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Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard

Ricardo Martinez
Federal Register
December 13, 1994

[Federal Register: December 13, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
49 CFR Part 541

[Docket No. 93-50; Notice 3]
RIN 2127-AE85

 
Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this final rule implementing the Anti Car Theft Act of 
1992, NHTSA defines ``light duty truck'' (``LDT'') and ``multipurpose 
passenger vehicle'' (``MPV'') for purposes of the Theft Prevention 
Standard, specifies the LDT and MPV parts considered major parts for 
the purpose of parts marking, and specifies the LDT and MPV lines that 
are to be marked. NHTSA also specifies marking of selected lines with 
below-median theft rates.

DATES: Effective date: This final rule takes effect on October 25, 
1995. The changes made in this final rule apply beginning with model 
year 1997.
    Petitions for Reconsideration: Any petitions for reconsideration of 
this rule must be received by NHTSA no later than January 12, 1995.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration of this rule must refer to the 
docket number and notice number cited in the heading of this final rule 
and be submitted to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, D.C. 20590. It is 
requested, but not required, that 10 copies be submitted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Barbara A. Gray, Office of Market 
Incentives, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, D.C. 20590. Ms. 
Gray's telephone number is (202) 366-1740.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Anti Car Theft Act of 1992
II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
    1. Definitions of ``Light Duty Truck'' and ``Multipurpose 
Passenger Vehicle''
    2. Specifying ``Major Parts''
    3. Motor Vehicle Glazing as ``Major Parts''
    4. Parts Marking for Non-High Theft Lines
III. Public Comments on the NPRM
    1. Definitions of ``Light Duty Truck'' and ``Multipurpose 
Passenger Vehicle''
    2. Specifying ``Major Parts''
    3. Marking of Motor Vehicle Glazing Parts
    4. Parts Marking of Non-High-Theft Lines
    5. Definition of ``1990/91 Median Theft Rate''
IV. Effective Date
V. Regulatory Impacts
    1. E.O. 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures
    2. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    3. National Environmental Policy Act
    4. Paperwork Reduction Act
    5. Federalism
    6. Civil Justice Reform

I. Anti Car Theft Act of 1992

    The ``Anti Car Theft Act of 1992'' (ACTA) amended the law relating 
to the labelling of major parts on high theft and other motor vehicles 
that is now codified as 49 U.S.C. chapter 331 Theft Prevention. At 49 
U.S.C. 33101(10), ``passenger motor vehicle'' is defined to include ``a 
multipurpose passenger vehicle or light duty truck when that vehicle or 
truck is rated at not more than 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.'' 
Since ``passenger motor vehicle'' was previously defined to include 
passenger cars only, the effect of ACTA is that certain multipurpose 
passenger vehicle (MPV) and light-duty truck (LDT) lines may be 
determined to be high theft vehicles, subject to the Motor Vehicle 
Theft Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 541).
    The purpose of the Theft Prevention Standard is to reduce the 
incidence of motor vehicle theft by facilitating the tracing and 
recovery of parts from stolen vehicles. The standard seeks to 
facilitate such tracing by requiring that vehicle identification 
numbers (VINs), VIN derivative numbers, or other symbols be placed on 
major motor vehicle parts. Each vehicle in a high theft line must have 
its major parts and major replacement parts marked unless the line is 
exempted from parts marking pursuant to 49 CFR part 543.
    To conform the Theft Prevention Standard to ACTA, NHTSA issued on 
July 7, 1993, an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) (58 FR 
36376). NHTSA sought comments on definitions of multipurpose passenger 
vehicles (MPVs) and light-duty trucks (LDTs) for the Theft Prevention 
Standard, and on which parts of these vehicles should be considered 
major parts and therefore subject to parts marking. After considering 
the public comments on the ANPRM, NHTSA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) on July 8, 1994 (59 FR 35082), to amend the Theft 
Prevention Standard. The issues that were raised in the NPRM, and the 
public comments addressing them are discussed below.

II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

1. Definitions of ``Light Duty Truck'' and ``Multipurpose Passenger 
Vehicle''

    In the NPRM, NHTSA noted that since the statutory requirements for 
``multipurpose passenger vehicles'' differ from those for ``light duty 
trucks,'' these two terms must be clearly defined to make it possible 
to determine whether a particular vehicle is an MPV or an LDT. Under 
ACTA, since NHTSA must require some MPV's with below-median theft rates 
to be marked, but the Act exempts LDTs with below-median theft rates 
from coverage, NHTSA must ensure that a distinction between LDTs and 
MPVs is made.
    ACTA limits ``multipurpose passenger vehicles'' to those vehicles 
rated at 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or less. Thus, NHTSA's 
proposed definition of ``multipurpose passenger vehicle'' was:

    A passenger motor vehicle which is constructed either on a truck 
chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation 
and which is rated at 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or less.

