Petitions for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; General Motors, LLC, 19692-19695 [2021-07569]

Download as PDF 19692 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 70 / Wednesday, April 14, 2021 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES mutual identification. If all the data matches, the vehicle can be started. In support of its belief that its antitheft device will be as effective as or more effective than the parts-marking requirement in reducing and deterring vehicle theft, and in accordance with 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5), Volkswagen provided data on the theft rate of similarly-sized vehicle lines that had been granted an exemption from the parts-marking requirement. Volkswagen also referenced the effectiveness of immobilizer devices installed on other vehicles for which NHTSA has granted exemptions. Specifically, Volkswagen referenced information from the Highway Loss Data Institute which showed that BMW vehicles experienced theft loss reductions resulting in a 73% decrease in relative claim frequency and a 78% lower average loss payment per claim for vehicles equipped with an immobilizer. Volkswagen also stated that the National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) theft data showed that there was a 70% reduction in theft experienced when comparing the MY 1987 Ford Mustang vehicle thefts (with immobilizers) to MY 1995 Ford Mustang vehicle thefts (without immobilizers). III. Decision To Grant the Petition Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106 and 49 CFR 543.8(b), the agency grants a petition for exemption from the partsmarking requirements of part 541, either in whole or in part, if it determines that, based upon substantial evidence, the standard equipment antitheft device is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of part 541. As discussed above, in this case, Volkswagen’s petition is granted under 49 U.S.C. 33106(d). Separately, NHTSA finds that Volkswagen has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the antitheft device for its vehicle line is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard. This conclusion is based on the information the Volkswagen provided about its antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on the supporting evidence submitted by Volkswagen, that the antitheft device described for its vehicle line is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard. The agency concludes that Volkswagen’s antitheft device will provide the five types of performance features listed in section 543.6(a)(3): promoting activation; attracting VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Apr 13, 2021 Jkt 253001 attention to the efforts of unauthorized persons to enter or operate a vehicle by means other than a key; preventing defeat or circumvention of the device by unauthorized persons; preventing operation of the vehicle by unauthorized entrants; and ensuring the reliability and durability of the device. The agency notes that 49 CFR part 541, Appendix A–1, identifies those lines that are exempted from the theft prevention standard for a given model year. 49 CFR 543.8(f) contains publication requirements incident to the disposition of all part 543 petitions. Advanced listing, including the release of future product nameplates, the beginning model year for which the petition is granted and a general description of the antitheft device is necessary in order to notify law enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines exempted from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard. If Volkswagen decides not to use the exemption for its requested vehicle line, the manufacturer must formally notify the agency. If such a decision is made, the line must be fully marked as required by 49 CFR 541.5 and 541.6 (marking of major component parts and replacement parts). NHTSA notes that if Volkswagen wishes in the future to modify the device on which this exemption is based, the company may have to submit a petition to modify the exemption. Section 543.8(d) states that a part 543 exemption applies only to vehicles that belong to a line exempted under this part and equipped with the antitheft device on which the line’s exemption is based. Further, section 543.10(c)(2) provides for the submission of petitions ‘‘to modify an exemption to permit the use of an antitheft device similar to but differing from the one specified in the exemption.’’ The agency wishes to minimize the administrative burden that section 543.10(c)(2) could place on exempted vehicle manufacturers and itself. The agency did not intend in drafting part 543 to require the submission of a modification petition for every change to the components or design of an antitheft device. The significance of many such changes could be de minimis. Therefore, NHTSA suggests that if Volkswagen contemplates making any changes, the effects of which might be characterized as de minimis, it should consult the agency before preparing and submitting a petition to modify. For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full Volkswagen’s petition for exemption for the Taos PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 vehicle line from the parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541, beginning with its MY 2022 vehicles. Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8. Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 2021–07570 Filed 4–13–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Petitions for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; General Motors, LLC National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petitions for exemption. AGENCY: This document grants in full the General Motors, LLC’s (GM) petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard (Theft Prevention Standard) for its Chevrolet Trax line beginning in model year (MY) 2022. The petition is granted because the agency has determined that the antitheft device to be placed on the line as standard equipment is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard. DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with the 2022 model year. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carlita Ballard, Office of International Policy, Fuel Economy, and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, West Building, W43–439, NRM–310, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Ballard’s phone number is (202) 366– 5222. Her fax number is (202) 493–2990. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 331, the Secretary of Transportation (and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by delegation) is required to promulgate a theft prevention standard to provide for the identification of certain motor vehicles and their major replacement parts to impede motor vehicle theft. NHTSA promulgated regulations at Part 541 (Theft Prevention Standard) to require parts-marking for specified passenger motor vehicles and light trucks. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106, manufacturers that are subject to the parts-marking requirements may petition the Secretary of Transportation SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14APN1.SGM 14APN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 70 / Wednesday, April 14, 2021 / Notices for an exemption for a line of passenger motor vehicles equipped as standard equipment with an antitheft device that the Secretary decides is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements. In accordance with this statute, NHTSA promulgated 49 CFR part 543, which establishes the process through which manufacturers may seek an exemption from the Theft Prevention Standard. 