Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Mazda Motor Corporation, 26137-26140 [2021-09983]

Download as PDF 26137 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 12, 2021 / Notices to the purchaser. FMVSS No. 218, S5.6 requires that each helmet shall be labeled permanently and legibly in a manner such that the label(s) can be read easily without removing padding or any other permanent part. Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use of the Information: The labeling requirement in the Standard supports the Department of Transportation’s strategic goal in safety, by ensuring that motorcycle helmets are manufactured and certified to the performance requirements of the Standard. NHTSA uses this information for enforcement purposes to ensure that manufacturers certify compliance with the Standard. State and local law enforcement use this information to enforce helmet-use laws, For the labor costs associated with the burden hours for affixing labels to helmets, NHTSA uses the average wage of $22.59 per hour for ‘‘Assemblers and Fabricators’’ (occupational code 51– 2000) published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 BLS estimates that wages represent approximately 70.2% of total compensation for private industry workers.2 Therefore, NHTSA calculates the labor cost associated with Assemblers and Fabricators to be $32.18 per hour ($22.59 ÷ 0.702). Multiplying that hourly rate by the estimated 9,100 labor hours needed to affix labels yields an estimated total annual labor cost of $292,838 ($32.18 × 9,100 hours). The total estimated burden hours and associated labor costs are detailed in the table below: Number of respondents (helmet manufacturers) Number of helmets produced annually (per respondent) (rounded) Time to affix label per helmet (seconds) Estimated total annual burden hours (per respondent) (rounded) Total labor cost per hour Labor cost (per respondent) Total burden hours (rounded) Total labor cost 45 72,000 10 200 $32.18 $6,500 9,100 $292,838 Estimated Total Annual Burden Cost: $1,137,500. The total annual cost to the respondents is estimated to be $1,137,500. NHTSA estimates that the khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES and consumers use the information to make decisions when purchasing motorcycle helmets. Affected Public: Motorcycle helmet manufacturers. Estimated Number of Respondents: 45. Frequency: On occasion. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 9,100 hours. NHTSA estimates that 3,250,000 motorcycle helmets are manufactured annually by 45 motorcycle helmet manufacturers. NHTSA also estimates that 10 seconds are spent labeling each helmet. Therefore, the estimated total annual burden hours for the collection of information required in FMVSS No. 218 is 9,100 hours (3,250,000 × 10 seconds, rounded). printing and material cost per helmet is $0.35. The total annual cost to respondents is calculated by multiplying the printing and material cost ($0.35) by the estimated 3,250,000 responses (helmets produced) per year ($0.35 × 3,250,000). The total estimated annual burden costs are detailed in the table below: Number of respondents (helmet manufacturers) Number of helmets produced annually per respondent (rounded) Printing and material cost per helmet Annual printing and material cost per manufacturer (rounded) Total number of helmets produced annually Estimated total annual printing and material costs 45 72,000 $0.35 $25,200.00 3,250,000 $1,137,500.00 Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspects of this information collection, including (a) 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; (b) the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended; 49 CFR 1.49; and DOT Order 1351.29. Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 2021–09985 Filed 5–11–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Mazda Motor Corporation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). AGENCY: 1 May 2019 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, NAICS 336100—Motor Vehicle Manufacturing, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 May 11, 2021 Jkt 253001 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_ 336100.htm#51-0000. PO 00000 Frm 00140 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption. This document grants in full the Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard (theft prevention standard) for its confidential vehicle line beginning in model year (MY) 2023. 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 partsmarking requirements of the theft prevention standard. Mazda also requested confidential treatment for specific information in its petition. Therefore, no confidential information provided for purposes of this notice has been disclosed. SUMMARY: 2 Table 1. Employer Costs for Employee Compensation by ownership, September 2020, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.t01.htm. E:\FR\FM\12MYN1.SGM 12MYN1 26138 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 12, 2021 / Notices The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with the 2023 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 49 CFR part 541 (theft prevention standard) to require partsmarking 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 NHTSA, by delegation, for an exemption for a line of passenger motor vehicles equipped with an antitheft device as standard equipment that NHTSA 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.1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES DATES: 1 49 CFR 543.7 specifies that the manufacturer must include a statement that their entire vehicle line is equipped with an immobilizer that meets one of the following standards: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 May 11, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 the agency 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.2 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. 