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Certification

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Certification

Barry Felrice
Federal Register
September 26, 1994

[Federal Register: September 26, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 567

[Docket No. 94-74, Notice 01]
RIN No. 2127-AE71

 
Certification

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

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This notice follows NHTSA's partial granting of a petition 
filed by Michael Robinson, Director, Michigan Department of State 
Police. The petitioner suggested making mandatory the standardized 
display of a permanent metal vehicle manufacturer's label for all motor 
vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 4,536 kilograms 
(kg) (10,000 pounds (lb)). The petitioner suggested that the label be 
fabricated of a minimum gauge metal with raised or recessed letters and 
numbers, be riveted to the vehicle body at specified standard locations 
and, in the case of trailers, be given reasonable protection from 
damage.
    The agency proposes to amend its vehicle certification regulation 
to require the standardized display of a permanent metal vehicle 
manufacturer's label for all motor vehicles with a GVWR greater than 
4,536 kg (10,000 lb). The label would contain the same information as 
currently required, with either raised or recessed letters, and be 
riveted or otherwise permanently secured to the vehicle at specified 
locations. The petitioner's suggestions that the label be constructed 
of a specified heavy gauge metal and that the label on trailers be 
given special protection are denied.

DATES: Comments on this notice must be received on or before November 
25, 1994.
    Proposed Effective Date: If adopted, the amendments proposed in 
this notice would become effective 180 days after publication of the 
final rule in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above 
and be submitted to: Docket Section, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Room 5109, Washington, DC 
20590. Docket room hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through 
Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Leon DeLarm, Chief, Pedestrian, 
Heavy Truck and Child Crash Protection Division, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 
7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590, (202) 336-4920.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background
II. The Petition
III. Analysis of the Petition
IV. Issues for NHTSA Evaluation
V. Agency Proposal
VI. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
    A. EO 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. National Environmental Policy Act
    D. EO 12612 (Federalism)
    E. Civil Justice Reform
VII. Comments

I. Background

    Part 567, Certification, sets forth the agency's requirements for 
the content and location of the label certifying the compliance of a 
motor vehicle with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The 
regulation requires manufacturers of motor vehicles, except vehicles 
manufactured in two or more stages, to affix a label to each vehicle 
they produce containing the information relating to that vehicle 
required by Sec. 567.4(g). The labels are not required to be made out 
of any particular type of material but, unless riveted, must be 
permanently affixed so that they cannot be removed without destroying 
or defacing them.
    For motor vehicles other than trailers and motorcycles, the label 
shall be affixed either to the hinge pillar, door-latch post, or the 
door edge that meets the door-latch post next to the driver's seating 
position. If those locations are not practicable, the label may be 
placed on the left side of the instrument panel or if that is not 
practicable, the inward-facing surface of the door next to the driver's 
seating position. If none of the above locations are practicable, the 
manufacturer must notify NHTSA of that fact and, with appropriate 
drawings or photographs, suggest an alternative location. Such 
suggestion must be submitted for approval to the Administrator, NHTSA. 
Whatever its location, the label must be easily readable without moving 
any part of the vehicle except the outer door, and the lettering on the 
label must be of a color that contrasts with the label's background.
    Trailer labels must be located on the left forward half of the 
vehicle. Labels on motorcycles must be affixed to a permanent member of 
the vehicle and as close as possible to the intersection of the 
steering post with the handle bars.
    49 CFR 567.5 prescribes the labeling requirements for vehicles 
manufactured in two or more stages. Section 567.5(a) requires chassis-
cab manufacturers to affix a label in the form and location specified 
in Sec. 567.4 to each chassis-cab manufactured by them. Section 
567.5(b) requires intermediate-stage manufacturers to affix a label in 
the form and location specified in Sec. 567.4 to each chassis-cab to 
which they are required to furnish an addendum to the incomplete 
vehicle document prescribed in Sec. 568.4, if such chassis-cab has been 
certified by its manufacturer in accordance with Sec. 567.5(a). 
Finally, Sec. 567.5(c) requires final-stage manufacturers to affix a 
label of the type and in the manner and form specified in Sec. 567.4 to 
each vehicle, containing the information specified in that section 
relating to that vehicle.

