October 18, 2018

On December 28, 2016 NHTSA Published a Final Rule Increasing Civil Penalties (49 CFR 578.6) for Violations of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards

DATES: The Effective Date of the increase in Civil Penalties is January 27, 2017

PENALTY: Generally, for MY 2019 vehicles and later, the penalty is $14 (adjusted for inflation) for each 0.1 mile per gallon by which the applicable fleet exceeds the fuel economy standard multiplied by the number of vehicles in the fleet.

On December 14, 2016, NHTSA Published a Final Rule on Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FMVSS 141; 49 CFR 571.141)

DATES: The rule becomes effective on February 13, 2017.  (By Notice Published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2017, the effective date of the rule was postponed until May 22, 2017.)  Initial compliance according to a phase in schedule begins September 2018.  Full compliance must exist by September 2019.  Petitions for Reconsideration must be filed by January 30, 2017.

 

PURPOSE: Hybrid and electric vehicles are more prone to get into crashes with pedestrians and cyclists than vehicles with internal combustion engines.  At least some of the cause is based upon the hybrid and electric vehicles having lower sound levels than conventional vehicles at low speeds.

 

FINAL RULE: The Final Rule proposes minimum sound level requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles when going forward at speeds less than 30kmh while stationary, and when backing up.

  • The final rule applies only to four-wheeled hybrid and electric vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less.
  • To comply with this final rule, hybrid and electric vehicles will have to meet a requirement specifying either two or four one-third octave bands.

o   Vehicles complying with the four-band requirement must meet minimum sound pressure levels in any four non-adjacent one-third octave bands between 315 Hz and 5000 Hz, including the one-third octave bands between 630 Hz and 1600 Hz (these bands were excluded in the NPRM).

o    Vehicles complying with the two-band requirement must meet minimum sound pressure levels in two non-adjacent one-third octave bands between 315 Hz and 3150 Hz. For the two-band requirement, one band must be below 1000 Hz and the second band must be at or above 1000 Hz, and the two bands used to meet the two-band requirement also must meet a minimum band sum requirement.

  • The final rule assists pedestrians in detecting increases in vehicle speed by requiring vehicle- emitted sound to increase in sound pressure level by a specified amount as the vehicle’s speed increases.
  • In order to ensure that hybrid and electric vehicles of the same make, model, and model year emit the same sound, as required by the PSEA, NHTSA decided to require that all vehicles of the same make, model, and model year use the same alert system hardware and software, including specific items such as the same digital sound file where applicable, to produce sound used to meet the minimum sound requirements in the final rule.
  • In the final rule, NHTSA modified the phase-in schedule to provide additional time for compliance for manufacturers of light vehicles; 50 percent of each manufacturer’s HV and EV production must comply with this final rule one year before the date for full compliance established in the PSEA of September 1, 2019.

On November 29, 2016, NHTSA Announced a Public Meeting on the Federal Automated Vehicle Policy

DATES: Registration must be completed on or before December 9, 2016.  The meeting will be held December 12, 2016 in Arlington Virginia.

PURPOSE: The morning portion of the meeting will be to look at the Section II of the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy–Model State Policy.  The afternoon session will discuss Section IV of the Policy—Modern Regulatory Tools.  The meeting will be available by webcast  at http:// www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/av/index.html.

 

On July 2, 2016, NHTSA Published an Interim Final Rule Adjusting the Amounts of Civil Penalties for Inflation 49 CFR 578

DATES: The rule is effective on August 4, 2016.  Petitions for Reconsideration must be filed on or before August 19, 2016

 

SUMMARY:

578.6(a) Motor vehicle safety—(1) In general. A person who violates any of sections 30112, 30115, 30117 through 30122, 30123(a), 30125(c), 30127, or 30141 through 30147 of Title 49 of the United States Code or a regulation prescribed under any of those sections is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $21,000 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment and for each failure or refusal to allow or perform an act required by any of those sections. The maximum civil penalty under this paragraph for a related series of violations is $105,000,000.

(2) School buses—A violation of Section 30112(a)(1) shall result in a civil penalty of not more than $11,940 per violation and no more than $17,909,550 for a series of related violations

(3) A violation of 30166 can result in a maximum civil penalty of $21,000 per individual violation and a maximum of $105,000,000 for a related series of violations.

(4) False and Misleading Reports-a maximum of $5,141 per day or a maximum of $1,028,190 for a series of daily violations.

(b) National Automobile Title Information System. An individual or entity violating 49 U.S.C. Chapter 305 is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,677 for each violation.

(c) Bumper standards. $2,750 per violation. $3,062,500 maximum for a related series of violations

(d) Consumer Information (1) Crash- worthiness and damage susceptibility. A person who violates 49 U.S.C. 32308(a), regarding crashworthiness and damage susceptibility, is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,750 for each violation. Each failure to provide information or comply with a regulation in violation of 49 U.S.C. 32308(a) is a separate violation. The maximum penalty for a related series of violations is $1,500,000.

