MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE,


CHAPTER 301
AND RELATED UNCODIFIED PROVISIONS

ADMINISTERED BY THE


NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

 

U.S. Department of Transportation


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Chief Counsel

 

June 2006


 

 


CONTENTS

 

SUBCHAPTER I. GENERAL

            Sec.

30101. Purpose and policy.
30102. Definitions.
30103. Relationship to other laws.
30104. Authorization of appropriations.
30105. Restriction on lobbying activities.

30106. Rented or leased motor vehicle safety and responsibility.

SUBCHAPTER II. STANDARDS AND COMPLIANCE

30111. Standards.
30112. Prohibitions on manufacturing, selling, and importing noncomplying motor vehicles and equipment.
30113. General exemptions.
30114. Special exemptions.
30115. Certification of compliance.
30116. Defects and noncompliance found before sale to purchaser.
30117. Providing information to, and maintaining records on, purchasers.
30118. Notification of defects and noncompliance.
30119. Notification procedures.
30120. Remedies for defects and noncompliance.
30121. Provisional notifications and civil actions to enforce.
30122. Making safety devices and elements inoperative.
30123. Tires.
30124. Buzzers indicating nonuse of safety belts.
30125. Schoolbuses and schoolbus equipment.
30126. Used motor vehicles.
30127. Automatic occupant crash protection and seat belt use.

30128. Vehicle rollover prevention and crash mitigation.

SUBCHAPTER III. IMPORTING NONCOMPLYING MOTOR VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT

30141. Importing motor vehicles capable of complying with standards.
30142. Importing motor vehicles for personal use.
30143. Motor vehicles imported by individuals employed outside the United States.
30144. Importing motor vehicles on a temporary basis.
30145. Importing motor vehicles or equipment requiring further manufacturing.
30146. Release of motor vehicles and bonds.
30147. Responsibility for defects and noncompliance.

SUBCHAPTER IV. ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE

30161. Judicial review of standards.
30162. Petitions by interested persons for standards and enforcement.
30163. Actions by the Attorney General.
30164. Service of process.
30165. Civil penalty.
30166. Inspections, investigations, and records.
30167. Disclosure of information by the Secretary of Transportation.
30168. Research, testing, development, and training.
30169. Annual reports.
30170. Criminal penalties.

RELATED UNCODIFIED PROVISIONS

  1. Improving air bag safety.  [Sec. 7103 of TEA-21]
  2. Insurance study.  [Sec. 3 (d) of TREAD Act] 
  3. Endurance and resistance standards for tires.  [Sec. 10 of TREAD Act] 
  4. Improved tire information.  [Sec. 11 of TREAD Act] 
  5. Tire pressure warning.  [Sec. 13 of TREAD Act] 
  6. Improving the safety of child restraints [Sec. 14 of TREAD Act]
  7. Improving criteria used in a recall.  [Sec. 15 of TREAD Act]
  8. Follow-up report [Sec. 16 of TREAD Act] 
  9. Authorization of appropriations.  [Sec. 17 of TREAD Act] 
  10. Anton's Law
  11. Side-impact crash protection rulemaking.  [Sec. 10302 of SAFETEA-LU]
  12. Tire research [Sec. 10303 of SAFETEA-LU]
  13. Vehicle backover avoidance technology study.  [Sec. 10304 of SAFETEA-LU]
  14. Nontraffic incident data collection.  [Sec. 10305 of SAFETEA-LU]
  15. Study of safety belt use technologies.  [Sec. 10306 of SAFETEA-LU]
  16. Power window switches.  [Sec. 10308 of SAFETEA-LU]
  17. Authorization of appropriations.  [Sec. 10310 of SAFETEA-LU]

SUBCHAPTER I.  GENERAL

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§  30101.  Purpose and policy

 

The purpose of this chapter is to reduce traffic accidents and deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents.  Therefore it is necessary--

 

(1) to prescribe motor vehicle safety standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in interstate commerce;  and

 

(2) to carry out needed safety research and development.

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§  30102.  Definitions

 

(a) General definitions.--In this chapter--

 

(1) "dealer" means a person selling and distributing new motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment primarily to purchasers that in good faith purchase the vehicles or equipment other than for resale.

 

(2) "defect" includes any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.

 

(3) "distributor" means a person primarily selling and distributing motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for resale.

 

(4) "interstate commerce" means commerce between a place in a State and a place in another State or between places in the same State through another State.

 

(5) "manufacturer" means a person--

 

(A) manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment;  or

 

(B) importing motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for resale.

 

(6) "motor vehicle" means a vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways, but does not include a vehicle operated only on a rail line.

 

(7) "motor vehicle equipment" means--

 

(A) any system, part, or component of a motor vehicle as originally manufactured;

 

(B) any similar part or component manufactured or sold for replacement or improvement of a system, part, or component, or as an accessory or addition to a motor vehicle;  or

 

(C) any device or an article or apparel (except medicine or eyeglasses prescribed by a licensed practitioner) that is not a system, part, or component of a motor vehicle and is manufactured, sold, delivered, offered, or intended to be used only to safeguard motor vehicles and highway users against risk of accident, injury, or death.

 

(8) "motor vehicle safety" means the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.

 

(9) "motor vehicle safety standard" means a minimum standard for motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment performance.

 

(10) "State" means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.

 

(11) "United States district court" means a district court of the United States, a United States court for Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, and the district court for the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

(b) Limited definitions.--(1) In sections 30117(b), 30118-30121, and 30166(f) of this title--

 

(A) "adequate repair" does not include repair resulting in substantially impaired operation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment;

 

(B) "first purchaser" means the first purchaser of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment other than for resale;

 

(C) "original equipment" means motor vehicle equipment (including a tire) installed in or on a motor vehicle at the time of delivery to the first purchaser;

 

(D) "replacement equipment" means motor vehicle equipment (including a tire) that is not original equipment;

 

(E) a brand name owner of a tire marketed under a brand name not owned by the manufacturer of the tire is deemed to be the manufacturer of the tire;

 

(F) a defect in original equipment, or noncompliance of original equipment with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter, is deemed to be a defect or noncompliance of the motor vehicle in or on which the equipment was installed at the time of delivery to the first purchaser;

 

(G) a manufacturer of a motor vehicle in or on which original equipment was installed when delivered to the first purchaser is deemed to be the manufacturer of the equipment;  and

 

(H) a retreader of a tire is deemed to be the manufacturer of the tire.

 

(2) The Secretary of Transportation may prescribe regulations changing paragraph (1)(C), (D), (F), or (G) of this subsection.

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§  30103.  Relationship to other laws

 

(a) Uniformity of regulations.--The Secretary of Transportation may not prescribe a safety regulation related to a motor vehicle subject to subchapter I of chapter 135 of this title that differs from a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter.  However, the Secretary may prescribe, for a motor vehicle operated by a carrier subject to subchapter I of chapter 135, a safety regulation that imposes a higher standard of performance after manufacture than that required by an applicable standard in effect at the time of manufacture.

 

(b) Preemption.--(1) When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter.  However, the United States Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe a standard for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment obtained for its own use that imposes a higher performance requirement than that required by the otherwise applicable standard under this chapter.

 

(2) A State may enforce a standard that is identical to a standard prescribed under this chapter.

 

(c) Antitrust laws.--This chapter does not--

 

(1) exempt from the antitrust laws conduct that is unlawful under those laws;  or

 

(2) prohibit under the antitrust laws conduct that is lawful under those laws.

 

(d) Warranty obligations and additional legal rights and remedies.--Sections 30117(b), 30118-30121, 30166(f), and 30167(a) and (b) of this title do not establish or affect a warranty obligation under a law of the United States or a State.  A remedy under those sections and sections 30161 and 30162 of this title is in addition to other rights and remedies under other laws of the United States or a State.

 

(e) Common law liability.--Compliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from liability at common law.

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§  30104.  Authorization of appropriations

 

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $98,313,500 for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to carry out this part in each fiscal year beginning in fiscal year 1999 and ending in fiscal year 2001.

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§  30105.  Restrictions on lobbying activities

 

(a) In general.--No funds appropriated to the Secretary for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shall be available for any activity specifically designed to urge a State or local legislator to favor or oppose the adoption of any specific legislative proposal pending before any State or local legislative body.

 

(b) Appearance as witness not barred.--Subsection (a) does not prohibit officers or employees of the United States from testifying before any State or local legislative body in response to the invitation of any member of that legislative body or a State executive office.

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§  30106.  Rented or leased motor vehicle safety and responsibility

 

(a) In general.--An owner of a motor vehicle that rents or leases the vehicle to a person (or an affiliate of the owner) shall not be liable under the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, by reason of being the owner of the vehicle (or an affiliate of the owner), for harm to persons or property that results or arises out of the use, operation, or possession of the vehicle during the period of the rental or lease, if--

 

(1) the owner (or an affiliate of the owner) is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles;  and

 

(2) there is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner (or an affiliate of the owner).

 

(b) Financial responsibility laws.--Nothing in this section supersedes the law of any State or political subdivision thereof--

 

(1) imposing financial responsibility or insurance standards on the owner of a motor vehicle for the privilege of registering and operating a motor vehicle; or

 

(2) imposing liability on business entities engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles for failure to meet the financial responsibility or liability insurance requirements under State law.

 

(c) Applicability and effective date.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this section shall apply with respect to any action commenced on or after the date of enactment of this section without regard to whether the harm that is the subject of the action, or the conduct that caused the harm, occurred before such date of enactment.

 

(d) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions apply:

 

(1) Affiliate.--The term "affiliate" means a person other than the owner that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the owner.  In the preceding sentence, the term "control" means the power to direct the management and policies of a person whether through ownership of voting securities or otherwise.

 

(2) Owner.--The term "owner" means a person who is--

 

(A) a record or beneficial owner, holder of title, lessor, or lessee of a motor vehicle;

 

(B) entitled to the use and possession of a motor vehicle subject to a security interest in another person;  or

 

(C) a lessor, lessee, or a bailee of a motor vehicle, in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles, having the use or possession thereof, under a lease, bailment, or otherwise.

 

(3) Person.--The term "person" means any individual, corporation, company, limited liability company, trust, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other entity.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER II.  STANDARDS AND COMPLIANCE

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§  30111.  Standards

 

(a) General requirements.--The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe motor vehicle safety standards.  Each standard shall be practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and be stated in objective terms.

 

(b) Considerations and consultation.--When prescribing a motor vehicle safety standard under this chapter, the Secretary shall--

 

(1) consider relevant available motor vehicle safety information;

 

(2) consult with the agency established under the Act of August 20, 1958  (Public Law 85-684, 72 Stat. 635), and other appropriate State or interstate authorities (including legislative committees);

 

(3) consider whether a proposed standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the particular type of motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment for which it is prescribed;  and

 

(4) consider the extent to which the standard will carry out section 30101 of this title.

 

(c) Cooperation.--The Secretary may advise, assist, and cooperate with departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government, States, and other public and private agencies in developing motor vehicle safety standards.

 

(d) Effective dates of standards.--The Secretary shall specify the effective date of a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter in the order prescribing the standard.  A standard may not become effective before the 180th day after the standard is prescribed or later than one year after it is prescribed.  However, the Secretary may prescribe a different effective date after finding, for good cause shown, that a different effective date is in the public interest and publishing the reasons for the finding.

 

(e) 5-Year plan for testing standards.--The Secretary shall establish and periodically review and update on a continuing basis a 5-year plan for testing motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter that the Secretary considers capable of being tested.  In developing the plan and establishing testing priorities, the Secretary shall consider factors the Secretary considers appropriate, consistent with section 30101 of this title and the Secretary's other duties and powers under this chapter.  The Secretary may change at any time those priorities to address matters the Secretary considers of greater priority.  The initial plan may be the 5-year plan for compliance testing in effect on December 18, 1991.

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§  30112.  Prohibitions on manufacturing, selling, and importing noncomplying motor vehicles and equipment

 

(a) General.--

 

(1) Except as provided in this section, sections 30113 and 30114 of this title, and subchapter III of this chapter, a person may not manufacture for sale, sell, offer for sale, introduce or deliver for introduction in interstate commerce, or import into the United States, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment manufactured on or after the date an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter takes effect unless the vehicle or equipment complies with the standard and is covered by a certification issued under section 30115 of this title.

 

(2) Except as provided in this section, sections 30113 and 30114 of this title, and subchapter III of this chapter, a school or school system may not purchase or lease a new 15-passenger van if it will be used significantly by, or on behalf of, the school or school system to transport preprimary, primary, or secondary school students to or from school or an event related to school, unless the 15-passenger van complies with the motor vehicle standards prescribed for school buses and multifunction school activity buses under this title.  This paragraph does not apply to the purchase or lease of a 15- passenger van under a contract executed before the date of enactment of this paragraph.