    ACTA does not define ``light-duty truck,'' and ACTA's legislative 
history provided no guidance as to which vehicles to include in a 
``light-duty truck'' definition for theft prevention purposes.
    In the NPRM, NHTSA proposed to base its definition of ``light-duty 
truck'' for Theft Prevention Standard purposes on NHTSA's definition of 
``truck'' at 49 CFR 571.3: ``a motor vehicle with motive power, except 
a trailer, designed primarily for the transportation of property or 
special purpose equipment.'' After taking into account ACTA's 6,000 
pound gross vehicle weight rating limitation, NHTSA proposed to define 
``light-duty truck'' as:

    A motor vehicle with motive power, except a trailer, designed 
primarily for the transportation of property or special purpose 
equipment, that is rated at 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or 
less.

2. Specifying ``Major Parts''

    NHTSA also sought public comments on major parts for MPVs and LDTs. 
49 U.S.C. 33101(6)(A) through (K) specifies parts that are ``major 
parts.'' Under section 33101(6)(L), NHTSA has authority to specify as 
``major parts'' other parts that it specifies are ``comparable in 
design or function to any of the parts listed.''
    At 49 CFR 541.5, NHTSA has specified the major parts on high theft 
passenger car lines that must be marked. With a few exceptions, 
Sec. 541.5 lists all major parts specified in 49 U.S.C. 33101(6). The 
agency did not use its authority to add additional parts to the list.
    After passage of ACTA, there is no longer a statutory limit on the 
number of parts per vehicle that may be marked. However, the costs of 
marking a vehicle may not exceed $15 (in 1984 dollars).
    In discussing the proposal for marking major parts for LDTs and/or 
MPVs, NHTSA applied the same criteria used to select the current 14 
major parts specified in the Theft Prevention Standard at 
Sec. 541.5(a). The selection criteria are whether the parts are among 
those most frequently repaired or most costly to replace. (See 50 FR 
19728, at 19732; May 10, 1985.)
    Relying on public comments in response to the ANPRM, NHTSA proposed 
that parts listed in the Theft Prevention Standard at Sec. 541.5(a)(1) 
through (11) should, if present on a vehicle, be treated as major parts 
for MPVs and LDTs also. Since the 11 parts listed are among the most 
frequently repaired and costly to replace, NHTSA tentatively found that 
the parts, if present on MPVs and LDTs, should be major parts.
    In the NPRM, NHTSA also proposed to designate additional parts as 
major parts for MPVs and LDTs. Although right and left rear quarter 
panels (designated as major parts in 49 CFR 541.5(a)(12) and (13)), are 
not necessarily present on MPVs or LDTs, NHTSA proposed that for MPVs, 
in lieu of quarter panels, side-panels should be designated as major 
parts, and for LDTs, pickup boxes or cargo boxes should be designated 
as major parts. NHTSA stated its belief that the side panels and pickup 
or cargo boxes are among the parts most frequently repaired. NHTSA also 
proposed to include cargo doors on an LDT or MPV, as major parts.

3. Motor Vehicle Glazing as ``Major Parts''

    In response to the ANPRM, certain commenters recommended that 
windows and other pieces of motor vehicle glazing be specified as major 
parts for all high theft vehicles. One company, Prospective 
Technologies, cited the relative ease with which vehicle glazing could 
be marked, and the low cost of marking (which Prospective estimated to 
be $5.00 per vehicle). Prospective also cited Nissan's success in 
lowering theft rates of the Nissan 300ZX by as much as 26 per cent 
after the windows of all 300ZX models were etched with the vehicle 
identification number beginning in model year 1992.
    Based in part on this favorable information, NHTSA proposed to 
specify marking of passenger motor vehicle parts. NHTSA tentatively 
agreed that specifying pieces of glazing as major parts to be marked 
pursuant to the Theft Prevention Standard would further the statutory 
purpose. Since the markings on glazing would be in plain view, all 
types of motor vehicle theft, not just theft for the purposes of chop 
shop operations or other trafficking in stolen motor vehicle parts, 
might be deterred.
    NHTSA sought comment whether lower theft rates would result if only 
some glazing parts were specified for marking and if so, which parts 
could be excluded. NHTSA also sought comment on three additional issues 
arising from the proposal to require marking of glazing parts.