49 CFR 543.5 provides general submission requirements for petitions and states that each manufacturer may petition NHTSA for an exemption of one vehicle line per model year. Among other requirements, manufacturers must identify whether the exemption is sought under section 543.6 or section 543.7. Under section 543.6, a manufacturer may request an exemption by providing specific information about the antitheft device, its capabilities, and the reasons the petitioner believes the device to be as effective at reducing and deterring theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements. Section 543.7 permits a manufacturer to request an exemption under a more streamlined process if the vehicle line is equipped with an antitheft device (an ‘‘immobilizer’’) as standard equipment that complies with one of the standards specified in that section. Section 543.8 establishes requirements for processing petitions for exemption from the Theft Prevention Standard. As stated in section 543.8(a), NHTSA processes any complete exemption petition. If NHTSA receives an incomplete petition, NHTSA will notify the petitioner of the deficiencies. Once NHTSA receives a complete petition it will process it and, in accordance with section 543.8(b), will grant the petition if it determines that, based upon substantial evidence, the standard equipment antitheft device is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of Part 541. Section 543.8(c) requires NHTSA to issue its decision either to grant or to deny an exemption petition not later than 120 days after the date on which a complete petition is filed. If NHTSA does not make a decision within the 120-day period, the petition shall be deemed to be approved and the manufacturer shall be exempt from the standard for the line covered by the petition for the subsequent model year.1 Exemptions granted under Part 543 apply only to the vehicle line or lines that are subject to the grant and that are 1 49 U.S.C. 33106(d). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Apr 13, 2021 Jkt 253001 equipped with the antitheft device on which the line’s exemption was based, and are effective for the model year beginning after the model year in which NHTSA issues the notice of exemption, unless the notice of exemption specifies a later year. Sections 543.8(f) and (g) apply to the manner in which NHTSA’s decisions on petitions are to be made known. Under section 543.8(f), if the petition is sought under section 543.6, NHTSA publishes a notice of its decision to grant or deny the exemption petition in the Federal Register and notifies the petitioner in writing. Under section 543.8(g), if the petition is sought under section 543.7, NHTSA notifies the petitioner in writing of the agency’s decision to grant or deny the exemption petition. This grant of petition for exemption considers GM’s petition for its Chevrolet Trax vehicle line beginning in MY 2022. I. Specific Petition Content Requirements Under 49 CFR 543.6 Pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention, GM petitioned for an exemption for its specified vehicle line from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard, beginning in MY 2022. GM petitioned under 49 CFR 543.6, Petition: Specific content requirements, which, as described above, requires manufacturers to provide specific information about the antitheft device installed as standard equipment on all vehicles in the line for which an exemption is sought, the antitheft device’s capabilities, and the reasons the petitioner believes the device to be as effective at reducing and deterring theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements. More specifically, section 543.6(a)(1) requires petitions to include a statement that an antitheft device will be installed as standard equipment on all vehicles in the line for which the exemption is sought. Under section 543.6(a)(2), each petition must list each component in the antitheft system, and include a diagram showing the location of each of those components within the vehicle. As required by section 543.6(a)(3), each petition must include an explanation of the means and process by which the device is activated and functions, including any aspect of the device designed to: (1) Facilitate or encourage its activation by motorists; (2) attract attention to the efforts of an unauthorized person to enter or move a vehicle by means other than a key; (3) prevent defeating or circumventing the device by an unauthorized person attempting to enter a vehicle by means other than a key; (4) prevent the PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19693 operation of a vehicle which an unauthorized person has entered using means other than a key; and (5) ensure the reliability and durability of the device.2 In addition to providing information about the antitheft device and its functionality, petitioners must also submit the reasons for their belief that the antitheft device will be effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft, including any theft data and other data that are available to the petitioner and form a basis for that belief,3 and the reasons for the petitioner’s belief that the agency should determine that the antitheft device is likely to be as effective as compliance with the partsmarking requirements of Part 541 in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft, including any statistical data that are available to the petitioner and form the basis for the petitioner’s belief that a line of passenger motor vehicles equipped with the antitheft device is likely to have a theft rate equal to or less than that of passenger motor vehicles of the same, or a similar, line which have parts marked in compliance with Part 541.4 The following sections describe GM’s petition information provided pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention. To the extent that specific information in GM’s petition is subject to a properly filed confidentiality request, that information will not be disclosed as part of this notice. See 49 CFR 512.20(a). In a petition dated August 14, 2020, GM requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard for its Chevrolet Trax vehicle line beginning with MY 2022. Pursuant to section 543.6(a)(1), GM stated that the antitheft device described in its petition, the PASS-Key III+, will be installed as standard equipment on its Chevrolet Trax vehicles starting with MY 2022. PASSKey III+ is a transponder-based electronic engine immobilizer antitheft device. In accordance with section 543.6(a)(2), GM provided a detailed description and diagram of the identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft device for its Chevrolet Trax vehicle line. Key components of the antitheft device include a PASS-Key III+ controller module, engine control module (ECM), an electronically-coded ignition key, a radio frequency (RF) receiver, an immobilizer exciter module, three low frequency antennas, and a 2 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3). CFR 543.6(a)(4). 4 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5). 