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Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Lexus NX

Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

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


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 90 (Thursday, May 11, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22053-22055]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-09513]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard; Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document grants in full the Toyota Motor North America, 
Inc.'s (Toyota) petition for an exemption of the Lexus NX vehicle line 
in accordance with the Exemption from Vehicle Theft 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 the 
Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard (Theft Prevention 
Standard).

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Deborah Mazyck, International 
Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, W43-439, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Mazyck's phone number is 
(202) 366-4139. Her fax number is (202) 493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated December 7, 2016, Toyota 
requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard for the Lexus NX 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 543.5(a), a manufacturer may petition NHTSA to grant 
an exemption for one vehicle line per model year. In its petition, 
Toyota provided a detailed description and diagram of the identity, 
design, and location of the components of the antitheft device for the 
Lexus NX vehicle line. Toyota stated that its MY 2018 Lexus NX vehicle 
line and NX hybrid vehicle (HV) model will be installed with a ``smart 
entry and start'' system and an engine immobilizer device as standard 
equipment. Toyota further explained that the ``smart entry and start'' 
system on its Lexus NX vehicle line will have slightly different 
components than those on its NX HV model. Key components of the ``smart 
entry and start'' system on the Lexus NX vehicle line will include an 
engine immobilizer, a certification electronic control unit (ECU), 
engine switch, steering lock ECU, security indicator, door control 
receiver, electrical key, an electronic control module (ECM) and an ID 
code box. The key components installed on its NX HV model will also 
include a power switch and a power source HV-ECU. Toyota stated that it 
will also install an audible and visual alarm system on its Lexus NX 
vehicle line as standard equipment and that there will be position 
switches installed on the vehicle to protect the hood and doors from 
unauthorized tampering/opening. Toyota further explained locking of the 
doors can be accomplished through use of a conventional key, wireless 
switch incorporated within the key fob or its smart entry system, and 
that unauthorized tampering with the hood or door without using one of 
these methods will cause the position switches to trigger its alarm 
system.
    Toyota'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, 
Toyota provided information on the reliability and durability of its 
proposed device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, 
Toyota conducted tests based on its own specified standards.

[[Page 22054]]

Toyota provided a detailed list of the tests conducted (i.e., high and 
low temperature, strength, impact, vibration, electro-magnetic 
interference, etc.). Toyota stated that it believes that its device is 
reliable and durable because it complied with its own specific design 
standards and the antitheft device is installed on other vehicle lines 
for which the agency has granted a parts-marking exemption. As an 
additional measure of reliability and durability, Toyota stated that 
its vehicle key cylinders are covered with casting cases to prevent the 
key cylinder from easily being broken. Toyota further explained that 
the numerous key cylinder combinations and key plates it uses for its 
inner gutter keys would make it difficult to unlock the doors without 
using a valid key because the key cylinders would spin out and cause 
the locks to not work.
    Deactivation of its smart key-installed system occurs when the 
doors are unlocked and the device recognizes the key code. 
Specifically, once the driver pushes the engine switch button located 
on the instrument panel to start the vehicle, the certification ECU 
verifies the electrical key. When the key is verified, the 
certification ECU, ID code box and steering lock ECU receive 
confirmation of the valid key, and the certification ECU allows the ECM 
to start the engine. With the NX HV model ``smart entry and start'' 
system, once the driver pushes the power switch button, the 
certification ECU verifies the key, the certification ECU, ID code box 
and steering lock ECU receive confirmation of a valid key, and then the 
certification ECU will allow the ECM to start the vehicle.
    Toyota stated that its ``smart entry and start'' system is 
activated when the engine switch is pushed from the ``ON'' ignition 
status to any other ignition status, the certification ECU performs the 
calculation of the immobilizer and the immobilizer signals the ECM to 
activate the device. On the NX HV model, the ``smart entry and start'' 
system is activated when the power switch is pushed from the ``ON'' 
ignition status to any other ignition status, the certification ECU 
performs the calculation of the immobilizer and the immobilizer signals 
the HV-ECU to activate the device.
    Toyota stated that the antitheft device has been installed as 
standard equipment beginning with its MY 2015 Lexus NX vehicle line, 
including its NX HV model. The theft rate for the Toyota Lexus NX 
vehicle line is not available. Toyota also compared its proposed device 
to other devices NHTSA has determined to be as effective in reducing 
and deterring motor vehicle theft as would compliance with the parts-
marking requirements (i.e., Toyota Camry, Corolla, Prius, RAV4, 
Highlander, Sienna, Lexus LS, and Lexus GS vehicle lines) which have 
all been granted parts-marking exemptions by the agency. The theft 
rates for the Toyota Camry, Corolla, Prius, RAV4, Highlander, Sienna, 
Lexus LS, and Lexus RX vehicle lines using an average of three model 
years' data (2012-Preliminary 2014) are 1.2975, 1.5408, 0.3164, 0.3455, 
0.4711, 0.5133, 0.5605 and 0.4574 respectively. Additionally, Toyota 
compared the theft rate of its MY 2013 Lexus RX (0.4110) to the overall 
final theft rate (1.1562 per thousand vehicles produced) for MY 2013 
passenger vehicles stolen in calendar year 2013 (published in the 
Federal Register on November 23, 2015). Therefore, Toyota has concluded 
that the antitheft device proposed for its Lexus NX vehicle line is no 
less effective than those devices on the lines for which NHTSA has 
already granted full exemption from the parts-marking requirements. 
Toyota stated that it believes that installing the immobilizer as 
standard equipment reduces the theft rate and expects the Lexus NX 
vehicle line to experience comparable effectiveness, and ultimately be 
more effective than parts-marking labels.
    Based on the supporting evidence submitted by Toyota on its device, 
the agency believes that the antitheft device for the Lexus NX 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). 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 
substantial 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 Toyota has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the 
antitheft device for the Toyota Lexus NX 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 
Toyota provided about its device.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full 
Toyota's petition for exemption for the Lexus NX vehicle line from the 
parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541. 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 
543.7(f) contains publication requirements incident 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 Toyota decides not to use the exemption for this line, it should 
formally notify the agency. If such a decision is made, the line must 
be fully marked according to the requirements under 49 CFR 541.5 and 
Sec.  541.6 (marking of major component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if Toyota 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. Section 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 Sec.  
543.9(c)(2) could place on exempted vehicle manufacturers and itself. 
The agency did not intend in drafting 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

[[Page 22055]]

consult the agency before preparing and submitting a petition to 
modify.

    Authority:  49 CFR 1.95.

Raymond R. Posten,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2017-09513 Filed 5-10-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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