II. The Petition

    Michael Robinson, Director of the Michigan Department of State 
Police, petitioned the agency to amend Sec. 567.4 to require that 
manufacturers' labels on vehicles weighing more than 4,536 kg (10,000 
lb) be made of a heavy gauge metal of a specified thickness with raised 
or recessed letters and numbers and be riveted to the vehicle. He 
further suggested that the labels be located on the door latch post 
near the driver's seating position. If that is not practicable, then he 
wanted the label to be placed on a permanent vertical section of the 
cab's floor area to the left of the driver's seating position and which 
would be immediately visible with the driver's side door open. If that 
location is still not practicable, he wanted the label to be affixed to 
the portion of the instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel. 
He suggested that the label for a bus be affixed, if practicable, to 
the ceiling area above the windshield or windows in the driver's 
seating area. If none of the suggested locations are practicable, then 
the manufacturer must notify NHTSA as currently required by 
Sec. 567.4(c).
    Mr. Robinson stated that he submitted his petition because the 
Motor Carrier Division of his Department has identified a significant 
problem in locating information on the gross vehicle weight ratings 
(GVWR) and vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of commercial vehicles. 
He asserted that there are currently no Federal standards requiring 
labels of standard size, thickness, or format displaying either the 
GVWR or the VIN on commercial vehicles. Under current requirements, the 
label containing that information may be located in any one of several 
different places and in one of several different formats, including 
decals, adhesive labels, and riveted metal plates. Mr. Robinson alluded 
to the current requirement that each vehicle have a label showing the 
GVWR and VIN affixed when the vehicle is manufactured, but stated that 
there is no Federal requirement that the label remain affixed 
thereafter. Thus, the labels on many vehicles either fall off or are 
otherwise removed or obliterated after manufacture, usually by 
accident.
    Mr. Robinson stated that prior to the inception of the Commercial 
Driver License (CDL) requirements, the GVWR was not normally used by 
law enforcement officers. Now, however, it is very important for 
officers to be able to determine the GVWR of commercial vehicles. Under 
the CDL program, drivers are licensed to operate only those vehicles 
within the GVWR ranges of vehicles for which the drivers have met the 
qualifications. Law enforcement officers often have difficulty 
determining the GVWRs of commercial vehicles because the labels on 
those vehicles are often damaged, painted over or removed, usually 
accidently, during the life of the vehicle. The reason for the absence 
of the GVWRs is that many labels are not designed or constructed to 
hold up under the rigors of commercial vehicle operation.
    The petitioner asserted that the manufacturer's label is a prime 
source of the VIN and the only means that law enforcement officers have 
to determine the GVWR of a given vehicle. Without the GVWR, police 
officers who are unfamiliar with commercial vehicle operation are 
unable to determine the CDL GVWR range into which a particular vehicle 
falls. In such a case, officers cannot determine the correct 
enforcement action. As a result, drivers may be allowed to continue 
operating vehicles which they are not qualified to operate. Thus, with 
more certain access to VIN and GVWR information, police officers could 
more readily inspect and investigate commercial vehicles during routine 
traffic stops.
    Mr. Robinson further stated that a review of reports about truck 
and bus accidents over the several months prior to submission of the 
petition revealed a large number of discrepancies in entries in the 
reports regarding the GVWR, presumably stemming from the investigating 
officers' inability to locate or read the vehicle label. He argued that 
this difficulty results in collection of erroneous data which is then 
submitted to the SAFETYNET data management system established and 
maintained by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The SAFETYNET 
system is a cooperative effort to share commercial vehicle data 
electronically between the FHWA and the various states.
    On another point, Mr. Robinson stated that as of July, 1991, the 
National Crime Information Center (NCIC) estimated that approximately 
10,494 commercial trucks and 18,865 commercial-type trailers were 
classified as unrecovered stolen vehicles in the United States. He 
argued that identification and recovery of those vehicles is greatly 
hampered by the lack of uniform display of VINs on commercial vehicles. 
He believed that if a more standardized and permanent manufacturer's 
label were used on commercial vehicles, law enforcement personnel could 
more easily and reliably inspect and identify commercial vehicles and 
could possibly locate and recover many more of such vehicles.

