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Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Ford Motor Company


American Government Topics:  Lincoln Corsair

Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Ford Motor Company

Raymond R. Posten
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
22 March 2019


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 56 (Friday, March 22, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10890-10891]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-05447]



[[Page 10890]]

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 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Petition for Exemption From the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard; Ford Motor Company

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

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

SUMMARY: This document grants in full Ford Motor Company's (Ford) 
petition for exemption of the model year 2020 Lincoln Corsair vehicle 
line from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard. This 
petition is granted because the agency has determined that the 
antitheft device to be placed on the line as standard equipment is 
likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft 
as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard.

DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with 
the 2020 model year (MY).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Carlita Ballard, Office of 
International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, West 
Building, W43-439, NRM-310, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 
20590. Ms. Ballard's phone number is 202-366-5222. Her fax number is 
202-493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated November 16, 2018, Ford 
requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard for the Lincoln Corsair vehicle line beginning with 
MY 2020. The petition requested exemption from parts-marking pursuant 
to 49 CFR part 543, ``Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention 
Standard'', based on the installation of an antitheft device as 
standard equipment for the entire vehicle line.
    Under 49 CFR part 543.5(a), a manufacturer may petition NHTSA to 
grant an exemption for one vehicle line per model year. In its 
petition, Ford provided a detailed description and diagram of the 
identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft 
device for its Lincoln Corsair vehicle line. Ford stated that the 
Lincoln Corsair will be installed with its Intelligent Access with Push 
Button Start (IAwPB) system as standard equipment on the entire vehicle 
line. Ford also stated that on its signature trim level models it will 
offer phone as key (Paak) feature via of the LincolnWay app that can be 
used when paired with a smart phone instead of using a key fob to lock/
unlock or remotely start/shutdown the vehicle. The IAwPB system is a 
passive, electronic engine immobilizer device that uses encrypted 
transponder technology. Key components of the IAwPB device will include 
an Intelligent Access electronic Push-Button Start key fob, keyless 
ignition system, radio transceiver module, body control module (BCM), 
powertrain control module (PCM), anti-lock braking system module (ABS) 
and an embedded secure modem (for Paak feature). Ford further stated 
that its Lincoln Corsair vehicle line will also be offered with a 
perimeter alarm system as standard equipment which will activate a 
visible and audible alarm whenever unauthorized access is attempted.
    Ford stated that the device's integration of the transponder into 
the normal operation of the ignition key assures activation of the 
system. Ford also stated that its system is automatically activated 
when the ``StartStop'' button is pressed, shutting off the engine. Ford 
stated that the device is deactivated when a start sequence is 
completed and engine start is successful. Ford further stated that the 
vehicle engine can only be started when the key is present in the 
vehicle and the ``StartStop'' button inside the vehicle is pressed. 
Ford stated that when the ``StartStop'' button is pressed, the 
transceiver module will read a key code and transmit an encrypted 
message to the control module to determine key validity and engine 
start by sending a separate encrypted message to the BCM and the PCM. 
The powertrain will function only if the key code matches the unique 
identification key code previously programmed into the BCM. Ford stated 
that the two modules must be matched together in order for the vehicle 
to start. If the codes do not match, the powertrain engine will be 
inoperable. Ford further stated that any attempt to operate the vehicle 
without transmission of the correct code to the electronic control 
(i.e., short circuiting the ``StartStop'' button) module will be 
ineffective.
    Ford's submission is considered a complete petition as required by 
49 CFR 543.7, in that it meets the general requirements contained in 
Sec.  543.5 and the specific content requirements of Sec.  543.6.
    In addressing the specific content requirements of Sec.  543.6, 
Ford provided information on the reliability and durability of its 
proposed device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, 
Ford conducted tests based on its own specified standards. Ford 
provided a detailed list of the tests conducted and believes that the 
device is reliable and durable since the device complied with its own 
specified requirements for each test.
    Ford stated that incorporation of several features in the device 
further support the reliability and durability of the device. 
Specifically, some of those features include: encrypted communication 
between the transponder, BCM control function and the PCM; virtually 
impossible key duplication; and shared security data between the body 
control module/remote function actuator and the powertrain control 
module. Additionally, Ford stated that its antitheft device has no 
moving parts (i.e., BCM, PCM, and electrical components) to perform 
system functions which eliminate the possibility for physical damage or 
deterioration from normal use; and mechanically overriding the device 
to start the vehicle is also impossible.
    Ford stated that its MY 2019 Lincoln Corsair vehicle line will also 
be equipped with several other standard antitheft features common to 
Ford vehicles, (i.e., hood release located inside the vehicle, 
counterfeit resistant VIN labels, secondary VINs, and cabin 
accessibility only with the use of a valid key fob).
    Ford stated that it believes that the standard installation of its 
IAwPB device would be an effective deterrent against vehicle theft and 
compared its proposed device with other antitheft devices which NHTSA 
has determined to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor 
vehicle theft as would compliance with the parts-marking requirements.
    Ford stated that the antitheft device was installed on all MY 1996 
Ford Mustang GT and Cobra models as well as other selected models. Ford 
also stated that on its 1997 models, the installation of its antitheft 
device was extended to the entire Ford Mustang vehicle line as standard 
equipment and that according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau 
(NICB) theft statistics, MY 1997 Mustangs installed with the antitheft 
device showed a 70% reduction in theft rate compared to its MY 1995 
Mustangs without an antitheft device.
    Ford further stated that the proposed antitheft device is very 
similar to the system that was offered on its MY 2017 Lincoln MKC 
vehicle line. The Lincoln MKC vehicle line was granted a parts-marking 
exemption on September 30, 2015 by NHTSA (See 80 FR 60243, October 5, 
2015) beginning with its MY 2017 vehicles.
    Ford also reported that beginning with MY 2010, its antitheft 
device was

