US Proposal to Amend 49 CFR Part 571 FMVSS 114 - Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention
Recently the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) addressed the safety issues of drivers' inability to stop a moving vehicle in a panic situation, and drivers who unintentionally leave the vehicle without the vehicle transmission being locked in Park, or with the engine still running. These events increase the chances of vehicle rollaway or carbon monoxide poisoning in an enclosed area. The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA), believe that the increase in these events is the result of increasing variations of keyless ignition controls, and the operation of those controls.
On December 12, 2011 the NHTSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (Vol. 76, Number 238; Docket No.NHTSA-2011-0174) which proposes to amend 49CFR Part 571 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 114 - Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention. This rulemaking action proposes to standardize the operation of controls that are used to stop the vehicle engine or other propulsion system that do not involve the use of a physical key. This action also proposes to require that an audible warning be given to any driver who attempts to shut down the propulsion system without first moving the gear selection control to the Park position (for vehicles with a Park position), exits a vehicle without having first moved the gear selection control to Park (for vehicles with a Park position), or exits a vehicle without first turning off the propulsion system. The NPRM proposes to standardize the length of time it is necessary to push a control to stop the vehicle engine or other propulsion system.
If finalized as proposed, the following actions would result:
- Definitions for Key and Starting System currently in FMVSS No. 114 would be revised and apply to all propulsion systems.
- New definition for Key Code Carrying Device.
- Revised definition of Starting System.
- New definition for Stop Control.
- Door opening alert exclusion currently in FMVSS No. 114 for a running vehicle (only for vehicles equipped with keyless ignition) would be deleted.
- Requirements for the operation of a pushed stop control would be added. The driver must hold the control for a minimum of 500 milliseconds to shut down the propulsion system, whether the vehicle is moving or stationary, and the propulsion system must shut down within 1 second of the initial push of the stop control.
- Requirement for an internal alert to the driver when he/she requests propulsion system shut down without first placing the gear selection control in Park would be added.
- Requirement for an external alert that the driver and bystanders can hear when the vehicle is not in Park and the driver exits the vehicle would be added.
- Requirement for an external alert that sounds when the driver leaves a keyless ignition vehicle with the propulsion system active would be added.
- New test procedures would be added for the new requirements.
NHTSA believes that the benefits of the new requirements proposed in the NPRM, while not yet quantifiable on a national level, will reduce the risk that drivers will misuse these new keyless ignition systems and therefore also reduce:
- Crashes, injuries and deaths resulting from a driver's inability to shut down a moving vehicle.
- Rollaway incidents due to drivers failing to place the gear shift control in Park before shutting down the propulsion system, and leaving the vehicle.
- Incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning due to drivers inadvertently leaving a vehicle running or with its propulsion system active in an enclosed space, such as a garage adjoining a home.
NHTSA believes there will be little incremental cost for changing the behavior of the keyless ignition controls. There will be costs associated with testing the new software for correct operation. Some models already use some version of the new alerts required by the proposed FMVSS No. 114.
If the proposed changes in this NPRM are made final, NHTSA proposes a lead time of two years from the next September 1 after a Final Rule is published in the Federal Register.
Comments for this NPRM must be received by NHTSA no later than March 12, 2012.