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Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Kia Niro

Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc.

Raymond R. Posten
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
11 May 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 90 (Thursday, May 11, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22048-22050]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-09515]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard; Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc.

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

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SUMMARY: This document grants in full the Hyundai-Kia America Technical 
Center, Inc.'s (HATCI) petition for exemption of the MY 2018 Kia Niro 
vehicle line in accordance with 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from the 
Theft

[[Page 22049]]

Prevention Standard. This petition is granted because the agency has 
determined that the antitheft device to be placed on the line as 
standard equipment is likely to be as effective in reducing and 
deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking 
requirements of 49 CFR part 541, Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention 
Standard (Theft Prevention Standard). Hyundai also requested 
confidential treatment for specific information in its petition. While 
official notification granting or denying its request for confidential 
treatment will be addressed by separate letter, no confidential 
information provided for purposes of this document has been disclosed.

DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with 
the 2018 model year (MY).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Carlita Ballard, International 
Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, West Building, W43-
439,1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Ballard's 
phone number is (202) 366-5222. Her fax number is (202) 493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated January 22, 2017, 
Hyundai requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of 
the Theft Prevention Standard for its Kia Niro vehicle line beginning 
with MY 2018. The petition requested an exemption from parts-marking 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention 
Standard, based on the installation of an antitheft device as standard 
equipment for the entire vehicle line.
    Under 49 CFR part 543.5(a), a manufacturer may petition NHTSA to 
grant an exemption for one vehicle line per model year. In its 
petition, Hyundai provided a detailed description and diagram of the 
identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft 
device for its Kia Niro vehicle line. Hyundai stated that the MY 2018 
Kia Niro will include both hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and plug in 
hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models in its vehicle line. Hyundai also 
stated that the Kia Niro will be installed with an immobilizer device 
as standard equipment on the entire vehicle line. Hyundai further 
stated that it will offer two types of antitheft immobilizer systems on 
its vehicle line. Specifically, Hyundai stated that its vehicle line 
will be equipped with either a smart-key type of immobilizer system 
(with alarm) or a transponder key type of immobilizer system (with 
alarm) as standard equipment. Key components of the smart-key 
immobilizer system are an engine control unit/engine management system 
(EMS), vehicle control unit (VCU), smart-key unit (SMK), FOB smart-key, 
and a low frequency antenna (LF). Key components of the transponder 
immobilizer system are an engine control unit/engine management system 
(EMS), FOB folding key, immobilizer control unit, and an antenna coil. 
Hyundai further stated that it will also offer an audible and visual 
alarm system as standard equipment on the vehicle line.
    Hyundai's submission is considered a complete petition as required 
by 49 CFR 543.7, in that it meets the general requirements contained in 
Sec.  543.5 and the specific content requirements of Sec.  543.6.
    In addressing the specific content requirements of Sec.  543.6, 
Hyundai provided information on the reliability and durability of the 
device. Hyundai conducted and completed component tests for both 
antitheft immobilizer systems in accordance with the UNECE R-116.00, 
UNECE R-10.04, Korean standards 41.5.1, 41.5.2, 41.5.3, and Hyundai in-
house standards TDP Electronic 02-02-14 and 02-03-25. Hyundai reported 
that all testing met its standard requirements. Hyundai also stated 
that its smart-key immobilizer system is a push button system that 
starts or stops the engine through an encrypted authentication and 
authorization process of communication between the FOB smart-key and 
the SMK. Hyundai stated that the SMK manages all functions related to 
the communication between the start/stop button, the FOB key and the 
VCU or EMS. The SMK communicates with the FOB smart-key by generating 
an encrypted request as a modulated low frequency signal that the LF 
antenna outputs to the FOB smart-key. Hyundai stated that when the two 
encoded keys coincide with each other, the vehicle can be started, 
stopped, and operated in accessory mode. Activation of the smart-key 
immobilizer system occurs when the start/stop button is pushed to the 
``OFF'' status and when the electronic key code of the FOB key is 
removed from the smart-key immobilizer control unit or from the 
vehicle.
    According to Hyundai, the smart-key immobilizer system allows the 
driver/operator to access and operate the vehicle by using a valid FOB 
key. No other actions by a mechanical key or a remote control unit are 
required. Hyundai stated that if a valid FOB key is in the range 
defined by this device, the device will automatically detect and 
authenticate the FOB via wireless communication between the FOB key and 
the smart-key immobilizer unit. If communication is authenticated, the 
device will allow passive accessibility to the doors and/or trunk, and/
or passive locking of all the doors. The audible and visual alarm 
system is also automatically activated when the FOB key is removed from 
the smart-key immobilizer control unit, all vehicle doors and the hood 
are closed, and all the doors are locked. If the device is armed and 
unauthorized entry is attempted, the vehicle's horn will sound and the 
hazard lamps will flash.
    Hyundai stated that its transponder key immobilizer system is a FOB 
key immobilizer system that starts or stops the engine through an 
encrypted authorization process between the FOB key, the immobilizer, 
and the EMS. Hyundai stated that the system enables the start and stop 
of the vehicle by insertion of a key into the ignition. Activation of 
the device occurs when the ignition switch is turned to the ``OFF'' 
position. Deactivation occurs when the ignition key is turned to the 
``ON'' position. The transponder in the FOB key transmits an ID code to 
the immobilizer unit via the immobilizer coil; the EMS then transmits a 
question code to the immobilizer unit using a serial line. The 
immobilizer unit then transmits the answer code it received from the 
FOB key to the EMS. If the key is validated, the EMS enables the engine 
to start or prevents the engine from starting if the key is not 
validated.
    In support of its petition, Hyundai referenced a JP Research Report 
on the ``Effectiveness of Parts-Marking and Antitheft Devices in 
inhibiting Auto Theft,'' which looked at the relative effectiveness of 
parts-marking and antitheft devices. The study concluded that for the 
24 model lines used in its analysis, antitheft devices were 70% more 
effective than parts-marking in deterring theft. Based on the report, 
Hyundai also referenced the theft rates of other manufacturers' vehicle 
lines, i.e., the Lincoln Town Car, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mercedes-Benz 
E210, and the Mazda 3, that were exempted from the theft prevention 
standard. Hyundai stated that it believes the report showed that the 
installation of antitheft devices is at least as effective as complying 
with parts-marking requirements in reducing and deterring vehicle 
thefts. The theft rates for these lines using an average of three model 
years' data (2011-2013) are 1.0557, 0.2148, 0.9883, and 1.3535 
respectively.
    Based on the evidence submitted by Hyundai, the agency believes 
that the antitheft device for the Kia Niro vehicle line is likely to be 
as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle

[[Page 22050]]

theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard (49 CFR 541). The agency concludes that the device 
will provide the five types of performance listed in Sec.  543.6(a)(3): 
Promoting activation; attracting attention to the efforts of 
unauthorized persons to enter or operate a vehicle by means other than 
a key; preventing defeat or circumvention of the device by unauthorized 
persons; preventing operation of the vehicle by unauthorized entrants; 
and ensuring the reliability and durability of the device.
    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106 and 49 CFR 543.7 (b), the agency grants 
a petition for exemption from the parts-marking requirements of part 
541, either in whole or in part, if it determines that, based upon 
supporting evidence, the standard equipment antitheft device is likely 
to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as 
compliance with the parts-marking requirements of part 541. The agency 
finds that Hyundai has provided adequate reasons for its belief that 
the antitheft device for the Hyundai Kia Niro vehicle line is likely to 
be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as 
compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention 
Standard (49 CFR part 541). This conclusion is based on the information 
Hyundai provided about its device.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full 
Hyundai's petition for an exemption for the Kia Niro vehicle line from 
the parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541 beginning with the 
2018 model year. The agency notes that 49 CFR part 541, Appendix A-1, 
identifies those lines that are exempted from the Theft Prevention 
Standard for a given model year. 49 CFR part 543.7(f) contains 
publication requirements with respect to the disposition of all part 
543 petitions. Advanced listing, including the release of future 
product nameplates, the beginning model year for which the petition is 
granted and a general description of the antitheft device is necessary 
in order to notify law enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines 
exempted from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention 
Standard.
    If Hyundai decides not to use the exemption for this vehicle line, 
it must formally notify the agency. If such a decision is made, the 
vehicle line must be fully marked as required by 49 CFR parts 541.5 and 
541.6 (marking of major component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if Hyundai wishes in the future to modify the 
device on which this exemption is based, the company may have to submit 
a petition to modify the exemption. Part 543.7(d) states that a part 
543 exemption applies only to vehicles that belong to a line exempted 
under this part and equipped with the antitheft device on which the 
line's exemption is based. Further, Sec.  543.9(c)(2) provides for the 
submission of petitions to modify an exemption to permit the use of an 
antitheft device similar to but differing from the one specified in 
that exemption.
    The agency wishes to minimize the administrative burden that part 
543.9(c)(2) could place on exempted vehicle manufacturers and itself. 
The agency did not intend part 543 to require the submission of a 
modification petition for every change to the components or design of 
an antitheft device. The significance of many such changes could be de 
minimis. Therefore, NHTSA suggests that if the manufacturer 
contemplates making any changes the effects of which might be 
characterized as de minimis, it should consult the agency before 
preparing and submitting a petition to modify.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
part 1.95.
Raymond R. Posten,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2017-09515 Filed 5-10-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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