Sunteți pe pagina 1din 10

Federal Register / Vol. 72, No.

102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 29435

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A. The TREAD Act and Review of the Early components and to report whether it
Warning Program involved a fire. They are also required
National Highway Traffic Safety B. Early Warning Reporting Regulation to provide field reports involving fires.
Administration C. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking The regulatory definition of fire
D. Overview of Public Comments to the
NPRM
includes fires and precursors of fires
49 CFR Part 579 III. Discussion and includes illustrative examples of
[Docket No. NHTSA–2006–25653; Notice 2] A. Field Reports phenomena within the latter category.
B. Definition of Fire The final rule amends the definition of
RIN 2127–AJ94 C. Brake and Fuel System Subcategories a fire to eliminate two illustrative
D. Updating of Reports on Death and Injury examples of precursors of fire—the
Reporting of Early Warning Incidents terms ‘‘sparks’’ and ‘‘smoldering’’—and
Information IV. Lead Time adds one term, ‘‘melt’’, to the definition.
V. Privacy Act Statement
AGENCY: National Highway Traffic VI. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices Last, the EWR rule requires
Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. VII. Regulatory Text manufacturers to submit reports of
ACTION: Final rule. incidents involving death or injury, and
I. Summary of the Final Rule to update these reports to include
SUMMARY: This rule amends certain This rule completes the first phase of missing vehicle identification numbers
provisions of the early warning NHTSA’s review and update of the early (VINs), tire identification numbers
reporting rule published pursuant to the warning reporting (EWR) rule, as (TINs) and codes on systems or
Transportation Recall Enhancement, required under 49 U.S.C. 30166(m)(5). components that allegedly contributed
Accountability, and Documentation As explained below, this rule amends to the incident and whether the incident
(TREAD) Act. The amendments modify certain EWR reporting requirements. involved a fire or rollover, if this
and clarify some of the manufacturers’ Some changes enhance the early information is later identified by the
reporting requirements under the rule. warning program by eliminating manufacturer. This final rule temporally
The rule identifies a subclass of field provisions for submissions of limits the requirement to submit
reports referred to as product evaluation information that have not been valuable updates of the missing VIN/TIN or
reports and eliminates the requirement to NHTSA in identifying possible defect components on incidents of death or
that manufacturers submit copies of trends in motor vehicles and motor injury to a period of no more than one
them to the agency, revises the vehicle equipment. Other changes year after NHTSA receives the initial
definition of fire, and limits the time provide for more focused reporting. report.
period for required updates to a few Overall, this rule reduces burdens on
data elements in reports of deaths and II. Background
the agency to review EWR information
injuries. that has not advanced our mission in A. The TREAD Act and Review of the
DATES: Effective Date: The effective date identifying potential defects and Early Warning Reporting Program
of this final rule is June 28, 2007, except facilitates our focus on more probative
for the amended definition of fire in 49 information. It will also reduce the In November 2000, Congress enacted
CFR 579.4(c). The effective date of the reporting burden on manufacturers. It and the President signed the
amended definition of fire in 49 CFR does not change the basic structure of Transportation Recall Enhancement,
579.4(c) is for the reporting period the early warning reporting program. Accountability, and Documentation
beginning on January 1, 2008. In general, the EWR rule requires (TREAD) Act, Public Law 106–414,
Petitions for Reconsideration: certain vehicle and equipment which was, in part, a response to the
Petitions for reconsideration of the final manufacturers to submit to NHTSA controversy surrounding the recall of
rule must be received not later than July numerical tallies on property damage certain tires that had been involved in
13, 2007. claims, consumer complaints, warranty numerous fatal crashes. Up until that
ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration claims and field reports, which are time, in its efforts to identify safety-
should refer to the docket number above collectively known as EWR aggregate related defects in motor vehicles and
and be submitted to: Administrator, data, and copies of certain field reports. equipment, NHTSA relied primarily on
Room 5220, National Highway Traffic 49 CFR part 579, subpart C. As its analysis of complaints from
Safety Administration, 400 Seventh originally promulgated, the EWR rule consumers and technical service
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. excluded a subset of reports known as bulletins from manufacturers. Congress
dealer field reports from the concluded that NHTSA did not have
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The
requirement to submit copies of field access to data that may have provided
following persons at the National an earlier warning of the safety defects
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reports. Today’s rule denominates
another subset of field reports known as that existed in the tires that were
400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, eventually recalled. Accordingly, the
DC 20590. ‘‘product evaluation reports’’ and
eliminates the requirement that TREAD Act included a requirement that
For all issues except legal issues: Ms. NHTSA prescribe rules establishing
Tina Morgan, Office of Defects manufacturers submit copies of them to
NHTSA. In general, product evaluation early warning reporting requirements.
Investigation, NHTSA (phone: 202–366–
0699) (Fax: 202–366–7882). reports are evaluations by In response to the TREAD Act
For legal issues: Mr. Andrew J. manufacturers’ employees who as part requirements, NHTSA issued rules (49
DiMarsico, Office of the Chief Counsel of a program fill out evaluations of the CFR part 579; 67 FR 45822; 67 FR
(Telephone: 202–366–5263) (Fax: 202– vehicles provided to them for personal 63295) that, in addition to the
366–3820). use. information motor vehicle and
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

Second, this rule amends the equipment manufacturers were already


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
definition of fire that applies across the required to provide, required that they
Table of Contents EWR program. Manufacturers are provide certain additional information
I. Summary of the Rule required to submit aggregate data on foreign recalls and early warning
II. Background subcategorized by specified systems and indicators. The rules require:

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
29436 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

• Monthly reporting of manufacturer aggregate data (e.g., data concerning subdivided so that the information on
communications (e.g., notices to light vehicles), we expect to address each make and model is provided by
distributors or vehicle owners, customer whether the information being provided specified vehicle systems and
satisfaction campaign letters, etc.) has had or may reasonably have value components. The vehicle systems or
concerning defective equipment or in the future in terms of helping identify components on which manufacturers
repair or replacement of equipment; defects and, if not, how the requirement provide information vary depending
• Reporting (within five days of a might be adjusted to provide such value. upon the type of vehicle or equipment
determination to take such an action) of These tasks will require considerable manufactured.1
information concerning foreign safety time, but we want to ensure that any In general (not all of these
recalls and other safety campaigns in significant changes in EWR requirements apply to manufacturers of
foreign countries; and requirements, or decisions not to make child restraints or tires), manufacturers
• Quarterly reporting of early warning such changes, are based on sound that provide comprehensive reports
information: Production information; analysis. We anticipate that the agency’s must provide information relating to:
information on incidents involving internal evaluation of phase two issues • Production (the cumulative total of
death or injury; aggregate data on will be completed in the latter part of vehicles or items of equipment
property damage claims, consumer 2007 and that a Federal Register notice manufactured in the year)
complaints, warranty claims, and field (if regulatory changes are contemplated) • Incidents involving death or injury
reports; and copies of field reports or a report containing the agency’s based on claims and notices received by
(other than dealer reports) involving conclusions will follow. the manufacturer
specified vehicle components, a fire, or • Claims relating to property damage
a rollover. B. The Early Warning Reporting received by the manufacturer
We use the term ‘‘Early Warning Regulation • Consumer complaints (a
Reporting’’ (EWR) here to apply to the On July 10, 2002, NHTSA published communication by a consumer to the
requirements in the third category a rule implementing the early warning manufacturer that expresses
above, which are found at 49 CFR part reporting provisions of the TREAD Act, dissatisfaction with the manufacturer’s
579, subpart C. As described more fully 49 U.S.C. 30166(m). 67 FR 45822. The product or performance of its product or
below, the requirements vary somewhat rule requires certain motor vehicle an alleged defect)
depending on the nature of the reporting manufacturers and motor vehicle • Warranty claims paid by the
entity (motor vehicle manufacturers, equipment manufacturers to report manufacturer (in the tire industry these
child restraint system manufacturers, information and submit documents to are warranty adjustment claims)
tire manufacturers, and other equipment NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation • Field reports (a communication by
manufacturers) and the annual (ODI) that could be used to identify an employee or representative of the
production of the entity. potential safety-related defects. manufacturer concerning the failure,
EWR reporting was phased in. The Thereafter, in response to petitions for malfunction, lack of durability or other
first quarterly aggregate EWR reports reconsideration, NHTSA amended the performance problem of a motor vehicle
were submitted on about December 1, EWR rule. or item of motor vehicle equipment).
2003. However, actual copies of field The EWR regulation divides Most of the provisions summarized
reports were first submitted on about manufacturers of motor vehicles and above (i.e., property damage claims,
July 1, 2004. 68 FR 35145, 35148 (June motor vehicle equipment into two consumer complaints, warranty claims
11, 2003). Accordingly, NHTSA has groups with different reporting and field reports) require manufacturers
three years of experience using the EWR responsibilities for reporting to submit information in the form of
information. information. The first group consists of
The TREAD Act requires NHTSA (a) larger vehicle manufacturers 1 For instance, light vehicle manufacturers must

