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Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Motor Theft Prevention Standard; Volvo

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Volvo S60

Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Motor Theft Prevention Standard; Volvo

Christopher J. Bonanti
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
January 18, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 13 (Friday, January 18, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4193-4195]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00999]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Motor Theft 
Prevention Standard; Volvo

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

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SUMMARY: This document grants in full the Volvo Cars of North America, 
LLC's (Volvo) petition for exemption of the S60 vehicle line in 
accordance with 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from the Theft Prevention 
Standard. This petition is granted because the agency has determined 
that the antitheft device to be placed on the line as standard 
equipment is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor 
vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the 
Theft Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 541).

DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with 
the 2014 model year (MY).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Joy Williams, Office of 
International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey

[[Page 4194]]

Avenue SE., West Building, Room W43-455, Washington, DC 20590. Ms. 
Williams's telephone number is (202) 366-0846. Her fax number is (202) 
493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated October 16, 2012, Volvo 
requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 541) for the S60 vehicle line 
beginning with MY 2014. The petition requested exemption from parts-
marking pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard, based on the installation of an antitheft device 
as standard equipment for the entire vehicle line.
    Under Sec.  543.5(a), a manufacturer may petition NHTSA to grant an 
exemption for one vehicle line per model year. In its petition, Volvo 
provided a detailed description and diagram of the identity, design, 
and location of the components of the antitheft device for its S60 
vehicle line. Volvo stated that beginning with MY 2014, all S60 
vehicles will be equipped with a passive antitheft device as standard 
equipment. Volvo further stated that the antitheft device proposed for 
installation on the MY 2014 Volvo S60 vehicles will consist of three 
(3) systems: an alarm, a central locking system and an immobilizer. Key 
components of the antitheft device consist of a Driver Information 
Module, Immobilizer Antenna Unit (IAU), Brake Control Module, 
Transmission Control Module, Engine Control Module, Central Electronic 
Module (CEM), Phone Module (not available in the US), and the Keyless 
Vehicle Module. Volvo stated that currently, the Volvo S60 vehicle line 
is comprised of the S60 T5, T5 AWD, T6 SWD and T6 R models, which are 
all built on the same chassis/platform.
    Volvo stated that the antitheft device for the S60 vehicle line 
will incorporate a central locking system that will allow either remote 
control key (physical key) or keyless remote vehicle entry. In both 
versions of the central locking system, when the vehicle is locked, the 
alarm is armed, the immobilizer unit is activated and electronic 
monitoring for unauthorized entry becomes active. Volvo stated that the 
physical key in the driver's door lock will not set the alarm, but will 
activate the immobilizer. Volvo further stated that when an unlock 
command is received, the alarm will be de-activated and the immobilizer 
will remain active until the programmed remote control key is inserted 
into the ignition switch, or a keyless remote key and the unlock sensor 
in the external door handle is recognized. Volvo's submission is 
considered a complete petition as required by 49 CFR 543.7, in that it 
meets the general requirements contained in Sec.  543.5 and the 
specific content requirements of Sec.  543.6.
    On the remote control key system, the remote control key must be 
inserted into the ignition in order to start the vehicle. When the 
start button is depressed, the CEM transmits a command to the IAU for a 
remote control key identity check. The IAU activates the built in 
antenna and reads off the identity code from the remote control key 
transponder. The code is then transmitted to the CEM and compared to 
the pre-programmed codes. If the transponder codes match, the vehicle 
can be started.
    On the keyless system, the vehicle will attempt to identify a 
passive remote control key. If the remote control key cannot be found, 
the CEM will send a request to the IAU to scan for a transponder. If an 
approved transponder is not identified, the CEM will not send an 
approved key signal to the IAU and the vehicle will be unable to start
    Volvo stated that an alarm system will be installed on the MY 2014 
Volvo S60 vehicle line to prevent unwanted access to or manipulation of 
the vehicle in any way. The alarm will sound and the turn indicators 
will flash when an unauthorized attempt is made to open the side doors, 
trunk lid/tailgate or hood. Volvo also stated that the alarm is 
activated when any attempt is made to start the vehicle without a valid 
key that is fully integrated into the vehicle's electric system.
    After a normal delay time (pre-arm phase), the vehicle is armed 
when the doors are closed and the vehicle is locked. On the passive key 
system (keyless vehicles), the device is armed by pushing a button in 
the outer door handle. In the remote control key-lock system, the 
device is armed by pressing the lock button on the remote control key. 
Disarming the remote control key systems occurs when the operator 
presses the unlock button on the remote control key or inserts a valid 
remote control key into the ignition lock. On the passive key system 
(keyless vehicles), Volvo states that the vehicle can be disarmed when 
a valid key is recognized and the outer door handle is pulled. The 
vehicle is also disarmed when any door, hood or trunk lid/tailgate is 
opened during the device's pre-arming time.
    Volvo believes that the antitheft device that is standard on the MY 
2014 S60 vehicle line is effective in reducing and deterring motor 
vehicle theft. Volvo stated that the premise for this belief originates 
from the theft data released by the NHTSA for model years (MYs) 2007-
2010 vehicles and the Highway Loss Data Institute's (HLDI's) MYs 2007-
2009 Insurance Theft Losses for Passenger Vehicles as produced in the 
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's August 3, 2010 Status Report 
publication.
    Volvo stated that it introduced the immobilizer as standard 
equipment beginning with its MY 1999 vehicle and that the MY 2007 Volvo 
S80 vehicle line has had the same antitheft device as proposed for the 
MY 2014 S60 vehicles since its introduction. Theft data for the MYs 
2007-2010 Volvo S80 were 0.9255, 0.4373, 0.6749 and 0.3407 
respectively. In addition, Volvo's submission provided an illustration 
of the industry average for thefts for MYs 2007 through 2012 vehicles. 
According to Volvo, the industry average for MYs 2007-2012 are 1.86, 
1.69, 1.33 and 1.17 respectively, ranking the Volvo S80 well below the 
industry average for thefts.
    In addressing the specific content requirements of 543.6, Volvo 
provided information on the reliability and durability of its device. 
To ensure reliability and durability of the device, Volvo conducted 
tests based on its own specified standards and believes that the device 
is reliable and durable since the device complied with its specified 
requirements for each test. Volvo stated that its testing requirements 
refer to both the Swedish Standard Institute ISO 16750 and 
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) tests and that all components that 
are included in the functionality of the alarm are also tested for 
reliability and durability. As additional security measures, Volvo 
stated that its spare or replacement remote control keys can only be 
obtained through authorized Volvo retailers and each key has a unique 
identification defined by Volvo. Volvo also stated that to reduce or 
eliminate the marketability of stolen electronic components within its 
vehicles, certain electronic modules are made vehicle-specific and are 
programmed with certain codes that enable its use within the system of 
the corresponding vehicle. Consequently, the engine will not start if 
these numbers do not correspond.
    Based on the supporting evidence submitted by Volvo, the agency 
believes that the antitheft device for the Volvo S60 vehicle line is 
likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft 
as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 541). The agency concludes that the 
device will provide the five types of performance listed in Sec.  
543.6(a)(3): attract attention to the efforts of an authorized person 
to enter or move a