III. Analysis of the Petition

    Although NHTSA has no independent information indicating a problem 
in determining the GVWR of commercial vehicles in use or, if there is 
such a problem, its magnitude, the agency nevertheless has no reason to 
doubt Mr. Robinson's assertions. Further, if the problem exists in 
Michigan, it is reasonable to assume that it exists in other states.
    The apparent existence of this problem concerns the agency. For 
example, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, 49 U.S.C. 
App. at section 2302, authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to 
provide grants to states for enforcement programs applicable to 
commercial motor vehicle safety. Pursuant to that authority, the 
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) established the Motor Carrier 
Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) (49 CFR 350). MCSAP provides grants 
to states to support a national motor carrier safety enforcement 
program. The program is designed to reduce the number and severity of 
accidents and hazardous materials incidents of commercial motor 
vehicles by substantially increasing the level and effectiveness of 
enforcement activity and the likelihood that safety defects, driver 
deficiencies, and unsafe carrier practices will be detected and 
corrected. The increasing Federal and state involvement in that program 
has led to a corresponding increase in the number of functions common 
to both Federal and state officers. This increase has, in turn, led to 
an increasing need for efficient communications and exchange of 
accurate data. SAFETYNET, therefore, has become even more important to 
this effort by combining all functions into a single user-friendly 
data-sharing system for the use of both Federal and state personnel 
involved in commercial motor carrier operations.
    A typical SAFETYNET profile consists, among other things, of the 
type of operation, GVWR, cargo, any accident data, inspection data 
including any violations and out-of-service actions, work performance 
reports, and data entry verification. Thus, if law enforcement officers 
are collecting incomplete or incorrect data because of lack of GVWR 
information, as Mr. Robinson asserts, the effectiveness of the 
SAFETYNET system could be compromised.
    The agency agrees that, assuming the accuracy of the petitioner's 
figures relating to stolen vehicles, a permanent metal label could 
assist in the identification and recovery of at least some of the great 
number of unrecovered stolen commercial vehicles in the United States.
    FHWA has informed NHTSA that it supports the suggestions in Mr. 
Robinson's petition, believing that a permanent metal label will help 
enforce Federal as well as state motor carrier safety regulations. 
While the petitioner's primary focus seems to be enforcement of CDL 
requirements, FHWA believes that the importance of this rulemaking is 
broader in scope than that. The gross vehicle weight rating (or gross 
combination weight rating (GCWR) for a combination vehicle) is one of 
three independent criteria used to determine the applicability of the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) for vehicles and 
drivers engaged in interstate commerce. The FMCSRs cover driver 
qualifications, hours of service, accident record keeping, vehicle 
inspection, repair and maintenance, controlled substances and alcohol 
testing, in addition to the CDL. The GVWR/GCWR weight threshold for the 
general applicability of the FMCSRs is 10,001 pounds. The recently 
published final rules on controlled substances and alcohol testing 
apply to every person who operates a commercial vehicle in interstate 
or intrastate commerce, and is subject to the CDL requirements of 49 
CFR 383. Part 383 includes a 26,001 pound threshold as one if its 
applicability criteria. The FHWA believes, therefore, that implementing 
the suggestions in this petition will help motor carriers in 
identifying vehicles and drivers that are subject to the FMCSRs and 
Federal and state officials responsible for enforcing the regulations. 
The permanent metal labels should provide more comprehensive 
enforcement of such regulations by making possible better 
identification of the vehicles concerned. FHWA also expressed support 
for the petitioner's suggestion that the labels on trailers be given 
reasonable protection since trailer labels are particularly susceptible 
to damage during commercial vehicle operations.
    Mr. Robinson suggested that the thickness of the metal label be 
specified. NHTSA does not believe that is necessary, at least not at 
this time. NHTSA tentatively concludes that the primary benefit is to 
be obtained from specifying the use of a metal label. The agency has no 
information indicating that specifying a particular minimum thickness 
would increase that benefit significantly. NHTSA understands the 
petitioner's reasoning that a label of a specified heavy gauge would be 
more durable and more likely to survive the rigors of commercial 
operation. On the other hand, the agency also believes that 
manufacturers must have the flexibility to accommodate the thickness of 