3 49 E:\FR\FM\14APN1.SGM 14APN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 19694 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 70 / Wednesday, April 14, 2021 / Notices passive antenna module and provided a diagram of the locations of the components. GM stated that the PASS-Key III+ immobilizer device is designed to be active at all times without direct intervention by the vehicle operator. GM further stated that activation of the device occurs immediately after the ignition has been turned off and the key has been removed and deactivation of the antitheft device occurs automatically when the engine is started. GM stated that the Chevrolet Trax vehicle line will be equipped with one of two ignition versions. Specifically, the Chevrolet Trax will be equipped with either a keyed or keyless ignition version of its PASS-Key III+ immobilizer antitheft device. GM stated that the ‘‘keyed’’ ignition version utilizes a special ignition key and decoder module and its electrical code must be sensed and properly decoded by the controller module before the vehicle can be operated. GM further stated that with the ‘‘keyless’’ ignition version, an electronic key fob performs normal remote keyless entry functions and communicates with the vehicle without direct owner intervention. Specifically, during operation of the vehicle, when the owner presses the engine start/stop switch, the vehicle transmits a randomly generated challenge and vehicle identifier within the passenger compartment of the vehicle via three low-frequency antennas, controlled by the passive antenna module. The electronic key receives the data and if the vehicle identifier matches that of the vehicle, the electronic key will calculate the response to the vehicle using the challenge and secret information shared between the key and the vehicle. The electronic key then transmits the response via a radio frequency channel to a vehicle mounted receiver, conveying the information to the PASSKey III+ control module. The PASS-Key III+ control module compares the received response with an internally calculated response. If the values match, the device will allow the vehicle to enter functional modes and transmit a fixed code pre-release password to the engine controller over the serial data bus, and enable computation and communication of a response to any valid challenge received from the engine controller. If a valid key is not detected, the system will not transmit a fixed code pre-release password to the engine controller and fuel will not be delivered to the engine and the starter will not be enabled, so the vehicle will be immobilized. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Apr 13, 2021 Jkt 253001 GM provided information on the reliability and durability of its proposed device as required by section 543.6(a)(3)(v). To ensure reliability and durability of the device, GM followed its own standards in assessing reliability and conducted tests to validate the integrity, durability and reliability of the PASS-Key III+ device, including tests for high temperature storage, low temperature storage, thermal shock, humidity, frost, salt fog, flammability and others. GM further stated that the design and assembly processes of the PASS-Key III+ subsystem and components are validated for 10 years of vehicle life and 150,000 miles of performance. In support of its belief that its antitheft device will be as effective as or more effective than the parts-marking requirement in reducing and deterring vehicle theft, and in accordance with 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5), GM referenced data provided by the American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA) in support of the effectiveness of GM’s PASS-Key devices in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft, and stated that the PASS-Key III+ device has been designed to enhance the functionality and theft protection provided by its first, second and third generation PASSKey, PASS-Key II, and PASS-Key III devices. Specifically, GM stated that data which provide the basis for GM’s confidence that the PASS-Key III+ system will be effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft are contained in the response of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA) to Docket 97–042; Notice I (NHTSA Request for Comments on its preliminary Report to Congress on the effects of the Anti Car Theft Act of 1992 and the Motor Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act of 1984). In the Report to Congress, AAMA stated the more recent antitheft systems are more effective in reducing auto theft. GM also stated that theft rate data have indicated a decline in theft rates for vehicle lines equipped with comparable devices that have received full exemptions from the parts-marking requirements. GM stated that the theft rate data, as provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and compiled by the agency, show that theft rates are lower for exempted GM models equipped with the PASS-Key-like systems than the theft rates for earlier models with similar appearance and construction that were parts-marked. Based on the performance of the PASSKey, PASS-Key II, and PASS-Key III devices on other GM models, and the advanced technology utilized in PASS- PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Key III+, GM believes that the PASS-Key III+ device will be more effective in deterring theft than the parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541. III. Decision To Grant the Petition Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106 and 49 CFR 543.8(b), the agency grants a petition for exemption from the partsmarking requirements of Part 541, either in whole or in part, if it determines that, based upon substantial evidence, the standard equipment antitheft device is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of Part 541. The agency finds GM has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the antitheft device for the Chevrolet Trax vehicle line is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard. This conclusion is based on the information the manufacturer provided about its antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on the supporting evidence submitted by the manufacturer, that the antitheft device described for its vehicle line is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard. The agency concludes that GM’s antitheft device will provide four of the five types of performance features listed in section 543.6(a)(3): Promoting activation; preventing defeat or circumvention of the device by unauthorized persons; preventing operation of the vehicle by unauthorized entrants; and ensuring the reliability and durability of the device. The agency notes that 49 CFR part 541, Appendix A–1, identifies those lines that are exempted from the Theft Prevention Standard for a given model year. 49 CFR 543.8(f) contains publication requirements incident to the disposition of all Part 543 petitions. Advanced listing, including the release of future product nameplates, the beginning model year for which the petition is granted and a general description of the antitheft device is necessary in order to notify law enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines exempted from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard. If GM decides not to use the exemption for its requested vehicle line, the manufacturer must formally notify the agency. If such a decision is made, the line must be fully marked as required by 49 CFR 541.5 and 541.6 E:\FR\FM\14APN1.SGM 14APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 70 / Wednesday, April 14, 2021 / Notices (marking of major component parts and replacement parts). NHTSA notes that if GM wishes in the future to modify the device on which this exemption is based, the company may have to submit a petition to modify the exemption. Section 543.8(d) states that a Part 543 exemption applies only to vehicles that belong to a line exempted under this part and equipped with the antitheft device on which the line’s exemption is based. Further, section 543.10(c)(2) provides for the submission of petitions ‘‘to modify an exemption to permit the use of an antitheft device similar to but differing from the one specified in the exemption.’’ The agency wishes to minimize the administrative burden that section 543.10(c)(2) could place on exempted vehicle manufacturers and itself. The agency did not intend in drafting Part 543 to require the submission of a modification petition for every change to the components or design of an antitheft device. The significance of many such changes could be de minimis. Therefore, NHTSA suggests that if GM contemplates making any changes, the effects of which might be characterized as de minimis, it should consult the agency before preparing and submitting a petition to modify. For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full GM’s petition for exemption for the Chevrolet Trax vehicle line from the parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541, beginning with its MY 2022 vehicles. Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8. Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 2021–07569 Filed 4–13–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION [Docket No: OST–2021–0038] Agency Request for Emergency Approval of an Information Collection of Information Associated With the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) Program U.S. Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Department of Transportation (DOT) provides notice that it will submit an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Apr 13, 2021 Jkt 253001 (OMB) for emergency approval of a proposed information collection. DOT requests that OMB authorize the collection of information on or before May 15, 2021, for 180 days after the date of approval by OMB. Upon receiving the requested six-month emergency approval by OMB, DOT will follow the normal PRA procedures to obtain extended approval for this proposed information collection. The purpose of this collection is to enable eligible business entities to apply for payroll assistance under the ‘‘Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection’’ (AMJP) program, established by the ‘‘American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’’ (ARPA), which was enacted on March 11, 2021. DOT is requesting emergency approval due to the urgency of making the associated funds available to business entities that meet the eligibility requirements under the law. The continued viability of these business entities is crucial to supporting the aviation industry and economic recovery in the United States. Because ARPA requires DOT to reduce funding on a pro rata basis if eligible requests exceed available funds, DOT must identify the full universe of eligible businesses and the magnitude of their funding requests before issuing the first agreement. The statutory requirements of the AJMP also establish a strict sixmonth timeframe during which DOT must enter into payroll support agreements with eligible businesses. DATES: Comments should be submitted as soon as possible upon publication of this notice in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Comments and questions should be directed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Attn: OST OMB Desk Officer, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. Comments and questions about the ICR identified below may be transmitted electronically to OIRA at oira_submissions@omb.eop.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information related to this ICR, including applicable supporting documentation may be obtained by contacting Alexus Jenkins-Reid in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, via telephone at (202) 366–4594, or via email at AMJP@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35; as amended) and 5 CFR part 1320 require each Federal agency to obtain OMB approval to initiate an information collection activity. DOT is seeking OMB approval PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19695 for the following DOT information collection activity: OMB Control Number: 2106–NEW. Title: Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) program. Form Numbers: New collection. Type of Review: Emergency approval of information collection. Expected Number of Respondents: 4,900. Frequency: One-time application, to be followed by disbursement requests and closeout. Estimated Average Burden per Response: 28 hours (initial application, 12 hours; monthly disbursement request, 2 hours each for 6 months; and closeout documentation, 4 hours). Estimated Total Annual Burden: 137,200. Abstract: On March 11, 2021, the ‘‘American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’’ (ARPA), Public Law (Pub. L.) 117–2, was enacted. Sections 7201 and 7202 establish the ‘‘Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection’’ (AMJP) program. The stated purpose of the program is ‘‘to provide public contributions to supplement compensation of an eligible employee group’’ (which is defined in the statute), by entering into agreements with qualifying business entities to pay up to half of the payroll costs for that group of employees for up to six months, in return for several commitments, including a commitment that the company will not involuntarily furlough or lay off employees within that group. Individual employees (including contract employees) are not eligible to apply for assistance under this program. Application for assistance under the AMJP is voluntary. No business is required to apply. To be eligible, however, businesses must meet all the requirements set forth in the law. Therefore, DOT must collect certain information from applicants to determine eligibility. DOT must also verify the accuracy of specific payment requests from approved applicants, in accordance with other laws and regulations governing Federal financial assistance programs, including (but not limited to) the Anti-Deficiency Act, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019, and 2 CFR part 200, among others. The ARPA requires DOT to reduce funding on a pro rata basis if eligible requests exceed available funds. Therefore, DOT will conduct a singleround, expedited application process to identify all eligible requests before beginning the award process. Accordingly, DOT is developing a process and system that will enable E:\FR\FM\14APN1.SGM 14APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 70 (Wednesday, April 14, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19692-19695]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07569]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petitions for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard; General Motors, LLC

