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Petition for Exemption From the Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Suzuki


American Government Topics:  Suzuki Kizashi

Petition for Exemption From the Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Suzuki

Joseph S. Carra
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
January 276, 2011

[Federal Register: January 27, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 18)]
[Notices]               
[Page 4991-4992]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27ja11-135]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 
Petition for Exemption From the Vehicle Theft Prevention 
Standard; Suzuki

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

ACTION: Grant of petition for exemption.

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SUMMARY: This document grants in full the American Suzuki Motor 
Corporation's (Suzuki) petition for an exemption of the Kizashi vehicle 
line in accordance with 49 CFR part 543, Exemption from the 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 49 CFR part 541, Federal Motor Vehicle Theft 
Prevention Standard.

DATES: The exemption granted by this notice is effective beginning with 
the 2012 model year.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Deborah Mazyck, Office of 
International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Mazyck's phone number is 
(202) 366-4139. Her fax number is (202) 493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In a petition dated October 22, 2010, Suzuki 
requested an exemption from the parts-marking requirements of the Theft 
Prevention Standard (49 CFR part 541) for the MY 2012 Suzuki Kizashi 
vehicle line. The petition requested an 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 an entire vehicle line. The agency informed Suzuki by 
telephone on November 29, 2010, of the areas of insufficiency with 
respect to its October 22, 2010 petition for exemption. On December 10, 
2010, Suzuki submitted supplementary information to the agency 
addressing its areas of insufficiency.
    Under Sec.  543.5(a), a manufacturer may petition NHTSA to grant 
exemptions for one line of its vehicle lines per year. In its petition, 
Suzuki provided a detailed description and diagram of the identity, 
design, and location of the components of the antitheft device for its 
Kazashi vehicle line. Suzuki will install its passive antitheft device 
as standard equipment on the line. Key features of the antitheft device 
will include an electronically coded key fob, Body Control Module 
(BCM), Engine Control Module (ECM) and a passive immobilizer. Suzuki's 
submission, along with its supplementary information 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. Suzuki stated that the proposed device is 
designed to be active at all times without direct intervention by the 
vehicle operator and is fully armed immediately after the ignition has 
been turned off and the key is removed. The device will provide 
protection against unauthorized starting and fueling of the engine. 
Suzuki further stated that the device will also incorporate an audible 
and visible alarm feature as standard equipment. The lights will flash 
and the horn will sound in the event of unauthorized vehicle entry.
    Suzuki stated that the antitheft device will also utilize a special 
ignition key and decoder module. Before the vehicle can be operated, 
the coded key fob must be confirmed to authorize start and fuel of the 
engine. Specifically, Suzuki stated that the BCM sends a signal and an 
electronically-coded identification number to the key fob. If the 
correct key fob is used, it conducts a calculation and sends the result 
to the BCM. The BCM also conducts its own calculation and verifies that 
the BCM and key fob calculation result are identical. If the results 
are identical, the BCM will send data to the ECM allowing the vehicle 
to start. If either the key fob identification number or calculation 
result are not an exact match with the BCM information, Suzuki stated 
that the ECM will prohibit operation of the vehicle.
    In addressing the specific content requirements of 543.6, Suzuki 
provided information on the reliability and durability of the proposed 
device. To ensure reliability and durability of the device, Suzuki 
conducted tests based on its own specified standards. Suzuki provided a 
detailed list of the tests conducted on the components of its 
immobilizer device and believes that the device is reliable and durable 
since it complied with the specified requirements for each test. 
According to the information provided by Suzuki, the components of the 
device were tested and the results confirm that the device performed as 
designed, meeting compliance in climatic, chemical environments, and 
immunity to various electromagnetic radiations.
    Suzuki stated that although there is no theft data available to 
show the theft reduction benefits for the Kizashi vehicle line at this 
time, it has compared the effectiveness of its antitheft device with 
devices which it believes are functionally and operationally similar to 
its proposed device. Suzuki stated that data published by the agency, 
the Highway Loss data Institute and the National Insurance Crime Bureau 
show the effectiveness of passive immobilizer devices at reducing and 
deterring theft. Suzuki stated that the agency's theft data show that 
the theft rate for the 1999 Nissan Maxima equipped with a standard 
passive immobilizer is 2.5 thefts per thousand vehicles, compared to a 
theft rate of 5.2 thefts for the 1998 Nissan Maxima without a passive 
immobilizer, a reduction of more than 50 percent. Additionally, Suzuki 
noted that data from the Highway Loss Data Institute show that overall 
theft losses for the 1999 Nissan Maxima (with a passive immobilizer) 
were reduced by over 85 percent compared to the overall losses for the 
1998 Nissan Maxima (without a passive immobilizer). Suzuki provided 
further information showing

[[Page 4992]]

that data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau showed a 70 percent 
reduction in theft when comparing MY 1997 Ford Mustang vehicles (with a 
standard immobilizer) to MY 1995 Ford Mustang vehicles (without and 
immobilizer). Suzuki believes that its antitheft device will be no less 
effective than these devices and similar devices for which NHTSA has 
already granted exemptions from the parts-marking requirements.
    Based on the supporting evidence submitted by Suzuki on the device, 
the agency believes that the antitheft device for the Kizashi 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). The agency concludes that 
the device will provide the five types of performance listed in Sec.  
543.6(a)(3): promoting activation; attracting attention to the efforts 
of an unauthorized person to enter or move 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.
    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 Suzuki has provided adequate reasons for its belief that the 
antitheft device for the MBUSA new 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 MBUSA 
provided about its device.
    For the foregoing reasons, the agency hereby grants in full 
Suzuki's petition for exemption for the Kizashi vehicle line from the 
parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR part 541. 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 
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 Suzuki 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 as required by 49 CFR 541.5 and 541.6 (marking of major 
component parts and replacement parts).
    NHTSA notes that if Suzuki 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, Sec.  543.9(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 543.9(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.

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 33106; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 
1.50.

    Issued on: January 21, 2011.
Joseph S. Carra,
Acting, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2011-1772 Filed 1-26-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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