(manufacturers of 500 or more vehicles provide reports on twenty (20) vehicle components
periodically to review the EWR rule. 49 or systems: steering, suspension, service brake,
U.S.C. 30166(m)(5). In previous EWR annually) that produce light vehicles, parking brake, engine and engine cooling system,
rulemakings, the agency indicated that medium-heavy vehicles and buses, fuel system, power train, electrical system, exterior
we would begin a review of the EWR trailers and/or motorcycles; (b) tire lighting, visibility, air bags, seat belts, structure,
manufacturers that produce over a latch, vehicle speed control, tires, wheels, seats, fire
rule after two full years of reporting and rollover.
experience. certain number per tire line; and (c) all In addition to the systems and components
NHTSA is evaluating the EWR rule in manufacturers of child restraints. The reported by light vehicle manufacturers, medium-
two phases. The first phase covers the first group must provide comprehensive heavy vehicle and bus manufactures must report on
definitional issues that are addressed in reports. 49 CFR 579.21–26. The second the following systems or components: service brake
system air, fuel system diesel, fuel system other and
this document. We were able to evaluate group consists of smaller vehicle trailer hitch.
these issues within a short period of manufacturers (e.g., manufacturers of Motorcycle manufacturers report on thirteen (13)
time based on available information and fewer than 500 vehicles annually) and systems or components: steering, suspension,
based on the comments we received in all motor vehicle equipment service brake system, engine and engine cooling
response to the September 1, 2006 manufacturers other than those in the system, fuel system, power train, electrical, exterior
lighting, structure, vehicle speed control, tires,
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking first group. The second group has wheels and fire.
(NPRM), 71 FR 52040. limited reporting responsibility. 49 CFR Trailer manufacturers report on twelve (12)
The second phase of our evaluation 579.27. systems or components: suspension, service brake
will address issues that require more On a quarterly basis, manufacturers in system-hydraulic, service brake system-air, parking
analysis than those addressed in the the first group must provide brake, electrical system, exterior lighting, structure,
latch, tires, wheels, trailer hitch and fire.
first phase. For example, in the second comprehensive reports for each make Child restraint and tire manufacturers report on
phase we expect to evaluate whether and model for the calendar year of the fewer systems or components for the calendar year
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

there is a need to adjust any of the report and nine previous model years. of the report and four previous model years. Child
reporting thresholds and whether any Tire and child restraint manufacturers restraint manufacturers must report on four (4)
systems or components: buckle and restraint
categories of aggregate data should must provide comprehensive reports for harness, seat shell, handle and base. Tire
either be enhanced or eliminated. With the calendar year of the report and four manufacturers must report on four (4) systems or
regard to the specific categories of previous model years. Each report is components: tread, sidewall, bead and other.

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 29437

numerical tallies, by specified system numbers (TINs) and codes indicating 579.25(d).3 As originally promulgated,
and component. These data are referred systems or components that allegedly the EWR rule required more extensive
to as aggregate data. Reports on deaths contributed to an incident and whether reporting of field reports in aggregate
or injuries contain specified data the incident involved a fire or rollover, data than submission of copies of field
elements. In addition, certain if this information is later identified by reports to NHTSA. In particular, within
manufacturers are required to submit the manufacturer. We proposed to limit the aggregate data on field reports,
copies of field reports, except field the requirement to submit updates to a manufacturers are required to report the
reports by dealers. period of no more than one year after number of dealer field reports received,
In contrast to the comprehensive NHTSA receives the initial report. but they are not required to submit
reports provided by manufacturers in Finally, in the preamble to the NPRM, copies of dealer field reports. Id. The
the first group, the second group of we noted that the scope of this EWR definition of dealer field report is
manufacturers reports only incidents rulemaking was limited to those issues a field report from a dealer or
relating to death and any injuries proposed by the NPRM and any logical authorized service facility of a
associated with the reported death outgrowths of those proposals. We manufacturer of motor vehicles or motor
incident. specifically noted that we planned to vehicle equipment. 49 CFR 579.4.
All of the EWR information NHTSA evaluate the reporting threshold issue, Manufacturers are not required to
receives is stored in a database called and other issues, in the second phase of submit copies of dealer field reports
ARTEMIS (which stands for Advanced our evaluation. because they are not as technically rich
Retrieval, Tire, Equipment, and Motor as field reports from a manufacturer’s
Vehicle Information System), which D. Overview of Public Comments to the
NPRM representative. 67 FR 45822, 45855.
also contains additional information The NPRM identified another
(e.g., recall details and complaints filed In response to the NPRM, we received subcategory of field reports referred to
directly by consumers) related to defects comments from several sources. In as ‘‘product evaluations’’ that the
and investigations. general, the industry commenters agency proposed to treat in the same
supported the minor adjustments to the manner as dealer field reports. We
C. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking definitions in the proposal, with some proposed to define product evaluation
The September 1, 2006 NPRM exceptions. Motor vehicle report as follows:
proposed to create an exception to the manufacturers and associated trade
requirement to submit copies of field organizations that commented were the Product evaluation report means a field
reports that must be sent to NHTSA. We Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers report prepared by, and containing the
observations or comments of, a
proposed to eliminate the requirement (Alliance), Association of International manufacturer’s employee who is required to
that manufacturers would submit a class Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM), submit the report concerning the operation or
of field reports denominated as Harley-Davidson Motor Company performance of a vehicle or child restraint
‘‘product evaluation reports’’ to NHTSA. (Harley-Davidson), Motorcycle Industry system as a condition of the employee’s
We also proposed a definition for Council (MIC), Motor & Equipment personal use of that vehicle or child restraint
product evaluation type field reports. Manufacturers Association (MEMA), system, but who has no responsibility with
We did not propose to eliminate the National Truck Equipment Associated respect to engineering or technical analysis of
requirement that manufacturers covered (NTEA) 2, Rubber Manufacturers the subjects mentioned in the report.
by the rule include in their quarterly Association (RMA), and Truck Under the proposed approach,
submissions on field reports the Manufacturers Association (TMA). manufacturers would report the
numbers of product evaluation field We also received comments from numbers of product evaluation reports
reports received. consultants Safety Research & in the submission of aggregate data on
We also proposed to amend the Strategies, Inc. (SRS) and Quality field reports, but would not submit
regulatory definition of ‘‘fire.’’ The Control Systems Corporation (QCS). copies of them. This would ensure that
regulatory definition of fire includes While SRS and QCS did not oppose the any significant trends in product
fires and precursors of fires and proposed amendments in the NPRM, evaluation reports would be reflected in
illustrative examples of such precursors. they commented that NHTSA should the aggregate data, but would eliminate
We proposed to change the definition of delay any changes to the EWR rule until time-consuming review of these reports
a fire to eliminate two illustrative EWR data is available for review by the by NHTSA’s staff. Our proposal to
examples of precursors of fire—the public. eliminate product evaluations was
terms ‘‘sparks’’ and ‘‘smoldering’’—and based in large part on our experience
III. Discussion
add one term, ‘‘melt’’, to the definition. with product evaluation reports. As
In addition, our NPRM included a A. Field Reports explained in the NPRM, a substantial
proposal to amend the scope of a The EWR regulation requires majority of the product evaluations do
category of components addressed in manufacturers of light vehicles,
reports the medium-heavy and bus medium-heavy vehicles and buses, 3 The EWR field report definition states: Field

