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General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra

General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
Environmental Protection Agency
February 24, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 36 (Monday, February 24, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10226-10227]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-03896]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0134; Notice 1]


General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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SUMMARY: General Motors, LLC, (GM) has determined that certain model 
year 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks manufactured 
between January 29, 2013 and October 28, 2013, do not fully comply with 
paragraph S5.3.1(e) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
No. 101, Controls and Displays, and paragraph S3.1.4.1 of FMVSS No. 
102, Transmission Shift Position Sequence, Starter Interlock, and 
Transmission Braking Effect. GM has filed an appropriate report dated 
October 31, 2013, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is March 26, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written data, 
views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the 
docket and notice number cited at the beginning of this notice and be 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to: U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Deliver: Deliver comments by hand to: U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. The 
Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except 
Federal Holidays.
     Electronically: Submit comments electronically by: logging 
onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493-2251.
    Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater 
than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of 
necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in 
hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish 
to receive confirmation that your comments were received, please 
enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that 
all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
    Documents submitted to a docket may be viewed by anyone at the 
address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by following the online 
instructions for accessing the dockets. DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement is available for review in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).
    The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received 
before the close of business on the closing date indicated below will 
be filed and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials 
received after the closing date will also be filed and will be 
considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or 
denied, notice of the decision will be published in the Federal 
Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. GM's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 
30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), GM 
submitted a petition for an exemption from the notification and remedy 
requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
    This notice of receipt of GM's petition is published under 49 
U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or 
other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition.
    II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 200,921 model 
year 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks manufactured 
between January 29, 2013 and October 28, 2013.
    III. Noncompliance: GM explains that the noncompliance is that 
under certain circumstances when an owner uses the steering wheel 
controls to browse and select songs to play from an external device 
(i.e., MP3 player) that is plugged into one of the vehicle's USB ports, 
the instrument cluster may reset. When the instrument cluster resets 
the analog gauges and identifications, the PRNDM [shift position] 
indicator, and the cruise control telltale will briefly turn off. In 
addition, some of the instrument cluster telltales may also illuminate 
briefly without the condition the telltale is designed to indicate 
being present.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.3.1(e) of FMVSS No. 101 requires in 
pertinent part:

S5.3.1(e)  Timing of illumination

    (e) A Telltale must not emit light except when identifying the 
malfunction or vehicle condition it is designed to indicate, or during 
a bulb check . . .

    Paragraph S3.1.4.1 of FMVSS No. 102 requires in pertinent part:

    S5.3.1(e) Except as specified in S3.1.4.1 if the transmission 
shift position sequence includes a park position, identification of 
shift positions, including the positions in relation to each other 
and the position selected, shall be displayed in view of the driver 
whenever any of the following conditions exist . . .

    V. Summary of GM's Analyses: GM stated its belief that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the 
following reasons:
    A. The condition is extremely unlikely to occur.
    Before the condition can occur, the driver must operate a media 
device

[[Page 10227]]

inserted into one of the vehicle's USB ports in a very specific way, 
while other associated conditions also occur as follows:
    1. The driver must insert a media device, such as a jump drive or 
MP3 player, into one of the USB ports to access songs on the media 
device. The songs on that device will start playing without further 
driver intervention.
    2. To select a particular song, either the center cluster controls 
or the steering wheel controls may be used. The condition will not 
occur if the center cluster controls are used, but if the redundant 
steering wheel controls are used to select a song, the condition may 
occur if the following series of events also occurs:
    a. The driver searches for a particular song by depressing the left 
arrow on the right spoke of the steering wheel;
    b. then selects ``audio'' using the steering wheel controls;
    c. then selects ``browse'' using the steering wheel controls;
    d. then scrolls to a particular song using the steering wheel 
controls; and
    e. then selects the song to play. At this point, operation remains 
normal.
    f. If the driver selects ``browse'' using the steering wheel 
controls to select a second song, the subject condition may occur, but 
only if the total information in titles of the buffered songs exceeds 
2,000 bytes. (Note: Fifteen songs are uploaded at a time to the 
buffer).
    The combination of the specific series of events noted above, 
together with the [total] information in the buffer exceeding 2000 
bytes, is very unlikely.
    GM is aware of only 2 incidents of the subject condition occurring. 
These incidents were isolated to the test vehicle fleet (589 vehicles), 
which has accrued over 7 million total miles.
    GM checked all warranty claims on the subject vehicles and did not 
find any complaints related to the subject condition. The subject 
vehicles in the field are likely to have accrued over 106 million miles 
with no field reports of the noncompliant condition.
    GM is not aware of any complaints to NHTSA about this condition.
    B. The condition is short-lived.
    The disruption of the PRNDM and the activation of the telltales as 
a result of this condition are very brief. In the unlikely event the 
subject condition were to occur and the instrument cluster resets, the 
gear [shift position] display extinguishes for one and one half seconds 
and a telltale bulb check is triggered, which persists for 
approximately five seconds. This momentary condition would be a clear 
indication to the driver that service may be required.
    GM is unaware of any previous recall for a short-lived activation 
of the telltales. GM is also unaware of any previous recall for a 
short-live disruption of the gear selector [display].
    In addition, GM referred to a NHTSA response to a letter from Ford 
Motor Company dated May 23, 1979, in which GM believes that NHTSA 
acknowledged that a short-lived inability to view telltales does not 
necessarily warrant manufacturers correcting the condition.
    C. The condition has little effect on the normal operation of the 
vehicle.
    While the operation of the instrument panel is briefly affected by 
the underlying condition, none of the other vehicle operations are 
affected. Any underlying messages remain in place and will continue to 
be displayed after the instrument panel resets. Other operations, like 
cruise control, are unaffected by the subject condition. Only the 
displays on the instrument panel are briefly affected by the condition.
    If the condition were to occur it is unlikely the brief disruption 
of the PRNDM will affect the driver. The condition can only be 
triggered when the driver is searching for a song with the steering 
wheel controls, which are located on the right spoke of the steering 
wheel. If the driver is in the process of searching for a song, it is 
unlikely the driver will shift the transmission for the one and one 
half seconds the PRNDM is disrupted, since the driver would also use 
his right hand to shift.
    D. NHTSA has previously granted petitions for inconsequential 
noncompliance that GM believes can be applied to a decision on its 
petition. Refer to GM's petition for a complete discussion of its 
reasoning.
    GM has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production of these vehicles will 
comply with FMVSS No. 110 and FMVSS No. 120.
    In summation, GM believes that the described noncompliance of the 
subject vehicles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that 
its petition, to exempt from providing recall notification of 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120 should be granted.
    NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a 
determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers 
only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, 
to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance 
and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, any decision on 
this petition only applies to the subject noncompliant vehicles that GM 
no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance 
existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve 
vehicle distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer 
for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after GM 
notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.

    Authority:  (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 
49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8)

Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2014-03896 Filed 2-21-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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