4. Parts Marking for Non-High Theft Lines

    49 U.S.C. 33103 requires NHTSA, by October 25, 1994, to promulgate 
a parts marking standard applicable to major parts installed by 
manufacturers of ``passenger motor vehicles (other than light duty 
trucks) in not to exceed one-half of the lines not designated under 
section 33104 as high theft lines.'' In carrying out section 33103, 
NHTSA began by reviewing theft rates of the 231 vehicle lines that were 
listed in the 1990/91 theft data. (See 59 FR 12400, March 16, 1994) A 
total of 116 vehicle lines (any line rated at number 116 or lower) was 
in the eligible pool of lines potentially subject to parts marking 
pursuant to section 33103.
    Pursuant to the statutory mandate, NHTSA removed all light duty 
truck lines from the eligible pool. Section 33103(a) further directs 
NHTSA to select only lines ``not designated under section 33104 of this 
title as high theft lines.'' Thus, NHTSA removed any passenger motor 
vehicle line that NHTSA had previously determined to be high theft. 
NHTSA tentatively applied the definition of ``light duty truck'' 
proposed in the NPRM, and stated it would make appropriate changes if a 
different definition were adopted in the final rule.
    After removing the ineligible lines, NHTSA determined that there 
were 57 below-median lines still eligible for selection under section 
33103. Out of the 57 below-median lines left, NHTSA designated the 28 
lines with the highest theft rates to be marked pursuant to section 
33103.
    NHTSA proposed to list each of the selected lines in appendix B to 
part 541. Pursuant to section 33103, NHTSA proposed that parts marking 
for these below-median lines begin with MY 1996, the first model year 
that begins at least six months after October 1994. Since section 33103 
did not specify marking of replacement parts for below-median lines, 
NHTSA did not propose to require marking for replacement parts.

III. Public Comments on the NPRM

    In response to the NPRM, NHTSA received comments from 15 
commenters: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), the 
American Automobile Manufacturers' Association (AAMA), Automark, 
Chrysler, Ford, Honda, General Motors (GM), the International 
Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI), Isuzu, the National 
Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Nissan, Prospective 
Technologies, Toyota, and Volkswagen. The commenters discussed the 
issues raised in the NPRM as follows:

1. Definitions of ``Light Duty Truck'' and ``Multipurpose Passenger 
Vehicle''

    NHTSA received five comments on the definition of ``light duty 
truck'' (LDT). Four commenters stated that NHTSA's proposed definition 
of LDT was consistent with the Anti Car Theft Act of 1992, and should 
not be changed. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, on the other 
hand, stated that since ACTA was intended to expand the number and 
types of vehicles subject to parts marking, the LDT definition should 
be ``drawn as narrowly as reasonable under the circumstances.'' 
Advocates recommended that LDTs be defined as those vehicles: ``built 
and intended for use exclusively for the transportation of property or 
special purpose equipment.'' Thus, Advocates appears to urge that LDT 
be defined to make as many low theft vehicle lines as possible subject 
to parts marking.
    In the agency's view, this outcome would be inconsistent with 
Congress's action in exempting low-theft LDTs from the requirement. 
Moreover, after reviewing the 1990/91 final theft data for LDT lines, 
NHTSA found few LDT lines with below-median theft rates. If NHTSA 
included all below-median LDT lines, only four additional vehicle lines 
(the Nissan, Toyota, Isuzu, and Ford Ranger pick ups) would be added to 
the 28 lines that were proposed for inclusion in appendix B.
    Furthermore, since Advocates' definition would result in vehicles 
being classified as MPVs for theft purposes that are classified as 
trucks for vehicle identification number (VIN) purposes under the 
vehicle safety standards, adopting Advocates' definition of LDT would 
make it difficult for NHTSA to track and monitor the theft history of 
these LDT lines through the use of VINs.
    Since there were no other comments addressing the definition of 
LDT, this final rule adopts the definition of ``light-duty truck'' 
proposed in the NPRM.
    Since only Ford addressed the definition of ``multipurpose 
passenger vehicle'' and it concurred with the definition discussed in 
the NPRM, NHTSA is adopting the NPRM's definition of ``multipurpose 
passenger vehicle.''

