Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Toyota Motor North America, Inc., 13355-13358 [2022-04929]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 46 / Wednesday, March 9, 2022 / Notices conditions of the Airport Improvement Program Grant Agreement Grant Assurances in order to dispose of the land. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 47107(c)(2)(B)(i) and (iii), the airport will receive fair market value for the property, which will be subsequently reinvested in another eligible airport improvement project for aviation use. Any person may inspect, by appointment, the request in person at the FAA office listed above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Issued in Atlanta, Georgia on March 4, 2022. Joseph Parks Preston, Assistant Manager, Atlanta Airports District Office, Southern Region. [FR Doc. 2022–04988 Filed 3–8–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA–2010–0045] Metro-North Commuter Railroad’s Request To Amend Its Positive Train Control Safety Plan and Positive Train Control System Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments. AGENCY: This document provides the public with notice that, on February 22, 2022, Metro-North Commuter Railroad (MNR) submitted a request for amendment (RFA) to its FRA-approved Positive Train Control Safety Plan (PTCSP). As this RFA may involve a request for FRA’s approval of proposed material modifications to an FRAcertified positive train control (PTC) system, FRA is publishing this notice and inviting public comment on the railroad’s RFA to its PTCSP. DATES: FRA will consider comments received by March 29, 2022. FRA may consider comments received after that date to the extent practicable and without delaying implementation of valuable or necessary modifications to a PTC system. ADDRESSES: Comments: Comments may be submitted by going to https:// www.regulations.gov and following the online instructions for submitting comments. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and the applicable docket number. The relevant PTC docket number for this host jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Mar 08, 2022 Jkt 256001 railroad is Docket No. FRA–2010–0045. For convenience, all active PTC dockets are hyperlinked on FRA’s website at https://railroads.dot.gov/train-control/ ptc/ptc-annual-and-quarterly-reports. All comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov; this includes any personal information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gabe Neal, Staff Director, Signal, Train Control, and Crossings Division, telephone: 816–516–7168, email: Gabe.Neal@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In general, Title 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 20157(h) requires FRA to certify that a host railroad’s PTC system complies with 49 CFR part 236, subpart I, before the technology may be operated in revenue service. Before making certain changes to an FRA-certified PTC system or the associated FRA-approved PTCSP, a host railroad must submit, and obtain FRA’s approval of, an RFA to its PTCSP under Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 236.1021. Under 49 CFR 236.1021(e), FRA’s regulations provide that FRA will publish a notice in the Federal Register and invite public comment in accordance with 49 CFR part 211, if an RFA includes a request for approval of a material modification of a signal and train control system. Accordingly, this notice informs the public that, on February 22, 2022, MNR submitted an RFA to its PTCSP for its Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System II (ACSES II) and that RFA is available in Docket No. FRA–2010–0045. Interested parties are invited to comment on MNR’s RFA to its PTCSP by submitting written comments or data. During FRA’s review of this railroad’s RFA, FRA will consider any comments or data submitted within the timeline specified in this notice and to the extent practicable, without delaying implementation of valuable or necessary modifications to a PTC system. See 49 CFR 236.1021; see also 49 CFR 236.1011(e). Under 49 CFR 236.1021, FRA maintains the authority to approve, approve with conditions, or deny a railroad’s RFA to its PTCSP at FRA’s sole discretion. Privacy Act Notice In accordance with 49 CFR 211.3, FRA solicits comments from the public to better inform its decisions. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to https:// www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13355 https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See https://www.regulations.gov/ privacy-notice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. To facilitate comment tracking, we encourage commenters to provide their name, or the name of their organization; however, submission of names is completely optional. If you wish to provide comments containing proprietary or confidential information, please contact FRA for alternate submission instructions. Issued in Washington, DC. Carolyn R. Hayward-Williams, Director, Office of Railroad Systems and Technology. [FR Doc. 2022–04995 Filed 3–8–22; 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; Toyota Motor North America, Inc. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption. AGENCY: This document grants in full the Toyota Motor North America, Inc.’s (Toyota) petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard (theft prevention standard) for its Lexus IS 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. 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 13356 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 46 / Wednesday, March 9, 2022 / Notices 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.1 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. This grant of petition for exemption considers Toyota Motor North America, Inc.’s (Toyota) petition for its Lexus IS vehicle line beginning in MY 2023. 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. I. Specific Petition Content Requirements Under 49 CFR 543.6 Pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention, Toyota petitioned for an exemption for its specified vehicle line from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard, beginning in MY 2023. Toyota 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Mar 08, 2022 Jkt 256001 which an exemption is sought, the antitheft device’s capabilities, and the reasons the petitioner believes the device to be as effective at reducing and deterring theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements. More specifically, section 543.6(a)(1) requires petitions to include a statement that an antitheft device will be installed as standard equipment on all vehicles in the line for which the exemption is sought. Under section 543.6(a)(2), each petition must list each component in the antitheft system, and include a diagram showing the location of each of those components within the vehicle. As required by section 543.6(a)(3), each petition must include an explanation of the means and process by which the device is activated and functions, including any aspect of the device designed to: (1) Facilitate or encourage its activation by motorists; (2) attract attention to the efforts of an unauthorized person to enter or move a vehicle by means other than a key; (3) prevent defeating or circumventing the device by an unauthorized person attempting to enter a vehicle by means other than a key; (4) prevent the operation of a vehicle which an unauthorized person has entered using means other than a key; and (5) ensure the reliability and durability of the device.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 Toyota’s petition information provided pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention. To the 3 49 CFR 543.6(a)(3). CFR 543.6(a)(4). 5 49 CFR 543.6(a)(5). 4 49 2 49 PO 00000 U.S.C. 33106(d). Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 46 / Wednesday, March 9, 2022 / Notices jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 extent that specific information in Toyota’s petition is subject to a properly filed confidentiality request, that information was not disclosed as part of this notice.6 II. Toyota’s Petition for Exemption In a petition dated September 16, 2021, Toyota requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard for the Lexus IS vehicle line beginning with MY 2023. In its petition, Toyota provided a detailed description and diagram of the identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft device for the Lexus IS vehicle line. Toyota stated that its MY 2023 Lexus IS vehicle line will be installed with an engine immobilizer device as standard equipment, as required by 543.6(a)(1). Toyota stated that it will offer an entry and start system on its Lexus IS vehicle line. Specifically, key components of the ‘‘smart entry and start’’ system will include a certification engine control unit (ECU), engine switch, security indicator, door control receiver, electrical key, ID code box, and an engine control module (ECM). Toyota stated that there will also be position switches installed on the vehicle to protect the hood and doors from unauthorized tampering/opening. Toyota further explained that locking the doors can be accomplished through use of a key, wireless switch or its smart entry system, and that unauthorized tampering with the hood or door without using one of these methods will cause the position switches to trigger its antitheft device to operate. Toyota will also incorporate an audible and visual alarm system on its vehicle line, when unauthorized access is attempted, the horn will sound and the lights will flash. Pursuant to Section 543.6(a)(3), Toyota explained that its ‘‘smart entry and start’’ system is activated when the engine switch is pushed from the ‘‘ON’’ ignition status to any other status. The certification ECU then performs the calculation for the immobilizer and the immobilizer signals the ECM to activate the device. Toyota also explained that its ‘‘smart entry and start’’ system is deactivated after the driver pushes the engine switch and the key is verified, the certification ECU and ID code box receives verification of a valid key, the certification ECU allows the ECM to start the engine. Toyota stated that in its system, a security indicator is installed notifying the user and others inside and outside the vehicle with the status of the 6 49 CFR 512.20(a). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Mar 08, 2022 Jkt 256001 immobilizer. Toyota further explained that the security indicator flashes continuously when the immobilizer is activated, and turns off when it is deactivated. As required in section 543.6(a)(3)(v), Toyota provided information on the reliability and durability of its proposed device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, Toyota conducted tests based on its own specified standards. Toyota provided a detailed list of the tests conducted (i.e., high and low temperature operation, strength, impact, vibration, electromagnetic interference, etc.). Toyota stated that it believes that its device is reliable and durable because it complied with its own specific design standards and the antitheft device is installed on other vehicle lines for which the agency has granted a parts-marking exemption. As an additional measure of reliability and durability, Toyota stated that its vehicle key cylinders are covered with casting cases to prevent the key cylinder from easily being broken. Toyota further explained that there are approximately 10,000 combinations for inner cut keys which makes it difficult to unlock the doors without using a valid key because the key cylinders would spin out and cause the locks to not operate. Toyota stated that its Lexus IS vehicle has already been equipped with an immobilizer since MY 2014 as standard equipment. Toyota also stated that at the time of the petition submission, theft rate data for the MY 2023 Lexus IS vehicle line is not available. However, Toyota compared its proposed device to other devices NHTSA has determined to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as would compliance with the parts-marking requirements. Toyota compared its proposed device to that which has been installed on the Nissan Altima vehicle line, which was granted a parts-marking exemption from 49 CFR part 541 by the agency beginning with MY 2000 vehicles. Toyota also referenced the NHTSA theft rate data published for the Altima before and after being equipped with a standard immobilizer showing the average theft rate drop to 3.0 per 1,000 vehicles (2000–2006) compared to 5.3 per 1,000 vehicles (1996–1999). Toyota stated that the data for the Altima represents an approximate 43% decrease in a theft rate with an immobilizer. (see 82 FR 28246). Therefore, Toyota concluded that the antitheft device proposed for its Lexus IS vehicle line is no less effective than those devices on the lines for which NHTSA has already granted full exemption from the parts-marking requirements. Toyota stated that it PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13357 believes that installing the immobilizer device as standard equipment reduces the theft rate for the Lexus IS vehicle line and expects it to experience comparable effectiveness and ultimately be more effective than parts-marking labels. 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 Toyota 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 Toyota provided about its antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on Toyota’s supporting evidence, 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 Toyota’s antitheft device will provide the five types of performance features listed in section 543.6(a)(3): Promoting activation; attracting attention to the efforts of unauthorized persons to enter or operate a vehicle by means other than a key; preventing defeat or circumvention of the device by unauthorized persons; preventing operation of the vehicle by unauthorized entrants; and ensuring the reliability and durability of the device. The agency notes that 49 CFR part 541, Appendix A–1, identifies those lines that are exempted from the theft prevention standard for a given model year. 49 CFR 543.8(f) contains publication requirements incident to the disposition of all part 543 petitions. Advanced listing, including the release of future product nameplates, the beginning model year for which the petition is granted and a general description of the antitheft device is necessary in order to notify law enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines exempted from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention standard. If Toyota decides not to use the exemption for its requested vehicle line, E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 13358 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 46 / Wednesday, March 9, 2022 / Notices 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 Toyota 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.’’ 7 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 Toyota 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 Toyota’s petition for exemption for the Lexus IS 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. 2022–04929 Filed 3–8–22; 8:45 am] jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 BILLING CODE 4910–59–P 7 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:44 Mar 08, 2022 Jkt 256001 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 BRZ 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. 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 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 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 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 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 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. E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 9, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13355-13358]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-04929]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard; Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

