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Final Rule

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Final Rule

Daniel C. Smith
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
December 4, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 233 (Tuesday, December 4, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71714-71717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29132]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 567

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0093 Notice 2]
RIN 2127-AL18


Final Rule

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document amends regulations that prescribe the format and 
contents labels that manufacturers are required to affix to motor 
vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States to certify the 
compliance of those vehicles with U.S. safety standards. The amendment 
will require specified certification language to be included on the 
labels affixed to certain types of vehicles.

DATES: This rule is effective January 3, 2013. Petitions for 
reconsideration must be received by NHTSA not later than January 18, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule should 
refer to the docket and notice numbers identified above and be 
submitted to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, 
DC 20590. It is requested, but not required, that 10 copies of the 
petition be submitted. The petition must be received not later than 45 
days after publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. 
Petitions filed after that time will be considered petitions filed by 
interested persons to initiate rulemaking pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Chapter 
301.
    The petition must contain a brief statement of the complaint and an 
explanation as to why compliance with the final rule is not 
practicable, is unreasonable, or is not in the public interest. Unless 
otherwise specified in the final rule, the statement and explanation 
together may not exceed 15 pages in length, but necessary attachments 
may be appended to the submission without regard to the 15-page limit. 
If it is requested that additional facts be considered, the petitioner 
must state the reason why they were not presented to the Administrator 
within the prescribed time. The Administrator does not consider 
repetitious petitions and unless the Administrator otherwise provides, 
the filing of a petition does not stay the effectiveness of the final 
rule.

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 certain provisions of title 49, Code of 
Federal Regulations, that pertain to the certification of motor 
vehicles to standards administered by NHTSA. In amending the provisions 
that establish the format and content requirements for certification 
labels, the agency inadvertently omitted from 49 CFR 576.4(g)(5) the 
requirement for manufacturers to include a specific certification 
statement in the labels they affix to certain types of motor vehicles. 
This rule corrects that inadvertent omission.

[[Page 71715]]

Background and Amendments

    This rule was preceded by a notice of proposed rulemaking that 
NHTSA published on August 6, 2012 (77 FR 46677). There were no comments 
in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking.
    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 original 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, its 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 motor 
vehicles remained subject to the statutory duty to certify those 
vehicles to the applicable FMVSS. And the logical certification 
language for these manufacturers to use was: ``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, the agency is amending 
section 567.4(g) to add a new subparagraph (iv) that covers these 
vehicle types. Subparagraphs i, ii, and iii remain unchanged.

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 
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 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 under 
Executive Order 12886. 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 currently anticipates that the costs of the final 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. 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 (5 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 rulemaking under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, and certifies that the rule being adopted 
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 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, this 
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 
rulemaking.
    The costs of the 2005 amendments were analyzed at the time they 
were issued as a final rule. At that time, we explained that the rule 
did not impose

[[Page 71716]]

any significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
businesses. The agency explained that the rule would, in fact, 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 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.
    This rule will 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 rulemaking according to the general 
requirements and the specific requirements for regulations set forth in 
Executive Order 12988. This 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.

F. 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 this final rule will 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.

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 final 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 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 certification language specified in the 
regulations since they

[[Page 71717]]

were amended in 2005. Reinstating the specific language in 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, with explanations when we decide not to use available 
and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    In this final rule, we are adding to 49 CFR 576.4(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 adopting 
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. 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, Part 567, Certification, in 
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 567--CERTIFICATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 567 is revised 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 1.95.

0
2. Amend Sec.  567.4 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: November 28, 2012.
Daniel C. Smith,
Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.
[FR Doc. 2012-29132 Filed 12-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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