 

(b) Nonapplication.--This section does not apply to--

 

(1) the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction in interstate commerce of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment after the first purchase of the vehicle or equipment in good faith other than for resale;

 

(2) a person--

 

(A) establishing that the person had no reason to know, despite exercising reasonable care, that a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment does not comply with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter;  or

 

(B) holding, without knowing about the noncompliance and before the vehicle or equipment is first purchased in good faith other than for resale, a certificate issued by a manufacturer or importer stating the vehicle or equipment complies with applicable standards prescribed under this chapter;

 

(3) a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment intended only for export, labeled for export on the vehicle or equipment and on the outside of any container of the vehicle or equipment, and exported;

 

(4) a motor vehicle the Secretary of Transportation decides under section 30141 of this title is capable of complying with applicable standards prescribed under this chapter;

 

(5) a motor vehicle imported for personal use by an individual who receives an exemption under section 30142 of this title;

 

(6) a motor vehicle under section 30143 of this title imported by an individual employed outside the United States;

 

(7) a motor vehicle under section 30144 of this title imported on a temporary basis;

 

(8) a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment under section 30145 of this title requiring further manufacturing;  or

 

(9) a motor vehicle that is at least 25 years old.

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§  30113.  General exemptions

 

(a) Definition.--In this section, "low-emission motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle meeting the standards for new motor vehicles applicable to the vehicle under section 202 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7521) when the vehicle is manufactured and emitting an air pollutant in an amount significantly below one of those standards.

 

(b) Authority to exempt and procedures.—(1) The Secretary of Transportation may exempt, on a temporary basis, motor vehicles from a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter or passenger motor vehicles from a bumper standard prescribed under chapter 325 of this title, on terms the Secretary considers appropriate.  An exemption may be renewed.  A renewal may be granted only on reapplication and must conform to the requirements of this subsection.

 

  (2) The Secretary may begin a proceeding under this subsection when a manufacturer applies for an exemption or a renewal of an exemption.  The Secretary shall publish notice of the application and provide an opportunity to comment.  An application for an exemption or for a renewal of an exemption shall be filed at a time and in the way, and contain information, this section and the Secretary require.

 

  (3) The Secretary may act under this subsection on finding that--

 

(A) an exemption is consistent with the public interest and this chapter or chapter 325 of this title (as applicable);  and

 

(B)(i) compliance with the standard would cause substantial economic hardship to a manufacturer that has tried to comply with the standard in good faith;

 

  (ii) the exemption would make easier the development or field evaluation of a new motor vehicle safety feature providing a safety level at least equal to the safety level of the standard;

 

  (iii) the exemption would make the development or field evaluation of a low-emission motor vehicle easier and would not unreasonably lower the safety level of that vehicle;  or

 

  (iv) compliance with the standard would prevent the manufacturer from selling a motor vehicle with an overall safety level at least equal to the overall safety level of nonexempt vehicles.

 

(c) Contents of applications.--A manufacturer applying for an exemption under subsection (b) of this section shall include the following information in the application:

 

(1) if the application is made under subsection (b)(3)(B)(i) of this section, a complete financial statement describing the economic hardship and a complete description of the manufacturer's good faith effort to comply with each motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter, or a bumper standard prescribed under chapter 325 of this title, from which the manufacturer is requesting an exemption.

 

(2) if the application is made under subsection (b)(3)(B)(ii) of this section, a record of the research, development, and testing establishing the innovative nature of the safety feature and a detailed analysis establishing that the safety level of the feature at least equals the safety level of the standard.

 

(3) if the application is made under subsection (b)(3)(B)(iii) of this section, a record of the research, development, and testing establishing that the motor vehicle is a low-emission motor vehicle and that the safety level of the vehicle is not lowered unreasonably by exemption from the standard.

 

(4) if the application is made under subsection (b)(3)(B)(iv) of this section, a detailed analysis showing how the vehicle provides an overall safety level at least equal to the overall safety level of nonexempt vehicles.

 

(d) Eligibility.--A manufacturer is eligible for an exemption under subsection (b)(3)(B)(i) of this section (including an exemption under subsection (b)(3)(B)(i) relating to a bumper standard referred to in subsection (b)(1)) only if the Secretary determines that the manufacturer's total motor vehicle production in the most recent year of production is not more than 10,000.  A manufacturer is eligible for an exemption under subsection (b)(3)(B)(ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section only if the Secretary determines the exemption is for not more than 2,500 vehicles to be sold in the United States in any 12- month period.

 

(e) Maximum period.--An exemption or renewal under subsection (b)(3)(B)(i) of  this section may be granted for not more than 3 years.  An exemption or renewal under subsection (b)(3)(B)(ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section may be granted for not more than 2 years.

 

(f) Disclosure.--The Secretary may make public, by the 10th day after an application is filed, information contained in the application or relevant to the application unless the information concerns or is related to a trade secret or other confidential information not relevant to the application.

 

(g) Notice of decision.--The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of each decision granting an exemption under this section and the reasons for granting it.

 

(h) Permanent label requirement.--The Secretary shall require a permanent label to be fixed to a motor vehicle granted an exemption under this section.  The label shall either name or describe each motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter or bumper standard prescribed under chapter 325 of this title from which the vehicle is exempt.  The Secretary may require that written notice of an exemption be delivered by appropriate means to the dealer and the first purchaser of the vehicle other than for resale.

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§  30114.  Special exemptions

 

The Secretary of Transportation may exempt a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment from section 30112(a) of this title on terms the Secretary decides are necessary for research, investigations, demonstrations, training, competitive racing events, show, or display.

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§  30115.  Certification of compliance

 

(a) In general--A manufacturer or distributor of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment shall certify to the distributor or dealer at delivery that the vehicle or equipment complies with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter.  A person may not issue the certificate if, in exercising reasonable care, the person has reason to know the certificate is false or misleading in a material respect.  Certification of a vehicle must be shown by a label or tag permanently fixed to the vehicle. Certification of equipment may be shown by a label or tag on the equipment or on the outside of the container in which the equipment is delivered.

 

(b) Certification label.--In the case of the certification label affixed by an intermediate or final stage manufacturer of a motor vehicle built in more than 1 stage, each intermediate or final stage manufacturer shall certify with respect to each applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standard--

 

(1) that it has complied with the specifications set forth in the compliance documentation provided by the incomplete motor vehicle manufacturer in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary;  or

 

(2) that it has elected to assume responsibility for compliance with that standard.

 

If the intermediate or final stage manufacturer elects to assume responsibility for compliance with the standard covered by the documentation provided by an incomplete motor vehicle manufacturer, the intermediate or final stage manufacturer shall notify the incomplete motor vehicle manufacturer in writing within a reasonable time of affixing the certification label.  A violation of this subsection shall not be subject to a civil penalty under section 30165.

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§  30116.  Defects and noncompliance found before sale to purchaser

 

(a) Actions required of manufacturers and distributors.--If, after a manufacturer or distributor sells a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment to a distributor or dealer and before the distributor or dealer sells the vehicle or equipment, it is decided that the vehicle or equipment contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety or does not comply with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter--

 

(1) the manufacturer or distributor immediately shall repurchase the vehicle or equipment at the price paid by the distributor or dealer, plus transportation charges and reasonable reimbursement of at least one percent a month of the price paid prorated from the date of notice of noncompliance or defect to the date of repurchase;  or

 

(2) if a vehicle, the manufacturer or distributor immediately shall give to the distributor or dealer at the manufacturer's or distributor's own expense, the part or equipment needed to make the vehicle comply with the standards or correct the defect.

 

(b) Distributor or dealer installation.--The distributor or dealer shall install the part or equipment referred to in subsection (a)(2) of this section.  If the distributor or dealer installs the part or equipment with reasonable diligence after it is received, the manufacturer shall reimburse the distributor or dealer for the reasonable value of the installation and a reasonable reimbursement of at least one percent a month of the manufacturer's or distributor's selling price prorated from the date of notice of noncompliance or defect to the date the motor vehicle complies with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter or the defect is corrected.

 

(c) Establishing amount due and civil actions.--The parties shall establish the value of installation and the amount of reimbursement under this section.  If the parties do not agree, or if a manufacturer or distributor refuses to comply with subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the distributor or dealer purchasing the motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment may bring a civil action.  The action may be brought in a United States district court for the judicial district in which the manufacturer or distributor resides, is found, or has an agent, to recover damages, court costs, and a reasonable attorney's fee.  An action under this section must be brought not later than 3 years after the claim accrues.

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§  30117.  Providing information to, and maintaining records on, purchasers

 

(a) Providing information and notice.--The Secretary of Transportation may require that each manufacturer of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment provide technical information related to performance and safety required to carry out this chapter.  The Secretary may require the manufacturer to give the following notice of that information when the Secretary decides it is necessary:

 

(1) to each prospective purchaser of a vehicle or equipment before the first sale other than for resale at each location at which the vehicle or equipment is offered for sale by a person having a legal relationship with the manufacturer, in a way the Secretary decides is appropriate.

 

(2) to the first purchaser of a vehicle or equipment other than for resale when the vehicle or equipment is bought, in printed matter placed in the vehicle or attached to or accompanying the equipment.

 

(b) Maintaining purchaser records and procedures.—(1) A manufacturer of a motor vehicle or tire (except a retreaded tire) shall cause to be maintained a record of the name and address of the first purchaser of each vehicle or tire it produces and, to the extent prescribed by regulations of the Secretary, shall cause to be maintained a record of the name and address of the first purchaser of replacement equipment (except a tire) that the manufacturer produces.  The Secretary may prescribe by regulation the records to be maintained and reasonable procedures for maintaining the records under this subsection, including procedures to be followed by distributors and dealers to assist the manufacturer in obtaining the information required by this subsection.  A procedure shall be reasonable for the type of vehicle or tire involved, and shall provide reasonable assurance that a customer list of a distributor or dealer, or similar information, will be made available to a person (except the distributor or dealer) only when necessary to carry out this subsection and sections 30118-30121, 30166(f), and 30167(a) and (b) of this title.  Availability of assistance from a distributor or dealer does not affect an obligation of a manufacturer under this subsection.

 

  (2)(A) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Secretary may require a distributor or dealer to maintain a record under paragraph (1) of this subsection only if the business of the distributor or dealer is owned or controlled by a manufacturer of tires.

 

    (B) The Secretary shall require each distributor and dealer whose business is not owned or controlled by a manufacturer of tires to give a registration form (containing the tire identification number) to the first purchaser of a tire. The Secretary shall prescribe the form, which shall be standardized for all tires and designed to allow the purchaser to complete and return it directly to the manufacturer of the tire.  The manufacturer shall give sufficient copies of forms to distributors and dealers.

 

  (3)(A) The Secretary shall evaluate from time to time how successful the procedures under paragraph (2) of this subsection have been in helping to maintain records about first purchasers of tires.  After each evaluation, the Secretary shall decide--

 

(i) the extent to which distributors and dealers have complied with the procedures;

 

(ii) the extent to which distributors and dealers have encouraged first purchasers of tires to register the tires;  and

 

(iii) whether to prescribe for manufacturers, distributors, or dealers other requirements that the Secretary decides will increase significantly the percentage of first purchasers of tires about whom records are maintained.

 

  (B) The Secretary may prescribe a requirement under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph only if the Secretary decides it is necessary to reduce the risk to motor vehicle safety, after considering--

 

(i) the cost of the requirement to manufacturers and the burden of the requirement on distributors and dealers, compared to the increase in the percentage of first purchasers of tires about whom records would be maintained as a result of the requirement;

 

(ii) the extent to which distributors and dealers have complied with the procedures in paragraph (2) of this subsection;  and

 

(iii) the extent to which distributors and dealers have encouraged first purchasers of tires to register the tires.

 

  (C) A manufacturer of tires shall reimburse distributors and dealers of that manufacturer's tires for all reasonable costs incurred by the distributors and dealers in complying with a requirement prescribed by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

 

  (D) After making a decision under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the Secretary shall submit to each House of Congress a report containing a detailed statement of the decision and an explanation of the reasons for the decision.

 

(c) Rollover tests.--

 

(1) Development.--Not later than 2 years from the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall--

 

(A) develop a dynamic test on rollovers by motor vehicles for the purposes of a consumer information program;  and

 

(B) carry out a program of conducting such tests.

 

(2) Test results.--As the Secretary develops a test under paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary shall conduct a rulemaking to determine how best to disseminate test results to the public.

 

(3) Motor vehicles covered.--This subsection applies to motor vehicles, including passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less.  A motor vehicle designed to provide temporary residential accommodations is not covered.

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§  30118.  Notification of defects and noncompliance

 

(a) Notification by Secretary.--The Secretary of Transportation shall notify the manufacturer of a motor vehicle or replacement equipment immediately after making an initial decision (through testing, inspection, investigation, or research carried out under this chapter, examining communications under section 30166(f) of this title, or otherwise) that the vehicle or equipment contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety or does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter.  The notification shall include the information on which the decision is based.  The Secretary shall publish a notice of each decision under this subsection in the Federal Register.  Subject to section 30167(a) of this title, the notification and information are available to any interested person.

 

(b) Defect and noncompliance proceedings and orders.—(1) The Secretary may make a final decision that a motor vehicle or replacement equipment contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety or does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter only after giving the manufacturer an opportunity to present information, views, and arguments showing that there is no defect or noncompliance or that the defect does not affect motor vehicle safety.  Any interested person also shall be given an opportunity to present information, views, and arguments.

 

  (2) If the Secretary decides under paragraph (1) of this subsection that the vehicle or equipment contains the defect or does not comply, the Secretary shall order the manufacturer to--

 

(A) give notification under section 30119 of this title to the owners, purchasers, and dealers of the vehicle or equipment of the defect or noncompliance;  and

 

(B) remedy the defect or noncompliance under section 30120 of this title.

