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Vehicle Certification; Contents of Certification Labels

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Vehicle Certification; Contents of Certification Labels

Daniel C. Smith
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
August 6, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 151 (Monday, August 6, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 46677-46680]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18338]



[[Page 46677]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 567

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0093, Notice 1]
RIN 2127-AL18


Vehicle Certification; Contents of Certification Labels

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This document proposes to clarify the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations that prescribe the format and 
contents of certification labels that manufacturers are statutorily 
required to affix to motor vehicles manufactured for sale in the United 
States. The proposal would require specified language on the 
certification labels for certain types of vehicles.

DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure that 
Docket Management receives them not later than September 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above 
and be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 202-493-2251
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public 
Participation heading of the Supplementary Information section of this 
document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://DocketInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to the street 
address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the 
dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; 
(202) 366-3151.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NHTSA published a final rule on February 14, 
2005 (70 FR 7414) that amended title 49 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations with regard to the certification of vehicles. In amending 
the certification label requirements, the agency inadvertently omitted 
from 49 CFR 567.4(g)(5) the requirement that manufacturers include a 
specific statement in the certification labels that they affix to 
certain types of motor vehicles. This rulemaking corrects that 
inadvertent omission.
    Background and Amendments: Under the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as amended, (49 U.S.C. 30112(a), 30115), a 
motor vehicle manufactured for sale in the United States must be 
manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety 
standards (FMVSS) and bear a label certifying such compliance that is 
permanently affixed by the vehicle's manufacturer. The label 
constitutes the manufacturer's certification that the vehicle complies 
with the applicable standards. Under 49 CFR 567.4, the label, among 
other things, must identify the vehicle's manufacturer, its date of 
manufacture, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR, the Gross Axle 
Weight Rating or GAWR of each axle, the vehicle type classification 
(e.g., passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus, 
motorcycle, trailer, low-speed vehicle), and the vehicle's Vehicle 
Identification Number or ``VIN.'' The certification label must also 
contain a variant of the statement: ``This vehicle conforms to all 
applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards in effect on the date 
of manufacture shown above.'' For example, passenger cars are subject 
to safety, bumper, and theft prevention standards; therefore, a 
passenger car certification label must contain the statement: ``This 
vehicle conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety, 
bumper, and theft prevention standards in effect on the date of 
manufacture shown above.'' The expression ``U.S.'' or ``U.S.A.'' may be 
inserted before the word ``Federal'' as it appears in this statement.
    In the final rule published on February 14, 2005 (70 FR 7414), 49 
CFR 567.4(g)(5) was amended by replacing the statement ``This vehicle 
conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards in 
effect on the date of manufacture shown above'' with the language, 
``One of the following statements, as appropriate'' followed by 
subparagraphs i, ii, and iii, which pertain, respectively, to passenger 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) and trucks with a GVWR of 
6,000 pounds or less, and multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks 
with a GVWR of over 6,000 pounds. Manufacturers of other types of 
vehicles remained subject to the statutory duty to certify these 
vehicles to the applicable FMVSSs. And the logical certification 
language was for these manufacturers to state: ``This vehicle conforms 
to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards in effect on 
the date of manufacture shown above.'' But due to an inadvertent 
omission in the course of amendments to the regulations, the 
regulations did not specifically state that manufacturers of trailers, 
buses, motorcycles, and low-speed vehicles (those vehicle types not 
identified by subparagraphs i, ii, and iii) were required to use this 
specific language.
    To address this lack of specificity regarding certification 
language for certain vehicle types, the agency proposes to amend 
section 567.4(g) to add a new subparagraph (iv) that would cover these 
vehicle types. Subparagraphs i, ii, and iii would remain unchanged.
    Effective Date: The effective date of the final rule would be 30 
days after its issuance.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'' (58 FR 
51735, October 4, 1993), provides for making determinations whether a 
regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) review and to the requirements of the 
Executive Order. The Order defines a ``significant regulatory action'' 
as one that is likely to result in a rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or

[[Page 46678]]

