Mr. John K. Stipancich
    Evenflo Company, Inc.
    707 Crossroads Court
    Vandalia, OH 45377


    Dear Mr. Stipancich:

    This is in response to your October 29, 2002, letter requesting clarification of the registration provisions under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, Child Restraint Systems. You ask if Evenflo may provide information to consumers allowing for registration of their child restraints through the Internet, in addition to providing the post card required under S5.8 of FMVSS No. 213. You state that a majority of registration cards are not returned and of those that are many are received incomplete, or become illegible while in transit. As explained below, your company may not add any information concerning Internet registration to the required registration form, but you may provide supplemental information that explains how to register via the Internet.

    FMVSS No. 213 establishes an owner registration program for child restraint systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented the program to improve the effectiveness of manufacturer campaigns to recall child restraints that contain a safety-related defect or that fail to conform to FMVSS No. 213. By increasing the number of identified child restraint purchasers, the program increases the manufacturers ability to inform owners of restraints about defects or noncompliances in those restraints.

    S5.8 of FMVSS No. 213 requires child restraint manufacturers to provide a registration form attached to each child restraint. S5.8(b)(2) requires that the registration form conform in size, content and format to forms depicted in the standard. (See figures 9a and 9b of the standard.) Each form must include a detachable postage-paid postcard, which provides a space for the consumer to record his or her name and address, and must be preprinted with the restraints model name or number and its date of manufacture. Under S5.8 no other information is permitted to appear on the postcard, except for information that distinguishes a particular restraint from another restraint system. [1]

    We have previously determined that a child restraint manufacturer may include a supplemental form that encourages electronic registration, subject to certain considerations. See our April 19, 2001, letter to Mr. Rosenbaum which permitted the attachment of a supplemental form to the child restraint along with the required registration card. As stated in that letter, we have permitted this when:

    1. the registration card required by S5.8 does not bear any information or writing beyond that required to be on the form, and
    2. the additional information is presented in a manner not likely to confuse consumers about the purpose of the required form or to obscure the importance of owner registration.

    The agency is discussing possible amendments to accommodate electronic registration of child restraint systems. We will keep the information you provided in mind while we consider the possibility of rulemaking on this subject.

    I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, please contact Chris Calamita of my staff at (202) 366-2992.

    Sincerely,

    Jacqueline Glassman
    Chief Counsel

    ref:213
    d.1/3/03



    [1] We have permitted minor variations for the purpose of clarifying the registration instructions. In an October 20, 1993 letter to Evenflo, we permitted the addition of the words "please print" to the form. We determined that "please print" was a minor variation to the wording that clarified the instructions and did not substantially change them.