2. Specifying ``Major Parts''

    Two commenters suggested specifying additional parts as ``major 
parts.'' Advocates recommended the addition of airbag modules. IAATI 
recommended that for LDTs and MPVs, the vehicle frame and radiator 
support assemblies be added. NHTSA will not adopt these recommendations 
because it does not determine that at present, airbag modules, frames, 
and radiator support assemblies are among those parts most frequently 
repaired or most costly to replace, the criteria NHTSA has used to 
determine whether a part should be specified a ``major part.'' However, 
since air bags will be mandatory for all passenger motor vehicles by 
model year 1999, the determination for airbag modules may be changed.
    Toyota stated that no additional parts should be specified until 
there are ``positive results'' from a Justice Department study on the 
efficacy of parts marking. This study is mandated at 49 U.S.C. 
33103(d). NHTSA is not adopting Toyota's recommendation because the 
Justice Department's findings are not due until December 1999. The ACTA 
directs NHTSA, well before 1999, to extend coverage of the parts 
marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard to LDTs and MPVs. 
In order to effectively extend parts marking requirements to LDTs and 
MPVs, NHTSA must specify parts unique to LDTS or MPVs that must be 
marked.
    For these reasons, NHTSA adopts as final the following as major 
parts for passenger cars, LDTs, and MPVs: engine, transmission, right 
and left front fenders, hood, right and left front doors, right and 
left rear doors, sliding or cargo door(s), front and rear bumpers, and 
the rear door (both doors in case of double doors), decklid, tailgate, 
or hatchback (whichever is present). In addition, for passenger cars, 
the right and rear quarter panels are major parts. For MPVs, the right-
side and left-side assemblies are major parts. For LDTs, the pickup 
box, and/or cargo box are major parts.

3. Marking of Motor Vehicle Glazing Parts

    Although NHTSA proposed specifying vehicle glazing parts as major 
parts, the final rule does not specify any vehicle glazing parts as 
major parts. Except for the Advocates and IAATI, all other commenters 
opposed specifying glazing parts as major parts, and thus making 
glazing subject to parts marking. Among the reasons cited was that 
NHTSA does not have authority to require marking of parts that are not 
among the ``major parts'' specified in 49 U.S.C. 33101(6) (A) through 
(K), or are (under (L)) ``comparable in design or function to any of 
the parts listed in subparagraphs (A) through (K).''
    While NHTSA believes the statute gives the agency ample discretion 
to determine that glazing parts are ``major parts,'' it has concluded 
that the cost of such marking would make the cost per vehicle of 
marking parts likely to exceed the statutory maximum. An important 
rationale for NHTSA's proposal in the NPRM to require marking of 
glazing parts was that it perceived the cost of marking glazing as 
relatively low, when considering the lower theft rates shown in certain 
vehicles with marked glazing. 49 U.S.C. 33105(a) limits the per vehicle 
cost of parts marking to $15 (in 1984 dollars). In 1993 dollars, the 
per vehicle costs of marking may not exceed $20.86 (see 59 FR 8021, 
February 17, 1994). Since the experience of Prospective Technologies 
appeared to show that marking of glazing would cost about $5.00 per 
vehicle, NHTSA believed that even if it specified marking of glazing 
parts, the per vehicle cost of marking would not exceed $20.86.
    The public comments, however, questioned whether marking of glazing 
could be done for as little as $5.00 per vehicle. GM noted that marking 
glazing would add approximately $6.25 to the cost of marking each GM 
vehicle, ``nearly doubling'' the per vehicle costs of parts marking. GM 
further noted that the $6.25 costs do not include items such as 
accidental glass breakage or glass replacement due to inadvertent VIN 
error, or the costs of stencil cutter maintenance or stencil cutter 
replacement. Although Toyota did not provide specific dollar figures, 
it stated the $5.00 per vehicle cost of marking glazing was not 
feasible, and that ``it is certain'' that the cost increase to mark 
Toyota lines would be more than $15.00.
    Nissan, the company which manufactures the Nissan 300ZX, whose 
windows were marked by Prospective Technologies, estimated that the 
current costs of marking vehicle parts (not including glazing) is 
between $14 to $20. In contrast to Prospective's figure of $5.00 per 
vehicle, Nissan estimated that the present cost of marking glazing on 
its 300ZX line (at the port of entry, and using a chemical treatment 
process) is $25.00 per vehicle.
    Volkswagen stated that the 1990 cost of marking a Volkswagen 
vehicle was 25.02 Deutsche marks, or approximately $15.77, to label all 
parts, except for the engine and transmission. NHTSA notes that if the 
cost of inflation since 1990, the cost of marking the engine and 
transmission, and (using Prospective Technologies' figure of $5.00 per 
vehicle) the cost to mark glazing were all added to the $15.77 figure, 
Volkswagen's cost of marking a vehicle would exceed the $20.86 limit 
specified in section 33105(a).
    Based on the public comments received, NHTSA believes specifying 
glazing parts as major parts, may make the costs of parts marking for 
some manufacturers exceed the $20.86 limit specified in section 
33105(a). Additionally, Ford noted that windows are rarely stolen as 
replacement parts. NADA stated there is no evidence in the record 
suggesting that vehicles are stolen for their glazing materials. Thus, 
in this final rule, NHTSA is not specifying any glazing as a ``major 
part'' under 49 CFR 541.5(a).