[[Page 4195]]

vehicle by means other than a key; promoting activation; preventing 
defeat or circumvention of the device by unauthorized persons; 
preventing operation of the vehicle by unauthorized entrants; and 
ensuring the reliability and durability of the device.
    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106 and 49 CFR 543.7 (b), the agency grants 
a petition for exemption from the parts-marking requirements of Part 
541, either in whole or in part, if it determines that, based upon 
supporting evidence, the standard equipment antitheft device is likely 
to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as 
compliance with the parts-marking requirements of Part 541. The agency 
finds that Volvo has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the 
antitheft device for the S60 vehicle line is likely to be as effective 
in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the 
parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard (49 CFR 
part 541). This conclusion is based on the information Volvo provided 
about its device.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full Volvo's 
petition for exemption for the MY 2014 S60 vehicle line from the parts-
marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541. The agency notes that 49 CFR 
part 541, appendix A-1, identifies those lines that are exempted from 
the Theft Prevention Standard for a given MY. 49 CFR 543.7(f) contains 
publication requirements incident to the disposition of all Part 543 
petitions. Advanced listing, including the release of future product 
nameplates, the beginning model year for which the petition is granted 
and a general description of the antitheft device is necessary in order 
to notify law enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines exempted from 
the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard.
    If Volvo decides not to use the exemption for this line, it must 
formally notify the agency. If such a decision is made, the line must 
be fully marked as required by 49 CFR 541.5 and 541.6 (marking of major 
component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if Volvo wishes in the future to modify the device 
on which this exemption is based, the company may have to submit a 
petition to modify the exemption. Part 543.7(d) states that a Part 543 
exemption applies only to vehicles that belong to a line exempted under 
this part and equipped with the anti-theft device on which the line's 
exemption is based. Further, Sec.  543.9(c)(2) provides for the 
submission of petitions ``to modify an exemption to permit the use of 
an antitheft device similar to but differing from the one specified in 
that exemption.''
    The agency wishes to minimize the administrative burden that Part 
543.9(c)(2) could place on exempted vehicle manufacturers and itself. 
The agency did not intend Part 543 to require the submission of a 
modification petition for every change to the components or design of 
an antitheft device. The significance of many such changes could be de 
minimis. Therefore, NHTSA suggests that if the manufacturer 
contemplates making any changes the effects of which might be 
characterized as de minimis, it should consult the agency before 
preparing and submitting a petition to modify.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 33106; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 
1.50.

    Issued on: January 11, 2013.
Christopher J. Bonanti,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2013-00999 Filed 1-17-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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