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. (1) The performance criteria (subsections 8 through 21) of C.R.C, c. 1038.114, Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention (in effect March 30, 2011), as excerpted in appendix A of [part 543]; (2) National Standard of Canada CAN/ULC– S338–98, Automobile Theft Deterrent Equipment and Systems: Electronic Immobilization (May 1998); (3) United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) Regulation No. 97 (ECE R97), Uniform Provisions Concerning Approval of Vehicle Alarm System (VAS) and Motor Vehicles with Regard to Their Alarm System (AS) in effect August 8, 2007; or (4) UN/ECE Regulation No. 116 (ECE R116), Uniform Technical Prescriptions Concerning the Protection of Motor Vehicles Against Unauthorized Use in effect on February 10, 2009. 2 49 U.S.C. 33106(d). PO 00000 Frm 00141 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 This grant of petition for exemption considers Mazda Motor Corporation’s (Mazda) petition for its confidential vehicle line beginning in MY 2023. Mazda’s petition is granted under 49 U.S.C. 33106 and 49 CFR 543.8(c), which state that if the Secretary of Transportation (NHTSA, by delegation) does not make a decision about a petition within 120 days of the petition submission, 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. Separately, based on the information provided in Mazda’s petition, NHTSA has determined that the antitheft device to be placed on its vehicle 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. I. Specific Petition Content Requirements Under 49 CFR 543.6 Pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention, Mazda petitioned for an exemption for its specified vehicle line from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard, beginning in MY 2023. Mazda 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 E:\FR\FM\12MYN1.SGM 12MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 12, 2021 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 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.3 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,4 and the reasons for their 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. In support of this belief, the petitioners should include 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 541.5 The following sections describe Mazda’s petition information provided pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention. To the extent that specific information in Mazda’s petition is subject to a properly filed confidentiality request, that information was not disclosed as part of this notice.6 II. Mazda’s Petition for Exemption In a petition dated November 26, 2020, Mazda requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard for its confidential vehicle line beginning with MY 2023. In its petition, Mazda provided a detailed description and diagram of the identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft device for the confidential vehicle line. Mazda stated that its MY 2023 confidential vehicle line will be installed with a passive, transponder based, electronic engine immobilizer antitheft device as standard equipment. Key components of its antitheft device will include a powertrain control module (PCM), immobilizer control module, security indicator light, coil antenna, transmitter with transponder key (transponder key), 3 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3). CFR 543.6(a)(4). 5 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5). 6 49 CFR 512.20(a). 4 49 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 May 11, 2021 Jkt 253001 low frequency (LF) antenna, radio frequency (RF) receiver and a low frequency unit (LFU). The device will not provide any visible or audible indication of unauthorized vehicle entry (i.e., flashing lights or horn alarm) as standard equipment; however, Mazda stated that its device will incorporate a security indicator light which will provide a visual confirmation on the protection status of the antitheft device. Pursuant to section 543.6(a)(3), Mazda explained that there are two methods of initiating the antitheft device operation process. Specifically, Mazda stated that the immobilizer system monitors two codes: (1) The transponder code, which the immobilizer control module checks with the transponder located in the transmitter; and (2) the immobilizer code, which the immobilizer control module checks with the powertrain’s electronic control module. Mazda also stated that there are two means of checking the transponder code: (1) When the immobilizer control module communicates with the transmitter which includes a transponder by LF antenna and receives a reply of transmitter in the RF receiver; and (2) when the immobilizer control module communicates with the transponder by coil antenna which is located in the push button start. If the transponder code matches with the immobilizer control module by either method mentioned above, and the ignition is turned to the ON position, the immobilizer control module checks the powertrain’s electronic control module with immobilizer code. Mazda further stated that the vehicle’s engine can only be started if the immobilizer code matches the code previously programmed into the immobilizer control module. If the immobilizer code does not match, the engine will be disabled. Communications between the immobilizer system control function and the powertrain’s electronic control module are encrypted. Mazda also stated that there are more than 15 x 10 6 different transponder codes, and each transponder is hard coded with a unique code at the time of manufacture. As required in section 543.6(a)(3)(v), Mazda provided information on the reliability and durability of its proposed device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, Mazda conducted tests based on its own specified