
position along with the standard deviation of the lap and shoulder belt 
anchorages measured in the 24 vehicles surveyed. Measurements were made 
with respect to Point A of the SGMF. The table also shows similar 
measurements of the seat belt anchorage locations on the current FMVSS 
No. 213 standard seat assembly, the proposed seat assembly, along with 
those in ECE R.44 and NPACS.

[[Page 69401]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.011

    NHTSA also located the anchorages to avoid interference with the 
seat assembly structure in an FMVSS No. 213 compliance test. 
Interaction of the seat belt with the vehicle seat assembly, or the 
child restraint with a seat belt anchorage, could introduce variability 
in the test results. The shoulder belt anchor is located more rearward 
and higher than the average location from the vehicle survey to avoid 
interaction of the shoulder belt with the seat back cushion, and 
interaction of large high back boosters with the shoulder belt 
anchorage hardware. The lap belt anchors are located to be more 
rearward and lower than the average location from the vehicle survey, 
to avoid interaction of the seat belt and seat belt hardware with the 
seat cushion.
    Even with these adjustments, as shown in Table 4, supra, the fore/
aft, lateral, and vertical positions of the lap and shoulder belt 
anchorages relative to point A for the proposed seat assembly are 
within one standard deviation of the average values found in the 
vehicle survey.

e. Child Restraint Anchorage System Locations

    FMVSS No. 213 also requires CRSs to meet the standard's performance 
requirements while attached by way of a child restraint anchorage 
system (S5.3.2).\48\ In some tests, a top tether may be used to 
supplement the lower anchorage attachment (S6.1.2(a)(1)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ Some CRSs, such as belt-positioning seats and harnesses, 
are excluded from this requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The standard seat assembly of FMVSS No. 213 has a child restraint 
anchorage system consisting of two lower anchor bars and a top tether 
anchor. The child restraint anchorage system is configured as specified 
by FMVSS No. 225, ``Child restraint anchorage systems,'' for systems 
installed on vehicles. FMVSS No. 225 requires lower anchors to be 280 
mm (11 inches) apart and have specific anchor geometry.
    In the Vehicle Rear Seat Study NHTSA measured the location of the 
lower anchor and the tether anchor in the vehicles. Table 5 below shows 
the location of the lower anchors and the tether anchor from Point A of 
the SGMF in the 24-vehicle survey, and that of the proposed FMVSS No. 
213 seat assembly. The lower anchors of the proposed standard seat 
assembly have a 280 mm (11 inch) lateral spacing as specified in FMVSS 
No. 225. Each lower anchor metal bar is 37 mm (1.45 inches) long.
    The location of the lower anchorages selected for the proposed seat 
assembly is slightly lower than the average location in the vehicle 
survey.\49\ NHTSA located the anchorages slightly lower because 
anchorages positioned higher may cause some CRS attachments to 
interfere with the seat back cushion. Also, the Agency was concerned 
that CRSs designed with rigid attachments (that attach to the lower 
anchor bars without use of webbing) may adopt an incorrect installation 
angle when the bars are higher.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ The vertical location of the lower anchors in the proposed 
seat assembly is just 2 mm lower than one standard deviation below 
the average vertical location of lower anchors in the vehicle fleet.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA also chose an anchorage location more forward (closer to the 
seat bight) than the average from the Vehicle Rear Seat Study. The more 
forward location was selected to make it easier to install the CRS on 
the seat assembly in a compliance test, and to measure the tension in 
the belt webbing used for the lower anchorage attachment. Further, 
NHTSA anticipates that lower anchorages will likely be more forward 
than in current vehicles if future vehicles employ the design concepts 
discussed in NHTSA's 2015 MAP-21 NPRM, supra, to improve the ease-of-
use of child restraint anchorage systems.\50\ Thus, while the proposed

[[Page 69402]]

lower anchorage location in the aft direction is not within one 
standard deviation of the average in the current vehicle fleet, NHTSA 
believes that the fleet will be changing. The proposed aft location of 
lower anchors for the upgraded standard seat would be representative of 
the average future vehicle fleet.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ NPRM to improve the ease-of-use of child restraint 
anchorage systems. 80 FR 3744, January 23, 2015. Docket No. NHTSA-
2014-0123. The NPRM proposes to require vehicle manufacturers to 
place the anchorages within 2 centimeters from the seat bight.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA also used the Vehicle Rear Seat Study to position the tether 
anchorage on the new standard seat assembly. While FMVSS No. 225 
permits the tether anchorage to be in a wide area in the vehicle, the 
study found that the tether anchorages are mostly centered along the 
designated seating position (DSP) centerline. Also, the anchorages are 
found in two main areas: The seat back at different heights (mainly in 
SUVs, hatchbacks, vans, and trucks) and the package shelf (mainly in 
sedans and coupe type vehicles). In a few vehicles, the tether 
anchorage is on the rear wall (pickup trucks) or the roof. Based on 
sales volumes, the number of vehicles with tether anchorages in the 
package shelf is about the same as those with tether anchorages in the 
seat back.
    The Agency proposes to locate the tether anchorage in the seat back 
area. NHTSA believes that locating the anchorage on the seat back, 
rather than in a position representing the package shelf, results in a 
slightly more demanding test as anchoring a CRS to the former causes 
more tether strap webbing to be used than if the anchor were directly 
aft of and closer to the CRS. More webbing used in the test may 
slightly increase the likelihood that higher head excursions could 
result, as webbing has a natural tendency to elongate in the sled test.
    The location of the tether anchorage in the proposed standard seat 
assembly is within one standard deviation of the average found by the 
Vehicle Rear Seat Study as shown in Table 5.

Table 5--Lower Anchors and Tether Anchor Location From the 24-Vehicle Survey and Those in the Proposed FMVSS No.
                                           213 Standard Seat Assembly
                         [All measurements are in millimeters from point A of the SGMF]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                Average from     Proposed FMVSS
                                                                               vehicle survey        No. 213
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lower Anchors...............................  Aft...........................  100                 58
                                                                                            21
                                              Lateral.......................  137                140
                                                                                            29
                                              Vertical (-) Below point A....  -12                -38
                                                                                            24
Tether Anchors (Seat Back Position).........  Aft...........................  280                330
                                                                                            88
                                              Lateral.......................    0                  0
                                                                                            44
                                              Vertical (-) Below point A....  140                133
                                                                                           281
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Installing CRSs With a Type 2 Belt Rather Than a Type 1 Belt

    To drive continued effective CRS performance in today's vehicles, 
NHTSA proposes to require all CRSs to meet the performance requirements 
of FMVSS No. 213 while attached to the seat assembly with a Type 2 
(lap/shoulder) belt. Currently, CRSs are sled tested while attached 
with a Type 1 (lap) belt.\51\ With the prevalence of Type 2 belts in 
the rear seats of vehicles sold and on the road today, testing CRSs 
with the type of seat belt caregivers would be using better ensures the 
representativeness of the compliance test. Test data do not indicate 
any significant difference in performance in current child restraint 
designs when installed using a Type 1 versus a Type 2 belt.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ NHTSA is not changing FMVSS No. 213's requirement that 
covered CRSs must also meet the standard's performance requirements 
while attached using a child restraint anchorage system.
    \52\ See results of test numbers 8917, 8922, 8919, 8923, 8929 
and 8931 in Table 11 and test numbers 8917, 8922, 8919 and 8923 in 
Table 12 of this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Adopting a requirement that CRSs meet the standard when tested with 
a Type 2 belt would be consistent with Canada's CMVSS No. 213, supra. 
Since 2010, Transport Canada tests CRSs equipped with internal 
harnesses by installing them with a Type 2 belt.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ P.C. 2010-545 April 29, 2010. 2010-05-12 Canada Gazette 
Part II, Vol. 144, No. 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

V. Denial of Petition Regarding a Floor

    On January 28, 2011, Volvo petitioned NHTSA requesting that the 
Agency amend FMVSS No. 213 by: (1) Updating the seat cushion of the 
sled standard seat assembly; (2) allowing a lap/shoulder belt fastening 
in the test procedure; and (3) adding a floor to the sled fixture used 
in the compliance test procedure. Volvo suggests that these amendments 
would make FMVSS No. 213 more reflective of real-world conditions and 
facilitate ``rearward-facing child seating for as long as 
practicable.'' Volvo states that it offers add-on and built-in booster 
seats in the U.S., but does not offer child restraints for children 
under the age of 4 ``primarily because of the inherent problems in 
[FMVSS] No. 213 and in showing compliance with this standard for larger 
rearward-facing child restraints.''
    The requests of items (1) and (2) above are being met by this 
rulemaking. The request for adding a floor (item (3)) is denied. NHTSA 
discusses this request below.
    Volvo believes that the most effective way to fasten a rear-facing 
child restraint is to use the seat belts or the ISOFIX \54\ anchors 
together with a support leg extending down to the floor of the vehicle. 
Volvo states that this method of attachment has been available to Volvo 
and child restraint manufacturers in countries outside the U.S. for 
many years and has ``proven to be very practicable.'' Volvo states: 
``For the US, it is not, however, possible to certify this solution to 
FMVSS 213 since this standard does not offer a floor for the sled 
specified in the test procedure.'' Volvo states that ``the addition of 
the floor in the sled used in standard FMVSS 213 appears to be well 
justified since all cars in the modern car fleet would have a floor 
between the first and second rows of seats.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ ISOFIX is a system for connecting child restraint systems 
to vehicles which consists of two rigid anchorages in the vehicle, 
two corresponding rigid attachments on the child restraint system 
and a means to limit the pitch rotation of the child restraint 
system.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA is denying the request. The test parameters of the FMVSS No. 
213 sled test replicate the real-world vehicle features and crash 
factors that bear on a child restraint's performance in protecting a 
child in the real world. Included in those test parameters are the test 
seat assembly (seat geometry, seat

[[Page 69403]]

cushion characteristics), methods of child restraint attachment to the 
test seat assembly (lap belt, lap/shoulder belt, and child restraint 
anchorage system), the standard's limits on head excursion, the sled 
crash pulse, and the test velocity. The test parameters are also chosen 
and designed to reflect how child restraints are actually used in the 
real world. Thus, as examples, the standard requires a universal and 
standardized means of attaching CRSs to reflect that CRS are used 
interchangeably in all models of vehicles. The standard's test 
parameters include a test in which the CRS is installed without 
attaching a tether, because non-use of a top tether is prevalent.
    Studies from NHTSA's National Child Restraint Use Special Study 
(NCRUSS),\55\ Safe Kids,\56\ and the Insurance Institute for Highway 
Safety (IIHS) \57\ have shown that tether use is still low in the 
field. NCRUSS found that the overall tether use was 42 percent. Safe 
Kids found that overall tether usage in forward-facing CRSs with 
internal harnesses was only 29 percent. Tether use was 45 percent when 
the CRS was attached with lower anchorages and 15 percent when the CRS 
was attached with seat belts. IIHS researchers analyzed data from 479 
vehicle observations and found that the top tether was used only 56 
percent of the time. With prevalent tether nonuse in the field, NHTSA 
requires forward-facing CRSs to meet minimum performance requirements 
while untethered in an FMVSS No. 213 compliance test.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ National Child Restraint Use Special Study, DOT HS 811 679, 
https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812142. 
NCRUSS is a large-scale nationally-representative survey that 
involves both an inspection of the child passenger's restraint 
system by a certified child passenger safety technician and a 
detailed interview of the driver. The survey collected information 
on drivers and on child passengers ages 0-8 years between June and 
August 2011.
    \56\ ``A Look Inside American Family Vehicles 2009-2010,'' Safe 
Kids USA, September 2011. (http://www.safekids.org/assets/docs/safety-basics/safety-tips-by-risk-area/sk-car-seat-report-2011.pdf.) 
The study was based on 79,000 observations from ``car seat check'' 
events and appointments that took place between October 1, 2009 and 
September 30, 2010.
    \57\ Eichelberger, A. H., Decina, L.E., Jermakian, J. S., 
McCartt, A. T., ``Use of top tether with forward facing child 
restraints: Observations and driver interviews,'' IIHS, April 2013. 
IIHS surveyed and collected data at roughly 50 suburban sites near 
Fredericksburg, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Seattle, WA, and Washington, 
DC Shopping centers, recreation facilities, child-care centers, car 
seat checkpoints and healthcare facilities were among the locations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A generic floor would serve no purpose in the FMVSS No. 213 
compliance test. FMVSS No. 213 standardizes the method of attachment to 
the vehicle seat and requires CRSs to meet the FMVSS No. 213's dynamic 
performance requirements when attached to the test seat assembly using 
the standardized attachments (seat belt assembly; child restraint 
anchorage system). Standardization increases the likelihood of correct 
installation of child restraints, as consumers do not need to learn 
novel ways of installing child restraints each time a new child 
restraint is used. Standardization also ensures that the minimum level 
of protection provided by FMVSS No. 213 will be provided by each child 
restraint installed in every vehicle. The standardized attachment does 
not involve the vehicle floor. The presence of a floor structure on the 
FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly is not a matter of significance for the 
standard's compliance test as CRSs are tested today.
    In asking for a floor, Volvo impliedly asks that CRSs should be 
permitted to use a ``support leg'' in the test to meet the minimum 
performance requirements of the standard. The Agency denies this 
request for several reasons. FMVSS No. 213 is written to prevent 
vehicle-specific CRSs, since the risk of misuse in a vehicle for which 
a CRS is not designed is high in this country. This is a concern when 
the leg is needed to meet the minimum performance requirements of the 
standard.\58\ Consumers might use the CRS in vehicles that may not be 
compatible with the use of a leg; using the CRS in a vehicle whose 
floor differs from the Volvo floor could have negative safety 
consequences when the floor attachment is needed to meet the minimum 
performance requirements of the standard. Or, consumers may not 
properly use a support leg. They might forget to use it, or might not 
attach it correctly to the vehicle floor. Data from NHTSA's NCRUSS and 
IIHS, discussed above, show that there already exists a problem of 
consumers not using the CRS top tether. Volvo did not provide any 
information showing that consumers in this country would use the leg 
correctly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ FMVSS No. 213 does not prohibit Volvo or any other 
manufacturer from providing a support leg as long as the child 
restraint meets the standard's minimum performance levels without 
the support leg.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA also notes that Volvo did not suggest how the floor should be 
specified on the standard seat assembly. Under the FMVSSs, the strength 
and configuration of the vehicle's belt system and child restraint 
anchorage system are standardized to ensure the vehicle attachments are 
sufficient to withstand the occupied CRS's dynamic loads during a 
crash. The attachment strategies specified in the FMVSSs do not involve 
compressive loading to the vehicle floor, such as resulting from a 
support leg of a CRS. The FMVSSs also have no performance requirements 
for the vehicle floor to ensure stable installation of a support leg 
and sufficient rigor to withstand loading from a leg during a crash. 
NHTSA is concerned that the floor of some vehicles, such as those with 
a storage compartment under the seat, may not be strong enough to 
withstand the dynamic loads from a support leg. The petitioner's 
request to allow the floor to contribute to the performance of the CRS 
introduces unacceptable uncertainty that the CRS would provide the 
requisite minimum protection in the real world.
    By stating that only the standardized means of attachment will be 
used in the compliance test, FMVSS No. 213 ensures that the performance 
of the child restraint in providing the minimum level of safety 
mandated by the standard is not dependent on a supplementary device 
that is suitable for only certain vehicle makes and models and that may 
or may not be used by the consumer. Since a support leg is not used in 
the standard's compliance test, a floor on the seat assembly is 
unnecessary. Accordingly, NHTSA denies the request to add a floor to 
the sled used in the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test.

VI. No Safety Need to Increase Crash Pulse

a. Introduction

    As part of NHTSA's effort to ensure FMVSS No. 213 continues to 
drive effective CRS performance in today's vehicle environment, the 
Agency examined the sufficiency of the FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration 
pulse and 48 km/h (30 mph) test velocity used in compliance testing. 
NHTSA has evaluated this aspect of the test procedure in each of the 
Agency's recurring retrospective reviews of the standard.
    In 2003, NHTSA considered increasing the severity of FMVSS No. 
213's sled acceleration pulse but decided against such a change. 
Instead, the Agency redesigned the pulse and established a corridor 
around it to allow the Agency to conduct compliance tests at velocities 
closer to the 48 km/h (30 mph) velocity specified in the standard.\59\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ Under FMVSS No. 213 (S6.1.1(b)(1)), the dynamic test is at 
a velocity change of 48 km/h (30 mph) ``with the acceleration of the 
test platform entirely within the curve shown in . . . Figure 2A.''

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

[[Page 69404]]

    In that 2003 rulemaking proceeding, NHTSA requested comment on the 
corridor for the acceleration pulse and on the severity of the crash 
pulse. Commenters from all segments of the child passenger safety 
community were almost unanimous opposing an increase in the severity of 
the crash pulse. Commenters were concerned that an increase in the 
severity of the pulse would lead to higher costs and reduced usability 
of child restraints with minimal or no increase in benefits.\60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ To illustrate, SafetyBeltSafe commented that a velocity 
increase would make products more expensive and would not 
significantly improve CRS performance in the real world. The 
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) 
stated that its review of NASS data files indicated that a 48 km/h 
(30 mph) change in velocity was more severe than at least 98 percent 
of frontal impact crashes involving children nationwide. UMTRI was 
concerned that increasing the velocity of the test is not likely to 
increase safety, but will increase consumer cost of CRSs and may 
lead to CRS designs that could make the restraints less effective or 
more easily misused at lower severity crashes, which occur much more 
frequently. IIHS stated that its review of NASS cases showed that 
CRSs designed to pass the current 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test are 
providing very good protection to children in frontal crashes and 
that there was no evidence that designing CRSs to withstand higher 
crash forces could have prevented or mitigated any of the serious or 
fatal injuries in the reviewed NASS cases. The only commenter 
supporting an increase in the FMVSS No. 213 pulse was ARCCA Inc., 
which believed that the standard's pulse led to test velocities that 
were less severe than 48 km/h (30 mph) rigid barrier vehicle crash 
test acceleration pulses. (Docket No. NHTSA-2002-11707.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After reviewing the comments and other factors, NHTSA decided not 
to increase the severity of the sled acceleration pulse. The Agency 
determined that increasing the severity could necessitate the redesign 
of many CRSs and increase costs of CRSs without a commensurate safety 
benefit. In that rulemaking, the Agency determined that the FMVSS No. 
213 sled acceleration pulse was severe, similar to rigid barrier crash 
test accelerations of SUVs and trucks. Its severity was appropriately 
high to ensure that CRSs would maintain their structural integrity in 
just about all crashes involving children, and limit forces to the 
child's head, neck, and torso to reasonable levels, no matter what 
vehicle the child is in.
    In preparing this NPRM, NHTSA again investigated the sufficiency of 
the FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse, particularly vis-[agrave]-
vis an evolving occupant protection environment. Since the 2003 final 
rule, the stringency of the belted test of FMVSS No. 208, ``Occupant 
crash protection,'' was increased from 48 km/h (30 mph) to 56 km/h (35 
mph),\61\ which raised the question whether FMVSS No. 213's frontal 
test speed should be increased as well. In addition, more vehicles have 
become stiffer and/or smaller with high G crash acceleration pulses, 
and new kinds of CRSs have emerged for older and heavier children. With 
those developments in mind, NHTSA reevaluated the FMVSS No. 213 sled 
acceleration pulse and test velocity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ FMVSS No. 208 sets forth vehicle frontal crash tests for 
evaluating occupant protection for adult passengers. Examples of 
vehicle countermeasures used to meet the requirements include lap/
shoulder seat belts, belt tensioning devices, frontal head and 
thorax air bag systems, improved passenger compartment integrity and 
vehicle front-end crumple zones.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guiding Principles
    As stated earlier in this preamble, real world data show CRSs to be 
highly effective in reducing fatalities and injuries in motor vehicle 
crashes. NHTSA estimates that for children less than 1 year old, a CRS 
can reduce the risk of fatality by 71 percent when used in a passenger 
car and by 58 percent when used in a pickup truck, van, or SUV (light 
truck). Child restraint effectiveness for children between the ages 1 
to 4 is 54 percent in passenger cars and 59 percent in light 
trucks.\62\ These effectiveness estimates would be further enhanced if 
the misuse rate of CRSs is reduced.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ Traffic Safety Facts--Children 2013 Data. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812154. Last 
accessed on August 23, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given that CRSs are already highly effective, the Agency carefully 
considers the unintended impacts of any rulemaking purporting to 
enhance CRS safety. Any enhancement that would markedly raise the price 
of the restraints could potentially have an adverse effect on their 
sales. The net effect on safety could be negative if the effect of 
sales losses exceeds the benefit of the improved performance of the 
restraints that are purchased. In addition, NHTSA also considers the 
effects of improved performance on the ease of using child restraints. 
If the use of CRSs becomes overly complex or unwieldy, the dual 
problems of misuse and nonuse of CRSs could be exacerbated. Thus, in 
considering the safety impacts of its efforts on FMVSS No. 213, the 
agency weighs those improvements against impacts on the price of 
restraints and CRS ease-of-use.
    With these guiding principles in mind, the agency evaluated the 
sufficiency of the current FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse and 
test velocity. NHTSA analyzed real world crash data, the regulations of 
other countries, and sled test data from tests the Agency conducted on 
the performance of CRSs when tested to different crash test speeds and 
sled acceleration pulses.

b. Safety Need--Crash Data Analysis

    To learn more about the crash speeds of frontal crashes in which 
children are involved and to compare these to crashes involving older 
occupants, NHTSA analyzed the NASS-CDS data files for years 2008 to 
2012 to determine the change in velocity distribution of non-rollover 
frontal crashes. During this 5-year period, there were 754 restrained 
children 12 years old (12-YO) and younger who were occupants of light 
passenger vehicles involved in non-rollover frontal crashes with a 
known (estimated) change in velocity. During this same 5-year period, 
there were 7,749 older occupants (restrained occupants older than 12 
years of age) who were occupants of light passenger vehicles involved 
in non-rollover frontal crashes with a known (estimated) change in 
velocity.
    The analysis found that 99.47 percent of restrained children 12-YO 
and younger were involved in frontal crashes of speeds of 48 km/h (30 
mph) or less, and 99.57 percent of such children were involved in 
frontal crashes of speeds of 56 km/h (35 mph) or less. In comparison, 
for older restrained occupants involved in frontal crashes, 98.5 
percent and 99.27 percent were in crashes of speeds of 48 km/h (30 mph) 
or less and 56 km/h (35 mph) or less, respectively (Table 6).

  Table 6--Change in velocity in towaway, non rollover, frontal crashes
                  with known change in velocity values
                         [NASS-CDS 2008-2012] *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     [Delta]V   [Delta]V
                                                     <=30 mph   <=35 mph
                                                       (%)        (%)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Restrained Children (0-12 yrs)....................      99.47      99.57
Other Restrained Occupants........................       98.5      99.27
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* unweighted data (754 restrained children 0-12 years old, 7,749 others)

    These data indicate that the 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test in FMVSS 
No. 213 ensures that CRSs are exposed to a crash condition which is at 
least as severe as 99.47 percent of such real-world incidents involving 
restrained children ages 0 to 12-YO, and that an increase in test speed 
to 56.3 km/h (35 mph) will only marginally increase the crashes covered 
by the standard. In contrast,

[[Page 69405]]

98.5 and 99.27 percent of older restrained occupants are involved in 
crashes with a change in velocity up to 48 km/h (30 mph) and 56.3 km/h 
(35 mph), respectively. The fraction of restrained children with change 
in velocity over 48 km/h (30 mph) (0.53 percent) is lower than that for 
older restrained occupants (1.5 percent), and this difference between 
the two groups is statistically significant.\63\ Likewise, the estimate 
for the fraction of restrained children with change in velocity over 56 
km/h (35 mph) (0.43 percent) is lower than that for older occupants 
(0.73 percent), and this difference between the two groups is 
statistically significant.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ The analysis was conducted with unweighted data assuming 
random sample selection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These results reveal that restrained children are more involved in 
lower-severity crashes than older occupants. The percentage of frontal 
crashes of restrained children covered by the 48 km/h (30 mph) sled 
test (99.47 percent) is greater than the percentage of frontal crashes 
of older occupants (99.27 percent) covered by the 56 km/h (35 mph) 
vehicle crash test. The data show that the current FMVSS No. 213 48 km/
h (30 mph) sled test velocity does not equate to a diminished level of 
safety for restrained children as compared to older vehicle occupants. 
In fact, it could be argued that FMVSS No. 213's 48 km/h (30 mph) test 
provides a higher degree of protection than the 56 km/h (35 mph) test 
of FMVSS No. 208 in terms of the breadth of the crashes they cover 
involving the relevant restrained population.
c. Hard Copy Review of Case Files
    While a 56 km/h (35 mph) change in velocity would only cover an 
additional 0.1 percent of the crashes involving restrained children, 
NHTSA undertook a review of case files to determine whether a change in 
velocity could have possibly prevented fatal or serious injury to 
children involved in the additional 0.1 percent of crashes. Among 
children 0-12 YO restrained by CRSs in passenger vehicles, about 72 are 
killed in crashes annually and about 634 sustain AIS 2+ injury.\64\ To 
better understand the reason for injuries and fatalities among CRS-
restrained children in frontal crashes, the agency reviewed all NASS-
CDS and Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) \65\ data 
files for the years 2003 to 2013 for instances in which children 12-YO 
and younger in CRSs \66\ in rear seats of light passenger vehicles 
sustained AIS 3+ injuries in frontal crashes without rollover. Only 
those cases in which the change in velocity exceeded 40 km/h (25 mph) 
were considered to eliminate low severity impacts where injuries were 
likely due to factors such as the child being improperly restrained, or 
cases where information was unavailable to assess crash severity and 
cause of injury.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ NASS-CDS data file 2005-2009, 79 FR 4577.
    \65\ NHTSA's Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network 
(CIREN) combines data collection with professional multidisciplinary 
analysis of medical and engineering evidence to determine injury 
causation in every crash investigation conducted.
    \66\ Children in CRSs include children that may or may not be 
restrained by the internal harness of a CRS or the seat belt when 
using a booster seat.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There were 18 cases that met these selection criteria for the years 
2003-2013. Table 7 shows a summary of the case review of the 18 cases.

