Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Motorcycle Controls and Displays
In this document, we (NHTSA) amend the Federal motor vehicle safety standard on motorcycle controls and displays to require that the rear brake control on scooters without a clutch be located on the left handlebar. In doing so, we have selected the second of two alternative proposals that were set forth in a notice of proposed rulemaking published in November 2003. This final rule also includes requirements for motorcycles with single-point (combined) braking for supplemental rear brake controls. This final rule also makes two additional minor changes to the standard. The first change removes a potentially confusing abbreviation, and the second change clarifies requirements for motorcycle speedometer labeling.
Average Fuel Economy Standards for Light Trucks; Model Years 2008-2011
This notice proposes to reform the structure of the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) program for light trucks and proposes to establish higher CAFE standards for model year (MY) 2008-2011 light trucks. Reforming the CAFE program would enable it to achieve larger fuel savings while enhancing safety and preventing adverse economic consequences. During a transition period of MYs 2008-2010, manufacturers may comply with CAFE standards established under the reformed structure (Reformed CAFE) or with standards established in the traditional way (Unreformed CAFE). This will permit manufacturers to gain experience with the Reformed CAFE standards. In MY 2011, all manufacturers would be required to comply with a Reformed CAFE standard. The reform is based on vehicle size. Under Reformed CAFE, fuel economy standards are restructured so that they are based on a measure of vehicle size called ``footprint,'' the product of multiplying a vehicle's wheelbase by its track width. Vehicles would be divided into footprint categories, each representing a different range of footprint. A target level of average fuel economy is proposed for each footprint category, with smaller footprint light trucks expected to achieve more fuel economy and larger ones, less. Each manufacturer would still be required to comply with a single overall average fuel economy level for each model year of production. A particular manufacturer's compliance obligation for a model year is calculated as the harmonic average of the fuel economy targets in each size category, weighted by the distribution of manufacturer's production volumes across the size categories. The proposed Unreformed CAFE standards are: 22.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for MY 2008, 23.1 mpg for MY 2009, and 23.5 mpg for MY 2010. The Reformed CAFE standards for those model years would be set at levels intended to ensure that the industry-wide costs of the Reformed standards are roughly equivalent to the industry-wide costs of the Unreformed CAFE standards in those model years. For MY 2011, the Reformed CAFE standard would be set at the level that maximizes net benefits, accounting for unquantified benefits and costs. We believe that all of the proposed standards would be set at the maximum feasible level, while accounting for technological feasibility, economic practicability and other relevant factors. Since a manufacturer's compliance obligation for a model year under Reformed CAFE depends in part on its actual production in that model year, the obligation cannot be calculated with absolute precision until the final production figures for that model year become known. However, a manufacturer could calculate its obligation with a reasonably high degree of accuracy in advance of that model year, based on its product plans for the year. Prior to and during the model year, the manufacturer would be able to track all of the key variables in the formula used for calculating the obligation (e.g., distribution of production among the categories and vehicle fuel economy). This notice publishes estimates of the compliance obligations, by manufacturer, for MYs 2008-2011 under Reformed CAFE, using the fuel economy targets proposed by NHTSA and the product plans submitted to NHTSA by the manufacturers in response to a request for product plans published in December 2003. This rulemaking is mandated by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), which was enacted in the aftermath of the energy crisis created by the oil embargo of 1973-74. The concerns about energy security and the effects of energy prices and supply on national economic well-being that led to the enactment of EPCA remain alive today. Sustained growth in the demand for oil worldwide, coupled with tight crude oil supplies, is the driving force behind the sharp price increases seen over the past several years. Increasingly, the oil consumed in the U.S. originates in countries with political and economic situations that raise concerns about future oil supply and prices. We recognize that financial difficulties currently exist in the motor vehicle industry and that a substantial number of job losses have been announced recently at large full-line manufacturers. Accordingly, we have carefully balanced the cost of the rule with the benefits of conservation. We believe that, compared to Unreformed CAFE, Reformed CAFE would enhance overall fuel savings while providing vehicle makers the flexibility they need to respond to changing market conditions. Reformed CAFE would also provide a more equitable regulatory framework by creating a level-playing field for manufacturers, regardless of whether they are full-line or limited-line manufacturers. We are particularly encouraged that Reformed CAFE would reduce the adverse safety risks generated by the Unreformed CAFE program. The transition from the Unreformed to the Reformed system would begin soon, but ample lead time is provided before Reformed CAFE takes full effect in MY 2011. We recognize also that our proposals were derived from analyses of information from a variety of sources, including the product plans submitted by the manufacturers in early 2004. We fully anticipate that the manufacturers will respond to this proposal by providing revised plans that reflect events since then. We will evaluate the revised plans, the public comments, and other information and analysis in selecting the most appropriate standards for MYs 2008-2011.
Light Truck Average Fuel Economy Standards-Model Years 2008-2011; Request for Product Plan Information
The purpose of this request for comments is to acquire new and updated information regarding vehicle manufacturers' future product plans to assist the agency in analyzing the proposed light truck corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for MY 2008-2011, which are discussed in a companion document published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The agency is seeking information that will help it assess the effect of the proposed standards on fuel economy, manufacturers, consumers, the economy, and motor vehicle safety.