NHTSA Issued Final Rule for 49CFR Parts 573, 577 and 579
On August 20, 2013, NHTSA published a Final Rule (Vol. 78, Number 161; FR Docket Number 2013-019785; NHTSA-2012-0068 Notice 2) amending 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. This Final Rule addresses proposals raised in a December 2008 NPRM that were not resolved by the September 2009 Final Rule and were again discussed in the NPRM published on September 10, 2012 (ref: November 2012 Spotlight Article). 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 Website.
This Final Rule is limited in scope to amendments to the EWR requirements, the foreign defect reporting rule, and to the requirements associated with safety recall reporting, administration, and execution as delineated in parts 573 and 577 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Apart from the changes contained in the summary section of the preamble, NHTSA intends to leave the remaining current EWR, foreign defect reporting regulations, and safety recalls implementing regulations Parts 573, 577 and 579 unchanged.
Final Rule differences from the NPRM for the EWR and foreign defect reporting proposals:
- One-year lead time from the date of this published Final Rule for the electronic-only submission of annual substantially similar vehicle listings, Sec. 579.11(e).
- Subdividing the light vehicle Service Brakes component code into Foundation Braking Systems and Automatic Brake Controls.
Final Rule differences from the NPRM for the domestic safety recall proposals:
- Did not adopt the requirement that large, light vehicle manufacturers report recalled VINs to NHTSA, but adopted the alternative proposal that requires large, light vehicle manufacturers to provide a VIN-based recall lookup tool on their Internet Websites that meets certain performance-based criteria.
- Did not adopt the prohibition against the use of disclaimers, or language that disavows the presence of a safety-related defect or noncompliance, in a manufacturer's Part 573 Information Report.
- Did not adopt the requirement that manufacturers review their Part 573 Information Reports for completeness and accuracy 90-days after launching the recall remedy campaign. NHTSA adopted with slight changes the requirement that a manufacturer update and submit new information to its Part 573 Information Report. This Final Rule requires updates and new information within five (5) working days from when the manufacturer has confirmed the accuracy of the information, which is different than the proposal to require that the information be submitted within five (5) days of becoming available.
- NHTSA adopted the proposal to mandate the use of a specific label on the envelopes containing the manufacturer's notification to an owner, but agreed with comments that manufacturers have the discretion to decide where to place the label on the front of the envelope.
- NHTSA adopted the proposal to require vehicle manufacturers to place the vehicle's VIN in the notification to that vehicle's owner, but leave to their discretion where in that letter to place this information.
The effective dates of the requirements in this Final Rule are as follows: all amendments to the EWR rule reporting requirements, and contained within 49 CFR part 579, August 20, 2014; requirement of certain large volume light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers to provide publicly accessible vehicle safety recall completion information, and contained within 49 CFR 573.15, August 20, 2014; requirement to submit safety recall-related reports, information, and associated documents through a secure portal on NHTSA's Web site, and contained within 49 CFR 573.9, August 20, 2014; requirement to include the standardized label on all safety recall owner notification letter envelopes, and contained within 49 CFR 577.5, February 18, 2014; all other amendments to the safety recall reporting and notification requirements addressed in this final rule, and contained within 49 CFR parts 573 and 577, October 21, 2013.
Petitions for Reconsideration regarding this Final Rule for Parts 573, 577 and 579 must be received by NHTSA by October 4, 2013.