4. Parts Marking of Non-High-Theft Lines

    Ford disagreed with the agency over how to distribute vehicle lines 
between appendix A (high-theft lines) and the new appendix B (non-high-
theft lines that must now be marked). In Ford's view, appendix B should 
include up to half of the vehicle lines that fall below the median, 
regardless of whether such lines had previously been listed in appendix 
A. The agency had proposed to exclude from appendix B any below-median 
vehicle line that had been previously listed in appendix A, and to base 
appendix B on up to half of the remaining below-median vehicle lines.
    Under Ford's proposed method, up to 54 car lines would be listed in 
appendix B, but many of these would be lines already included in 
appendix A and therefore already required to have their parts marked. 
Under the agency's method, 28 vehicle lines were proposed to be listed 
in appendix B, none of which had previously had their parts marked.
    After considering Ford's comment, NHTSA has concluded that the 
agency's proposed method carries out ACTA's purpose more faithfully 
than does Ford's method. As codified, section 33103(a) directs the 
marking of parts on ``not more than 50 percent of the lines not 
designated under section 33104 of this title as high theft lines.'' 
Section 33104, in turn, states that vehicle lines that were subject to 
marking under the pre-ACTA law (i.e., the lines listed in appendix A) 
continue to be subject to the requirements of the section. Read 
together, the provisions support the agency's view that vehicle lines 
previously listed in appendix A should continue to be listed in that 
appendix and not in appendix B. The agency has adopted the procedure as 
proposed and has determined the vehicle lines in appendix B 
accordingly. However, Ford's comments have caused NHTSA to reexamine 
the lines it proposed for inclusion in appendix B. The agency found 6 
vehicle lines placed in the bottom quartile of the 1990/91 final theft 
data. The 6 lines, the Ford Aerostar and Explorer, the General Motors 
Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser, the Volvo 240 and 940, and the Volkswagen 
Audi 80/90, will be removed from appendix B. NHTSA will also remove the 
Daihatsu Rocky MPV from appendix B, since the Rocky is no longer sold 
in the United States. The final rule lists the 21 remaining vehicle 
lines.

5. Definition of ``1990/91 Median Theft Rate''

    In addition to the foregoing, NHTSA proposed to include a 
definition of ``1990/91 median theft rate.'' Based on 231 vehicle 
lines, the 1990/91 median theft rate was 3.5826 thefts per thousand 
vehicles produced. Since NHTSA received no comments on ``1990/91 median 
theft rate,'' it is adopting the definition proposed in the NPRM.
    In determining high or low theft lines, pursuant to 49 CFR part 
542, Procedure for Selecting Lines to be Covered by the Theft 
Prevention Standard, NHTSA proposed to apply the 1990/91 median theft 
rate to passenger motor vehicle lines to be introduced for model year 
(MY) 1996 and thereafter. However, as explained below, since this final 
rule does not begin to apply to affected vehicle lines until MY 1997, 
NHTSA will continue to apply the 1983/84 median theft rate to passenger 
car lines introduced before MY 1997.

IV. Effective Date

    In the NPRM, NHTSA proposed that the changes described in the NPRM, 
if made final, would take effect beginning with model year 1996. With 
the possible exception of Honda, all commenters requested a longer 
leadtime than the April 25, 1995 proposed in the NPRM. The longer 
leadtimes requested ranged from a year after publication of the final 
rule (Mazda and Nissan) to September 1, 1996, almost two years after 
publication of the final rule (Chrysler and General Motors).
    As reasons for requesting the longer leadtime, the commenters 
stated that extra time was needed to buy new equipment or to change 
manufacturing processes. In particular, Chrysler stated that production 
of its ``pull-ahead'' MY 1996 Chrysler Town and Country MPVs (already 
selected by NHTSA as a high theft line) will begin in January 1995, 
only two months after publication of the final rule. Since the changes 
prescribed in this final rule take effect ``at least 6 months after the 
date the standard is prescribed'' (49 U.S.C. 33103(e)), if the final 
rule were to take effect on April 25, 1995, NHTSA could not require 
marking of the Town and Country line.
    After considering the comments, NHTSA has decided the new parts 
marking procedures for LDTs, MPVs, and vehicle lines listed in appendix 
B will take effect with MY 1997. NHTSA decided the extra lead time is 
necessary because manufacturers are being required to mark new vehicle 
types (MPVs and LDTs) and to mark low theft lines never before subject 
to parts marking. Extra time is needed for manufacturers to buy 
equipment, determine vehicles' target areas for parts marking, and to 
decide whether to submit a petition for exemption from parts marking.
    NHTSA also believes that all manufacturers should begin the new 
procedures in the same model year. MY 1997 is the earliest model year 
for which all manufacturers can ensure that their lines comply.

