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Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Final Listing of Model Year 2004 High-Theft Vehicle Lines

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


Final rule.


This final rule announces NHTSA's determination for model year (MY) 2004 high-theft vehicle lines that are subject to the parts-marking requirements of the Federal motor vehicle theft prevention standard, and high-theft MY 2004 lines that are exempted from the parts-marking requirements because the vehicles are equipped with antitheft devices determined to meet certain statutory criteria pursuant to the statute relating to motor vehicle theft prevention.


The amendment made by this final rule is effective July 2, 2003.

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Ms. Rosalind Proctor, Consumer Standards Division, Office of Planning and Consumer Standards, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Proctor's telephone number is (202) 366-0846. Her fax number is (202) 493-2290.

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The Anti Car Theft Act of 1992, Pub. L. 102-519, amended the law relating to the parts-marking of major component parts on designated high-theft vehicle lines and Start Printed Page 39472other motor vehicles. The Anti Car Theft Act amended the definition of “passenger motor vehicle” in 49 U.S.C. 33101(10) to include a “multipurpose passenger vehicle or light duty truck when that vehicle or truck is rated at not more than 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.” Since “passenger motor vehicle” was previously defined to include passenger cars only, the effect of the Anti Car Theft Act is that certain multipurpose passenger vehicle (MPV) and light-duty truck (LDT) lines may be determined to be high-theft vehicles subject to the Federal motor vehicle theft prevention standard (49 CFR part 541).

The purpose of the theft prevention standard is to reduce the incidence of motor vehicle theft by facilitating the tracing and recovery of parts from stolen vehicles. The standard seeks to facilitate such tracing by requiring that vehicle identification numbers (VINs), VIN derivative numbers, or other symbols be placed on major component vehicle parts. The theft prevention standard requires motor vehicle manufacturers to inscribe or affix VINs onto covered original equipment major component parts, and to inscribe or affix a symbol identifying the manufacturer and a common symbol identifying the replacement component parts for those original equipment parts, on all vehicle lines selected as high-theft.

The Anti Car Theft Act also amended 49 U.S.C. 33103 to require NHTSA to promulgate a parts-marking standard applicable to major parts installed by manufacturers of “passenger motor vehicles (other than light duty trucks) is not to exceed one-half of the lines not designated under 49 U.S.C. 33104 as high-theft lines.” Section 33103(a) further directed NHTSA to select only lines not designated under § 33104 of this title as high theft lines. NHTSA lists each of these selected lines in appendix B to part 541. Since § 33103 did not specify marking of replacement parts for below-median lines, the agency does not require marking of replacement parts for these lines. NHTSA published a final rule amending 49 CFR part 541 to include the definitions of MPV and LDT, and major component parts. [See 59 FR 64164, December 13, 1994].

49 U.S.C. 33104(a)(3) specifies that NHTSA shall select high-theft vehicle lines, with the agreement of the manufacturer, if possible. Section 33104(d) provides that once a line has been designated as likely high-theft, it remains subject to the theft prevention standard unless that line is exempted under § 33106. Section 33106 provides that a manufacturer may petition to have a high-theft line exempted from the requirements of § 33104, if the line is equipped with an antitheft device as standard equipment. The exemption is granted if NHTSA determines that the antitheft device is likely to be as effective as compliance with the theft prevention standard in reducing and deterring motor vehicle thefts.

The agency annually publishes the names of the lines which were previously listed as high-theft, and the lines which are being listed for the first time and will be subject to the theft prevention standard beginning in a given model year. It also identifies those lines that are exempted from the theft prevention standard for a given model year under § 33104. Additionally, this listing identifies those lines (except light-duty trucks) in appendix B to part 541 that have theft rates below the 1990/1991 median theft rate but are subject to the requirements of this standard under § 33103.

On July 1, 2002, the final listing of high-theft lines for the MY 2003 vehicle lines was published in the Federal Register (67 FR 44085). The final listing identified five vehicle lines that were listed for the first time and became subject to the theft prevention standard beginning with the 2003 model year.

For MY 2004, the agency identified two new vehicle lines that are likely to be high-theft lines, in accordance with the procedures published in 49 CFR part 542. The new lines are the Toyota Scion xA and the Scion xB. In addition to these two vehicle lines, the list of high-theft vehicle lines includes all lines previously designated as high-theft and listed for prior model years. Accordingly, appendix A has also been amended to reflect these changes.

