The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a notice in the July 28 Federal Register based on the result of a lawsuit over confidential treatment of certain early warning reporting (EWR) data submitted by vehicle manufacturers.
Based on the result of the lawsuit, manufacturers (both equipment and those who complete vehicles in the final stage) that have previously submitted EWR data for incidents involving a death or injury, property damage claims and light vehicle production must submit a request for confidentiality of the data to NHTSA's Chief Council by Aug. 27.
The request for confidentiality must be made in accordance with 49 CFR Part 512 by mail, express courier (e.g., UPS, FedEx, etc.) or hand delivery to: NHTSA Office of the Chief Council, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590.
The new request for confidentiality requirements cover two areas of EWR data. The first is EWR claims and light vehicle production data previously submitted by the manufacturer as required by the EWR rules. Even if the manufacturer used the "C" Confidentiality Request Identifier in its submission, a request for confidentiality must be made in writing to NHTSA as defined in 49 CFR Part 512.
The second group of EWR data in question is EWR claims data and light vehicle production data submitted in the future. Future quarterly EWR data submitted electronically must not only have the "C" file naming convention but must also have an individualized confidentiality request under 49 CFR Part 512 submitted by mail, express courier or hand delivery to the NHTSA Chief Council each time.