  Table 7--NASS-CDS & CIREN (2003-2013) Case Review: Children 12-YO and
    Younger Restrained in CRSs With AIS 3+ Injuries in Frontal Impact
Without Rollover With a Change in Velocity Greater Than 40 km/h (25 mph)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Cause of AIS 3+ Injuries               Total        Percentage
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gross CRS Misuse........................               7              39
Exceedingly Severe......................               4              22
Intrusion of the Front Seat Back........               3              17
Cargo intrusion.........................               1               6
Bracing.................................               1               6
Could not be determined.................               2              11
                                         -------------------------------
    Total...............................              18             100
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The most frequent cause of AIS 3+ injury to children was gross CRS 
misuse. Gross CRS misuse included children restrained in a CRS intended 
for larger/heavier children, infant seat with the carrying handle 
improperly stowed, booster seats with only the lap belt used to 
restrain the child, and booster seat with no seat belt used. The second 
most frequent cause of AIS 3+ injury to CRS-restrained children was 
that the crash was exceedingly severe (beyond the severity of a 56 km/h 
(35 mph) frontal crash).
    In three cases, the front seat back intruded into the restrained 
child's occupant space resulting in head or leg injuries. In one case, 
the child's right humerus was fractured due to intrusion of cargo from 
the trunk of the vehicle. In another case, the child's arms were braced 
against the front seat back before the impact and the child sustained 
arm fractures during the crash. The cause for injury in the remaining 
two cases could not be determined due to lack of evidence and/or 
missing or unknown data.
    This hard copy case review indicates that AIS 3+ injuries to CRS-
restrained children in frontal crashes are due to CRS misuse (39 
percent), excessively severe crashes (beyond 56 km/h (35 mph) crash 
severity) (22 percent), and other factors unrelated to crash severity 
or CRS misuse. There is no indication that a CRS designed to meet a 56 
km/h (35 mph) FMVSS No. 213 compliance test would have prevented any of 
these injuries.
    The findings from the hard copy review are in accordance with the 
findings from NHTSA's National Child Restraint Use Special Study 
(NCRUSS) that shows that car seat and booster seat misuse in the field 
is 46 percent, and that CRS misuse is a more frequent causal factor for 
AIS 3+ injury to restrained children than the severity of the 
crash.\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ ``Findings of the National Child Restraint Use Special 
Study (NCRUSS),'' DOT HS 812 142. May 2015. NCRUSS is a large-scale 
nationally-representative survey that involves both an inspection of 
the child passenger's restraint system by a technician and a 
detailed interview of the driver. The survey collected information 
on drivers and their child passengers of ages 0-8 years between June 
and August 2011. NCRUSS data were collected at 24 primary sampling 
units (PSUs) across the country. The PSUs were previously 
established from a separate ongoing data collection effort, the 
National Automotive Sampling System (NASS). The PSUs are defined 
geographically, similar to cities or counties. The PSUs were 
selected to cover urban, rural, and suburban environments and are 
located in 17 different States.

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

[[Page 69406]]

d. Globally, All Regulations Use a 30 MPH Test Speed

    In considering the sufficiency of the FMVSS No. 213 test speed, 
NHTSA examined the regulations for child restraint systems that are 
implemented in other countries. The review found that the frontal sled 
tests in all the CRS standards simulate a 48-50 km/h (30--31.0 mph) 
crash (see Table 8).

               Table 8--Test Speed of Frontal Sled Tests in CRS Standards From Different Countries
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Standard                               Type of test             Speed km/h       Speed mph
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UNECE R.44 \68\& R.129 \69\ (Europe)...........  Sled Test......................              50            31.0
Australia AS 1754..............................  Sled Test......................              49            30.4
FMVSS/Canadian MVSS No. 213....................  Sled Test......................            48.2            30.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At the same time, the crash pulse used in FMVSS No. 213 appears 
more severe than that of the European and Australian regulations. 
Generally, for a given crash speed, vehicle crash acceleration pulses 
with higher peak acceleration, higher initial rise rate, and shorter 
duration are more severe and demanding on restraint systems. The peak 
acceleration of the FMVSS No. 213 sled pulse is comparable to that of 
the sled pulses used in other countries. The FMVSS No. 213 sled pulse 
corridor has a very rapid rise reaching peak acceleration much sooner 
than the ECE R.44/R.129 or the Australian regulations. The rapid 
initial rise in acceleration and the short duration of the FMVSS No. 
213 acceleration pulse is also characteristic of more recent smaller 
passenger car models with stiff front-ends in the U.S. fleet. The 
duration of the FMVSS No. 213 pulse and the Australian regulation are 
comparable but much shorter than the ECE R.44/R.129. The Canadian 
standard (CMVSS No. 213) uses the same sled acceleration pulse corridor 
as that specified in FMVSS No. 213.
    Figure 6 shows the frontal sled pulses used in FMVSS/CMVSS No. 213, 
UNECE R44/R129 and the Australian regulations.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.012

e. Sled Testing of CRSs

    NHTSA tested different kinds of CRSs in FMVSS No. 213-type sled 
tests at 56.3 km/h (35 mph) and 48 km/h (30 mph) change of velocities. 
The Agency tested the CRSs on a sled assembly comprising the current 
FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly frame \70\ and the NHTSA-
Woodbridge seat cushion. To assess how CRSs would perform when 
subjected to a 56 km/h (35 mph) pulse, the agency developed five pulses 
using passenger vehicle crash pulses of vehicles tested to the 56 km/h 
(35 mph) frontal barrier test of NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program 
(NCAP).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \68\ Japan, Korea, and China adopted ECE R.44 or a regulation 
based on the ECE R.44.
    \69\ Regulation No. 129--Enhanced Child Restraint Systems 
(ECRS). Since July 2013, CRSs in Europe (and other countries) can be 
approved in accordance with the new UN Regulation No. 129 for CRSs, 
also known as ``I-Size Regulation.'' R.129 requires all children 
under 15 months to be transported rear facing, adds requirement for 
vehicle CRS compatibility, and has a dynamic test for side impact 
protection. In contrast, ECE.R44 categorizes CRSs by weight groups 
and does not have a side impact test.
    \70\ The proposed test bench frame was not ready at the time the 
56 km/h (35 mph) tests were performed. However, since the proposed 
seat assembly geometry is not significantly different from the 
current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly geometry, NHTSA believes the 
results are comparable to a test performed in the proposed upgraded 
seat assembly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 9 below shows the velocity, crash pulse duration, and peak

[[Page 69407]]

acceleration for each of the five sled acceleration pulses. The first 
row in Table 9 sets forth the characteristics of the current FMVSS No. 
213 sled acceleration pulse, and the last row shows the characteristics 
of the average acceleration pulse of MY 2012 passenger vehicles in the 
56 km/h (35 mph) NCAP frontal crash test. Figure 7 shows the sled 
acceleration pulse profiles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ Average crash acceleration time histories from MY 2012 
passenger vehicles in NCAP frontal crash tests.

                          Table 9--Sled and Vehicle Acceleration Pulse Characteristics
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Pulse                          Velocity (mph)     Duration (ms)     Peak acceleration (G)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
213..............................................               29.7                 81                     23.0
A................................................               34.3                 91                     33.5
B................................................               35.0                 95                     31.5
C................................................          34.3-34.6            101-103                29.0-29.3
D................................................          34.4-35.0            100-105                26.9-29.0
E................................................          34.5-34.8                111                25.6-25.8
Average NCAP \71\................................               35.0                104                     32.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                         [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.013
                                                                                         
    In the 2003 final rule (supra),\72\ the Agency identified factors 
of the acceleration pulse associated with crash severity: change in 
velocity, peak acceleration, and acceleration pulse duration. 
Generally, for the same change in velocity, acceleration pulses of 
higher peak acceleration and shorter duration are higher in crash 
severity. The 2003 final rule also identified a rapid rise in initial 
acceleration to be associated with higher crash severity. Applying 
these criteria to the acceleration pulses shown in Table 9 and Figure 
7, pulse A could be the most severe and E the least severe. Although 
the current FMVSS No. 213 acceleration pulse (see Figure 7) has lower 
peak Gs and a lower change in velocity than the other 5 sled 
acceleration pulses (A through E), the FMVSS No. 213 pulse is 
reasonably severe because of the rapid rise in acceleration in the 
initial portion of the pulse (for comparison, see acceleration pulses D 
and E).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ 68 FR 37640.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The sled acceleration pulses A, B, and C have a pulse shape and 
peak acceleration level similar to the 2012 NCAP average crash pulse. 
They have a sharp decline to approximately 17g then a gradual decline 
to approximately 35 g. Sled acceleration pulses D and E have a smoother 
sinusoidal shape with lower peak acceleration levels.
Forward-Facing CRSs
    NHTSA tested three forward-facing CRSs equipped with internal 
harnesses on the sled using the five different 56.3 km/h (35 mph) sled 
pulses and the FMVSS No. 213 48 km/h (30 mph) pulse and the HIII-3YO 
and HIII-6YO dummies. The CRSs were attached to the standard seat 
assembly using the child restraint anchorage system (``LATCH'' lower 
anchors and tether).
    Test results showed the HIII-6YO dummy exhibiting unrepresentative 
kinematics during the test. In some tests, severe head-to-knee contact 
occurred due to the legs of the dummy rotating upwards during the test. 
The

[[Page 69408]]

Agency deemed this kinematic to be unrepresentative as it is unlikely 
that the legs of a 6YO child in a vehicle would rotate upwards; the 
front seat structure would impede such rotation. (The Agency attempted 
to retest the CRSs with the legs of the HIII-6YO tied to the seat 
assembly, but sometimes this did not prevent the legs from rotating 
upwards.)
    The Radian 65 model was tested with pulse E (with and without legs 
restrained) and in both tests the HIII-6YO dummy head and chest injury 
measures exceeded the allowable threshold levels (see Table 10). The 
Radian 65 model was also tested with pulse D and the dummy's chest 
acceleration exceeded threshold levels while HIC was barely within the 
threshold level (98.1 percent of 1,000 threshold level). There was 
chin-to-chest contact for the HIII-6YO dummy in the tests with the 
Radian 65 that resulted in high head and chest injury measures.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.014

    The Graco MyRide 65 was tested in 4 pulse types (A, C, D, and E) 
with the HIII-6YO dummy. In tests with pulses A, C, and D, the dummy's 
HIC value exceeded the injury threshold level of 1,000 due to head-to-
knee contact. When tested with the HIII-6YO dummy with pulse E, HIC and 
chest acceleration threshold levels were met, but HIC reached 993 (99.3 
percent of 1,000 injury threshold). On average, in sled tests of the 
Graco MyRide 65, HIC values were 72 percent greater, chest acceleration 
were 16 percent higher, head excursions were 24 percent higher,

[[Page 69409]]

and knee excursions were 32 percent higher in tests with the 56 km/h 
(35 mph) sled pulses than in the corresponding tests with the FMVSS No. 
213 sled pulse.
    The Graco ComfortSport CRS was tested using the HIII-3YO dummy with 
acceleration pulses B, C, and D. The CRS met the HIC and chest 
acceleration performance criteria; however, HIC and head excursions 
were at elevated levels near the performance limits. HIC values were on 
average 65 percent greater and head excursions were 30 percent higher 
in tests with the 56 km/h (35 mph) sled pulses than in the 
corresponding tests with the FMVSS No. 213 sled pulse.
Rear-Facing and Booster Seats
    NHTSA tested two rear-facing CRSs with the current FMVSS No. 213 
acceleration and acceleration pulse C, using the HIII-3YO and CRABI-
12MO dummies. Results showed no performance measures exceeding their 
corresponding threshold levels. However, HIC (953) was very close to 
the threshold value in the test with the infant carrier (Peg Perego 
Viaggio) with the CRABI-12MO dummy.
    NHTSA also conducted nine tests of the Evenflo Big Kid High Back 
Booster Seat with pulses A, B, C, D, and E, and three tests of the 
Evenflo Big Kid Backless Booster seat with pulses D and E. This test 
series used the HIII-6YO and HIII-10YO dummies. All the performance 
measures were within threshold levels in these tests. However, HIC was 
about 52 percent higher in tests with the 56 km/h sled pulse compared 
to the current FMVSS No. 213 sled acceleration pulse.
Summary of Sled Test Data
    The tests conducted at 48.3 km/h (30 mph) and 56.3 km/h (35 mph) 
indicate that increasing the test speed to 56.3 km/h (35 mph):
     Results in a high rate of failures of forward-facing CRSs 
tested with the HIII-6YO test dummy. This suggests that most forward-
facing CRSs that are subject to testing with the HIII-6YO dummy would 
need redesigning to meet HIC and chest acceleration performance 
criteria. Alternatively, CRS manufacturers might choose not to sell 
forward-facing CRSs that are subject to testing with the HIII-6YO 
dummy, i.e., CRSs recommended for use by children weighing over 18.2 kg 
(40 lb),\73\ which would reduce the availability of those CRSs to the 
public.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ The agency is unable to estimate the number of CRS models 
that would need redesign due to the limited nature of the agency's 
testing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Causes unrepresentative head-to-knee contacts that result 
in high HIC values in convertible CRSs tested in a forward-facing 
configuration with the HIII-6YO. Real world data indicate that while 
head-to-knee contacts may be present in the real world during a crash, 
they do not result in head injuries.
     Causes unrepresentative head-to-chest contact for the 
HIII-6YO dummy in forward-facing CRSs that result in high head and 
chest injury measures.
     Results in injury measures closer to the standard's limit 
in some rear-facing CRSs and booster seats. This suggests that some 
rear-facing CRSs and booster seats may need modification.

f. Agency Decision

    As discussed above, after reviewing real world crash data, 
regulations of other countries, and sled test data, the Agency has 
decided not to increase the test velocity of FMVSS No. 213 to 56.3 km/h 
(35 mph). To summarize, the reasons are as follows:
     CRSs are already highly effective in preventing injuries 
and fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. NASS-CDS data files show that 
restrained children are more involved in lower-severity crashes than 
older occupants. The percentage of frontal crashes of restrained 
children covered by the 48 km/h (30 mph) sled test is greater than the 
percentage of frontal crashes of restrained older occupants covered by 
the 56 km/h (35 mph) vehicle crash test. The FMVSS No. 213 48 km/h (30 
mph) sled test velocity does not equate to a diminished level of safety 
for restrained children as compared to older vehicle occupants. In 
fact, it could be argued that FMVSS No. 213's 48 km/h (30 mph) test 
provides a higher degree of protection than the 56 km/h (35 mph) test 
of FMVSS No. 208 in terms of the breadth of the crashes they cover 
involving the relevant restrained population.
     There is no safety need to raise the FMVSS No. 213 test 
speed to 56 km/h (35 mph). A 56 km/h (35 mph) change in velocity would 
only cover an additional 0.1 percent of the crashes involving 
restrained children, which suggests that the benefits accrued from a 
higher test velocity would be very small. While only an additional 0.1 
percent of the crashes would be covered, NHTSA undertook a review of 
case files to determine whether a change in velocity could have 
possibly prevented fatal or serious injury to children involved in the 
additional 0.1 percent of crashes. The review showed that AIS 3+ 
injuries to CRS restrained children in frontal crashes are due to CRS 
misuse, excessively severe crashes beyond 56 km/h (35 mph) crash 
severity, and other factors unrelated to crash severity. There is no 
indication that a CRS designed to meet a 56.3 km/h (35 mph) FMVSS No. 
213 compliance test would have prevented or mitigated any of these 
injuries.
     It is unclear whether a 56 km/h (35 mph) test velocity is 
appropriate for the FMVSS No. 213 sled test environment with the larger 
size dummies. The test dummies used in the test showed possible 
unrepresentative dummy kinematics (exacerbated head-to-knee or chin-to-
chest contact) that result in high injury measures near or above the 
established threshold limits.
     There may be unintended safety consequences associated 
with raising the FMVSS No. 213 test speed to 56 km/h (35 mph). The 
Agency's sled tests conducted with various crash pulses of a 56 km/h 
(35mph) change in velocity indicate that the designs of many forward-
facing CRSs would need to be changed to comply with performance 
requirements of a 56 km/h (35 mph) sled velocity test. The testing also 
suggests that some rear-facing CRSs and booster seats may need design 
modifications. The design changes may increase the weight, cost, and 
size of these CRSs. NHTSA is concerned that the design changes could 
potentially reduce the usability of CRSs, resulting in non-use or 
misuse of child restraints for no real benefit. In addition, there is a 
concern that CRSs redesigned to meet increased test velocities may not 
perform as well in the more common low speed crashes.
     The current 48 km/h (30 mph) FMVSS No. 213 sled test 
velocity is similar, if not more severe, than those in CRS regulations 
of other countries. It may be considered more severe because of its 
rapid initial rise in acceleration and its short duration.
    Accordingly, after consideration of these factors, NHTSA has 
decided that raising the FMVSS No. 213 test speed to 56 km/h (35 mph) 
is unwarranted at this time.

VII. Fleet Testing of CRSs on the New Seat Assembly Designs

a. Initial Standard Seat Assembly Design (V1)

    NHTSA sled tested a wide array of CRSs to see how they performed on 
the initial seat assembly design \74\ (referred

[[Page 69410]]

to in this NPRM as Version 1 (V1)). The V1 seat assembly design 
drawings were placed in Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0055-0002 on May 17, 
2015. The tests were conducted with an acceleration pulse within the 
FMVSS No. 213 specified acceleration corridor, with a peak acceleration 
of 21.2 g and average sled velocity of 46.9 km/h (29.2 mph). All CRSs 
met the current FMVSS No. 213 performance requirements, as well as the 
proposed head excursion requirement for forward-facing CRSs in the 
untethered condition.
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    \74\ The initial standard seat assembly design (V1) used in 
these sled tests only differed from the proposed standard seat 
assembly (V2) in minor ways. The initial standard seat assembly used 
in these sled tests had a shorter seat back height and slightly 
different seat belt and child restraint anchorage locations. NHTSA 
performed tests on the proposed standard seat assembly (V2) of some 
of the CRSs that were tested on V1 standard seat assembly; results 
showed no significant difference in CRS performance on the two 
standard seat assemblies. These results are discussed in the next 
section. Because there were no significant differences in CRS 
performance on the two seat assemblies, the agency considers the 
results of CRS tests on V1 relevant in ascertaining the performance 
of CRSs on V2.
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    The study consisted of 53 tests of 23 CRS models of 12 different 
makes (i.e. Chicco, Britax, Evenflo, etc.). The Agency \75\ and booster 
type CRSs. The Agency selected CRSs based on: Sales volume; CRS types, 
makes and models; CRS weight; CRS child weight/height recommendations; 
variety of design (different belt path location, base size for rear-
facing only CRSs); and special features (such as an inflatable feature, 
presence of a support leg and of rigid attachments to child restraint 
anchorage systems). The CRSs represented a wide variety of CRSs from 
different manufacturers and are representative of the range of CRSs in 
the current market.
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    \75\ A combination CRS is a type of forward-facing car seat that 
is used with an internal harness system to secure a child. With 
removal of the internal harness, it can be used as a belt-
positioning booster.
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    Tests were performed with test dummies currently used in FMVSS No. 
213, including the CRABI-12MO, HIII-3YO, HIII-6YO and HIII-10YO. The 
CRSs equipped with harnesses were installed by means that included: (a) 
The lower anchors of a child restraint anchorage system; (b) lower 
anchors and tether; (c) 3-point belt; (d) 2-point belt; (e) 3-point 
belt with tether; and (f) 2-point belt with tether.
    Table 11 provides a test matrix of the CRS name, orientation, 
installation method, dummy used and injury measures. All the CRSs 
tested on the proposed standard seat assembly met all current 
performance requirements in FMVSS No. 213 except for one CRS (Evenflo 
Titan Elite). The HIC and chest acceleration values were below injury 
threshold levels of 1,000 and 60 g, respectively, in all the tests. The 
head and knee excursions of the dummies used in testing forward-facing 
CRSs and booster seats were below allowable limits (head excursion of 
813 mm (32 inches) without tether use and 720 mm (28 inches) with 
tether use, knee excursion of 915 mm (36 inches)) with all the CRS 
models tested, except in a test with the Evenflo Titan Elite where the 
head excursion of the HIII-6YO dummy was 815 mm (32 inches).
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[[Page 69411]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.015

    Table 12 shows that the back support angle of rear-facing CRSs did 
not exceed 70 degrees in any of the tests with the proposed standard 
seat assembly.

[[Page 69412]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.016

Paired Tests
    NHTSA compared some of the CRSs tested on the V1 standard seat 
assembly with available compliance test data (using the current FMVSS 
No. 213 standard seat assembly) to see whether changes in the standard 
seat assembly affected CRS performance. The comparison was limited in 
that current compliance tests of CRSs with internal harnesses are 
conducted with a 2-point belt to install the CRS (tethered and 
untethered conditions), while the fleet tests with the V1 standard seat 
assembly were conducted with a 3-point attachment (tethered and 
untethered). In addition, some compliance tests used the H2-6YO at the 
manufacturer's option, while all applicable fleet tests with the V1 
standard seat assembly used the HIII-6YO dummy.
Rear-Facing CRSs
    Table 13 compares the results of sled tests on the V1 standard seat 
assembly with results from compliance tests using the same rear-facing 
infant and convertible CRS models. All performance measures were below 
threshold levels. Paired T-test indicated that at a 95 percent 
confidence level, the HIC injury measures of the CRABI-12MO in tests 
with the V1 standard seat assembly were not significantly different 
from those with the current FMVSS No. 213 specified standard seat 
assembly. On the other hand, the chest acceleration of the CRABI-12MO 
was significantly different (lower) in tests with the V1 seat assembly 
than those in current compliance tests (p<0.01). The average reduction 
in chest acceleration when tested on the V1 standard seat assembly was 
4.7 g.

[[Page 69413]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.017


[[Page 69414]]


Forward-Facing CRSs
    The results of the sled tests with the V1 standard seat assembly on 
forward-facing CRSs, versus compliance tests, are shown in Table 14. 
The paired sled tests showed that all injury measures were below injury 
threshold levels. Paired T-test of each of the HIII-3YO performance 
measures in Table 14 showed no significant difference (95 percent 
confidence level) when tested in the V1 standard seat assembly and the 
current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly. Only one paired test was performed 
using the HIII-6YO dummy, so a paired T-test was not possible.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.018

Booster Seats
    Results of paired sled tests of booster seats tested on the V1 
standard seat assembly and on the FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly 
are shown in Table 15. All injury measures were below injury threshold 
levels. The paired sled tests showed a 37.2 percent average reduction 
in HIC measures and a 29.3 percent average increase in head excursion 
in all the booster seat models tested on the proposed standard seat 
assembly compared to the paired compliance test.
    Paired T-test indicated that HIC injury measures and head 
excursions in booster seat tests with the V1 standard seat assembly 
were significantly different (95 percent confidence level) than those 
in tests with the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat assembly. On the 
other hand, paired T-test indicated no significant difference (95 
percent confidence level) in chest acceleration and knee excursions in 
tests with the V1 standard seat assembly and the current FMVSS No. 213 
standard seat assembly.