V. Regulatory Impacts

1. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This notice has not been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
NHTSA has considered the impact of this rulemaking action and has 
determined the action not to be ``significant'' under the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. This action 
defines ``light-duty truck'' (LDT) and ``multipurpose passenger 
vehicle'' (MPV) and specifies LDT and MPV parts that should be 
considered ``major parts.'' As a result of defining LDT and MPV, those 
lines are now included as ``passenger motor vehicle'' lines subject to 
the Theft Prevention Standard. In this final rule, the definition of 
LDT affects low theft lines that are selected for parts marking, 
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. section 33103. Since section 33103(a) excludes 
LDTs from its coverage, any passenger motor vehicle with a low theft 
rate (other than an LDT) would be subject to parts marking. The 
definition clarifies which vehicles Congress intended to be subject, as 
LDTs, to the marking of high theft passenger motor vehicle lines, but 
excluded from the potential rules for marking of low theft passenger 
motor vehicle lines.
    Similarly, the selection of the MPV and LDT parts to be marked is 
already, in large part, decided by Congress in 49 U.S.C. 33101, since 
the term ``major parts'' is defined at 49 U.S.C. 33101(6). However, the 
agency has authority under section 33101(6)(L) to make modifications to 
the statutory list, and for major parts of LDTs and MPVs, has exercised 
this authority. The overall cost of marking the MPVs and LDTs would, in 
any event, be limited to the $15 (in 1984 dollars), or $20.86 (in 1993 
dollars, based on the U.S. Department of Labor's United States City 
Average All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (See 59 
FR 8021, February 17, 1994)) per vehicle maximum specified in section 
33105(a).
    In this final rule, high theft MPVs and LDTs, and lines listed in 
Appendix B must add parts marking for a total of $5.06 per vehicle. 
Based on 1991 production figures, an additional 7.4 million would need 
to be marked, making the approximate cost of marking high theft MPVs, 
LDTs, and lines listed in Appendix B, $37 million. However, NHTSA 
believes the $37 million estimate is high because many manufacturers 
will petition for approval to use an antitheft device, in lieu of parts 
marking.
    Thus, NHTSA estimates that the total cost of this final rule would 
be approximately $37 million, considerably less than the $89 million 
estimated in the NPRM, which included costs to mark glazing.
    NHTSA cannot estimate the benefits of this final rule. The average 
value of a stolen vehicle is approximately $6,100. Thus, this final 
rule would have to result in the prevention of about 6,100 vehicle 
thefts ($37 million divided by $6,100) to break even with the costs 
imposed.

2. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The agency has also considered the effects of this rulemaking 
action under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. I certify that this 
proposed rule, if made final, will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. As already noted, 
this final rule defines ``light duty truck'' and ``multipurpose 
passenger vehicle,'' and specifies parts for MPVs and LDTs that should 
be designated as ``major parts.'' The final rule itself will have 
minimal effects on small manufacturers of passenger motor vehicles, as 
almost none of the manufacturers of passenger motor vehicles that may 
be subject to this rule is considered a small business. This final rule 
will have no effect on small organizations or governmental units that 
purchase passenger motor vehicles. Accordingly, the agency has not 
prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis.

3. National Environmental Policy Act

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 
the agency has considered the environmental impacts of this proposed 
rule and determined that if made final, it will not have a significant 
impact on the quality of the human environment.

4. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The procedures in this rule for manufacturers to mark vehicle 
identification numbers on specified parts of high theft passenger motor 
vehicle lines, are considered to be information collection requirements 
as that term is defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 
5 CFR part 1320. The information collection requirements for part 541 
have been submitted to and approved by the OMB, pursuant to the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). 
This collection of information has been assigned OMB Control No. 2127-
0510, (Consolidated Vehicle Identification Number Requirements) and has 
been approved for use through June 30, 1996.

