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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Porsche Taycan

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

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


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 56 (Friday, March 22, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10891-10893]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-05446]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


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

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

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

SUMMARY: This document grants in full the Porsche Cars North America, 
Inc.'s (Porsche) petition for exemption of the 2020 model year Taycan 
vehicle line from the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard 
(Theft Prevention Standard). The 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 Standards, 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 6, 2018, 
Porsche requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of 
the Theft Prevention Standard for its Taycan 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, Porsche provided a detailed description and diagram of the 
identity, design, and location of the components of the antitheft 
device for its Porsche Taycan

[[Page 10892]]

vehicle line. Porsche stated that the Taycan vehicle line will be 
installed with a passive antitheft device as standard equipment on the 
entire vehicle line. Porsche also stated that its vehicles will be 
installed with a keyless go system that will consists of two major 
subsystems: A microprocessor based immobilizer system that prevents the 
power unit from functioning when the system is engaged and a 
transmission control locking and alarm system. Key components of the 
antitheft device will include a passive immobilizer, electronic 
ignition switch, transponder key, remote control unit, alarm/central 
locking control unit, engine control unit, transmission control unit 
and an electronic parking brake. Porsche stated that it will offer a 
keyless entry system as an option for its Taycan vehicle line. Porsche 
also stated that its vehicle line will be installed with an audible and 
visible alarm as standard equipment. Additionally, Porsche stated that 
the central locking system works in conjunction with the audible and 
visible alarm by locking the doors with the ignition key or the remote 
control activating the audible and visible alarm. Porsche stated that 
an ultrasonic sensor in the alarm system will monitor the doors, rear 
luggage compartment, front deck lid, fuel filler door, and interior 
movement. The horn will sound and the lights will flash if there is any 
detection of unauthorized use.
    Porsche stated that the immobilizer system cannot be disabled 
unless an original key sends the proper code to the immobilizer system 
instructing the engine management system via a code to begin 
functioning again. The immobilizer is automatically activated after the 
ignition is turned off from the dashboard control switch. The 
immobilizer then returns to its normal ``off'' state, where engine 
starting and transmission starting are not allowed. Starting the engine 
and operation of the vehicle will be allowed only when the correct code 
is sent to the control unit by using the correct key in the ignition 
switch, or by having the correct keyless entry key within the occupant 
compartment of the car. The ignition key contains a radio signal 
transponder, which signals the control unit to allow the engine to be 
started. With the keyless entry system, operation of the vehicle is 
allowed when the ignition key is substituted with the special key that 
contains a radio signal transmitter similar to the transponder in the 
standard ignition key.
    Porsche's submission is considered a complete petition as required 
by 49 CFR 543.7 in that it meets the general requirements contained in 
543.5 and the specific content requirements of 543.6.
    In addressing the specific content requirements of 543.6, Porsche 
provided information on the reliability and durability of its proposed 
device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, Porsche 
conducted tests based on its own specified standards. Porsche provided 
a detailed list of the tests conducted (i.e., extreme temperature 
tests, voltage spike tests, reverse polarity tests, electromagnetic 
interference tests, vibration test and endurance tests) and believes 
that the device is reliable and durable since the device complied with 
its specific requirements for each test. Additionally, Porsche stated 
that the antitheft device also features a built-in self-diagnostic that 
constantly checks for system failures. If a failure is detected, an 
alarm indicator will signal the driver.
    Porsche further states that disablement of the immobilizer is 
virtually impossible. Disconnecting power to the antitheft device does 
not affect the operation of the device. Once the antitheft device is 
activated, the device stays activated until the correct key or optional 
keyless entry key is used to instruct the engine management system 
through the proper code to begin functioning again.
    In further support of the reliability of its antitheft device, 
Porsche informed the agency that it will continue to use the ``off-
board'' antitheft strategy that reduces the marketability of stolen 
electronic components and making the theft of vehicles unattractive. 
Specifically, Porsche stated that during the production of its vehicle, 
the initialization and registration of various antitheft electronic 
components are recorded in a central database. If the components have 
to be repaired or replaced, authorized access to the database must be 
obtained to receive authorization for the components. If authorized 
access to the central database is unavailable or the database indicates 
that the components are not authorized, further operation and use of 
the vehicle will be restricted or impossible to obtain.
    Porsche stated that its central locking system works in conjunction 
with its audible and visible alarm. Locking the doors with the ignition 
key, the remote control or a door switch (with the keyless entry 
option) will also activate the audible and visible alarm. Porsche also 
stated that the immobilizer cannot be disabled by manipulation of the 
door locks or central-locking system because the locks/locking system 
are incapable of sending the code needed to disable the device.
    As an additional feature, Porsche stated that it will also 
incorporate an electronically activated parking brake on the Taycan 
vehicle which is electronically activated and integrated into the 
vehicle's antitheft device. Porsche stated that if the control unit 
does not receive the correct code from the ignition key or keyless 
entry key, the parking brake will remain activated and the vehicle 
cannot be towed away.
    Since the Porsche Taycan is a new vehicle line, there is currently 
no available theft rate data published by the agency for the vehicle 
line. However, Porsche provided data on the effectiveness of other 
similar antitheft devices that have been installed on its 911 and 
Boxster/Cayman vehicle lines in support of its belief that its proposed 
device will be at least as effective as those comparable devices 
previously granted exemptions by the agency. Porsche's data showed that 
the theft rate for the 911 and Boxster/Cayman vehicle lines remained 
consistently low over a three-year period. Using an average of 3 MYs' 
theft data (2012-2014), the theft rates for the Boxster/Cayman, Porsche 
911 and Panamera vehicle lines are 0.4917, 0.6009 and 2.6518, 
respectively. Porsche stated that its off-board antitheft concept, 
similar in concept to parts-marking will further reduce the demand for 
stolen Porsche vehicle components. Based on the experience of these 
vehicle lines, Porsche has concluded that the antitheft device proposed 
for its Porsche Taycan vehicle line is no less effective than those 
devices in lines for which NHTSA has already granted full exemption 
from the parts-marking requirements.
    Based on the supporting evidence submitted by Porsche, the agency 
believes that the antitheft device for the Taycan 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 Porsche has provided adequate reasons for its belief that 
the antitheft device for the Porsche Taycan vehicle line is likely to 
be as effective in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as 
compliance with the parts-

[[Page 10893]]

marking requirements of the Theft Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 
541). This conclusion is based on the information Porsche 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 Porsche decides not to use the exemption for this line, it 
should 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 Porsche 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 
Porsche's petition for exemption for the Porsche Taycan 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. 2019-05446 Filed 3-21-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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