[[Page 69415]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.019

Summary of Sled Test Results With the V1 Standard Seat Assembly
    All CRSs tested on the V1 standard seat assembly, except for one, 
met the FMVSS No. 213 performance requirements.
    Comparing performance measures from a sample of sled tests 
conducted with the V1 standard seat assembly and from FMVSS No. 213 
compliance tests indicate the following:
     Rear-facing CRSs with CRABI-12MO: No significant 
differences in HIC measures but chest accelerations were lower in tests 
with the V1 standard seat assembly.
     Forward-facing CRSs with HIII-3YO and HIII-6YO: No 
significant differences in any of the performance measures (HIC, chest 
acceleration, head excursion, and knee excursion).
     Booster seats with HIII-6YO: HIC measures were lower and 
head excursions were higher in tests with the V1 standard seat 
assembly. Chest accelerations and knee excursions were not 
significantly different from the compliance tests.
     There were no high head acceleration spikes or severe 
chin-to-chest contact in any of the sled tests with the proposed seat 
assembly.
     Testing with the V1 standard seat assembly results in only 
some minor changes in CRS performance relative to the specified 
performance limits.

b. Proposed Standard Seat Assembly Design (V2)

    During the research test series with the initial bench design (V1), 
a few glitches were noticed, primarily with the anchorages and the seat 
back height. The lower anchorages deformed due to the loads during 
testing and the shoulder belt anchor was positioned in an overly 
outboard location causing the dummy to roll out of the shoulder belt in 
low back booster seat tests. The seat back height of the initial bench 
design was too low (not within one standard deviation of the average) 
and during low back booster seat testing, the dummies would hit the 
exposed metal seat back in the rebound phase causing a significant 
spike in head acceleration due to the contact.
    In response, the Agency modified the initial bench design (V1) by: 
(a) Changing the design of the lower anchorages to prevent their 
deformation and to facilitate their easy replacement; (b) placing the 
shoulder belt anchor in

[[Page 69416]]

a more inboard position that was more representative of the anchor 
location in the vehicle fleet and that mitigated unrealistic dummy 
rollout during low back booster seat tests; and, (c) increasing the 
seat back height to one that was more representative of seat back 
height in the vehicle fleet, which would also mitigate dummy head 
strikes with metal structure behind the seat when testing low back 
booster seats. These changes to the initial bench design (V1) resulted 
in the proposed standard seat assembly (referred to in this NPRM as 
Version 2 (V2)). Schematics of these changes were placed on August 25, 
2015 in Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0055-0008), with more detailed drawings 
placed there in July 2018.
    NHTSA performed a second series of sled tests with CRSs to see how 
they performed on V2 (the seat assembly proposed in this NPRM). The 
tests were conducted with an acceleration pulse within the FMVSS No. 
213 specified acceleration corridor, with a peak acceleration of 21.2 g 
and average sled velocity of 46.9 km/h (29.2 mph). The study consisted 
of 40 tests of 24 CRS models of 10 different CRS makes. NHTSA tested 
infant, convertible, combination and booster type CRSs. Twenty-two (22) 
tests also replicated the selection of tests performed with the V1 
standard seat assembly, to compare the performance of 15 CRS models. 
Four (4) tests used previously-selected CRSs models but were tested in 
a different attachment configuration or used a different sized dummy. 
Fifteen (15) tests were performed with 10 newly-selected CRS models 
that included some newer models in the market with particular design 
features (i.e., Britax Clicktight technology, Graco Affix Booster with 
lower anchorage attachments) and expanded the variety of CRS makes and 
models evaluated with V1.
    Tests were performed with CRABI-12MO, HIII-3YO, HIII-6YO and HIII-
10YO. Rear-facing and forward-facing CRSs equipped with harnesses were 
installed by means that included: (a) The lower anchors of a child 
restraint anchorage system; (b) lower anchors and tether; (c) 3-point 
belt; and (d), 3-point belt with tether as appropriate. Booster seats 
were tested using a 3-point belt, and in the case of the Graco Affix, 
the lower anchors were attached to the bench per manufacturer's 
instructions.
    Table 16 provides a test matrix of the CRS name, orientation, 
installation method, dummy used and injury measures. All the rear-
facing CRSs, forward-facing CRSs with tether attached and booster seats 
tested on the proposed standard seat assembly (V2) met all performance 
requirements in FMVSS No. 213, regardless of the method of attachment 
to the seat (child restraint anchorage system or lap/shoulder belt), 
for each of the dummies used. For forward-facing CRSs tested without 
the tether attached, HIC, chest acceleration, and knee excursions were 
below performance limits in all the tests regardless of the method of 
attachment to the standard seat assembly, for each of the dummies used. 
Head excursions were below the performance limits for all the CRSs 
tested with the HIII-3YO, HIII-6YO, and HIII-10YO except for one CRS 
model. The Diono Radian R120 tested without the tether attached 
exceeded the head excursion limit using the HIII-10YO dummy.

[[Page 69417]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.020

    Comparison of sled tests on the initial (V1) and proposed (V2) 
standard seat assemblies with the same dummy restrained in the same or 
similar CRS model show that dummy performance measures were similar in 
both standard seat assemblies (see Table 17).

[[Page 69418]]

    Paired T-test of rear-facing infant and convertible CRS models 
indicate that at a 95 percent confidence level, the HIC and chest 
acceleration injury measures in rear-facing infant and convertible CRS 
tests using the CRABI 12 MO and HIII-3YO dummy on V1 were not 
significantly different from those from tests on V2.
    Paired T-test of each of the HIII-3YO and HIII-6YO performance 
measures in Table 17 showed no significant difference (95 percent 
confidence level) when tested on V1 compared to V2, except for knee 
excursions of the HIII-6YO. Knee excursions of the HIII-6YO were on 
average 59 mm higher on the V1 standard seat assembly than on the V2 
seat assembly.
    Paired T-test of each of the HIII-6YO head and knee excursions 
showed no significant difference (95% confidence level) when tested on 
the V1 and proposed (V2) standard seat assemblies. HIC results showed a 
significant change (p<0.01) but HIC measures were well within the head 
injury threshold level of 1,000. Only one paired test was performed 
using the HIII-10YO dummy; therefore, a paired T-test was not possible.
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

[[Page 69419]]

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[[Page 69420]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.022


[[Page 69421]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.023


[[Page 69422]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.024

    Three CRS models (Evenflo Nurture, Graco Nautilus, and Graco Affix) 
were tested three times on the proposed standard seat assembly (V2) to 
evaluate repeatability of the sled tests. Results showed that the 
coefficient of variation

[[Page 69423]]

(CV) of the injury measures was under 10 percent, which is repeatable 
(see Table 18).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.025


[[Page 69424]]


BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    The higher seat back in the V2 seat assembly was intended to reduce 
dummy head contact with rear seat structure of the seat assembly that 
was observed in the V1 seat assembly. While the number of head contacts 
with the rear seat structure were reduced compared to the V1 assembly, 
head contact still occurs in the V2 seat assembly when testing backless 
booster seats with the HIII-6YO dummy. For these tests, the HIC 
calculation was made using a head acceleration pulse truncated between 
175-200 msec that corresponded to a time in the rebound phase before 
the head impact with the seat support structure. NHTSA seeks comment on 
whether, in the FMVSS No. 213 compliance test, HIC should be computed 
for backless booster seats tested with the HIII-6YO dummy using an 
acceleration pulse that is truncated to 175 msec.
Summary of All Sled Test Performed on the Proposed Seat Assembly (V2)
    NHTSA performed 40 tests using 24 CRS models and 10 makes using the 
proposed seat assembly (V2). Results showed the following:
     Rear-facing CRSs including infant carriers and 
convertibles tested with the CRABI-12MO or the HIII-3YO dummies: Six 
(6) CRS models were tested with the CRABI-12MO dummy and 4 were tested 
with the HIII-3YO dummy. All the CRSs tested met all the performance 
requirements.
     Forward-facing CRSs tested with the HIII-3YO dummy: One 
(1) CRS model was tested with tether attached and two (2) CRS models 
were tested without tether attached. All CRSs tested met all the 
performance requirements.
     Forward-facing CRSs tested with the HIII-6YO dummy: Four 
(4) CRSs tested with the tether attached met all the performance 
requirements. Four (4) CRS models were tested without the tether 
attached. All met all the performance requirements.
     Forward-facing CRSs tested with the HIII-10YO dummy: One 
(1) CRS model was tested with the tether attached and 2 CRS models were 
tested without the use of the tether. The CRS tested with the tether 
attached met all performance requirements. The CRSs tested without the 
tether met all performance requirements, except for one that exceeded 
the head excursion limit.
     Booster seats with the HIII-6YO dummy: Six (6) booster 
seat models were tested and all met all performance requirements.
     Booster seats with the HIII-10YO dummy: Three (3) booster 
seat models were tested and all met all performance requirements.

VIII. Communicating With Today's Parents

    NHTSA proposes to amend several of FMVSS No. 213's owner 
information and labeling requirements to improve communication with 
today's CRS owners.

a. CRS Owner Registration

1. Background
    NHTSA established a CRS owner registration program in FMVSS No. 213 
(S5.8) to increase the ``completion rate'' of recalled restraints, 
i.e., the percentage of recalled units sold to consumers for which the 
consumer contacts the manufacturer for free remedy of the defect or 
noncompliance.\76\ Prior to the registration program in FMVSS No. 213, 
there was a 10 to 13 percent completion rate for child restraint 
recalls.
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    \76\ Final rule, 57 FR 41428, September 10, 1992. NHTSA also 
issued the rule to assist the agency in determining whether 
manufacturers met their recall notification responsibilities under 
the Vehicle Safety Act, and to motivate owners to register CRSs for 
recall notification purposes.
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    NHTSA believed that the CRS completion rate could be increased by 
disseminating recall information directly to individual owners. Prior 
to the program, consumers were only indirectly notified of a safety 
recall by notice to the general public. At the same time, CRS owners 
were eager to know if their CRS was recalled and were highly motivated 
to remedy their CRSs if the restraints had been recalled.\77\ Given 
this interest, NHTSA believed that owners were not completing the 
remedy because they were unaware that their CRS had been recalled. 
NHTSA adopted the registration program to facilitate direct 
notification of owners in a recall campaign.
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    \77\ NPRM, February 19, 1991, 56 FR 6603, 6604.
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    There are three aspects to the registration program: (a) 
Manufacturers' providing a registration form to purchasers of new CRSs; 
(b) labeling on the CRS and in the owner's manual to notify and 
register owners who did not use the mail-in card (this particularly 
targets second-hand owners of the CRS); and (c) recordkeeping 
requirements for manufacturers to maintain registrants' contact 
information for 6 years in case a defect or noncompliance arose with 
the CRS leading to a safety recall (49 CFR part 588, ``Child restraint 
systems recordkeeping requirements''). This NPRM proposes changes to 
program aspects (a) and (b).
    With regard to (a) above, FMVSS No. 213 requires manufacturers to 
provide a standardized, postage-paid registration form with each 
CRS.\78\ The Agency designed the form in part using information 
obtained in a NHTSA study of consumers' attitudes about the intended 
program.\79\ The researchers found that focus group participants--
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    \78\ The form must be attached to a contactable surface of the 
CRS so that the owner will notice the form and need to handle it 
physically.
    \79\ See March 9, 1993 final rule discussion of focus group 
testing by National Analysts, ``Child Safety Seat Registration: The 
Consumer View,'' February 1991, 57 FR at 41426.

[I]ndicated that they would be most likely to return a pre-
addressed, postage-prepaid card with an uncluttered graphic design 
that clearly and succinctly communicates the benefits of recall 
registration, differentiates itself from a warranty registration 
card, and requires minimal time and effort of the participant's 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
part.

    The study also showed that participants reacted favorably to the 
idea of being assured by the manufacturer that their names would not be 
placed on a mailing list if they registered their restraints.
    In view of the study's findings, NHTSA standardized the form's text 
and layout to increase the likelihood that the owners would register.
    The form consists of two parts (see Figures 9a and 9b of FMVSS No. 
213). The first part (``information card'') contains a message on the 
importance of registering the CRS and instructions for registering.\80\ 
The information card is intended to motivate owners to register.
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    \80\ In 2005, NHTSA amended the requirements to permit 
information regarding online registration to be included on this 
part of the owner registration form (September 9, 2005; 70 FR 
53569).
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    The second part (``mail-in card'') is to be mailed in by the owner 
to register. On the mail-in card, manufacturers must preprint their 
return address and information identifying the model name or number of 
the CRS to which the form is attached, so that owners do not need to 
look up and provide that information themselves (a possible impediment 
to completing the registration). The card must have distinct spaces for 
the owner to fill in his/her name and address and must use tint to 
highlight to the owner that minimal input is required to register. To 
distinguish the mail-in card from a warranty card or some kind of 
advertisement material, the standard prohibits any other information 
from appearing on the card, except for identifying information that 
distinguishes a particular CRS from other systems of that model name or 
number. The card must meet minimum U.S. Postal Service size and 
thickness specifications so that it can be mailed as a postcard. To 
encourage consumers to mail back the card, manufacturers must pay the 
postage.

[[Page 69425]]

2. Overview
    The CRS owner registration program has had mixed success. Prior to 
the registration program in FMVSS No. 213, there was a 10 to 13 percent 
completion rate for child restraint recalls. The average recall 
completion rate is about 40 percent in recent years, which, while much 
higher than that before the program, is still low compared to the 
completion rate for vehicle recalls.\81\ When NHTSA issued the final 
rule adopting the registration program (1992), the Consumer Product 
Safety Commission (CPSC) had information showing a return rate for 
warranty cards of 20 to 30 percent for cards that did not have postage 
paid and 40 percent for cards that had postage paid. The current 
average registration rate for child restraint systems is only 23 
percent, even with a postage-paid card.
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    \81\ The average recall completion rate for vehicles for the 10-
year period from 2006 to 2015 is 79 percent.
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    NHTSA's intention in issuing this NPRM is to raise the 23 percent 
CRS owner registration rate. By raising the registration rate, the 
Agency seeks to raise the CRS recall completion rate.
    NHTSA is taking graduated steps to raise the CRS owner registration 
rate. NHTSA's CRS registration program primarily involves the 
interaction between the CRS manufacturer and the CRS owner; the primary 
instrument enabling and facilitating that interaction is the 
registration form required by S5.8 of the standard.\82\
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    \82\ This NPRM focuses on improving the registration form to 
enhance the interaction between manufacturers and owners but the 
agency asks for comment on ways registration rates could possibly 
improve by the involvement of third parties, such as retailers and 
other dealers. NHTSA is interested in learning about programs that 
have involved point-of-sale registration, the practicalities of the 
arrangement (e.g., how the merchant conveyed the owner information 
to the manufacturer), and the successes and challenges associated 
with them.
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    CRS manufacturers have expressed to NHTSA their interest in 
exploring different registration methods, given the advances in 
communication technologies. They would like to optimize the design of 
the registration form to increase registrations. However, the current 
registration form requirements prevent CRS manufacturers from changing 
the language and format of the form to capture the consumer's interest 
and persuade them to register.
    In response, the agency is proposing to provide flexibility to CRS 
manufacturers in the content and format of the form. NHTSA believes 
that manufacturers will take advantage of additional flexibilities to 
craft more optimized and effective forms of communication that will 
lead to higher rates of registration without introducing consumer 
confusion that could have an adverse effect on registration. The Agency 
requests comment on this assumption for all aspects of the proposed 
changes here.
    Twenty-eight (28) years have passed since the final rule \83\ 
establishing the registration program for FMVSS No. 213. Since that 
time, a generation of children has grown to become the new parents of 
today. This new generation grew up with and continues to interact with 
vast, rapidly-changing advancements in electronic communication and 
information technology. To make FMVSS No. 213 more responsive to the 
communication preferences and practices of today's parents, this NPRM 
would provide manufacturers leeway to use additional modern and 
creative means of outreach and information exchange in an effort to 
increase owner registration rates. NHTSA's purpose in allowing this 
flexibility is to allow CRS manufacturers the opportunity to cultivate 
their method of communicating with their customer-caregivers and to use 
innovative ways to get their customers to register.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \83\ Final rule, 57 FR 41428, September 10, 1992.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At the same time, however, NHTSA believes that the registration 
form also must be designed to meet the needs of owners who may not have 
access to or may not be comfortable with modern electronic means of 
communication. The Agency has drafted the proposed amendatory language 
in a way that maintains features of the current form for owners who 
would register by mail.
    NHTSA also recognizes that reducing the restrictions on the content 
and format of the form reduces the standardization of the form, which 
raises some concerns. The standardized registration form is readily 
recognizable, easy to understand and designed with carefully considered 
text and formatting features. When manufacturers are given substantial 
leeway to design content and format, it introduces a risk that some 
designs may be confusing or ineffective. This proposal provides more 
flexibility but also limits certain aspects of design that NHTSA 
believes would be ineffective, such as advertisements on the form, and 
the Agency requests comment on whether any other aspects should be 
similarly prohibited. Likewise, the Agency requests comment on whether 
any of the design aspects that the agency has proposed to cease being 
standardized should, instead, remain standardized.
    Further, in the event NHTSA finalizes the proposal to increase 
flexibility here, NHTSA anticipates that it will monitor the content 
and format that manufacturers use on the forms to see if more 
standardization is needed. Standardization might be appropriate not 
only to disallow confusing or ineffective designs, but to promote 
particularly effective content and format that have resulted in 
increased registration rates.
3. Proposed Changes to the Registration Program
i. Information Card
    The information card is the top part of the two-part registration 
form shown in Figures 9a and 9b of FMVSS No. 213. The size, font, 
color, and layout of the information card are currently prescribed in 
Figures 9a and 9b, as is the attachment method (fold/perforation) of 
the information card to the lower part of the form (the mail-in card). 
The information card sets forth: (a) Prescribed wording advising the 
consumer of the importance of registering; (b) prescribed instructions 
on how to register; and (c) prescribed statements that the mail-in card 
is pre-addressed and that postage is already paid.
    The Agency proposes to remove the restrictions on size, font, 
color, layout, and attachment method of the information card portion. 
These changes would provide flexibility to CRS manufacturers on how the 
required information is presented to the consumer. The Agency believes 
that these changes have the potential to increase registration rates, 
but does not have information suggesting the extent to which this would 
occur and requests comments on what effect, in any, these changes will 
have on increasing registration rates. Comments are also requested on 
whether a two-part registration form format is warranted. Assuming it 
is, this NPRM proposes that manufacturers can decide how the 
information card is attached to the mail-in card. The agency believes 
that the information card should be easily detachable from the mail-in 
card portion, without the use of scissors and the like.
    In addition, the agency is proposing to amend the requirements in 
(a) and (b) above such that the wording would no longer be prescribed. 
Instead, CRS manufacturers would be given leeway to use their own words 
to convey the importance of registering the CRS and to instruct how 
registration is achieved. NHTSA would allow statements explaining how 
consumers can use

[[Page 69426]]

electronic (or any other means) of registering, as long as instructions 
are provided on using the paper card for registering (including that 
the mail-in card is pre-addressed and that the postage is pre-paid). 
NHTSA requests comment on any benefits or safety risks of allowing 
manufacturers to provide their own language here.
    NHTSA also proposes to permit or possibly require a statement that 
the information collected through the registration process will not be 
used by the manufacturer for any purpose other than contacting the 
consumer in the event of a recall. Comments are requested on NHTSA's 
requiring such a statement. NHTSA also proposes to continue to prohibit 
any other information unrelated to the registration of the CRS, such as 
advertising or warranty information.
    These proposed changes to the information card, if adopted, would 
affect the collection of information, ``Consolidated Child Restraint 
System Registration, Labeling and Defect Notification,'' OMB Control 
Number: 2127-0576. This NPRM includes a request for comment on the 
collection of information. Comments are requested from manufacturers on 
whether they plan to take advantage of this increased flexibility in 
providing information to consumers to motivate them to register their 
child restraints.
ii. Mail-In Card
    The Agency proposes that the mail-in card portion of the form (the 
lower half of the form depicted in Figures 9a and 9b of FMVSS No. 213) 
does not need to be changed.\84\ The current mail-in card has the basic 
elements needed for registering by mail, including the necessary owner 
contact information, preprinted CRS restraint information (Figure 9a), 
manufacturer's preprinted address and prepaid postage information 
(Figure 9b), and minimum size of the card (important so it can be 
mailed to the manufacturer as a postcard).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ Typographical errors would be corrected, such as the 
spelling of the words ``postage'' and ``mailed.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA requests comment on whether other elements should be added to 
or eliminated from the currently required mail-in card, and if leeway 
should be given on how the card is formatted.
iii. Electronic Registration Form
    FMVSS No. 213 currently permits manufacturers to provide a web 
address on the information card to enable owners to register online 
(S5.8.1(d)). The web address must provide a direct link to an 
``electronic registration form'' meeting the requirements of S5.8.2 of 
the standard. Under S5.8.2, the electronic registration form must 
conform to a specified format and have certain content, including: (a) 
A prescribed message to advise the consumer of the importance of 
registering; (b) prescribed instructions on how to register; and, (c) 
fields to record the CRS's model name or number and date of 
manufacture, and the owner's name, mailing address, and optionally, the 
owner's email address.
    This NPRM proposes to amend S5.8.1(d) so that the electronic form 
may be reached by using methods other than a web address. For instance, 
should consumers be able to access the electronic form by a code (such 
as a QR \85\ code)? NHTSA is also considering amending S5.8.l to delete 
the specific reference to an ``electronic registration form,'' and, 
instead, reference any electronic means to register owners.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ QR code means Quick Response Code. This is a matrix barcode 
similar to a standard Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode but has 
greater storage capacity. Usually QR codes are used for product 
tracking, item identification and general marketing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With regard to the requirements for the electronic registration 
form (S5.8.2), NHTSA proposes to change the requirements for elements 
(a) and (b) above, from NHTSA-prescribed messages to messages crafted 
by the CRS manufacturer conveying the importance of registering and 
instructions on how to register. Comments are requested on whether 
S5.8.2 should be further amended, possibly by rescinding some of the 
requirements in that section. What changes are needed to allow 
innovative electronic methods for registering CRSs? How can FMVSS No. 
213 facilitate use of those technologies? What benefits or safety risks 
would be introduced by allowing these flexibilities?
iv. Information on Labels and in Owners' Manuals
    NHTSA also proposes that provisions in FMVSS No. 213 requiring 
information on registering CRSs on child restraint labels \86\ and in 
owners' manuals \87\ also be amended in the manner discussed above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \86\ See S5.5.2(m) and S5.5.5(k).
    \87\ See S5.6.1.7 and S5.6.2.2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. Information on Correctly Using CRSs

    NHTSA proposes to lessen restrictions in labeling and owner's 
manual requirements so that manufacturers have more flexibility in 
providing information on correct CRS use (S5.5, S5.6). The agency 
intends for manufacturers to determine the words and diagrams that most 
effectively instruct consumers on using their CRSs and to determine how 
the labeling should be presented to communicate best with consumers. 
The goal of the proposal is to increase the correct use of CRSs.
1. Removing Requirements for Specific Wording
    FMVSS No. 213 requires manufacturers to label CRSs with information 
on the maximum height and weight of the children who can safely occupy 
the system (S5.5.2(f)). NHTSA believes there is a continued need for 
this ``use information'' to be permanently labeled on CRSs. However, 
because S5.5.2(f) prescribes specific statements for the label that 
have become dated and that are not optimized for particular CRS designs 
and features, the agency proposes to rescind the requirement that they 
be used. Instead, NHTSA proposes requiring that the information be 
provided for each mode the CRS can be used (rear-facing, forward-
facing, booster) and, subject to the conditions discussed below, 
manufacturers would have the flexibility to provide the use information 
in statements or a combination of statements and pictograms at 
locations that they deem most effective.
    The proposed conditions are based on sound best practice 
recommendations developed by the child passenger safety community.
Conditions on the Provided Use Information
    i. NHTSA and the entire child passenger safety community strongly 
recommend that children up to the age of 1 be kept riding rear-facing 
at least up to the age of 1. NHTSA further recommends that children 1 
to 3 years of age ride rear-facing as long as possible, until they 
reach the manufacturer-recommended upper height or weight limit for 
riding rear-facing in the CRS, and that children 4 to 7 years of age 
ride forward-facing in CRSs with internal harnesses as long as they are 
within the height and weight limits allowed by the CRS's 
manufacturer.\88\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \88\ https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Right-Car-Seat-Age-Size.htm?view=full.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With these recommendations in mind, NHTSA proposes that the use 
information manufacturers provide for CRSs that can be used in multiple 
``modes'' (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster) must provide 
information about the weight and height of children for