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

ACTION: Grant of petitions for exemption.

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

SUMMARY: This document grants in full the General Motors, LLC's (GM) 
petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention 
Standard (Theft Prevention Standard) for its Chevrolet Trax line 
beginning in model year (MY) 2022. The petition is granted because the 
agency has determined that the antitheft device to be placed on the 
line as standard equipment is likely to be as effective in reducing and 
deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking 
requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard.

DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with 
the 2022 model year.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carlita Ballard, Office of 
International Policy, Fuel Economy, and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, West 
Building, W43-439, NRM-310, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 
20590. Ms. Ballard's phone number is (202) 366-5222. Her fax number is 
(202) 493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 331, the Secretary 
of Transportation (and the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) by delegation) is required to promulgate a theft 
prevention standard to provide for the identification of certain motor 
vehicles and their major replacement parts to impede motor vehicle 
theft. NHTSA promulgated regulations at Part 541 (Theft Prevention 
Standard) to require parts-marking for specified passenger motor 
vehicles and light trucks. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106, manufacturers 
that are subject to the parts-marking requirements may petition the 
Secretary of Transportation

[[Page 19693]]

for an exemption for a line of passenger motor vehicles equipped as 
standard equipment with an antitheft device that the Secretary decides 
is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle 
theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements. In accordance 
with this statute, NHTSA promulgated 49 CFR part 543, which establishes 
the process through which manufacturers may seek an exemption from the 
Theft Prevention Standard.
    49 CFR 543.5 provides general submission requirements for petitions 
and states that each manufacturer may petition NHTSA for an exemption 
of one vehicle line per model year. Among other requirements, 
manufacturers must identify whether the exemption is sought under 
section 543.6 or section 543.7. Under section 543.6, a manufacturer may 
request an exemption by providing specific information about the 
antitheft device, its capabilities, and the reasons the petitioner 
believes the device to be as effective at reducing and deterring theft 
as compliance with the parts-marking requirements. Section 543.7 
permits a manufacturer to request an exemption under a more streamlined 
process if the vehicle line is equipped with an antitheft device (an 
``immobilizer'') as standard equipment that complies with one of the 
standards specified in that section.
    Section 543.8 establishes requirements for processing petitions for 
exemption from the Theft Prevention Standard. As stated in section 
543.8(a), NHTSA processes any complete exemption petition. If NHTSA 
receives an incomplete petition, NHTSA will notify the petitioner of 
the deficiencies. Once NHTSA receives a complete petition it will 
process it and, in accordance with section 543.8(b), will grant the 
petition if it determines that, based upon substantial evidence, the 
standard equipment antitheft device is likely to be as effective in 
reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the 
parts-marking requirements of Part 541.
    Section 543.8(c) requires NHTSA to issue its decision either to 
grant or to deny an exemption petition not later than 120 days after 
the date on which a complete petition is filed. If NHTSA does not make 
a decision within the 120-day period, the petition shall be deemed to 
be approved and the manufacturer shall be exempt from the standard for 
the line covered by the petition for the subsequent model year.\1\ 
Exemptions granted under Part 543 apply only to the vehicle line or 
lines that are subject to the grant and that are equipped with the 
antitheft device on which the line's exemption was based, and are 
effective for the model year beginning after the model year in which 
NHTSA issues the notice of exemption, unless the notice of exemption 
specifies a later year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 49 U.S.C. 33106(d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sections 543.8(f) and (g) apply to the manner in which NHTSA's 
decisions on petitions are to be made known. Under section 543.8(f), if 
the petition is sought under section 543.6, NHTSA publishes a notice of 
its decision to grant or deny the exemption petition in the Federal 
Register and notifies the petitioner in writing. Under section 
543.8(g), if the petition is sought under section 543.7, NHTSA notifies 
the petitioner in writing of the agency's decision to grant or deny the 
exemption petition.
    This grant of petition for exemption considers GM's petition for 
its Chevrolet Trax vehicle line beginning in MY 2022.

