Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Ford Motor Company, 47717-47719 [2021-18421]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 163 / Thursday, August 26, 2021 / Notices Total Estimated Annual Burden Hour Dollar Cost Equivalent: $104,082. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that a respondent is not required to respond to, conduct, or sponsor a collection of information that does not display a currently valid OMB control number. Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520. Brett A. Jortland, Acting Chief Counsel. [FR Doc. 2021–18398 Filed 8–25–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Ford Motor Company National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption. AGENCY: This document grants in full the Ford Motor Company (Ford) petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard (theft prevention standard) for its confidential vehicle 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. Ford 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 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Aug 25, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 the Secretary of Transportation for an exemption for a line of passenger motor vehicles equipped with an antitheft device as standard equipment that the Secretary decides is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the partsmarking 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 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 PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47717 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. 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 Ford Motor Corporation’s (Ford) petition for its confidential 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, Ford petitioned for an exemption for its specified vehicle line from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard, beginning in MY 2022. Ford 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 1 49 E:\FR\FM\26AUN1.SGM U.S.C. 33106(d). 26AUN1 47718 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 163 / Thursday, August 26, 2021 / Notices 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 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 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 541.4 The following sections describe Ford’s petition information provided pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention. To the extent that specific information in Ford’s petition is subject to a properly filed confidentiality request, that information was not disclosed as part of this notice.5 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES II. Ford’s Petition for Exemption In a petition dated November 26, 2020 and updated on April 30, 2021,6 Ford requested an exemption from the partsmarking requirements of the theft prevention standard for its confidential vehicle line beginning with MY 2022. In its petition, Ford provided a detailed description and diagram of the 2 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3). CFR 543.6(a)(4). 4 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5). 5 49 CFR 512.20(a). 6 As discussed above, per 49 CFR 543.8(a), NHTSA processes the petition once the manufacturer submits all the information required by 49 CFR part 543. 3 49 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Aug 25, 2021 Jkt 253001 identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft device for the confidential vehicle line. Ford stated that its MY 2022 confidential vehicle line will be installed with a passive, transponder based, electronic engine immobilizer antitheft device as standard equipment. Specifically, Ford stated that its vehicle line will be installed with the SecuriLock Passive Antitheft Engine Immobilizer System (PATS). Key components of its SecuriLock antitheft device will include a key, powertrain control module (PCM) or hybrid powertrain control module (HPCM), body control module (BCM), radio transceiver module and an anti-lock braking system module (ABS). Ford also stated that its vehicle line will be equipped with a hood release, counterfeit resistant VIN label, secondary VINs inscribed on the body and a cabin accessible with a valid keycode as standard antitheft features. Ford also stated that it will offer its intelligent access with push button start (IAwPB) system as optional equipment. For purposes of the theft prevention standard, NHTSA generally only considers the antitheft device equipped on the vehicle as standard equipment. However in this case, while the SecuriLock PATS and IAwPB systems are mutually exclusive antitheft systems, NHTSA has previously approved the IAwPB antitheft system as standard equipment for the Ford Bronco Sport vehicle line. The IAwPB system is described in the grant of petition for exemption published in the Federal Register on August 12, 2020.7 Pursuant to section 543.6(a)(3), Ford explained that its SecuriLock system is activated when the ignition key is turned to the start position allowing the transceiver module to read the ignition key code and transmit an encrypted message from the key code to the instrument cluster, this encrypted message will then determine that the key is valid and will authorize the engine to start by sending a separate encrypted message to the PCM or the HPCM. Ford also stated that the powertrain will only function if the key code matches the unique identification key code that was previously programmed into the PCM/HPCM. If the codes do not match, the engine starter, ignition spark and the fuel will be disabled, once active, no other action from the operator is required. Ford further stated that the integration of the transponder into the normal operation of the ignition key assures activation of the system. Deactivation of the immobilizer system occurs 7 85 PO 00000 FR 48759 (Aug. 12, 2020). Frm 