 

(c) Notification by manufacturer.--A manufacturer of a motor vehicle or replacement equipment shall notify the Secretary by certified mail, and the owners, purchasers, and dealers of the vehicle or equipment as provided in section 30119(d) of this section, if the manufacturer--

 

(1) learns the vehicle or equipment contains a defect and decides in good faith that the defect is related to motor vehicle safety;  or

 

(2) decides in good faith that the vehicle or equipment does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter.

 

(d) Exemptions.--On application of a manufacturer, the Secretary shall exempt the manufacturer from this section if the Secretary decides a defect or noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.  The Secretary may take action under this subsection only after notice in the Federal Register and an opportunity for any interested person to present information, views, and arguments.

 

(e) Hearings about meeting notification requirements.--On the motion of the Secretary or on petition of any interested person, the Secretary may conduct a hearing to decide whether the manufacturer has reasonably met the notification requirements under this section.  Any interested person may make written and oral presentations of information, views, and arguments on whether the manufacturer has reasonably met the notification requirements.  If the Secretary decides that the manufacturer has not reasonably met the notification requirements, the Secretary shall order the manufacturer to take specified action to meet those requirements and may take any other action authorized under this chapter.

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§  30119.  Notification procedures

 

(a) Contents of notification.--Notification by a manufacturer required under section 30118 of this title of a defect or noncompliance shall contain--

 

(1) a clear description of the defect or noncompliance;

 

(2) an evaluation of the risk to motor vehicle safety reasonably related to the defect or noncompliance;

 

(3) the measures to be taken to obtain a remedy of the defect or noncompliance;

 

(4) a statement that the manufacturer giving notice will remedy the defect or noncompliance without charge under section 30120 of this title;

 

(5) the earliest date on which the defect or noncompliance will be remedied without charge, and for tires, the period during which the defect or noncompliance will be remedied without charge under section 30120 of this title;

 

(6) the procedure the recipient of a notice is to follow to inform the Secretary of Transportation when a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer does not remedy the defect or noncompliance without charge under section 30120 of this title;  and

 

(7) other information the Secretary prescribes by regulation.

 

(b) Earliest remedy date.--The date specified by a manufacturer in a notification under subsection (a)(5) of this section or section 30121(c)(2) of this title is the earliest date that parts and facilities reasonably can be expected to be available to remedy the defect or noncompliance.  The Secretary may disapprove the date.

 

(c) Time for notification.--Notification required under section 30118 of this title shall be given within a reasonable time--

 

(1) prescribed by the Secretary, after the manufacturer receives notice of a final decision under section 30118(b) of this title;  or

 

(2) after the manufacturer first decides that a safety-related defect or noncompliance exists under section 30118(c) of this title.

 

(d) Means of providing notification.--(1) Notification required under section 30118 of this title about a motor vehicle shall be sent by first class mail--

 

(A) to each person registered under State law as the owner and whose name and address are reasonably ascertainable by the manufacturer through State records or other available sources;  or

 

(B) if a registered owner is not notified under clause (A) of this paragraph, to the most recent purchaser known to the manufacturer.

 

(2) Notification required under section 30118 of this title about replacement equipment (except a tire) shall be sent by first class mail to the most recent purchaser known to the manufacturer.  In addition, if the Secretary decides that public notice is required for motor vehicle safety, public notice shall be given in the way required by the Secretary after consulting with the manufacturer.

 

(3) Notification required under section 30118 of this title about a tire shall be sent by first class mail (or, if the manufacturer prefers, by certified mail) to the most recent purchaser known to the manufacturer.  In addition, if the Secretary decides that public notice is required for motor vehicle safety, public notice shall be given in the way required by the Secretary after consulting with the manufacturer.  In deciding whether public notice is required, the Secretary shall consider--

 

(A) the magnitude of the risk to motor vehicle safety caused by the defect or noncompliance;  and

 

(B) the cost of public notice compared to the additional number of owners the notice may reach.

 

(4) A dealer to whom a motor vehicle or replacement equipment was delivered shall be notified by certified mail or quicker means if available.

 

(e) Second notification.--If the Secretary decides that a notification sent by a manufacturer under this section has not resulted in an adequate number of motor vehicles or items of replacement equipment being returned for remedy, the Secretary may order the manufacturer to send a 2d notification in the way the Secretary prescribes by regulation.

 

(f) Notification by lessor to lessee.--(1) In this subsection, "leased motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is leased to a person for at least 4 months by a lessor that has leased at least 5 motor vehicles in the 12 months before the date of the notification.

 

(2) A lessor that receives a notification required by section 30118 of this title about a leased motor vehicle shall provide a copy of the notification to the lessee in the way the Secretary prescribes by regulation.

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§  30120.  Remedies for defects and noncompliance

 

(a) Ways to remedy.—(1) Subject to subsections (f) and (g) of this section, when notification of a defect or noncompliance is required under section 30118(b) or (c) of this title, the manufacturer of the defective or noncomplying motor vehicle or replacement equipment shall remedy the defect or noncompliance without charge when the vehicle or equipment is presented for remedy.  Subject to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the manufacturer shall remedy the defect or noncompliance in any of the following ways the manufacturer chooses:

 

  (A) if a vehicle--

 

(i) by repairing the vehicle;

 

(ii) by replacing the vehicle with an identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle;  or

 

(iii) by refunding the purchase price, less a reasonable allowance for depreciation.

 

  (B) if replacement equipment, by repairing the equipment or replacing the equipment with identical or reasonably equivalent equipment.

 

  (2) The Secretary of Transportation may prescribe regulations to allow the manufacturer to impose conditions on the replacement of a motor vehicle or refund of its price.

 

(b) Tire remedies.--(1) A manufacturer of a tire, including an original equipment tire, shall remedy a defective or noncomplying tire if the owner or purchaser presents the tire for remedy not later than 60 days after the later of--

 

(A) the day the owner or purchaser receives notification under section 30119 of this title;  or

 

(B) if the manufacturer decides to replace the tire, the day the owner or purchaser receives notification that a replacement is available.

 

(2) If the manufacturer decides to replace the tire and the replacement is not available during the 60-day period, the owner or purchaser must present the tire for remedy during a subsequent 60-day period that begins only after the owner or purchaser receives notification that a replacement will be available during the subsequent period.  If tires are available during the subsequent period, only a tire presented for remedy during that period must be remedied.

 

(c) Adequacy of repairs.—(1) If a manufacturer decides to repair a defective or noncomplying motor vehicle or replacement equipment and the repair is not done adequately within a reasonable time, the manufacturer shall--

 

(A) replace the vehicle or equipment without charge with an identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle or equipment;  or

 

(B) for a vehicle, refund the purchase price, less a reasonable allowance for depreciation.

 

  (2) Failure to repair a motor vehicle or replacement equipment adequately not later than 60 days after its presentation is prima facie evidence of failure to repair within a reasonable time.  However, the Secretary may extend, by order, the 60-day period if good cause for an extension is shown and the reason is published in the Federal Register before the period ends.  Presentation of a vehicle or equipment for repair before the date specified by a manufacturer in a notice under section 30119(a)(5) or 30121(c)(2) of this title is not a presentation under this subsection.

 

  (3) If the Secretary determines that a manufacturer's remedy program is not likely to be capable of completion within a reasonable time, the Secretary may require the manufacturer to accelerate the remedy program if the Secretary finds--

 

  (A) that there is a risk of serious injury or death if the remedy program is not accelerated;  and

 

  (B) that acceleration of the remedy program can be reasonably achieved by expanding the sources of replacement parts, expanding the number of authorized repair facilities, or both.

 

The Secretary may prescribe regulations to carry out this paragraph.

 

(d) Filing manufacturer's remedy program.--A manufacturer shall file with the Secretary a copy of the manufacturer's program under this section for remedying a defect or noncompliance.  The Secretary shall make the program available to the public and publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register.  A manufacturer's remedy program shall include a plan for reimbursing an owner or purchaser who incurred the cost of the remedy within a reasonable time in advance of the manufacturer's notification under subsection (b) or (c) of section 30118.  The Secretary may prescribe regulations establishing what constitutes a reasonable time for purposes of the preceding sentence and other reasonable conditions for the reimbursement plan.  In the case of a remedy program involving the replacement of tires, the manufacturer shall include a plan addressing how to prevent, to the extent reasonably within the control of the manufacturer, replaced tires from being resold for installation on a motor vehicle, and how to limit, to the extent reasonably within the control of the manufacturer, the disposal of replaced tires in landfills, particularly through shredding, crumbling, recycling, recovery, and other alternative beneficial non-vehicular uses.  The manufacturer shall include information about the implementation of such plan with each quarterly report to the Secretary regarding the progress of any notification or remedy campaigns.

 

(e) Hearings about meeting remedy requirements.--On the motion of the Secretary or on application by any interested person, the Secretary may conduct a hearing to decide whether the manufacturer has reasonably met the remedy requirements under this section.  Any interested person may make written and oral presentations of information, views, and arguments on whether the manufacturer has reasonably met the remedy requirements.  If the Secretary decides a manufacturer has not reasonably met the remedy requirements, the Secretary shall order the manufacturer to take specified action to meet those requirements and may take any other action authorized under this chapter.

 

(f) Fair reimbursement to dealers.--A manufacturer shall pay fair reimbursement to a dealer providing a remedy without charge under this section.

 

(g) Nonapplication.--(1) The requirement that a remedy be provided without charge does not apply if the motor vehicle or replacement equipment was bought by the first purchaser more than 10 calendar years, or the tire, including an original equipment tire, was bought by the first purchaser more than 5 calendar years, before notice is given under section 30118(c) of this title or an order is issued under section 30118(b) of this title, whichever is earlier.

 

(2) This section does not apply during any period in which enforcement of an order under section 30118(b) of this title is restrained or the order is set aside in a civil action to which section 30121(d) of this title applies.

 

(h) Exemptions.--On application of a manufacturer, the Secretary shall exempt the manufacturer from this section if the Secretary decides a defect or noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.  The Secretary may take action under this subsection only after notice in the Federal Register and an opportunity for any interested person to present information, views, and arguments.

 

(i) Limitation on sale or lease.--(1) If notification is required by an order under section 30118(b) of this title or is required under section 30118(c) of this title and the manufacturer has provided to a dealer (including retailers of motor vehicle equipment) notification about a new motor vehicle or new item of replacement equipment in the dealer's possession at the time of notification that contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety or does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter, the dealer may sell or lease the motor vehicle or item of replacement equipment only if--

 

(A) the defect or noncompliance is remedied as required by this section before delivery under the sale or lease;  or

 

(B) when the notification is required by an order under section 30118(b) of this title, enforcement of the order is restrained or the order is set aside in a civil action to which section 30121(d) of this title applies.

 

(2) This subsection does not prohibit a dealer from offering for sale or lease the vehicle or equipment.

 

(j) Prohibition on sales of replaced equipment.--No person may sell or lease any motor vehicle equipment (including a tire), for installation on a motor vehicle, that is the subject of a decision under section 30118(b) or a notice required under section 30118(c) in a condition that it may be reasonably used for its original purpose unless--

 

(1) the defect or noncompliance is remedied as required by this section before delivery under the sale or lease;  or

 

(2) notification of the defect or noncompliance is required under section 30118(b) but enforcement of the order is set aside in a civil action to which section 30121(d) applies.

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§  30121.  Provisional notification and civil actions to enforce

 

(a) Provisional notification.—(1) The Secretary of Transportation may order a manufacturer to issue a provisional notification if a civil action about an order issued under section 30118(b) of this title has been brought under section 30163 of this title.  The provisional notification shall contain--

 

  (A) a statement that the Secretary has decided that a defect related to motor vehicle safety or noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter exists and that the manufacturer is contesting the decision in a civil action in a United States district court;

 

  (B) a clear description of the Secretary's stated basis for the decision;

 

  (C) the Secretary's evaluation of the risk to motor vehicle safety reasonably related to the defect or noncompliance;

 

  (D) measures the Secretary considers necessary to avoid an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety resulting from the defect or noncompliance;

 

  (E) a statement that the manufacturer will remedy the defect or noncompliance without charge under section 30120 of this title, but that the requirement to remedy without charge is conditioned on the outcome of the civil action; and

 

  (F) other information the Secretary prescribes by regulation or includes in the order requiring the notice.

 

   (2) A notification under this subsection does not relieve a manufacturer of liability for not giving notification required by an order under section 30118(b) of this title.

 

(b) Civil actions for not notifying.—(1) A manufacturer that does not notify owners and purchasers under section 30119(c) and (d) of this title is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty, unless the manufacturer prevails in a civil action referred to in subsection (a) of this section or the court in that action enjoins enforcement of the order. Enforcement may be enjoined only if the court decides that the failure to notify is reasonable and that the manufacturer has demonstrated the likelihood of prevailing on the merits.  If enforcement is enjoined, the manufacturer is not liable during the time the order is stayed.

 

  (2) A manufacturer that does not notify owners and purchasers as required under subsection (a) of this section is liable for a civil penalty regardless of whether the manufacturer prevails in an action on the validity of the order issued under section 30118(b) of this title.

