Dear Mr. Flint:
This responds to your question about the registration form required by S5.8 of Standard 213, "Child Restraint Systems."
In telephone conversations with Deirdre Fujita of my staff, you indicated that your registration form would have certain characteristics. The form would be identical to the ones shown in figures 9a and 9b of Standard 213 and required by S5.8 of the standard, except that cards bearing additional information would be attached to it. The additional information consists of French and Spanish translations of the instructions shown in Figure 9a for filling out the registration form, and a French version of the registration form shown in Figure 9b.
You stated that the Spanish instructions are for the Spanish speaking population in the U.S. You also said that the French form is required by Canada for restraints sold there, and that attaching it to the U.S. (English) form facilitates your compliance with both U.S. and Canadian standards.
We conclude that as long as the English form complies with S5.8 and does not bear any information or writing beyond that required to be on the form, cards bearing the French and Spanish information may be attached to the English form if the information on those cards is presented in a manner that is not likely to confuse consumers in this country about the meaning of the English form or the importance of owner registration. As to whether the additional information is likely to cause confusion, we note the additional information consists solely of French and Spanish translations of the information on the English form. We note further that you indicated to Ms. Fujita that significant numbers of your consumers have been filling in and mailing the tri-lingual registration cards. This return rate indicates that the additional information has not confused the consumers.
We appreciate your recognition of the differing language needs of your customers. NHTSA has suggested to manufacturers that they should consider providing consumer instructions on the use of child restraints not only in English, but also in other languages, to address a possible need for such information. (See, denial of petition for rulemaking from Mr. Mattox, 55 FR 48262, November 20, 1990.)
Please note, however, that NHTSA wishes to maximize the return rates for the registration forms. If information arises that indicates the French and Spanish information is confusing consumers or otherwise negatively affecting return rates, the agency will reconsider whether such information should be permitted.
I hope this information is helpful. Please call Ms. Fujita at (202) 366-2992 if you have further questions.
John Womack Acting Chief Counsel