The vehicle lines listed as being subject to the parts-marking standard have previously been designated as high-theft lines in accordance with the procedures set forth in 49 CFR part 542. Under these procedures, manufacturers evaluate new vehicle lines to conclude whether those new lines are likely to be high theft. The manufacturer submits these evaluations and conclusions to the agency, which makes an independent evaluation; and, on a preliminary basis, determines whether the new line should be subject to the parts-marking requirements. NHTSA informs the manufacturer in writing of its evaluations and determinations, together with the factual information considered by the agency in making them. The manufacturer may request the agency to reconsider the preliminary determinations. Within 60 days of the receipt of these requests, the agency makes its final determination. NHTSA informs the manufacturer by letter of these determinations and its response to the request for reconsideration. If there is no request for reconsideration, the agency's determination becomes final 45 days after sending the letter with the preliminary determination. Each of the new lines on the high-theft list has been the subject of a final determination under either 49 U.S.C. 33103 or 33104.

The list of lines that have been exempted by the agency from the parts-marking requirements of part 541 includes high-theft lines newly exempted in full beginning with MY 2004. The two vehicle lines newly exempted in full are the DaimlerChrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Nissan Infiniti M45. Additionally, the agency erroneously omitted the Ford Motor Company's (Ford) Lincoln Town Car from Appendix A-I of the MY 2003 final rule. The agency granted Ford's petition for an exemption of its Lincoln Town Car from the parts-marking requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard beginning with the 2003 model year (67 FR 35189, May 17, 2002). Accordingly, appendix A-I has been amended to reflect these changes. The vehicle lines listed as being exempt from the standard have previously been exempted in accordance with the procedures of 49 CFR part 543 and 49 U.S.C. 33106.

Similarly, the low-theft lines listed as being subject to the parts-marking standard have previously been designated in accordance with the procedures set forth in 49 U.S.C. 33103.

Therefore, NHTSA finds for good cause that notice and opportunity for comment on these listings are unnecessary. Further, public comment on the listing of selections and exemptions is not contemplated by 49 U.S.C. chapter 331.

For the same reasons, since this revised listing only informs the public of previous agency actions and does not impose additional obligations on any party, NHTSA finds for good cause that the amendment made by this notice should be effective as soon as it is published in the Federal Register.

Regulatory Impacts

1. Costs and Other Impacts

NHTSA has analyzed this rule and determined that it is not “significant” within the meaning of the Department of Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. The agency has also considered this notice under Executive Order 12866. As already noted, the selections in this final rule have previously been made in accordance with the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 33104, Start Printed Page 39473and the manufacturers of the selected lines have already been informed that those lines are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR part 541 for MY 2004. Further, this listing does not actually exempt lines from the requirements of 49 CFR part 541; it only informs the general public of all such previously granted exemptions. Since the only purpose of this final listing is to inform the public of actions for MY 2004 that the agency has already taken, a full regulatory evaluation has not been prepared.

2. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The agency has also considered the effects of this listing under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. I hereby certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As noted above, the effect of this final rule is simply to inform the public of those lines that are already subject to the requirements of 49 CFR part 541 for MY 2004. The agency believes that the listing of this information will not have any economic impact on small entities.

3. Environmental Impacts

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the agency has considered the environmental impacts of this rule, and determined that it will not have any significant impact on the quality of the human environment.

4. Federalism

This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and it has been determined that this final rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

5. Civil Justice Reform

This final rule does not have a retroactive effect. In accordance with § 33118 when the Theft Prevention Standard is in effect, a State or political subdivision of a State may not have a different motor vehicle theft prevention standard for a motor vehicle or major replacement part. 49 U.S.C. 33117 provides that judicial review of this rule may be obtained pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 32909. Section 32909 does not require submission of a petition for reconsideration or other administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court.

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List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 541

  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Labeling
  • Motor vehicles
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
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In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR part 541 is amended as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 541 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 33102-33104 and 33106; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

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2. In part 541, appendices A and A-I are revised. Appendices A and A-I are revised to read as follows:

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Appendix A to Part 541—Lines Subject to the Requirements of This Standard

