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NHTSA Issues NPRM on Rollaway Prevention

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to place a requirement in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that motor vehicles 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and below, excluding walk-in vans with an automatic transmission that includes a “park” position, manufactured for sale after Sept. 1, 2010 be equipped with a brake transmission shift interlock (BTSI).

This interlock will require that the service brake pedal be depressed before the transmission can be shifted out of “park” and will function in any starting system key position.

NHTSA is issuing this document in response to a statutory mandate in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007.

Prior to the passage of the Act, in August of 2006, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers developed a voluntary agreement which requires full implementation of BTSI not later than September 1, 2010.

The agreement states that ``any vehicle under 10,000 pounds produced for the U.S. market, with an automatic transmission that includes a `park' position shall have a system that requires that the service brake be depressed before the transmission can be shifted out of ``park.'' Additionally, the agreement required that manufacturers provide NHTSA with information about which vehicles were equipped with BTSI systems, which will be placed in the docket.

Automakers participating in the voluntary agreement include: Aston Martin, BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, Hyundai Motor, Maserati, Nissan, Suzuki, DaimlerChrysler Corporation, General Motors, Isuzu Motors, Mazda, Porsche, Toyota, Ferrari, Honda, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Subaru, and Volkswagen Group. The vehicles subject to the K.T. Safety Act of 2007 largely overlap with the vehicles currently subject to FMVSS No. 114, but there are some differences. Using the term ``motor vehicle'' as described in 49 U.S.C. 30102, the Congressional definition would apply to passenger cars, trucks, buses, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and low-speed vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. This contrasts with the vehicle types listed in paragraph S3 of FMVSS No. 114, which includes ``all passenger cars, and to trucks and multipurpose vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less. However, it does not apply to walk-in van-type vehicles.'' Thus, as a result of the Congressional definition, in addition to all of the vehicles currently subject to FMVSS No. 114, the BTSI requirement would apply to buses (under 10,000 pounds), walk-in van-type vehicles, and low-speed vehicles. NHTSA is proposing to add language to paragraph S3 of the standard, to make it clear that the BTSI requirement applies to this somewhat larger class of vehicles, while not changing the applicability of current FMVSS No. 114 requirements.

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