00105 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 automatically each time an engine start occurs. As required in section 543.6(a)(3)(v), Ford provided information on the reliability and durability of its proposed device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, Ford conducted tests based on its own specified standards. Ford provided a detailed list of the tests conducted. Additionally, Ford stated that its device is extremely reliable and durable because several features make it difficult to defeat with communications between the SecuriLock transponder and the PCM/ HPCM that are encrypted because there are 18 quintillion (1.8 × 1019) different possible codes making a successful key duplication by chance virtually impossible. Also, the SecuriLock system and the PCM/HPCM share security data immediately when first installed during vehicle assembly, forming matched modules. Ford further stated that mechanically overriding the system is not possible; for example, slam-pulling the ignition lock cylinder will not allow unauthorized start of the vehicle without the correct code being transmitted to the electronic control module. Ford stated that the system is extremely reliable and durable because there are no moving parts. Ford further stated that its sophisticated design and operation of the SecuriLock’s electronic engine immobilizer system makes conventional theft methods ineffective (e.g., hot-wiring or attacking the ignition lock cylinder) and drive away thefts are virtually eliminated with this system. Ford referenced National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) data for the Ford EcoSport (a vehicle size and segment comparable to the line covered by this petition), which showed 2 thefts per thousand vehicles since the EcoSport’s production start. The Ford EcoSport was granted an exemption for its MY 2018 vehicles (See 82 FR 22060, May 11, 2017). Ford also stated that its SecuriLock system installed on its confidential vehicle line is similar in design and implementation to the system offered on the MY 2021 Ford Bronco Sport vehicle line, which is detailed in the August 2020 notice discussed above. Ford further stated that its sophisticated design and operation of its SecuriLock immobilizer system renders ineffective conventional theft methods, such as hot-wiring the ignition cylinder and drive away thefts are virtually eliminated with this antitheft system. Ford concluded that they believed the vehicle line covered by the petition will have a very low theft rate based on the theft rate of the Ford EcoSport, a vehicle of a similar size with similar equipment. E:\FR\FM\26AUN1.SGM 26AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 163 / Thursday, August 26, 2021 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 that Ford 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 Ford provided about its antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on Ford’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 Ford’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 Ford 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 Ford 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Aug 25, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 Ford 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 Ford’s petition for exemption for the confidential 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. 2021–18421 Filed 8–25–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket Number NHTSA–2021–0058] Agency Information Collection Activities; Notice and Request for Comments; Event Data Recorders National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice and request for comments on a request for approval. AGENCY: NHTSA invites public comments about our intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an information collection currently in use. Before a Federal agency can collect certain information from the public, it must receive approval from OMB. Under procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before seeking OMB approval, Federal SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47719 agencies must solicit public comment on proposed collections of information, including extensions and reinstatements of previously approved collections. This document describes a collection of information on event data recorders (EDRs) for which NHTSA intends to seek OMB approval. The information collection currently does not have an OMB control number. DATES: Written comments should be submitted by October 25, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by Docket No. NHTSA– 2021–0058] through one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail or Hand Delivery: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Room W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on Federal holidays. To be sue someone is there to help you, please call 202–366–9322 before coming. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78) or you may visit https:// www.transportation.gov/privacy. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to https:// www.regulations.gov or the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets via internet. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information or access to background documents, contact Carla Rush, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Room W43–417, NRM–100, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone number: 202–366–1810. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), before an agency submits a proposed collection of E:\FR\FM\26AUN1.SGM 26AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 163 (Thursday, August 26, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47717-47719]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-18421]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard; Ford Motor Company