the labels to the door designs of the various vehicles they produce. 
NHTSA is confident that manufacturers will affix labels whose 
sturdiness is consistent with the designs of their vehicles. If, in the 
future, information obtained from actual commercial vehicle experience 
indicates that it might be appropriate to specify a minimum thickness, 
appropriate rulemaking action can be taken at that time.
    The agency questions whether the petitioner's four suggested 
permissible locations for the labels on vehicles other than trailers 
are too limited as compared to the five permissible locations currently 
allowed. In addition, the petitioner suggested the floor area as a 
permissible location for the label. The agency is concerned that 
locating the label on the vehicle floor or even on the instrument panel 
could place the inspecting officer in an awkward position, perhaps even 
in jeopardy, by having to lean into the cab of the truck and turn his 
or her head to read the label. Further, the possibly limited ambient 
light on the vehicle floor could make it difficult for an inspector to 
read a label there. On the other hand, inspecting officers routinely 
stand on the running boards of trucks to check inside for the driver's 
log, labels, as well as for drugs and/or alcohol. Thus, a label on the 
floor or the instrument panel could normally be seen by the inspector 
from the running board.
    The petitioner also suggested locating the label for buses inside 
the vehicle and above the driver's side windshield or window. NHTSA has 
no objection to that. The agency's purpose in specifying the locations 
for the manufacturer's certification label was to provide an 
unobstructed view of the label, i.e., to ensure that the labels are 
easy to see and read in any vehicle. Since it is not practicable to 
inspect buses with passengers on board, buses are usually mounted on 
hoists or platforms for inspection either at the beginning or at the 
end of their runs. Therefore, the inspectors usually walk through buses 
during their inspections, making the label easily visible to the 
inspector if it is mounted on or above the driver's side windshield or 
window as the petitioner suggested.
    NHTSA recognizes the merit in the petitioner's suggestion that the 
location of the label should be standardized in only a limited number 
of places so that there would be greater predictability about precisely 
where law enforcement personnel can expect to find the label. 
Nevertheless, NHTSA solicits comments on whether the permissible 
locations of the permanent metal label, including those on buses, 
should be standardized as proposed by the petitioner, or whether the 
larger number of permissible locations should be maintained as 
currently allowed. NHTSA further solicits comments on the locations in 
which labels should be permitted, if not in the currently-permitted 
locations or in the locations suggested by the petitioner.
    Finally, Mr. Robinson suggested that the labels for trailers be 
located so as to provide reasonable protection from damage. NHTSA does 
not believe that this change is necessary at this time. NHTSA believes 
that specifying a permanent metal label with either raised or recessed 
letters and numbers, riveted or otherwise permanently affixed to the 
vehicle, would sufficiently enhance the durability of the label on 
trailers to make the data readable even after many years of use. Again, 
should actual experience in the future indicate that further action is 
appropriate to protect trailer labels, rulemaking can be initiated at 
that time.
    NHTSA made a preliminary cost analysis of the proposed 
requirements. The analysis suggests that the incremental cost range of 
metal labels as proposed would be between $0.25 and $2.50 per label, 
depending on size, thickness, and quantity ordered. NHTSA estimates 
that for those manufacturers that purchase labels in large quantities, 
the incremental cost could range between $0.25 and $0.75. For those 
manufacturers that would purchase labels in smaller quantities, the 
cost range could be between $2.00 and $2.50 per label.
    Label manufacturers typically put only certain information on 
labels. The vehicle manufacturer then applies the remainder of the 
required information at the plant, such as the GVWR, GAWR, VIN, etc. 
Thus, if letters and numbers are raised or recessed, vehicle 
manufacturers, as well as possibly some label manufacturers, may have 
to purchase the equipment to emboss the metal labels at a cost of 
between $300 and $1,500.
    Agency data shows that 263,580 motor vehicles with GVWR greater 
than 4,536 kg (10,000 lb) and 126,904 trailers were sold in 1992. 
Another 35,444 school buses, which would also be included in the 
vehicles covered by this notice, were sold in 1991, bringing the 
combined total affected vehicles to approximately 425,928. The agency 
has no data on how many vehicles, if any, already meet the proposed 
requirements. Assuming that none do, the agency calculates that the 
total range of incremental annual costs of this proposal would be 
$106,482 to $1,064,810.