(2) Consumer tire information. Any person who fails to comply with the national tire fuel efficiency program under 49 U.S.C. 32304A is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $56,917 for each violation.

(e) Country of origin content labeling. A manufacturer of a passenger motor vehicle distributed in commerce for sale in the United States that willfully fails to attach the label required under 49 U.S.C. 32304 to a new passenger motor vehicle that the manufacturer manufactures or imports, or a dealer that fails to maintain that label as required under 49 U.S.C. 32304, is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $1,677 for each violation. Each failure to attach or maintain that label for each vehicle is a separate violation.

(f) Odometer tampering and disclosure. (1) A person that violates 49 U.S.C. Chapter 327 or a regulation prescribed or order issued thereunder is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,281 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each motor vehicle or device involved in the violation. The maximum civil penalty under this paragraph for a related series of violations is $1,028,190.

(2) A person that violates 49 U.S.C. Chapter 327 or a regulation prescribed or order issued thereunder, with intent to defraud, is liable for three times the actual damages or $10,281, whichever is greater.

(g) Vehicle theft protection. (1) A person that violates 49 U.S.C. 33114(a)(1)-(4) is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,259 for each violation. The failure of more than one part of a single motor vehicle to conform to an applicable standard under 49 U.S.C. 33102 or 33103 is only a single violation. The maximum penalty for a related series of violations is $564,668.

(2) A person that violates 49 U.S.C. 33114(a)(5) is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $167,728 a day for each violation.

(h) Automobile fuel economy. (1) A person that violates 49 U.S.C. 32911(a) is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $40,000 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues.

(2) Except as provided in 49 U.S.C. 32912(c), a manufacturer that violates a standard prescribed for a model year under 49 U.S.C. 32902 is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $14 multiplied by each .1 of a mile a gallon by which the applicable average fuel economy standard under that section exceeds the average fuel economy— (i) Calculated under 49 U.S.C. 32904(a)(1)(A) or (B) for automobiles to which the standard applies manufactured by the manufacturer during the model year; (ii) Multiplied by the number of those automobiles; and (iii) Reduced by the credits available to the manufacturer under 49 U.S.C. 32903 for the model year.

(i) Medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency. The maximum civil penalty for a violation of the fuel consumption standards of 49 CFR Part 535 is not more than $39,391 per vehicle or engine. The maximum civil penalty for a related series of violations shall be determined by multiplying $39,391 times the vehicle or engine production volume for the model year in question within the regulatory averaging set.

On May 6, 2016, NHTSA Published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Bus Emergency Exits and Window Retention and Release, Anti-Ejection Glazing for Bus Portals (49 CFR 571.217(a) (FMVSS 217(a))

 

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 5, 2016

 

SUMMARY AND EXCERPTS: NHTSA is proposing to issue an FMVSS No. 217a to specify an impactor test of glazing material used in side and rear windows.  In the tests, a 57 lb impactor would be propelled from inside a test vehicle toward the window glazing at 13.4 mph.  Each window must comply with the performance requirements below for the following three impacts in a NHTSA compliance test: (a) An impact near a latching mechanism of an intact window; (b) an impact at the center of the daylight opening of an intact window; and (c) an impact at the center of the daylight opening of a pre-broken window. The impactor and impact speed in these proposed tests simulate the loading from an average size adult male impacting a window on the opposite side of a large bus in a rollover.

 

The proposed performance requirements are as follows:

  • In tests described in (a) and (b) in the above paragraph, the window would have to prevent passage of a 4 inch diameter sphere during the impact, and after the test. The agency would assess the window during the impact by determining whether any part of the window passes a defined reference plane.  NHTSA believes these requirements would ensure that glazing is securely bonded to window frames, no potential ejection portals are created due to breaking of glass, and windows remain closed when impacted.
  • In the test of (c) above, the maximum displacement of the impactor at the center of the daylight opening would be limited to 6.9 inches for pre-broken glazing. This requirement in particular would drive the installation of advanced glazing.

 

In addition:

  • Emergency exit latch protrusions may not extend more than one inch into the emergency exit opening of the window when the window is opened to the minimum emergency egress opening.  NHTSA believes this requirement would minimize the potential for the latch plate protrusions to hinder the emergency egress of passengers.
  • Latches would have to remain functional following the impact test to ensure that occupants can open the emergency exits to egress the vehicle after a crash.

 

NHTSA believes the proposed requirements would fill a gap currently existing in NHTSA’s motor coach and large bus safety regulations and that advanced glazing in window openings and improved mountings would mitigate the risk of ejection of occupants who may not be restrained at the time of the crash, and the risk of partial ejections of both restrained and unrestrained occupants.