I. Specific Petition Content Requirements Under 49 CFR 543.6

    Pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft 
Prevention, GM petitioned for an exemption for its specified vehicle 
line from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention 
Standard, beginning in MY 2022. GM petitioned under 49 CFR 543.6, 
Petition: Specific content requirements, which, as described above, 
requires manufacturers to provide specific information about the 
antitheft device installed as standard equipment on all vehicles in the 
line for which an exemption is sought, the antitheft device's 
capabilities, and the reasons the petitioner believes the device to be 
as effective at reducing and deterring theft as compliance with the 
parts-marking requirements.
    More specifically, section 543.6(a)(1) requires petitions to 
include a statement that an antitheft device will be installed as 
standard equipment on all vehicles in the line for which the exemption 
is sought. Under section 543.6(a)(2), each petition must list each 
component in the antitheft system, and include a diagram showing the 
location of each of those components within the vehicle. As required by 
section 543.6(a)(3), each petition must include an explanation of the 
means and process by which the device is activated and functions, 
including any aspect of the device designed to: (1) Facilitate or 
encourage its activation by motorists; (2) attract attention to the 
efforts of an unauthorized person to enter or move a vehicle by means 
other than a key; (3) prevent defeating or circumventing the device by 
an unauthorized person attempting to enter a vehicle by means other 
than a key; (4) prevent the operation of a vehicle which an 
unauthorized person has entered using means other than a key; and (5) 
ensure the reliability and durability of the device.\2\
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    \2\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3).
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    In addition to providing information about the antitheft device and 
its functionality, petitioners must also submit the reasons for their 
belief that the antitheft device will be effective in reducing and 
deterring motor vehicle theft, including any theft data and other data 
that are available to the petitioner and form a basis for that 
belief,\3\ and the reasons for the petitioner's belief that the agency 
should determine that the antitheft device is likely to be as effective 
as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of Part 541 in 
reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft, including any statistical 
data that are available to the petitioner and form the basis for the 
petitioner's belief that a line of passenger motor vehicles equipped 
with the antitheft device is likely to have a theft rate equal to or 
less than that of passenger motor vehicles of the same, or a similar, 
line which have parts marked in compliance with Part 541.\4\
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    \3\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(4).
    \4\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5).
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    The following sections describe GM's petition information provided 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention. 
To the extent that specific information in GM's petition is subject to 
a properly filed confidentiality request, that information will not be 
disclosed as part of this notice. See 49 CFR 512.20(a).
    In a petition dated August 14, 2020, GM requested an exemption from 
the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard for its 
Chevrolet Trax vehicle line beginning with MY 2022. Pursuant to section 
543.6(a)(1), GM stated that the antitheft device described in its 
petition, the PASS-Key III+, will be installed as standard equipment on 
its Chevrolet Trax vehicles starting with MY 2022. PASS-Key III+ is a 
transponder-based electronic engine immobilizer antitheft device.
    In accordance with section 543.6(a)(2), GM provided a detailed 
description and diagram of the identity, design, and location of the 
components of the antitheft device for its Chevrolet Trax vehicle line. 
Key components of the antitheft device include a PASS-Key III+ 
controller module, engine control module (ECM), an electronically-coded 
ignition key, a radio frequency (RF) receiver, an immobilizer exciter 
module, three low frequency antennas, and a

[[Page 19694]]

passive antenna module and provided a diagram of the locations of the 
components.
    GM stated that the PASS-Key III+ immobilizer device is designed to 
be active at all times without direct intervention by the vehicle 
operator. GM further stated that activation of the device occurs 
immediately after the ignition has been turned off and the key has been 
