[Federal Register: July 26, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 144)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
49 CFR Part 573
[Docket No. NHTSA-2001-10856; Notice 2]
Motor Vehicle Safety; Disposition of Recalled Tires
AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.
ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.
SUMMARY: This notice seeks comments on a May 9, 2002 comment from the
Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), in response to our December 18,
2001 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Disposition of Recalled
Tires (66 FR 65165).
In the NPRM, we proposed to require that tire dealers render
returned recalled tires unsuitable for use on the day removed from the
vehicle or from stock, and then dispose of them in accordance with
manufacturers' plans and applicable laws, in ways that minimize the
deposit of the tires in landfills. RMA urged NHTSA to allow tire
manufacturers the option of requiring that dealers return all recalled
tires directly to the manufacturer, instead of requiring tire dealers
and distributors to dispose of the tires themselves. RMA also urged us
to consider a number of other suggested revisions to the NPRM. RMA
attached suggested regulatory language to its comment.
We seek comments on the merits of RMA's general approach, on
whether RMA's proposal is consistent with statutory requirements, and
on RMA's proposed regulatory text.
DATES: Comments: You should submit your comments early enough to ensure
that Docket Management receives them not later than August 26, 2002.
ADDRESSES: You should mention the docket number of this document in
your comments, and submit your comments in writing to Docket
Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590.
You may also submit your comments electronically by logging onto the
Dockets Management System website at http://dms.dot.gov. Click on
``Help & Information'' or ``Help/info'' to obtain instructions for
filing the document electronically.
Regardless of how you submit your comments, you should mention the
docket number of this document in your comments.
You may call Docket Management at 202-366-9324. You may visit
Docket Management from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For non-legal issues, contact Jonathan
White, Office of Defects Investigation, tel. (202) 366-5226. For legal
issues, contact Enid Rubenstein, Office of Chief Counsel, tel. (202)
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 7 of the Transportation Recall,
Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act expanded 49
U.S.C. 30120(d) to require a manufacturer's remedy program for tires to
include a plan for preventing, to the extent reasonably within the
manufacturer's control, the resale of replaced tires for use on motor
vehicles, as well as a plan for the disposition of replaced tires,
particularly through methods such as shredding, crumbling, recycling,
recovery, or other ``beneficial non-vehicular uses'' rather than in
landfills. Further, Section 7 requires the manufacturer to include
information about the implementation of its plan in quarterly reports
that it is required to make to the Secretary about the progress of its
notification and remedy campaigns involving tires.
In order to implement Section 7's new requirements, we proposed on
December 18, 2001 to amend 49 CFR 573.5 and 573.6 to impose
requirements on tire manufacturers and on tire dealers. We proposed in
the NPRM to require manufacturers that conduct tire recalls to file
programs and reports about their plans for incapacitating and disposing
of recalled tires that addressed three major concerns: (1) Ways of
assuring that entities replacing the tires are aware of the legal
prohibitions on the sale of defective or noncompliant tires; (2)
mechanisms to impair recalled tires so that they cannot be used on a
vehicle; and (3) the disposition of recalled tires, consistent with
applicable laws and in ways that minimize their deposit in landfills,
and to implement those plans. We also proposed to require ``exceptions
reporting,'' by manufacturer-controlled tire outlets to manufacturers
monthly, and by manufacturers to NHTSA in quarterly reports, that
identify aggregate numbers of recalled tires that have not been
rendered unsuitable for reuse or that have been disposed of in
violation of applicable state and local requirements; and that describe
failures by tire outlets to act in accordance with manufacturers'
directions for disposing of recalled tires, including an identification
of the outlets in question. We sought comments on the reporting
Rather than requiring dealers to render tires unsuitable for use
and then transfer those tires to authorized disposal facilities, RMA
suggested that the rule should permit manufacturers to require dealers
to return all recalled tires directly to the manufacturer, at a central
facility. See RMA's comment, on file in DOT's Docket Management System
(DMS) at Docket 10856, Document Number NHTSA-2001-10856-9.