V. Issues for NHTSA Evaluation

    In order to obtain additional data for the agency's evaluation of 
the issues raised by this petition, NHTSA solicits comments on the 
following specific issues regarding certification labels:
    1. Is there a problem with manufacturers' labels on motor vehicles 
with a GVWR of over 4,536 kg (10,000 lb) becoming obliterated, painted 
over, or otherwise rendered illegible during the service life of the 
vehicle? If so, in what percentage of those vehicles does this occur? 
Are particular types, brands, models, or model years of vehicles more 
susceptible to this problem than others?
    2. What costs do manufacturers currently incur in the purchase, 
printing, and application of labels?
    3. What sorts of materials are currently utilized for the labels on 
vehicles with GVWR more than 4,536 kg (10,000 lb)? What percent of 
currently utilized labels are made of metal?
    4. What sizes are the labels currently affixed to motor vehicles 
with GVWR of more than 4,536 kg (10,000 lb)? How are they affixed?
    5. What incremental costs would vehicle manufacturers incur to 
purchase, emboss, and affix permanent metal labels with raised or 
recessed letters and numbers as proposed?
    6. What incremental costs, if any, would label manufacturers incur 
in producing metal labels with raised or recessed letters and numbers?
    7. In what quantities do vehicle manufacturers currently order 
labels?
    8. How much time is currently required for vehicle manufacturers to 
prepare and affix labels?
    9. How much time would be required for vehicle manufacturers to 
rivet or otherwise permanently affix metal labels as proposed?
    10. What special problems, if any, would vehicle manufacturers have 
in affixing permanent metal labels as proposed?
    11. Should a particular metal, such as aluminum, stainless steel, 
etc., be specified for the labels?
    12. Should a minimum thickness be prescribed for the labels?
    13. Should a minimum size be specified for the labels?
    14. Should a minimum height or depth be specified for the letters 
and numbers embossed on the labels?
    15. Should any information be added to or deleted from that 
currently required to appear on the label?
    16. Should trailers with a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 lb) or less 
also meet the requirements being proposed for large trailers?
    17. Should the agency require some different approach, other than 
the proposed metal label requirement, for preserving VIN labels?

V. Agency Proposal

    Based on the assertions by Mr. Robinson in his petition and the 
analysis discussed above, NHTSA proposes to amend 49 CFR 567.4 to 
require that, for vehicles with GVWR greater than 4,536 kg (10,000 lb), 
the manufacturer's certification label required by that part be made of 
metal. The agency also proposes that the letters and numbers on the 
label be raised or recessed, and that the label be riveted or otherwise 
permanently affixed to each vehicle in the locations suggested by the 
petitioner.
    The agency believes that by requiring permanent metal labels, 
commercial vehicle safety would be enhanced by ensuring that commercial 
vehicles are being driven by drivers who are duly qualified and 
licensed to operate them. This would have the effect of identifying and 
removing unfit and unqualified drivers from the nation's highways, 
thereby enhancing the safety of the motoring public. In addition, a 
permanent metal label on which the GVWR and VIN remain legible 
throughout all or the greater part of the service life of a commercial 
vehicle would help to ensure that the information supplied to the 
SAFETYNET system would be more accurate, thus contributing directly to 
the enforcement efforts discussed above.
    Further, to reflect rulemaking conducted by the agency pursuant to 
the Imported Vehicles Safety Compliance Act of 1988, Pub. L. 100-562, 
102 Stat. 2818 (49 U.S.C. 30141, 30146), NHTSA proposes to amend 
existing Sec. 567.4(k) to substitute ``49 CFR 591.5(f)'' in place of 
the current ``19 CFR 12.80(b)(1).''

VI. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. EO 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This notice was not reviewed under E.O. 12866. NHTSA has considered 
the impact associated with this rulemaking action and has concluded 
that it is not significant under the Department of Transportation's 
regulatory policies and procedures. As explained above, this action 
merely would require that the motor vehicle manufacturer's label, which 
is already required for all motor vehicles, be made of metal and be 
permanently affixed to those vehicles with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kg 
(10,000 lb). The costs would range from $0.25 to $2.50 per vehicle, for 
a total incremental annual cost of between $106,482 and $1,064,820. 
NHTSA has concluded, therefore, that the effect of this proposed action 
would be so minimal as not to warrant preparation of a full regulatory 
evaluation.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NHTSA has considered the impacts of this rulemaking action under 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act. I hereby certify that the proposed 
amendments would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, the agency has not 
prepared a preliminary regulatory flexibility analysis.
    The agency believes that few, if any, motor vehicle manufacturers 
qualify as small businesses, although some label manufacturers might so 
qualify. Those small businesses would be affected only to the extent 
that they may be required to purchase equipment to emboss information 
on metal labels, if they do not already have such equipment, at a one-
time cost of between $300 and $1,500. Such cost could be amortized over 
the life of the equipment, and/or passed on to customers and, 
eventually, to consumers. Small organizations and small governmental 
units would be affected by the proposed amendment only to the extent of 
having to pay an additional $0.25 to $2.50 per large vehicle.

C. National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking action for purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act and has determined that 
implementation of this action would have no significant impact on the 
quality of the human environment.

