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Federal Register / Vol. 67, No.

214 / Tuesday, November 5, 2002 / Rules and Regulations 67491

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION number of this document and submit comments we received on the ratings
your petition to: Administrator, Room program, and sets forth the complete
National Highway Traffic Safety 5220, National Highway Traffic Safety details of the program established today.
Administration Administration, 400 Seventh Street SW., The program furthers the agency’s
Washington, DC, 20590. efforts to harmonize its regulations
49 CFR Part 575 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For internationally where possible. The
issues related to the ease of use rating program is modeled after the Insurance
[Docket No. NHTSA–02–10053]
program, you may call Lori Miller of the Corporation of British Columbia’s
RIN 2127–AI65 Office of Planning and Consumer (ICBC’s) ease of use program, which
Standards, at (202) 366–2191. For issues evaluates all child restraints sold in
Consumer Information; Safety Rating Canada. NHTSA’s program uses similar
related to the pilot programs for the
Program for Child Restraint Systems ratings categories as those of the ICBC,
dynamic performance of child restraints
AGENCY: National Highway Traffic or for the New Car Assessment Program, and the features that are rated and the
Safety Administration (NHTSA), call Nathaniel Beuse or Brian Park, criteria for rating the restraints are based
Department of Transportation (DOT). respectively, of the Office of on ICBC’s features and criteria.
Crashworthiness Standards, at (202) The ratings program established today
ACTION: Final rule.
366–1740. For legal issues, call Deirdre is just a first step towards providing
SUMMARY: Section 14(g) of the Fujita of the Office of Chief Counsel, at consumers more information about
Transportation Recall Enhancement, (202) 366–2992. You may send mail to child occupant protection for use in
Accountability, and Documentation making informed purchasing decisions.
these officials at the National Highway
(TREAD) Act requires that, by NHTSA believes that the most effective
Traffic Safety Administration, 400
November 1, 2002, a final rule be issued consumer information system would be
Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC
to establish a child restraint safety rating one that gives the consumer a
20590.
consumer information program to combination of information about child
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Congress restraints’ ease of use and dynamic
provide practicable, readily
has directed the National Highway performance, and vehicle performance
understandable, and timely information
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in crash tests. The ease of use program
to consumers for use in making
to establish a child restraint safety rating is sufficiently developed at this time to
informed decisions in the purchase of
system that is practicable and proceed, whereas programs evaluating
child restraint systems (CRS). In
understandable (Section 14 (g) of the the dynamic performance of child
response to this mandate, NHTSA is
Transportation Recall Enhancement, restraints and vehicles are not ready for
establishing such a program. The
Accountability, and Documentation implementation at this time.
program will not impose any binding
(TREAD) Act, November 1, 2000, Pub. L. The Notice of Final Decision explains
legal obligations on any child restraint
106–414, 114 Stat. 1800) and that will that NHTSA will conduct a pilot test
manufacturer regarding the generation
help consumers to make informed program of child restraints using new
or distribution of information.
decisions when purchasing child test devices and procedures
The details of the new program are set
restraints. Section 14(g) reads as incorporated into the Federal motor
forth in a companion document being
follows: vehicle safety standard for child
published today in the Federal Register.
(g) Child restraint safety rating program. No restraint systems. We will also conduct
The agency is establishing an ease of use
later than 12 months after the date of the a pilot test program involving the
rating program at this time. This rating
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of placement of child restraints in vehicles
program will enhance the safety of
Transportation shall issue a notice of tested in the agency’s New Car
children by informing consumers about proposed rulemaking to establish a child Assessment Program in MY 2003 and
the features of child restraints that make restraint safety rating consumer information 2004. The pilot programs will evaluate
child restraints easier to use, and program to provide practicable, readily the performance of child restraints and
evaluating each child restraint on those understandable, and timely information to the ability of vehicles to provide child
features. The agency anticipates that the consumers for use in making informed
occupant protection. The agency will
program will result in more child decisions in the purchase of child restraints.
No later than 24 months after the date of the evaluate the results of the two pilot
restraints being used correctly. NHTSA programs to decide how the ratings
is also evaluating whether to establish enactment of this Act the Secretary shall
issue a final rule establishing a child restraint programs on the dynamic performance
two complementary consumer safety rating program and providing other of child restraints and vehicles should
information programs. The first would consumer information which the Secretary proceed.
be based on child restraint dynamic determines would be useful [to] consumers In comments to the Request for
performance. The second would involve who purchase child restraint systems. Comments, the Juvenile Products
expanding the agency’s New Car NHTSA issued an NPRM (66 FR Manufacturers Association (JPMA)
Assessment Program to include 56048; November 6, 2001) and a suggested that Congress wanted NHTSA
consumer information on how vehicles companion request for comments on the to establish the ratings program ‘‘by
do in protecting child occupants. The details of the new program (66 FR rulemaking in order to ensure that
agency will be conducting two pilot 56146; November 6, 2001). Nineteen public notice and an opportunity to
programs in these areas to assess how to comments were submitted in response. comment would be provided not only
proceed in these programs. Pursuant to the TREAD Act, the for the initial establishment of the
DATES: The amendments made in this agency is issuing this final rule. In this program, but also when subsequent
rule are effective January 6, 2003. If you final rule, the agency establishes a changes to the program are
wish to petition for reconsideration of program for rating the ease-of-use of contemplated.’’ JPMA also stated that, to
this rule, your petition must be received child restraints. This final rule fulfill the mandate of section 14(g) of
by December 20, 2002. accompanies the agency’s Response to the TREAD Act, NHTSA must assure the
ADDRESSES: If you wish to petition for Comments, Notice of Final Decision public that it will not make changes to
reconsideration of this rule, you should published elsewhere in today’s Federal the ratings program without providing
refer in your petition to the docket Register. That document addresses the the public an opportunity to comment

