NHTSA Proposal to Address Early Warning Reporting (EWR), Foreign Defect Reporting, and Motor Vehicle and Equipment Recall Regulations
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise a currently approved information collection. Affected would be 49 CFR Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, Part 577 Defect and Noncompliance Notification and Part 579 Reporting of Information and Communications about Potential Defects.
On September 10, 2012, NHTSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Vol. 77, Number 175; Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0068) addressing Early Warning Reporting (EWR), Foreign Defect Reporting, and Motor Vehicle and Equipment Recall Regulations.
This NPRM addresses proposals raised in a December 2008 NPRM that were not resolved by the September 2009 Final Rule. Additionally, in July 2012 Congress enacted the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act which requires the Secretary of Transportation to mandate that motor vehicle safety recall information be made available to the public on the Internet, be searchable by vehicle make and model and vehicle identification number (VIN), be in a format that preserves consumer privacy, and includes information about each recall that has not been completed for each vehicle. It further provides that the Secretary may initiate a rulemaking to require manufacturers to provide this information on a publicly accessible Internet Web site.
Changes NHTSA is proposing to the early warning reporting (EWR) rule and the regulations governing motor vehicle and equipment safety recalls include:
- Requiring light vehicle manufacturers to specify in their death and injury and aggregate reports the vehicle type and the fuel and/or propulsion system type for nine different fuel and/or propulsion system types.
- Adding new component categories:
- Stability control systems (Light vehicles, buses, emergency vehicles, and medium-heavy vehicles)
- Forward collision avoidance (Light vehicles)
- Lane departure prevention (Light vehicles)
- Backover prevention (Light vehicles)
- Requiring motor vehicle manufacturers to report their annual list of substantially similar vehicles via the internet.
- Requiring certain manufacturers to submit vehicle identification numbers (VIN) for recalled vehicles and to daily report changes in recall remedy status for those vehicles.
- Requiring online submission of recalls reports and information.
- Requiring adjustments to the required content of the owner notification letters and envelopes required to be issued to owners and purchasers of recalled vehicles and equipment.
- Making motor vehicle safety recall information available to the public on the Internet, be searchable by vehicle make and model and vehicle identification number (VIN), be in a format that preserves consumer privacy.
- Adding items of information from recalling manufacturers to include an identification and description of the risk associated with the safety defect or noncompliance with a FMVSS, and, as to motor vehicle equipment recalls, the brand name, model name, and model number of the equipment recalled.
- Specifying that manufacturers notify owners and purchasers no later than 60 days of when a safety defect or noncompliance decision is made. In the event the free remedy is not available at the time of notification, NHTSA is proposing that manufacturers be required to issue a second notification to owners and purchasers once that remedy is available.
- Adding a requirement for manufacturers to notify the agency in the event they file for bankruptcy.
This proposal seeks comments on a number of the amendments including that of a manufacturer's reporting requirements related to safety recalls and other safety campaigns in foreign countries under subpart B of part 579.
NHTSA is proposing a lead time of one year from the date the Final Rule is published. Accordingly, the proposed effective date for the amendments to light vehicle type, light vehicle fuel and/or propulsion system reporting and components will be the first reporting quarter that is one year from the date the Final Rule is published. For the proposal to amend the manner in which substantially similar lists are submitted, NHTSA does not believe a long lead time is necessary. They propose that the effective date for this amendment be 60 days after the date the Final Rule is published. The requirements for requiring larger vehicle manufacturers to supply VIN information electronically (including VIN data for each vehicle covered by a recall filed within 24 months prior to the effective date of this VIN submission requirement) and the requirements to file online Part 573 Reports and quarterly reports using the forms prescribed is proposed to be effective 180 days after the date the Final Rule is published. For the remaining proposals affecting requirements under Parts 573 and 577, the effective date is proposed for 60 days after the date the Final Rule is published. NHTSA seeks comments on their proposed lead time and effective dates.
Written comments regarding this proposal must be received by NHTSA on or before November 9, 2012.