[[Page 10891]]

installed as standard equipment on all of its North American Ford, 
Lincoln and Mercury vehicles but was offered as optional equipment on 
its 2010 F-series Super Duty pickups, Econoline and Transit Connect 
vehicles. Ford further stated that beginning with MY 2010, the IAwPB 
device was installed as standard equipment on its Lincoln MKT vehicles. 
In MY 2011, the device was offered as standard equipment on its Lincoln 
MKX vehicle line, and as an option on the Lincoln MKS, Ford Taurus, 
Edge, Explorer and Focus vehicles. Beginning with MY 2013, the device 
was offered as standard equipment on the Lincoln MKZ and optionally on 
the Ford Fusion, C-Max and Escape vehicles.
    Ford referenced the agency's published theft rate data for the Ford 
Escape vehicles and stated that the Lincoln Corsair will use the IAwPB 
device similar to the design and architecture of the Ford Escape. Ford 
also stated that the Lincoln Corsair is comparably similar to the Ford 
Escape in vehicle segment, size and equipment. The agency notes that 
current theft rate data for the Ford Escape vehicle line for MYs 2012 
through 2014 are 0.8336, 0.8547 and 0.5051 respectively.
    Based on the supporting evidence submitted by Ford on the device, 
the agency believes that the antitheft device for the Lincoln Corsair 
vehicle line is likely to be as effective in reducing and deterring 
motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements 
of the Theft Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 541).
    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33106 and 49 CFR 543.7(b), the agency grants 
a petition for exemption from the parts-marking requirements of Part 
541 either in whole or in part, if it determines that, based upon 
substantial evidence, the standard equipment antitheft device is likely 
to be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as 
compliance with the parts-marking requirements of Part 541. The agency 
finds that Ford has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the 
antitheft device for the Lincoln Corsair vehicle line is likely to be 
as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as 
compliance with the parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention 
Standard (49 CFR part 541). This conclusion is based on the information 
Ford provided about its device.
    The agency concludes that the device will provide the five types of 
performance listed in 543.6(a)(3): Promoting activation; attracting 
attention to the efforts of unauthorized persons to enter or operate a 
vehicle by means other than a key; preventing defeat or circumvention 
of the device by unauthorized persons; preventing operation of the 
vehicle by unauthorized entrants; and ensuring the reliability and 
durability of the device.
    The agency notes that 49 CFR part 541, Appendix A-1, identifies 
those lines that are exempted from the Theft Prevention Standard for a 
given model year. 49 CFR part 543.7(f) contains publication 
requirements incident to the disposition of all Part 543 petitions. 
Advanced listing, including the release of future product nameplates, 
the beginning model year for which the petition is granted and a 
general description of the antitheft device is necessary in order to 
notify law enforcement agencies of new vehicle lines exempted from the 
parts-marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard.
    If Ford decides not to use the exemption for this line, it must 
formally notify the agency. If such a decision is made, the line must 
be fully marked according to the requirements under 49 CFR parts 541.5 
and 541.6 (marking of major component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if Ford wishes in the future to modify the device 
on which this exemption is based, the company may have to submit a 
petition to modify the exemption. Part 543.7(d) states that a Part 543 
exemption applies only to vehicles that belong to a line exempted under 
this part and equipped with the antitheft device on which the line's 
exemption is based. Further, Part 543.10(c)(2) provides for the 
submission of petitions ``to modify an exemption to permit the use of 
an antitheft device similar to but differing from the one specified in 
that exemption.''
    The agency wishes to minimize the administrative burden that Part 
543.10(c)(2) could place on exempted vehicle manufacturers and itself. 
The agency did not intend in drafting Part 543 to require the 
submission of a modification petition for every change to the 
components or design of an antitheft device. The significance of many 
such changes could be de minimis. Therefore, NHTSA suggests that if the 
manufacturer contemplates making any changes, the effects of which 
might be characterized as de minimis, it should consult the agency 
before preparing and submitting a petition to modify.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full Ford's 
petition for exemption for the Lincoln Corsair vehicle line from the 
parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541, beginning with its model 
year (MY) 2020 vehicles.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
1.95 and 501.8.
Raymond R. Posten,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2019-05447 Filed 3-21-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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