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67492 Federal Register / Vol. 67, No. 214 / Tuesday, November 5, 2002 / Rules and Regulations

and providing the industry time to rulemaking process when experience requirements of the Executive Order.
change their products. has shown that the quality of the The Order defines a ‘‘significant
It is our current policy, and one information available could be markedly regulatory action’’ as one that is likely
generally followed in the past, to seek enhanced. to result in a rule that may:
public input when establishing new Nor do we agree that the TREAD Act (1) Have an annual effect on the
consumer information ratings programs. provision mandates that we provide economy of $ 100 million or more or
Public comment on the performance leadtime for the industry to change their adversely affect in a material way the
criteria and test protocols to be used in products in order to enhance economy, a sector of the economy,
the programs assists the agency in performance in our consumer productivity, competition, jobs, the
developing consumer information information program. Unlike the environment, public health or safety, or
programs that are readily issuance or amending of a Federal motor State, local, or Tribal Governments or
understandable to consumers and vehicle safety standard, our consumer communities;
helpful to their purchasing decisions. information programs impose no (2) Create a serious inconsistency or
Generally, the agency has sought binding legal obligations on child otherwise interfere with an action taken
comment through issuing a Request for restraint or vehicle manufacturers, and or planned by another agency;
Comments or by holding public are therefore not constrained by the (3) Materially alter the budgetary
meetings on possible consumer practicability concerns addressed impact of entitlements, grants, user fees,
information programs under through the statutory mandates or loan programs or the rights and
consideration, rather than issuing a applicable to the FMVSSs. obligations of recipients thereof; or
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Manufacturers may sell motor vehicles (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues
(NPRM). The agency has not deemed it or motor vehicle equipment regardless arising out of legal mandates, the
necessary formally to propose particular of how well or poorly the product President’s priorities, or the principles
performance criteria and procedures performs in our consumer information set forth in the Executive Order.
through an NPRM because the purpose This document was not reviewed
program, as long as it meets the
of the consumer information programs under Executive Order 12866. Since this
requirements of any applicable FMVSS.
is to rate products. There is no final rule will not establish a rule
This issue illustrates the difference
minimum level of performance imposing binding legal obligations on
between making changes to our
specified as in the FMVSS, and the any party, it does not involve a
consumer information programs and
performance criteria and test protocols significant rule within the meaning of
making changes to the Federal motor
impose no legally binding obligations that Executive Order or the Department
vehicle safety standards. The consumer
on manufacturers and are not published of Transportation’s Regulatory Policies
information programs are intended to
in the Code of Federal Regulations. and Procedures. Further, preparation of
identify distinctions between products
However, the Request for Comments we a full regulatory evaluation is not
and provide the public with useful and
have issued and the meetings we have required under these circumstances.
timely information about products
held have included descriptions of the NHTSA is issuing this final rule and a
currently available to them to assist
performance criteria and test protocols companion response to comments,
their purchase decisions. The programs
under consideration. In our view, there instead of a response to comments
don’t require product manufacturers to
is no substantive difference between alone, because section 14(g) of the
make any changes to their products. If
providing for that notice and comment TREAD Act expressly requires the
the manufacturers decide nevertheless
through these procedures or through a issuance of a final rule.
to make changes, they can make their
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. own decisions about the timing, nature B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
The TREAD Act requires that we and extent of any changes. Delaying the
initially establish this consumer Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility
implementation of new procedures and Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by
information program through a Notice of the dissemination of timely and useful
Proposed Rulemaking and a Final Rule. the Small Business Regulatory
information about currently available Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of
It is silent as to the process products would undermine, rather than
contemplated for any substantive 1996), whenever an agency is required
further, the intent of the consumer to publish a notice of rulemaking for
changes to the program in the future.
information programs. The FMVSSs, on any proposed or final rule, it must
Although the agency often seeks public
the other hand, are intended to ensure prepare and make available for public
comment on significant substantive
that all products subject to them meet comment a regulatory flexibility
changes in consumer information
minimum performance criteria in analysis that describes the effect of the
programs, the agency does not believe a
accordance with a uniform schedule set rule on small entities (i.e., small
formal process is required. The agency
by the agency. Accordingly, sufficient businesses, small organizations, and
may determine, based on experience or
leadtime is necessary to allow small governmental jurisdictions). The
testing, that changes in the program are
manufacturers to change their products Small Business Administration’s
necessary to provide more descriptive or
more accurate information to the public. in response to the new FMVSS regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a
The agency is concerned that a requirements. small business, in part, as a business
prolonged comment period during the Rulemaking Analyses and Notices entity ‘‘which operates primarily within
course of a program could unduly delay the United States.’’ (13 CFR 121.105(a)).
the public’s access to the best A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT No regulatory flexibility analysis is
information available with which to Regulatory Policies and Procedures required if the head of an agency
make purchase decisions. While Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory certifies the rule will not have a
Congress acted to ensure that this Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735, significant economic impact on a
consumer information program was October 4, 1993), provides for making substantial number of small entities.
developed with public comment, we do determinations whether a regulatory SBREFA amended the Regulatory
not believe that Congress intended for action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore Flexibility Act to require Federal
there to be delays in providing ‘‘timely subject to Office of Management and agencies to provide a statement of the
information’’ by requiring a full Budget (OMB) review and to the factual basis for certifying that a rule

