Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Electric-Powered Vehicles; Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection
This document responds to petitions for reconsideration of a final rule issued by this agency on June 14, 2010. This final rule amended the electrical shock protection requirements to facilitate the development and introduction of fuel cell vehicles (a type of electric- powered vehicle) and the next generation of hybrid and battery electric powered vehicles. This document addresses issues raised in the petitions for reconsideration relating to the scope and applicability of the standard, the definitions in the standard, the retention requirements for electric energy storage/conversion systems, the electrical isolation requirements, the test specifications and requirements for electrical isolation monitoring, the state-of-charge of electric energy storage devices prior to the crash tests, a proposed protective barrier compliance option for electrical safety, the use of alternative gas to crash test hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and a proposed low-energy compliance option for electrical safety.
New Car Assessment Program (NCAP); Safety Labeling
New passenger vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2007 must be labeled with safety rating information published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). This information is required by statute to be part of the Monroney (automobile price sticker) label. Effective beginning in model year 2011 passenger vehicles, NHTSA enhanced the NCAP ratings program to include, among other things, the incorporation of an overall vehicle score that is derived from the vehicle's frontal crash, side crash, and rollover resistance ratings. This final rule amends NHTSA's regulation on vehicle labeling of safety rating information to reflect the enhanced NCAP ratings program.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Air Brake Systems
On July 27, 2009, NHTSA published a final rule that amended the Federal motor vehicle safety standard for air brake systems by requiring substantial improvements in stopping distance performance on new truck tractors. In response, the agency received eight petitions for reconsideration. The agency has already responded to most of the issues raised in the petitions. This document responds to the one outstanding issue raised in the petitions, stopping distance performance requirements at lower initial speeds. Based on testing results and our concern that the current requirements might not be practicable, NHTSA is slightly relaxing the stopping distance requirement for typical loaded tractors tested from an initial speed of 20 mph by increasing the distance from 30 feet to 32 feet and for unloaded tractors tested from an initial speed of 20 mph by increasing the distance from 28 feet to 30 feet. We believe no other changes are necessary.
Petition for Exemption From the Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Mazda
This document grants in full the Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) petition for an exemption of the CX-5 vehicle line in accordance with 49 CFR Part 543, Exemption from the Theft Prevention Standard. This 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 (49 CFR Part 541).
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment
NHTSA is proposing to restore the blue and green color boundaries to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment, that were removed when the agency published a final rule reorganizing the standard on December 4, 2007.
Reports, Forms and Recordkeeping Requirements; Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below regarding motorcycles helmet labels has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collections and their expected burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period was published on March 30, 2011 (76 FR 17746). The docket number is NHTSA-2011-0045. No comments were received.
Insurer Reporting Requirements; List of Insurers Required To File Reports
This final rule amends 49 CFR Part 544, Insurer Reporting Requirements. This Part specifies the requirements for annual insurer reports and lists in appendices those passenger motor vehicle insurers that are required to file reports on their motor vehicle theft loss experiences. An insurer included in any of these appendices must file three copies of its report for the 2008 calendar year before October 25, 2011. If the passenger motor vehicle insurers remain listed, they must submit reports by each subsequent October 25.
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 Rulemaking
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), NHTSA plans to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the agency's rulemaking to implement the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act mandates a rulemaking to establish a standard requiring electric and hybrid vehicles to be equipped with a pedestrian alert sound system that would activate in certain vehicle operating conditions to aid visually-impaired and other pedestrians in detecting the presence, direction, location, and operation of those vehicles. Under NEPA, once an agency determines the purpose and need of the proposed federal action, it engages in scoping. This is the process by which the scope of the issues and the alternatives to be examined are determined. This notice initiates the scoping process by inviting comments from Federal, State, and local agencies, Indian Tribes, and the public to help identify the environmental issues and reasonable alternatives to be examined under NEPA. This notice also provides guidance for participating in the scoping process and additional information about the alternatives NHTSA expects to consider in its NEPA analysis.
Revisions and Additions to Motor Vehicle Fuel Economy Label
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are issuing a joint final rule establishing new requirements for the fuel economy and environment label that will be posted on the window sticker of all new automobiles sold in the U.S. The labeling requirements apply for model year 2013 and later vehicles with a voluntary manufacturer option for model year 2012. The labeling requirements apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium duty passenger vehicles such as larger sport-utility vehicles and vans. The redesigned label provides expanded information to American consumers about new vehicle fuel economy and fuel consumption, greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions, and projected fuel costs and savings, and also includes a smartphone interactive code that permits direct access to additional Web resources. Specific label designs are provided for gasoline, diesel, ethanol flexible fuel, compressed natural gas, electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This rulemaking is in response to provisions in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that imposed several new labeling requirements and new advanced-technology vehicles entering the market. NHTSA and EPA believe that these changes will help consumers to make more informed vehicle purchase decisions, particularly as the future automotive marketplace provides more diverse vehicle technologies from which consumers may choose. These new label requirements do not affect the methodologies that EPA uses to generate consumer fuel economy estimates, or the automaker compliance values for NHTSA's corporate average fuel economy and EPA's greenhouse gas emissions standards. This action also finalizes a number of technical corrections to EPA's light-duty greenhouse gas emission standards program.