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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Nissan

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

Raymond R. Posten
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
21 June 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 21, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28375-28376]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12881]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


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

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

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

SUMMARY: This document grants in full the Nissan North America, Inc.'s, 
(Nissan) petition for exemption of the (confidential) vehicle line in 
accordance with the Exemption from the 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). Nissan 
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, Office of 
International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building, Room W43-439, Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Ballard's telephone 
phone number is (202) 366-5222. Her fax number is (202) 493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated March 31, 2017, Nissan 
requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard for the (confidential) 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, Nissan provided a detailed description and diagram of the 
identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft 
device for the (confidential) vehicle line. Nissan stated that the MY 
2018 (confidential) vehicle line will be installed with a passive, 
electronic engine immobilizer antitheft device as standard equipment. 
Key components of the antitheft device will include an engine 
immobilizer, engine control module (ECM), security indicator light, 
immobilizer antenna, Key FOB, and a specially-designed key with a 
microchip. Nissan will not provide any visible or audible indication of 
unauthorized vehicle entry on the (confidential) vehicle line.
    Nissan'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 543.6, Nissan 
provided information on the reliability and durability of its proposed 
device. Nissan stated that its antitheft device is tested for specific 
parameters to ensure its reliability and durability. Nissan provided a 
detailed list of the tests conducted and believes that the device is 
reliable and durable since the device complied with its specified 
requirements for each test. Nissan further stated that its immobilizer 
device satisfies the European Directive ECE R116, including tamper 
resistance. Nissan also stated that all control units for the device 
are located inside the vehicle, providing further protection from 
unauthorized accessibility of the device from outside the vehicle.
    Nissan stated that activation of its immobilizer device occurs 
automatically when the ignition switch is turned to the ``OFF'' 
position which then causes the security indicator light to flash 
notifying the operator that the immobilizer device is activated. Nissan 
stated that the immobilizer device prevents normal operation of the 
vehicle without using a specially-designed microchip key with a pre-
registered ``Key-ID''. Nissan also stated that, when the brake and 
clutch is on and the key FOB is near the engine start switch, the Key-
ID is scanned via the immobilizer antenna. The microchip in the key 
transmits the Key-ID to the BCM, beginning an encrypted communication 
process. If the Key-ID and encrypted code are correct, the ECM will 
allow the engine to keep running and the driver to operate the vehicle. 
If the Key-ID and encrypted code are not correct, the ECM will cause 
the engine to shut down.
    Nissan stated that the proposed device is functionally equivalent 
to the antitheft device installed on the MY

[[Page 28376]]

2011 Nissan Cube vehicle line which was granted a parts-marking 
exemption by the agency on April 14, 2010 (75 FR 19458). The agency 
notes that the theft rates for the Nissan Cube using an average of 3 
MYs data (2012-2014), are 0.3322, 0.6471 and 2.0373 respectively.
    Nissan provided data on the effectiveness of the antitheft device 
installed on its (confidential) vehicle line in support of the belief 
that its antitheft device will be highly effective in reducing and 
deterring theft. Nissan referenced the National Insurance Crime 
Bureau's data which it stated showed a 70% reduction in theft when 
comparing MY 1997 Ford Mustangs (with a standard immobilizer) to MY 
1995 Ford Mustangs (without an immobilizer). Nissan also referenced the 
Highway Loss Data Institute's data which reported that BMW vehicles 
experienced theft loss reductions resulting in a 73% decrease in 
relative claim frequency and a 78% lower average loss payment per claim 
for vehicles equipped with an immobilizer. Additionally, Nissan stated 
that theft rates for its Pathfinder vehicle experienced reductions from 
model year (MY) 2000 to 2001 with implementation of the engine 
immobilizer device as standard equipment and further significant 
reductions subsequent to MY 2001. Specifically, Nissan noted that the 
agency's theft rate data for MY's 2001 through 2006 reported theft 
rates of 1.9146, 1.8011, 1.1482, 0.8102, 1.7298 and 1.3474 respectively 
for the Nissan Pathfinder.
    Nissan compared its device to other similar devices previously 
granted exemptions by the agency. Specifically, it referenced the 
agency's grant of full exemptions to General Motors Corporation for its 
Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Aurora vehicle lines (58 FR 44872, August 
25, 1993) and its Cadillac Seville vehicle line (62 FR 20058, April 24, 
1997) from the parts-marking requirements of the theft prevention 
standard. Nissan stated that it believes that since its device is 
functionally equivalent to other comparable manufacturer's devices that 
have already been granted parts-marking exemptions by the agency, along 
with the evidence of reduced theft rates for vehicle lines equipped 
with similar devices and advanced technology of transponder electronic 
security, the Nissan immobilizer device will have the potential to 
achieve the level of effectiveness equivalent to those vehicles already 
exempted by the agency. The agency agrees that the device is 
substantially similar to devices installed on other vehicle lines for 
which the agency has already granted exemptions
    Based on the supporting evidence submitted by Nissan, the agency 
believes that the antitheft device for the (confidential) 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 four of the five types of performance listed in 
Sec.  543.6(a)(3): Promoting activation; 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 Nissan has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the 
antitheft device for the (confidential) 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 Nissan 
provided about its device.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full 
Nissan's petition for exemption for the Nissan (confidential) 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 part 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. As a condition to the 
formal granting of Nissan's petition for exemption from the parts-
marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541 for the MY 2018 (confidential) 
vehicle line, the agency fully expects Nissan to notify the agency of 
the nameplate for the vehicle line prior to its introduction into the 
United States commerce for sale.
    If Nissan decides not to use the exemption for this line, it must 
formally notify the agency. If such a decision is made, the line must 
be fully marked according to the requirements under 49 CFR parts 541.5 
and 541.6 (marking of major component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if Nissan 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, Part 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 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 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. 2017-12881 Filed 6-20-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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