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Federal Register / Vol. 67, No. 214 / Tuesday, November 5, 2002 / Rules and Regulations 67493

will not have a significant economic or on the current distribution of power voluntary consensus standards bodies.
impact on a substantial number of small and responsibilities among the various We did find and consider work being
entities. local officials. done by the ISO Usability Task Force on
NHTSA has considered the effects of the ease of use of child restraints using
this final rule under the Regulatory E. Civil Justice Reform
ISOFIX systems. (ISOFIX refers to a
Flexibility Act. For the reasons noted This final rule does not involve a rule child restraint anchorage system
above in the section on Executive Order that would have any retroactive effect. consisting of two lower anchor bars at
12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Under 49 U.S.C. 30103, whenever a the intersection of a vehicle seat
Procedures, I certify that this final rule Federal motor vehicle safety standard is cushion and vehicle seat back. A related
will not have a significant economic in effect, a State may not adopt or anchorage system is what is commonly
impact on a substantial number of small maintain a safety standard applicable to referred to as the LATCH system in the
entities. the same aspect of performance which U.S.1) The ISO task force is in the early
is not identical to the Federal standard, stages of exploring a possible ISOFIX
C. National Environmental Policy Act except to the extent that the state ease of use ratings program.
NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking requirement imposes a higher level of
action for the purposes of the National performance and applies only to H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
Environmental Policy Act. The agency vehicles procured for the State’s use. 49 Section 202 of the Unfunded
has determined that implementation of U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA)
this final rule does not involve a rule judicial review of final rules requires Federal agencies to prepare a
that will have any significant impact on establishing, amending, or revoking written assessment of the costs, benefits,
the quality of the human environment. Federal motor vehicle safety standards. and other effects of proposed or final
D. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) That section does not require rules that include a Federal mandate
submission of a petition for likely to result in the expenditure by
Executive Order 13132 requires reconsideration or other administrative State, local, or tribal governments, in the
NHTSA to develop an accountable proceedings before parties may file suit aggregate, or by the private sector, of
process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and in court. more than $ 100 million in any one year
timely input by State and local officials (adjusted for inflation with base year of
in the development of regulatory F. Paperwork Reduction Act 1995). Before promulgating a rule for
policies that have federalism Under the Paperwork Reduction Act which a written statement is needed,
implications.’’ ‘‘Policies that have of 1995 (PRA), a person is not required section 205 of the UMRA generally
federalism implications’’ is defined in to respond to a collection of information requires NHTSA to identify and
the Executive Order to include by a Federal agency unless the consider a reasonable number of
regulations that have ‘‘substantial direct collection displays a valid OMB control regulatory alternatives and adopt the
effects on the States, on the relationship number. This final rule does not require least costly, most cost-effective, or least
between the national government and any collection of information. burdensome alternative that achieves
the States, or on the distribution of the objectives of the rule. The
power and responsibilities among the G. National Technology Transfer and
provisions of section 205 do not apply
various levels of government.’’ Under Advancement Act
when they are inconsistent with
Executive Order 13132, the agency may Section 12(d) of the National applicable law. Moreover, section 205
not issue a regulation with federalism Technology Transfer and Advancement allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative
implications, that imposes substantial Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104– other than the least costly, most cost-
direct compliance costs, and that is not 113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272), effective, or least burdensome
required by statute, unless the Federal directs NHTSA to use voluntary alternative if the agency publishes with
government provides the funds consensus standards in its regulatory the final rule an explanation why that
necessary to pay the direct compliance activities unless doing so would be alternative was not adopted.
costs incurred by State and local inconsistent with applicable law or This final rule will not require any
governments, the agency consults with otherwise impractical. Voluntary expenditures by State, local, or tribal
State and local governments, or the consensus standards are technical governments, or by private parties.
agency consults with State and local standards (e.g., materials specifications,
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 575
officials early in the process of test methods, sampling procedures, and
developing the regulation. NHTSA also business practices) that are developed or Consumer information, Labeling,
may not issue a regulation with adopted by voluntary consensus Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles,
federalism implications and that standards bodies, such as the Rubber and rubber products, Tires.
preempts State law unless the agency International Organization for In consideration of the foregoing, 49
consults with State and local officials Standardization (ISO), a worldwide CFR part 575 is amended as follows:
early in the process of developing the voluntary federation of ISO member
regulation. bodies. The NTTAA directs NHTSA to 1 ‘‘LATCH’’ stands for ‘‘Lower Anchors and