vehicle category. We proposed to motorcycles, trailers and child restraint


report means a communication in writing,
change the category ‘‘Fuel System including communications in electronic form, from
systems to submit numerical tallies of an employee or representative of a manufacturer of
Other’’ to ‘‘Fuel System Other/ field reports and submit copies of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment, a dealer
Unknown’’. We anticipated that this certain field reports. 49 CFR 579.21(d), or authorized service facility of such manufacturer,
expanded category would include 579.22(d), 579.23(d), 579.24(d) and
or an entity known to the manufacturer as owning
vehicles for which the type of fuel or operating a fleet, to the manufacturer regarding
the failure, malfunction, lack of durability, or other
system in the vehicle is not known. 2 NTEA commented that it was concerned about performance problem of a motor vehicle or motor
Further, for reports on incidents the burden upon its members who are final stage vehicle equipment, or any part thereof, produced
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

involving a death or an injury, the manufacturers and produce more 500 or more for sale by that manufacturer and transported
NPRM proposed to limit the time period vehicles per year. As we noted in the NPRM, the beyond the direct control of the manufacturer,
EWR reporting threshold is outside the scope of this regardless of whether verified or assessed to be
in which manufacturers are required to rulemaking. NTEA recognized this in its comments. lacking in merit, but does not include any
update missing vehicle identification Accordingly, we do not address the reporting document covered by the attorney-client privilege
numbers (VINs), tire identification threshold in this rulemaking. or the work product exclusion. 49 CFR 579.4(c).

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
29438 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

not contain sufficient information to the product evaluation report to authorizing personal use. The burden
identify a potential safety-related defect. NHTSA. Such language, therefore, that would be imposed by the language
In the rare instance where a product would increase the manufacturers’ contained in the proposed rule, as the
evaluation report has concerned a reporting burden. To address its Alliance persuasively explained in its
potential safety issue, NHTSA has had concerns, the Alliance suggested that comments, would be to try to determine
other available data related to the the definition of product evaluation ‘‘whether a particular evaluation report
concern that in our view would have report be changed to read: regarding a particular vehicle was
been sufficient for opening an Product evaluation report means a field submitted by an employee whose duties
investigation without the product report prepared by, and containing the might be coincidentally related to one of
evaluation reports. Thus, while these observations or comments of, a the subject areas addressed in the
reports are valuable to manufacturers as manufacturer’s employee who submitted the report.’’ The proposed language would
part of their efforts to develop products report concerning the operation or have required the manufacturer to look
that are well received by consumers performance of a vehicle or child restraint for matches between the range of an
they have not proven to be valuable to system as part of the employee’s personal use employee’s duties and the range of
of the vehicle or child restraint system under
NHTSA in identifying potential defect a manufacturer’s program authorizing such
issues covered in a product evaluation
trends. Moreover, the number of use. report.
product evaluations submitted by At the same time, the Alliance
manufacturers is substantial, as is the We agree with the Alliance’s view recognizes that NHTSA has a legitimate
associated burden on the agency in that it is the limited technical content in need for ‘‘a technical or analytical report
reviewing them. About 50 to 60 percent product evaluations, rather than an undertaken in response to a consumer
of the approximately 40,000 field internal corporate reporting complaint or some other indication of a
reports submitted each quarter fall requirement, that warrants their potential problem.’’ What NHTSA is
within the product evaluation exclusion from the requirement that trying to ensure is that it does not lose
classification. manufacturers submit copies of them to access to such reports (which are likely
Comments were submitted by the the agency. In other words, the fact that to have technical value) that might be
AIAM, Alliance, Harley-Davidson, MIC, a report was merely requested from the prepared in connection with the
QCS, SRS and TMA. AIAM, Harley- employee but not required should not employee’s personal use of the vehicle
Davidson, MIC and TMA supported the determine whether it is a product or CRS.
proposed change to the reporting evaluation report. Thus, we are Accordingly, we have amended the
requirement and the definition of eliminating the phrases ‘‘is required to definition to make this clear.
product evaluation report as written. submit’’ and ‘‘as a condition of’’ from Manufacturers could objectively apply
The Alliance agreed with eliminating the definition we proposed and this with a very limited additional
the requirement that manufacturers replacing them with, respectively, the burden, if any. While the proposed
submit copies of product evaluation word ‘‘submitted’’ and the phrase ‘‘as a definition would have required the
reports to the agency, but proposed an part of’’. manufacturer to look for any
alternate definition for product While we agree in part with some of commonalities between an employee’s
evaluation report. QCS and SRS noted the Alliance’s concerns regarding full range of duties and the issues
the proposed changes the EWR rule burdens associated with the phrase the covered in the evaluation report, the
regarding product evaluations and employee ‘‘has no responsibility with final rule definition does not impose
recommended that the agency delay any respect to engineering or technical that burden. Manufacturers certainly
changes until the public had an analysis of the subjects mentioned in know what vehicles or equipment have
opportunity to review the EWR data. the report,’’ we do not agree that the been made available for personal use
The Alliance focused in part on the solution is simply to eliminate it. We and whether the employee who has
clause ‘‘a manufacturer’s employee who remain concerned that, were we to been granted that personal use has also
is required to submit the report * * * simply drop that language, the been assigned the duty to provide a
as a condition of the employee’s exclusion could be misapplied such that technical or engineering assessment of a
personal use.’’ The Alliance stated that the manufacturer would not submit known or suspected problem with that
not all product evaluation reports are reports by employees who have actually vehicle or equipment. This could occur
required by manufacturers (some are been assigned to perform technical or either as part of a broad manufacturer
merely requested rather than formally engineering evaluation of a known or program permitting personal use or a
required) and that the exclusion of them suspected problem with the vehicle. separate program in which technical
from the general requirement that copies Such reports have technical merit and personnel are granted personal use to
of field reports be submitted turns on should not be excluded from EWR assist his or her analysis of a particular
the lack of technical content in the reporting merely because such problem. If a manufacturer never
reports, rather than the existence of a employees submit such reports while authorizes personal use of a vehicle or
manufacturer’s requirement that the vehicle is available for the child restraint system by an employee to
employees submit them to the employee’s personal use. facilitate an employee’s technical
manufacturer. In addition, the Alliance To preclude this, we believe that the analysis of a previously known or
addressed the clause ‘‘has no revised definition should make clear suspected problem with that particular
responsibility with respect to that it does not cover reports by vehicle or system, this definition will
engineering or technical analysis of the employees who have been granted present no burden at all. Similarly, if a
subjects mentioned in the report.’’ This personal use of a vehicle or child manufacturer has completely separate
language, according to the Alliance, restraint system for the specific purpose programs involving personal use for
would require manufacturers to of performing technical or engineering product evaluation purposes and
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