D. EO 12612 (Federalism)

    NHTSA has analyzed this proposal in accordance with the principles 
and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612 and has determined that 
this proposal does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

E. Civil Justice Reform

    The proposed rule would not have any retroactive effect. Under 49 
U.S.C. 30103(b), whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in 
effect, a state or political subdivision may prescribe or continue in 
effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a 
motor vehicle only if the standard is identical to the Federal 
standard. However, the United States Government, a state, or a 
political subdivision of a state may prescribe a standard for a motor 
vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment obtained for its own use 
that imposes a higher performance requirement than that required by the 
Federal standard. 49 U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for judicial 
review of final rules establishing, amending or revoking Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards. A petition for reconsideration or other 
administrative proceedings is not required before parties may file suit 
in court.

VII. Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposal. 
It is requested but not required that any comments be submitted in 10 
copies each.
    Comments must not exceed 15 pages in length (49 CFR 553.21). 
Necessary attachments may be appended to these submissions without 
regard to the 15-page limit. This limitation is intended to encourage 
commenters to detail their primary arguments in concise fashion.
    If a commenter wishes to submit certain information under a claim 
of confidentiality, 3 copies of the complete submission, including the 
purportedly confidential business information, should be submitted to 
the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the street address shown above, and 7 
copies from which the purportedly confidential information has been 
deleted should be submitted to the Docket Section. A request for 
confidentiality should be accompanied by a cover letter setting forth 
the information specified in 49 CFR part 512, the agency's confidential 
business information regulation.
    All comments received on or before the close of business on the 
comment closing date indicated above for the proposal will be 
considered, and will be available to the public for examination in the 
docket at the above address both before and after the closing date. To 
the extent possible, comments received after the closing date will be 
considered. Comments received too late for consideration in regard to 
the final rule will be considered as suggestions for further rulemaking 
action. Comments on the proposal will be available for public 
inspection in the docket. NHTSA will continue to file relevant 
information in the docket after the closing date, and it is recommended 
that interested persons continue to monitor the docket for new 
material.
    Those persons desiring to be notified upon receipt of their 
comments in the rules docket should enclose a self-addressed stamped 
postcard in the envelope with their comments. Upon receiving the 
comments, the docket supervisor will return the postcard by mail.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 567

    Labeling, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 567 would be amended 
as follows:

PART 567--CERTIFICATION

    1. The authority citation for Part 567 would be revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30115, 30117, 30166, 32502, 32505, 
33102, 33103, 33108, and 33109; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 
1.50.

    2. Section 567.4 would be revised as follows:


Sec. 567.4  Requirements for manufacturers of motor vehicles.

