January 21, 2020

On November 26, 2019, NHTSA Published Its Decision to Grant the Petitions for Reconsideration of the Final Rule it Published on October 2nd Regarding Odometer Disclosure Requirements (49 CFR 580)

NHTSA’s October 2, 2019, final rule amended its odometer disclosure requirements to allow States to adopt electronic odometer disclosure systems and changing the time when vehicles become exempt from federal odometer disclosure requirements from ten years to twenty years.

The America Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and the State of Delaware Department of Transportation filed petitions requesting that the agency delay the effective date of the changes to the exemptions from odometer disclosure requirements for one year.  NHTSA granted these petitions. 

DATES: The effective date of the rule allowing States to adopt electronic odometer disclosure systems is still December 31,2019.  However, the change to the exemption from the odometer disclosure requirements will take effect on January 1, 2021 and will apply to model year 2011 and newer vehicles.  Petitions for Reconsideration of this notice must be filed on or before January 10, 2020.

On November 21, 2019 NHTSA Published a Request for Comments on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Draft Research Test Procedures

This RFC includes procedures that have been developed for research purposes only. Research test procedures are used by the Agency to evaluate a technology of interest and, when presented to the public, provide a basis for which gaps in test methodology may be identified and resolved.

DATES:  Comments should be filed on or before January 21, 2020

NHTSA seeks comments on draft research test procedures for testing the following Advanced Driver Assistance Systems:

  • Active Parking Assist (APA)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Blind Spot Intervention (BSI)
  • Intersection Safety Assist (ISA)
  • Opposing Traffic Safety Assist (OTSA)
  • Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (PAEB)
  • Rear Automatic Braking (RAB)
  • Traffic Jam Assist (TJA)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

The Agency seeks comments on the following:

  1. Can the test procedures adequately assess the performance of the ADAS technologies?
  2. Do any of the draft research test methodologies contain elements that may confound the ADAS system operation or test results?
  3. Are the draft research test procedures clearly written, understandable, and executable?
  4. Are the ranges of test speeds etc. reasonable?
  5. To reduce the burden, NHTSA has set the number of repeated test trials at seven (7). Is this adequate?
  6.  Are there additional ADAS technologies that should be evaluated?
  7.  Are there existing alternative test method for ADAS technologies that NHTSA should consider?

On June 21, 2019, NHTSA Published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Relating to FMVSS 304, Compressed Natural Gas Fuel System Container Integrity (49 CFR 571.304)

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 20, 2019.

SUMMARY: FMVSS 304 currently contains an inspection requirement for CNG fuel system containers of 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first for all size vehicles.  Both the current and the proposed standard requires inspection for deterioration and damage after a motor vehicle accident. NHTSA recognizes that heavy duty commercial vehicles may put 36,000 miles on the vehicle in a very short period, which might lead to multiple inspections within a year.  It proposes to Amend FMVSS 304, S7.4 Labeling to require the following statement:

“(g) The statement: ‘‘This container should be visually inspected for damage and deterioration after a motor vehicle accident or fire, and either (a) at least every 12 months when installed on a vehicle with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kg or (b) at least every 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, when installed on a vehicle with a GVWR less than or equal to 4,536 kg.’’

On May 29, NHTSA Published in the Federal Register its Denial of a Motor Vehicle Defect Petition Regarding the Rollover Performance of 2010 Chevrolet Tahoes and All Similar Vehicles

DATES:  This Decision of NHTSA does not require any period for comments.  The Petition was filed on August 6, 2014.

SUMMARY OF CLAIM:  The Petitioner claimed there were several defects in 2010 Chevrolet Tahoes including:

  • “Safety” belts
  • Roof Strength
  • Containment/Glazing
  • The Rollover Side Curtain Air Bags (RSCABs) Lacked Tethers

NHTSA RATIONALE FOR DENIAL:

Although the petitioner claims the fatal occupant was wearing her 3-point seat belt based on forensic and other evidence, the police accident report and GM’s analysis indicate she and the two other ejected occupants were not restrained at the time of the crash.  Based upon all the evidence available, ODI could not reasonably determine whether or not the fatal occupant was wearing her seat belt and that any potential defect in the seat belt system exists.

No data was submitted in support of roof strength allegation.

The petition alleged that the side window design was defective because the glazing fractured during the crash and the window opening provided an exit path through which occupants could leave the vehicle during a rollover. However, no data was provided in support of this conclusory allegation, and ODI was unable to determine how this material supports the commencement of a defect investigation by NHTSA.

NHTSA believes that the RSCABs were designed to the state of the art at the time the vehicle was manufactured.  Although the 2010 Tahoe was not required to meet FMVSS 226-Rollover Protection, NHTSA had conducted tests on the Tahoes in the development of that standard.  NHTSA did not believe that the performance of the side curtain air bags in the Tahoes did not stand out from the performance of side curtain air bags in other similar model year vehicles. 

ODI also examined complaint, claim, and crash data relating to the petitioner’s claims.  Again the Tahoes had similar performance to other peer vehicles.

NHTSA CONCLUSION

“Based on the information available at the present time, NHTSA does not believe that a safety-related defect currently exists in the design of the rollover side curtain air bags in the MY 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe and other similarly designed Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon vehicles. Therefore, the petition is denied. However, the agency will take further action if warranted by changing future circumstances.”

On May 15, NHTSA Published a Notice of Propose Rulemaking to Extend the Time Period for Retention of Documents, (49 CFR 576)

DATES: Comments should be submitted by July 15, 2019. 

BACKGROUND:

This rulemaking is in response to Congressional Direction in Section 24403 of the Fix America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule increasing the time of record retention to a period not less than ten years, instead of five years as presently required under the regulatory provisions.

Based on NHTSA’s experience investigating potential defects and overseeing recalls, it has determined that a ten-year records retention requirement would ensure that the agency’s investigative needs are meet without unnecessarily burdening manufacturers of motor vehicles and equipment. In this NPRM, NHTSA proposes to extend the record retention requirement for records required to be maintained under 49 CFR 576.6 to ten years.