standards. Mazda provided a detailed list of the tests conducted (i.e., low/high temperature exposure operation, high temperature endurance, thermal cycling, thermal shock resistance, thermal shock endurance, humidity temperature cycling, high temperature and humidity endurance, PO 00000 Frm 00142 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26139 water, dust, vibration, connector and lead/lock strength, chemical resistance, electromagnetic field, power line variations, DC stresses, electrostatic discharge and push button start strength) and stated that it believes the device is reliable and durable since it complied with its own specified requirements for each test. Additionally, Mazda stated that its device is extremely reliable and durable because it is computer-based and does not rely on any mechanical or moving parts. Mazda further stated that any attempt to slampull its vehicle’s ignition will have no effect on a thief’s ability to start the vehicle without the correct code being transmitted to the electronic control modules. Mazda provided data from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on the effectiveness of other similar antitheft devices installed on vehicle lines in support of its belief that its device will be at least as effective as those comparable devices. Specifically, Mazda stated that its device was installed on certain MY 1996 Ford vehicles as standard equipment, (i.e., all Ford Mustang GT and Cobra models, Ford Taurus LX, and SHO models and Ford Sable LS models). In MY 1997, Mazda installed its immobilizer device on the entire Ford Mustang vehicle line as standard equipment. When comparing 1995 model year Mustang vehicle thefts (without immobilizers) with MY 1997 Mustang vehicle thefts (with immobilizers), Mazda referenced the National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) theft information which showed that there was a 70% reduction in theft experienced when comparing MY 1997 Mustang vehicle thefts (with immobilizers) to MY 1995 Mustang vehicle thefts (without immobilizers). Mazda recognized that NHTSA requested data for vehicle sets that are as similar as possible to the vehicle for which the petition is written; 7 however, Mazda stated that there is no comparable data for a Mazda vehicle of the same body style before and after the implementation of an immobilizer system, because all of Mazda’s similar vehicles have been equipped with a standard immobilizer from the onset of manufacture. In light of these considerations, Mazda stated that the NCIC and HLDI data provided supported its belief that the immobilizer system described in its petition will prove to be as, if not more effective, 7 See E:\FR\FM\12MYN1.SGM 85 FR 55368 (Sep. 8, 2020). 12MYN1 26140 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 90 / Wednesday, May 12, 2021 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES than the parts marking requirements of part 541 in reducing vehicle theft. 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 or if deemed approved under 49 U.S.C. 33106(d). As discussed above, in this case, Mazda’s petition is granted under 49 U.S.C. 33106(d). However, separately, NHTSA also finds that Mazda 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 Mazda provided about its antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on Mazda’s supporting evidence, 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 partsmarking requirements of the theft prevention standard. The agency concludes that Mazda’s antitheft device will provide four 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 Mazda 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 May 11, 2021 Jkt 253001 (marking of major component parts and replacement parts). NHTSA notes that if a manufacturer to which an exemption has been granted wishes in the future to modify the device on which the 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.’’ 8 For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby announces a grant in full of Mazda’s petition for exemption for the confidential vehicle line from the partsmarking requirements of 49 CFR part 541, beginning with its MY 2023 vehicles. Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8. Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 2021–09983 Filed 5–11–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Petition for Exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; North American Subaru, INC. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption. AGENCY: This document grants in full the North American Subaru, Inc.’s (Subaru) petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard (theft prevention standard) for its Toyota GR 86 vehicle line beginning in model year (MY) 2022. The petition is granted because the agency has determined that the antitheft SUMMARY: 8 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 a manufacturer with an exemption 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. PO 00000 Frm 00143 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. Subaru also requested confidential treatment for specific information in its petition. Therefore, no confidential information provided for purposes of this notice has been disclosed. 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 49 CFR part 541 (theft prevention standard) to require partsmarking 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 NHTSA, by delegation, for an exemption for a line of passenger motor vehicles equipped with an antitheft device as standard equipment that NHTSA 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 E:\FR\FM\12MYN1.SGM 12MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 90 (Wednesday, May 12, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26137-26140]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09983]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard; Mazda Motor Corporation