[[Page 69427]]

each mode of use. Currently S5.5.2(f) requires the overall maximum and 
minimum height and weight ranges of the children for whom the CRS is 
recommended, which are not broken down by modes of use. The requirement 
to parse the height and weight ranges by mode would result in clearer 
instructions on when to turn a child forward-facing, so that children 
are not turned forward-facing too soon.
    To illustrate, instead of stating that a convertible (a CRS that 
can be used rear-facing and forward-facing) is for use by children 
weighing 5 to 65 lb (2.3 to 29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches 
(121.9 centimeters (cm)), the statements or a combination of statements 
and pictograms would indicate that the CRS is used rear-facing by 
children weighing 5 to 40 lb (2.3 to 18.1 kg) and with heights up to 48 
inches (121.9 cm), and forward-facing by children weighing 27 to 65 lb 
(12.2 to 29.5 kg) and with heights up to 48 inches (121.9 cm). This 
information may be provided in combination with pictograms on labels 
already provided on the CRS, as shown in Figure 8. Evenflo and SafeRide 
News have requested this amendment in a petition for rulemaking, supra. 
NHTSA grants this part of the petition.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.026

    ii. Given the need for children to be kept rear-facing at least up 
to the age of 1, NHTSA proposes that CRSs may only be recommended for 
forward-facing use by children weighing a minimum of 12 kg (26.5 lb). 
The 26.5 lb value corresponds to the weight of a 95th percentile 1-
year-old. This provision would apply to CRSs designed to be used only 
forward-facing and to CRSs that are designed for use rear-facing for 
infants and forward-facing for older children (i.e., the latter 
restraints cannot use a ``turnaround weight'' that is less than 12 kg 
(26.5 lb)).
    The purpose of this provision is to increase the number of children 
younger than 1 that are transported rear-facing, because a child under 
1 is significantly safer rear-facing than forward-facing in a crash. 
FMVSS No. 213 currently sets the minimum weight recommendation for a 
child in a forward-facing CRS at 9 kg (20 lb) (S5.5.2(k)(2)), but that 
weight is too low to capture a sufficiently full population of children 
1-year-old and younger. A 50th percentile 1-year-old weighs 10 kg (22 
lb); hence the 9 kg (20 lb) threshold is unsatisfactory because it does 
not cover more than half the children under 1 year of age. The change 
to 12 kg (26.5 lb) would capture almost all 1-year-olds and would 
therefore increase the likelihood that children under 1 will be 
transported rear-facing.
    Another benefit from the 12 kg (26.5 lb) minimum weight would be to 
increase the likelihood that more young toddlers would be transported 
rear-facing. Rear-facing CRSs support the infant or toddler's posterior 
torso, neck, head, and pelvis and help to distribute crash forces over 
the entire body. Developmental considerations, including incomplete 
vertebral ossification, more horizontally oriented spinal facet joints, 
and excessive ligamentous laxity put young children at risk for head 
and spinal cord injury. Rear-facing CRSs address this risk by 
supporting the child's head, preventing the relatively large head from 
moving independently of the proportionately smaller neck.
    Although NHTSA recommends that children 1 to 3 ride in rear-facing 
child restraints as long as possible to address the above risks, many 
caregivers are not following this recommendation and instead appear to 
be following labeling instructions that specify a turnaround weight of 
9kg (20 lb).\89\ NCRUSS \90\ data indicate that, among children 
weighing less than 9 kg (20 lb), 93 percent were restrained in a rear-
facing CRS, yet among children weighing 9 to 13.1 kg (20 to 29 lb), 
only 22 percent were restrained in a rear-facing CRS. The weight of 12 
kg (26.5 lb) corresponds to the weight of a 75th percentile 18-month-
old (18MO) and about a 50th percentile 2-year-old. Raising the 
turnaround weight to 12 kg (26.5 lb) would help keep a larger 
percentage of very young children restrained rear-facing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \89\ As noted above, S5.5.2(k)(2) permits a turnaround weight of 
9 kg (20 lb). Although NHTSA meant for that weight to be a minimum, 
many CRSs use a turnaround weight of only 9kg (20 lb).
    \90\ ``Findings of the National Child Restraint Use Special 
Study (NCRUSS),'' supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As explained in the Appendix to this NPRM, NHTSA estimates 0.7 to 
2.3 lives saved and 1.0 to 3.5 moderate to serious injuries prevented 
by this amendment.
    iii. NHTSA currently recommends that children riding forward-facing 
should be restrained in CRSs with internal harnesses (car safety seats) 
as long as possible before transitioning to a booster seat. FMVSS No. 
213 permits booster seats only to be recommended for children weighing 
at least 13.6 kg (30 lb) (S5.5.2(f)). Based on an analysis of field 
data and other considerations, NHTSA believes the 13.6 kg (30 lb) value 
should be raised. Thirty pounds corresponds to the weight of a 50th 
percentile 3-year-old, and to the weight of a 95th percentile 18-month-
old; i.e., children too small to be safely protected in a booster seat.
    NHTSA proposes to amend S5.5.2(f) to raise the 13.6 kg (30 lb) 
limit to 18.2 kg (40 lb), which is greater than the weight of a 97th 
percentile 3-year-old (17.7 kg (39.3 lb)) and approximately the weight 
of an 85th percentile 4-year-old. NHTSA's field data analyses indicate 
risks associated with booster seat use by 3- and 4-year-old 
children.\91\ The Agency conducted statistical analyses of field data 
(NASS CDS data from 1998-

[[Page 69428]]

2008 and 17 combined years of State data from Kansas, Washington and 
Nebraska) to estimate the effect of early graduation from CRSs with an 
internal harness (car safety seats) to booster seats. NHTSA found that 
among 3- and 4-year-olds, there was as much as a 27 percent increased 
risk in non-incapacitating to fatal injury when restrained in booster 
seats compared to car safety seats. The analysis indicated that this 
effect may be more pronounced for children 3 years old and younger than 
for older children. These data indicate a need to keep children in CRSs 
with internal harnesses (car safety seats) until after the child turns 
4 years old.\92\ NHTSA estimates this change could save 1.2 to 4 lives 
and prevent 1.6 to 5.2 moderate to serious injuries. In addition, 
NHTSA's proposed side impact test for CRSs would only apply to child 
restraints recommended for children weighing less than 18.2 kg (40 lb). 
Keeping children in car safety seats longer (until at least a weight of 
18.2 kg (40 lb)) would enhance their protection in side impacts as 
well.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ ``Booster Seat Effectiveness Estimates Based on CDS and 
State Data,'' NHTSA Technical Report, DOT HS 811 338, July 2010. 
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811338.pdf, last accessed on 
October 1, 2018.
    \92\ A 50th percentile 48-month-old weighs 16.1 kg (35.5 lb).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Labeling of Use Information
    The Agency proposes deleting a requirement in S5.5.2(g)(1)(i) that 
the use information required by S5.5.2(f) must be in a specific warning 
label. The use information would still be on the CRS in a visible 
location, but would not have to be part of the ``warning label'' 
statements. NHTSA tentatively concludes that if S5.5.2(f) is amended as 
proposed in this NPRM, the use information that S5.5.2(f) provides will 
be clearer to consumers, and there would not be a need to highlight the 
information on the specific warning label at issue.
3. Deleting S5.5.2(k)(2)
    This NPRM proposes deleting the labeling requirement of 
S5.5.2(k)(2), as S5.5.2(k)(2) would duplicate the information of 
S5.5.2(f) if the latter were amended as described above. Both 
provisions would instruct consumers to use the rear-facing CRS with 
children weighing under a specified weight limit.
4. Other Requests of Evenflo and Safe Ride News Petition
    Evenflo and Safe Ride News (SRN) request that NHTSA amend 
S5.5.2(k)(2) to reference a turnaround age (of 2 years old). The 
petitioners refer to the age of 2 based on a then-American Academy of 
Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation that children use rear-facing CRSs up 
to at least age 2 or until they reach the highest weight or height of 
the particular CRS they are using.\93\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \93\ AAP Updates Recommendation on Car Seats (March 21, 2011), 
available at https://web.archive.org/web/20170824075402/https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/aap-updates-recommendation-on-car-seats.aspx.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA is denying this request. As explained above, the Agency 
believes that the label specified by S5.5.2(k)(2) is no longer 
necessary given the labeling changes proposed in this NPRM, and has 
proposed deleting that statement. Instead, NHTSA is proposing that 
manufacturers include statements, or a combination of statements and 
pictograms, specifying the manufacturer's recommendations for the mass 
and height ranges of children who can safely occupy the system in each 
applicable mode (i.e., rear-facing, forward-facing, or booster), 
subject to NHTSA's amended minimum weight recommendations. NHTSA 
believes that the proposed change addresses the concerns of Evenflo and 
SRN's relating to caregiver confusion on the wording of the label, as 
the requirement to parse the height and weight ranges by mode would 
result in clearer instructions on when to turn a child forward-facing, 
so that children are not turned forward-facing sooner than recommended.
    In addition, the proposed labeling changes align with NHTSA's 
recommendation that children under age 1 should always ride in a rear-
facing car seat, and children 1-3 years old ride rear-facing as long as 
possible, until they reach the manufacturer-recommended upper height or 
weight limit for riding rear-facing in the CRS. As discussed above, 
rear-facing CRSs address the risk of head and spinal cord injury for 
infants and toddlers, and the longer that these children are 
transported rear-facing, the longer they can take advantage of the 
posterior torso, neck, head, and pelvis support that a rear-facing CRS 
provides.
    However, since children of the same age vary by size, NHTSA 
declines to refer to a hard age on the CRS label. CRSs are made to 
protect the child occupant based on the management of crash forces 
based on the child's height and weight, not his or her age. NHTSA's 
recommendations aim to provide general guidance to the public on what 
CRSs are appropriate to use during specific child age ranges, as an 
age-based recommendation is easier for consumers to remember than a 
weight-based one. Raising the minimum weight for forward-facing CRSs to 
children that weigh a minimum of 12 kg (26.5 lb), while also including 
the maximum weight and height for each mode on the label, aligns with 
NHTSA's recommendations by ensuring children are almost always kept in 
rear-facing seats until they are at least age 1, while also making 
clear that children over age 1 who are below the maximum weight and 
height for a seat's rear facing mode can remain rear-facing. NHTSA 
continues to recommend that children remain in a rear-facing car seat 
until he or she reaches the maximum height or weight limit allowed by 
the CRS manufacturer.
    NHTSA believes that it is also important to note that the AAP has 
since updated their 2011 recommendation on car seat use by removing the 
specific age 2 milestone.\94\ AAP's 2018 best practice recommendation 
is that, ``All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing CRS as 
long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed 
by their CRS's manufacturer.'' AAP's 2018 recommendation is aligned 
with NHTSA's recommendation. Accordingly, the Agency believes that, for 
the CRS label, specifying the appropriate child weight and height 
ranges is more accurate to identify the child occupant for whom the CRS 
is designed to protect than specifying an age.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \94\ Benjamin D. Hoffman, M.D., FAAP, New child passenger safety 
seat guidance advises kids to rise rear-facing as long as possible; 
drops age criterion (Aug. 30, 2018), https://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/08/30/passengersafety083018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA is also denying the petitioners' request to delete a 
requirement that the use information include the heights of the 
children who can occupy the system safely. The petitioners request that 
NHTSA delete this requirement because they believe ``overall child 
height is not the most useful measure.'' The petitioners suggest that 
consumers be instead directed to ``follow height requirements described 
in the owner's manual, up to a maximum of __ inches (__ cm).'' The 
petitioners believe that the caregiver can determine whether his or her 
child's height is within the maximum for the seat and can be alerted to 
important information on height by the CRS owner's manual.
    NHTSA denies this request. The Agency does not believe that the 
caregiver should be referred to the CRS owner's manual for information 
on the height limits for a child to use the restraint safely, because 
many consumers do not consult the manual.\95\

[[Page 69429]]

The Agency believes that height information should be permanently 
attached to the CRS where it is readily available and easily 
accessible.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \95\ Findings from NCRUSS (DOT HS 811 679, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812142) indicate 
that only 66 percent of caregivers consulted the user's manual when 
installing a child restraint. There was no specific detail on what 
topic in the manual was reviewed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IX. Streamlining NHTSA's Use of ATDs in Compliance Tests To Reflect CRS 
Use Today

a. Introduction

    To simplify and to make more evaluative NHTSA's compliance testing 
of CRSs, this NPRM proposes to streamline how the Agency uses ATDs 
(test dummies) to assess CRS performance. Many of these changes would 
make the Agency's use of the ATDs more reflective of how CRSs are used 
today. The proposed changes are discussed below.
    By way of background, child restraint systems must meet FMVSS No. 
213's performance requirements when dynamically tested with test 
dummies that represent children of various ages. The current dummies 
used in compliance testing are the newborn infant, the CRABI-12MO, 
HIII-3YO, HIII-6YO or the H2-6YO, and the HIII-10-year-old child dummy.
    NHTSA selects which test dummy to use based in part on the height 
and weight of the children for whom the manufacturer recommends for the 
child restraint (see S7 of FMVSS No. 213). To illustrate, Table 19 
below shows which dummies NHTSA uses to test child restraints based on 
the height and weight recommendations established for the restraint by 
the manufacturer. If a child restraint is recommended for a range of 
children whose weight overlaps, in whole or in part, two or more of the 
weight ranges in the table, the restraint is subject to testing with 
the dummies specified for each of those ranges. Thus, for example, if a 
child restraint is recommended for children having weights from 10 kg 
to 22.7 kg (22--50 lb), it would be subject to testing with the CRABI-
12MO, the HIII-3YO, and the HIII-6YO or H2-6YO dummies.

                 Table 19--Current Use of Dummies Based on Manufacturer's Weight Recommendation
                                                  [571.213, S7]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Are compliance tested by NHTSA with these ATDs
 CRS recommended for use by children of these weights--            (subparts refer to 49 CFR part 572)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Weight (W) <=5 kg (11 lb), Height (H) <=650 mm (25.5     Newborn (subpart K).
 inches).
Weight 5 kg (11 lb) http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NVS/Public%20Meetings/SAE/2016/Development%20of%20the%20LODC%20ATD-SAE2016.pdf.

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[[Page 69431]]

    Yet also since 2011, new information indicates NHTSA may not need 
to wait longer to use the HIII-6YO solely as the 6YO child ATD in FMVSS 
No. 213 compliance tests. While developing this NPRM, NHTSA tested the 
HIII-6YO in booster seats and in CRSs with internal harnesses 
(``harnessed-CRSs'') on the proposed standard seat assembly and found 
that the ATD did not exhibit high head injury measures and high head 
acceleration spikes in the dynamic tests. Chin-to-chest contact 
occurred at times, but it was a significantly softer contact than the 
contact observed in tests on the current seat assembly. On the proposed 
seat assembly, the high HIC values and the high head acceleration 
spikes that had been measured by the dummy on the current seat assembly 
were absent. NHTSA believes this change is due to the firmer seat 
cushion on the proposed assembly that prevents the CRS from bottoming 
out against the seat frame.
    The difference in head accelerations due to the different seat 
assemblies is illustrated below. Figure 9 shows the head accelerations 
of the HIII-6YO in tests on the current FMVSS No. 213 standard seat 
assembly in booster seats (solid lines), and on the proposed standard 
seat assembly in booster seats (dashed lines) and in forward-facing 
harnessed-CRSs (dotted lines). As shown in the figure, the peak head 
accelerations curves of the HIII-6YO in tests with the proposed 
standard seat assembly are lower in magnitude than in tests with the 
current seat assembly and show the absence of severe head acceleration 
spikes.\106\
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    \106\ Full detail of the sled tests results are discussed in 
Section VII of this preamble, supra.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.027

    Those data are consistent with other data showing that the HIII-6YO 
dummy measures lower peak head acceleration and HIC on the proposed 
seat assembly than on the current FMVSS No. 213 assembly. As shown in 
Table 20 below, the average peak head acceleration and average HIC of 
the HIII-6YO on the proposed standard seat assembly were 52.9 g and 
447.4, respectively. The average peak head acceleration and average HIC 
of the HIII-6YO dummy in tests conducted on the current FMVSS No. 213 
standard seat assembly were 77.6 g and 976.2, respectively. This 
amounted to an average peak head acceleration that was 31.8 percent 
lower and an average HIC that was 54.2 percent lower when the proposed 
standard seat assembly is used versus the current seat assembly. Again, 
we attribute the overall change in magnitude in peak head acceleration 
to the stiffer seat cushion foam in the proposed standard seat 
assembly.
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

[[Page 69432]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.028

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    In short, these data indicate that updating the standard seat 
assembly would eradicate the impediments found in the past to using the 
HIII-6YO dummy in compliance tests. When CRSs are tested on the 
proposed, more realistic standard seat assembly, the HIII-6YO's chin-
to-chest contact is absent or significantly reduced in severity. The 
absence of contact or softer chin-to-chest contact results in lower

[[Page 69433]]

HIC scores compared to the HICs from tests of both the HIII-6YO and the 
H2-6YO on the current FMVSS No. 213 seat assembly. Thus, we believe we 
should terminate the optional use of the H2-6YO in compliance tests, as 
the primary reason NHTSA permitted continued use of the H2-6YO is no 
longer valid.
    Another reason is to improve our overall assessment of CRS 
performance in the FMVSS No. 213 test. The HIII-6YO dummy is more 
biofidelic than the H2-6YO dummy.\107\ The HIII-6YO has been shown to 
have good kinematics replicating that of a human in slow speed sled 
testing, exhibiting similar head and pelvis excursion as human 
children.\108\ Testing CRSs on the updated (proposed) standard seat 
assembly in itself would yield dummy kinematics more representative of 
the kinematics of restrained children in real world frontal crashes 
than current tests, given the proposed seat assembly is specially 
designed to represent a current vehicle rear seat. However, having the 
HIII-6YO be a part of the test would amplify that realism.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \107\ HIII-6YO also has extended instrumentation capability in 
many areas, such as in the neck and chest, which would be 
advantageous in the event a need should arise to measure the 
corresponding risk of injury to children in child restraints.
    \108\ Seacrist, T., et al., ``Kinematic Comparison of the Hybrid 
III and Q-Series Pediatric ATDs to Pediatric Volunteers in Low-Speed 
Frontal Crashes,'' 56th Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, 
October 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Importantly, using the HIII-6YO could improve our assessment of CRS 
performance particularly in the significant safety area of head injury. 
NASS-CDS data from 1995-2009 show that 39 percent of AIS 2+ injuries to 
restrained children in frontal crashes are to the head and face, with 
59 percent of these injuries due to contact with the seat and back 
support.\109\ Mandatory use of the HIII-6YO in compliance testing could 
boost those efforts to address the head injury problem.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \109\ In a study of 28 cases of children ages 0 to 15 who 
sustained AIS 2+ head or face injuries in a frontal crash, 
researchers found that the front row seat back and the B-pillar were 
the most commonly contacted components. Arbogast, K.B., S. Wozniak, 
Locey, C.M., Maltese, M.R., and Zonfrillo, M.R. (2012). Head impact 
contact points for restrained child occupants. Traffic Injury 
Prevention, 13(2):172-81.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The HIII-6YO dummy yields a more accurate depiction of the 
restrained child's head excursion and would help better ensure CRSs are 
designed to prevent head impacts. Test data indicate the HIII-6YO 
exhibits more head excursion than the older H2-6YO dummy in FMVSS No. 
213 tests. Table 21 shows paired sled test data of the HIII-6YO on the 
proposed seat assembly and the H2-6YO on the current FMVSS No. 213 seat 
assembly, with the dummies restrained in the same or equivalent booster 
seat model. Paired T-tests indicated that the measured differences in 
HIC and head excursion were significant (p-value <0.01).
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP02NO20.029

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    The average HIC, chest acceleration, and head and knee excursions 
are shown in Table 22.

[[Page 69434]]



  Table 22--Average HIC, Chest Acceleration, Head Excursion, and Knee Excursion of the HIII-6YO on the Proposed
           Seat Assembly and the H2-6YO on the Current Seat Assembly Using the Same Booster Seat Model
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               ATD                       HIC        Chest acceleration     Head excursion       Knee excursion
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HIII-6YO on proposed seat                     288                 43 g               537 mm               584 mm
 assembly........................
H2-6YO on current seat assembly..             492                 46 g               416 mm               533 mm
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
T-test showed that there was no significant difference (p-value<0.15) between the chest acceleration and knee
  excursion measures of the HIII-6YO in the proposed seat assembly and the H2-6YO on the current standard seat
  assembly when restrained in the same booster seat model.

    NHTSA requests comments on whether using the HIII-6YO and the 
updated seat assembly would examine more closely the ability of CRSs to 
manage the kinematics of a restrained child in modern vehicles than a 
test with the H2-6YO.
    NHTSA is also concerned that replacement parts for the ATD are 
becoming increasingly more difficult for the agency to procure. 
Although NHTSA's crash test dummies are designed to be durable and 
capable of withstanding crash testing without unreasonably breaking, 
all test dummies need refurbishment and parts replacement from time to 
time. As the H2-6YO is not a state-of-the-art dummy, it has become more 
difficult for NHTSA to obtain replacement parts for the ATD. The Agency 
is concerned that as parts become harder to obtain, NHTSA's inability 
to obtain parts will delay and impede its compliance test program. 
Ending the optional use of the H2-6YO dummy in compliance testing would 
avoid that potential problem.
    NHTSA does not believe that terminating the optional use of the H2-
6YO dummy would affect the manufacture of current child restraints 
significantly. First, while the head and knee excursions of the HIII-
6YO dummy were greater than those of the H2-6YO, the excursion levels 
were well below FMVSS No. 213's excursion limits.\110\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \110\ Since not every CRS on the market was tested, there may be 
some that may need some design changes to meet the head excursion 
limit when tested with the HIII-6YO on the proposed seat assembly. 
However, the design changes would be warranted for child safety, as 
using the HIII-6YO better replicates the kinematics of an actual 
child than the H2-6YO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second, most CRS manufacturers are already using the HIII-6YO dummy 
to test some or all of their CRS models. Information from manufacturers 
to NHTSA in 2014 showed that 43 percent of CRS manufacturers use the 
HIII-6YO to test their CRSs, 21 percent use the H2-6YO and 36 percent 
use both dummies for testing their various CRS models. Manufacturers 
using both the H2-6YO and HIII-6YO dummies test at least 50 percent of 
their models using the HIII-6YO dummy.
    For the above reasons, NHTSA is proposing to specify in FMVSS No. 
213 that the agency will only use the HIII-6YO and not the H2-6YO 
dummy, with provision of sufficient lead time (e.g., 3 years after 
publication of a final rule) for the change. Comments are requested on 
the issues discussed above.

e. Positioning the Legs of the HIII-3YO Dummy in Rear-Facing CRSs

    Because CRSs labeled for use by children in the 10 kg-18.2 kg (22-
40 lb) weight range are often sold to be used rear-facing, we seek to 
make more evaluative our compliance testing of these CRSs when so used.
    Under current FMVSS No. 213, rear-facing CRSs labeled for use by 
children in the 10 kg-18.2 kg (22-40 lb) weight range are subject to 
testing with the (33 lb) HIII-3YO test dummy. In the past, testing with 
the 3YO dummy rear-facing has been complicated by the dummy's legs 
oftentimes getting crammed against the seat back \111\ and the Agency 
not knowing how it ought to position the ATD's legs in the compliance 
test. In this NPRM, we propose a dummy leg positioning procedure that 
calls for placing the ATD's legs up against the seat back and removing 
the test dummy's knee joint stops to allow the leg to extend at the 
knee in the dynamic test. The procedure is already used by some 
commercial test labs and CRS manufacturers to test rear-facing CRSs for 
older children.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \111\ Positioning the HIII- 3YO dummy in a rear-facing CRSs has 
proven difficult in laboratory tests because of the bracing 
interaction between the legs of the dummy and the seat which can 
change the pre-test set recline angle of the rear-facing CRS and the 
pre-test applied lap belt tension.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The positioning procedure is based on data analyzing toddler lower 
extremity postures when seated in rear-facing CRSs. NHTSA initiated a 
research project conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation 
Research Institute (UMTRI) to identify toddlers' common lower extremity 
postures.\112\ UMTRI evaluated 29 subjects ages 18- to 36-months in two 
rear-facing conditions (wide and narrow seat).\113\ UMTRI took 
anthropometry measures, surface scans and coordinate measures to 
evaluate the toddler seating postures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \112\ ``Toddler Lower Extremity Posture in Child Restraint 
Systems,'' March 2015, UMTRI-2014-8.
    \113\ UMTRI also identified the children's common lower 
extremity postures in forward-facing seats (long and short cushion). 
Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UMTRI found that the most common seating postures for toddlers in 
rear-facing restraints are with the child's legs bent and ``relaxed'' 
with the bottom part of the feet up against the seat back, and with the 
child's legs spread and ``feet flat against each other.'' These seating 
positions are not achievable by the HIII-3YO dummy due to the dummy's 
limited hip range of motion. However, the children also frequently sat 
with their legs bent and elevated against the vehicle seat back. The 
HIII-3YO's legs are able to achieve this bent and elevated position.
    We have tentatively decided to position the HIII-3YO's legs bent 
and elevated in rear-facing seats as shown by many of the children in 
the UMTRI study. Positioning the ATD's legs this way would replicate a 
typical position many children take in a rear-facing CRS. As noted 
above, the proposed procedure is already used by some commercial test 
labs and CRS manufacturers to test rear-facing CRSs for older children.
    As part of the study, UMTRI conducted sled tests to compare the 
proposed positioning protocol to those used by Transport Canada in 
Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) No. 213 and by various 
commercial test labs and CRS manufacturers, to assess differences, if 
any, in CRS performance and the ease-of-use of the procedures.\114\ 
UMTRI evaluated the following protocols: (a) Positioning the ATD in an 
unaltered state (baseline); \115\ (b) removing knee joint stops to 
allow the leg to extend at the knee (NHTSA's proposed procedure); (c) 
removing lower leg completely (used by CMVSS

[[Page 69435]]

No. 213); (d) removing lower leg and attaching the shank mass to the 
sides or top of thigh (used by CMVSS No. 213); and (e) bending the leg 
at the knee. The sled tests were conducted using three convertible 
child restraints (Graco Comfort Sport, Cosco Scenera and Cosco Scenera 
40RF).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \114\ ``Assessment of ATD Selection and Use for Dynamic Testing 
of Rear Facing Restraint Systems Designed for Larger Toddlers.'' 
UMTRI-2014-12. March 2015.
    \115\ Experienced bracing between the seat and CRS because of 
the legs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Test results in Table 23 show that the different seating procedures 
had little effect on the response data (HIC, chest acceleration, seat 
back rotation) obtained from tests of the three restraints.\116\ Table 
23 shows that the coefficient of variation of the different dummy 
configurations in three different CRSs was less than 10 percent except 
for one that showed an 11 percent CV for HIC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \116\ ``Assessment of ATD Selection and Use for Dynamic Testing 
of Rear Facing Restraint Systems Designed for Larger Toddlers,'' 
supra.