removed and deactivation of the antitheft device occurs automatically 
when the engine is started.
    GM stated that the Chevrolet Trax vehicle line will be equipped 
with one of two ignition versions. Specifically, the Chevrolet Trax 
will be equipped with either a keyed or keyless ignition version of its 
PASS-Key III+ immobilizer antitheft device. GM stated that the 
``keyed'' ignition version utilizes a special ignition key and decoder 
module and its electrical code must be sensed and properly decoded by 
the controller module before the vehicle can be operated. GM further 
stated that with the ``keyless'' ignition version, an electronic key 
fob performs normal remote keyless entry functions and communicates 
with the vehicle without direct owner intervention. Specifically, 
during operation of the vehicle, when the owner presses the engine 
start/stop switch, the vehicle transmits a randomly generated challenge 
and vehicle identifier within the passenger compartment of the vehicle 
via three low-frequency antennas, controlled by the passive antenna 
module. The electronic key receives the data and if the vehicle 
identifier matches that of the vehicle, the electronic key will 
calculate the response to the vehicle using the challenge and secret 
information shared between the key and the vehicle. The electronic key 
then transmits the response via a radio frequency channel to a vehicle 
mounted receiver, conveying the information to the PASS-Key III+ 
control module. The PASS-Key III+ control module compares the received 
response with an internally calculated response. If the values match, 
the device will allow the vehicle to enter functional modes and 
transmit a fixed code pre-release password to the engine controller 
over the serial data bus, and enable computation and communication of a 
response to any valid challenge received from the engine controller. If 
a valid key is not detected, the system will not transmit a fixed code 
pre-release password to the engine controller and fuel will not be 
delivered to the engine and the starter will not be enabled, so the 
vehicle will be immobilized.
    GM provided information on the reliability and durability of its 
proposed device as required by section 543.6(a)(3)(v). To ensure 
reliability and durability of the device, GM followed its own standards 
in assessing reliability and conducted tests to validate the integrity, 
durability and reliability of the PASS-Key III+ device, including tests 
for high temperature storage, low temperature storage, thermal shock, 
humidity, frost, salt fog, flammability and others. GM further stated 
that the design and assembly processes of the PASS-Key III+ subsystem 
and components are validated for 10 years of vehicle life and 150,000 
miles of performance.
    In support of its belief that its antitheft device will be as 
effective as or more effective than the parts-marking requirement in 
reducing and deterring vehicle theft, and in accordance with 49 CFR 
543.6(a)(5), GM referenced data provided by the American Automobile 
Manufacturers Association (AAMA) in support of the effectiveness of 
GM's PASS-Key devices in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft, 
and stated that the PASS-Key III+ device has been designed to enhance 
the functionality and theft protection provided by its first, second 
and third generation PASS-Key, PASS-Key II, and PASS-Key III devices. 
Specifically, GM stated that data which provide the basis for GM's 
confidence that the PASS-Key III+ system will be effective in reducing 
and deterring motor vehicle theft are contained in the response of the 
American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA) to Docket 97-042; 
Notice I (NHTSA Request for Comments on its preliminary Report to 
Congress on the effects of the Anti Car Theft Act of 1992 and the Motor 
Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act of 1984). In the Report to Congress, 
AAMA stated the more recent antitheft systems are more effective in 
reducing auto theft.
    GM also stated that theft rate data have indicated a decline in 
theft rates for vehicle lines equipped with comparable devices that 
have received full exemptions from the parts-marking requirements. GM 
stated that the theft rate data, as provided by the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and compiled 
by the agency, show that theft rates are lower for exempted GM models 
equipped with the PASS-Key-like systems than the theft rates for 
earlier models with similar appearance and construction that were 
parts-marked. Based on the performance of the PASS-Key, PASS-Key II, 
and PASS-Key III devices on other GM models, and the advanced 
technology utilized in PASS-Key III+, GM believes that the PASS-Key 
III+ device will be more effective in deterring theft than the parts-
marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541.

