49 CFR § 554.10 - Initial determinations and public meetings.
(a) An initial decision of failure to comply with safety standards or of a safety-related defect is made by the Administrator or his delegate based on the completed investigative file compiled by the appropriate office.
(b) The decision is communicated to the manufacturer in a letter which makes available all information on which the decision is based. The letter advises the manufacturer of his right to present information, views, and arguments to establish that there is no defect or failure to comply or that the alleged defect does not affect motor vehicle safety. The letter also specifies the time and place of a public meeting for the presentation of arguments or sets a date by which written comments must be submitted. Submission of all information, whether at a public meeting or in written form, is normally scheduled about 30 days after the initial decision. The deadline for submission of information can be extended for good cause shown.
(c) Public notice of an initial decision is made in a Federal Register notice that -
(1) Identifies the motor vehicle or item of equipment and its manufacturer;
(2) Summarizes the information on which the decision is based.
(3) Gives the location of all information available for public examination; and
(4) States the time and place of a public meeting or the deadline for written submission in which the manufacturer and interested persons may present information, views, and arguments respecting the decision.
(d) A transcript of the public meeting is kept and exhibits may be offered. There is no cross-examination of witnesses.