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 Ford Motor Company (Ford) 
petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention 
Standard (theft prevention standard) for its confidential vehicle 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. Ford 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 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 for an exemption for a line of 
passenger motor vehicles equipped with an antitheft device as standard 
equipment 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 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.\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.
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    \1\ 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 Ford Motor 
Corporation's (Ford) petition for its confidential 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, Ford petitioned for an exemption for its specified vehicle 
line from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention 
standard, beginning in MY 2022. Ford 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

[[Page 47718]]

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 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.\4\
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    \3\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(4).
    \4\ 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following sections describe Ford's petition information 
provided pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft 
Prevention. To the extent that specific information in Ford's petition 
is subject to a properly filed confidentiality request, that 
information was not disclosed as part of this notice.\5\
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    \5\ 49 CFR 512.20(a).
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II. Ford's Petition for Exemption

    In a petition dated November 26, 2020 and updated on April 30, 
2021,\6\ Ford requested an exemption from the parts-marking 
requirements of the theft prevention standard for its confidential 
vehicle line beginning with MY 2022.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ As discussed above, per 49 CFR 543.8(a), NHTSA processes the 
petition once the manufacturer submits all the information required 
by 49 CFR part 543.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In its petition, Ford provided a detailed description and diagram 
of the identity, design, and location of the components of the 
antitheft device for the confidential vehicle line. Ford stated that 
its MY 2022 confidential vehicle line will be installed with a passive, 
transponder based, electronic engine immobilizer antitheft device as 
standard equipment. Specifically, Ford stated that its vehicle line 
will be installed with the SecuriLock Passive Antitheft Engine 
Immobilizer System (PATS). Key components of its SecuriLock antitheft 
device will include a key, powertrain control module (PCM) or hybrid 
powertrain control module (HPCM), body control module (BCM), radio 
transceiver module and an anti-lock braking system module (ABS). Ford 
also stated that its vehicle line will be equipped with a hood release, 
counterfeit resistant VIN label, secondary VINs inscribed on the body 
and a cabin accessible with a valid keycode as standard antitheft 
features.
    Ford also stated that it will offer its intelligent access with 
push button start (IAwPB) system as optional equipment. For purposes of 
the theft prevention standard, NHTSA generally only considers the 
antitheft device equipped on the vehicle as standard equipment. However 
in this case, while the SecuriLock PATS and IAwPB systems are mutually 
exclusive antitheft systems, NHTSA has previously approved the IAwPB 
antitheft system as standard equipment for the Ford Bronco Sport 
vehicle line. The IAwPB system is described in the grant of petition 
for exemption published in the Federal Register on August 12, 2020.\7\
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    \7\ 85 FR 48759 (Aug. 12, 2020).
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    Pursuant to section 543.6(a)(3), Ford explained that its SecuriLock 
system is activated when the ignition key is turned to the start 
position allowing the transceiver module to read the ignition key code 
and transmit an encrypted message from the key code to the instrument 
cluster, this encrypted message will then determine that the key is 
valid and will authorize the engine to start by sending a separate 
encrypted message to the PCM or the HPCM. Ford also stated that the 
powertrain will only function if the key code matches the unique 
identification key code that was previously programmed into the PCM/
HPCM. If the codes do not match, the engine starter, ignition spark and 
the fuel will be disabled, once active, no other action from the 
operator is required. Ford further stated that the integration of the 
transponder into the normal operation of the ignition key assures 
activation of the system. Deactivation of the immobilizer system occurs 
automatically each time an engine start occurs.
    As required in section 543.6(a)(3)(v), Ford provided information on 
the reliability and durability of its proposed device. To ensure 
reliability and durability of the device, Ford conducted tests based on 
its own specified standards. Ford provided a detailed list of the tests 
conducted. Additionally, Ford stated that its device is extremely 
reliable and durable because several features make it difficult to 
defeat with communications between the SecuriLock transponder and the 
PCM/HPCM that are encrypted because there are 18 quintillion (1.8 x 
10\19\) different possible codes making a successful key duplication by 
chance virtually impossible. Also, the SecuriLock system and the PCM/
HPCM share security data immediately when first installed during 
vehicle assembly, forming matched modules. Ford further stated that 
mechanically overriding the system is not possible; for example, slam-
pulling the ignition lock cylinder will not allow unauthorized start of 
the vehicle without the correct code being transmitted to the 
electronic control module. Ford stated that the system is extremely 
reliable and durable because there are no moving parts. Ford further 
stated that its sophisticated design and operation of the SecuriLock's 
electronic engine immobilizer system makes conventional theft methods 
ineffective (e.g., hot-wiring or attacking the ignition lock cylinder) 
and drive away thefts are virtually eliminated with this system.
    Ford referenced National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) data for the 
Ford EcoSport (a vehicle size and segment comparable to the line 
covered by this petition), which showed 2 thefts per thousand vehicles 
since the EcoSport's production start. The Ford EcoSport was granted an 
exemption for its MY 2018 vehicles (See 82 FR 22060, May 11, 2017). 
Ford also stated that its SecuriLock system installed on its 
confidential vehicle line is similar in design and implementation to 
the system offered on the MY 2021 Ford Bronco Sport vehicle line, which 
is detailed in the August 2020 notice discussed above. Ford further 
stated that its sophisticated design and operation of its SecuriLock 
immobilizer system renders ineffective conventional theft methods, such 
as hot-wiring the ignition cylinder and drive away thefts are virtually 
eliminated with this antitheft system. Ford concluded that they 
believed the vehicle line covered by the petition will have a very low 
theft rate based on the theft rate of the Ford EcoSport, a vehicle of a 
similar size with similar equipment.

[[Page 47719]]

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 that Ford 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 Ford provided about its 
antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on Ford'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 Ford'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 Ford 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 Ford 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 
Ford 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 Ford's 
petition for exemption for the confidential 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. 2021-18421 Filed 8-25-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P