                Table 23--HIII-3YO Responses in Sled Tests With Different Seating Configurations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Max seat  back                       Chest
  UMTRI test number (NT12##)          CRS             Dummy            angle            HIC        acceleration
                                                  configuration      (degrees)                    3 ms clip  (g)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
53...........................  Cosco Scenera...  A-Baseline.....              57             342              39
54...........................  Cosco Scenera...  B-Kneestop.....              59             293              38
55...........................  Cosco Scenera...  D-Shank........              56             296              39
52...........................  Cosco Scenera...  E-Bent Knee....              57             334              37
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average..................  ................  ...............            57.3           316.3            38.3
    Standard Deviation.......  ................  ...............             1.3            25.4             1.0
    CV.......................  ................  ...............              2%              8%              3%
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
50...........................  Cosco Scenera 40  A-Baseline.....              55             383              38
49...........................  Cosco Scenera 40  B-Kneestop.....              55             359              40
48...........................  Cosco Scenera 40  D-Shank........              54             361              40
51...........................  Cosco Scenera 40  E-Bent.........              55             337              37
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average..................  ................  ...............            54.8           360.0            38.8
    STD......................  ................  ...............             0.5            18.8             1.5
    CV.......................  ................  ...............              1%              5%              4%
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
41...........................  Graco Comfort     A-Baseline.....              54             358              41
                                Sport.
42...........................  Graco Comfort     B-Kneestop.....              54             350              45
                                Sport.
45...........................  Graco Comfort     C--No leg......              51             364              41
                                Sport.
46...........................  Graco Comfort     D-Shank........              51             436              35
                                Sport.
44...........................  Graco Comfort     E-Bent.........              55             334              40
                                Sport.
                              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Average..................  ................  ...............              53           368.4            40.4
    STD......................  ................  ...............             1.9            39.4             3.6
    CV.......................  ................  ...............              4%             11%              9%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UMTRI also found that sled testing went more smoothly with some of 
the procedures than with others. An unaltered HIII-3YO dummy 
installation (baseline) created the most interaction (bracing) between 
the dummy's legs and the standard seat assembly. Removing the HIII-3YO 
knee joint and bending the legs at the knee (proposed procedure) were 
found to be easy to do in the lab and added little time to the testing 
process. Removing the HIII-3YO lower legs and attaching them to the 
upper leg was not a simple task; the reattached segments were not 
sufficiently coupled using tape and it added bulk to the thigh area of 
the dummy. We are also concerned that the added bulk of the reattached 
segments can create fit issues in narrow CRSs.\117\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \117\ UMTRI also tested a CRABI-18MO by adding mass to the torso 
and thigh of the dummy to achieve a 33-35 lb weight. UMTRI found 
that while adding mass to the CRABI-18MO dummy was not difficult, 
the flexible weights have to be attached around the torso of the 
dummy which changes the shape of the dummy and may affect the ATD's 
biofidelity. In addition, the CRABI-18MO is not incorporated into 49 
CFR part 572. Therefore, the CRABI-18MO was not further considered.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In summary, more and more CRSs are sold for use rear-facing with 
older children. The proposed positioning procedure would facilitate 
NHTSA's compliance testing of the CRSs to the requirements of FMVSS No. 
213. The procedure involves removing the dummy's knee joint stops to 
allow the leg to bend freely at the knee. Removing the knee joint stops 
results in a seating posture that toddlers adopt in real life, 
minimizes the possibility of bracing between the CRS and the standard 
seat assembly, is a task easily accomplished in the test lab and 
minimizes changes to the HIII-3YO dummy.\118\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \118\ NHTSA and UMTRI explored making changes to the HIII-3YO 
dummy to allow it to achieve the ``relaxed'' and ``feet flat against 
each other'' postures shown by toddlers in the study. Efforts 
involved reshaping the dummy's thigh flesh and changing the thigh 
joint to a ball-and-socket joint to improve the range of motion of 
the dummy's hips. However, prototypes showed that making those 
changes yielded little improvement in the seating posture and that a 
more involved effort would be needed to attain the postures. Since 
the test data indicated that different seating procedures had little 
effect on the response data, we decided there was not a sufficient 
need to pursue modifying the HIII-3YO dummy. ``Toddler Lower 
Extremity Posture in Child Restraint Systems,'' supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

f. Table Summarizing Proposed Amendments

    Table 24 below illustrates this NPRM's proposed weight categories 
discussed above.

[[Page 69436]]



           Table 24--Proposed Use of Dummies Based on Manufacturer's Weight and Height Recommendations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  CRS recommended for use by children of these weights        Are compliance tested by NHTSA with these ATDs
                     and heights--                                 (subparts refer to 49 CFR part 572)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Weight (W) <=5 kg (11 lb), Height (H) <=650 mm (25.5     Newborn (subpart K).
 inches).
Weight 5 kg (11 lb) https://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/14-001678%20IMMI%20STAR%20crs.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA proposes amendments to FMVSS No. 213 to make the standard 
more design-neutral regarding CRSs that are designed for exclusive use 
on school bus seats. To permit restraints for exclusive school bus use 
other than harnesses, the proposed amendments would include a new 
design-neutral definition for this type of CRS.
    NHTSA proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 so that CRSs manufactured for 
exclusive use on school bus seats could be certified using a seat back 
mount or a seat back and seat pan mount attachment method. 
Specifically, NHTSA proposes to add a definition of ``school bus child 
restraint system'' in S4 of FMVSS No. 213 that would define the term as 
a child restraint system (including harnesses), sold for exclusive use 
on school bus seats, that has a label conforming with S5.3.1(b) of 
FMVSS No. 213.
    NHTSA proposes amending S5.3.1(b) to require school bus CRSs to 
bear a permanent warning label, depicted in Figure 12 of FMVSS No. 213, 
that is permanently affixed to the part of the harness or strap that 
attaches the CRS to a vehicle seat back. This label must be plainly 
visible when installed and easily readable, the message area must be 
white with black text and no less than 20 square centimeters, and the 
pictogram shall be gray and black with a red circle and slash on a 
white background and no less than 20 mm in diameter.
    NHTSA proposes to amend table S5.1.3.1(a) which specifies the head 
and knee excursion requirements. School bus CRSs would be subject to 
the current excursion limit requirements for harnesses manufactured for 
use on school bus seats when installed using a seat back mount or seat 
back and seat pan mounts. Also, NHTSA proposes to amend the table to 
S5.3.2 to indicate that school bus CRSs must meet the relevant 
requirements of the standard when attached with a seat back mount or 
seat back and seat pan mounts.
    This NPRM also proposes to amend S5.6.1.11 of FMVSS No. 213 to 
require that printed instructions accompanying these school bus CRSs 
include the warning statement: ``WARNING! This restraint must only be 
used on school bus seats. Entire seat directly behind must be 
unoccupied or have restrained occupants.''


[[Page 69437]]


    School bus CRSs would not be required to have lower attachments 
to install the CRS using the child restraint anchorage system, nor 
would they be required to meet performance requirements when tested 
using seat belt and lower anchorages attachment methods. School bus 
CRSs would not need to have alternative methods of attachments other 
than the seat back mount or seat back and seat pan mounts because 
school bus seats do not always have seat belts and/or lower 
anchorages.

XI. Child Passenger Safety Issues Arising From Research Findings

    NHTSA requests comment on several developments in child passenger 
safety that have arisen in the research context. The Agency would like 
commenters' views on how best to approach those developments. The 
Agency has docketed a paper that discusses these issues in more detail.
    1. NHTSA has reviewed research reports on testing done on certain 
kinds of child restraints--CRSs not yet widely available in the U.S--
that raise concerns about a potential unreasonable risk of submarining 
\121\ or ejection from these devices in some crash scenarios. The CRSs 
in question are inflatable booster seats, and ``shield-type'' child 
restraints (shield-only-CRSs) available in markets overseas. Comments 
are requested on the findings of the reports.\122\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \121\ ``Submarining'' refers to the tendency for a restrained 
occupant to slide forward feet first under the lap belt during a 
vehicle crash, which could result in serious abdominal, pelvic, and 
spinal injuries.
    \122\ Reports documenting vehicle crash tests using inflatable 
and shield-type CRSs are available in the docket for this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (a) Inflatable booster seats: Transport Canada conducted 25-30 mph 
frontal impact crash tests of different vehicle models, with the HIII-
6YO and HIII-10YO dummies restrained in inflatable boosters in rear 
seats. In the tests, the dummies experienced significant submarining 
due to excessive compression of the inflatable booster during the crash 
event. Booster seats sold in Canada are required to compress by not 
more than 25 mm when subjected to a 2,250 N quasi-static compression 
force. Inflatable booster seats cannot meet the requirements of this 
quasi-static compression test and so inflatable boosters are not sold 
in Canada. Comments are requested on the findings of the research crash 
tests conducted in Canada, on the booster seat compression test 
requirements in Canada, and on the safety need to have a compression 
test in FMVSS No. 213.
    (b) Shield-only-CRSs: Shield-only-CRSs only have a shield to 
restrain a young child's upper torso, lower torso, and crotch. While 
such CRSs are currently not available in the U.S., there are a wide 
variety of shield-only-CRSs in Europe intended for children weighing 
less than 13.6 kg (30 lb). Child dummies (representing children aged 
18-months old and 3-years-old) restrained in shield-only-CRSs in 
simulated vehicle rollover tests, 64 km/h (40 mph) offset frontal 
impact vehicle crash tests, and in 64 km/h (40 mph) Allgemeiner 
Deutsher Automobil-Club (ADAC) type frontal impact sled tests were 
completely or partially ejected from the CRSs. These test results raise 
concern about the ability of a shield-only-CRS to retain small children 
in the CRS in certain crashes or in a rollover. NHTSA seeks comment on 
the findings of these research tests. Should FMVSS No. 213 require 
shield-only-CRSs to have additional shoulder belts and a crotch strap, 
similar to the requirements for child restraints that have belts 
designed to restrain the child (S5.4.3.3)?
    2. NHTSA requests information on a matter showing up in the field 
concerning children under 1YO outgrowing infant carriers by height much 
earlier than by weight. Research studies conducted at UMTRI \123\ show 
that some infant carriers marketed as suitable for children up to 13.6 
kg (30 lb), which is greater than the weight of a 95th percentile 1 YO 
and an average 1.5 YO, cannot ``fit'' the height of a 95th percentile 1 
YO or an average 1.5 YO.\124\ NHTSA believes that infant carriers' 
height and weight recommendations should better match the children for 
whom the CRS is recommended. NHTSA seeks comment on UMTRI's research 
findings regarding how current infant carriers fit children that they 
are designed for. Should infant carriers' height and weight 
recommendations better match up to better accommodate the children for 
whom the CRS is recommended?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \123\ Manary. M., et al., ``Comparing the CRABI-12 and CRABI-18 
for Infant Child Restraint System Evaluation.'' June 2015. DOT HS 
812 156. The report is available in the docket for this NPRM.
    \124\ Field experience indicates that children at the higher end 
of growth charts typically outgrow the carriers by height at around 
9-10 months.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. NHTSA has supported the development of computer models of 
children of different weights and heights to assist CRS manufacturers 
in designing child restraints that better fit the children for whom the 
CRS is recommended.\125\ These virtual models are available to the 
public to improve the fit of CRSs to children.\126\ NHTSA requests 
comments from manufacturers and other parties on whether they used the 
models and whether the models were helpful.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \125\ NHTSA has sponsored an UMTRI project developing toddler 
virtual dummies for use in improving of the fit of CRSs to child 
passengers. Information on a 2015 UMTRI workshop describing 
development of the toddler virtual fit dummies can be found at: 
http://umtri.umich.edu/our-results/projects/umtri-workshop-new-tools-child-occupant-protection.
    \126\ Toddler virtual models available for download at: http://childshape.org/toddler/manikins/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

XII. Proposed Lead Time

    This NPRM proposes that the compliance date for most of the 
amendments in this rulemaking action would be three years following the 
date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, with 
optional early compliance permitted (exceptions are discussed below). 
NHTSA tentatively believes that a 3-year period is in the public 
interest because CRS manufacturers would need to gain familiarity with 
the new standard seat assembly and new test protocols, and would need 
time to assess their products' conformance to the new FMVSS No. 213 
test requirements. They would need time to implement design and 
production changes as needed. A 3-year lead time also aligns with the 
typical design cycle of child restraints.
    Exceptions to the proposed 3-year compliance date would be as 
follows. NHTSA proposes a 180-day compliance date for the proposed 
changes to registration card requirements and the proposed changes to 
permit school bus child restraint systems (early optional compliance 
would be permitted). A 1-year compliance date is proposed for labeling 
requirement changes (early optional compliance would be permitted). 
NHTSA would like to implement these changes as early as possible to 
attain the safety benefits they can achieve. The proposed time should 
provide enough time to change the card and labels. The proposed 180-day 
compliance date would be sufficient for school bus CRSs since the 
proposed amendment would remove a restriction on the manufacture of 
such products.

XIII. Corrections and Other Minor Amendments

    This NPRM proposes a few housekeeping and other amendments to the 
text of FMVSS No. 213.

a. Correct Reference

    The Agency would amend S5.5.2(l)(3)(i) of FMVSS No. 213 by 
correcting a reference to ``S5.5.2(l)(3)(A)(i), (ii), or (iii).'' The 
reference would be corrected to refer to ``S5.5.2(l)(3)(i)(A), (B), or 
(C).''

[[Page 69438]]

b. Section 5.1.2.2

    The Agency is removing and reserving S5.1.2.2 because it applies to 
CRSs manufactured before August 1, 2005 and so is no longer applicable.

c. Table to S5.1.3.1(a) and Test Configuration II

    The Agency is correcting the table to S5.1.3.1(a), which specifies 
performance criteria and test conditions for FMVSS No. 213's occupant 
excursion requirements for add-on forward-facing CRSs. When NHTSA 
created the table the agency inadvertently did not include a reference 
to Test Configuration II of FMVSS No. 213.\127\ NHTSA seeks to correct 
this oversight.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \127\ NHTSA adopted the table into FMVSS No. 213 in a March 5, 
1999 final rule establishing the requirements for child restraint 
anchorage systems for vehicles and corresponding requirements for 
CRSs (64 FR 10786).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Test Configuration II is a 32 km/h (20 mph) ``misuse'' test that 
applies to CRSs that are ``equipped with a fixed or movable surface 
described in S5.2.2.2.'' \128\ (S6.1.2(a)(2).) \129\ In Test 
Configuration II, NHTSA tests those types of CRSs without attaching 
``any of the child restraint belts unless they are an integral part of 
the fixed or movable surface.'' \130\ In addition, the child restraint 
is untethered (S6.1.2(a)(2)(i)). The tested child restraint must meet 
all the dynamic performance requirements of the standard, not just 
excursion requirements, when tested in this manner.\131\ Test 
Configuration II is intended to address the possibility that the 
restraint's internal belt system will be misused or not used at all by 
the caregiver. If this happens, Test Configuration II ensures that the 
restraint will offer some minimal protection even when the CRS is not 
properly used.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \128\ S5.2.2.2 states that each forward-facing child restraint 
system shall have no fixed or movable surface: (a) directly forward 
of the dummy and intersected by a horizontal line, parallel to the 
seat orientation reference line (term defined in S4 of FMVSS No. 
213), in the case of the add-on child restraint system, or parallel 
to a vertical plane through the longitudinal center line of the 
vehicle seat, in the case of a built-in child restraint system, and 
(b) passing through any portion of the dummy, except for surfaces 
which restrain the dummy when the system is tested in accordance 
with S6.1.2(a)(2), so that the child restraint system shall conform 
to the requirements of S5.1.2 and S5.1.3.1.
    \129\ S6.1.2(a)(2)(i) and (ii) also state that Test 
Configuration II applies to ``backless child restraint system[s] 
with a top anchorage strap'' and to a ``built-in booster seat with a 
top anchorage strap.'' NHTSA is proposing to remove references in 
FMVSS No. 213 to those CRSs because such restraints are no longer or 
have never been produced.
    \130\ See FMVSS No. 213 S10.2.1(b)(2) and S10.2.2(c)(2).
    \131\ The CRSs must also meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 213 
when tested to Test Configuration I's 48 km/h (30 mph) tests. The 
CRSs' internal belts are attached in Test Configuration I but the 
top tether cannot be attached to meet FMVSS No. 213's head excursion 
limit of 813 mm (32 inches) and the other dynamic performance 
requirements in S5.1 of the standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

d. Updating Reference to SAE Recommended Practice J211/1

    Current specifications of the test device for built-in child 
restraints in FMVSS No. 213 (S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and 
S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G)) require that instrumentation and data processing 
be in conformance with SAE Recommended Practice J211 (June 1980), 
``Instrumentation for Impact Tests.'' SAE Recommended Practice J211 has 
been revised several times since June 1980 and most test facilities are 
currently using newer versions of the document. FMVSS No. 208, 
``Occupant crash protection,'' currently refers to the document as SAE 
Recommended Practice J211/1 (March 1995). The 1995 version of SAE J211/
1 is consistent with the current requirements for instrumentation and 
data processing in FMVSS No. 213. Using the same Recommended Practice 
J211/1 (1995) in S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G) would 
update the FMVSS No. 213 provisions and facilitate the processing of 
test results when combining a test of built-in child restraints with an 
FMVSS No. 208 test. Therefore, NHTSA proposes updating the reference to 
SAE Recommended Practice J211(1980) in sections S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and 
S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G) to SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995).\132\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \132\ NHTSA would also reference the updated SAE J211/1 in the 
compliance test procedure proposed for FMVSS No. 213a's side impact 
test. See 79 FR at 4603, S6.1.2(f).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

XIV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, E.O. 13563, and DOT Rulemaking Procedures
    The Agency has considered the impact of this rulemaking action 
under E.O. 12866, E.O. 13563, and the Department of Transportation's 
administrative rulemaking procedures set forth in 49 CFR part 5, 
subpart B. This rulemaking is not considered significant and was not 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866, 
``Regulatory Planning and Review.''
Estimated Benefits and Costs
    The NPRM proposes to amend FMVSS No. 213 by (a) updating the 
standard seat assembly to represent better the rear seating environment 
in the current vehicle fleet, (b) amending several labeling and owner 
information requirements to improve communication with today's CRS 
owners and to align with current best practices for child passenger 
safety, and (c) amending how NHTSA uses ATDs to make the Agency's 
compliance tests more evaluative of CRS performance. The proposal would 
provide some safety benefits with, at most, minimal incremental costs.
Updated Sled Assembly
    The proposed updates to the sled test would better align the 
performance of CRSs in compliance tests to that in real world crashes.
    NHTSA tested 24 CRS models representing the market of infant 
carrier, convertible, all-in-one, and booster type CRSs on the proposed 
standard seat assembly with the appropriate size dummies. All but one 
forward-facing CRS models met the current and proposed performance 
requirements. The Diono Radian tested with the HIII-10YO dummy met all 
performance requirements except for the head excursion limit in the 
untethered condition. Based on these data, the Agency believes that 
only a few CRSs may need minor redesign to meet the requirements in the 
proposed standard seat assembly (V2).\133\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \133\ Preliminary tests with the proposed standard seat assembly 
using an average 23.3 g peak acceleration pulse and an average 47.5 
km/h (29.5 mph) velocity within the FMVSS No. 213 acceleration 
corridor showed dummy HIC and chest accelerations in some booster 
seats, tested with the HIII-6YO and HIII-10YO dummies, near or 
exceeding allowable threshold levels. While NHTSA expects that some 
booster seats may need to be redesigned to meet the performance 
measures when tested with a higher acceleration pulse, these 
redesigns could be accomplished without additional material cost. 
For example, different foams could be used in the CRS seating 
cushions that work better with the proposed stiffer standard seat 
cushion foam to lower the HIC and chest g values.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA believes that a lead time of three years is sufficient for 
the redesign. The Agency has not estimated a cost of this redesign, 
assuming the redesign could be incorporated into a typical business 
model involving manufacturers refining child restraint designs to 
freshen their product lines. The refinements result in new product 
offerings that appeal to consumers and help manufacturers remain 
competitive.
    There would be costs involved in changing the standard seat 
assembly used by NHTSA to assess CRS compliance. Manufacturers are not 
required to use the standard seat assembly, but as a practical matter 
they usually choose to do so, to test their CRSs as similarly to the 
tests conducted by NHTSA. The one-time cost of the updated standard 
seat assembly sled

[[Page 69439]]

buck is about $8,000. If a manufacturer chooses to build the assembly 
itself or uses one at an independent test facility, either way there 
would be minimal cost impacts when the cost of the assembly and testing 
CRSs is distributed among the hundreds of thousands of CRSs that would 
be sold by each manufacturer.
Labeling and Owner Registration
    The Agency believes that the proposed updates to the labeling 
requirements would benefit safety by reducing the premature graduation 
of children from rear-facing CRSs to forward-facing CRSs, and from 
forward-facing CRSs to booster seats. The Agency estimates 1.9 to 6.3 
lives would be saved and 2.6 to 8.7 moderate-to-critical severity 
injuries would be prevented annually by aligning FMVSS No. 213's use 
instructions with current best practices on transporting children.\134\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \134\ Details of the benefits analysis are provided in the 
Appendix to this NPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed changes to the labeling requirements would have 
minimal or no cost impacts, as mostly they are deregulatory. 
Manufacturers would be given the flexibility to provide required 
information in statements or a combination of statements and pictograms 
at locations that they deem most effective. Manufacturers may provide 
the recommended child weight and height ranges for the use of CRSs in a 
specific installation mode on existing voluntary labels by simply 
changing the minimum child weight limit values. Since no additional 
information would be required on the labels by this NPRM, the size of 
the label would not need to be increased. Thus, there would be minimal 
or no additional cost for the label. There would also be no decrease in 
sales of forward-facing car safety seats or of booster seats as a 
result of the proposal to raise the minimum child weight limit values 
for forward-facing CRSs and booster seats. Most forward-facing CRSs 
cover a wide child weight range, so the labeling changes would only 
affect how consumers use the products and not the sale of them. For 
example, consumers would still purchase forward-facing car safety seats 
but would wait to use them forward-facing until the child is at least 
1. They would still purchase convertible CRSs, but will delay turning 
the child forward-facing until the child is at least 1. Consumers would 
still purchase booster seats, but would use them only from when the 
child reaches 18.2 kg (40 lb).
    The proposed changes to the registration program generally lessen 
restrictions and are optional for manufacturers to implement. These 
proposed changes to the registration card would provide flexibility to 
manufacturers in how they communicate with consumers and would likely 
help improve registration rates and recall completion rates. NHTSA 
cannot quantify the benefits at this time.
    NHTSA estimates there would be no costs associated with the 
proposed changes. While the changes could affect the collection of 
information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act (which is discussed 
later in this section), there would be no additional material cost 
associated with the proposed changes to the registration card or to the 
CRS label or owner manual pertaining to registration. Manufacturers 
could use the same card and labels and just change the wording on them.
ATDs
    The proposed updates of how ATDs are used in the sled test for 
assessing CRS performance better accords with current CRS designs and 
best practices for transporting child passengers compared to the 
current specifications in FMVSS No. 213. NHTSA cannot quantify the 
possible safety benefits at this time.
    Some of the proposed changes lessen testing burdens by reducing the 
extent of testing with ATDs. For example, the NPRM proposes that CRSs 
for children weighing 10 kg to 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb) would no longer be 
subject to testing with the HIII-3YO dummy. NHTSA estimates a reduction 
in testing cost of $540,000 for the current number of infant carrier 
models in the market.\135\ Also, CRSs for children weighing 13.6-18.2 
kg (30-40 lb) would no longer be tested with the CRABI-12MO. However, 
the Agency does not expect any reduction in testing costs from this 
latter modification since all CRSs with internal harnesses are sold for 
children weighing less than 13.6 kg (30 lb), and so would still be 
subject to testing with the CRABI-12MO in that regard. The proposed 
positioning procedure for the legs of the HIII-3YO dummy in rear-facing 
CRSs is unlikely to have cost implications because the procedure is the 
same as that currently used by manufacturers.
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    \135\ There are currently 45 infant carrier models with 
recommended upper weight limit exceeding 10 kg (22 lb). Each rear-
facing CRS is tested in three different configurations on the 
standard seat assembly with each dummy used for testing the CRS: (1) 
CRS installed using seat belts, (2) CRS installed using the lower 
anchors and no tether, and (3) CRS installed without the base using 
the lower anchors and no tether. The cost of a sled test is 
estimated at $4,000. Therefore, the cost savings by not testing the 
45 infant carrier models using the HIII-3YO dummy is estimated to be 
$540,000 (= $4,000 x 3 x 45). Since manufacturers typically conduct 
more than one test in each of the CRS installation configurations, 
NHTSA expects the actual cost savings to be greater than the 
estimated $540,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similarly, NHTSA believes that testing CRSs solely with the HIII-
6YO rather than the H2-6YO dummy would not have significant cost 
implications. This is because there would be little or no design 
changes needed for the CRSs due to this proposed update since nearly 
all the CRSs tested with the HIII-6YO in the proposed standard seat 
assembly complied with all the FMVSS No. 213 requirements.\136\ NHTSA's 
testing also showed that CRSs that currently comply with FMVSS No. 213 
using the H2-6YO dummy also met all the performance requirements in the 
standard when tested using the HIII-6YO dummy in the proposed standard 
seat assembly. In addition, manufacturers are increasingly certifying 
at least some of their CRS models for older children using the HIII-6YO 
dummy rather than the H2-6YO and so most manufacturers already have 
access to the HIII-6YO dummy and would not need to purchase the dummy 
as a result of this proposed update. Most CRS manufacturers hire 
commercial test labs to test their CRSs for conformance with FMVSS No. 
213 requirements. These labs already have the HIII-6YO dummy since some 
of their CRS manufacturer clients currently want to certify their CRSs 
based on tests with the HIII-6YO dummy. Thus, there would not be a cost 
increase to purchase and test with the dummy.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \136\ Of 21 tests with the HIII-6YO in the proposed seat 
assembly, all passed the performance metrics, except for one that 
failed head excursion limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NHTSA believes that a lead time of three years is sufficient for 
redesigning CRSs that may need modifications to comply with the 
proposed updates to ATD selection for the sled test because most CRSs 
would need minor or no modifications as a result of the proposed 
updates. Further, a 3-year time frame aligns with the typical design 
cycle for CRSs. The Agency notes also that manufacturers have the 
option of not changing CRS designs in some instances, and may instead 
change the weight of the children for whom the CRS is recommended. 
Narrowing the population of children for whom the CRS is recommended 
could result in reducing the number of ATDs NHTSA and manufacturers use 
in compliance and certification tests, respectively.
School Bus Child Restraint Systems
    The proposed changes to include in FMVSS No. 213 a new type of CRS