determine whether the employee who evaluation of a known or suspected personal use to facilitate technical
submitted the report had duties that problem with vehicle or child restraint analysis of a particular issue, the
‘‘coincidentally related’’ to one of the system (CRS), even if such employees manufacturer’s existing distinctions
subject areas addressed in the report use the vehicle or CRS as part of a between these programs mirror the new
before determining whether to submit broader manufacturer program definition. If, however, a manufacturer

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 29439

does permit personal use of a vehicle or B. Definition of Fire substantial number of field reports in
child restraint system specifically to The EWR regulation requires which we looked at what key words
facilitate such technical analysis but manufacturers of light vehicles, were used, and we assessed whether the
such use is considered part of a broad medium-heavy vehicles and buses, field reports presented one or more
personal use program, the reports motorcycles and trailers to include in potential fire-related issues of concern,
concerning such use have a high EWR reports incidents involving fires, such as a precursor to a fire.6 Our
likelihood of having technical merit and as well as the underlying component or review led us to propose to eliminate
should not be excluded from system where it originated if included the terms ‘‘sparks’’ and ‘‘smoldering’’
submission to NHTSA as product in specified reporting elements. 49 CFR and add the term ‘‘melt’’ to the fire
evaluation reports. definition because the preceding terms
579.21–24. The EWR regulation defines
Therefore, we are adopting the were used less often to describe a fire or
fire as:
following definition: precursor to fire, while the latter was
Combustion or burning of material in or used more often to describe a fire or
Product evaluation report means a field from a vehicle as evidence [sic] by flame. The precursor to fire.7
report prepared by, and containing the term also includes, but is not limited to, Harley-Davidson and the MIC agreed
observations or comments of, a thermal events and fire-related phenomena
such as smoke, sparks, or smoldering, but
with the proposed definition. However,
manufacturer’s employee who submitted the
report concerning the operation or does not include events and phenomena the Alliance, TMA and MEMA objected
performance of a vehicle or child restraint associated with a normally functioning to the proposed definition. They
system as part of the employee’s personal use vehicle, such as combustion of fuel within an commented that the proposed definition
of the vehicle or child restraint system under engine or exhaust from an engine. of fire would not alleviate the burden
a manufacturer’s program authorizing such 49 CFR 579.4(c). The definition was cast associated with the current fire
use, but does not include a report by an
broadly to capture not only incidents definition. In their view, the terms used
employee who has been granted personal use to describe precursors to fire in the
of a vehicle or child restraint system for the involving actual fires, but also incidents
that are indicative of a fire or potential proposed definition will increase the
specific purpose of facilitating the number of reports that manufacturers
employee’s technical or engineering fire. 67 FR 45822, 45861 (July 10, 2002).
In a response to a petition for will have to review, potentially
evaluation of a known or suspected problem
with that vehicle or child restraint system. reconsideration of the EWR regulation, increasing the number of irrelevant
NHTSA added the last clause to exclude reports to NHTSA. In addition, the
With respect to SRS’s and QCS’s view events or phenomena associated with a Alliance commented that the changed
that NHTSA should delay any changes normally functioning vehicle. 68 FR definition may require some
to the EWR rule until EWR data is 35132, 35134 (June 11, 2003). manufacturers to reprogram their text
available for public review, we do not The Alliance and TMA initially mining applications used in preparing
agree. The agency has an obligation to requested that we amend the fire EWR reports, thus increasing costs.
periodically review the EWR rule. 49 definition because, in their view, it is However, none of the commenters that
U.S.C. 30166(m)(5). Nothing in the inappropriately broad.5 Based upon its objected to the proposed definition
statute states that this duty is contingent members’ experience during the past offered an alternative definition, other
on EWR data becoming public. If the few years, the Alliance contended that than the one initially recommended by
agency were to adopt a policy that due to the scope of the definition, the the Alliance, which we addressed in the
delayed rulemakings until confidential numbers of fires reported in the NPRM. The Alliance, TMA and MEMA
data were available to the public, if ever, aggregate property damage, consumer requested that NHTSA not adopt the
the agency would not be able to meet its complaint, warranty, and field report proposed definition at this time.
statutory obligations. The public would We have decided to adopt the
data are artificially high. According to
be deprived of the benefits of our rules. amended fire definition as proposed.
the Alliance, this has created an
Furthermore, there is no basis for Our review of fire-related field reports
inaccurate picture of fire-related
assuming that the EWR data will incidents and obscures relevant data. 6 We reviewed approximately 750 field reports
become publicly available due to the Following our consideration of this under the fire category. Five words or parts thereof
availability of confidential treatment for request, in the NPRM, we proposed to were used most often in these reports to describe
confidential information and ongoing amend the fire definition to read: a fire event or an incident that could be a precursor
litigation concerning the EWR data.4 to a fire in the fire-related field report. These were:
Fire means combustion or burning of burn, flame, fire, melt and smoke. The definition of
SRS and QCS confined their comments
material in or from a vehicle as evidenced by fire in the current regulation includes two terms
to the issue of public availability of flame. The term also includes, but is not describing precursors to fires that were seldom used
EWR data, an issue not addressed in this limited to, thermal events and fire-related when reporting fire-related events in field reports:
rulemaking. They did not provide phenomena such as smoke and melting, but ‘‘sparks’’ and ‘‘smoldering’’. Moreover, the word
comments on the substantive issues does not include events and phenomena spark could relate to legitimate functions such as
sparking of spark plugs, which would present a
dealt with here. associated with a normally functioning
screening burden to manufacturers. Another term,
vehicle such as combustion of fuel within an ‘‘melt’’, is frequently used by manufacturers in
4 The EWR data is the subject of current litigation engine or exhaust from an engine. descriptions of fire events or precursor to a fire. We
on the issue whether the provision in the TREAD also found that the terms ‘‘flame’’ and ‘‘burn’’ are
We based this proposed revised used frequently, but it is unnecessary to add them
Act relating to disclosure of early warning data, 49
U.S.C. 30166(m)(4)(C), is an exemption (b)(3) statute definition of fire on a review of a to the second sentence since those terms are
under the FOIA. 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3). The question included in the first sentence of the definition.
whether 49 U.S.C. 30166(m)(4)(C) precludes the 5 The Alliance suggested that NHTSA amend the 7 We note that in the preamble to the NPRM we

release of early warning data is before the United fire definition to read: ‘‘Fire means combustion or proposed to add the term ‘‘melt’’ to the EWR fire
States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia burning of material in or from a vehicle as definition, yet the proposed regulatory text
Circuit. Public Citizen, Inc. v. Peters, No. 06–5304. evidenced by flame. The term also includes thermal included the term ‘‘melting’’. Our intent was to
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

In light of challenges, the agency has issued a stay events that are precursors to fire and fire related propose the addition of the term ‘‘melt’’, not the
on the release of EWR data. In addition, following phenomena that precursors of fires, such as term ‘‘melting’’. While we believe this to be a
a remand by the district court in the Public Citizen smoldering but does not include events and distinction without substance because most text
case, NHTSA has proposed amendments of its phenomena associated with a normally function mining applications expand root words to include
confidential business rule to include specified EWR [sic] vehicle such as combustion of fuel within an the plural or various tenses, we have corrected the
data. See 71 FR 63738 (October 31, 2006). engine or exhaust from an engine.’’ regulatory text to match our intent.