Manufacturers would then inspect and sort the tires, destroy those that
contain the defect or noncompliance, and, where appropriate, brand
those tires that do not contain the defect or noncompliance (to permit
their resale). According to RMA, this would simplify the process of
recalling and disposing of defective or noncompliant tires, as well as
the associated reporting requirements, and, in addition, avoid the
unnecessary disposition of tires that are not defective or
RMA argued that the alternative of returning tires to a central
location would permit manufacturers both to better control the recall
process, as described above, and to test returned recalled tires in
order to better understand the failure mechanism. RMA also urged us to
eliminate the proposed requirement for dealers to alter recalled tires
by the close of business on the day on which the recalled tire has been
removed from the vehicle.
In its suggested regulatory text, RMA also proposed to require
manufacturers to provide written guidance, either annually or for any
recall involving 10,000 or more tires not returned to the tire
manufacturer or manufacturer-controlled facility, to manufacturer-owned
and manufacturer-controlled tire outlets as well as other tire outlets,
about how to alter recalled tires permanently so that they cannot be
used on vehicles. See RMA Comment, p. 3, ``Suggested Regulatory
Language'' at Secs. 573.5(c)(9)(A), (B)(1), (B)(2), and (C).
RMA further suggested revising our proposed ``exceptions
reporting'' requirement, by changing the timing of required reports
from manufacturer-owned or manufacturer-controlled outlets from monthly
to within 30 days of removal of a recalled tire from a vehicle, and by
requiring those outlets also to report to the manufacturer, within the
same time frame, any deviation from the manufacturer-supplied recall
plan and any violation of applicable laws and regulations on disposal
of scrap tires. See RMA Comment at p. 2; RMA Suggested
Regulatory Language at p. 3, proposed Secs. 573.5(c)(9)(B)(3), (C)(3).
We seek comments on whether the RMA proposal would effectuate
section 7 of the TREAD Act, and whether it would better address the
first two major concerns, identified above, than the proposal in the
NPRM. We would expect that in most tire recalls, repairs and resale
following inspection will not be possible. This was true in the recent
Bridgestone/Firestone ATX, ATXII and Wilderness AT recalls, and also in
the 1978-79 Firestone 500 recall. Further, we seek comments on
mechanisms for assuring the security of recalled tires prior to
shipment to the manufacturer, so that those tires do not enter the
We request comments on whether RMA's proposal fulfills Congress'
intentions in the TREAD Act with respect to minimizing the likelihood
that recalled tires are disposed of in landfills and, specifically,
with respect to encouraging independent tire dealers (as well as
manufacturer-owned or manufacturer-controlled outlets) to meet their
obligations under state and local law to dispose appropriately of
In addition, we seek comments on the issue of whether RMA's
proposed alternative is consistent with 49 U.S.C. 30120(i) and (j),
which by their terms preclude the resale of recalled tires that have
not been remedied. Section 30120(i) provides that:
[i]f notification (of a defect or noncompliance) is required . . .
and the manufacturer has provided to a dealer notification about a new
* * * item of replacement equipment in the dealer's possession at the
time of notification that contains a defect * * * or does not comply *
* *, the dealer may sell or lease the * * * item of replacement only
if--(A) the defect or noncompliance is remedied as required by this
section before delivery under the sale or lease[.]
Section 30120(j) provides that:
[n]o 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 require under section
30118(c) in a condition that it may reasonably be 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[.]
In responding to this question, please provide a discussion that
includes the reasons for your conclusion, as well as statutory
Finally, we seek comments on RMA's proposal to permit manufacturers
the option of notifying dealers of their recall responsibilities either
annually or for any recall that covers more than 10,000 tires, as
opposed to requiring such notifications for all recalls.
We are not reproposing regulatory language because at this time, we
have not made a tentative decision to adopt RMA's suggestion. After
considering comments on this Supplemental Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, we may adopt an approach that includes one or more features
of RMA's proposal, or we may choose to follow an approach that is
closer to the one we proposed in the NPRM.