 

(c) Orders to manufacturers.--If the Secretary prevails in a civil action referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall order the manufacturer--

 

(1) to notify each owner, purchaser, and dealer described in section 30119(d) of this title of the outcome of the action and other information the Secretary requires, and notification under this clause may be combined with notification required under section 30118(b) of this title;

 

(2) to specify the earliest date under section 30119(b) of this title on which the defect or noncompliance will be remedied without charge under section 30120 of this title;  and

 

(3) if notification was required under subsection (a) of this section, to reimburse an owner or purchaser for reasonable and necessary expenses (in an amount that is not more than the amount specified in the order of the Secretary under subsection (a)) incurred for repairing the defect or noncompliance during the period beginning on the date that notification was required to be issued and ending on the date the owner or purchaser receives the notification under this subsection.

 

(d) Venue.--Notwithstanding section 30163(c) of this title, a civil action about an order issued under section 30118(b) of this title must be brought in the United States district court for a judicial district in the State in which the manufacturer is incorporated or the District of Columbia.  On motion of a party, the court may transfer the action to another district court if good cause is shown.  All actions related to the same order under section 30118(b) shall be consolidated in an action in one judicial district under an order of the court in which the first action was brought.  If the first action is transferred to another court, that court shall issue the consolidation order.

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§  30122.  Making safety devices and elements inoperative

 

(a) Definition.--In this section, "motor vehicle repair business" means a person holding itself out to the public to repair for compensation a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.

 

(b) Prohibition.--A manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business may not knowingly make inoperative any part of a device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter unless the manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or repair business reasonably believes the vehicle or equipment will not be used (except for testing or a similar purpose during maintenance or repair) when the device or element is inoperative.

 

(c) Regulations.--The Secretary of Transportation may prescribe regulations--

 

(1) to exempt a person from this section if the Secretary decides the exemption is consistent with motor vehicle safety and section 30101 of this title; and

 

(2) to define "make inoperative".

 

(d) Nonapplication.--This section does not apply to a safety belt interlock or buzzer designed to indicate a safety belt is not in use as described in section 30124 of this title.

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§  30123.  Tires

 

(a) Regrooved tire limitations.—(1) In this subsection, "regrooved tire" means a tire with a new tread produced by cutting into the tread of a worn tire.

 

   (2) The Secretary may authorize the sale, offer for sale, introduction for sale, or delivery for introduction in interstate commerce, of a regrooved tire or a motor vehicle equipped with regrooved tires if the Secretary decides the tires are designed and made in a way consistent with section 30101 of this title.  A person may not sell, offer for sale, introduce for sale, or deliver for introduction in interstate commerce, a regrooved tire or a vehicle equipped with regrooved tires unless authorized by the Secretary.

 

(b) Uniform quality grading system, nomenclature, and marketing practices.--The Secretary shall prescribe through standards a uniform quality grading system for motor vehicle tires to help consumers make an informed choice when purchasing tires.  The Secretary also shall cooperate with industry and the Federal Trade Commission to the greatest extent practicable to eliminate deceptive and confusing tire nomenclature and marketing practices.  A tire standard or regulation prescribed under this chapter supersedes an order or administrative interpretation of the Commission.

 

(c) Maximum load standards.--The Secretary shall require a motor vehicle to be equipped with tires that meet maximum load standards when the vehicle is loaded with a reasonable amount of luggage and the total number of passengers the vehicle is designed to carry.  The vehicle shall be equipped with those tires by the manufacturer or by the first purchaser when the vehicle is first bought in good faith other than for resale.

 

[(d) to (f) Redesignated (a) to (c)]

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§  30124.  Buzzers indicating nonuse of safety belts

 

A motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter may not require or allow a manufacturer to comply with the standard by using a safety belt interlock designed to prevent starting or operating a motor vehicle if an occupant is not using a safety belt or a buzzer designed to indicate a safety belt is not in use, except a buzzer that operates only during the 8-second period after the ignition is turned to the "start" or "on" position.

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§  30125.  Schoolbuses and schoolbus equipment

 

(a) Definitions.--In this section--

 

(1) "schoolbus" means a passenger motor vehicle designed to carry a driver and more than 10 passengers, that the Secretary of Transportation decides is likely to be used significantly to transport preprimary, primary, and secondary school students to or from school or an event related to school.

 

(2) "schoolbus equipment" means equipment designed primarily for a schoolbus or manufactured or sold to replace or improve a system, part, or component of a schoolbus or as an accessory or addition to a schoolbus.

 

(b) Standards.--The Secretary shall prescribe motor vehicle safety standards for schoolbuses and schoolbus equipment manufactured in, or imported into, the United States.  Standards shall include minimum performance requirements for—

 

(1) emergency exits;

 

(2) interior protection for occupants;

 

(3) floor strength;

 

(4) seating systems;

 

(5) crashworthiness of body and frame (including protection against rollover hazards);

 

(6) vehicle operating systems;

 

(7) windows and windshields;  and

 

(8) fuel systems.

 

(c) Test driving by manufacturers.--The Secretary may require by regulation a schoolbus to be test-driven by a manufacturer before introduction in commerce.

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§  30126.  Used motor vehicles

 

To ensure a continuing and effective national safety program, it is the policy of the United States Government to encourage and strengthen State inspection of used motor vehicles.  Therefore, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe uniform motor vehicle safety standards applicable to all used motor vehicles.  The standards shall be stated in terms of motor vehicle safety performance.

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§  30127.  Automatic occupant crash protection and seat belt use

 

(a) Definitions.--In this section--

 

(1) "bus" means a motor vehicle with motive power (except a trailer) designed to carry more than 10 individuals.

 

(2) "multipurpose passenger vehicle" means a motor vehicle with motive power  (except a trailer), designed to carry not more than 10 individuals, that is constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation.

 

(3) "passenger car" means a motor vehicle with motive power (except a multipurpose passenger vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer) designed to carry not more than 10 individuals.

 

(4) "truck" means a motor vehicle with motive power (except a trailer) designed primarily to transport property or special purpose equipment.

 

(b) Inflatable restraint requirements.--(1) Not later than September 1, 1993, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe under this chapter an amendment to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 issued under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966.  The amendment shall require that the automatic occupant crash protection system for both of the front outboard seating positions for each of the following vehicles be an inflatable restraint (with lap and shoulder belts) complying with the occupant protection requirements under section 4.1.2.1 of Standard 208:

 

(A) 95 percent of each manufacturer's annual production of passenger cars manufactured after August 31, 1996, and before September 1, 1997.

 

(B) 80 percent of each manufacturer's annual production of buses, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks (except walk-in van-type trucks and vehicles designed to be sold only to the United States Postal Service) with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 8,500 pounds and an unloaded vehicle weight of not more than 5,500 pounds manufactured after August 31, 1997, and before September 1, 1998.

 

(C) 100 percent of each manufacturer's annual production of passenger cars manufactured after August 31, 1997.

 

(D) 100 percent of each manufacturer's annual production of vehicles described in clause (B) of this paragraph manufactured after August 31, 1998.

 

(2) Manufacturers may not use credits and incentives available before September 1, 1998, under the provisions of Standard 208 (as amended by this section) to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1)(D) of this subsection after August 31, 1998.

 

(c) Owner manual requirements.--In amending Standard 208, the Secretary of Transportation shall require, to be effective as soon as possible after the amendment is prescribed, that owner manuals for passenger cars, buses, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks equipped with an inflatable restraint include a statement in an easily understandable format stating that--

 

(1) either or both of the front outboard seating positions of the vehicle are equipped with an inflatable restraint referred to as an "airbag" and a lap and shoulder belt;

 

(2) the "airbag" is a supplemental restraint and is not a substitute for lap and shoulder belts;

 

(3) lap and shoulder belts also must be used correctly by an occupant in a front outboard seating position to provide restraint or protection from frontal crashes as well as other types of crashes or accidents;  and

 

(4) occupants should always wear their lap and shoulder belts, if available, or other safety belts, whether or not there is an inflatable restraint.

 

(d) Seat belt use laws.--Congress finds that it is in the public interest for each State to adopt and enforce mandatory seat belt use laws and for the United States Government to adopt and enforce mandatory seat belt use regulations.

 

(e) Temporary exemptions.--(1) On application of a manufacturer, the Secretary of Transportation may exempt, on a temporary basis, motor vehicles of that manufacturer from any requirement under subsections (b) and (c) of this section on terms the Secretary considers appropriate.  An exemption may be renewed.

 

(2) The Secretary of Transportation may grant an exemption under paragraph (1) of this subsection if the Secretary finds that there has been a disruption in the supply of any component of an inflatable restraint or in the use and installation of that component by the manufacturer because of an unavoidable event not under the control of the manufacturer that will prevent the manufacturer from meeting its anticipated production volume of vehicles with those restraints.

 

(3) Only an affected manufacturer may apply for an exemption.  The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe in the amendment to Standard 208 required under this section the information an affected manufacturer must include in its application under this subsection.  The manufacturer shall specify in the application the models, lines, and types of vehicles affected.  The Secretary may consolidate similar applications from different manufacturers.

 

(4) An exemption or renewal of an exemption is conditioned on the commitment of the manufacturer to recall the exempted vehicles for installation of the omitted inflatable restraints within a reasonable time that the manufacturer proposes and the Secretary of Transportation approves after the components become available in sufficient quantities to satisfy both anticipated production and recall volume requirements.

 

(5) The Secretary of Transportation shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of each application under this subsection and each decision to grant or deny a temporary exemption and the reasons for the decision.

 

(6) The Secretary of Transportation shall require a label for each exempted vehicle that can be removed only after recall and installation of the required inflatable restraint.  The Secretary shall require that written notice of the exemption be provided to the dealer and the first purchaser of each exempted vehicle other than for resale, with the notice being provided in a way, and containing the information, the Secretary considers appropriate.

 

(f) Application.--(1) This section revises, but does not replace, Standard 208 as in effect on December 18, 1991, including the amendment of March 26, 1991 (56 Fed. Reg. 12472), to Standard 208, extending the requirements for automatic crash protection, with incentives for more innovative automatic crash protection, to trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles.  This section may not be construed as--

 

(A) affecting another provision of law carried out by the Secretary of Transportation applicable to passenger cars, buses, multipurpose passenger vehicles, or trucks;  or

 

(B) establishing a precedent related to developing or prescribing a Government motor vehicle safety standard.

 

(2) This section and amendments to Standard 208 made under this section may not be construed as indicating an intention by Congress to affect any liability of a motor vehicle manufacturer under applicable law related to vehicles with or without inflatable restraints.

 

(g) Report.--(1) On October 1, 1992, and annually after that date through October 1, 2000, the Secretary of Transportation shall submit reports on the effectiveness of occupant restraint systems expressed as a percentage reduction in fatalities or injuries of restrained occupants compared to unrestrained occupants for--

 

(A) a combination of inflated restraints and lap and shoulder belts;

 

(B) inflated restraints only;  and

 

(C) lap and shoulder belts only.

 

(2) In consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Defense, the Secretary of Transportation also shall provide information and analysis on lap and shoulder belt use, nationally and in each State by--

 

(A) military personnel;

 

(B) Government, State, and local law enforcement officers;

 

(C) other Government and State employees;  and

 

(D) the public.

 

(h) Airbags for Government cars.--In cooperation with the Administrator of General Services and the heads of appropriate departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, the Secretary of Transportation shall establish a program, consistent with applicable procurement laws of the Government and available appropriations, requiring that all passenger cars acquired--

 

(1) after September 30, 1994, for use by the Government be equipped, to the maximum extent practicable, with driver-side inflatable restraints;  and

 

(2) after September 30, 1996, for use by the Government be equipped, to the maximum extent practicable, with inflatable restraints for both front outboard seating positions.

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§  30128.  Vehicle rollover prevention and crash mitigation

 

(a) In general.--The Secretary shall initiate rulemaking proceedings, for the purpose of establishing rules or standards that will reduce vehicle rollover crashes and mitigate deaths and injuries associated with such crashes for motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds.

 

(b) Rollover prevention.--One of the rulemaking proceedings initiated under subsection (a) shall be to establish performance criteria to reduce the occurrence of rollovers consistent with stability enhancing technologies.  The Secretary shall issue a proposed rule in this proceeding by rule by October 1, 2006, and a final rule by April 1, 2009.

 

(c) Occupant ejection prevention.--

 

(1) In general.--The Secretary shall also initiate a rulemaking proceeding to establish performance standards to reduce complete and partial ejections of vehicle occupants from outboard seating positions.  In formulating the standards the Secretary shall consider various ejection mitigation systems. The Secretary shall issue a final rule under this paragraph no later than October 1, 2009.

 

(2) Door locks and door retention.--The Secretary shall complete the rulemaking proceeding initiated to upgrade Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 206, relating to door locks and door retention, no later than 30 months after the date of enactment of this section.

 

(d) Protection of occupants.--One of the rulemaking proceedings initiated under subsection (a) shall be to establish performance criteria to upgrade Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 216 relating to roof strength for driver and passenger sides.  The Secretary may consider industry and independent dynamic tests that realistically duplicate the actual forces transmitted during a rollover crash.  The Secretary shall issue a proposed rule by December 31, 2005, and a final rule by July 1, 2008.

 

(e) Deadlines.--If the Secretary determines that the deadline for a final rule under this section cannot be met, the Secretary shall--

 

(1) notify the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and explain why that deadline cannot be met;  and

 

(2) establish a new deadline.