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
29440 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

indicates that the amended fire separately depending on the type of The Alliance agreed with our view that
definition will clarify and improve the systems. The types of fuel systems manufacturers can identify the
focus of the EWR program. We added to identified by the EWR regulation are: particular type of brake and fuel systems
the definition of fire, a term—‘‘melt’’ ‘‘07 fuel system, gasoline, 08 fuel in vehicles in the MHB category through
(which would include all derivative system, diesel, and 09 fuel system, the VIN in almost all the EWR aggregate
forms of the word ‘‘melt’’)—that is used other’’. Id. data. The Alliance concurred with the
relatively frequently by manufacturers’’ The Alliance and TMA initially raised agency’s view that there is very little
representatives when describing a fire- concerns of incorrect binning of reports chance of inaccurate reporting under the
related incident and have eliminated the in the MHB brake and fuel systems current regulatory structure and
terms—sparks or smoldering—that are subcategories because of the inability to recommended that the agency retain the
used infrequently. identify the particular brake or fuel existing system, without change. TMA
There may be a small, one-time system in documents on some vehicles. commented that there is limited
burden on manufacturers associated They placed claims and complaints on potential for erroneous reporting based
with this amendment. The burden vehicles with unknown brake systems on the current brake and fuel categories
would arise in the formulation of or fuel systems in the EWR component and opposed the proposed changes to
amendments to the manufacturers’ text category with the most vehicle the brake and fuel subcategories due to
mining tools so that the search function production, which they observed leads the burden associated with such
utilized by manufacturers captures the to comparisons that might not be changes.
additional term ‘‘melt’’, if not already accurate. They recommended that the We have decided not to adopt the
included. After adjusting the text two brake systems be combined into proposed change to the MHB fuel
mining tools, however, the burden in ‘‘Service Brake System’’ and the three subcategory or to change the MHB brake
reporting fires under the new definition fuel systems be combined into ‘‘Fuel category. As noted in the NPRM and as
should be comparable to the burden System’’. the Alliance and TMA recognize, the
under the definition that has applied to The NPRM explained that NHTSA is frequency of inaccurate reporting due to
date. This follows from the structure of also concerned with the precise binning an unknown brake or fuel system on a
the definition of fire. Both before and of the EWR data. Because of our subject vehicle is very low because the
after the amendments being adopted concern, we declined to propose an VIN identifies the type of brake or fuel
today, the first sentence and opening amendment that combined the system on the vehicle. Therefore, the
clause of the second sentence of the subcategories as requested due to the potential for inaccurate data and
definition of fire provided that it means potentially less accurate reporting on erroneous comparisons within the EWR
‘‘combustion or burning of material in MHB models with multiple brake or fuel aggregate data is negligible.
or from a vehicle as evidenced by flame. systems. We stated that there is
considerable value in knowing the D. Updating of Reports on Death and
The term also includes, but is not
nature of the underlying brake or fuel Injury Incidents
limited to, thermal events and fire-
related phenomena such as smoke system. We pointed out that ODI’s The EWR rule requires manufacturers
* * * ’’ Following the words ‘‘such as’’, investigations related to brake and fuel of light vehicles, medium-heavy
the words ‘‘smoke’’, ‘‘sparks’’ and systems frequently involve only one of vehicles and buses, motorcycles, trailers
‘‘smoldering’’ under the initial the multiple brake or fuel systems and child seats and tires to submit
definition in the EWR rule and ‘‘smoke’’ offered on a particular model of vehicle. information on incidents involving
and ‘‘melt’’ under the new definition are Combining the brake and fuel system death or injury identified in a notice or
illustrative examples of ‘‘thermal categories would have diminished ODI’s claim received by a manufacturer in the
events’’ and fire-related phenomena and ability to identify trends because specified reporting period. 49 CFR
are not all-inclusive terms. That phrase aggregating the data into a single 579.21(b), 579.22 (b), 579.23(b),
has required and continues to require a category for brake or fuel systems could 579.24(b), 579.25(b) and 579.26(b). For
good faith review of fire-related reports mask potential problems in one vehicles, these reports include the VIN;
to determine if the incident is within particular type of brake or fuel system. for tires they include the tire
the scope of the fire definition. Of In addition, we noted that in virtually identification number (TIN). Generally,
course, there is a burden associated with all of the EWR MHB aggregate data, the these reports include the system or
such a review, but the manufacturers vehicle identification number (VIN) component, by codes specified in the
have not shown that it would increase identifies the type of brake or fuel rule, that allegedly contributed to the
beyond this potential one-time text system on the vehicle. incident. Manufacturers must submit
mining change. In an attempt to improve the accuracy reports on incidents involving death
of the data that we are receiving, we and injury even if they do not know the
C. Brake and Fuel System Subcategories proposed to amend the MHB fuel VIN, TIN or system or component. The
The EWR regulation requires system subcategory. The agency EWR regulation requires manufacturers
manufacturers of medium-heavy proposed to amend the component to update their reports on incidents
vehicles and buses (MHB) to report the category ‘‘09 fuel system, other’’ to ‘‘09 involving death or injury if the
numbers of property damage claims, fuel systems, other/unknown’’. We also manufacturer becomes aware of (i) the
consumer complaints, warranty claims requested comment on whether the VIN/TIN that was previously unknown
and field reports (aggregate data) agency should add new subcategories to or (ii) one or more of the specified
regarding brake systems separately one or both of the brake and fuel systems or components that allegedly
depending on the type of brake system. component categories. The NPRM contributed to the incident. 49 CFR
The types of brake systems identified by suggested that by segregating out the 579.28(f)(2). The requirement to update
the EWR regulation are: ‘‘03 service unknown fuel systems, the accuracy of is unlimited in time.
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

brake system, hydraulic’’; and ‘‘04 the other fuel system categories could In the NPRM, we proposed to limit
service brake system, air’’. 49 CFR increase. the requirement to update to four
579.22(b)(2), (c). Similarly, MHB We received comments from the calendar quarters or less after the
manufacturers must report EWR Alliance and TMA on the MHB vehicle submission of the initial report. Based
aggregate data on fuel systems brake and fuel subcategory proposals. on over two years of EWR data, after one

