Vehicle Certification; Contents of Certification Labels
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)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18338]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
49 CFR Part 567
[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0093, Notice 1]
Vehicle Certification; Contents of Certification Labels
AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.
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
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.
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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle
Safety Compliance, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590;
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
--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
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
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
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
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
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
2. Amend Sec. 567.4(g) by adding paragraph (g)(5)(iv) to read as
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