The agency has analyzed this final provide Congress, through OMB, Tethers for Children,’’ a term that was developed
by child restraint manufacturers and retailers to
rule in accordance with the principles explanations when the agency decides refer to the standardized child restraint anchorage
and criteria set forth in Executive Order not to use available and applicable system required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
13132 and has determined that it does voluntary consensus standards. Standard No. 225, Child Restraint Anchorage
not involve a rule that would have The NTTAA does not apply to this Systems (49 CFR § 571.225). This system has two
lower anchorages and one tether anchorage. Each
sufficient federalism implications to final rule since it does not involve lower anchorage includes a rigid round rod or bar
warrant consultation with State and regulatory activities. The final rule will onto which the connector of a child restraint system
local officials or the preparation of a not impose binding legal obligations on can be snapped. The bars will be located at the
federalism summary impact statement. any party. Nonetheless, NHTSA looked intersection of the vehicle seat cushion and seat
back. The upper anchorage is a fixture to which the
The final rule will not have any for but did not find voluntary consensus tether of a child restraint system can be hooked.
substantial effects on the States, or on standards for an ease of use ratings The draft ISOFIX system would not include the
the current Federal-State relationship, program developed or adopted by upper tether anchorage.

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67494 Federal Register / Vol. 67, No. 214 / Tuesday, November 5, 2002 / Rules and Regulations

PART 575—CONSUMER Subpart B—Regulations; Consumer means, including postings on its Web
INFORMATION Information Items site, http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
1. The heading for part 575 is revised Issued on October 29, 2002.
5. Subpart C is added to read as
to read as set forth above. follows: Jeffrey W. Runge,
2. The authority citation for part 575 Administrator.
is revised to read as follows: Subpart C—Transportation Recall [FR Doc. 02–27998 Filed 10–31–02; 2:00 pm]
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 32302, 30111, 30115, Enhancement, Accountability, and BILLING CODE 4910–59–P
30117, 30166, and 30168, and Pub.L. 106– Documentation Act; Consumer
414, 114 Stat. 1800; delegation of authority Information
at 49 CFR 1.50.
§ 575.201 Child restraint performance.
3. The heading for subpart A is
The National Highway Traffic Safety
revised to read as follows:
Administration has established a
Subpart A—Regulations; General program for rating the performance of
child restraints. The agency makes the
4. The heading for subpart B is information developed under this rating
revised to read as follows: program available through a variety of

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