 

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SUBCHAPTER III.  IMPORTING NONCOMPLYING MOTOR VEHICLES AND EQUIPMENT

 

§  30141.  Importing motor vehicles capable of complying with standards

 

(a) General.--Section 30112(a) of this title does not apply to a motor vehicle if--

 

(1) on the initiative of the Secretary of Transportation or on petition of a manufacturer or importer registered under subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary decides--

 

(A) the vehicle is--

 

(i) substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for import into and sale in the United States;

 

(ii) certified under section 30115 of this title;

 

(iii) the same model year (as defined under regulations of the Secretary of Transportation) as the model of the motor vehicle it is being compared to;  and

 

(iv) capable of being readily altered to comply with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter;  or

 

(B) if there is no substantially similar United States motor vehicle, the safety features of the vehicle comply with or are capable of being altered to comply with those standards based on destructive test information or other evidence the Secretary of Transportation decides is adequate;

 

(2) the vehicle is imported by a registered importer;  and

 

(3) the registered importer pays the annual fee the Secretary of Transportation establishes under subsection (e) of this section to pay for the costs of carrying out the registration program for importers under subsection (c) of this section and any other fees the Secretary of Transportation establishes to pay for the costs of--

 

(A) processing bonds provided to the Secretary of the Treasury under subsection (d) of this section;  and

 

(B) making the decisions under this subchapter.

 

(b) Procedures on deciding on motor vehicle capability.--(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall establish by regulation procedures for making a decision under subsection (a)(1) of this section and the information a petitioner must provide to show clearly that the motor vehicle is capable of being brought into compliance with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter.  In establishing the procedures, the Secretary shall provide for a minimum period of public notice and written comment consistent with ensuring expeditious, but complete, consideration and avoiding delay by any person.  In making a decision under those procedures, the Secretary shall consider test information and other information available to the Secretary, including any information provided by the manufacturer.  If the Secretary makes a negative decision, the Secretary may not make another decision for the same model until at least 3 calendar months have elapsed after the negative decision.

 

(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall publish each year in the Federal Register a list of all decisions made under subsection (a)(1) of this section. Each published decision applies to the model of the motor vehicle for which the decision was made.  A positive decision permits another importer registered under subsection (c) of this section to import a vehicle of the same model under this section if the importer complies with all the terms of the decision.

 

(c) Registration.--(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall establish procedures for registering a person who complies with requirements prescribed by the Secretary by regulation under this subsection, including--

 

(A) recordkeeping requirements;

 

(B) inspection of records and facilities related to motor vehicles the person has imported, altered, or both;  and

 

(C) requirements that ensure that the importer (or a successor in interest) will be able technically and financially to carry out responsibilities under sections 30117(b), 30118-30121, and 30166(f) of this title.

 

(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall deny registration to a person whose registration is revoked under paragraph (4) of this subsection.

 

(3) The Secretary of Transportation may deny registration to a person that is or was owned or controlled by, or under common ownership or control with, a person whose registration was revoked under paragraph (4) of this subsection.

 

(4) The Secretary of Transportation shall establish procedures for--

 

(A) revoking or suspending a registration issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection for not complying with a requirement of this subchapter or any of sections 30112, 30115, 30117-30122, 30125(c), 30127, or 30166 of this title or regulations prescribed under this subchapter or any of those sections;

 

(B) automatically suspending a registration for not paying a fee under subsection (a)(3) of this section in a timely manner or for knowingly filing a false or misleading certification under section 30146 of this title;  and

 

(C) reinstating suspended registrations.

 

(d) Bonds.--(1) A person importing a motor vehicle under this section shall provide a bond to the Secretary of the Treasury (acting for the Secretary of Transportation) and comply with the terms the Secretary of Transportation decides are appropriate to ensure that the vehicle--

 

(A) will comply with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter within a reasonable time (specified by the Secretary of Transportation) after the vehicle is imported;  or

 

(B) will be exported (at no cost to the United States Government) by the Secretary of the Treasury or abandoned to the Government.

 

(2) The amount of the bond provided under this subsection shall be at least equal to the dutiable value of the motor vehicle (as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury) but not more than 150 percent of that value.

 

(e) Fee review, adjustment, and use.--The Secretary of Transportation shall review and make appropriate adjustments at least every 2 years in the amounts of the fees required to be paid under subsection (a)(3) of this section.  The Secretary of Transportation shall establish the fees for each fiscal year before the beginning of that year.  All fees collected remain available until expended without fiscal year limit to the extent provided in advance by appropriation laws.  The amounts are only for use by the Secretary of Transportation--

 

(1) in carrying out this section and sections 30146(a)-(c)(1), (d), and (e) and 30147(b) of this title;  and

 

(2) in advancing to the Secretary of the Treasury amounts for costs incurred under this section and section 30146 of this title to reimburse the Secretary of the Treasury for those costs.

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§  30142.  Importing motor vehicles for personal use

 

(a) General.--Section 30112(a) of this title does not apply to an imported motor vehicle if--

 

(1) the vehicle is imported for personal use, and not for resale, by an individual (except an individual described in sections 30143 and 30144 of this title);

 

(2) the vehicle is imported after January 31, 1990;  and

 

(3) the individual takes the actions required under subsection (b) of this section to receive an exemption.

 

(b) Exemptions.--(1) To receive an exemption under subsection (a) of this section, an individual must--

 

(A) provide the Secretary of the Treasury (acting for the Secretary of Transportation) with--

 

(i) an appropriate bond in an amount determined under section 30141(d) of this title;

 

(ii) a copy of an agreement with an importer registered under section 30141(c) of this title for bringing the motor vehicle into compliance with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter;  and

 

(iii) a certification that the vehicle meets the requirement of section 30141(a)(1)(A) or (B) of this title;  and

 

(B) comply with appropriate terms the Secretary of Transportation imposes to ensure that the vehicle--

 

(i) will be brought into compliance with those standards within a reasonable time (specified by the Secretary of Transportation) after the vehicle is imported;  or

 

(ii) will be exported (at no cost to the United States Government) by the Secretary of the Treasury or abandoned to the Government.

 

(2) For good cause shown, the Secretary of Transportation may allow an individual additional time, but not more than 30 days after the day on which the motor vehicle is offered for import, to comply with paragraph (1)(A)(ii) of this subsection.

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§  30143.  Motor vehicles imported by individuals employed outside the United States

 

(a) Definition.--In this section, "assigned place of employment" means--

 

(1) the principal location at which an individual is permanently or indefinitely assigned to work;  and

 

(2) for a member of the uniformed services, the individual's permanent duty station.

 

(b) General.--Section 30112(a) of this title does not apply to a motor vehicle imported for personal use, and not for resale, by an individual--

 

(1) whose assigned place of employment was outside the United States as of October 31, 1988, and who has not had an assigned place of employment in the United States from that date through the date the vehicle is imported into the United States;

 

(2) who previously had not imported a motor vehicle into the United States under this section or section 108(g) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 or, before October 31, 1988, under section 108(b)(3) of that Act;

 

(3) who acquired, or made a binding contract to acquire, the vehicle before October 31, 1988;

 

(4) who imported the vehicle into the United States not later than October 31, 1992;  and

 

(5) who satisfies section 108(b)(3) of that Act as in effect on October 30, 1988.

 

(c) Certification.--Subsection (b) of this section is carried out by certification in the form the Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe.

 

§  30144.  Importing motor vehicles on a temporary basis

 

(a) General.--Section 30112(a) of this title does not apply to a motor vehicle imported on a temporary basis for personal use by an individual who is a member of--

 

(1)(A) the personnel of the government of a foreign country on assignment in the United States or a member of the Secretariat of a public international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288 et seq.);  and

 

(B) the class of individuals for whom the Secretary of State has authorized free importation of motor vehicles;  or

 

(2) the armed forces of a foreign country on assignment in the United States.

 

(b) Verification.--The Secretary of Transportation or the Secretary of the Treasury may require verification, that the Secretary of Transportation considers appropriate, that an individual is a member described under subsection (a) of this section.  The Secretary of Transportation shall ensure that a motor vehicle imported under this section will be exported (at no cost to the United States Government) or abandoned to the Government when the individual no longer--

 

(1) resides in the United States;  and

 

(2) is a member described under subsection (a) of this section.

 

(c) Sale in the United States.--A motor vehicle imported under this section may not be sold when in the United States.

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§  30145.  Importing motor vehicles or equipment requiring further manufacturing

 

Section 30112(a) of this title does not apply to a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment if the vehicle or equipment--

 

(1) requires further manufacturing to perform its intended function as decided under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation;  and

 

(2) is accompanied at the time of importation by a written statement issued by the manufacturer indicating the applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter with which it does not comply.

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§  30146.  Release of motor vehicles and bonds

 

(a) Compliance certification and bond.--(1) Except as provided in subsections  (c) and (d) of this section, an importer registered under section 30141(c) of this title may license or register an imported motor vehicle for use on public streets, roads, or highways, or release custody of a motor vehicle imported by the registered importer or imported by an individual under section 30142 of this title and altered by the registered importer to meet applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter to a person for license or registration for use on public streets, roads, or highways, only after 30 days after the registered importer certifies to the Secretary of Transportation, in the way the Secretary prescribes, that the motor vehicle complies with each standard prescribed in the year the vehicle was manufactured and that applies in that year to that vehicle.  A vehicle may not be released if the Secretary gives written notice before the end of the 30- day period that the Secretary will inspect the vehicle under subsection (c) of this section.

 

(2) The Secretaries of Transportation and the Treasury shall prescribe regulations--

 

(A) ensuring the release of a motor vehicle and bond required under section 30141(d) of this title at the end of the 30-day period, unless the Secretary of Transportation issues a notice of an inspection under subsection (c) of this section;  and

 

(B) providing that the Secretary of Transportation shall release the vehicle and bond promptly after an inspection under subsection (c) of this section showing compliance with the standards applicable to the vehicle.

 

(3) Each registered importer shall include on each motor vehicle released under this subsection a label prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation identifying the importer and stating that the vehicle has been altered by the importer to comply with the standards applicable to the vehicle.

 

(b) Reliance on manufacturer's certification.--In making a certification under subsection (a)(1) of this section, the registered importer may rely on the manufacturer's certification for the model to which the motor vehicle involved is substantially similar if the importer certifies that any alteration made by the importer did not affect the compliance of the safety features of the vehicle and the importer keeps records verifying the certification for the period the Secretary of Transportation prescribes.

 

(c) Evidence of compliance.--(1) The Secretary of Transportation may require that the certification under subsection (a)(1) of this section be accompanied by evidence of compliance the Secretary considers appropriate or may inspect the certified motor vehicle, or both.  If the Secretary gives notice of an inspection, an importer may release the vehicle only after--

 

(A) an inspection showing the motor vehicle complies with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter for which the inspection was made;  and

 

(B) release of the vehicle by the Secretary.

 

(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall inspect periodically a representative number of motor vehicles for which certifications have been filed under subsection (a)(1) of this section.  In carrying out a motor vehicle testing program under this chapter, the Secretary shall include a representative number of motor vehicles for which certifications have been filed under subsection (a)(1).

 

(d) Challenging the certification.--A motor vehicle or bond may not be released under subsection (a) of this section if the Secretary of Transportation, not later than 30 days after receiving a certification under subsection (a)(1) of this section, gives written notice that the Secretary believes or has reason to believe that the certification is false or contains a misrepresentation.  The vehicle and bond may be released only after the Secretary is satisfied with the certification and any modification of the certification.

 

(e) Bond release.--A release of a bond required under section 30141(d) of this title is deemed an acceptance of a certification or completion of an inspection under this section but is not a decision by the Secretary of Transportation under section 30118(a) or (b) of this title of compliance with applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter.

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§  30147.  Responsibility for defects and noncompliance

 

(a) Deeming defect or noncompliance to certain vehicles and importer as manufacturer.--(1) In carrying out sections 30117(b), 30118-30121, and 30166(f) of this title--

 

(A) for a defect or noncompliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter for a motor vehicle originally manufactured for import into the United States, an imported motor vehicle having a valid certification under section 30146(a)(1) of this title and decided to be substantially similar to that motor vehicle shall be deemed as having the same defect or as not complying with the same standard unless the manufacturer or importer registered under section 30141(c) of this title demonstrates otherwise to the Secretary of Transportation;  and

 

(B) the registered importer shall be deemed to be the manufacturer of any motor vehicle that the importer imports or brings into compliance with the standards for an individual under section 30142 of this title.

 

(2) The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register notice of any defect or noncompliance under paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.

 

(b) Financial responsibility requirement.--The Secretary shall require by regulation each registered importer (including any successor in interest) to provide and maintain evidence, satisfactory to the Secretary, of sufficient financial responsibility to meet its obligations under sections 30117(b), 30118-30121, and 30166(f) of this title.


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SUBCHAPTER IV.  ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE

 

§  30161.  Judicial review of standards

 

(a) Filing and venue.--A person adversely affected by an order prescribing a motor vehicle safety standard under this chapter may apply for review of the order by filing a petition for review in the court of appeals of the United States for the circuit in which the person resides or has its principal place of business.  The petition must be filed not later than 59 days after the order is issued.

 

(b) Notifying Secretary.--The clerk of the court shall send immediately a copy of the petition to the Secretary of Transportation.  The Secretary shall file with the court a record of the proceeding in which the order was prescribed.