[[Page 69440]]

manufactured for exclusive use on school bus seats would allow the sale 
of these products. The Agency estimates there would be no cost impacts 
associated with the proposed changes because the amendment would permit 
more products to be sold for school bus use. The benefits of the 
proposed changes are associated with the popularity of such CRSs in the 
pupil transportation industry for transporting preschool and special-
needs children. However, NHTSA cannot quantify these benefits at this 
time.
Executive Order 13771
    Executive Order 13771 titled ``Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs,'' directs that, unless prohibited by law, whenever an 
executive department or agency publicly proposes for notice and comment 
or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least 
two existing regulations to be repealed. In addition, any new 
incremental costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent 
permitted by law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs. Only 
those rules deemed significant under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' are subject to these 
requirements. As discussed above, this rule is not a significant rule 
under Executive Order 12866 and, accordingly, is not subject to the 
offset requirements of 13771.
    This proposed rule is expected to be an E.O. 13771 deregulatory 
action because NHTSA believes it would reduce the cost of complying 
with NHTSA's requirements. The proposed rule would amend FMVSS No. 213 
to update the standard seat assembly and reduce costs by eliminating 
unnecessary or outdated requirements, such as unnecessary testing of 
infant carriers with the 3YO dummy. The proposal to eliminate 
unnecessary testing with the 3YO test dummy would result in a reduction 
in testing costs of $540,000 for the current number of infant carrier 
models in the market. Removing the restrictions in the owner 
registration program will enable manufacturers to interact with 
consumers using modern methods of communication, which should encourage 
design innovation and productivity. Proposals to update labels and 
owners' manuals would not increase costs, as manufacturers would be 
replacing current labels and manuals with updated versions. NHTSA 
estimates that virtually all CRSs made in the U.S. would meet FMVSS No. 
213's performance requirements on the proposed seat assembly.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 
of proposed rulemaking or final rule, it must prepare and make 
available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that 
describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions), 
unless the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Agencies must also provide a statement of the factual basis for this 
certification.
    I certify that this proposed rule would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NHTSA 
estimates there to be 29 manufacturers of child restraints, none of 
which are small businesses. Even if there were a small CRS 
manufacturer, the impacts of this proposed rule would not be 
significant. NHTSA believes that virtually all CRSs would meet FMVSS 
No. 213's requirements on the new seat assembly without modification. 
Manufacturers may need to change the labels on their child restraints 
pursuant to the proposed requirements, but the changes are minor and 
would entail switching out values on current labels.
National Environmental Policy Act
    NHTSA has analyzed this proposed rule for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act and determined that it would not have 
any significant impact on the quality of the human environment.
Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
    NHTSA has examined this proposed rule pursuant to Executive Order 
13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional 
consultation with States, local governments or their representatives is 
mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The Agency has concluded that 
the rulemaking would not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation 
of a federalism summary impact statement. The proposed rule would not 
have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.''
    NHTSA rules can preempt in two ways. First, the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express preemption provision: 
When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a 
State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue 
in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a 
motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is 
identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter. 49 U.S.C. 
30103(b)(1). It is this statutory command by Congress that preempts any 
non-identical State legislative and administrative law addressing the 
same aspect of performance.
    The express preemption provision described above is subject to a 
savings clause under which ``[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety 
standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from 
liability at common law.'' 49 U.S.C. 30103(e). Pursuant to this 
provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle 
manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express 
preemption provision are generally preserved. However, the Supreme 
Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied 
preemption of such State common law tort causes of action by virtue of 
NHTSA's rules, even if not expressly preempted. This second way that 
NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon there being an actual 
conflict between an FMVSS and the higher standard that would 
effectively be imposed on motor vehicle manufacturers if someone 
obtained a State common law tort judgment against the manufacturer, 
notwithstanding the manufacturer's compliance with the NHTSA standard. 
Because most NHTSA standards established by an FMVSS are minimum 
standards, a State common law tort cause of action that seeks to impose 
a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers will generally not be 
preempted. However, if and when such a conflict does exist--for 
example, when the standard at issue is both a minimum and a maximum 
standard--the State common law tort cause of action is impliedly 
preempted. See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000).
    Pursuant to Executive Orders 13132 and 12988, NHTSA has considered 
whether this proposed rule could or should preempt State common law 
causes of action. The Agency's ability to announce its conclusion 
regarding the preemptive effect of one of its rules reduces the 
likelihood that preemption will be an issue in any subsequent tort 
litigation. To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the 
language

[[Page 69441]]

and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of this proposed 
rule and finds that this proposed rule, like many NHTSA rules, would 
prescribe only a minimum safety standard. As such, NHTSA does not 
intend that this proposed rule would preempt State tort law that would 
effectively impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers 
than that established by this proposed rule. Establishment of a higher 
standard by means of State tort law would not conflict with the minimum 
standard proposed here. Without any conflict, there could not be any 
implied preemption of a State common law tort cause of action.
Civil Justice Reform
    With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation, 
section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice Reform'' (61 FR 
4729, February 7, 1996) requires that Executive agencies make every 
reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies 
the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing 
Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for 
affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; 
(4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately 
defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting 
clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the 
Attorney General. This document is consistent with that requirement.
    Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as follows. The preemptive 
effect of this proposed rule is discussed above. NHTSA notes further 
that there is no requirement that individuals submit a petition for 
reconsideration or pursue other administrative proceeding before they 
may file suit in court.
National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
    Under the National Technology Transfer and dvancement Act of 1995 
(NTTAA) (Pub. L. 104-113), all Federal agencies and departments shall 
use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary 
consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means 
to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies 
and departments. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards 
(e.g., material specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and 
business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary 
consensus standards bodies, such as the International Organization for 
Standardization (ISO) and the SAE International (SAE). The NTTAA 
directs agencies to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when 
the agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary 
consensus standards. NHTSA searched for but did not find voluntary 
consensus standards directly applicable to the amendments proposed in 
this NPRM, other than the minor proposal to update the reference to SAE 
Recommended Practice J211/1 to the March 1995 version.
    However, consistent with the NTTAA, NHTSA reviewed the procedures 
and regulations developed globally to test child restraints dynamically 
and found areas of common ground.\137\ While there is no single 
procedure or regulation of another country that sufficiently replicates 
frontal crashes occurring in the U.S., the agency considered various 
aspects of international regulations pertaining to the testing of child 
restraint systems. NHTSA analyzed aspects of the seating assemblies 
used by NPACS, ECE R.44 and Transport Canada's CMVSS No. 213 and the 
frontal test speeds used worldwide in sled tests. NHTSA proposes a 
requirement to test CRSs with Type 2 (3-point) seat belts, which is 
consistent with CMVSS No. 213. NHTSA tentatively concludes that the 
provisions would increase CRS safety, and would promote harmonization 
of our countries' regulatory approaches in testing CRSs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \137\ The NTTAA seeks to support efforts by the Federal 
government to ensure that agencies work with their regulatory 
counterparts in other countries to address common safety issues. 
Circular No. A-119, ``Federal Participation in the Development and 
Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment 
Activities,'' January 27, 2016, p. 15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 
Public Law 104-4, requires Federal agencies to prepare a written 
assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or 
final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the 
expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, 
or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually (adjusted 
for inflation with base year of 1995). Adjusting this amount by the 
implicit gross domestic product price deflator for the year 2010 
results in $136 million (110.993/81.606 = 1.36). This NPRM would not 
result in a cost of $136 million or more to either State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector. Thus, this 
NPRM is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 of the UMRA.
Executive Order 13609 (Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation)
    The policy statement in section 1 of E.O. 13609 provides, in part:

    The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may 
differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address 
similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the 
regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign 
counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of 
American businesses to export and compete internationally. In 
meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues, international regulatory 
cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective 
as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such 
cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, 
eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory 
requirements.

    NHTSA requests public comment on the ``regulatory approaches taken 
by foreign governments'' concerning the subject matter of this 
rulemaking. In the discussion above on the NTTAA, NHTSA has noted that 
it has reviewed the procedures and regulations developed by Transport 
Canada regarding testing CRSs with Type 2 (3-point) seat belts, and 
tentatively agrees with the merits of the CMVSS No. 213 provision. 
Comments are requested on the above policy statement and the 
implications it has for this rulemaking.
    If you have any responses to these questions, please write to NHTSA 
with your views.
Paperwork Reduction Act
    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless 
the collection displays a valid OMB control number. Before seeking OMB 
approval, Federal agencies must provide a 60-day public comment period 
and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies 
concerning each collection of information requirement. NHTSA believes 
the proposed changes to the owner registration program (571.213, S5.8) 
constitute changes to a ``collection of information'' requirement for 
child restraint system manufacturers. NHTSA is providing a 60-day 
comment period on reporting burdens and other matters associated with 
the proposal.
    OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be included in 
the request for comment document. Under OMB's regulation (at 5 CFR 
1320.8(d)), an agency must ask for public comment on the following:
    Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the 
proper

[[Page 69442]]

performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the 
information will have practical utility;
    The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed 
collection of information, including the validity of the methodology 
and assumptions used;
    How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
to be collected;
    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 proposed collection of information:
    Title: ``Consolidated Child Restraint System Registration, Labeling 
and Defect Notifications.'' OMB Control Number: 2127-0576.
    Requested Expiration Date of Approval: Three years from the 
approval date.
    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Businesses, Individuals and Households.
    Summary of the Collection of Information:
    Child restraint manufacturers are required to provide an owner 
registration card for purchasers of child restraint systems in 
accordance with title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 
571, section 213, ``Child restraint systems.'' The registration card is 
required to be perforated into two parts. The top part (information 
part) contains a message and suitable instructions to be retained by 
the purchaser. The size, font, color, and layout of the top part are 
currently prescribed in Figures 9a and 9b,\138\ as is the attachment 
method (fold/perforation) of the information card to the lower part of 
the form (the mail-in card). The top part of the registration card sets 
forth: (a) Prescribed wording advising the consumer of the importance 
of registering; (b) prescribed instructions on how to register; and (c) 
prescribed statements that the mail-in card is pre-addressed and that 
postage is already paid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \138\ Prescribed in FMVSS No. 213, ``Child restraint systems.'' 
As discussed in this preamble, this NPRM proposes to relieve some of 
those restrictions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The bottom part (the mail-in card) is to be returned to the 
manufacturer by the purchaser. The bottom part includes prepaid return 
postage, the pre-printed name/address of the manufacturer, the pre-
printed model and date of manufacture, and spaces for the purchaser to 
fill in his/her name and address. Optionally, child restraint 
manufacturers are permitted to add to the registration form: (a) 
Specified statements informing CRS owners that they may register 
online; (b) the internet address for registering with the company; (c) 
revisions to statements reflecting use of the internet to register; and 
(d) a space for the consumer's email address.
    Child restraint manufacturers are also required to provide printed 
instructions with new CRSs, with step-by-step information on how the 
restraint is to be used, and a permanently attached label that gives 
``quick look'' information on matters such as use instructions and 
information on registering the CRS.
    Under this NPRM, the Agency is proposing to amend the requirements 
that prescribe wording advising the consumer of the importance of 
registering and instructing how to register. NHTSA proposes to stop 
prescribing the wording. Instead, CRS manufacturers would be given 
leeway to use their own words to convey the importance of registering 
the CRS and to instruct how registration is achieved. NHTSA would allow 
statements instructing consumers to use electronic (or any other means) 
of registering, as long as instructions are provided on using the paper 
card for registering (including that the mail-in card is pre-addressed 
and that the postage is pre-paid). NHTSA also proposes to permit or 
possibly require a statement that the information collected through the 
registration process will not be used by the manufacturer for any 
purpose other than contacting the consumer in the event of a recall.
    The Agency also proposes to remove restrictions on manufacturers on 
their use of size, font, color, layout, and attachment method of the 
information card portion. NHTSA proposes to continue a current 
provision that prohibits any other information unrelated to the 
registration of the CRS, such as advertising or warranty information.
    If the proposed changes to the information card are adopted, NHTSA 
anticipates a change to the hour burden or costs associated with the 
revised information card, labels and owner's manuals. Child restraint 
manufacturers produce, on average, a total of approximately 15,000,000 
child restraints per year. NHTSA estimates there are 29 CRS 
manufacturers with 159 distinct CRS models.
    The hour burden associated with the revised label consists of the 
child restraint manufacturer: (a) Designing the information card with 
statements to instruct how to register, encourage registration and 
optionally, how to register electronically and how the submitted 
information will be used; and (b) updating this information on the 
existing information card, label and instruction manual. NHTSA assumes 
for purposes of this NPRM analysis that each manufacturer would design 
the registration information on the information card, label and manuals 
5 times per year, whether it is to use different registration cards 
designs in different CRS models or to adapt the design to improve 
registrations. The Agency estimates 50 hours of additional burden per 
child restraint manufacturer for the designing of the registration card 
(information card portion), labels and manuals that no longer have 
prescribed text (50 hours x 5 designs/year x 29 CRS manufacturers = 
7,250 hours annually).
    Estimated Additional Annual Burden: 7,250 hours.
    Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the Department, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility 
and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize 
the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including 
the use of automated collection techniques of other forms of 
information technology.
    You may submit comments (identified by the DOT Docket ID Number 
above) by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
    Regardless of how you submit your comments, you should mention the 
docket number of this document. You may call the Docket at (202) 366-
9826. Please identify the proposed collection of information for which 
a comment is provided, by referencing its OMB

[[Page 69443]]

clearance number. It is requested, but not required, that two copies of 
the comment be provided. Note that all comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of 
all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the 
individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted 
on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may 
review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register 
published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).
Regulation Identifier Number
    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Regulatory Information 
Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of 
each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the 
beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda.
Plain Language
    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write all rules in 
plain language.
    Application of the principles of plain language includes 
consideration of the following questions:
     Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
     Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated?
     Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that 
isn't clear?
     Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, 
use of headings, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
     Would more (but shorter) sections be better?
     Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or 
diagrams?
     What else could we do to make the rule easier to 
understand?
    NHTSA has considered these questions and attempted to use plain 
language in writing this proposed rule. Please inform the agency if you 
can suggest how NHTSA can improve its use of plain language.
Incorporation by Reference
    In updating the standard seat assembly used in the FMVSS No. 213 
frontal test, NHTSA would incorporate by reference a drawing package 
titled, ``NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA-213-
2019,'' dated May 2019, into FMVSS No. 213 (49 CFR 571.213). The 
drawing package consists of detailed drawings of and other materials 
related to the proposed standard seat assembly. Interested persons 
could use the drawing package to manufacture the standard seat assembly 
for their own use if they wished to do so.
    NHTSA has placed a copy of the drawing package in the docket for 
this NPRM. Interested parties can download a copy of the drawing 
package or view the materials on line by accessing www.Regulations.gov. 
We also will place a copy of the drawing package in the docket of the 
final rule that incorporates the new standard seat assembly into FMVSS 
No. 213.
    This NPRM also proposes to change an incorporation by reference of 
SAE Recommended Practice J211, ``Instrumentation for Impact Tests,'' 
revised 1980, to a 1995 version of J211 (J211/1). SAE J211/1, Revised 
March 1995, ``Instrumentation for Impact Test--Part 1--Electronic 
Instrumentation,'' provides guidelines and recommendations for 
techniques of measurement with electronic instrumentation used in 
impact tests. These include a series of performance recommendations for 
data channels, guidelines for selecting a frequency response class for 
electronic instrumentation, and guidelines on sign convention and 
digital data processing. The Director of the Federal Register has 
already approved the incorporation by reference of SAE Recommended 
Practice J211/1 (1995) into 49 CFR part 571 (see 49 CFR 571.5(l)(4)). 
Interested parties can obtain a copy of the SAE Recommended Practice 
J211/1 (March 1995) ``Instrumentation for Impact Test--Part 1--
Electronic Instrumentation,'' from SAE International, 400 Commonwealth 
Drive, Warrendale, PA 15096. Telephone: (724) 776-4841, website: 
www.sae.org.

XV. Public Participation

How do I prepare and submit comments?

    To ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the Docket, 
please include the Docket Number in your comments.
    Your comments must be written and in English. Your comments must 
not be more than 15 pages long. NHTSA established this limit to 
encourage you to write your primary comments in a concise fashion. 
However, you may attach necessary additional documents to your 
comments, and there is no limit on the length of the attachments.
    If you are submitting comments electronically as a PDF (Adobe) 
file, NHTSA asks that the documents be submitted using the Optical 
Character Recognition (OCR) process, thus allowing NHTSA to search and 
copy certain portions of your submissions.
    Please note that pursuant to the Data Quality Act, in order for 
substantive data to be relied on and used by NHTSA, it must meet the 
information quality standards set forth in the OMB and DOT Data Quality 
Act guidelines. Accordingly, NHTSA encourages you to consult the 
guidelines in preparing your comments. DOT's guidelines may be accessed 
at https://www.transportation.gov/regulations/dot-information-dissemination-quality-guidelines.

Tips for Preparing Your Comments

    When submitting comments, please remember to:
    Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying 
information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).
    Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, and 
substitute language for your requested changes.
    Describe any assumptions you make and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
    If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived 
at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.
    Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest 
alternatives.
    Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of 
profanity or personal threats.
    To ensure that your comments are considered by the agency, make 
sure to submit them by the comment period deadline identified in the 
DATES section above.
    For additional guidance on submitting effective comments, see 
https://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_For_Submitting_Effective_Comments.pdf.

How can I be sure my comments were received?

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

How do I submit confidential business information?

    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you

[[Page 69444]]

should submit three copies of your complete submission, including the 
information you claim to be confidential business information, to the 
Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the address given above under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, you should submit a copy from which 
you have deleted the claimed confidential business information to the 
docket. When you send a comment containing information claimed to be 
confidential business information, you should include a cover letter 
setting forth the information specified in our confidential business 
information regulation. (49 CFR part 512.)

Will the Agency consider late comments?

    NHTSA will consider all comments that the docket receives before 
the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above under 
DATES. To the extent possible, NHTSA will also consider comments that 
the docket receives after that date. If the docket receives a comment 
too late for the agency to consider it in developing a final rule, 
NHTSA will consider that comment as an informal suggestion for future 
rulemaking action.

How can I read the comments submitted by other people?

    You may read the comments received by the docket at the address 
given above under ADDRESSES. You may also see the comments on the 
internet (http://regulations.gov).
    Please note that even after the comment closing date, NHTSA will 
continue to file relevant information in the docket as it becomes 
available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, 
the agency recommends that you periodically check the docket for new 
material.
    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78).

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, and Tires; 
Incorporation by Reference.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR 
part 571 as set forth below.

PART 571--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

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

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

0
2. Section 571.5 is amended by adding and reserving paragraphs (k)(5) 
through (8), adding paragraph (k)(9), and revising paragraph (l)(4), to 
read as follows:


Sec.  571.5   Matter incorporated by reference.

* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (5) [Reserved.]
    (6) [Reserved.]
    (7) [Reserved.]
    (8) [Reserved.]
    (9) Drawing Package, ``NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, 
No. NHTSA-213-2019,'' (consisting of drawings and a bill of materials), 
May 2019, into Sec.  571.213.
    (l) * * *
    (4) SAE Recommended Practice J211/1, revised March 1995, 
``Instrumentation for Impact Test--Part 1--Electronic Instrumentation'' 
into Sec. Sec.  571.202a; 571.208; 571.213; 571.213a 571.218; 571.403.
* * * * *
0
3. Section 571.213 is amended by--
0
Adding, in alphabetical order, a definition of ``school bus child 
restraint system'' to S4;
0
Removing and reserving S5.1.2.2;
0
Revising S5.1.3.1(a);
0
Revising S5.3.1(b);
0
Revising S5.3.2;
0
Revising the introductory text of S5.5.2;
0
Revising S5.5.2(f), S5.5.2(g)(1)(i), removing and reserving 
S5.5.2(k)(2);
0
Removing and reserving S5.5.2(l)(2), revising S5.5.2(l)(3)(i);
0
Revising S5.5.2(m), S5.5.5(f), S5.5.5(k), S5.6.1.7, S5.6.1.11, 
S5.6.2.2, S5.8.1, S5.8.2, and S5.9(a);
0
Adding S6.1.1(a)(1)(i) and revising S6.1.1(a)(1)(ii);
0
Revising S6.1.1(a)(2)(i)(B) and S6.1.1(a)(2)(ii)(G);
0
Removing and reserving S6.1.1(c);
0
Revising S6.1.2(a), S6.1.2(a)(1) and S6.1.2(a)(2) and S6.2(d)(1)(ii);
0
Adding S7.1.1;
0
Revising the introductory paragraph to S7.1.2;
0
Revising S7.1.3, and,
0
Adding S10.2.2(e), and Figures 1D, 1D', 1E, 1E', 9c and 9d.
    The revised and added text and figures read as follows:


Sec.  571.213  Child restraint systems.

* * * * *
    S4. Definitions * * *
    School bus child restraint system means a child restraint system 
(including a harness) manufactured and sold only for use on school bus 
seats, that has a label conforming with S5.3.1(b).
* * * * *
    S5.1.2.2 [Reserved]
* * * * *
    S5.1.3.1 * * *
    (a)(1) For each add-on child restraint system manufactured before 
[date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]--
    (i) No portion of the test dummy's head shall pass through a 
vertical transverse plane that is 720 mm or 813 mm (as specified in 
table 2 to this S5.1.3.1(a)) forward of point Z on the Standard Seat 
Assembly No. NHTSA-213-2003, measured along the center SORL (as 
illustrated in figure 1B of this standard); and
    (ii) Neither knee pivot point shall pass through a vertical 
transverse plane that is 915 mm forward of point Z on the Standard Seat 
Assembly No. NHTSA-213-2003, measured along the center SORL. * * *
    (2) For each add-on child restraint system manufactured on or after 
[date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]--
    (i) No portion of the test dummy's head shall pass through a 
vertical transverse plane that is 720 mm or 813 mm (as specified in 
table 3 to this S5.1.3.1(a)) forward of point Z on the Standard Seat 
Assembly No. NHTSA-213-2019, measured along the center SORL (as 
illustrated in figure 1D of this standard); and
    (ii) Neither knee pivot point shall pass through a vertical 
transverse plane that is 915 mm forward of point Z on the Standard Seat 
Assembly No. NHTSA-213-2019, measured along the center SORL.