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 29441

year following the initial EWR report, significant. RMA noted that it occurs reporting period that is more than one year
the likelihood of obtaining missing infrequently. ODI is aware of only 12 later than the initial report to NHTSA.
information on the VINs/TINs and the tire incidents (less than 1 percent of all
systems and components that allegedly tire death and injury claims and notices) IV. Lead Time
contributed to the incident diminished where the manufacturer initially The Alliance correctly pointed out
substantially. As indicated in the submitted a death or injury incident in that we did not propose any effective
NPRM, under this approach, the EWR a quarterly report, but later learned that date for the proposed amendments to
program would not be adversely the tire allegedly was outside the the EWR rule. It suggested that for any
affected by the absence of the reporting requirements of the rule. changes that relax existing
information that would no longer be RMA’s suggestion would open the door requirements, such as eliminating
received after one year. The proposed to questionable data deletions. The EWR product evaluation reports, should be
amendment would reduce some of the data base is electronic; manufacturers made effective immediately upon
burden on manufacturers to provide transmit data without concurrent review publication of the final rule. For
updates. We also stated that by ODI. If manufacturers were given the changes that would require
manufacturers that identify a missing ability to delete death and injury manufacturers to modify their existing
VIN, TIN or component later than one incidents, a manufacturer could EWR databases and/or IT systems, such
(1) year after the submission of the potentially delete an incident from as amending the fire definition, the
initial report may submit an updated ARTEMIS without NHTSA knowing Alliance recommended at least twelve
report of such incident at their option. why it was deleted. ODI would expend (12) months of lead time. The Alliance
In advancing this proposal, we declined substantial resources to determine did not explain why twelve (12) months
to follow the initial recommendation of which records were deleted from prior lead time is necessary for the minor
the Alliance to eliminate entirely the submissions and to ascertain the definitional changes proposed in the
requirement to update after the initial rationale. In addition, RMA’s proposal NPRM.
report. As explained in the NPRM, would require a major change to While lead time associated with
updating information on deaths and ARTEMIS. Currently, ARTEMIS permits changes to EWR reporting was
injuries is important to provide only updates to incidents of death and implicitly part of our NPRM, we left it
complete and accurate information injury, not the ability to delete data. To to commenters to provide information
relating to death and injury incidents as change this protocol, NHTSA would and justification. Some lead time is
an early indicant of a potential safety- have to undergo a costly systems appropriate so manufacturers may
related trend. change. We cannot justify the cost of modify their existing EWR databases
The Alliance, AIAM, Harley- such a change to ARTEMIS protocol and/or IT systems for the one
Davidson, MIC, RMA and TMA all when the need to delete an out of scope amendment adopted by this final rule
supported the proposed amendment tire happens so infrequently. Finally, that may require such modifications.
limiting the requirement to update the change that RMA suggests is not Manufacturers will have to modify their
reports of incidents involving death or within the scope of the agency’s EWR databases and/or IT systems due to
injury to a period of no more than one proposal, which did not touch on the amended fire definition. However,
year after NHTSA receives the initial possible deletions from EWR data that we do not believe twelve (12) months is
report. We did not receive any have been submitted. appropriate for such a minor change.
comments that opposed the proposal to Accordingly, as stated above, NHTSA The change to the fire definition may
limit temporally the requirement to is adopting the proposal as written. require some manufacturers to amend
update. NHTSA, therefore, is adopting Thus, 49 CFR 579.28(f)(2)(i) will be their text-mining tools to include the
the amendments to 49 CFR revised to read: term ‘‘melt’’. Some other minor
579.28(f)(2)(i) and 49 CFR modifications may be necessary.
579.28(f)(2)(ii) as proposed. If a vehicle manufacturer is not aware of Moreover, manufacturers already review
the VIN, or a tire manufacturer is not aware
In addition to expressing support for their field reports and aggregate date for
of the TIN, at the time the incident is initially
limiting the requirement to update reported, the manufacturer shall submit an incidents related to a fire, which
incidents involving death or injury, updated report of such incident in its report include precursors to fire.
RMA recommended that manufacturers covering the reporting period in which the Manufacturers should not have to
should have the ability to delete VIN or TIN is identified. A manufacturer modify their review of fire related
reported claims or notices of injury or need not submit an updated report if the VIN incidents due to the adoption of the
death that erroneously included a tire or TIN is identified by the manufacturer in amended fire definition. Accordingly,
that the manufacturer later learns from a reporting period that is more than one year the effective date for the amended
later than the initial report to NHTSA. definition of fire will be for the
the TIN is outside the scope of EWR
reporting. RMA contends that while this The agency also revises 49 CFR reporting period beginning on January 1,
problem happens infrequently, a 579.28(f)(2)(ii) to read: 2008.
correction to the system is necessary to If a manufacturer indicated code 99 in its V. Privacy Act Statement
maintain the integrity of the EWR data.8 report because a system or component had
We decline to adopt RMA’s not been identified in the claim or notice that Anyone is able to search the
recommendation to permit tire led to the report, and the manufacturer electronic form of all comments
manufacturers to delete data from the becomes aware during a subsequent calendar received into any of our dockets by the
ARTEMIS database. First, the magnitude quarter that one or more of the specified name of the individual submitting the
of the alleged problem of errors is not systems or components allegedly contributed comment (or signing the comment, if
to the incident, the manufacturer shall submitted on behalf of an association,
8 RMA also recommended that the agency should
submit an updated report of such incident in business, labor union, etc.). You may
its report covering the reporting period in
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

amend the definition of ‘‘minimal specificity’’ for


which the involved specified system(s) or
review DOT’s complete Privacy Act
a tire in 49 CFR 579.4(c) to address the out of scope Statement in the Federal Register
tire issue. In the NPRM, we did not propose any component(s) is (are) identified. A
amendments to the definition of minimal manufacturer need not submit an updated published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR
specificity. These comments are outside the scope report if the system(s) or component(s) is 19477) or you may visit http://
of this rulemaking. (are) identified by the manufacturer in a dms.dot.gov.

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
29442 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