 

(c) Additional proceedings.--(1) On request of the petitioner, the court may order the Secretary to receive additional evidence and evidence in rebuttal if the court is satisfied that the additional evidence is material and there were reasonable grounds for not presenting the evidence in the proceeding before the Secretary.

 

(2) The Secretary may modify findings of fact or make new findings because of the additional evidence presented.  The Secretary shall file a modified or new finding, a recommendation to modify or set aside the order, and the additional evidence with the court.

 

(d) Certified copies of records of proceedings.--The Secretary shall give any interested person a certified copy of the transcript of the record in a proceeding under this section on request and payment of costs.  A certified copy of the record of the proceeding is admissible in a proceeding arising out of a matter under this chapter, regardless of whether the proceeding under this section has begun or becomes final.

 

(e) Finality of judgment and Supreme Court review.--A judgment of a court under this section is final and may be reviewed only by the Supreme Court under section 1254 of title 28.

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§  30162.  Petitions by interested persons for standards and enforcement

 

(a) Filing.--Any interested person may file a petition with the Secretary of Transportation requesting the Secretary to begin a proceeding--

 

(1) to prescribe a motor vehicle safety standard under this chapter;  or

 

(2) to decide whether to issue an order under section 30118(b) of this title.

 

(b) Statement of facts.--The petition must state facts that the person claims establish that a motor vehicle safety standard or order referred to in subsection (a) of this section is necessary and briefly describe the order the Secretary should issue.

 

(c) Proceedings.--The Secretary may hold a public hearing or conduct an investigation or proceeding to decide whether to grant the petition.

 

(d) Actions of Secretary.--The Secretary shall grant or deny a petition not later than 120 days after the petition is filed.  If a petition is granted, the Secretary shall begin the proceeding promptly.  If a petition is denied, the Secretary shall publish the reasons for the denial in the Federal Register.

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§  30163.  Actions by the Attorney General

 

(a) Civil actions to enforce.--The Attorney General may bring a civil action in a United States district court to enjoin--

 

(1) a violation of this chapter or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter;  and

 

(2) the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction, in interstate commerce, or the importation into the United States, of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment for which it is decided, before the first purchase in good faith other than for resale, that the vehicle or equipment--

 

(A) contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety about which notice was given under section 30118(c) of this title or an order was issued under section 30118(b) of this title;  or

 

(B) does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter.

 

(b) Prior notice.--When practicable, the Secretary of Transportation shall notify a person against whom a civil action under subsection (a) of this section is planned, give the person an opportunity to present that person's views, and, except for a knowing and willful violation of this chapter, give the person a reasonable opportunity to remedy the defect or comply with the applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter. Failure to give notice and an opportunity to remedy the defect or comply with the applicable motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not prevent a court from granting appropriate relief.

 

(c) Venue.--Except as provided in section 30121(d) of this title, a civil action under this section or section 30165(a) of this title may be brought in the judicial district in which the violation occurred or the defendant is found, resides, or does business.  Process in the action may be served in any other judicial district in which the defendant resides or is found.

 

(d) Jury trial demand.--In a trial for criminal contempt for violating an injunction or restraining order issued under subsection (a) of this section, the violation of which is also a violation of this chapter, the defendant may demand a jury trial.  The defendant shall be tried as provided in rule 42(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (18 App. U.S.C.).

 

(e) Subpenas for witnesses.--In a civil action brought under this section, a subpena for a witness may be served in any judicial district.

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§  30164.  Service of process

 

(a) Designating agents.--A manufacturer offering a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment for import shall designate an agent on whom service of notices and process in administrative and judicial proceedings may be made. The designation shall be in writing and filed with the Secretary of Transportation.  The designation may be changed in the same way as originally made.

 

(b) Service.--An agent may be served at the agent's office or usual place of residence.  Service on the agent is deemed to be service on the manufacturer. If a manufacturer does not designate an agent, service may be made by posting the notice or process in the office of the Secretary.

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§  30165.  Civil penalty

 

(a) Civil penalties.--

 

(1) In general.--A person that violates any of section 30112, 30115,  30117 through 30122, 30123(d), 30125(c), 30127, or 30141 through 30147, or a regulation prescribed thereunder, is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation.  A separate violation occurs for each motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment and for each failure or refusal to allow or perform an act required by any of those sections.  The maximum penalty under this subsection for a related series of violations is $15,000,000.

 

(2) School buses.--

 

(A) In general.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the maximum amount of a civil penalty under this paragraph shall be $10,000 in the case of--

 

(i) the manufacture, sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce, or importation of a school bus or school bus equipment (as those terms are defined in section 30125(a) of this title) in violation of section 30112(a)(1) of this title;  or

 

(ii) a violation of section 30112(a)(2) of this title.

 

(B) Related series of violations.--A separate violation occurs for each motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment and for each failure or refusal to allow or perform an act required by that section.  The maximum penalty under this paragraph for a related series of violations is $15,000,000.

 

(3) Section 30166.--A person who violates section 30166 or a regulation prescribed under that section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty for failing or refusing to allow or perform an act required under that section or regulation.  The maximum penalty under this paragraph is $5,000 per violation per day.  The maximum penalty under this paragraph for a related series of daily violations is $15,000,000.

 

(b) Compromise and setoff.--(1) The Secretary of Transportation may compromise the amount of a civil penalty imposed under this section.

 

(2) The Government may deduct the amount of a civil penalty imposed or compromised under this section from amounts it owes the person liable for the penalty.

 

(c) Considerations.--In determining the amount of a civil penalty or compromise, the appropriateness of the penalty or compromise to the size of the business of the person charged and the gravity of the violation shall be considered.

 

(d) Subpenas for witnesses.--In a civil action brought under this section, a subpena for a witness may be served in any judicial district.

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§  30166.  Inspections, investigations, and records

 

(a) Definition.--In this section, "motor vehicle accident" means an occurrence associated with the maintenance or operation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment resulting in personal injury, death, or property damage.

 

(b) Authority to inspect and investigate.--(1) The Secretary of Transportation may conduct an inspection or investigation--

 

(A) that may be necessary to enforce this chapter or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter;  or

 

(B) related to a motor vehicle accident and designed to carry out this chapter.

 

(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall cooperate with State and local officials to the greatest extent possible in an inspection or investigation under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection.

 

(c) Matters that can be inspected and impoundment.--In carrying out this chapter, an officer or employee designated by the Secretary of Transportation--

 

(1) at reasonable times, may inspect and copy any record related to this chapter;

 

(2) on request, may inspect records of a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer to decide whether the manufacturer, distributor, or dealer has complied or is complying with this chapter or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter;  and

 

(3) at reasonable times, in a reasonable way, and on display of proper credentials and written notice to an owner, operator, or agent in charge, may--

 

(A) enter and inspect with reasonable promptness premises in which a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment is manufactured, held for introduction in interstate commerce, or held for sale after introduction in interstate commerce;

 

(B) enter and inspect with reasonable promptness premises at which a vehicle or equipment involved in a motor vehicle accident is located;

 

(C) inspect with reasonable promptness that vehicle or equipment;  and

 

(D) impound for not more than 72 hours a vehicle or equipment involved in a motor vehicle accident.

 

(d) Reasonable compensation.--When a motor vehicle (except a vehicle subject to subchapter I of chapter 135 of this title) or motor vehicle equipment is inspected or temporarily impounded under subsection (c)(3) of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall pay reasonable compensation to the owner of the vehicle if the inspection or impoundment results in denial of use, or reduction in value, of the vehicle.

 

(e) Records and making reports.--The Secretary of Transportation reasonably may require a manufacturer of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment to keep records, and a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer to make reports, to enable the Secretary to decide whether the manufacturer, distributor, or dealer has complied or is complying with this chapter or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter.  This subsection does not impose a recordkeeping requirement on a distributor or dealer in addition to those imposed under subsection (f) of this section and section 30117(b) of this title or a regulation prescribed or order issued under subsection (f) or section 30117(b).

 

(f) Providing copies of communications about defects and noncompliance.--A manufacturer shall give the Secretary of Transportation a true or representative copy of each communication to the manufacturer's dealers or to owners or purchasers of a motor vehicle or replacement equipment produced by the manufacturer about a defect or noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter in a vehicle or equipment that is sold or serviced.

 

(g) Administrative authority on reports, answers, and hearings.--(1) In carrying out this chapter, the Secretary of Transportation may--

 

(A) require, by general or special order, any person to file reports or answers to specific questions, including reports or answers under oath;  and

 

(B) conduct hearings, administer oaths, take testimony, and require (by subpena or otherwise) the appearance and testimony of witnesses and the production of records the Secretary considers advisable.

 

(2) A witness summoned under this subsection is entitled to the same fee and mileage the witness would have been paid in a court of the United States.

 

(h) Civil actions to enforce and venue.--A civil action to enforce a subpena or order under subsection (g) of this section may be brought in the United States district court for any judicial district in which the proceeding is conducted. The court may punish a failure to obey an order of the court to comply with a subpena or order as a contempt of court.

 

(i) Governmental cooperation.--The Secretary of Transportation may request a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government to provide records the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this chapter. The head of the department, agency, or instrumentality shall provide the record on request, may detail personnel on a reimbursable basis, and otherwise shall cooperate with the Secretary.  This subsection does not affect a law limiting the authority of a department, agency, or instrumentality to provide information to another department, agency, or instrumentality.

 

(j) Cooperation of Secretary.--The Secretary of Transportation may advise, assist, and cooperate with departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, States, and other public and private agencies in developing a method for inspecting and testing to determine compliance with a motor vehicle safety standard.

 

(k) Providing information.--The Secretary of Transportation shall provide the Attorney General and, when appropriate, the Secretary of the Treasury, information obtained that indicates a violation of this chapter or a regulation prescribed or order issued under this chapter.

 

(l) Reporting of defects in motor vehicles and products in foreign countries.--

 

(1) Reporting of defects, manufacturer determination.--Not later than 5 working days after determining to conduct a safety recall or other safety campaign in a foreign country on a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that is identical or substantially similar to a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment offered for sale in the United States, the manufacturer shall report the determination to the Secretary.

 

(2) Reporting of defects, foreign Government determination.--Not later than 5 working days after receiving notification that the government of a foreign country has determined that a safety recall or other safety campaign must be conducted in the foreign country on a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that is identical or substantially similar to a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment offered for sale in the United States, the manufacturer of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment shall report the determination to the Secretary.

 

(3) Reporting requirements.--The Secretary shall prescribe the contents of the notification required by this subsection.

 

(m) Early warning reporting requirements.--

 

(1) Rulemaking required.--Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act, the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding to establish early warning reporting requirements for manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to enhance the Secretary's ability to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

 

(2) Deadline.--The Secretary shall issue a final rule under paragraph (1) not later than June 30, 2002.

 

(3) Reporting elements.--

 

(A) Warranty and claims data.--As part of the final rule promulgated under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall require manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to report, periodically or upon request by the Secretary, information which is received by the manufacturer derived from foreign and domestic sources to the extent that such information may assist in the identification of defects related to motor vehicle safety in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in the United States and which concerns--

 

(i) data on claims submitted to the manufacturer for serious injuries  (including death) and aggregate statistical data on property damage from alleged defects in a motor vehicle or in motor vehicle equipment;  or

 

(ii) customer satisfaction campaigns, consumer advisories, recalls, or other activity involving the repair or replacement of motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment.

 

(B) Other data.--As part of the final rule promulgated under paragraph (1), the Secretary may, to the extent that such information may assist in the identification of defects related to motor vehicle safety in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in the United States, require manufacturers of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment to report, periodically or upon request of the Secretary, such information as the Secretary may request.

 

(C) Reporting of possible defects.--The manufacturer of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment shall report to the Secretary, in such manner as the Secretary establishes by regulation, all incidents of which the manufacturer receives actual notice which involve fatalities or serious injuries which are alleged or proven to have been caused by a possible defect in such manufacturer's motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in the United States, or in a foreign country when the possible defect is in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that is identical or substantially similar to a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment offered for sale in the United States.

 

(4) Handling and utilization of reporting elements.--

 

(A) Secretary's specifications.--In requiring the reporting of any information requested by the Secretary under this subsection, the Secretary shall specify in the final rule promulgated under paragraph (1)--

 

(i) how such information will be reviewed and utilized to assist in the identification of defects related to motor vehicle safety;

 

(ii) the systems and processes the Secretary will employ or establish to review and utilize such information;  and

 

(iii) the manner and form of reporting such information, including in electronic form.

 

(B) Information in possession of manufacturer.--The regulations promulgated by the Secretary under paragraph (1) may not require a manufacturer of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment to maintain or submit records respecting information not in the possession of the manufacturer.

 

(C) Disclosure.--None of the information collected pursuant to the final rule promulgated under paragraph (1) shall be disclosed pursuant to section 30167(b) unless the Secretary determines the disclosure of such information will assist in carrying out sections 30117(b) and 30118 through 30121.

 

(D) Burdensome requirements.--In promulgating the final rule under paragraph  (1), the Secretary shall not impose requirements unduly burdensome to a manufacturer of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment, taking into account the manufacturer's cost of complying with such requirements and the Secretary's ability to use the information sought in a meaningful manner to assist in the identification of defects related to motor vehicle safety.