    (a) Each manufacturer of motor vehicles (except vehicles 
manufactured in two or more stages) shall affix to each vehicle a 
label, of the type and in the manner described below, containing the 
statements specified in paragraph (j) of this section.
    (b) The location of the label shall be such that it is clearly 
visible and easily readable without moving any part of the vehicle 
except an outer door.
    (c) For motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 
greater than 4,536 kilograms (kg) (10,000 pounds (lb)) and all 
trailers, the label shall be fabricated of metal, with raised or 
recessed letters and numbers, and, except for trailers, shall be 
riveted or otherwise permanently affixed to the vehicle in one of the 
locations specified in paragraph (e) of this section.
    (d) For motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 lb) or less, 
the label shall, unless riveted, be permanently affixed in such a 
manner that it cannot be removed without destroying or defacing it.
    (e)(1) For motor vehicles with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kg (10,000 
lb) other than buses and trailers, the label shall be riveted to the 
door latch post next to the driver's seating position. If that location 
is not practicable, then to a permanent vertical position of the cab 
floor area to the left of the driver's seating position. If that 
location is not practicable, the label shall be riveted to the left 
side of the instrument panel, left of the steering wheel.
    (2) For buses, the label shall be riveted to the ceiling area above 
the windshield or window(s) in the driver's seating area.
    (3) If none of the preceding locations are practicable, 
notification of that fact, together with drawings or photographs 
showing a suggested alternate location in the same general area, shall 
be submitted for approval to the Administrator, National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, Washington, DC 
20590.
    (f) For motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 lb) or less, 
except trailers and motorcycles, the label shall be affixed either to 
the hinge pillar, door latch post, or the door edge that meets the door 
latch post, next to the driver's seating position, or if none of these 
locations are practicable, to the left side of the instrument panel. If 
the latter location is not practicable, the label shall be affixed to 
the inward-facing surface of the door next to the driver's seating 
position. If none of the preceding locations are practicable, 
notification of that fact shall be submitted to the Administrator, 
NHTSA, as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.
    (g) The label for trailers shall be affixed to a location on the 
forward half of the left side, such that it is easily readable from 
outside the vehicle without moving any part of the vehicle.
    (h) The label for motorcycles shall be affixed to a permanent 
member of the vehicle as close as is practicable to the intersection of 
the steering post with the handle bars, in a location such that it is 
easily readable without moving any part of the vehicle except the 
steering system.
    (i) Except for the label specified in paragraph (c) of this 
section, the lettering on the label shall be of a color that contrasts 
with the background of the label.
    (j) The label shall contain the following statements, in the 
English language, lettered in block capitals and numerals not less than 
three thirty-seconds of an inch high, in the order shown:
    (1) Name of manufacturer: Except as provided in paragraphs (j) (1) 
(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section, the full corporate or individual 
name of the actual assembler of the vehicle shall be spelled out, 
except that such abbreviations as ``Co.'' or ``Inc.'' and their foreign 
equivalents, and the first and middle initials of individuals, may be 
used. The name of the manufacturer shall be preceded by the words 
``Manufactured By'' or ``Mfd By.'' In the case of imported vehicles, 
where the label required by this section is affixed by the Registered 
Importer, the name of the Registered Importer shall also be placed on 
the label in the manner described in this paragraph, directly below the 
name of the final assembler.
    (i) If a vehicle is assembled by a corporation that is controlled 
by another corporation that assumed responsibility for the conformity 
with the standards, the name of the controlling corporation may be 
used.
    (ii) If a vehicle is fabricated and delivered in complete but 
unassembled form, such that it is designed to be assembled without 
special machinery or tools, the fabricator of the vehicle may affix the 
label and name itself as the manufacturer for the purposes of this 
section.
    (iii) If a trailer is sold by a person who is not its manufacturer, 
but who is engaged in the manufacture of trailers and assumes legal 
responsibility for all duties and liabilities imposed by the Act with 
respect to that trailer, the name of that person may appear on the 
label as the manufacturer. In such a case the name shall be preceded by 
the words ``Responsible Manufacturer'' or ``Resp Mfr.''
    (2) Month and year of manufacture: This shall be the time during 
which work was completed at the place of main assembly of the vehicle. 
It may be spelled out, as ``June 1970,'' or expressed in numerals, as 
``670.''
    (3) ``Gross Vehicle Weight Rating'' or ``GVWR,'' followed by the 
appropriate value in kilograms with the commensurate weight in pounds 
shown in parentheses, which shall not be less than the sum of the 
unloaded vehicle weight, rated cargo load, and 68 kilograms (150 
pounds) times the vehicle's designated seating capacity. However, for 
school buses the minimum occupant weight shall be 55 kilograms (120 
pounds).
    (4) ``Gross Axle Weight Rating'' or ``GAWR,'' followed by the 
appropriate value in kilograms with the commensurate weight in pounds 
shown in parentheses, for each axle, identified in order from front to 
rear (e.g. front, first intermediate, second intermediate, rear). The 
ratings for any consecutive axles having identical gross axle weight 
ratings when equipped with tires having the same tire size designation 
may, at the option of the manufacturer, be stated as a single value, 
with label indicating to which axles the ratings apply.

Examples of Combined Ratings

    GAWR: (a) All axles--1850 kg (4080 lb) with 7.00-15 LT (D) 
tires.
    (b) Front--5442 kg (12,000 lb) with 10.00-20(G) tires.
    First intermediate to rear--6803 kg (15,000 lb) with 12.00-20(H) 
tires.

    (5) The statement: ``This vehicle conforms to all applicable 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards in effect on the date of 
manufacture shown above. The expression ``U.S.'' or ``U.S.A.'' may be 
inserted before the word ``Federal.''
    (i) In the case of passenger cars manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1978, the expression ``and bumper'' shall be included in 
the statement following the word ``safety.''
    (ii) In the case of 1987 and subsequent model year passenger cars 
manufactured on or after April 24, 1986, the expression ``safety, 
bumper, and theft prevention'' shall be substituted in the statement 
for the word ``safety.''
    (6) Vehicle identification number.
    (7) The type classification of the vehicle as defined in Sec. 571.3 
of this chapter (e.g. truck, MPV, bus, trailer).
    (k) Multiple GVWR-GAWR ratings.
    (1) (For passenger cars only) In cases where different tire sizes 
are offered as a customer option, a manufacturer may at his option list 
more than one set of values for GVWR and GAWR, in response to the 
requirements of paragraphs (j) (3) and (4) of this section. If the 
label shows more than one set of weight rating values, each value shall 
be followed by the phrase ``with ________ tires,'' inserting the proper 
tire size designations. A manufacturer may at his option list one or 
more tire sizes where only one set of weight ratings is provided.

