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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Ford Fiesta

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

Lori K. Summers
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
April 1, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 62 (Tuesday, April 1, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18410-18412]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07233]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


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

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 Ford Motor Company's (Ford) 
petition for an exemption of the Fiesta vehicle

[[Page 18411]]

line in accordance with 49 CFR Part 543, Exemption from Vehicle 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 49 CFR Part 541, Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard (Theft Prevention Standard). Ford also requested 
confidential treatment of specific information in its petition. The 
agency will address Ford's request for confidential treatment by 
separate letter.

DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with 
the 2015 model year (MY).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Carlita Ballard, Office of 
International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building, Room W43-439, Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Ballard's telephone 
number is (202) 366-5222. Her fax number is (202) 493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated December 10, 2013, Ford 
requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard for the Fiesta vehicle line beginning with MY 2015. 
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 49 CFR Part 543.5(a), a manufacturer may petition NHTSA to 
grant exemptions for one vehicle line per model year. In its petition, 
Ford provided a detailed description and diagram of the identity, 
design, and location of the components of the antitheft device for the 
Fiesta vehicle line. Ford stated that the Model Year (MY) 2015 Fiesta 
will be installed with a passive, electronic immobilizer device using 
encrypted transponder technology as standard equipment on the entire 
vehicle line. Ford also stated that depending on the trim level of the 
vehicle, the device would be equipped with either the SecuriLock 
Passive Anti-Theft Electronic Engine Immobilizer system (SecuriLock/
PATS) or the Intelligent Access with Push Button Start (IAwPB) system 
on its Fiesta vehicle line. Specifically, Ford stated that the 
SecuriLock/PATS system will be installed as standard equipment on all 
Fiesta trim levels except the Titanium package that would instead be 
equipped with the IAwPB system as standard equipment. Along with Ford's 
passive immobilizer, key components of the SecuriLock/PATS antitheft 
system will include an electronic transponder key, powertrain control 
module (PCM), transceiver module ignition lock and cluster. Key 
components of the IAwPB system will include an electronic key fob, 
remote function actuator (RFA), Keyless Vehicle Module (KVM), 
powertrain control module and Ford's passive immobilizer. Ford further 
stated that its Titanium package will also be offered with a separate 
perimeter alarm system as standard equipment. The perimeter alarm 
system activates a visible and audible alarm if unauthorized access is 
attempted. Ford'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.
    Ford stated that when the ignition key is turned to the ``Run/
Start'' position on the SecuriLock/PATS system or the ``Start/Stop'' 
button is pressed on the IAwPB system, the transceiver module reads the 
ignition key code and transmits an encrypted message from the keycode 
to the control module. Once the key is validated, starting of the 
engine is authorized by sending a separate encrypted message to the 
powertrain control module (PCM). Ford stated that the powertrain will 
function only if the keycode matches the unique identification keycode 
previously programmed into the cluster of the SecuriLock/PATS-equipped 
vehicles or the RFA in the IAwPB-equipped vehicles. In both systems, if 
the codes do not match, the vehicle will be inoperable. Ford stated 
that in both systems, an electronic key will be programmed into the 
vehicle during system initialization performed at the manufacturing 
plant. With the IAwPB system, Ford stated that if the programmed key is 
not present in the vehicle, the engine will not start. Additionally, 
Ford further stated that the powertrain will function only if the 
keycode matches the unique identification keycode previously programmed 
into the Cluster/RFA. Ford also pointed out that in addition to the 
programmed key, there are three modules that must be matched together 
in order to start the vehicle, adding an additional level of security 
to both systems. Specifically, Ford stated that both the SecuriLock/
PATS and IAwPB systems' Cluster/RFA and PCM respectively share security 
data that during vehicle assembly form matched modules that if 
separated from each other will not function in other vehicles.
    In addressing the specific content requirements of 543.6, Ford 
provided information on the reliability and durability of its proposed 
device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, Ford 
conducted tests based on its own specified standards. Ford provided a 
detailed list of the tests conducted and believes that the device is 
reliable and durable since the device complied with its own specified 
requirements for each test.
    Ford stated that its MY 2015 Fiesta vehicle line will also be 
equipped with several other standard antitheft features common to Ford 
vehicles, (i.e., hood release located inside the vehicle, counterfeit 
resistant VIN labels, secondary VINs and secured cabin accessibility). 
Ford also stated that incorporation of several other features in both 
systems further support reliability and durability of the device. 
Specifically, some of those features include: Encrypted communication 
between the transponder and the control function (Cluster/RFA module) 
and the PCM; numerous code combinations making key duplication 
virtually impossible; inability to mechanically override the device to 
start the vehicle; and any attempt to slam-pull the ignition lock 
cylinder or short the ``Start/Stop'' button will have no effect on an 
intruder's ability to start the vehicle without the correct code being 
transmitted to the electronic control modules.
    Ford compared the device proposed for its vehicle line with other 
devices which NHTSA has determined to be as effective in reducing and 
deterring motor vehicle theft as would compliance with the parts-
marking requirements. Ford stated that it believes that the standard 
installation of either the SecuriLock/PATS system or the IAwPB system 
would be an effective deterrent against vehicle theft.
    Ford stated that the SecuriLock/PATS system was introduced as 
standard equipment on all of its MY 1996 Ford Mustang GT, Cobra and 
other selected models. Ford also stated that in MY 1997, the 
SecuriLock/PATS system was extended to the complete Ford Mustang 
vehicle line as standard equipment. Ford further stated that according 
to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) theft statistics, there 
was a 70% reduction in the theft rate for the MY 1997 Ford Mustang 
vehicle line installed with its SecuriLock/PATS system as compared to 
the theft rate for its MY 1995 Ford Mustang vehicle line not installed 
with the system.