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 Toyota Motor North America, 
Inc.'s (Toyota) petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle 
Theft Prevention Standard (theft prevention standard) for its Lexus IS 
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.

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

[[Page 13356]]

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.\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 Toyota Motor North 
America, Inc.'s (Toyota) petition for its Lexus IS vehicle line 
beginning in MY 2023.

I. Specific Petition Content Requirements Under 49 CFR 543.6

    Pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft 
Prevention, Toyota petitioned for an exemption for its specified 
vehicle line from the parts-marking requirements of the theft 
prevention standard, beginning in MY 2023. Toyota petitioned under 49 
CFR 543.6, Petition: Specific content requirements, which, as described 
above, requires manufacturers to provide specific information about the 
antitheft device installed as standard equipment on all vehicles in the 
line for which an exemption is sought, the antitheft device's 
capabilities, and the reasons the petitioner believes the device to be 
as effective at reducing and deterring theft as compliance with the 
parts-marking requirements.
    More specifically, section 543.6(a)(1) requires petitions to 
include a statement that an antitheft device will be installed as 
standard equipment on all vehicles in the line for which the exemption 
is sought. Under section 543.6(a)(2), each petition must list each 
component in the antitheft system, and include a diagram showing the 
location of each of those components within the vehicle. As required by 
section 543.6(a)(3), each petition must include an explanation of the 
means and process by which the device is activated and functions, 
including any aspect of the device designed to: (1) Facilitate or 
encourage its activation by motorists; (2) attract attention to the 
efforts of an unauthorized person to enter or move a vehicle by means 
other than a key; (3) prevent defeating or circumventing the device by 
an unauthorized person attempting to enter a vehicle by means other 
than a key; (4) prevent the operation of a vehicle which an 
unauthorized person has entered using means other than a key; and (5) 
ensure the reliability and durability of the device.\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 Toyota's petition information 
provided pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft 
Prevention. To the

[[Page 13357]]

extent that specific information in Toyota'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. Toyota's Petition for Exemption

