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Notice of Intent To Open a Coordinated Remedy Program Proceeding for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag Inflators

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Takata

Notice of Intent To Open a Coordinated Remedy Program Proceeding for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag Inflators

Mark R. Rosekind
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
May 22, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 99 (Friday, May 22, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29791-29792]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-12449]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Notice of Intent To Open a Coordinated Remedy Program Proceeding 
for the Replacement of Certain Takata Air Bag Inflators

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

ACTION: Notice of intent to open a coordinated remedy program 
proceeding for the replacement of certain Takata air bag inflators 
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30120(c)(3) and other authority.

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SUMMARY: In order to organize and prioritize vehicle manufacturer's 
recall and remedy programs to address defective Takata frontal air bag 
inflators, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(``NHTSA'') is providing notice of NHTSA's intent to open proceedings 
pursuant to its authority under 49 U.S.C. 30120(c)(3) and other 
authority. NHTSA is considering implementing these remedy programs for 
all manufacturers and suppliers involved in the recalls of defective 
Takata air bag inflators. This notice explains NHTSA's authority to 
open such a proceeding and describes some of the issues that the agency 
would consider, and information the agency

[[Page 29792]]

would request from commenters, as part of such a proceeding.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Arija Flowers, Trial Attorney, Office 
of the Chief Counsel, NCC-111, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 
(telephone: 202-366-8714).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In order to ensure that all vehicles in the 
United States are equipped with safe air bags as quickly as possible 
and to reduce the risk of serious injury or death due to an inflator 
rupture, NHTSA is considering exercising its authority under the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as amended and 
recodified (the ``Safety Act''), 49 U.S.C. 30101, et seq., to organize 
and prioritize the remedy programs of BMW of North America, LLC 
(``BMW''), Chrysler Group, LLC (``Chrysler''), Daimler Trucks North 
America, LLC (``DTNA''), Ford Motor Company (``Ford''), General Motors, 
LLC (``GM''), American Honda Motor Company (``Honda''), Mazda North 
American Operations (``Mazda''), Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. 
(``Mitsubishi''), Nissan North America, Inc. (``Nissan''), Subaru of 
America, Inc. (``Subaru''), and Toyota Motor Engineering and 
Manufacturing (``Toyota'') (collectively, the ``Manufacturers''), and 
TK Holdings, Inc. (``Takata'') to address Takata frontal air bag 
inflators. Specifically, NHTSA is issuing this notice pursuant to its 
authority under the Safety Act to ``accelerate'' a remedy program, 49 
U.S.C. 30120(c)(3) and 49 CFR 573.14, as delegated by the Secretary of 
Transportation, 49 CFR 1.95, 501.2(a)(1), to inspect and investigate, 
49 U.S.C. 30166(b)(1), and to ensure that defective vehicles and 
equipment are recalled, 49 U.S.C. 30118-30119.
    On May 18, 2015, Takata filed four Defect Information Reports 
(``DIR's'') pursuant to 49 CFR 573.6. In those DIR's, Takata determined 
that a defect exists in certain models of frontal air bag inflators 
(PSDI, PSDI-4, PSDI-4K, SPI, PSPI and PSPI-L).
    The Safety Act requires manufacturers to remedy safety-related 
defects in motor vehicles. 49 U.S.C. 30120(a). If the Secretary of 
Transportation determines that a manufacturer's remedy program is not 
likely to be capable of completion within a reasonable time, the 
Secretary may require the manufacturer to ``accelerate'' the remedy 
program if the Secretary finds that there is a risk of serious injury 
or death if the remedy program is not accelerated and that acceleration 
of the remedy program can be reasonably achieved by expanding the 
sources of replacement parts, expanding the number of authorized repair 
facilities, or both. Id. Sec.  30120(c)(3). The Secretary has delegated 
his authorities under the Safety Act to the NHTSA Administrator, 49 CFR 
1.95(a), 501.2(a)(1). Each of the Manufacturers has elected a remedy 
program of repair of the affected vehicles. See 49 U.S.C. 
30120(a)(1)(A). These remedy programs are individual to each of the 
Manufacturers, creating a patch-work solution that NHTSA believes may 
not adequately address the safety risks presented by the defective 
Takata inflators within a reasonable time. Regardless of root cause, 
these recalls involve the same safety risk: The risk of the air bag 
inflator rupturing when the air bag is inflated, which may result in 
serious injury or death to vehicle occupants without any prior warning.
    The number of impacted vehicles and manufacturers in combination 
with the supply issues related to these air bag recalls adds a 
previously unprecedented level of complexity to this recall and remedy 
process. Given the number of manufacturers (11) and the technical 
complexity of the issues involved, NHTSA intends to open a Section 
30120(c)(3) proceeding, and has therefore issued this Notice of Intent 
to inform the public.
    The goal of a Section 30120(c)(3) proceeding is for the agency to 
consider whether (and if so, how) to organize and prioritize the recall 
and remedy programs of the Manufacturers, in order to aid the 
Manufacturers in accomplishing their significant task of replacing all 
defective Takata air bag inflators.
    As part of a Section 30120(c)(3) proceeding, NHTSA plans to 
consider the views of commenters regarding NHTSA's exercising its 
authority with respect to recall and remedy programs involving certain 
defective Takata frontal air bag inflators, including, but not limited 
whether it should, and on what terms, issue an order to ``accelerate'' 
all applicable recall remedy programs, which could include, but not be 
limited to, provisions regarding sourcing, production, allocation, 
delivery, installation, and adequacy of the remedy.
    Further, as part of a Section 30120(c)(3) proceeding, NHTSA would 
specifically request comments on how the Manufacturers would comply 
with an organization and prioritization of remedy directive, the 
possible terms of any such order and, in particular, how NHTSA should 
order the sourcing of the replacement parts for Manufacturers, whether 
NHTSA should issue the remedy order to some but not all Manufacturers, 
whether NHTSA should order the Manufacturers to prioritize certain 
vehicles or certain regions in its allocation of replacement parts and 
how, and whether NHTSA should order a re-replacement schedule for 
replacement frontal inflators if Takata cannot provide assurances for 
the ongoing safety of the inflators.
    Upon NHTSA's opening of a Section 30120(c)(3) proceeding, 
additional information, including how to comment, will be published in 
a supplemental Federal Register Notice.

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 30101, et seq., 30118-30119, 30120(c)(3), 
30166(b)(1); 49 CFR 573.6, 573. 14; delegations of authority at 49 
CFR 1.95(a), 501.2(a)(1).

    Issued: May 18, 2015.
Mark R. Rosekind,
Administrator
[FR Doc. 2015-12449 Filed 5-21-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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