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

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SUMMARY: This document grants in full the Mazda Motor Corporation 
(Mazda) petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard (theft prevention standard) for its confidential 
vehicle line beginning in model year (MY) 2023. 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. Mazda also 
requested confidential treatment for specific information in its 
petition. Therefore, no confidential information provided for purposes 
of this notice has been disclosed.

[[Page 26138]]


DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with 
the 2023 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 49 CFR 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 NHTSA, by delegation, for an exemption for a line of passenger 
motor vehicles equipped with an antitheft device as standard equipment 
that NHTSA 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.\1\
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    \1\ 49 CFR 543.7 specifies that the manufacturer must include a 
statement that their entire vehicle line is equipped with an 
immobilizer that meets one of the following standards:
    (1) The performance criteria (subsections 8 through 21) of 
C.R.C, c. 1038.114, Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention (in 
effect March 30, 2011), as excerpted in appendix A of [part 543];
    (2) National Standard of Canada CAN/ULC-S338-98, Automobile 
Theft Deterrent Equipment and Systems: Electronic Immobilization 
(May 1998);
    (3) United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) 
Regulation No. 97 (ECE R97), Uniform Provisions Concerning Approval 
of Vehicle Alarm System (VAS) and Motor Vehicles with Regard to 
Their Alarm System (AS) in effect August 8, 2007; or
    (4) UN/ECE Regulation No. 116 (ECE R116), Uniform Technical 
Prescriptions Concerning the Protection of Motor Vehicles Against 
Unauthorized Use in effect on February 10, 2009.
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    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 the agency 
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.\2\ 
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.
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    \2\ 49 U.S.C. 33106(d).
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    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 Mazda Motor 
Corporation's (Mazda) petition for its confidential vehicle line 
beginning in MY 2023. Mazda's petition is granted under 49 U.S.C. 33106 
and 49 CFR 543.8(c), which state that if the Secretary of 
Transportation (NHTSA, by delegation) does not make a decision about a 
petition within 120 days of the petition submission, 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. Separately, based on the information provided in Mazda's 
petition, NHTSA has determined that the antitheft device to be placed 
on its vehicle 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.

I. Specific Petition Content Requirements Under 49 CFR 543.6

    Pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft 
Prevention, Mazda petitioned for an exemption for its specified vehicle 
line from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention 
standard, beginning in MY 2023. Mazda 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

[[Page 26139]]

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.\3\
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    \3\ 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,\4\ and the reasons for their 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. In support of this belief, the 
petitioners should include 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.\5\
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    \4\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(4).
    \5\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5).
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    The following sections describe Mazda's petition information 
provided pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft 
Prevention. To the extent that specific information in Mazda's petition 
is subject to a properly filed confidentiality request, that 
information was not disclosed as part of this notice.\6\
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    \6\ 49 CFR 512.20(a).
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II. Mazda's Petition for Exemption

