NHTSA Final Rule Streamlines Petition Process for Temporary Exemptions from Motor Vehicle Safety and Bumper Standards

Date: January 8, 2019

Last week, NHTSA published a final rule in the Federal Register to amend its regulations for temporary exemptions from federal motor vehicle safety standards (49 CFR Part 555) streamlining the application and review process for manufacturers’ vehicle petitions for exemptions. Essentially, NHTSA eliminated the provision in the regulation that calls for the agency to determine a petition is complete before publishing summary notices for public comment.

Currently, manufacturers must petition and apply for temporary exemption(s) if a proposed new vehicle does not comply with motor vehicle safety and bumper standards. Of course, the standards were originally developed under the premise that all vehicles have a human driver. But the rapid development of technology, particularly automated driving systems and related technologies, have prompted the agency to update and modernize its procedures.

The effective date of this rule is Jan. 25, 2019. The agency will accept petitions for reconsideration through Feb. 11, 2019.

For more information, contact Leigh Merino.

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