I. Regulatory Analyses and Notices
A. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures
When we issued the NPRM, we considered the impact of this proposed
rulemaking action under E.O. 12866 and the Department of
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. The NPRM was not
reviewed under E.O. 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review.'' This
rulemaking was not considered ``significant'' under the Department of
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. We expected the
impacts of our proposed rule to be so minimal as not to warrant
preparation of a full regulatory evaluation, because the proposal
essentially would require only the supplementing of reports that
manufacturers already must file with limited information about the
disposition of recalled tires.
We estimated that the additional economic impact of the proposed
rule upon manufacturers would be small. Manufacturers already assume
the costs of the tire recalls that they conduct. They already are
required by our regulations to notify dealers of recalls and to file
plans and quarterly reports about their recalls with our Office of
Defects Investigation (ODI). We stated that the additional notification
and reporting elements that this rule would add would be very limited
and wholly descriptive, and that they would not impose significant
costs on manufacturers.
RMA's proposed alternative might limit still further the costs of
the proposed rule. If, upon inspection, numerous recalled tires were
found not to be defective or non-compliant, the RMA proposal could
reduce the costs of disposition of recalled tires. The costs to dealers
of incapacitating and recycling the recalled tires would be eliminated
under the RMA proposed alternative. There could be increased costs to
ensure the security of recalled tires. The extent to which the costs to
dealers of shipping recalled tires to the manufacturer at a central
location, and ultimately the costs to manufacturers of reimbursing
dealers for those shipping costs, would depend on the locations to
which recalled tires were shipped.
B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
We have also considered the impacts of RMA's proposed alternative
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. For the reasons discussed above
under E.O. 12866 and the DOT Policies and Procedures, I certify that
this proposal would not have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small entities. The primary impact of RMA's
proposal would be felt by the major tire manufacturers, which are not
small entities. This impact would be relatively minor, since it
primarily would involve manufacturers' adding a requirement to ship
recalled tires to central location(s) to their remedy programs,
notifying affected retail outlets of the remedy plans, and providing
minimal reporting on the plans in the quarterly reports that
manufacturers already must file with NHTSA. We estimated the cost of
our original proposal at approximately $1.00 per tire for
transportation and $2.00 per tire for recycling. If the effect of RMA's
proposal is to eliminate the need to recycle significant numbers of
tires, the total recycling costs should be reduced.
We originally estimated the cost to manufacturers of notifying
dealers of their plans at $1.00 per tire manufacturer per affected
retail outlet, and stated that the cost could well be less because
manufacturers might already be including descriptions similar to our
proposed requirements in their notices to dealers. Under the first
alternative in RMA's proposal, the cost could be even lower, because
the content of the manufacturers' notices of recalls would be limited
to one or two lines instructing dealers to ship the recalled tires to a
designated central location. Under RMA's second proposed alternative,
the cost to manufacturers could be somewhat higher, since they would
include an annual mailing to all retail outlets of the manufacturers'
requirements for the disposition of recalled tires.
We stated in the NPRM that the proposed rule could also have an
impact on the nation's 3,500 tire dealers, many of which are small
entities. We estimated the reporting costs associated with monthly
``exceptions reporting'' to manufacturers of any instances in which the
dealer did not comply with the manufacturer's plan for disposing of
recalled tires at $1.00 per affected dealer per recall. Also, we
estimated the potential one-time costs to each dealer for obtaining
equipment to incapacitate tires so that the tires could not be resold
to the public (although we believed that many dealers already owned
such equipment) at between $70.00 (to purchase a power drill and a
drill bit) and $95.00 (to purchase a cutoff saw and blade(s)) per
affected dealer, or a maximum of between $245,000 and $332,500,
assuming that each of the 3,500 dealers purchased a new drill and bit
or cutoff saw and blade. We noted that, because not every dealer is
involved in a tire recall every year, the aggregate one-time cost would
be incurred over a multi-year time period. Under RMA's alternative
proposal, all of these costs to dealers could be eliminated.