State, local, or Tribal governments or communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    NHTSA has considered the impact of this rulemaking action under 
Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation's regulatory 
policies and procedures. This rulemaking is not significant. 
Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed this 
rulemaking document under Executive Order 12866. Further, NHTSA has 
determined that the rulemaking is not significant under Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. Manufacturers are 
required by statute (49 U.S.C. 30115(a)) to permanently affix a tag or 
label to a vehicle certifying the vehicle's compliance with applicable 
safety standards. The agency is not aware of any manufacturer that has 
discontinued inserting the certification language on the certification 
labels affixed to trailers, buses, motorcycles, and low-speed vehicles 
manufactured since the regulations were revised in 2005. Based on this, 
NHTSA anticipates that if made final, the costs of the proposed rule 
would be so minimal as not to warrant preparation of a regulatory 
evaluation. The action does not involve any substantial public interest 
or controversy. If made final, the rule would have no substantial 
effect upon State and local governments. There would be no substantial 
impact upon a major transportation safety program.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (95 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended 
by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 
1996) provides that no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if 
the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. SBREFA 
amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to 
provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    NHTSA has considered the effects of this proposed rulemaking under 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that if the proposed 
amendments are adopted they will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, the agency has 
not prepared a final regulatory flexibility analysis for this proposed 
rulemaking. NHTSA makes these statements on the basis that covered 
entities have been and are subject to a statutory obligation to certify 
vehicles they manufacture, the proposed rulemaking merely restores text 
that was part of the regulation before it was last amended in 2005 and 
manufacturers have continued to affix labels that include the 
appropriate certification language on trailers, buses, motorcycles, and 
low-speed vehicles manufactured since then. As a consequence, this 
rulemaking will not impose any significant costs on anyone. Therefore, 
it has not been necessary for NHTSA to conduct a regulatory evaluation 
or Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for this proposed rulemaking.
    The costs of the underlying rule were analyzed at the time of its 
issuance as a final rule. At that time, we explained that the rule did 
not impose any significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small businesses. The rule did not have a significant economic impact 
on these entities. The agency explained that the rule would reduce 
burdens on final-stage manufacturers, many of which are small 
businesses.
    The agency is not aware that any vehicle manufacturers have stopped 
including the certification language that is the subject of this rule 
on the labels they affix to trailers, buses, motorcycles, or low-speed 
vehicles. For this reason, we view this proposed rulemaking as merely 
restoring to the regulation text that was inadvertently omitted in the 
2005 amendment and find that there is no change in the meaning or 
application of the rule as explained in the preamble at 70 FR 7414.

C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132 on ``Federalism'' requires NHTSA to develop 
an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful and timely input by State 
and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have 
Federalism implications.'' Executive Order 13132 defines the term 
``policies that have federalism implications'' to include regulations 
that have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.'' Under Executive Order 13132, NHTSA may not issue a 
regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless 
the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct 
compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or NHTSA 
consults with State and local officials early in the process of 
developing the proposed regulation.
    The proposed rule would not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government as specified in Executive Order 13132. 
Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply 
to this rulemaking action.

D. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Executive Order 12988 requires that agencies review proposed 
regulations and legislation and adhere to the following general 
requirements: (1) The agency's proposed legislation and regulations 
shall be reviewed by the agency to eliminate drafting errors and 
ambiguity; (2) The agency's proposed legislation and regulations shall 
be written to minimize litigation; and (3) The agency's proposed 
legislation and regulations shall provide a clear legal standard for 
affected conduct rather than a general standard, and shall promote 
simplification and burden reduction.
    When promulgating a regulation, Executive Order 12988 specifically 
requires the agency to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the 
regulation, as appropriate: (1) Specifies in clear language the 
preemptive effect; (2) specifies in clear language the effect on 
existing Federal law or regulation, including all provisions repealed, 
circumscribed, displaced, impaired, or modified; (3) provides a clear 
legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard, 
while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies in 
clear language the retroactive effect; (5) specifies whether 
administrative proceedings are to be required before parties may file 
suit in court; (6) explicitly or implicitly defines key terms; and (7) 
addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general 
draftsmanship of regulations.
    NHTSA has reviewed this proposed rulemaking according to the 
general requirements and the specific requirements for regulations set 
forth in

[[Page 46679]]

Executive Order 12988. This proposed rulemaking simply restores text 
that existed before the regulation was amended in 2005 and makes clear 
the requirement that manufacturers include language in the 
certification labels that they must affix to vehicles under 49 U.S.C. 
30115 and the regulations at 49 CFR part 567. This change does not 
result in any preemptive effect and does not have a retroactive effect. 
A petition for reconsideration or other administrative proceeding is 
not required before parties may file suit in court.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, 
benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a 
Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more 
than $100 million annually (adjusted for inflation with the base year 
of 1995). Before promulgating a rule for which a written assessment is 
needed, Section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify 
and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and to 
adopt the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome 
alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of 
Section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable 
law. Moreover, Section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other 
than the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome 
alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation 
why that alternative was not adopted. Because a final rule based on 
this proposal would not require the expenditure of resources beyond 
$100 million annually, this action is not subject to the requirements 
of Sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

F. Plain Language

    Executive Order 12866 and the President's memorandum of June 1, 
1998, require each agency to write all rules in plain language. 
Application of the principles of plain language includes consideration 
of the following questions:

--Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
--Are the requirements in the proposed rule clearly stated?
--Does the proposed rule contain technical language or jargon that is 
unclear?
--Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of 
heading, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
--Would more (but shorter) sections be better?
--Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams?
--What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand?

    If you have any responses to these questions, please include them 
in your comments on this document.

G. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless 
the collection displays a valid OMB control number. This proposed rule 
includes a ``collection of information,'' as that term is defined in 5 
CFR part 1320 Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public, because it 
requires manufactures to insert text in the certification labels they 
affix to trailers, buses, motorcycles, and low-speed vehicles that is 
not specified in the regulations as they currently exist. There is no 
burden on the general public.
    OMB has approved NHTSA's collection of information associated with 
motor vehicle labeling requirements under OMB clearance no. 2127-0512, 
Consolidated Labeling Requirements for Motor Vehicles (Except the 
Vehicle Identification Number). NHTSA's request for the extension of 
this approval was granted on June 6, 2011, and remains in effect until 
June 30, 2014. For the following reasons, NHTSA believes that the 
requirements that would be imposed by this rule will not increase the 
information collection burden on the public. Manufacturers of all motor 
vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States are required by 
statute to certify their vehicles' compliance with all applicable 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards. See 49 U.S.C. 30115(a). The 
statute provides that ``[c]ertification of a vehicle must be shown by a 
label or tag permanently fixed to the vehicle.'' Ibid. To satisfy this 
requirement, manufacturers of all motor vehicles, including trailers, 
buses, motorcycles, and low-speed vehicles, have been affixing 
certification labels to those vehicles containing the required 
certification language even though there has been no language 
addressing this issue in the regulations since the regulations were 
amended in 2005. Reinstating the specific language into the regulations 
will therefore not increase the paperwork burden on those 
manufacturers.

H. Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045 applies to any rule that (1) is determined to 
be ``economically significant'' as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) 
concerns an environmental, health, or safety risk that NHTSA has reason 
to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the 
regulatory action meets both criteria, we must evaluate the 
environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, 
and explain why the planned rule is preferable to other potentially 
effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by us. This 
rulemaking is not economically significant and does not concern an 
environmental, health, or safety risk.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272) 
directs NHTSA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory 
activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as the Society of Automotive 
Engineers (SAE). The NTTAA directs the agency to provide Congress, 
through the OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and 
applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    In this proposed rule, we propose adding to 49 CFR 567.4(g)(5) the 
requirement that manufacturers include in the certification labels that 
they affix to certain types of motor vehicles a statement certifying 
that the vehicle conforms to all applicable FMVSS. This language was 
inadvertently omitted from the regulation in 2005 and we are proposing 
no substantive changes to the regulation nor do we propose any 
technical standards. For these reasons, Section 12(d) of the NTTAA 
would not apply.

J. Public Participation

How do I prepare and submit comments?
    Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your 
comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket 
number of this document in your comments. Your comments must not be 
more than 15 pages long. 49 CFR 553.21. We established this limit to 
encourage

[[Page 46680]]

you to write your primary comments in a concise fashion. However, you 
may attach necessary additional documents to your comments. There is no 
limit on the length of the attachments.
    Please submit two copies of your comments, including the 
attachments, to Docket Management at the beginning of this document, 
under ADDRESSES. You may also submit your comments electronically to 
the docket following the steps outlined under ADDRESSES.
How can I be sure that my comments were received?
    If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of 
your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the 
envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket 
Management will return the postcard by mail.
How do I submit confidential business information?
    If you wish to submit any information under a claim of 
confidentiality, you should submit the following to the NHTSA Office of 
Chief Counsel (NCC-110), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590: (1) A complete copy of the submission; (2) a redacted copy of 
the submission with the confidential information removed; and (3) 
either a second complete copy or those portions of the submission 
containing the material for which confidential treatment is claimed and 
any additional information that you deem important to the Chief 
Counsel's consideration of your confidentiality claim. A request for 
confidential treatment that complies with 49 CFR Part 512 must 
accompany the complete submission provided to the Chief Counsel. For 
further information, submitters who plan to request confidential 
treatment for any portion of their submissions are advised to review 49 
CFR part 512, particularly those sections relating to document 
submission requirements. Failure to adhere to the requirements of part 
512 may result in the release of confidential information to the public 
docket. In addition, you should submit two copies from which you have 
deleted the claimed confidential business information, to Docket 
Management at the address given at the beginning of this document under 
ADDRESSES.
Will the agency consider late comments?
    We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives 
before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated at 
the beginning of this notice under DATES. In accordance with our 
policies, to the extent possible, we will also consider comments that 
Docket Management receives after the specified comment closing date. If 
Docket Management receives a comment too late for us to consider in 
developing the proposed rule, we will consider that comment as an 
informal suggestion for future rulemaking action.
How can I read the comments submitted by other people?
    You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the 
address and times given near the beginning of this document under 
ADDRESSES.
    You may also see the comments on the Internet. To read the comments 
on the Internet, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the on-
line instructions provided. You may download the comments. The comments 
are imaged documents, in either TIFF or PDF format. Please note that 
even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant 
information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people 
may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you 
periodically search the Docket for new material.

K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may 
use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document 
to find this action in the Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 567

    Labeling, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA proposes to amend part 
567, Certification, in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations as 
follows:

PART 567--CERTIFICATION

    1. The authority citation continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30166, 32502, 
32504, 33101-33104, 33108, and 33109; delegation of authority at 49 
CFR 1.50.

    2. Amend Sec.  567.4(g) by adding paragraph (g)(5)(iv) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  567.4  Requirements for manufacturers of motor vehicles.

* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (iv) For all other vehicles, the statement: ``This vehicle conforms 
to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards in effect on 
the date of manufacture shown above.'' The expression ``U.S.'' or 
``U.S.A.'' may be inserted before the word ``Federal''.
* * * * *

    Issued On: July 20, 2012.
Daniel C. Smith,
Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.
[FR Doc. 2012-18338 Filed 8-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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