[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 107 (Wednesday, June 4, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32211-32212]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-12899]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0012]
RIN 2127-AK95


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems--
Side Impact Protection

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

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SUMMARY: This document reopens the comment period for a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published January 28, 2014. The NPRM 
proposes to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
213, ``Child restraint systems,'' to adopt side impact performance 
requirements for all child restraint systems designed to seat children 
in a weight range that includes weights up to 18 kilograms (kg) (40 
pounds (lb)). The original comment period closed April 28, 2014. In 
response to a petition from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers 
Association, NHTSA is reopening the comment closing date for 120 days.

DATES: The comment closing date for the January 28, 2014 NPRM (Docket 
No. NHTSA-2014-0012; 79 FR 4570) is October 2, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0012 by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern 
Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    Regardless of how you submit your comments, please mention the 
docket number of the January 28, 2014 NPRM.
    You may also call the Docket at 202-366-9324.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the discussion 
under the Public Participation heading of the January 28, 2014 NPRM (79 
FR 4570). Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit 
http://dms.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical issues, you may call 
Cristina Echemendia, Office of Crashworthiness Standards, (Telephone: 
202-366-6345) (Fax: 202-493-2990). For legal issues, you may call 
Deirdre Fujita, Office of Chief Counsel (Telephone: 202-366-2992) (Fax: 
202-366-3820). Mailing address: National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., West Building, Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 28, 2014, NHTSA published an NPRM 
proposing to amend FMVSS No. 213, ``Child restraint systems,'' to adopt 
side impact performance requirements for all child restraint systems 
(CRSs) designed to seat children in a weight range that includes 
weights up to 18 kg (40 lb) (79 FR 4570). Frontal and side crashes 
account for most child occupant fatalities. Standard No. 213 currently 
requires child restraints to meet a dynamic test simulating a 48.3 
kilometers per hour (30 miles per hour) frontal impact. The January 
2014 proposal would require an additional test in which such child 
restraints must protect the child occupant in a dynamic test simulating 
a full-scale vehicle-to-vehicle side impact.
    Under the NPRM, child restraints would be tested with a newly-
developed instrumented side impact test dummy representing a 3-year-old 
child, called the ``Q3s'' dummy, and with a well-established 12-month-
old child test dummy (the Child Restraint Air Bag Interaction (CRABI) 
dummy). NHTSA published an NPRM proposing to amend our regulation for 
anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs), 49 CFR Part 572, to add 
specifications for the Q3s (78 FR 69944; November 21, 2013). The CRABI 
dummy's specifications are already incorporated into 49 CFR Part 572, 
in Subpart R.
    NHTSA issued the January 28, 2014 NPRM to ensure that child 
restraints subject to the rulemaking effectively restrain the child 
occupant in a side impact, prevent harmful head contact with an 
intruding vehicle door or child restraint structure, and attenuate 
crash forces to the child's head and chest. The NPRM also responded to 
a statutory mandate set forth in the ``Moving Ahead for Progress in the 
21st Century Act'' (July 6, 2012), directing the Secretary of 
Transportation to issue a final rule amending FMVSS No. 213 to improve 
the protection of children seated in child restraint systems during 
side impacts.
    NHTSA provided a three-month comment period for the January 2014 
proposal, which closed April 28, 2014.

Petition

    The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) submitted a 
March 7, 2014 petition to extend the comment period for the January 
2014 NPRM 120 days ``to allow JPMA member companies the opportunity to 
have access to the proposed Q3s 3-year-old side impact ATD for use in 
their

[[Page 32212]]

testing.'' JPMA believes that the original three-month comment period 
was too short to enable manufacturers ``to thoroughly evaluate the 
potential implications'' of the proposed rule and to ``provide 
constructive feedback to NHTSA.''
    Moreover, JPMA states that the Q3s dummy's availability from the 
dummy manufacturer has been limited. ``Without the ability to inspect, 
observe and learn about [the Q3s's] performance strengths and 
limitations, particularly in regard to its repeatability and 
reproducibility characteristic, our CRS manufacturing members are 
seriously limited in our ability to comment in the time period 
prescribed in the current NPRM.'' The petitioner notes that a test 
laboratory has indicated that it will be able to start testing with a 
Q3s in March, but there is ``a substantial waiting list in place 
amongst the manufacturers'' to undergo testing of their products at 
that lab and elsewhere. JPMA requests an additional 120 days to comment 
to undertake testing and to evaluate the Q3s and to ``provide 
substantive and quantifiable data back to NHTSA.''

Agency Decision

    In accordance with NHTSA's rulemaking procedures in 49 CFR Part 
553, Subpart B, the agency is granting JPMA's request. (Because the 
comment period has closed, we are not extending it but instead we are 
reopening it for 120 days.) We have determined that the petitioner has 
shown good cause for having more time to comment, and that reopening 
the comment period is consistent with the public interest (see 49 CFR 
553.19).
    NHTSA has confirmed that the Q3s dummy was generally unavailable 
from the dummy manufacturer until recently. Given that information, we 
agree that reopening the comment period for 120 days is reasonable, 
since many child restraint manufacturers cannot arrange to have their 
products tested concurrently but will have to wait for their turn at 
test facilities to have their products evaluated. Time is needed to 
accommodate the wait, to conduct the testing, to evaluate the data, and 
to draft and submit comments on the rulemaking. We believe that 120 
days provides a reasonable time period to accomplish this.
    Accordingly, the public comment period for Docket No. NHTSA-2014-
0012 is reopened as indicated in the DATES section of this document.
    Please note that even after the comment closing date has passed, 
NHTSA will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it 
becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments, which 
NHTSA will consider to the extent possible. Accordingly, the agency 
recommends that readers periodically check the Docket for new material.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117 and 30166; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.

Claude H. Harris,
Acting Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2014-12899 Filed 6-3-14; 8:45 am]
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