(a) General requirements. --The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe motor vehicle safety standards. Each standard shall be practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and be stated in objective terms.
(b) Considerations and consultation. --When prescribing a motor vehicle safety standard under this chapter, the Secretary shall--
(1) consider relevant available motor vehicle safety information;
(2) consult with the agency established under the Act of August 20, 1958 (Public Law 85-684, 72 Stat. 635), and other appropriate State or interstate authorities (including legislative committees);
(3) consider whether a proposed standard is reasonable, practicable, and appropriate for the particular type of motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment for which it is prescribed; and
(4) consider the extent to which the standard will carry out section 30101 of this title.
(c) Cooperation. --The Secretary may advise, assist, and cooperate with departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government, States, and other public and private agencies in developing motor vehicle safety standards.
(d) Effective dates of standards. --The Secretary shall specify the effective date of a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter in the order prescribing the standard. A standard may not become effective before the 180th day after the standard is prescribed or later than one year after it is prescribed. However, the Secretary may prescribe a different effective date after finding, for good cause shown, that a different effective date is in the public interest and publishing the reasons for the finding.
(e) 5-Year plan for testing standards. --The Secretary shall establish and periodically review and update on a continuing basis a 5-year plan for testing motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this chapter that the Secretary considers capable of being tested. In developing the plan and establishing testing priorities, the Secretary shall consider factors the Secretary considers appropriate, consistent with section 30101 of this title and the Secretary's other duties and powers under this chapter. The Secretary may change at any time those priorities to address matters the Secretary considers of greater priority. The initial plan may be the 5-year plan for compliance testing in effect on December 18, 1991.
(f) Motor vehicle safety guidelines.--
(1) In general.--No guidelines issued by the Secretary with respect to motor vehicle safety shall confer any rights on any person, State, or locality, nor shall operate to bind the Secretary or any person to the approach recommended in such guidelines. In any enforcement action with respect to motor vehicle safety, the Secretary shall allege a violation of a provision of this subtitle, a motor vehicle safety standard issued under this subtitle, or another relevant statute or regulation. The Secretary may not base an enforcement action on, or execute a consent order based on, practices that are alleged to be inconsistent with any such guidelines, unless the practices allegedly violate a provision of this subtitle, a motor vehicle safety standard issued under this subtitle, or another relevant statute or regulation.
(2) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to confer any authority upon or negate any authority of the Secretary to issue guidelines under this chapter.
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