 

(5) Periodic review.--As part of the final rule promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall specify procedures for the periodic review and update of such rule.

 

(n) Sale or lease of defective or noncompliant tire.--

 

(1) In general.--The Secretary shall, within 90 days of the date of the enactment of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act, issue a final rule requiring any person who knowingly and willfully sells or leases for use on a motor vehicle a defective tire or a tire which is not compliant with an applicable tire safety standard with actual knowledge that the manufacturer of such tire has notified its dealers of such defect or noncompliance as required under section 30118(c) or as required by an order under section 30118(b) to report such sale or lease to the Secretary.

 

(2) Defect or noncompliance remedied or order not in effect.--Regulations under paragraph (1) shall not require the reporting described in paragraph (1) where before delivery under a sale or lease of a tire--

 

(A) the defect or noncompliance of the tire is remedied as required by  section 30120;  or

 

(B) notification of the defect or noncompliance is required under section 30118(b) but enforcement of the order is restrained or the order is set aside in a civil action to which section 30121(d) applies.

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§  30167.  Disclosure of information by the Secretary of Transportation

 

(a) Confidentiality of information.--Information obtained under this chapter related to a confidential matter referred to in section 1905 of title 18 may be disclosed only in the following ways:

 

(1) to other officers and employees carrying out this chapter.

 

(2) when relevant to a proceeding under this chapter.

 

(3) to the public if the confidentiality of the information is preserved.

 

(4) to the public when the Secretary of Transportation decides that disclosure is necessary to carry out section 30101 of this title.

 

(b) Defect and noncompliance information.--Subject to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall disclose information obtained under this chapter related to a defect or noncompliance that the Secretary decides will assist in carrying out sections 30117(b) and 30118-30121 of this title or that is required to be disclosed under section 30118(a) of this title.  A requirement to disclose information under this subsection is in addition to the requirements of section 552 of title 5.

 

(c) Information about manufacturer's increased costs.--A manufacturer opposing an action of the Secretary under this chapter because of increased cost shall submit to the Secretary information about the increased cost, including the manufacturer's cost and the cost to retail purchasers, that allows the public and the Secretary to evaluate the manufacturer's statement.  The Secretary shall evaluate the information promptly and, subject to subsection (a) of this section, shall make the information and evaluation available to the public. The Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register that the information is available.

 

(d) Withholding information from Congress.--This section does not authorize information to be withheld from a committee of Congress authorized to have the information.

 

§  30168.  Research, testing, development, and training

 

(a) General authority.--(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct research, testing, development, and training necessary to carry out this chapter.  The research, development, testing, and training shall include--

 

(A) collecting information to determine the relationship between motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment performance characteristics and--

 

(i) accidents involving motor vehicles;  and

 

(ii) the occurrence of death or personal injury resulting from those accidents;

 

(B) obtaining experimental and other motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment for research or testing;  and

 

(C) selling or otherwise disposing of test motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment and crediting the proceeds to current appropriations available to carry out this chapter.

 

(2) The Secretary may carry out this subsection through grants to States, interstate authorities, and nonprofit institutions.

 

(b) Use of public agencies.--In carrying out this chapter, the Secretary shall use the services, research, and testing facilities of public agencies to the maximum extent practicable to avoid duplication.

 

(c) Facilities.--The Secretary may plan, design, and build a new facility or modify an existing facility to conduct research, development, and testing in traffic safety, highway safety, and motor vehicle safety.  An expenditure of more than $100,000 for planning, design, or construction may be made only if the planning, design, or construction is approved by substantially similar resolutions by the Committees on Commerce and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Environment and Public Works of the Senate.  To obtain that approval, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a prospectus on the proposed facility.  The prospectus shall include--

 

(1) a brief description of the facility being planned, designed, or built;

 

(2) the location of the facility;

 

(3) an estimate of the maximum cost of the facility;

 

(4) a statement identifying private and public agencies that will use the facility and the contribution each agency will make to the cost of the facility;  and

 

(5) a justification of the need for the facility.

 

(d) Increasing costs of approved facilities.--The estimated maximum cost of a facility approved under subsection (c) of this section may be increased by an amount equal to the percentage increase in construction costs from the date the prospectus is submitted to Congress.  However, the increase in the cost of the facility may not be more than 10 percent of the estimated maximum cost included in the prospectus.  The Secretary shall decide what increase in construction costs has occurred.

 

(e) Availability of information, patents, and developments.--When the United States Government makes more than a minimal contribution to a research or development activity under this chapter, the Secretary shall include in the arrangement for the activity a provision to ensure that all information, patents, and developments related to the activity are available to the public. However, the owner of a background patent may not be deprived of a right under the patent.

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§  30169.  Annual reports

 

(a) General report.--The Secretary of Transportation shall submit to the President to submit to Congress on July 1 of each year a report on the administration of this chapter for the prior calendar year.  The report shall include--

 

(1) a thorough statistical compilation of accidents and injuries;

 

(2) motor vehicle safety standards in effect or prescribed under this chapter;

 

(3) the degree of observance of the standards;

 

(4) a summary of current research grants and contracts and a description of the problems to be considered under those grants and contracts;

 

(5) an analysis and evaluation of research activities completed and technological progress achieved;

 

(6) enforcement actions;

 

(7) the extent to which technical information was given the scientific community and consumer-oriented information was made available to the public; and

 

(8) recommendations for legislation needed to promote cooperation among the States in improving traffic safety and strengthening the national traffic safety program.

 

(b) Report on importing motor vehicles.--Not later than 18 months after regulations are first prescribed under section 2(e)(1)(B) of the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report of the actions taken to carry out subchapter III of this chapter and the effectiveness of those actions, including any testing by the Secretary under section 30146(c)(2) of this title.  After the first report, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress under this subsection not later than July 31 of each year.

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§  30170.  Criminal Penalties

 

(a) Criminal liability for falsifying or withholding information.--

 

(1) General rule.--A person who violates section 1001 of title 18 with respect to the reporting requirements of section 30166, with the specific intention of misleading the Secretary with respect to motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment safety related defects that have caused death or serious bodily injury to an individual (as defined in section 1365(g)(3) of title 18), shall be subject to criminal penalties of a fine under title 18, or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both.

 

(2) Safe harbor to encourage reporting and for whistle blowers.--

 

(A) Correction.--A person described in paragraph (1) shall not be subject to criminal penalties under this subsection if:  (1) at the time of the violation, such person does not know that the violation would result in an accident causing death or serious bodily injury;  and (2) the person corrects any improper reports or failure to report within a reasonable time.

 

(B) Reasonable time and sufficiency of correction.--The Secretary shall establish by regulation what constitutes a reasonable time for the purposes of subparagraph (A) and what manner of correction is sufficient for purposes of subparagraph (A).  The Secretary shall issue a final rule under this subparagraph within 90 days of the date of the enactment of this section.

 

(C) Effective date.--Subsection (a) shall not take effect before the final rule under subparagraph (B) takes effect.

 

(b) Coordination with department of justice.--The Attorney General may bring an action, or initiate grand jury proceedings, for a violation of subsection (a) only at the request of the Secretary of Transportation.


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RELATED UNCODIFIED PROVISIONS

  1. Improving air bag safety.  [Sec. 7103 of TEA-21]
  2. Insurance study.  [Sec. 3 (d) of TREAD Act] 
  3. Endurance and resistance standards for tires.  [Sec. 10 of TREAD Act] 
  4. Improved tire information.  [Sec. 11 of TREAD Act] 
  5. Tire pressure warning.  [Sec. 13 of TREAD Act] 
  6. Improving the safety of child restraints [Sec. 14 of TREAD Act]
  7. Improving criteria used in a recall.  [Sec. 15 of TREAD Act]
  8. Follow-up report [Sec. 16 of TREAD Act] 
  9. Authorization of appropriations.  [Sec. 17 of TREAD Act] 
  10. Anton's Law
  11. Side-impact crash protection rulemaking.  [Sec. 10302 of SAFETEA-LU]
  12. Tire research [Sec. 10303 of SAFETEA-LU]
  13. Vehicle backover avoidance technology study.  [Sec. 10304 of SAFETEA-LU]
  14. Nontraffic incident data collection.  [Sec. 10305 of SAFETEA-LU]
  15. Study of safety belt use technologies.  [Sec. 10306 of SAFETEA-LU]
  16. Power window switches.  [Sec. 10308 of SAFETEA-LU]
  17. Authorization of appropriations.  [Sec. 10310 of SAFETEA-LU]

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RELATED UNCODIFIED PROVISIONS

 

A.

 

UNCODIFIED PROVISION: 49 USC 30127 note.
TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT FOR 21st CENTURY (TEA-21)

June 9, 1998, Pub. L. 105-178, Title VII, Subtitle A, § 7103, 112 Stat. 465

 

 

"SEC. 7103. Improving air bag safety.

   "(a) Rulemaking to improve air bags.

     "(1) Notice of proposed rulemaking. Not later than September 1, 1998, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to improve occupant protection for occupants of different sizes, belted and unbelted, under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, while minimizing the risk to infants, children, and other occupants from injuries and deaths caused by air bags, by means that include advanced air bags.

      "(2) Final rule. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall complete the rulemaking required by this subsection by issuing, not later than September 1, 1999, a final rule with any provision the Secretary deems appropriate, consistent with paragraph (1) and the requirements of section 30111, title 49, United States Code. If the Secretary determines that the final rule cannot be completed by that date to meet the purposes of paragraph (1), the Secretary may extend the date for issuing the final rule to not later than March 1, 2000.

      "(3) Effective date. The final rule issued under this subsection shall become effective in phases as rapidly as practicable, beginning not earlier than September 1, 2002, and no sooner than 30 months after the date of the issuance of the final rule, but not later than September 1, 2003. The final rule shall become fully effective for all vehicles identified in section 30127(b), title 49, United States Code, that are manufactured on and after September 1, 2005. Should the phase-in of the final rule required by this paragraph commence on September 1, 2003, then in that event, and only in that event, the Secretary is authorized to make the final rule fully effective on September 1, 2006, for all vehicles that are manufactured on and after that date.

      "(4) Coordination of effective dates. The requirements of S13 of Standard No. 208 shall remain in effect unless and until changed by the rule required by this subsection.

      "(5) Credit for early compliance. To encourage early compliance, the Secretary is directed to include in the notice of proposed rulemaking required by paragraph (1) means by which manufacturers may earn credits for future compliance. Credits, on a one-vehicle for one-vehicle basis, may be earned for vehicles certified as being in full compliance under section 30115 of title 49, United States Code, with the rule required by paragraph (2) which are either--

         "(A) so certified in advance of the phase-in period; or

         "(B) in excess of the percentage requirements during the phase-in period.

   "(b) Advisory committees. Any government advisory committee, task force, or other entity involving air bags shall include representatives of consumer and safety organizations, insurers, manufacturers, and suppliers.".



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B.

UNCODIFIED PROVISION
TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800

 

 

"SEC. 3

(d). Insurance study. The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a study to determine the feasibility and utility of obtaining aggregate information on a regular and periodic basis regarding claims made for private passenger automobile accidents from persons in the business of providing private passenger automobile insurance or of adjusting insurance claims for such automobiles. Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit the results of such study to the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.".



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C.

UNCODIFIED PROVISION

TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800

 

 

"SEC. 10. Endurance and resistance standards for tires.

The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a rulemaking to revise and update the tire standards published at 49 CFR 571.109 and 49 CFR 571.119. The Secretary shall complete the rulemaking under this section not later than June 1, 2002.".



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D.

 

UNCODIFIED PROVISION

TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat, 1800

 

 

"SEC. 11. Improved tire information.

"(a) Tire labeling. Within 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding to improve the labeling of tires required by section 30123 of title 49, United States Code to assist consumers in identifying tires that may be the subject of a decision under section 30118(b) or a notice required under section 30118(c). The Secretary shall complete the rulemaking not later than June 1, 2002.

"(b) Inflation levels and load limits. In the rulemaking initiated under subsection (a), the Secretary may take whatever additional action is appropriate to ensure that the public is aware of the importance of observing motor vehicle tire load limits and maintaining proper tire inflation levels for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. Such additional action may include a requirement that the manufacturer of motor vehicles provide the purchasers of the motor vehicles information on appropriate tire inflation levels and load limits if the Secretary determines that requiring such manufacturers to provide such information is the most appropriate way such information can be provided.".



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E.

 

UNCODIFIED PROVISION

TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800

 

 

"SEC. 13. Tire pressure warning.

 

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall complete a rulemaking for a regulation to require a warning system in new motor vehicles to indicate to the operator when a tire is significantly under inflated. Such requirement shall become effective not later than 2 years after the date of the completion of such rulemaking.".

 



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F.

 

UNCODIFIED PROVISION

TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800

 

 

"SEC. 14. Improving the safety of child restraints.

"(a) In general. Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall initiate a rulemaking for the purpose of improving the safety of child restraints, including minimizing head injuries from side impact collisions.