5. Federalism

    This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and it has been determined 
that the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

6. Civil Justice Reform

    This final rule would not have any retroactive effect, and it does 
not preempt any State law. 49 U.S.C. 33117 provides that judicial 
review of this rule may be obtained pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 32909. 
Section 33117 does not require submission of a petition for 
reconsideration or other administrative proceedings before parties may 
file suit in court.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 541

    Administrative practice and procedure, Labeling, Motor vehicles, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR part 541 is amended as 
follows:

PART 541--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT PREVENTION STANDARD

    1. The authority citation for part 541 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 33101, 33102, 33103, 33105; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

    2. Section 541.3 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 541.3.  Application.

    This standard applies to the following:
    (a) Passenger motor vehicle parts identified in Sec. 541.5(a) that 
are present:
    (1) In the passenger motor vehicle lines listed in Appendix A of 
this part;
    (2) Beginning with model year 1997, in passenger motor vehicle 
lines which NHTSA has finally determined, pursuant to 49 CFR part 542, 
to be high theft based on the 1990/91 median theft rate; and
    (3) Beginning with model year 1997, in passenger motor vehicle 
lines listed in Appendix B of this part.
    (b) Replacement parts for passenger motor vehicle lines described 
in Sec. 541.3(a) (1) and (2), if the part is identified in 
Sec. 541.5(a).
    3. Section 541.4 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 541.4.  Definitions.

    (a) Statutory terms. All terms defined in 49 U.S.C. chapter 331 are 
used in accordance with their statutory meanings unless otherwise 
defined in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (b) Other definitions. (1) Interior surface means, with respect to 
a vehicle part, a surface that is not directly exposed to sun and 
precipitation.
    (2) Light-duty truck (LDT) means a motor vehicle, with motive 
power, except a trailer, designed primarily for the transportation of 
property or special purpose equipment, that is rated at 6,000 pounds 
gross vehicle weight or less.
    (3) Line means a name which a manufacturer applies to a group of 
motor vehicles of the same make which have the same body or chassis, or 
otherwise are similar in construction or design. A ``line'' may, for 
example, include 2-door, 4-door, station wagon, and hatchback vehicles 
of the same make.
    (4) 1990/91 median theft rate means 3.5826 thefts per thousand 
vehicles produced.
    (5) Multipurpose passenger vehicle (MPV) means a passenger motor 
vehicle which is constructed either on a truck chassis or with special 
features for occasional off-road operation and which is rated at 6,000 
pounds gross vehicle weight or less.
    (6) Passenger car is used as defined in Sec. 571.3 of this chapter.
    (7) VIN means the vehicle identification number required by part 
565 and Sec. 571.115 of this chapter.
    4. Section 541.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 541.5  Requirements for passenger motor vehicles.

    (a) Each passenger motor vehicle subject to this standard must have 
an identifying number affixed or inscribed on each of the parts 
specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(18) inclusive, if the part 
is present on the passenger motor vehicle. In the case of passenger 
motor vehicles not originally manufactured to comply with applicable 
U.S. vehicle safety and bumper standards, each such motor vehicle 
subject to this standard must have an identifying number inscribed in a 
manner which conforms to paragraph (d)(2) of this section, on each of 
the parts specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(18), inclusive, if 
the part is present on the motor vehicle.

(1) Engine.
(2) Transmission.
(3) Right front fender.
(4) Left front fender.
(5) Hood.
(6) Right front door.
(7) Left front door.
(8) Right rear door.
(9) Left rear door.
(10) Sliding or cargo door(s).
(11) Front bumper.
(12) Rear bumper.
(13) Right rear quarter panel (passenger cars).
(14) Left rear quarter panel (passenger cars).
(15) Right-side assembly (MPVs).
(16) Left-side assembly (MPVs).
(17) Pickup box, and/or cargo box (LDTs).
(18) Rear door(s) (both doors in case of double doors), decklid, 
tailgate, or hatchback (whichever is present).