    In a petition dated November 26, 2020, Mazda requested an exemption 
from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard 
for its confidential vehicle line beginning with MY 2023.
    In its petition, Mazda provided a detailed description and diagram 
of the identity, design, and location of the components of the 
antitheft device for the confidential vehicle line. Mazda stated that 
its MY 2023 confidential vehicle line will be installed with a passive, 
transponder based, electronic engine immobilizer antitheft device as 
standard equipment. Key components of its antitheft device will include 
a powertrain control module (PCM), immobilizer control module, security 
indicator light, coil antenna, transmitter with transponder key 
(transponder key), low frequency (LF) antenna, radio frequency (RF) 
receiver and a low frequency unit (LFU). The device will not provide 
any visible or audible indication of unauthorized vehicle entry (i.e., 
flashing lights or horn alarm) as standard equipment; however, Mazda 
stated that its device will incorporate a security indicator light 
which will provide a visual confirmation on the protection status of 
the antitheft device.
    Pursuant to section 543.6(a)(3), Mazda explained that there are two 
methods of initiating the antitheft device operation process. 
Specifically, Mazda stated that the immobilizer system monitors two 
codes: (1) The transponder code, which the immobilizer control module 
checks with the transponder located in the transmitter; and (2) the 
immobilizer code, which the immobilizer control module checks with the 
powertrain's electronic control module. Mazda also stated that there 
are two means of checking the transponder code: (1) When the 
immobilizer control module communicates with the transmitter which 
includes a transponder by LF antenna and receives a reply of 
transmitter in the RF receiver; and (2) when the immobilizer control 
module communicates with the transponder by coil antenna which is 
located in the push button start. If the transponder code matches with 
the immobilizer control module by either method mentioned above, and 
the ignition is turned to the ON position, the immobilizer control 
module checks the powertrain's electronic control module with 
immobilizer code. Mazda further stated that the vehicle's engine can 
only be started if the immobilizer code matches the code previously 
programmed into the immobilizer control module. If the immobilizer code 
does not match, the engine will be disabled. Communications between the 
immobilizer system control function and the powertrain's electronic 
control module are encrypted. Mazda also stated that there are more 
than 15 x 10 \6\ different transponder codes, and each transponder is 
hard coded with a unique code at the time of manufacture.
    As required in section 543.6(a)(3)(v), Mazda provided information 
on the reliability and durability of its proposed device. To ensure 
reliability and durability of the device, Mazda conducted tests based 
on its own specified standards. Mazda provided a detailed list of the 
tests conducted (i.e., low/high temperature exposure operation, high 
temperature endurance, thermal cycling, thermal shock resistance, 
thermal shock endurance, humidity temperature cycling, high temperature 
and humidity endurance, water, dust, vibration, connector and lead/lock 
strength, chemical resistance, electromagnetic field, power line 
variations, DC stresses, electrostatic discharge and push button start 
strength) and stated that it believes the device is reliable and 
durable since it complied with its own specified requirements for each 
test. Additionally, Mazda stated that its device is extremely reliable 
and durable because it is computer-based and does not rely on any 
mechanical or moving parts. Mazda further stated that any attempt to 
slam-pull its vehicle's ignition will have no effect on a thief's 
ability to start the vehicle without the correct code being transmitted 
to the electronic control modules.
    Mazda provided data from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), 
National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and Insurance Institute for 
Highway Safety (IIHS) on the effectiveness of other similar antitheft 
devices installed on vehicle lines in support of its belief that its 
device will be at least as effective as those comparable devices. 
Specifically, Mazda stated that its device was installed on certain MY 
1996 Ford vehicles as standard equipment, (i.e., all Ford Mustang GT 
and Cobra models, Ford Taurus LX, and SHO models and Ford Sable LS 
models). In MY 1997, Mazda installed its immobilizer device on the 
entire Ford Mustang vehicle line as standard equipment. When comparing 
1995 model year Mustang vehicle thefts (without immobilizers) with MY 
1997 Mustang vehicle thefts (with immobilizers), Mazda referenced the 
National Crime Information Center's (NCIC) theft information which 
showed that there was a 70% reduction in theft experienced when 
comparing MY 1997 Mustang vehicle thefts (with immobilizers) to MY 1995 
Mustang vehicle thefts (without immobilizers). Mazda recognized that 
NHTSA requested data for vehicle sets that are as similar as possible 
to the vehicle for which the petition is written; \7\ however, Mazda 
stated that there is no comparable data for a Mazda vehicle of the same 
body style before and after the implementation of an immobilizer 
system, because all of Mazda's similar vehicles have been equipped with 
a standard immobilizer from the onset of manufacture. In light of these 
considerations, Mazda stated that the NCIC and HLDI data provided 
supported its belief that the immobilizer system described in its 
petition will prove to be as, if not more effective,

[[Page 26140]]

than the parts marking requirements of part 541 in reducing vehicle 
theft.
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    \7\ See 85 FR 55368 (Sep. 8, 2020).
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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 or if deemed 
approved under 49 U.S.C. 33106(d). As discussed above, in this case, 
Mazda's petition is granted under 49 U.S.C. 33106(d).
    However, separately, NHTSA also finds that Mazda 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 Mazda provided about its antitheft device. NHTSA believes, 
based on Mazda's supporting evidence, 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 Mazda's antitheft device will provide 
four 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 Mazda 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 a manufacturer to which an exemption has been 
granted wishes in the future to modify the device on which the 
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.'' \8\
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    \8\ 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 a manufacturer with an exemption 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.
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    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby announces a grant in 
full of Mazda's petition for exemption for the confidential vehicle 
line from the parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541, beginning 
with its MY 2023 vehicles.

    Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.
Raymond R. Posten,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2021-09983 Filed 5-11-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P