[[Page 69445]]



               Table 2 to S5.1.3.1(a)--Add-On Forward-Facing Child Restraints Manufactured Before
                             [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                        Explanatory note: in the
                                                                                         test specified in 2nd
                                                                                           column, the child
     When this type of child         Is tested in  accordance       These excursion     restraint is attached to
            restraint                         with--                 limits apply      the test seat assembly in
                                                                                          the manner described
                                                                                       below, subject to certain
                                                                                               conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harnesses, backless booster seats  S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A)..........  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap belt;
 and restraints designed for use                                  915 mm.               in addition, if a tether
 by physically handicapped                                                              is provided, it is
 children.                                                                              attached.
School bus child restraint         S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A)..........  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with seat back
 systems.                                                         915 mm.               mount, or seat back and
                                                                                        seat pan mounts.
Belt-positioning seats...........  S6.1.2(a)(1)(ii)............  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap and
                                                                  915 mm.               shoulder belt; no tether
                                                                                        is attached.
Child restraints other than        S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(B)..........  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap belt;
 harnesses, backless booster       S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(D)..........   915 mm.               no tether is attached.
 seats, restraints designed for    ............................  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached to lower
 use by physically handicapped     ............................   915 mm.               anchorages of child
 children, school bus child        ............................  ....................   restraint anchorage
 restraint systems, and belt-      S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A)..........  ....................   system; no tether is
 positioning seats.                ............................  ....................   attached.
                                                                 Head 720 mm; Knee     Attached with lap belt;
                                                                  915 mm.               in addition, if a tether
                                                                 ....................   is provided, it is
                                                                                        attached.
                                   S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(C)..........  Head 720 mm; Knee     Attached to lower
                                                                  915 mm.               anchorages of child
                                                                                        restraint anchorage
                                                                                        system; in addition, if
                                                                                        a tether is provided, it
                                                                                        is attached.
Child restraints equipped with a   S6.1.2(a)(2)(i).............  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap belt or
 fixed or movable surface                                         915 mm.               lower anchorages of
 described in S5.2.2.2 that has                                                         child restraint
 belts that are not an integral                                                         anchorage system; no
 part of that fixed or movable                                                          tether is attached.
 surface.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


             Table 3 to S5.1.3.1(a)--Add-On Forward-Facing Child Restraints Manufactured On or After
                             [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                        Explanatory note: in the
                                                                                         test specified in 2nd
                                                                                           column, the child
     When this type of child         Is tested in  accordance       These excursion     restraint is attached to
            restraint                         with--                 limits apply      the test seat assembly in
                                                                                          the manner described
                                                                                       below, subject to certain
                                                                                               conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harnesses and restraints designed  S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A).........  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap and
 for use by physically                                            915 mm..              shoulder belt; in
 handicapped children.                                                                  addition, if a tether is
                                                                                        provided, it is
                                                                                        attached.
School bus child restraint         S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A).........  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with seat back
 systems.                                                         915 mm.               mount, or seat back and
                                                                                        seat pan mounts.
Booster seats....................  S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(B).........  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap and
                                                                  915 mm.               shoulder belt; no tether
                                                                                        is attached.
Child restraints other than        S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(B).........  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap and
 harnesses, restraints designed    S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(D).........   915 mm.               shoulder belt; no tether
 for use by physically             ............................  Head 813 mm; Knee      is attached.
 handicapped children, school bus  S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A).........   915 mm.              Attached to lower
 child restraint systems, and      ............................  ....................   anchorages of child
 booster seats.                    S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(C).........  Head 720 mm; Knee      restraint anchorage
                                   ............................   915 mm.               system; no tether is
                                   ............................  ....................   attached.
                                                                 Head 720 mm; Knee     Attached with lap and
                                                                  915 mm.               shoulder belt; in
                                                                 ....................   addition, if a tether is
                                                                 ....................   provided, it is
                                                                                        attached.
                                                                                       Attached to lower
                                                                                        anchorages of child
                                                                                        restraint anchorage
                                                                                        system; in addition, if
                                                                                        a tether is provided, it
                                                                                        is attached.
Child restraints equipped with a   S6.1.2(a)(2)(i).............  Head 813 mm; Knee     Attached with lap and
 fixed or movable surface                                         915 mm.               shoulder belt or lower
 described in S5.2.2.2 that has                                                         anchorages of child
 belts that are not an integral                                                         restraint anchorage
 part of that fixed or movable                                                          system; no tether is
 surface.                                                                               attached.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    S5.3.1 * * *
    (b) School bus child restraint systems must have a label, that 
conforms in content to Figure 12 and to the requirements of 
S5.3.1(b)(1) through S5.3.1(b)(3) of this standard, and that is 
permanently affixed to the part of the school bus child restraint 
system that attaches the system to a vehicle seat back.
    (1) The label must be plainly visible when installed and easily 
readable.
    (2) The message area must be white with black text. The message 
area must be no less than 20 square centimeters.
    (3) The pictogram shall be gray and black with a red circle and 
slash on a white background. The pictogram shall be no less than 20 mm 
in diameter.
    S5.3.2 Each add-on child restraint system manufactured before [ 
date 3 years after date of publication of final rule] and each add-on 
child restraint

[[Page 69446]]

system manufactured on or after [date 3 years after date of publication 
of final rule] shall be capable of meeting the requirements of this 
standard when installed solely by each of the means indicated in the 
following tables 5 and 6, respectively, for the particular type of 
child restraint system:

                                    Table 5 to S5.3.2 Means of installation for child restraints manufactured before
                                                 [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Type 1 seat belt
                                                                  Type 1      assembly plus a      Child restraint     Type 2 seat     Seat back mount,
             Type of add-on child restraint system               seat belt   tether anchorage,    anchorage system    belt assembly    or seat back and
                                                                 assembly        if needed                                              seat pan mounts
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
School bus child restraint systems............................  ..........  ...................  ..................  ...............                  X
Other harnesses...............................................  ..........                   X   ..................  ...............  ..................
Car beds......................................................          X   ...................  ..................  ...............  ..................
Rear-facing restraints........................................          X   ...................                  X   ...............  ..................
Belt-positioning seats........................................  ..........  ...................  ..................               X   ..................
All other child restraints....................................          X                    X                   X   ...............  ..................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


              Table 6 to S5.3.2 Means of installation for child restraints manufactured on or after
                             [Date 3 years after date of publication of final rule]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Type 2 seat belt
  Type of add-on child restraint      assembly plus a      Child restraint     Type 2 seat     Seat back mount,
              system                 tether anchorage,    anchorage system    belt assembly    or seat back and
                                         if needed                                              seat pan mounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
School bus child restraint systems  ...................  ..................  ...............                  X
Other harnesses...................                   X   ..................  ...............  ..................
Car beds..........................  ...................  ..................               X   ..................
Rear-facing restraints............  ...................                  X                X   ..................
Booster seats.....................  ...................  ..................               X   ..................
All other child restraints........                   X                   X                X   ..................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    S5.5.2 The information specified in paragraphs (a) through (e) and 
paragraphs (g) through (m) of this section shall be stated in the 
English language and in letters and numbers that are not smaller than 
10 point type. Unless otherwise specified, the information shall be 
labeled on a white background with black text. Unless written in all 
capitals, the information shall be stated in sentence capitalization.
* * * * *
    (f) Statements or a combination of statements and pictograms 
specifying the manufacturer's recommendations for the mass and height 
ranges of children who can safely occupy the system in each applicable 
mode (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster), except manufacturers shall 
not recommend forward-facing child restraint systems with internal 
harnesses for children of masses less than 12 kg (26.5 lb), and shall 
not recommend booster seats for children of masses less than 18.4 kg 
(40 lb). For seats that can only be used as belt-positioning seats, 
manufacturers must include the maximum and minimum recommended height, 
but may delete the reference to maximum weight.
* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) As appropriate, the statements required by the following 
sections will be bulleted and placed after the statement required by 
5.5.2(g)(1) in the following order: 5.5.2(k)(1), 5.5.2(h), 5.5.2(j), 
and 5.5.2(i).
* * * * *
    (k)(1) * * *
    (2) [Reserved]
* * * * *
    (l) * * *
    (2) [Reserved]
    (3) * * *
    (i) If the child restraint is designed to meet the requirements of 
this standard when installed by the child restraint anchorage system 
according to S5.3.2, and if the sum of the weight of the child 
restraint and the maximum child weight recommended for the child 
restraint when used with the restraint's internal harness or components 
is greater than 65 lb when used forward-facing or rear-facing, include 
the following statement on this installation diagram: ``Do not install 
by this method for a child weighing more than *.'' At the 
manufacturer's option, ``*'' is the child weight limit in English units 
in accordance with S5.5.2(l)(3)(i)(A), (B) or (C). The corresponding 
child weight limit in metric units may also be included in the 
statement at the manufacturer's option.
* * * * *
    (m) Statements informing the owner of the importance of registering 
the child restraint for recall purposes and instructing the owner how 
to register the child restraint at least by mail and by telephone, 
providing a U.S. telephone number. The following statement must also be 
provided: ``For recall information, call the U.S. Government's Vehicle 
Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), or go to 
www.NHTSA.gov.''
* * * * *
    S5.5.5 * * *
    (f) The same statement(s) provided under S5.5.2(f).
* * * * *
    (k) Statements informing the owner of the importance of registering 
the child restraint for recall purposes and instructing the owner how 
to register the child restraint at least by mail and by telephone, 
providing a U.S. telephone number. The following statement must also be 
provided: ``For recall information, call the U.S. Government's Vehicle 
Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), or go to 
www.NHTSA.gov.''
* * * * *

[[Page 69447]]

    S5.6.1.7 Statements informing the owner of the importance of 
registering the child restraint for recall purposes and instructing the 
owner how to register the child restraint at least by mail and by 
telephone, providing a U.S. telephone number. The following statement 
must also be provided: ``For recall information, call the U.S. 
Government's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-
9153), or go to www.NHTSA.gov.''
* * * * *
    S5.6.1.11 For school bus child restraint systems, the instructions 
must include the following statement:
    ``WARNING! This restraint must only be used on school bus seats. 
Entire seat directly behind must be unoccupied or have restrained 
occupants.'' (The instruction's reference to a ``restrained occupant'' 
refers to an occupant restrained by any user-appropriate vehicle 
restraint or child restraint system (e.g., lap belt, lap and shoulder 
belt, booster seat or other child restraint system.)
* * * * *
    S5.6.2.2 The instructions for each built-in child restraint system 
other than a factory-installed restraint shall include statements 
informing the owner of the importance of registering the child 
restraint for recall purposes and instructing the owner how to register 
the child restraint at least by mail and by telephone, providing a U.S. 
telephone number. The following statement must also be provided: ``For 
recall information, call the U.S. Government's Vehicle Safety Hotline 
at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.NHTSA.gov.''
* * * * *
    S5.8.1 Attached registration form.
    (a) Each child restraint system, except a factory-installed built-
in restraint system, shall have a registration form attached to any 
surface of the restraint that contacts the dummy when the dummy is 
positioned in the system in accordance with S6.1.2 of Standard 213. The 
form shall not have advertising or any information other than that 
related to registering the child restraint system.
    (b) Each attached form shall provide a mail-in postcard that 
conforms in size, and in basic content and format to the forms depicted 
in Figures 9c and 9d of this section.
    (1) The mail-in postcard shall:
    (i) Have a thickness of at least 0.007 inches and not more than 
0.0095 inches;
    (ii) Be pre-printed with the information identifying the child 
restraint for recall purposes, such as the model name or number and 
date of manufacture (month, year) of the child restraint system to 
which the form is attached;
    (iii) Contain space for the owner to record his or her name, 
mailing address, email address, and other pertinent information; and
    (iv) Be addressed to the manufacturer, and be postage paid.
    (c) The registration form attached to the child restraint shall 
also provide information:
    (1) Informing the owner of the importance of registering the child 
restraint; and,
    (2) Instructing the owner how to register the CRS.
    (3) Manufacturers must provide statements informing the purchaser 
that the registration card is pre-addressed and that postage has been 
paid.
    (4) Manufacturers may provide instructions to register the child 
restraint electronically. If an electronic registration form is used, 
it must meet the requirements of S5.8.2 of this section.
    (5) Manufacturers must provide statements to the owner explaining 
that the registration card is not a warranty card, and that the 
information collected from the owner will not be used for marketing 
purposes.
    S5.8.2 Electronic registration form.
    (a) Each electronic registration form must meet the requirements of 
this S5.8.2. Each form shall:
    (1) Contain statements at the top of the form:
    (i) Informing the owner of the importance of registering the CRS; 
and,
    (ii) Instructing the owner how to register the CRS.
    (2) Provide as required registration fields, space for the 
purchaser to record the model name or number and date of manufacture 
(month, year) of the child restraint system, and space for the 
purchaser to record his or her name and mailing address. At the 
manufacturer's option, a space is provided for the purchaser to record 
his or her email address.
    (b) No advertising information shall appear on the electronic 
registration form.
    (c) The electronic registration form may provide information 
identifying the manufacturer or a link to the manufacturer's home page, 
a field to confirm submission, and a prompt to indicate any incomplete 
or invalid fields prior to submission.
    (d) If a manufacturer printed the electronic address (in form of a 
website or code) on the attached registration form provided pursuant to 
S5.8.1, the electronic registration form shall be accessed directly by 
the electronic address. Accessing the electronic address (in form of a 
website or code) that contains the electronic registration form shall 
not cause additional screens or electronic banners to appear.
    S5.9 * * *
    (a)(1) Each add-on child restraint system manufactured before [ 
date 3 years after publication date of final rule], other than a car 
bed, harness, school bus child restraint system, and belt-positioning 
seat, shall have components permanently attached that enable the 
restraint to be securely fastened to the lower anchorages of the child 
restraint anchorage system specified in Standard No. 225 (Sec.  
571.225) and depicted in Drawing Package SAS-100-1000, Standard Seat 
Belt Assembly with Addendum A or in Drawing Package, ``NHTSA Standard 
Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA-213-2003'' (both incorporated 
by reference, see Sec.  571.5). The connectors must be attached to the 
add-on child restraint by use of a tool, such as a screwdriver. In the 
case of rear-facing child restraints with detachable bases, only the 
base is required to have the components. [NHTSA notes: inclusion of the 
following text was proposed by a January 23, 2015 NPRM, 80 FR 3744, 
3775. ``The connectors designed to attach the add-on child restraint to 
the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system shall be 
permanently marked with the pictogram in Figure 15. The pictogram is 
not less than 9 mm in diameter.'']
    (2) Each add-on child restraint system manufactured on or after [ 
date 3 years after publication date of final rule], other than a car 
bed, harness, school bus child restraint system and belt-positioning 
seat, shall have components permanently attached that enable the 
restraint to be securely fastened to the lower anchorages of the child 
restraint anchorage system specified in Standard No. 225 (Sec.  
571.225) and depicted in Drawing Package, ``NHTSA Standard Seat 
Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA-213-2019'' (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  571.5). The connectors must be attached to the 
add-on child restraint by use of a tool, such as a screwdriver. In the 
case of rear-facing child restraints with detachable bases, only the 
base is required to have the components. [NHTSA notes: inclusion of the 
following text would be consistent with a January 23, 2015 NPRM, 80 FR 
at 3775. ``The connectors designed to attach the add-on child restraint 
to the lower anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system shall 
be permanently marked with the pictogram in Figure 15.

[[Page 69448]]

The pictogram is not less than 9 mm in diameter.'']
* * * * *
    S6.1.1 * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) The test device for add-on restraint systems manufactured 
before date 3 years after publication date of final rule] is a standard 
seat assembly consisting of a simulated vehicle bench seat, with three 
seating positions, which is depicted in Drawing Package, ``NHTSA 
Standard Seat Assembly; FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA-213-2003,'' 
(consisting of drawings and a bill of materials) dated June 3, 2003 
(incorporated by reference; see Sec.  571.5). The assembly is mounted 
on a dynamic test platform so that the center SORL of the seat is 
parallel to the direction of the test platform travel and so that 
movement between the base of the assembly and the platform is 
prevented. As illustrated in Figures 1A and 1B of this standard, 
attached to the seat belt anchorage points provided on the standard 
seat assembly are Type 1 seat belt assemblies in the case of add-on 
child restraint systems other than belt-positioning seats, or Type 2 
seat belt assemblies in the case of belt-positioning seats. These seat 
belt assemblies meet the requirements of Standard No. 209 (Sec.  
571.209) and have webbing with a width of not more than 2 inches, and 
are attached to the anchorage points without the use of retractors or 
reels of any kind. As illustrated in Figures 1A' and 1B' of this 
standard, attached to the standard seat assembly is a child restraint 
anchorage system conforming to the specifications of Standard No. 225 
(Sec.  571.225).
    (ii) The test device for add-on restraint systems manufactured on 
or after [ date 3 years after publication date of final rule] is a 
standard seat assembly consisting of a simulated vehicle rear seat 
which is depicted in Drawing Package, ``NHTSA Standard Seat Assembly; 
FMVSS No. 213, No. NHTSA-213-2019,'' (consisting of drawings and a bill 
of materials) dated May 2019 (incorporated by reference; see Sec.  
571.5). The assembly is mounted on a dynamic test platform so that the 
center SORL of the seat is parallel to the direction of the test 
platform travel and so that movement between the base of the assembly 
and the platform is prevented. As illustrated in Figures 1D and 1E of 
this standard, attached to the seat belt anchorage points provided on 
the standard seat assembly is a Type 2 seat belt assembly. The seat 
belt assembly meets the requirements of Standard No. 209 (Sec.  
571.209) and has webbing with a width of not more than 2 inches, and 
are attached to the anchorage points without the use of retractors or 
reels of any kind. As illustrated in Figures 1D' and 1E' of this 
standard, attached to the standard seat assembly is a child restraint 
anchorage system conforming to the specifications of Standard No. 225 
(Sec.  571.225).
    (2) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (B) The platform is instrumented with an accelerometer and data 
processing system having a frequency response of 60 Hz channel 
frequency class as specified in SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995), 
``Instrumentation for Impact Tests,'' (incorporated by reference, see 
Sec.  571.5). The accelerometer sensitive axis is parallel to the 
direction of test platform travel.
    (ii) * * *
    (G) All instrumentation and data reduction is in conformance with 
SAE Recommended Practice J211/1 (1995), ``Instrumentation for Impact 
Tests,'' (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  571.5).
* * * * *
    S6.1.1(c) [Reserved]
    S6.1.2 Dynamic test procedure.
    (a) Activate the built-in child restraint or attach the add-on 
child restraint to the seat assembly in any of the following manners, 
at the agency's option.
    (1) Test configuration I.
    (i) Child restraints other than belt-positioning seats, 
manufactured before [date 3 years from date of publication of final 
rule]. Attach the child restraint in any of the following manners 
specified in S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A) through (D), unless otherwise specified 
in this standard.
    (A) Install the child restraint system at the center seating 
position of the standard seat assembly, in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided with the system pursuant to 
S5.6.1, except that the standard lap belt is used and, if provided, a 
tether strap may be used. Attach school bus child restraint systems in 
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided with the 
system pursuant to S5.6.1, i.e., the seat back or seat back and seat 
pan mounts are used.
    (B) Except for a harness, a school bus child restraint system, a 
backless child restraint system with a tether strap, and a restraint 
designed for use by physically handicapped children, install the child 
restraint system at the center seating position of the standard seat 
assembly as in S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(A), except that no tether strap (or any 
other supplemental device) is used.
    (C) Install the child restraint system using the child restraint 
anchorage system at the center seating position of the standard seat 
assembly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided 
with the system pursuant to S5.6.1. The tether strap, if one is 
provided, is attached to the tether anchorage.
    (D) Install the child restraint system using only the lower 
anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system as in 
S6.1.2(a)(1)(i)(C). No tether strap (or any other supplemental device) 
is used.
    (ii) Belt-positioning seats manufactured before [ date 3 years from 
date of publication of final rule]. A belt-positioning seat is attached 
to either outboard seating position of the standard seat assembly in 
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided with the 
system pursuant to S5.6.1 using only the standard vehicle lap and 
shoulder belt and no tether (or any other supplemental device). Place 
the belt-positioning seat on the standard seat assembly such that the 
center plane of the belt-positioning seat is parallel and aligned to 
the center plane of the outboard seating positions on the standard seat 
assembly and the base of the belt-positioning seat is flat on the 
standard seat assembly cushion. Move the belt-positioning seat rearward 
on the standard seat assembly until some part of the belt-positioning 
seat touches the standard seat assembly back. Keep the belt-positioning 
seat and the seating position center plane aligned as much as possible. 
Apply 133 N (30 pounds) of force to the front of the belt-positioning 
seat rearward into the standard seat assembly and release.
    (iii) In the case of each built-in child restraint system, activate 
the restraint in the specific vehicle shell or the specific vehicle, in 
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided in accordance 
with S5.6.2.
    (iv) Child restraints other than booster seats, manufactured on or 
after [ date 3 years from date of publication of final rule]. At the 
agency's option, attach the child restraint in any of the following 
manners specified in S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A) through (D), unless otherwise 
specified in this standard.
    (A) Install the child restraint system on the standard seat 
assembly, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided 
with the system pursuant to S5.6.1, except that the standard lap and 
shoulder belt is used and, if provided, a tether strap may be used. 
Attach the school bus child restraint system in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided with the system pursuant to 
S5.6.1, i.e., the seat back or seat back and seat pan mounts are used.

[[Page 69449]]

    (B) Except for a harness, a school bus child restraint system, and 
a restraint designed for use by physically handicapped children, 
install the child restraint system on the standard seat assembly as in 
S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(A), except that no tether strap (or any other 
supplemental device) is used.
    (C) Install the child restraint system using the child restraint 
anchorage system on the standard seat assembly in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided with the system pursuant to 
S5.6.1. The tether strap, if one is provided, is attached to the tether 
anchorage.
    (D) Install the child restraint system using only the lower 
anchorages of the child restraint anchorage system as in 
S6.1.2(a)(1)(iv)(C). No tether strap (or any other supplemental device) 
is used.
    (v) Booster seats manufactured on or after [date 3 years from date 
of publication of final rule]. A booster seat is attached to the 
standard seat assembly in accordance with the manufacturer's 
instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1 using only the 
standard lap and shoulder belt and no tether (or any other supplemental 
device). Place the booster seat on the standard seat assembly such that 
the center plane of the booster seat is parallel and aligned to the 
center plane of the standard seat assembly and the base of the booster 
seat is flat on the standard seat assembly cushion. Move the booster 
seat rearward on the standard seat assembly until some part of the 
booster seat touches the standard seat assembly back. Keep the booster 
seat and the seating position center plane aligned as much as possible. 
Apply 133 N (30 pounds) of force to the front of the booster seat 
rearward into the standard seat assembly and release.
    (2) Test configuration II. (i) In the case of each add-on child 
restraint system manufactured before [ date 3 years from date of 
publication of final rule] which is equipped with a fixed or movable 
surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has belts that are not an integral 
part of that fixed or movable surface, install the add-on child 
restraint system at the center seating position of the standard seat 
assembly using only the standard seat lap belt to secure the system to 
the standard seat. Do not attach the top tether. In the case of each 
add-on child restraint system manufactured on or after [ date 3 years 
from date of publication of final rule] which is equipped with a fixed 
or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has belts that are not an 
integral part of that fixed or movable surface, install the add-on 
child restraint system on the standard seat assembly using only the lap 
and shoulder belt to secure the system to the standard seat, or at 
NHTSA's option, only the lower anchorages of the child restraint 
anchorage system. Do not attach the top tether.
    (ii) In the case of each built-in child restraint system which is 
equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 that has 
belts that are not an integral part of that fixed or movable surface, 
activate the system in the specific vehicle shell or the specific 
vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided in 
accordance with S5.6.2.
* * * * *
    (d) Belt adjustment.
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (ii) All Type I belt systems used to attach an add-on child 
restraint to the standard seat assembly, and any provided additional 
anchorage belt (tether), are tightened to a tension of not less than 
53.5 N and not more than 67 N, as measured by a load cell used on the 
webbing portion of the belt. All belt systems used to attach a school 
bus child restraint system are also tightened to a tension of not less 
than 53.5 N and not more than 67 N, by measurement means specified in 
this paragraph.
* * * * *
    S7.1.1 Child restraints that are manufactured on or after date 
three years after date of publication of the final rule], are subject 
to the following provisions.
    (a) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass 
range that includes any children having a mass of not greater than 5 kg 
(11 lb), or by children in a specified height range that includes any 
children whose height is not greater than 650 mm, is tested with a 49 
CFR part 572 subpart K dummy (newborn infant dummy).
    (b) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass 
range that includes any children having a mass greater than 5 kg but 
not greater than 10 kg (11 to 22 lb), or by children in a specified 
height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 
650 mm but not greater than 750 mm, is tested with a 49 CFR part 572 
subpart K dummy (newborn infant dummy), and a part 572 subpart R dummy 
(CRABI 12-month-old infant dummy).
    (c) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass 
range that includes any children having a mass greater than 10 kg but 
not greater than 13.6 kg (22 to 30 lb), or by children in a specified 
height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 
750 mm but not greater than 870 mm, is tested with a part 572 subpart R 
dummy (CRABI 12-month-old infant dummy).
    (d) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass 
range that includes any children having a mass greater than 13.6 kg but 
not greater than 18.2 kg (30 to 40 lb), or by children in a specified 
height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 
870 mm but not greater than 1100 mm, is tested with a part 572 subpart 
P dummy (Hybrid III 3-year-old dummy).
    (e) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass 
range that includes any children having a mass greater than 18.2 kg (40 
lb) but not greater than 22.7 kg (50 lb), or by children in a specified 
height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 
1100 mm but not greater than 1250 mm is tested with a 49 CFR part 572, 
subpart N dummy (Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy).
    (f) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass 
range that includes any children having a mass greater than 22.7 kg (50 
lb) but not greater than 29.5 kg (65 lb) or by children in a specified 
height range that includes any children whose height is greater than 
1100 mm but not greater than 1250 mm is tested with a 49 CFR part 572, 
subpart N dummy (Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy) and with a part 572, 
subpart S dummy (Hybrid III 6-year-old weighted dummy).
    (g) A child restraint that is recommended by its manufacturer in 
accordance with S5.5 for use either by children in a specified mass 
range that includes any children having a mass greater than 29.5 kg (65 
lb) or by children in a specified height range that includes any 
children whose height is greater than 1250 mm is tested with a 49 CFR 
part 572, subpart T dummy (Hybrid III 10-year-old dummy).
    S7.1.2 Child restraints that are manufactured before [ date three 
years after date of publication of the final rule], are subject to the 
following provisions and S7.1.3.
* * * * *
    S7.1.3 Voluntary use of alternative dummies. For child restraint 
systems

[[Page 69450]]

manufactured before [ date 3 years after date of publication of a final 
rule], at the manufacturer's option (with said option irrevocably 
selected prior to, or at the time of, certification of the restraint), 
when this section specifies use of the 49 CFR part 572, subpart N 
(Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy) test dummy, the test dummy specified in 
49 CFR part 572, subpart I (Hybrid II 6-year-old dummy) may be used in 
place of the subpart N test dummy.
* * * * *
    S10.2.2 * * *
    (e)(1) When using the Hybrid III 3-year-old (part 572, subpart P) 
dummy in a rear-facing child restraint system with an internal 
restraint system, remove the knee stop screw (210-6516 in drawing 210-
5000-1,-2; incorporated by reference, see Sec.  571.5) from the right 
and left knee so as to let the knees hyperextend.
    (2) Place the Subpart P dummy in the forward- or rear-facing child 
restraint system being tested so that the back of the dummy torso 
contacts the back support surface of the system. For a child restraint 
system equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2 
that is being tested under the conditions of test configuration II, do 
not attach any of the child restraint belts unless they are an integral 
part of the fixed or movable surface. For all other child restraint 
systems and for a child restraint system with a fixed or movable 
surface that is being tested under the conditions of test configuration 
I, attach all appropriate child restraint belts and tighten them as 
specified in S6.1.2. Attach all appropriate vehicle belts and tighten 
them as specified in S6.1.2. Position each movable surface in 
accordance with the instructions that the manufacturer provided under 
S5.6.1 or S5.6.2.

