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fuel economy standards for model years after 1997 and is requesting 
comments to assist the agency in developing the proposal. This action 
is considered significant because of the impact on manufacturers, the 
interest shown by consumers, and the potential significant effects on 
the automotive marketplace.


Statement of Need:





The agency has tentatively determined that it is necessary to change 
the way it has been setting light-truck corporate average fuel economy 
(CAFE) standards and establish them far enough in advance to require 
significant fuel economy improvements. The reasons are: first, the need 
of the Nation to conserve energy is increasing; second, there is a 
current lack of consumer demand or other market pressure for 
manufacturers to improve light-truck fuel economy; third, the continued 
growth in market share of those vehicles means more of these relatively 
low-fuel-economy vehicles are being driven; and fourth, there is 
increased concern in recent years about the impact of cars, light 
trucks, and other personal vehicles on global warming.


Summary of the Legal Basis:





Under 15 U.S.C. 2002, NHTSA is required to establish light truck CAFE 
standards for each model year. The standards are required to be 
established at least 18 months before the beginning of each model year.


Alternatives:





No specific alternative levels of light-truck fuel economy standards 
were proposed in an ANPRM published April 6, 1994. The ANPRM did 
discuss estimates made by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in its 
April 1992 report, ``Automotive Fuel Economy--How Far Should We Go?'' 
The NAS report's estimates of the costs and benefits of ``technically 
achievable'' levels of fuel economy should not be taken as NAS' 
recommendation as to what future fuel economy standards should be. NAS 
offered two estimates of the ``technically achievable'' levels of fuel 
economy for both MYs 2001 and 2006. The lower estimate was given with a 
high degree of confidence that the light truck fleet could achieve such 
a level. The higher CAFE level was given with a lower degree of 
confidence that the fleet could achieve that level due to unidentified 
uncertainties. The range of values are:


Model Year NAS Technically Achievable:


2001: 24 - 25 mpg; 2006: 26 - 28 mpg.


These estimates did not include large vans and large utility vehicles. 
While large vans and large utility vehicles combined make up only 7.9 
percent of current sales, they represent heavier vehicles with lower 
fuel economy than the average vehicle considered by NAS. Also, the 
fleet fuel economy averages do not represent any particular 
manufacturer's capability, which the agency must consider in setting 
fuel economy standards.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:





The NAS committee estimated the likely increases in costs to consumers 
of improved fuel economy. The agency calculated the expected increases 
in the average price of new light trucks in MY 2006 associated with the 
technically achievable levels, using the data contained in the NAS 
study. The agency estimates that, at a higher-confidence fuel economy 
level, the incremental retail price equivalent for improved fuel 
economy ranges from $573 to $1,331 per vehicle, and at a lower-
confidence fuel economy level, the range is from $1,205 to $2,443 per 
vehicle.


Relative to the MY 1997 standard of 20.7 mpg, at the 24 mpg and 25 mpg 
levels described in the NAS report as ``technically achievable'' for 
light trucks in MY 2001, the per-truck lifetime fuel consumption would 
be reduced by 1,002 to 1,253 gallons, respectively. At the 26 mpg and 
28 mpg levels described in the NAS report as ``technically achievable'' 
for light trucks in MY 2006, the per-truck lifetime fuel consumption 
would be reduced by 1,485 and 1,899 gallons, respectively.


Using recent DOE fuel price projections (and a 7 percent annual 
discount rate), the present values of the above fuel savings per 
vehicle would be $963-$1,204 at the 24-25 mpg fuel economy levels and 
$1,427-$1,826 at the 26-28 mpg levels.


Risks:





If such higher fuel economy levels are attained, there would be 
substantial petroleum savings for the nation as a whole. A 5-million 
units/year light truck fleet with an average fuel economy rating of 
20.7 mpg would consume about 867 million barrels of petroleum over its 
operating life. At average fuel economy levels of 24.0-25.0 mpg, this 
figure would be reduced by 14-17 percent, respectively. At 26.0-28.0 
mpg, this figure would be reduced by 20-26 percent, respectively.