VI. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices manufacturers are small entities. ‘‘Civil Justice Reform’’ (61 FR 4729,
Therefore, NHTSA has determined that February 7, 1996) requires that
A. Regulatory Policies and Procedures
this final rule would have an impact on Executive agencies make every
Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory a substantial number of small entities. reasonable effort to ensure that the
Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735, However, NHTSA has determined regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the
October 4, 1993) provides for making that the impact on the entities affected preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly
determinations whether a regulatory by the final rule would not be specifies any effect on existing Federal
action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore significant. This final rule eliminates law or regulation; (3) provides a clear
subject to Office of Management and the reporting of product evaluation field legal standard for affected conduct
Budget (OMB) review and to the reports, revises the definition of fire, while promoting simplification and
requirements of the Executive Order. and limits the time period for required burden reduction; (4) specifies the
The Order defines as ‘‘significant updates to a few data elements in retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately
regulatory action’’ as one that is likely reports of deaths and injuries. The effect defines key terms; and (6) addresses
to result in a rule that may: of these changes would be to reduce other important issues affecting clarity
(1) Have an annual effect on the annual reporting costs to manufacturers. and general draftsmanship under any
economy of $100 million or more or NHTSA expects the impact of the final guidelines issued by the Attorney
adversely affect in a material way the rule would be a reduction in the General. This document is consistent
economy, a sector of the economy, paperwork burden for EWR with that requirement.
productivity, competition, jobs, the manufacturers. NHTSA asserts that the NHTSA notes that there is no
environment, public health or safety, or economic impact of the reduction in requirement that individuals submit a
State, local, or Tribal governments or paperwork, if any, would be minimal petition for reconsideration or pursue
communities; and entirely beneficial to small EWR other administrative proceedings before
(2) Create a serious inconsistency or manufacturers. Accordingly, I certify they may file suit in court.
otherwise interfere with an action taken that this final rule would not have a
or planned by another agency; significant economic impact on a F. Paperwork Reduction Act
(3) Materially alter the budgetary substantial number of small entities. Today’s final rule does not create new
impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, information collection requirements, as
or loan programs or the rights and C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) that term is defined by the Office of
obligations of recipients thereof; or NHTSA has examined today’s final Management and Budget (OMB) in 5
(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues rule pursuant to Executive Order 13132 CFR part 1320. If anything, it reduces
arising out of legal mandates, the (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This the information collection burden of
President’s priorities, or the principles action would not have ‘‘federalism reporting EWR data by manufacturers of
set forth in the Executive Order. implications’’ because it would not have motor vehicles and motor vehicle
This document was not reviewed ‘‘substantial direct effects on States, on equipment. To the extent that this final
under E.O. 12866 or the Department of the relationship between the national rule implicates the Paperwork
Transportation’s regulatory policies and government and the States, or on the Reduction Act, we rely upon our
procedures. This rulemaking action is distribution of power and previous clearance from OMB. To obtain
not significant under Department of responsibilities among the various a three-year clearance for information
Transportation policies and procedures. levels of government,’’ as specified in collection for the EWR rule, NHTSA
The impacts of this final rule are section 1 of the Executive Order. published a Paperwork Reduction Act
expected to be so minimal as not to notice on April 27, 2005 pursuant to the
warrant preparation of a full regulatory D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
requirements of that Act (44 U.S.C. 3501
evaluation because this rule would The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act et seq.). We received clearance from
alleviate some of the burden on of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4) requires OMB on February 24, 2006, which will
manufacturers to provide EWR reports agencies to prepare a written assessment expire on February 29, 2008. The
by eliminating the requirement to of the costs, benefits, and other effects clearance number is 2127–0616.
submit copies of product evaluation of proposed or final rules that include
field reports, modifying the definition of a Federal mandate likely to result in G. Executive Order 13045
a fire, and temporally limiting the expenditures by State, local or tribal Executive Order 13045 applies to any
requirement to update reports on governments, in the aggregate, or by the rule that: (1) Is determined to be
incidents of death and injury. private sector, of more than $100 ‘‘economically significant’’ as defined
million annually (adjusted annually for under E.O. 12866, and (2) concerns an
B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
inflation with base year of 1995). The environmental, health or safety risk that
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) Final Rule implementing EWR did not NHTSA has reason to believe may have
of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires have unfunded mandates implications. a disproportionate effect on children. If
agencies to evaluate the potential effects 67 FR 49263 (July 30, 2002). Today’s the regulatory action meets both criteria,
of their proposed and final rules on final rule would alleviate some of the we must evaluate the environmental
small businesses, small organizations burden for manufacturers to provide health or safety effects of the planned
and small governmental jurisdictions. EWR reports by eliminating the rule on children, and explain why the
Section 605 of the RFA allows an requirement to submit copies of product planned regulation is preferable to other
agency to certify a rule, in lieu of evaluation field reports, and temporally potentially effective and reasonably
preparing an analysis, if the proposed limiting the requirement to update feasible alternatives considered by us.
rulemaking is not expected to have a reports on incidents of death and injury. This rulemaking is not economically
significant economic impact on a significant.
E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

substantial number of small entities.


This final rule would affect all EWR Reform) H. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)
manufacturers, of which there are With respect to the review of the The Department of Transportation
currently about 540. NHTSA estimates promulgation of a new regulation, assigns a regulation identifier number
that a majority of these EWR section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 29443

the Unified Agenda of Federal Subpart A—General (including any part thereof) that is
Regulations. The Regulatory Information originated by an employee or
Service Center publishes the Unified ■ 2. Amend § 579.4(c) to revise the representative of the manufacturer and
Agenda in or about April and October definition of ‘‘fire’’ and add the that the manufacturer received during a
of each year. You may use the RIN definition of ‘‘product evaluation reporting period. * * *
contained in the heading at the report’’, in alphabetical order, to read as ■ 4. Amend § 579.22 to revise the first
beginning of this document to find this follows: sentence of paragraph (d) to read as
action in the Unified Agenda. § 579.4 Terminology. follows:
I. Plain Language * * * * * § 579.22 Reporting requirements for
(c) Other terms. * * * manufacturers of 500 or more medium-
Executive Order 12866 requires each * * * * * heavy vehicles and buses annually.
agency to write all rules in plain Fire means combustion or burning of * * * * *
language. In the NPRM, we requested material in or from a vehicle as (d) Copies of field reports. For all
comments regarding our application of evidenced by flame. The term also medium heavy vehicles and buses
the principles of plain language in the includes, but is not limited to, thermal manufactured during a model year
proposal. We did not receive any events and fire-related phenomena such covered by the reporting period and the
comments on this issue. as smoke and melt, but does not include nine model years prior to the earliest
events and phenomena associated with model year in the reporting period, a
J. Data Quality Act
a normally functioning vehicle such as copy of each field report (other than a
Section 515 of the FY 2001 Treasury combustion of fuel within an engine or dealer report or a product evaluation
and General Government exhaust from an engine. report) involving one or more of the
Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 106–554, systems or components identified in
* * * * *
section 515, codified at 44 U.S.C. 3516 paragraph (b)(2) of this section, or fire,
Product evaluation report means a
historical and statutory note), or rollover, containing any assessment
field report prepared by, and containing
commonly referred to as the Data of an alleged failure, malfunction, lack
the observations or comments of, a
Quality Act, directed OMB to establish of durability, or other performance
manufacturer’s employee who
government-wide standards in the form problem of a motor vehicle or item of
submitted the report concerning the
of guidelines designed to maximize the motor vehicle equipment (including any
operation or performance of a vehicle or
‘‘quality,’’ ‘‘objectivity,’’ ‘‘utility,’’ and part thereof) that is originated by an
child restraint system as part of the
‘‘integrity’’ of information that Federal employee or representative of the
employee’s personal use of the vehicle manufacturer and that the manufacturer
agencies disseminate to the public. As or child restraint system under a
noted in the EWR final rule (67 FR received during a reporting period.
manufacturer’s program authorizing * * *
45822), NHTSA has reviewed its data such use, but does not include a report ■ 5. Amend § 579.23 to revise the first
collection, generation, and by an employee who has been granted
dissemination processes in order to sentence of paragraph (d) to read as
personal use of a vehicle or child follows:
ensure that agency information meets restraint system for the specific purpose
the standards articulated in the OMB of facilitating the employee’s technical § 579.23 Reporting requirements for
and DOT guidelines. The changes or engineering evaluation of a known or manufacturers of 500 or more motorcycles
adopted by today’s document would suspected problem with that vehicle or annually.
alleviate some of the burden for child restraint system. * * * * *
manufacturers to provide EWR reports * * * * * (d) Copies of field reports. For all
by eliminating the requirement to motorcycles manufactured during a
submit copies of product evaluation Subpart C—Reporting of Early model year covered by the reporting
field reports, modifying the definition of Warning Information period and the nine model years prior
a fire, and temporally limiting the to the earliest model year in the
requirement to update reports on ■ 3. Amend § 579.21 to revise the first reporting period, a copy of each field
incidents of death and injury. sentence of paragraph (d) to read as report (other than a dealer report or a
follows: product evaluation report) involving
VII. Proposed Regulatory Text one or more of the systems or
§ 579.21 Reporting requirements for components identified in paragraph
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 579 manufacturers of 500 or more light vehicles
(b)(2) of this section or fire, containing
annually.
Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor any assessment of an alleged failure,
vehicles, Reporting and recordkeeping * * * * * malfunction, lack of durability, or other
requirements. (d) Copies of field reports. For all light performance problem of a motorcycle or
vehicles manufactured during a model item of motor vehicle equipment
■In consideration of the foregoing, 49 year covered by the reporting period (including any part thereof) that is
CFR chapter V is amended as follows: and the nine model years prior to the originated by an employee or
earliest model year in the reporting representative of the manufacturer and
PART 579—REPORTING OF period, a copy of each field report (other
INFORMATION AND that the manufacturer received during a
than a dealer report or a product reporting period. * * *
COMMUNICATIONS ABOUT evaluation report) involving one or more
POTENTIAL DEFECTS ■ 6. Amend § 579.24 to revise the first
of the systems or components identified sentence of paragraph (d) to read as
in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, or follows:
■ 1. The authority citation for part 579
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