Figures to Sec.  571.213

* * * * *
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
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[[Page 69452]]


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[[Page 69453]]


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[[Page 69455]]


BILLING CODE 4910-59-C

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

Appendix to Preamble

Estimation of Potential Benefits From the Proposed Increase in the 
Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum Child Weight for Use of Forward-Facing 
CRSs and Booster Seats

    Under FMVSS No. 213, manufacturers label their child restraints 
with information about the children for whom the CRS is recommended, 
based on the children's height and weight. Children should be rear-
facing until they are at least 1 year in age, as physically they are 
safer riding rear-facing so that their head and neck are supported 
by the CRS back structure in a crash. Currently, the standard 
requires forward-facing child restraints to be recommended for 
children weighing a minimum of 9 kg (20 lb). This NPRM proposes to 
raise this minimum to 12 kg (26.5 lb), because 12 kg (26.5 lb) 
corresponds to the weight of a 95th percentile one-year-old. In 
addition, FMVSS No. 213 currently requires booster seats to be 
recommended for children weighing at least 13.6 kg (30 lb). This 
NPRM proposes to raise that weight limit to 18.2 kg (40 lb). The 
proposed increase in the manufacturer-recommended minimum child 
weight for forward-facing CRSs reduce the premature graduation from 
rear-facing CRSs to forward-facing CRSs, and from forward-facing car 
safety seats to booster seats. The proposed changes would align the 
standard with current best practices on child passenger safety and 
are anticipated to have a beneficial effect on child passenger 
safety. This appendix provides the data and analysis methodology to 
illustrate and estimate that beneficial effect, in terms of 
potential lives saved and injuries prevented.

(1) Increasing Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum Child Weight for 
Forward-Facing CRS Use From 9 kg to 12 kg (20 lb to 26.5 lb)

    Increasing the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for 
use of forward-facing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg (20 lb to 26.5 lb) 
could potentially reduce premature graduation of children to 
forward-facing CRSs. NHTSA recommends \139\ that all children up to 
the age of one year should always ride in rear-facing CRSs and that 
children 1 to 3 years of age ride in rear-facing CRSs as long as 
possible and until they reach the upper height or weight limit 
allowed by the CRS's manufacturer. By supporting the entire 
posterior torso, neck, head, and pelvis, a rear-facing CRS 
distributes crash forces over the entire body rather than focusing 
them only at belt contact points as with a forward-facing CRS. 
Therefore, biomechanical experts, together with the child passenger 
safety community, recommend rear-facing CRS use for infants and 
toddlers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \139\ NHTSA's Car Seat Recommendations: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/nhtsacarseatrecommendations.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To determine the potential lives saved and injuries prevented by 
this proposal, the Agency reviewed literature and analyzed available 
data for: (a) Estimating the incremental effectiveness of rear-
facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs in protecting children in 
crashes; (b) determining the number of children killed and injured 
in CRSs categorized by age of child; (c) the percentage of children 
by age in rear-facing and forward-facing CRSs; (d) the percentage of 
children by age weighing less than 12 kg (26.5 lb); and, (e) the 
percentage of caregivers who would follow manufacturer's 
instructions provided on CRS labels and the users' manual regarding 
use of the CRS.

Incremental Effectiveness of Rear-Facing CRSs Over Forward-Facing 
CRSs

    McMurry, et al.\140\ examined the National Automotive Sampling 
System--Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS) data files for the 
years 1988-2015 to compare the injury risk for children up to the 
age of 2 years in rear-facing CRSs and forward-facing CRSs. The data 
showed an extremely low injury rate in children up to 2 years of age 
in both rear-facing CRSs and forward-facing CRSs. McMurry noted that 
children 2-YO and younger experienced lower rates of injury when 
restrained in rear-facing CRSs than when restrained in forward-
facing CRSs, but this difference was not statistically significant. 
Due to the absence of any other field data to estimate the 
incremental effectiveness of rear-facing CRS over forward-facing 
CRSs for children up to 2 years of age, NHTSA used the weighted data 
in NASS-CDS reported by McMurry, as shown in Table A-1. Though the 
weighted data is provided as a percentage, it can still be used to 
determine incremental effectiveness of rear-facing CRS over forward-
facing CRS since effectiveness is estimated from a ratio of injured 
to uninjured occupants.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \140\ McMurry, T.L., Arbogast, K.B., Sherwood, C.P., Vaca, F., 
Bull, M., Crandall, J.R., Kent, R.W., ``Rear-facing versus forward-
facing child restraints: an updated assessment,'' Injury Prevention, 
2017;0:1-5.doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2017-042512.

  Table A-1--Number of Injured and Uninjured Child Occupants by Age and CRS Orientation (RFCRS or FFCRS) Along
                                        With Survey-Weighted Percentages
                                              [NASS-CDS 1988-2015]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Age                                  RFCRS                                FFCRS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Infants (0-11 months)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uninjured.............................  551 (99.4%)                          71 (99.3%)
Injured...............................  27 (0.6%)                            3 (0.7%)
                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effectiveness of RFCRSs over FFCRSs...                      =1-(0.6/99.4)/(0.7/99.3) = 0.144
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           1 year-olds (12-23 months)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uninjured.............................  98 (99.8%)                           339 (99.5%)
Injured...............................  3 (0.2%)                             14 (0.5%)
                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Effectiveness of RFCRSs over FFCRSs...                      =1-(0.2/99.8)/(0.5/99.5) = 0.601
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    McMurry's data in Table A-1 shows that the effectiveness of 
rear-facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs for 0-11 months is 14.4 
percent and that for 12-23 months is 60.1 percent. Based on 
biomechanical testing, the incremental protection offered by rear-
facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs should be greater for smaller/
younger children than larger/older children. The 60.1 percent 
incremental effectiveness of rear-facing CRSs over forward-facing 
CRSs for 12-23 month-old children seems to be rather high 
considering the low fatality and injury rates for this age group, so 
the agency used the same effectiveness rate for this age group as 
that computed for the 0-11 month age group. Therefore, for 
estimating the potential benefits of raising the minimum child 
weight limit for forward-facing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg, the 
incremental effectiveness of 14.4 percent was used for rear-facing 
CRSs in preventing fatalities among children 0 to 23 months over 
that of forward-facing CRSs.

Number of Children Retrained in CRSs Killed Annually in Motor 
Vehicle Crashes

    The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data files for the 
5-year period from 2010 to 2014 were analyzed to determine the 
annual average number of children restrained

[[Page 69456]]

in CRSs killed in motor vehicle crashes (see Table A-2). These data 
files were also analyzed to determine the percentage of fatally 
injured children in different types of CRSs (rear-facing CRSs, 
forward-facing CRSs, and booster seats) (see Table A-3).

             Table A-2--Average Annual Fatalities Among 0-7 Year-Old Children Restrained in CRSs in Rear Seating Positions of Light Vehicles
                                                                    [2010-2014 FARS]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             Age (years)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                Percent
                Crash mode                      <1         1          2          3          4          5          6          7        Total      total
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rollover..................................        9.4        8.2        6.6        6.2        6.2        6.2        3.6        2.2       48.6       28.0
Front.....................................        9.2       11.8          9       11.8        8.8        5.8        4.6        2.2       63.2       36.4
Side......................................        8.2        6.2        5.4          6        3.6          3        2.6        1.8       36.8       21.2
Near-side.................................        5.2        3.8        3.6          4        1.8        1.8        1.8        1.2       23.2       13.4
Far-side..................................          3        2.4        1.8          2        1.8        1.2        0.8        0.6       13.6        7.8
Rear......................................        4.2        5.6        4.2          3        3.2        2.6        1.4        0.8       25.0       14.4
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.................................         31       31.8       25.2         27       21.8       17.6       12.2          7      173.6      100.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table A-3--Percentage of Fatally Injured Children Restrained in Different CRS Types of CRSs in Rear Seating Positions of Light Vehicles by Age of Child
                                                                    [FARS 2010-2014]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Age (years)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              <1           1           2           3           4           5           6           7
                        CRS type                           (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RFCRS...................................................        73.5        11.9         1.6         0.0         0.0         0.0         0.0         0.0
FFCRS...................................................        26.5        85.1        78.7        58.2        38.5        36.5        23.1        11.1
Booster.................................................         0.0         3.0        19.7        41.8        58.5        63.5        76.9        88.9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Percentage of Children 0 to 3-YO Weighing Less Than 12 kg (26.5 lb)

    The percent of children weighing less than 12 kg (26.5 lb) for 
children of age less than 1 year, 1-year, 2 years, and 3-years was 
determined using the 2000 Center for Disease Control (CDC) Growth 
Charts. The percent of girls and boys weighing less than 12 kg from 
the growth charts for each month from newborn to 36 months of age 
was determined and averaged for 12-month periods to determine the 
percentage of children weighing less than 12 kg for less than 1-
year, 1-year, 2-years, and 3-years of age (see Table A-4).\141\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \141\ Data from 2000 CDC http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts.

                 Table A-4--Percent of Children Weighing Less Than 12 kg (26.5 lb) by Child Age
                                            [2000 CDC growth charts]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              <1 YO (percent)   1 YO (percent)   2 YO (percent)   3 YO (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Percentile..................................            99.8             71.4             22.3                0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Percentage of Caregivers Following Information on CRS Use on CRS 
Labels or the Users' Manual

    The proposed raising of the manufacturer-recommended minimum 
child weight for use of forward-facing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg could 
reduce premature graduation of children from rear-facing CRSs to 
forward-facing CRSs. However, this is contingent upon caregivers 
reading and following the manufacturer-supplied information on CRS 
use on the CRS labels and the Users' manual.
    There is no field data on the percentage of caregivers who would 
follow the information on CRS labels or the manual but inferences 
can be made from studies on CRS misuse. NHTSA conducted a detailed 
review of side impact crashes for the years 2002--2009 \142\ and 
frontal impact crashes for the years 2003-2013 \143\ where a CRS 
restrained child was killed. This review showed that, among 
survivable side and front crashes with a child fatality, nearly half 
the children were incorrectly restrained in CRSs, meaning that the 
CRSs were either not installed appropriately in the vehicle and/or 
the children were not restrained correctly in CRSs in accordance 
with manufacturer's instructions. Further, NHTSA's National Child 
Restraint Use Special Study (NCRUSS) published in 2015 noted CRS 
misuse of about 46 percent (DOT HS 812 157). This high rate of CRS 
misuse means that a change in the minimum child weight for use of 
forward-facing CRSs that is provided on CRS labels and in the Users' 
manual is highly unlikely to lead to all caregivers making the 
switch, as existing instructions themselves are not followed by all 
caregivers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \142\ PRIA for the January 28, 2014 NPRM to include a side 
impact test in FMVSS No. 213 (79 FR 4570, Docket No. NHTSA-2014-
0012).
    \143\ This NPRM upgrading the frontal sled test in FMVSS No. 
213.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency does not have further information on the efficacy of 
instructions on CRS labels and the manual and is therefore using the 
low rates of 15 percent and 50 percent of caregivers that would 
follow the instructions on the CRS labels and manual for forward-
facing CRS use.

Estimating Lives Saved

    Using the information derived from field data on the incremental 
effectiveness of rear-facing CRSs over forward-facing CRSs, the 
number of children killed who are restrained in forward-facing CRSs, 
the percentage of children weighing less than 12 kg, and the 
assumptions regarding caregivers following CRS use instructions 
supplied by the

[[Page 69457]]

manufacturer, the agency estimates that the lives of 0.7-2.3 
children 0-2 YO could be saved (see Table A-5) by raising the 
manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for use of forward-
facing CRSs from 9 kg to 12 kg.

 Table A-5--Estimate of Potential Lives Saved From the Proposed Increase in the Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum
                         Child Weight for Use of Forward-Facing CRSs From 9 kg to 12 kg
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Age (years)
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
                                                                        <1               1               2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average Annual Fatalities (a)...................................              31            31.8            25.2
Percent in FFCRS (b)............................................           26.5%           85.1%           78.7%
Percent weight less than 26.5 lb (c)............................           99.8%           71.4%           22.3%
Target Population (d) = (a)x(b)x(c).............................             8.2            19.3             4.4
Effectiveness of RFCRSs vs FFCRSs (e)...........................           14.4%           14.4%           14.4%
Percent people following instructions (f).......................         15%-50%         15%-50%         15%-50%
Benefits for 15% follow instructions (d)x(e)x0.15...............             0.2             0.4             0.1
Benefits for 50% follow instructions (d)x(e)x0.5................             0.6             1.4             0.3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moderate-to-Critical Injuries Prevented Among Children Restrained 
in CRSs in Motor Vehicle Crashes

    The agency analyzed NASS-CDS data files for the year 2010-2014 
to determine average annual Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) \144\
2+ injured children who are restrained in CRSs in rear seating 
positions of light vehicles. On an annual average, there were 31 
children under 1 year of age and 77 children 1-2 years old that 
sustained AIS 2+ injuries for the period 2010-2014 (See Table A-6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \144\ The Abbreviated Injury Scale is a 6-point ranking system 
used for ranking the severity of injuries. AIS2+ Injuries means 
injuries of severity level 2 (moderate), 3 (serious), 4 (severe), 5 
(critical) according to the Abbreviate Injury Scale. www.aaam.org.

   Table A-6--Average Annual Estimates of 0 to 7 Year-Old CRS Restrained Children With AIS 2+ Injuries in Rear
          Seating Positions of Light Passenger Vehicles Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes by Crash Mode
                                       [Weighted data NASS-CDS 2010-2014]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Age (years)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Crash mode                 Under 1         1-2 YO          3 YO *          4-7 YO           Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rollover........................               0               0               0             172             172
Front...........................               0              55              37              47             139
Side............................              30              14              10               1              55
Near-side.......................              29               5               4               0              38
Far-side........................               1               9               6               1              17
Rear............................               1               7               5              73              86
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................              31              77              51             293             452
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* NASS-CDS data have very few cases of restrained injured children. For this reason, the ages are grouped
  together. About 40% of AIS 2+ injuries among AIS 2+ 1-3 YO children are to 3-year-old children. Therefore, the
  number of 1-2 YO children injured is 128*0.6 = 77.

    The information on whether children were restrained in RFCRS or 
FFCRS was not available in many cases in the NASS-CDS data files so 
this information was obtained from the National Child Restraint Use 
Survey System (NCRUSS) \145\ as shown in Table A-7.\146\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \145\ National Child Restraint Use Special Study, DOT HS 811 
679, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812142. NCRUSS is a large-scale nationally-representative survey 
that involves both an inspection of the child passenger's restraint 
system by a certified child passenger safety technician and a 
detailed interview of the driver. The survey collected information 
on drivers and child passengers ages 0-8 years between June and 
August 2011.
    \146\ Tables C-5 and C-6 of DOT-HS-812142.

                      Table A-7--Type of CRS Used to Restrain Children in Non-Fatal Crashes
                                                    [NCRUSS]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      Booster        Seat belt
                                                   RFCRS percent   FFCRS percent      percent         percent
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
under 1YO.......................................              96               4               1  ..............
1-2YO...........................................              11              86               2               1
3 YO............................................  ..............              76              22               2
4-7YO...........................................  ..............              30              64               6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As before, 15 percent to 50 percent of caregivers were assumed 
would follow the manufacturer's instructions on CRS labels or the 
Users' manual regarding CRS use and would keep children weighing 
less than 12 kg (26.5 lb) in rear-facing CRSs. Using these 
assumptions along with the percentage effectiveness of RFCRSs over 
FFCRS and the 2010-2014 NASS-CDS data, the agency

[[Page 69458]]

estimated that 1.0-3.5 AIS 2+ injuries could be prevented for 
children 0-2 YO (see Table A-8) by the proposed change in the 
manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight limit for forward-
facing CRS use.

 Table A-8--Estimate of Injuries Prevented From the Proposed Increase in
  the Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum Child Weight for Use of Forward-
                     Facing CRSs From 9 kg to 12 kg
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Age (years)
                                         -------------------------------
                                                <1              1-2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average Annual AIS 2+ injured children                31              77
 (a)....................................
Percent in FFCRS (b)....................            4.0%           86.0%
Percent weight less than 12 kg (26.5 lb)           99.8%           71.4%
 (c)....................................
Target Population (d) = (a)x(b)x(c).....             1.2            47.3
Effectiveness of RFCRSs vs FFCRSs (e)...           14.4%           14.4%
Percent people following label (f)......         15%-50%         15%-50%
Benefits for 15% follow label                        0.0             1.0
 (d)x(e)x0.15...........................
Benefits for 50% follow label                        0.1             3.4
 (d)x(e)x0.50...........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency estimates that the increase in the minimum child 
weight from 9 kg to 12 kg for FFCRS use could potentially save 0.7-
2.3 lives and prevent 1.0-3.5 AIS 2+ injuries.

 (2) Increasing Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum Child Weight for 
Booster Seat Use

    Increasing the manufacturer-recommended minimum child weight for 
booster seat use from 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg (30 lb to 40 lb) would 
reduce premature graduation from forward-facing CRSs to booster 
seats. NHTSA determined that among 3- to 4-year-olds, there is a 27 
percent increased risk of moderate to fatal injuries when restrained 
in booster seats compared to forward-facing CRSs.\147\ The 
effectiveness of FFCRS over booster seats is likely reduced for 
older children who may be taller and have improved belt fit in a 
booster seat. So, for children 5--7 years of age, NHTSA assumed that 
there is a 10 percent increased risk of fatal injuries when 
restrained in booster seats compared to forward-facing CRSs. An 
average 3-year old weighs 13.6 kg (30 lb) and an average 4-year old 
weighs 16.1 kg (35.5 lb). Using the 2000 Center for Disease Control 
(CDC) Growth Charts, the agency determined the percentage of 
children weighing less than 18.2 kg (40 lb) for each age group (see 
Table A-9).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \147\ DOT HS 811 338 July 2010--Booster seat effectiveness 
estimates based on CDS and State data.

                                    Table A-9. Percent of Children Weighing Less Than 18.2 kg (40 lb) by Age of Child
                                                                [2000 CDC growth charts]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2 YO (percent)   3 YO (percent)   4 YO (percent)   5 YO (percent)   6 YO (percent)   7 YO (percent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Percentile........................................             100              100             82.5               50               20                4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To determine the lives saved by increasing the minimum child 
weight for booster seat use, the agency: (1) Used the fatality data 
in Table A-2, the percentage of children in booster seats in Table 
A-3, and the percentage of children weighing less than 18.2 kg (40 
lb) in Table A-9; (2) made the same assumptions that 15 percent to 
50 percent of caregivers would follow manufacturer's instructions in 
the CRS labels and/or Users' manual and keep children weighing less 
than 18.2 kg (40 lb) in CRSs with internal harnesses, and (3) 
followed a similar analysis method as in Table A-5. Based on this 
analysis, the agency estimates that 1.2- 4 lives could potentially 
be saved (see Table A-10) by raising the manufacturer-recommended 
minimum child weight for booster seat use from 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg 
(30 lb to 40 lb).

            Table A-10--Estimate of Lives Saved For Proposed Label Change Increasing Weight of Children in Booster Seats From 13.6 to 18.2 kg
                                                                      [30 to 40 lb]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                        Age
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 2               3               4               5               6               7
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average Annual Fatalities (a)...........................            25.2              27            21.8            17.6            12.2               7
Percent in booster seats (b)............................           19.7%           41.8%           58.5%           63.5%           76.9%           88.9%
Percent weight less than 18.2 kg (40 lb) (c)............          100.0%          100.0%           82.5%           50.0%           20.0%            4.0%
Target Population (d) = (a)x(b)x(c).....................             5.0            11.3            10.5             5.6             1.9             0.2
Effectiveness of FFCRSs vs Boosters (e).................           27.0%           27.0%           27.0%           10.0%           10.0%           10.0%
Percent people following label (f)......................         15%-50%         15%-50%         15%-50%         15%-50%         15%-50%         15%-50%
Benefits for 50% follow label (d)x(e)x0.15..............             0.2             0.5             0.4             0.1             0.0             0.0
Benefits for 15% follow label (d)x(e)x0.5...............             0.7             1.5             1.4             0.3             0.1             0.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 69459]]

    Using the data in Table A-6 and Table A-7 and following the 
analysis as shown in Table A-10, the number of AIS 2+ injuries were 
estimated that could potentially be prevented by the proposed 
increase in the minimum child weight recommendation for booster seat 
use from 13.6 to 18.2 kg (30 to 40 lb). This analysis, shown in 
Table A-11, estimated that 1.6-5.2 AIS 2+ injuries could be 
prevented.

   Table A-11--Estimate of Injuries Prevented for Proposed Increase in
 Manufacturer-Recommended Minimum Child Weight for Booster Seat Use From
                             13.6 to 18.2 kg
                              [30 to 40 lb]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Age
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                1-3             4-7
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Average Annual AIS 2+ injured children               128             293
 (a)....................................
Percent in Boosters (b).................            9.0%           64.0%
Percent weight less than 18.2 kg (40 lb)          100.0%           39.1%
 (c)....................................
Target Population (d) = (a)x(b)x(c).....            11.5            73.4
Effectiveness of FFCRSs vs. boosters (e)           27.0%           10.0%
Percent people following label (f)......         15%-50%         15%-50%
Benefits for 70% follow label                        0.5             1.1
 (d)x(e)x(f)............................
Benefits for 15% follow label                        1.6             3.7
 (d)x(e)x0.15...........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The agency estimates that the increase in the minimum child 
weight for booster seat use from 13.6 kg to 18.2 kg (30 lb to 40 lb) 
could potentially save 1.2-4 lives and prevent 1.6-5.2 AIS 2+ 
injuries.
    In summary, the proposed increase in the manufacturer-
recommended minimum child weight for forward-facing CRS use and 
booster seat use could potential save 1.9 to 6.3 lives and prevent 
2.6 to 8.7 AIS 2+ injuries.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
1.95 and 501.8.
James C. Owens,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2020-21477 Filed 10-30-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P