C. National Environmental Policy Act
We have reviewed this proposal for the purposed of compliance with
the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and
determined that it would not have a significant impact on the quality
of the human environment. The proposed rule would not require
manufacturers to conduct any recalls beyond those that they already are
required to conduct. The sale of recalled tires is prohibited by other
provisions in the Safety Act. Disposal requirements are already
governed by other State laws and regulations.
D. Paperwork Reduction Act
As we indicated in the NPRM, our proposed rule would impose new
collection of information burdens within the meaning of the Paperwork
Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). However, those
burdens should be minimal. Manufacturers already are required by our
regulations to file plans and quarterly reports about tire recalls with
us. There would be an incremental burden of adding to the
manufacturers' descriptions of their programs. Even this impact would
be minor, since it only would involve adding a description of plans for
incapacitating and disposing of recalled noncompliant or defective
tires to their remedy programs and providing minimal reporting on the
plans in the quarterly reports that manufacturers already must file
with NHTSA. The limited additional ``exceptions reporting'' that our
proposed rule would have required of manufacturers and of manufacturer-
controlled outlets that implement recalls, i.e. periodic Aexceptions
reporting'' of aggregate numbers of recalled tires that have not been
incapacitated for use or that have been disposed of unlawfully,
describing any failure to comply with the manufacturer's plan to render
tires unsuitable for installation on a motor vehicle for resale and any
failure to comply with the disposal requirements of applicable state
and local laws and regulations of which the manufacturer becomes aware,
would be still more limited under RMA's proposal. We believe that both
the proposed rule and RMA's proposal would not impose significant
additional costs or burdens either on the manufacturers that conduct
the tire recalls or on the manufacturer-controlled outlets that
Because this proposed rule would impose information collection
requirements, albeit minimal, as that term is defined by the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) in 5 CFR Part 1329, we stated in the NPRM
that we plan to submit the proposed requirements to OMB for its
approval, as required by the PRA. We sought comments on the information
collection burdens associated with the NPRM. We now seek comments on
the information collection burdens associated with the RMA proposal.
E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
Executive Order 13132 on AFederalism'' requires us to develop an
accountable process to ensure Ameaningful and timely input'' by State
and local officials in the development of Aregulatory policies that
have federalism implications.'' The Executive Order defines this phrase
to include regulations Athat have substantial direct effects on the
States, on the relationship between the national government and the
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the
various levels of government.'' In the NPRM, we stated that our
proposed rule, which would require that manufacturers include a plan
for disposal of recalled tires in their remedy programs under either
section 30118(b) or 30118(c) of the Safety Act, will not have
substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power
and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as
specified in E.O. 13132. Both the NPRM and RMA's proposal do not have
those implications because both apply directly only to manufacturers
who are required to file a remedy plan under sections 30118(b) or
30118(c), rather than to the States or local governments, and because
they directs manufacturers to file plans that conform with applicable
state and/or local requirements.
F. Civil Justice Reform
Neither the RMA proposal nor our proposed rule would have a
retroactive or preemptive effect. Judicial review of the rule may be
obtained pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 702. That section does not require that a
petition for reconsideration be filed prior to seeking judicial review.
G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires
agencies to prepare a written assessment of the cost, benefits and
other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate
likely to result in the expenditure by State, local or tribunal
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than
$100 million annually. Because neither our proposed rule nor the RMA
proposal would have a $100 million annual effect, no Unfunded Mandates
assessment is necessary and one will not be prepared.
H. Plain Language
Executive Order 12866 and the President's memorandum of June 1,
1998, require each agency to write all rules in plain language.
Application of the principles of plain language includes consideration
of the following questions:
--Have we organized the material to suit the public's needs?
--Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated?
--Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that is not clear?
--Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of
headings, paragraphing) make the rule easier to understand?