III. Decision To Grant the Petition

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106 and 49 CFR 543.8(b), the agency grants 
a petition for exemption from the parts-marking requirements of Part 
541, either in whole or in part, if it determines that, based upon 
substantial evidence, the standard equipment antitheft device is likely 
to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as 
compliance with the parts-marking requirements of Part 541. The agency 
finds GM has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the 
antitheft device for the Chevrolet Trax vehicle line is likely to be as 
effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance 
with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard. 
This conclusion is based on the information the manufacturer provided 
about its antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on the supporting 
evidence submitted by the manufacturer, that the antitheft device 
described for its vehicle line is likely to be as effective in reducing 
and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking 
requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard.
    The agency concludes that GM's antitheft device will provide four 
of the five types of performance features listed in section 
543.6(a)(3): Promoting activation; preventing defeat or circumvention 
of the device by unauthorized persons; preventing operation of the 
vehicle by unauthorized entrants; and ensuring the reliability and 
durability of the device.
    The agency notes that 49 CFR part 541, Appendix A-1, identifies 
those lines that are exempted from the Theft Prevention Standard for a 
given model year. 49 CFR 543.8(f) contains publication requirements 
incident to the disposition of all Part 543 petitions. Advanced 
listing, including the release of future product nameplates, the 
beginning model year for which the petition is granted and a general 
description of the antitheft device is necessary in order to notify law 
enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines exempted from the parts-
marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard.
    If GM decides not to use the exemption for its requested vehicle 
line, the manufacturer must formally notify the agency. If such a 
decision is made, the line must be fully marked as required by 49 CFR 
541.5 and 541.6

[[Page 19695]]

(marking of major component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if GM wishes in the future to modify the device on 
which this exemption is based, the company may have to submit a 
petition to modify the exemption. Section 543.8(d) states that a Part 
543 exemption applies only to vehicles that belong to a line exempted 
under this part and equipped with the antitheft device on which the 
line's exemption is based. Further, section 543.10(c)(2) provides for 
the submission of petitions ``to modify an exemption to permit the use 
of an antitheft device similar to but differing from the one specified 
in the exemption.''
    The agency wishes to minimize the administrative burden that 
section 543.10(c)(2) could place on exempted vehicle manufacturers and 
itself. The agency did not intend in drafting Part 543 to require the 
submission of a modification petition for every change to the 
components or design of an antitheft device. The significance of many 
such changes could be de minimis. Therefore, NHTSA suggests that if GM 
contemplates making any changes, the effects of which might be 
characterized as de minimis, it should consult the agency before 
preparing and submitting a petition to modify.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full GM's 
petition for exemption for the Chevrolet Trax vehicle line from the 
parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541, beginning with its MY 
2022 vehicles.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
1.95 and 501.8.
Raymond R. Posten,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2021-07569 Filed 4-13-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P