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In addition to the express preemption noted above, the Supreme Court has also

recognized that State requirements imposed on motor vehicle manufacturers, including sanctions

imposed by State tort law, can stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of a

NHTSA safety standard. When such a conflict is discerned, the Supremacy Clause of the

Constitution makes the State requirements unenforceable. See Geier v. American Honda Motor

Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000). NHTSA has not outlined such potential State requirements in today’s

rulemaking, however, in part because such conflicts can arise in varied contexts, but it is

conceivable that such a conflict may become clear through subsequent experience with today’s

rule. NHTSA may opine on such conflicts in the future, if warranted. See id. at 883-86.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA)

(Public Law 104-113), “all Federal agencies and departments shall use technical standards that

are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical

standards as a means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and

departments.” Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials

specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or

adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, such as SAE. The NTTAA directs us to

provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when we decide not to use available and

applicable voluntary consensus standards.

This rule will make Part 565’s requirements for manufacturer identifiers and for

identifying attributes of the specific vehicle type more consistent with SAE and ISO standards

for vehicle identification. The rule will permit the use of alphabetic and numeric characters in

certain VIN positions, which is likely to substantially increase harmonization of Part 565 with

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