--Would more (but shorter) sections be better?
--Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams?
--What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand?
If you have any responses to these questions, please include them
in your comments on this rule.
II. Submission of Comments
A. How Can I Influence NHTSA's Thinking on This Notice?
Your comments will help us decide whether to adopt RMA's
alternative proposal, in whole or in part. We invite you to provide
different views on this proposal, new approaches we have not
considered, new data, information about
how this proposal may affect you, or other relevant information. Your
comments will be most effective if you follow the suggestions below.
Explain your views and reasoning as clearly as possible:
Provide solid information to support your views.
If you estimate potential numbers or reports or costs,
explain how you arrived at the estimate.
Tell us which parts of the rule you support, as well as
those with which you disagree.
Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
Offer specific alternatives.
Refer your comments to specific sections of the rule, such
as the units or page numbers of the preamble, or the regulatory
Be sure to include the name, date, and docket number with
B. How Do I Prepare and Submit Comments?
Your comments must be written and in English. To ensure that your
comments are correctly filed in the Docket, please include the docket
number of this document in your comments.
Your comments must not be more than 15 pages long. (49 CFR 553.21.)
We established this limit to encourage you to write your primary
comments in a concise fashion. However, you may attach necessary
additional documents to your comments. There is no limit on the length
of the attachments.
Please submit two copies of your comments, including the
attachments, to Docket Management at the address given above under
Comments may also be submitted to the docket electronically by
logging onto the Docket Management System website at http://
dms.dot.gov. Click on ``Help & Information'' or ``Help/Info'' to obtain
instructions for filing the document electronically.
C. How Can I be Sure that My Comments Were Received?
If you wish Docket Management to notify you upon its receipt of
your comments, enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the
envelope containing your comments. Upon receiving your comments, Docket
Management will return the postcard by mail.
D. How Do I Submit Confidential Business Information?
If you wish to submit any information under a claim of
confidentiality, you should submit three copies of your complete
submission, including the information you claim to be confidential
business information, to the Chief Counsel (NCC-30), NHTSA, at the
address given above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition,
you should submit two copies, from which you have deleted the claimed
confidential business information, to Docket Management at the address
given above under ADDRESSES. When you send a comment containing
information claimed to be confidential business information, you should
include a cover letter setting forth the information specified in our
confidential business information regulation. (49 CFR Part 512.)
E. Will the Agency Consider Late Comments?
We will consider all comments that Docket Management receives
before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated
above under DATES. To the extent possible, we will also consider
comments that Docket Management receives after that date. If Docket
Management receives a comment too late for us to consider it in
developing a final rule (assuming that one is issued), we will consider
that comment as an informal suggestion for future rulemaking action.
F. How Can I Read the Comments Submitted by Other People and Other
Materials Relevant to this Rulemaking?
You may view the materials in the docket for this rulemaking on the
Internet. These materials include background information on the use of
tires in landfills and written comments submitted by other interested
persons. You may read them at the address given above under ADDRESSES.
The hours of the Docket are indicated above in the same location.
You may also see the comments and materials on the Internet. To
read them on the Internet, take the following steps:
(1) Go to the Docket Management System (DMS) Web page of the
Department of Transportation (http://dms.dot.gov/)
(2) On that page, click on ``search.''
(3) On the next page (http://dms.dot.gov/search/), type in the
four-digit docket number shown at the beginning of this document.
Example: If the docket number were ``NHTSA-2000-1234,'' you would type
``1234.'' After typing the docket number, click on ``search.''
(4) On the next page, which contains docket summary information for
the materials in the docket you selected, click on the desired
comments. You may download the comments.
(5) To view the RMA comment, which responds to docket NHTSA-2001-
10856, type 10856, click on ``search,'' and click on Document Number
Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will
continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes
available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly,
we recommend that you periodically check the Docket for new material.
Issued on: July 22, 2002.
L. Robert Shelton,
[FR Doc. 02-18996 Filed 7-25-02; 8:45 am]
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