[[Page 18412]]

    Ford also reported that beginning with MY 2010, the SecuriLock 
system was installed as standard equipment on all of its North American 
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles but was offered as optional 
equipment on its 2010 F-series Super Duty pickups, Econoline and 
Transit Connect vehicles. Ford further stated that beginning with MY 
2010, the IAwPB system was installed as standard equipment on the 
Lincoln MKT vehicles and offered as standard equipment on the Lincoln 
MKX and optionally on the Lincoln MKS, Taurus, Edge, Explorer and the 
Focus vehicles beginning with MY 2011. Starting with 2013, the IAwPB 
has been offered as standard equipment on the Lincoln MKZ and as 
optional equipment on the Ford Fusion, C-Max and Escape vehicles.
    Ford stated that both antitheft systems with a standard equipment 
immobilizer are of the same design and performance as that of the MY 
2006 Ford Focus vehicle line. Ford was granted an exemption for the 
Focus vehicle line on February 14, 2006 by NHTSA (See 71 FR 7824) 
beginning with its MY 2006 vehicles. Since the agency granted Ford's 
exemption for its MY 2006 Focus vehicle line, Ford referenced theft 
rate data published by NHTSA showing that theft rates for the Focus 
vehicle line have been gradually decreasing and is currently very close 
to the theft rate for all vehicles published for MY's 2000-2010. Ford 
stated that since the SecuriLock or the IAwPB systems (with a standard 
equipment immobilizer device) will be the primary theft deterrents on 
Ford Fiesta vehicles, it believes that the very low theft rates are 
likely to continue or improve in the future. The current theft rate for 
the MY 2011 Ford Focus is 1.3840 and the average theft rate using three 
MYs' data (2009-2011) is 1.5179.
    The agency agrees that the device is substantially similar to 
devices installed on other vehicle lines for which the agency has 
already granted exemptions.
    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 
substantial 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 Ford has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the 
antitheft device for the Ford Fiesta 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 Ford 
provided about its device.
    Based on the supporting evidence submitted by Ford on the device, 
the agency believes that the antitheft device for the Fiesta 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 four of the five types of performance listed in 
Sec.  543.6(a)(3): 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.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full Ford's 
petition for exemption for the Fiesta 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 model year. 49 CFR Part 
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 Ford 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 according to the requirements under 49 CFR Parts 541.5 
and 541.6 (marking of major component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if Ford 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 antitheft device on which the line's 
exemption is based. Further, Part 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 in drafting 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.

Lori K. Summers,
Director, Office of Crashworthiness Standards.
[FR Doc. 2014-07233 Filed 3-31-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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