"(b) Elements for consideration. In the rulemaking required by subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider--

"(1) whether to require more comprehensive tests for child restraints than the current Federal motor vehicle safety standards requires, including the use of dynamic tests that--

"(A) replicate an array of crash conditions, such as side-impact crashes and rear-impact crashes; and

"(B) reflect the designs of passenger motor vehicles as of the date of the enactment of this Act;

"(2) whether to require the use of anthropomorphic test devices that-

"(A) represent a greater range of sizes of children including the need to require the use of an anthropomorphic test device that is representative of a ten-year-old child; and

"(B) are Hybrid III anthropomorphic test devices;

"(3) whether to require improved protection from head injuries in side-impact and rear-impact crashes;

"(4) how to provide consumer information on the physical compatibility of child restraints and vehicle seats on a model-by-model basis;

"(5) whether to prescribe clearer and simpler labels and instructions required to be placed on child restraints;

"(6) whether to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213 (49 CFR 571.213) to cover restraints for children weighing up to 80 pounds;

"(7) whether to establish booster seat performance and structural integrity requirements to be dynamically tested in 3-point lap and shoulder belts;

"(8) whether to apply scaled injury criteria performance levels, including neck injury, developed for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 to child restraints and booster seats covered by in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213; and

"(9) whether to include child restraint in each vehicle crash tested under the New Car Assessment Program.

"(c) Report to Congress. If the Secretary does not incorporate any element described in subsection (b) in the final rule, the Secretary shall explain, in a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce submitted within 30 days after issuing the final rule, specifically why the Secretary did not incorporate any such element in the final rule.

"(d) Completion. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall complete the rulemaking required by subsection (a) not later than 24 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

"(e) Child restraint defined. In this section, the term `child restraint' has the meaning given the term `Child restraint system' in section 571.213 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act).

"(f) Funding. For each fiscal year, of the funds made available to the Secretary for activities relating to safety, not less than $750,000 shall be made available to carry out crash testing of child restraints.

"(g) Child restraint safety ratings program. No later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish a child restraint safety rating consumer information program to provide practicable, readily understandable, and timely information to consumers for use in making informed decisions in the purchase of child restraints. No later than 24 months after the date of the enactment of this Act the Secretary shall issue a final rule establishing a child restraint safety rating program and providing other consumer information which the Secretary determines would be useful consumers who purchase child restraint systems.

"(h) Booster seat study. In addition to consideration of booster seat performance and structural integrity contained in subsection (b)(7), not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall initiate and complete a study, taking into account the views of the public, on the use and effectiveness of automobile booster seats for children, compiling information on the advantages and disadvantages of using booster seats and determining the benefits, if any, to children from use of booster with lap and shoulder belts compared to children using lap and shoulder belts alone, and submit a report on the results of that study to the Congress.

"(i) Booster seat education program. The Secretary of Transportation within 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act shall develop 5 year strategic plan to reduce deaths and injuries caused by failure to use the appropriate booster seat in the 4 to 8 year old age group by 25 percent.".



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G.

 

UNCODIFIED PROVISION

TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800

 

 

"SEC. 15. Improving criteria used in a recall.

"(a) Review of standards and criteria used in opening a defect or noncompliance investigation. The Secretary shall, not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, undertake a comprehensive review of all standards, criteria, procedures, and methods, including data management and analysis used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in determining whether to open a defect or noncompliance investigation pursuant to subchapter II or IV of chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, and shall undertake such steps as may be necessary to update and improve such standards, criteria, procedures, or methods, including data management and analysis.

"(b) Report to Congress. Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report describing the Secretary's findings and actions under subsection (a).".


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H.

 

UNCODIFIED PROVISION

TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800

 

 

"SEC. 16. Follow-up report.

"One year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall report to the Congress on the implementation of the amendments made by this Act and any recommendations for additional amendments for consumer safety.".

 


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I.

 

UNCODIFIED PROVISION

TRANSPORTATION RECALL ENHANCEMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND DOCUMENTATION (TREAD) ACT

November 1, 2000, Pub. L. 106-414, 114 Stat. 1800

 

 

"SEC. 17. Authorization of appropriations.

"In addition to any sums authorized to be appropriated by section 30104 or 32102 of title 49, United States Code, there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for fiscal year 2001 $9,100,000 to carry out this Act and the amendments made by this Act. Such funds shall not be available for the general administrative expenses of the Secretary or the Administration.".

 


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J.

 

ANTON'S LAW

 

[[Page 116 STAT. 2772]]

 

Public Law 107-318

107th Congress

Approved:  December 4, 2002

 

 

                                 An Act

 

 

  To provide for the improvement of the safety of child restraints in

   passenger motor vehicles, and for other purposes.

 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the

United States of America in Congress assembled,

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

 

    This Act may be cited as "Anton's Law''.

 

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

 

    Congress finds the following:

            (1) It is the policy of the Department of Transportation

        that all child occupants of motor vehicles, regardless of

        seating position, be appropriately restrained in order to

            reduce the incidence of injuries and fatalities resulting from

            motor vehicle crashes on the streets, roads, and highways.

            (2) Research has shown that very few children between the

        ages of 4 to 8 years old are in the appropriate restraint for

        their age when riding in passenger motor vehicles.

            (3) Children who have outgrown their child safety seats

        should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until an adult

        seat belt fits properly.

            (4) Children who were properly restrained when riding in

        passenger motor vehicles suffered less severe injuries from

        accidents than children not properly restrained.

 

SEC. 3. IMPROVEMENT OF SAFETY OF CHILD RESTRAINTS IN PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLES.

 

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Transportation (hereafter referred to as the "Secretary'') shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding to establish performance requirements for child restraints, including booster seats, for the restraint of children weighing more than 50 pounds.

 

    (b) Elements for Consideration.--In the rulemaking proceeding

required by subsection (a), the Secretary shall--

            (1) consider whether to include injury performance criteria

        for child restraints, including booster seats and other products for

        use in passenger motor vehicles for the restraint of children

        weighing more than 50 pounds, under the requirements established

        in the rulemaking proceeding;

            (2) consider whether to establish performance requirements

        for seat belt fit when used with booster seats and other belt

        guidance devices;

            (3) consider whether to address situations where children

        weighing more than 50 pounds only have access to seating

        positions with lap belts, such as allowing tethered child

        restraints for such children; and

            (4) review the definition of the term "booster seat'' in

        Federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 213 under section

        571.213 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to determine

        if it is sufficiently comprehensive.

 

    (c) Completion.--The Secretary shall complete the rulemaking

proceeding required by subsection (a) not later than 30 months after

the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

SEC. 4. DEVELOPMENT OF ANTHROPOMORPHIC TEST DEVICE SIMULATING A 10-YEAR OLD CHILD.

 

    (a) Development and Evaluation.--Not later than 24 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall develop and

evaluate an anthropomorphic test device that simulates a 10-year old

child for use in testing child restraints used in passenger motor vehicles.

    (b) Adoption by Rulemaking.--Within 1 year following the development and evaluation carried out under subsection (a), the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding for the adoption of an anthropomorphic test device as developed under subsection (a).

 

SEC. 5. REQUIREMENTS FOR INSTALLATION OF LAP AND SHOULDER BELTS.

 

    (a) In General.--Not later than 24 months after the date of the

enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete a rulemaking

proceeding to amend Federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 208 under section 571.208 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, relating to occupant crash protection, in order to--

            (1) require a lap and shoulder belt assembly for each rear

        designated seating position in a passenger motor vehicle with a

        gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, except

        that if the Secretary determines that installation of a lap and

        shoulder belt assembly is not practicable for a particular

        designated seating position in a particular type of passenger

        motor vehicle, the Secretary may exclude the designated seating

        position from the requirement; and

            (2) apply that requirement to passenger motor vehicles in

        phases in accordance with subsection (b).

 

    (b) Implementation Schedule.--The requirement prescribed under

subsection (a)(1) shall be implemented in phases on a production year

basis beginning with the production year that begins not later than 12

months after the end of the year in which the regulations are prescribed

under subsection (a). The final rule shall apply to all passenger motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less that are manufactured in the third production year of the implementation phase-in under the schedule.

 

SEC. 6. EVALUATION OF INTEGRATED CHILD SAFETY SYSTEMS.

 

    (a) Evaluation.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall initiate an evaluation of integrated or built-in child restraints and booster seats. The evaluation should include--

            (1) the safety of the child restraint and correctness of

        fit for the child;

            (2) the availability of testing data on the system and

        vehicle in which the child restraint will be used;

            (3) the compatibility of the child restraint with different

        makes and models;

            (4) the cost-effectiveness of mass production of the child

        restraint for consumers;

            (5) the ease of use and relative availability of the child

        restraint to children riding in motor vehicles; and

            (6) the benefits of built-in seats for improving compliance

        with State child occupant restraint laws.

 

    (b) Report.--Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report of this evaluation.

 

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

 

     As used in this Act, the following definitions apply:

            (1) Child restraint.--The term "child restraint'' means

                    any product designed to provide restraint to a child (including

        booster seats and other products used with a lap and shoulder

        belt assembly) that meets applicable Federal motor vehicle

        safety standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic

        Safety Administration.

            (2) Production year.--The term "production year'' means

        the 12-month period between September 1 of a year and August

        31 of the following year.

            (3) Passenger motor vehicle.--The term "passenger motor

        vehicle'' has the meaning given that term in section 405(f)(5)

        of title 23, United States Code.

 

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

 

    (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000

to the Secretary of Transportation for--

            (1) the evaluation required by section 6 of this Act; and

            (2) research of the nature and causes of injury to children

        involved in motor vehicle crashes.

    (b) Limitation.--Funds appropriated under subsection (a) shall not

be available for the general administrative expenses of the Secretary.

 

 

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K.

 

UNCODIFIED MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY PROVISION 
IN SAFETEA-LU
(Aug. 10, 2005; P.L. 109-59)
 
 
Sec. 10302. Side-impact crash protection rulemaking.
 

    (a) Rulemaking.--The Secretary shall complete a rulemaking proceeding under chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, to establish a standard designed to enhance passenger motor vehicle occupant protection, in all seating positions, in side impact crashes. The Secretary shall issue a final rule by July 1, 2008.

 

    (b) Deadlines.--If the Secretary determines that the deadline for a final rule under this section cannot be met, the Secretary shall--

            (1) notify the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and explain why that deadline cannot be met; and

            (2) establish a new deadline.

 

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L.
 
UNCODIFIED MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY PROVISION 
IN SAFETEA-LU
(Aug. 10, 2005; P.L. 109-59)
 
 

Sec. 10303. Tire research.

    Within 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on research conducted to address tire aging. The report shall include a summary of any Federal agency findings, activities, conclusions, and recommendations concerning tire aging and recommendations for potential rulemaking regarding tire aging.

    (a) Conforming Amendment.--The chapter analysis for chapter 301 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 30127 the following:

"30128. Vehicle accident ejection protection.''.




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M.
 
UNCODIFIED MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY PROVISION 
IN SAFETEA-LU
(Aug. 10, 2005; P.L. 109-59)
 
 

Sec. 10304. Vehicle backover avoidance technology study.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shall conduct a study of effective methods for reducing the incidence of injury and death outside of parked passenger motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds attributable to movement of such vehicles.  The Administrator shall complete the study within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act and report its findings to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce not later than 15 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (b) Specific Issues To Be Covered.--The study required by subsection (a) shall--

            (1) include an analysis of backover prevention technology;

            (2) identify, evaluate, and compare the available technologies for detecting people or objects behind a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds for their accuracy, effectiveness, cost, and feasibility for installation; and

            (3) provide an estimate of cost savings that would result from widespread use of backover prevention devices and technologies in motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds, including savings attributable to the prevention of--

                    (A) injuries and fatalities; and

                    (B) damage to bumpers and other motor vehicle parts and damage to other objects.

 



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N.
 
UNCODIFIED MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY PROVISION 
IN SAFETEA-LU
(Aug. 10, 2005; P.L. 109-59)
 
 

Sec. 10305. Nontraffic incident data collection.

    (a) In General.--In conjunction with the study required in section 10304, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shall establish a method to collect and maintain data on the number and types of injuries and deaths involving motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000 pounds in non-traffic incidents.

    (b) Data Collection and Publication.--The Secretary of Transportation shall publish the data collected under subsection (a) no less frequently than biennially.




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O.
 
UNCODIFIED MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY PROVISION 
IN SAFETEA-LU
(Aug. 10, 2005; P.L. 109-59)
 
 

Sec. 10306. Study of safety belt use technologies.

    The Secretary shall conduct a review of safety belt use technologies to consider possible revisions in strategies for achieving further gains in safety belt use. The Secretary shall complete the study by July 1, 2008.




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P.
 
UNCODIFIED MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY PROVISION 
IN SAFETEA-LU
(Aug. 10, 2005; P.L. 109-59)
 
 

Sec. 10308. Power window switches.

    The Secretary shall upgrade Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 118 to require that power windows in motor vehicles not in excess of 10,000 pounds have switches that raise the window only when the switch is pulled up or out.  The Secretary shall issue a final rule implementing this section by April 1, 2007.




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Q.
 
UNCODIFIED MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY PROVISION 
IN SAFETEA-LU
(Aug. 10, 2005; P.L. 109-59)
 
 

Sec. 10310. Authorization of appropriations.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this subtitle, chapter 301 of title 49, and part C of subtitle VI of title 49, United States Code--

(1) $136,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
(2) $142,800,000 for fiscal year 2007;
(3) $149,900,000 for fiscal year 2008; and
(4) $157,400,000 for fiscal year 2009.