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Consumer Information; New Car Assessment Program

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Consumer Information; New Car Assessment Program

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
May 16, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 95 (Friday, May 16, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Page 28594]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-11327]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA 2006-26555]


Consumer Information; New Car Assessment Program

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Correction to final agency decision notice.

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SUMMARY: This document contains a correction to the final agency 
decision notice published in the Federal Register on Friday, July 11, 
2008 (73 FR 40016). This document clarifies that the agency has used 
and will continue to use traditional rounding in the New Car Assessment 
Program (NCAP), not the round-to-even approach reflected in ASTM E29 
``Standard Practice for Using Significant Digits in Test Data to 
Determine Conformance with Specifications'' (ASTM E29).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, you may contact 
Ms. Jennifer N. Dang, Office of Crashworthiness Standards (Telephone: 
202-366-1740) (Fax: 202-493-2739). For legal issues, you may call Mr. 
William Shakely, Office of the Chief Counsel (Telephone: 202-366-2992) 
(Fax: 202-366-3820). You may send mail to both of these officials at 
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On July 11, 2008, NHTSA published a final agency decision notice 
(73 FR 40016) announcing enhancements to the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which 
provides consumers with comparative information on the safety of new 
vehicles to assist them with vehicle purchasing decisions and to 
encourage motor vehicle manufacturers to make safety improvements. In 
the area of crashworthiness safety (how well the vehicle protects 
occupants in the event of a crash), NCAP uses the 5-Star Safety Rating 
system to communicate the relative performance of vehicles to 
consumers. In the 2008 final agency decision notice, the agency 
discussed how the star ratings are determined based on the relative 
risk of injury to occupants, quantified as Relative Risk Scores (RRS). 
The notice discussed the determination of the RRS and the use of ASTM 
E29 ``Standard Practice for Using Significant Digits in Test Data to 
Determine Conformance with Specifications'' (ASTM E29) to round values. 
In actuality, since current NCAP requirements were instituted beginning 
with the 2011 model year, NHTSA has been using the traditional rounding 
method, in which the following rounding logic is used:
     When the digit after the last digit to be retained is less 
than 5, keep the last digit unchanged (for example, in rounding to the 
hundredths place: 0.453 = 0.45).
     When the digit after the last digit to be retained is 
greater than or equal to 5, increase the last retained digit by 1 (for 
example, in rounding to the hundredths place: 0.455 = 0.46 and 0.465 = 
0.47).
    The ASTM E29 method and the traditional rounding method only differ 
in instances when the digit after the last place to be retained is 
equal to 5 and there are no digits beyond 5 (for example, when rounding 
a number such as 0.455 to the hundredths place). The following rounding 
logic is used in ASTM E29 and is known as the round-to-even method:
     When the digit after the last digit to be retained is 
equal to 5, increase the last retained digit by 1 if it is odd, or 
leave the last retained digit unchanged if it is even (for example, in 
rounding to the hundredths place: 0.455 = 0.46 and 0.465 = 0.46).

Need for Correction

    While the agency referred in the final agency decision notice to 
the ASTM E29 method, the traditional rounding method has been and is 
the method used in NCAP. The traditional rounding method is also used 
in the publicly-available ratings calculator that the agency releases 
each year, which includes injury measures collected from NCAP's vehicle 
tests.\1\
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    \1\ The ratings calculator is placed in the public docket each 
year and can be accessed online by visiting www.regulations.gov. The 
most recent ratings calculator for model year 2014 vehicles is in 
docket NHTSA-2013-0053 at www.regulations.gov.
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    Following publication of the final agency decision notice, the 
agency was asked about its method of rounding injury values obtained 
from its vehicle tests. This notice reiterates the agency's 
longstanding rounding method, which is the traditional rounding method 
(not the ASTM E29 method), used in all NCAP-related calculations to 
generate vehicle safety ratings.

Claude H. Harris,
Acting Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2014-11327 Filed 5-15-14; 8:45 am]
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