fire, or rollover, containing any


is amended to read as follows: assessment of an alleged failure, § 579.24 Reporting requirements for
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30102–103, 30112, malfunction, lack of durability, or other manufacturers of 500 or more trailers
30117–121, 30166–167; delegation of performance problem of a motor vehicle annually.
authority at 49 CFR 1.50. or item of motor vehicle equipment * * * * *

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1
29444 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 102 / Tuesday, May 29, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

(d) Copies of field reports. For all (ii) If a manufacturer indicated code SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef
trailers manufactured during a model 99 in its report because a system or fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is
year covered by the reporting period component had not been identified in managed under the Fishery
and the nine model years prior to the the claim or notice that led to the report, Management Plan for the Reef Fish
earliest model year in the reporting and the manufacturer becomes aware Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP).
period, a copy of each field report (other during a subsequent calendar quarter The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of
than a dealer report or a product that one or more of the specified Mexico Fishery Management Council
evaluation report) involving one or more systems or components allegedly and is implemented under the authority
of the systems or components identified contributed to the incident, the of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery
in paragraph (b)(2) of this section or fire, manufacturer shall submit an updated Conservation and Management Act
containing any assessment of an alleged report of such incident in its report (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations
failure, malfunction, lack of durability, covering the reporting period in which at 50 CFR part 622. Those regulations
or other performance problem of a the involved specified system(s) or set the commercial quota for deep-water
trailer or item of motor vehicle component(s) is (are) identified. A grouper in the Gulf of Mexico at 1.02
equipment (including any part thereof) manufacturer need not submit an million lb (463,636 kg) for the current
that is originated by an employee or updated report if the system(s) or fishing year, January 1 through
representative of the manufacturer and component(s) is(are) identified by the December 31, 2007.
that the manufacturer received during a manufacturer in a reporting period that Under 50 CFR 622.43(a), NMFS is
reporting period. * * * is more than one year later than the required to close the commercial fishery
■ 7. Amend § 579.25 to revise the first initial report to NHTSA. for a species or species group when the
sentence of paragraph (d) to read as quota for that species or species group
* * * * *
follows: is reached, or is projected to be reached,
Issued on: May 21, 2007. by filing a notification to that effect with
§ 579.25 Reporting requirements for Nicole R. Nason, the Office of the Federal Register. Based
manufacturers of child restraint systems. Administrator. on current statistics, NMFS has
* * * * * [FR Doc. E7–10155 Filed 5–25–07; 8:45 am] determined that the available
(d) Copies of field reports. For all BILLING CODE 4910–59–P commercial quota of 1.02 million lb
child restraint systems manufactured (463,636 kg) for deep-water grouper will
during a production year covered by the be reached on or before June 2, 2007.
reporting period and the four DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Accordingly, NMFS is closing the
production years prior to the earliest commercial deep-water grouper fishery
production year in the reporting period, National Oceanic and Atmospheric in the Gulf of Mexico EEZ from 12:01
a copy of each field report (other than Administration a.m., local time, on June 2, 2007, until
a dealer report or a product evaluation 12:01 a.m., local time, on January 1,
report) involving one or more of the 50 CFR Part 622 2008. The operator of a vessel with a
systems or components identified in valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf
[Docket No. 040205043–4043–01] reef fish having deep-water grouper
paragraph (b)(2) of this section,
containing any assessment of an alleged RIN 0648–XA46 aboard must have landed and bartered,
failure, malfunction, lack of durability, traded, or sold such deep-water grouper
or other performance problem of a child Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, June 2,
restraint system (including any part Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish 2007.
thereof) that is originated by an Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Closure During the closure, the sale or
employee or representative of the of the 2007 Deep-Water Grouper purchase of deep-water grouper taken
manufacturer and that the manufacturer Commercial Fishery from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited and the
received during a reporting period. bag and possession limits specified in
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries 50 CFR 622.39(b) apply to all harvest or
* * * Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
■ 8. Amend § 579.28 to revise
possession of deep-water grouper in or
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), from the Gulf EEZ, except that no such
paragraphs (f)(2)(i) and (f)(2)(ii) to read Commerce.
as follows: bag limits may be possessed aboard a
ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. vessel with commercial quantities of
§ 579.28 Due date of reports and other Gulf reef fish (i.e., Gulf reef fish in
SUMMARY: NMFS closes the commercial
miscellaneous provision. excess of applicable bag/possession
fishery for deep-water grouper (misty
* * * * * limits). The prohibition on sale or
grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge
(f) * * * purchase does not apply to sale or
(2) * * * grouper, warsaw grouper, and speckled
purchase of deep-water grouper that
(i) If a vehicle manufacturer is not hind) in the exclusive economic zone
were harvested, landed ashore, and sold
aware of the VIN, or a tire manufacturer (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico. NMFS has
prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, June 2,
is not aware of the TIN, at the time the determined that the deep-water grouper
2007, and were held in cold storage by
incident is initially reported, the quota for the commercial fishery will
a dealer or processor.
manufacturer shall submit an updated have been reached by June 2, 2007. This
report of such incident in its report closure is necessary to protect the deep- Classification
covering the reporting period in which water grouper resource. This action responds to the best
the VIN or TIN is identified. A DATES: Closure is effective 12:01 a.m., available scientific information recently
manufacturer need not submit an local time, June 2, 2007, until 12:01 obtained from the fishery. The Assistant
sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES

updated report if the VIN or TIN is a.m., local time, on January 1, 2008. Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA,
identified by the manufacturer in a FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: finds that the need to immediately
reporting period that is more than one Jason Rueter, telephone 727–824–5350, implement this action to close the
year later than the initial report to fax 727–824–5308, e-mail fishery constitutes good cause to waive
NHTSA. Jason.Rueter@noaa.gov. the requirements to provide prior notice

VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:30 May 25, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\29MYR1.SGM 29MYR1