Timetable:
_______________________________________________________________________
Action                                 DFR Cite

_______________________________________________________________________
ANPRM           59 FR 16324                                    04/06/94
ANPRM Comment Period End                                       08/04/94
NPRM                                                           02/00/95
Small Entities Affected:


None


Government Levels Affected:


None


Agency Contact:
Orron Kee
Chief, Motor Vehicle Requirements
Office of Market Incentives
Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street SW.
Washington, DC 20590
202 366-0846
RIN: 2127-AF16
_______________________________________________________________________
DOT--NHTSA
            ___________________________________________________________
FINAL RULE STAGE
            ___________________________________________________________
128. +REDUCE HEAD INJURIES DUE TO CONTACT WITH UPPER VEHICLE INTERIOR
Legal Authority:


 15 USC 1392; 15 USC 1407


CFR Citation:


 49 CFR 571.201; 49 CFR 571.205; 49 CFR 571.206; 49 CFR 571.214


Legal Deadline:


 NPRM, Statutory, January 31, 1993. Final, Statutory, February 28, 
1995.


Abstract:


This action concerns improved head impact protection from interior 
components of passenger cars, that is, from roof rails, pillars, and 
front headers. This rulemaking action and notice of a publication date 
for the NPRM are required by the NHTSA Authorization Act of 1991. This 
action is considered significant because of safety and cost 
implications.


Statement of Need:


This rulemaking is undertaken to alleviate the problem that head 
impacts with the pillars, roof side rails, windshield header, and rear 
header result in nearly 3,400 passenger car and light truck occupant 
fatalities and 26,000 moderate-to-critical passenger car and light 
truck occupant injuries annually. The vast majority of these fatalities 
and serious injuries are attributable to impacts with upper interior 
components in the front of the vehicle, that is, components from the B-
pillar forward. Although airbags decrease the number of head impacts 
with the front header and A-pillars, the agency has found a number of 
cases with front header and A-pillar strikes even though the air bag 
deployed.


Summary of the Legal Basis:





Many occupant injuries and fatalities result from head impacts with 
upper vehicle interiors. In 1980, the agency initiated a research 
program to support upgrading the current interior impact standard to 
provide occupant protection in these impacts. The agency was then 
directed by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act 
(ISTEA) to improve head-impact protection from interior components of 
passenger cars, that is, from roof rails, pillars, and front headers. A 
final rule is to be published within 24 months of the NPRM (2/8/93 58 
FR 7506).


Alternatives:


Two sets of alternatives were analyzed. The first relates to the injury 
criteria. The injury criteria are known as Head Injury Criteria (HICs). 
The higher the HIC, the greater the possibility of serious injury. The 
first set of alternatives is whether an HIC of 1,000 would be 
applicable to all components or whether an HIC of 1,000 would be 
applicable to all components except side components, and an HIC of 800 
would apply to side components. A lower HIC for side components may be 
appropriate since research shows the side of the head is more 
susceptible to injury than the front of the head. The second set of 
alternatives relates to whether the amendments would be applicable to 
both the front and rear seating areas of passenger cars and light 
trucks.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:


At an HIC of 1,000, costs were estimated at $29 per passenger car and 
$45 per light truck. At HICs of 800/1,000, costs were estimated at $49 
per passenger car and $68 per light trucks.


Benefits were estimated for the injury-level alternatives. The 
Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) is used to rank injuries by level of 
severity. An AIS 1 injury is a minor one, while an AIS 6 injury is one 
that is currently untreatable and fatal. The benefits were estimated as 
follows:


If an HIC of 1,000 is required, injuries resulting from head impacts in 
passenger cars per year would be reduced between 862 and 1,114 
fatalities and between 575 and 708 AIS 2-5 injuries; injuries in light 
trucks would be reduced between 276 and 281 fatalities and between 108 
to 116 AIS 2-5 injuries.


If an HIC of 800/1,000 is required, head-impact injuries would be 
reduced for passenger cars between 1,054 and 1,323 fatalities and 
between 572 and 1,188 AIS 2-5 injuries; injuries in light trucks would 
be reduced between 291 and 311 fatalities and between 269 and 290 AIS 
2-5 injuries.


Risks:





Estimated annual head/face injuries from contacting upper interior 
components are 2,942 fatalities and 22,844 AIS 2-5 injuries in 
passenger cars and 409 fatalities and 3,162 AIS 2-5 injuries in light 
trucks; a total of 3,351 fatalities and 26,006 AIS 2-5 injuries.


Timetable:
_______________________________________________________________________
Action                                 DFR Cite

_______________________________________________________________________
ANPRM           53 FR 31712                                    08/19/88
ANPRM Comment Period End                                       10/18/88
Notice of Intent57 FR 24008                                    06/05/92
NPRM            58 FR 7506                                     02/08/93
NPRM Comment Period End                                        04/09/93
Final Action                                                   11/00/94
Small Entities Affected:


None


Government Levels Affected:


None


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