Status: Final Published

Date: Proposed rules published December 2011, extended comments 2012 Region: United States

Document: Link

Background

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention is a rule published by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). It currently forms of the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 49 – Transportation, Subtitle B — Other Regulations Relating To Transportation, Chapter V — National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Depart- ment Of Transportation, Part 571 – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Subpart B — Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, § 571.114 Standard No. 114; Theft protection and rollaway prevention). The NHTSA proposed revisions and additions in 2011 (comments closed in March 2012).

In particular, it added clarifications on definitions, notably key (physical device or electronic code), key code carrying device (a physical device which is capable of electronically transmitting the key code to the vehicle starting system without physical connection), starting system (vehicle system used in conjunction with the key to activate the engine, motor or other system which provides propulsion to the motor vehicle) and stop control (the device used by the driver to deactivate the engine, motor or other system which provides propulsion to the motor vehicle).

Summary

The rules specify vehicle performance requirements intended to reduce the incidence of crashes resulting from theft and accidental rollaway of motor vehicles. It applies to all passenger cars, and to trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less.

Three main cases are covered. The first concerns theft protection (section 5.1), which stipulates that vehicles must have a starting system which, whenever the key is removed, prevents the normal activation of the engine or motor, and either steering or forward self-mobility (or both).

An audible warning must be activated when the key is in the starting system and the door closest to the driver is opened. Further, when a vehicle is in a ‘park’ position, any function meant to turn off the engine must also ensure that steering or forward self-mobility cannot operate.

The second case concerns rollaway prevention for those vehicles that have transmissions including ‘park’ positions. The vehicle designs must ensure that starting systems prevent key removal unless the vehicle is locked in ‘park’, and that the transmission cannot move from ‘park’ unless the key is in the starting system.

There are a number of exceptions to this rule, including in the event of electrical failure, or if steering or self-mobility is prevented. In these latter cases, a device can be used to remove the key (such as a tool, i.e. screwdriver or other). A gear selection control override option is also detailed, which allows for the use of a device (tool or other) to move the gear selection control from ‘park’ after the key has been removed.

The third case covers brake transmission shift interlock. This requires the service brake to be depressed before the transmission can be shifted out of ‘park’. It specifically applies to vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2010 with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less with an automatic transmission that includes a “park” position.

A fourth case was added during the amendment phase in 2011, and covers propulsion system deactivation. This is for vehicles equipped with a propulsion system stop control and requires that the system should not stop until the control has been depressed for more then 500 milliseconds, and must shut off within 1 second after the control is first pressed.

Further requirements on warnings to the driver exiting a vehicle with the gear selection not in park or while the propulsion system is operating is included. This covers those vehicles with starting systems accessed by electronic key codes without physical connection, and requirements for an audible alert.

Finally, the OEM must place instructions regarding the operation of the controls that starts and stops the propulsion system in the owner’s manual.
This final section of the rules stipulates compliance test procedures for vehicles with transmissions in a ‘park’ position, and for vehicles using electronic key codes with their starting systems. This includes testing vehicles at curb weight plus 91 kg (including the driver), requiring attempts to remove the key in each gear selection position, during park and also during drive position (using the service and parking breaks).

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