    (b) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this 
section, the number required to be inscribed or affixed by paragraph 
(a) shall be the VIN of the passenger motor vehicle.
    (2) In place of the VIN, manufacturers who were marking engines 
and/or transmissions with a VIN derivative consisting of at least the 
last eight characters of the VIN on October 24, 1984, may continue to 
mark engines and/or transmissions with such VIN derivative.
    (3) In the case of passenger motor vehicles not originally 
manufactured to comply with U.S. vehicle safety and bumper standards, 
the number required to be inscribed by paragraph (a) of this section 
shall be the original vehicle identification number assigned to the 
motor vehicle by its original manufacturer in the country where the 
motor vehicle was originally produced or assembled.
    (c) The characteristics of the number required to be affixed or 
inscribed by paragraph (a) of this section shall satisfy the size and 
style requirements set forth for vehicle certification labels in 
Sec. 567.4(g) of this chapter.
    (d) The number required by paragraph (a) of this section must be 
affixed by means that comply with paragraph (d)(1) of this section or 
inscribed by means that comply with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
    (1) Labels. (i) The number must be printed indelibly on a label, 
and the label must be permanently affixed to the passenger motor 
vehicle's part.
    (ii) The number must be placed on each part specified in paragraph 
(a) of this section in a location such that the number is, if 
practicable, on an interior surface of the part as installed on the 
vehicle and in a location where it:
    (A) Will not be damaged by the use of any tools necessary to 
install, adjust, or remove the part and any adjoining parts, or any 
portions thereof;
    (B) Is on a portion of the part not likely to be damaged in a 
collision; and
    (C) Will not be damaged or obscured during normal dealer 
preparation operations (including rustproofing and undercoating).
    (iii) The number must be placed on each part specified in paragraph 
(a) of this section in a location that is visible without further 
disassembly once the part has been removed from the vehicle.
    (iv) The number must be placed entirely within the target area 
specified by the original manufacturer for that part, pursuant to 
paragraph (e) of this section, on each part specified in paragraph (a) 
of this section.
    (v) Removal of the label must--
    (A) Cause the label to self-destruct by tearing or rendering the 
number on the label illegible, and
    (B) Discernibly alter the appearance of that area of the part where 
the label was affixed by leaving residual parts of the label or 
adhesive in that area, so that investigators will have evidence that a 
label was originally present.
    (vi) Alteration of the number on the label must leave traces of the 
original number or otherwise visibly alter the appearance of the label 
material.
    (vii) The label and the number shall be resistant to 
counterfeiting.
    (viii) The logo or some other unique identifier of the vehicle 
manufacturer must be placed in the material of the label in a manner 
such that alteration or removal of the logo visibly alters the 
appearance of the label.
    (2) Other means of identification. (i) Removal or alteration of any 
portion of the number must visibly alter the appearance of the section 
of the vehicle part on which the identification is marked.
    (ii) The number must be placed on each part specified in paragraph 
(a) of this section in a location that is visible without further 
disassembly once the part has been removed from the vehicle.
    (iii) The number must be placed entirely within the target area 
specified by the original manufacturer for that part, pursuant to 
paragraph (e) of this section, on each part specified in paragraph (a) 
of this section.
    (e) Target areas. (1) Each manufacturer that is the original 
producer who installs or assembles the covered major parts on a line 
shall designate a target area for the identifying numbers to be marked 
on each part specified in paragraph (a) of this section for each of its 
lines subject to this standard. The target area shall not exceed 50 
percent of the surface area on the surface of the part on which the 
target area is located.
    (2) Each manufacturer subject to paragraph (e)(1) of this section 
shall, not later than 30 days before the line is introduced into 
commerce, inform NHTSA in writing of the target areas designated for 
each line listed in Appendix A. The information should be submitted to: 
Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590.
    (3) The target areas designated by the original vehicle 
manufacturer for a part on a line shall be maintained for the duration 
of the production of such line, unless a restyling of the part makes it 
no longer practicable to mark the part within the original target area. 
If there is such a restyling, the original vehicle manufacturer shall 
inform NHTSA of that fact and the new target area, in accordance with 
the requirements of paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
    5. The heading of appendix A to part 541 is revised to read as 
follows:

Appendix A--High Theft Passenger Motor Vehicles Lines Subject to the 
Requirements of This Standard

    6. Appendix B to part 541 is revised to read as follows:

Appendix B--Passenger Motor Vehicle Lines (Except Light Duty Trucks) 
With Theft Rates Below the 1990/91 Median Theft Rate, Subject to the 
Requirements of This Standard

------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manufacturer                         Subject lines                  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chrysler............  Dodge Ramcharger (MPV).                           
                      Dodge Ram Wagon/Van B150.                         
Ferrari.............  Testarossa.                                       
Ford................  Crown Victoria.                                   
                      Festiva.                                          
                      Mercury Grand Marquis.                            
                      Mercury Sable.                                    
                      Taurus.                                           
General Motors......  Chevrolet Astro (MPV).                            
                      Chevrolet Celebrity.                              
                      Chevrolet Sprint.                                 
                      GMC Safari (MPV).                                 
                      Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser.                        
Honda...............  Civic.                                            
Mazda...............  Navajo.                                           
Nissan..............  Axxess.                                           
Porsche.............  944.                                              
Rover Group.........  Range Rover (MPV).                                
Volvo...............  760.                                              
Volkswagen..........  Fox.                                              
                      Passat.                                           
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Issued on: December 6, 1994.
Ricardo Martinez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 94-30588 Filed 12-12-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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