Passenger Car Example

    GVWR: 1995 kg (4400 lb) with G78-14B tires, 2177 kg (4800 lb) 
with H78-14B tires.
    GAWR: Front--907 kg (2000 lb) with G78-14B tires at 165 kPa (24 
psi), 990 kg (2200 lb) with H78-14B tires at 165 kPa (24 psi).

    Rear--1088 kg (2400 lb) with G78-14B tires at 193 kPa (28 psi), 
1179 kg (2600 lb) with H78-14B tires at 193 kPa (28 psi).

    (2) (For multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, trailers, 
and motorcycles) The manufacturer may, at its option, list more than 
one GVWR-GAWR-tire-rim combination on the label, as long as the listing 
conforms in content and format to the requirements for tire-rim-
inflation information set forth in Standard No. 120 of this chapter 
(Sec. 571.120).
    (3) At the option of the manufacturer, additional GVWR-GAWR ratings 
for operation of the vehicle at reduced speeds may be listed at the 
bottom of the certification label following any information that is 
required to be listed.
    (l) [Reserved]
    (m) A manufacturer may, at his option, provide information 
concerning which tables in the document that accompanies the vehicle 
pursuant to Sec. 575.6(a) of this chapter apply to the vehicle. This 
information may not precede or interrupt the information required by 
paragraph (j) of this section.
    (n) In the case of passenger cars admitted to the United States 
under 49 CFR 591.5(f) to which the label required by this section has 
not been affixed by the original producer or assembler of the passenger 
car, a label meeting the requirements of this paragraph shall be 
affixed by the importer before the vehicle is imported into the United 
States, if the car is from a line listed in Appendix A of part 541 of 
this chapter. This label shall be in addition to, and not in place of, 
the label required by paragraphs (a) through (m), inclusive, of this 
section.
    (1) The label shall, unless riveted, be permanently affixed in such 
a manner that it cannot be removed without destroying or defacing it.
    (2) The label shall be affixed to either the hinge pillar, door-
latch post, or the door edge that meets the door-latch post, next to 
the driver's seating position or, if none of these locations is 
practicable, to the left side of the instrument panel. If that location 
is also not practicable, the label shall be affixed to the inward-
facing surface of the door next to the driver's seating position. The 
location of the label shall be such that it is easily readable without 
moving any part of the vehicle except an outer door.
    (3) The lettering on the label shall be of a color that contrasts 
with the background of the label.
    (4) The label shall contain the following statements, in the 
English language, lettered in block capitals and numerals not less than 
three thirty-seconds of an inch high, in the order shown:
    (i) Model year (if applicable) or year of manufacture and line of 
the vehicle as reported by the manufacturer that produced or assembled 
the vehicle. ``Model year'' is used as defined in Sec. 565.3(h) of this 
chapter. ``Line'' is used as defined in Sec. 541.4 of this chapter.
    (ii) Name of the importer: The full corporate or individual name of 
the importer of the vehicle shall be spelled out, except that such 
abbreviations as ``Co.'' or ``Inc.'' and their foreign equivalents and 
the middle initial of individuals, may be used. The name of the 
importer shall be preceded by the words ``Imported By.''
    (iii) The statement: ``This vehicle conforms to the applicable 
Federal motor vehicle theft prevention standard in effect on the date 
of manufacture.''
    (o) (1) In the case of a passenger car imported into the United 
States under 49 CFR 591.5(f) which does not have an identification 
number that complies with paragraph S4.2, S4.3, and S4.7 of 49 CFR 
571.115 at the time of importation, the Registered Importer shall 
permanently affix a label to the vehicle in such a manner that, unless 
the label is riveted, it cannot be removed without being destroyed or 
defaced. The label shall be in addition to the label required by 
paragraph (a) of this section, and shall be affixed to the vehicle in a 
location specified in paragraph (f) of this section.
    (2) The label shall contain the following statement, in the English 
language, lettered in block capitals and numerals not less than three 
thirty-seconds of an inch high, with the location on the vehicle of the 
manufacturer's identification number provided in the blank: ORIGINAL 
MANUFACTURER'S IDENTIFICATION NUMBER SUBSTITUTING FOR U.S. VIN IS 
LOCATED ________________.

    Issued on September 21, 1994.
Barry Felrice,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 94-23732 Filed 9-23-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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