ManufacturerSubject lines
ALFA ROMEOMilano 161
6 Car Line
Musso (MPV)
Chrysler Fifth Avenue/Newport
Chrysler Laser
Chrysler LeBaron/Town & Country
Chrysler LeBaron GTS
Chrysler's TC
Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue
Chrysler Sebring
Chrysler Town & Country
Dodge 600
Dodge Aries
Dodge Avenger
Dodge Colt
Dodge Daytona
Dodge Diplomat
Dodge Lancer
Dodge Neon
Dodge Shadow
Dodge Stratus
Dodge Stealth
Eagle Summit
Eagle Talon
Jeep Cherokee (MPV)
Jeep Liberty (MPV)
Jeep Wrangler (MPV)
Plymouth Caravelle
Plymouth Colt
Plymouth Laser
Plymouth Gran Fury
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Plymouth Neon
Plymouth Reliant
Plymouth Sundance
Plymouth Breeze
FERRARIMondial 8
FORDFord Aspire
Ford Escort
Ford Probe
Ford Thunderbird
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Mark
Mercury Capri
Mercury Cougar
Merkur Scorpio
Merkur XR4Ti
Buick Reatta
Buick Skylark
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Nova
Chevrolet Blazer (MPV)
Chevrolet Prizm
Chevrolet S-10 Pickup
Geo Storm
Chevrolet Tracker (MPV)
GMC Jimmy (MPV)
GMC Sonoma Pickup
Oldsmobile Achieva (MYs 1997-1998)
Oldsmobile Bravada
Oldsmobile Cutlass
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme (MYs 1988-1997)
Oldsmobile Intrigue
Pontiac Fiero
Saturn Sports Coupe
Odyssey (MPV)
Pilot (MPV)
Acura Integra
Acura MDX (MPV)
Acura RSX
Rodeo Sport
Trooper/Trooper II
VehiCross (MPV)
Sephia (1998-2002)
MX-5 Miata
190 E
260E (1987-1989)
300 SE (1988-1991)
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300 TD (1987)
300 SDL (1987)
300 SEL
350 SDL (1990-1991)
420 SEL (1987-1991)
560 SEL (1987-1991)
560 SEC (1987-1991)
560 SL
Montero (MPV)
Montero Sport (MPV)
X90 (MPV)
Sidekick (MYs 1997-1998)
Vitara/Grand Vitara (MPV)
TOYOTAToyota 4-Runner (MPV)
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Camry
Toyota Celica
Toyota Corolla/Corolla Sport
Toyota Echo
Toyota Highlander (MPV)
Toyota Matrix (MPV)
Toyota MR2
Toyota MR2 Spyder
Toyota Prius
Toyota RAV4 (MPV)
Toyota Sienna (MPV)
Toyota Tercel
Lexus IS300
Lexus LX470 (MPV)
Lexus RX300 (MPV)
Scion xA 1
Scion xB 1
Volkswagen Scirocco
1 Lines added for MY 2004.
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Appendix A-1—High-Theft Lines With Antitheft Devices Which Are Exempted From the Parts-Marking Requirement of This Standard Pursuant to 49 CFR Part 543

ManufacturerSubject lines
Z4 2
3 Car Line
5 Car Line
7 Car Line
8 Car Line
DAIMLERCHRYSLERJeep Grand Cherokee 1
Chrysler Conquest
Chrysler Imperial
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FORDLincoln Town Car 2
Mercury Sable
Mercury Grand Marquis
Buick Park Avenue
Buick Regal/Century
Buick Riviera
Cadillac Allante
Cadillac Deville
Cadillac Seville
Chevrolet Cavalier
Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Impala/Monte Carlo
Chevrolet Lumina/Monte Carlo (MYs 1996-1999)
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Venture
Oldsmobile Alero
Oldsmobie Aurora
Oldsmobile Toronado
Pontiac Bonneville
Pontiac Grand Am
Pontiac Grand Prix
Pontiac Sunfire
Acura Legend (MYs 1991-1996)
Acura NSX
Acura RL
Acura SLX
Acura TL
Acura Vigor (MYs 1992-1995)
Impulse (MYs 1987-1991)
MERCEDES-BENZ124 Car Line (the models within this line are):
129 Car Line (the models within this line are):
202 Car Line (the models within this line are):
NISSANNissan Altima
Nissan Maxima
Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan 300ZX
Infiniti G35
Infiniti I30
Infiniti J30
Infiniti M30
Infiniti M45 1
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Infiniti QX4
Infiniti Q45
986 Boxster
900 (1994-1998)
9000 (1989-1998)
TOYOTAToyota Supra
Toyota Cressida
Lexus ES
Lexus GS
Lexus LS
Lexus SC
Audi 100/A6
Audi 200/S4/S6
Audi Allroad Quattro (MPV)
Audi Cabriolet
Volkswagen Cabrio
Volkswagen Corrado
Volkswagen Golf/GTI
Volkswagen Jetta/Jetta III
Volkswagen Passat
1 Lines exempted in full beginning with MY 2004.
2 Lines exempted in full beginning with MY 2003.
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Issued on: June 26, 2003.

Stephen R. Kratzke,

Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.

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[FR Doc. 03-16708 Filed 7-1-03; 8:45 am]