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Consumer Information Regulations; Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rollover Prevention

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

Consumer Information Regulations; Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Rollover Prevention

Barry Felrice
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Register
August 26, 1994

[Federal Register: August 26, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 575

[Docket No. 91-68; Notice 04]
RIN 2127-AC64

 
Consumer Information Regulations; Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standards; Rollover Prevention

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; notice to extend comment period.

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SUMMARY: In response to petitions submitted by Advocates for Highway 
and Auto Safety and the American Automobile Manufacturers Association, 
this notice extends the comment period for a proposal to require 
manufacturers of passenger cars, light multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
and light trucks to provide consumers with information on the 
resistance of those vehicles to rollover. NHTSA believes that 
commenters need more time to formulate their responses because of the 
complexity of the issues in the NPRM. Moreover, to the extent that 
persons commenting on a series of public meetings on consumer safety 
information issues discuss rollover resistance information, preparation 
of those comments and the comments on the proposal will be facilitated 
by specifying the same comment closing date for both. Accordingly, the 
agency has decided to extend the comment period from August 29, 1994 to 
October 21, 1994, the current comment closing date on the public 
meeting issues.

DATES: Comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking, Docket 91-68, 
Notice 4 must be received by October 21, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to Docket No. 91-68, Notice 3 and be 
submitted to: Docket Section, Room 5109, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. 
Docket hours are 9:30 to 4 pm. Monday through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ms. Gayle Dalrymple, Office of Rulemaking, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 
(202-366-5559).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 28, 1994, NHTSA published a notice 
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register that would 
require vehicle manufacturers to provide consumers with information on 
the vehicle's resistance to rollover, in the form of a label that would 
be affixed to the vehicle and information in the owner's manual (59 FR 
33254). The notice contained an analysis of methods for objectively 
measuring vehicle stability. It also referenced an extensive discussion 
of rollover statistics in an ``Addendum to Technical Assessment Paper'' 
that was placed in the docket. In addition to proposing methods to be 
used to generate the information on the label, the NPRM requested 
comments on the size, location, permanence, and content of the 
information label. The notice requested comments on the proposed 
regulation and specified a comment due date of August 29, 1994.
    On July 26, 1994, NHTSA published a notice (59 FR 38025) announcing 
a series of four public meetings on the general subject of vehicle 
safety information for consumers. The agency is seeking comment at 
those meetings on what kinds of safety information would be useful to 
consumers and how that information should be presented. The last of the 
public meetings will be held on October 6, 1994. The comment due date 
for public comments on the issues raised at those meetings is October 
21, 1994.
    Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) submitted a 
petition dated August 4, 1994, asking that the comments period for the 
NPRM be extended to October 21. Advocates requested the extension 
primarily because it believes that the public meetings are 
``substantively connected'' to the rollover rulemaking. Advocates 
believes that the commenters on the June 28 NPRM should have the 
benefit of the statements presented at each of the public meetings. It 
suggested that the agency will receive better submissions from 
commenters who desire to file comments in both dockets. In addition, 
Advocates requested the extension because it needs additional time to 
resolve the ``highly technical'' issues raised by the use of 
engineering metrics for generating consumer information.
    The American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA) submitted 
a petition dated August 9, 1994, also asking the agency to extend the 
comment period for the NPRM. The AAMA requested the extension because 
it believes that the NPRM and other available agency information are 
insufficient to permit a meaningful analysis of the proposal. The AAMA 
requested additional information and an extension of the comment period 
to the date 60 days after the information is provided.
    After reviewing the petitions, NHTSA agrees with the petitioners 
that extending the comment closing date is desirable, given the 
complexity of the issues underlying the NPRM. NHTSA also accepts 
Advocates' reasoning that the public meeting may generate issues and 
information that would aid the public in preparing comments on this 
rulemaking.
    Based on the above considerations, the agency believes that there 
is good cause to extend the comment period an additional 53 days and 
that this decision is consistent with the public interest. Accordingly, 
the agency has decided to extend the comment period until October 21, 
1994.
    However, the agency wants to stress that persons commenting about 
issues raised at the public meetings should not focus on the limited 
issue of how to present rollover information. Instead, they should 
address the larger issues of what additional safety information NHTSA 
can provide to the public and how NHTSA can better present consumer 
information from all the agency's safety activities. Comments focusing 
on rollover information should be addressed to the docket for this 
rulemaking.
    NHTSA believes that it is unnecessary to grant a further extension 
in response to AAMA's petition. The extension to October 21 should 
provide sufficient additional time to complete analysis of even the 
complex issues presented in the NPRM. The additional information that 
the AAMA sought in its petition is, and has always been, publicly 
available, either by careful reading of the documents in Docket 91-68, 
Notices 1 and 3, or through direct correspondence with the NHTSA 
personnel who conducted the statistical analyses. Further, much of this 
information is comparatively minor and does not significantly affect 
commenters' ability to conduct analysis or prepare meaningful comments 
on the agency's proposal.

    Issued on: August 22, 1994.
Barry Felrice,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 94-21011 Filed 8-22-94; 4:32 pm]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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