    In a petition dated September 16, 2021, Toyota requested an 
exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention 
standard for the Lexus IS vehicle line beginning with MY 2023.
    In its petition, Toyota provided a detailed description and diagram 
of the identity, design, and location of the components of the 
antitheft device for the Lexus IS vehicle line. Toyota stated that its 
MY 2023 Lexus IS vehicle line will be installed with an engine 
immobilizer device as standard equipment, as required by 543.6(a)(1). 
Toyota stated that it will offer an entry and start system on its Lexus 
IS vehicle line. Specifically, key components of the ``smart entry and 
start'' system will include a certification engine control unit (ECU), 
engine switch, security indicator, door control receiver, electrical 
key, ID code box, and an engine control module (ECM). Toyota stated 
that there will also be position switches installed on the vehicle to 
protect the hood and doors from unauthorized tampering/opening. Toyota 
further explained that locking the doors can be accomplished through 
use of a key, wireless switch or its smart entry system, and that 
unauthorized tampering with the hood or door without using one of these 
methods will cause the position switches to trigger its antitheft 
device to operate. Toyota will also incorporate an audible and visual 
alarm system on its vehicle line, when unauthorized access is 
attempted, the horn will sound and the lights will flash.
    Pursuant to Section 543.6(a)(3), Toyota explained that its ``smart 
entry and start'' system is activated when the engine switch is pushed 
from the ``ON'' ignition status to any other status. The certification 
ECU then performs the calculation for the immobilizer and the 
immobilizer signals the ECM to activate the device. Toyota also 
explained that its ``smart entry and start'' system is deactivated 
after the driver pushes the engine switch and the key is verified, the 
certification ECU and ID code box receives verification of a valid key, 
the certification ECU allows the ECM to start the engine. Toyota stated 
that in its system, a security indicator is installed notifying the 
user and others inside and outside the vehicle with the status of the 
immobilizer. Toyota further explained that the security indicator 
flashes continuously when the immobilizer is activated, and turns off 
when it is deactivated.
    As required in section 543.6(a)(3)(v), Toyota provided information 
on the reliability and durability of its proposed device. To ensure 
reliability and durability of the device, Toyota conducted tests based 
on its own specified standards. Toyota provided a detailed list of the 
tests conducted (i.e., high and low temperature operation, strength, 
impact, vibration, electro-magnetic interference, etc.). Toyota stated 
that it believes that its device is reliable and durable because it 
complied with its own specific design standards and the antitheft 
device is installed on other vehicle lines for which the agency has 
granted a parts-marking exemption. As an additional measure of 
reliability and durability, Toyota stated that its vehicle key 
cylinders are covered with casting cases to prevent the key cylinder 
from easily being broken. Toyota further explained that there are 
approximately 10,000 combinations for inner cut keys which makes it 
difficult to unlock the doors without using a valid key because the key 
cylinders would spin out and cause the locks to not operate.
    Toyota stated that its Lexus IS vehicle has already been equipped 
with an immobilizer since MY 2014 as standard equipment. Toyota also 
stated that at the time of the petition submission, theft rate data for 
the MY 2023 Lexus IS vehicle line is not available. However, Toyota 
compared its proposed device to other devices NHTSA has determined to 
be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as would 
compliance with the parts-marking requirements. Toyota compared its 
proposed device to that which has been installed on the Nissan Altima 
vehicle line, which was granted a parts-marking exemption from 49 CFR 
part 541 by the agency beginning with MY 2000 vehicles. Toyota also 
referenced the NHTSA theft rate data published for the Altima before 
and after being equipped with a standard immobilizer showing the 
average theft rate drop to 3.0 per 1,000 vehicles (2000-2006) compared 
to 5.3 per 1,000 vehicles (1996-1999). Toyota stated that the data for 
the Altima represents an approximate 43% decrease in a theft rate with 
an immobilizer. (see 82 FR 28246). Therefore, Toyota concluded that the 
antitheft device proposed for its Lexus IS vehicle line is no less 
effective than those devices on the lines for which NHTSA has already 
granted full exemption from the parts-marking requirements. Toyota 
stated that it believes that installing the immobilizer device as 
standard equipment reduces the theft rate for the Lexus IS vehicle line 
and expects it to experience comparable effectiveness and ultimately be 
more effective than parts-marking labels.

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 Toyota 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 Toyota provided about its 
antitheft device. NHTSA believes, based on Toyota's supporting 
evidence, 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 Toyota's antitheft device will provide 
the five types of performance features listed in section 543.6(a)(3): 
Promoting activation; attracting attention to the efforts of 
unauthorized persons to enter or operate a vehicle by means other than 
a key; preventing defeat or circumvention of the device by unauthorized 
persons; preventing operation of the vehicle by unauthorized entrants; 
and ensuring the reliability and durability of the device.
    The agency notes that 49 CFR part 541, Appendix A-1, identifies 
those lines that are exempted from the theft prevention standard for a 
given model year. 49 CFR 543.8(f) contains publication requirements 
incident to the disposition of all part 543 petitions. Advanced 
listing, including the release of future product nameplates, the 
beginning model year for which the petition is granted and a general 
description of the antitheft device is necessary in order to notify law 
enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines exempted from the parts-
marking requirements of the theft prevention standard.
    If Toyota decides not to use the exemption for its requested 
vehicle line,

[[Page 13358]]

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 Toyota 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.'' \7\
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    \7\ 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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    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 
Toyota 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 
Toyota's petition for exemption for the Lexus IS 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. 2022-04929 Filed 3-8-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P