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Receipt of Petition for Determination That Nonconforming 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (Long Wheel Base Type 463) Multi-Purpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mercedes-Benz 300GE

Receipt of Petition for Determination That Nonconforming 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (Long Wheel Base Type 463) Multi-Purpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

William A. Boehly
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
March 29, 1994


[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 60 (Tuesday, March 29, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-7350]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: March 29, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. 94-19; Notice 1]

 

Receipt of Petition for Determination That Nonconforming 1990, 
1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (Long Wheel Base 
Type 463) Multi-Purpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Request for comments on petition for determination that 
nonconforming 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 
300GE (long wheel base Type 463) multi-purpose passenger vehicles 
(MPVs) are eligible for importation.

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SUMMARY: This notice requests comments on a petition submitted to the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a 
determination that 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz 
Gelaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base Type 463) MPVs that were not 
originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards are eligible for importation into the United 
States because they have safety features that comply with or are 
capable of being modified to comply with, all such standards.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is April 28, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number and notice 
number, and be submitted to: Docket Section, room 5109, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20590. [Docket hours are from 9:30 am to 4 pm.]
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ted Bayler, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5306).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under section 1089(c)(3)(A)(i)(I) of the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act (the Act), 15 U.S.C. 1397(c)(3)(A)(i)(I), a motor 
vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all 
applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards shall be refused 
admission into the United States on and after January 31, 1990, unless 
NHTSA has determined that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to 
a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale 
in the United States, certified under section 114 of the Act, and of 
the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, 
and is capable of being readily modified to conform to all applicable 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Where there is no substantially 
similar U.S.-certified motor vehicle, section 108(c)(3)(A)(i)(II) of 
the Act, 15 U.S.C. 1397(c)(3)(A)(i)(II), permits a nonconforming motor 
vehicle to be admitted into the United States if its safety features 
comply with, or are capable of being modified to comply with, all 
applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards based on destructive 
test data or such other evidence as NHTSA determines to be adequate.
    Petitions for eligibility determinations may be submitted by either 
manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 
49 CFR Part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice 
in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and afford 
interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the 
close of the comment period, NHTSA determines, on the basis of the 
petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is 
eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this determination 
in the Federal Register.
    Europa International, Inc. of Santa Fe, New Mexico (Registered 
Importer No R-91-002 has petitioned NHTSA to determine whether 1990, 
1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base 
Type 463) MPVs are eligible for importation into the United States. 
Europa contends that these vehicles are eligible for importation under 
section 108(c)(3)(A)(i)(II) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 1397(c)(3)(A)(i)(II), 
because they have safety features that comply with, or are capable of 
being modified to comply with, all applicable Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards.
    Specifically, the petitioner claims that 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 
Mercedes-Benz Galaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base Type 463) MPVs have 
safety features that comply with Standards Nos. 102 Transmission Shift 
Lever Sequence   *  *  *. (based on visual inspection and operation), 
103 Defrosting and Defogging Systems (based on inspection), 104 
Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems (based on operation), 105 
Hydraulic Brake Systems (based on documented testing), 106 Brake Hoses 
(based on visual inspection of certification markings), 107 Reflecting 
Surfaces (based on visual inspection), 113 Hood Latch Systems (based on 
information in owner's manual describing operation of secondary latch 
mechanism), 116 Brake Fluids (based on visual inspection of 
certification markings and information in owner's manual describing 
fluids installed at factory), 119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles 
other than Passenger Cars (based on visual inspection of certification 
markings), 124 Accelerator Control Systems (based on operation and 
comparison to U.S.-certified equipment), 201 Occupant Protection in 
Interior Impact (based on test film and certification of vehicle to 
European standard), 202 Head Restraints (based on test film and 
certification of vehicle to European standard), 204 Steering Control 
Rearward Displacement (based on test film), 205 Glazing Materials 
(based on visual inspection of certification markings), 207 Seating 
Systems, (based on undocumented test results and certification of 
vehicle to European standard), 209 Seat Belt Assemblies (based on 
certification markings and schematic diagram of seat belt warning 
system), 211 Wheel Nuts, Wheel Disc And Hubcaps (based on visual 
inspection), 214 Side Impact Protection (based on test results), 219 
Windshield Zone Intrusion (based on engineering evaluation of Standard 
No. 208 compliance test film and test data), and 302 Flammability of 
Interior Materials) based on composition of upholstery).
    The petitioner also contends that 1990, 1991, 192, and 1994 
Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base Type 463) MPVs are 
capable of being modified to comply with the following standards, in 
the manner indicated:
    Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: Substitution of a lens 
marked ``Barke'' for a lens with an ECE symbol on the brake failure 
indicator lamp.
    Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated 
Equipment: (a) Installation of U.S.-model sealed beam headlamps; (b) 
installation of U.S.-model side marker lamps and reflectors; (c) 
installation of a high mounted stop lamp on vehicles manufactured after 
September 1, 1993. The petitioner asserts that testing performed on the 
taillamp reveals that it complies with the standard, even though it 
lacks a DOT certification marking, and that all other lights are DOT 
certified.
    Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirrors: Inscription of the required 
warning statement on the convex surface of the passenger side rearview 
mirror.
    Standard No. 114 Theft Protection: Installation of a warning buzzer 
in the steering lock electrical circuit.
    Standard No. 115 Vehicle Identification Number: Installation of a 
VIN plate that can be read from outside the left windshield pillar
    Standard No. 118 Power-Operated Window Systems: Rewiring of the 
power window system so that the window transport is inoperative when 
the front doors are open.
    Standard No. 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Vehicles other than 
Passenger Cars: Installation of a tire information placard. The 
petitioner asserts that even though the tire rims lack a DOT 
certification marking, they comply with the standard, based on their 
manufacturer's certification that they comply with the German TUV 
regulations, as well as their certification by the British Standards 
Association and the Rim Association of Australia.
    Standard No. 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components: 
Installation of interior locking buttons on all door locks and 
modification of rear door locks to disable latch release controls when 
locking mechanism is engaged.
    Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: Installation of a 
complying driver's side air bag and a seat belt warning buzzer. The 
petitioner asserts that the vehicle conforms to the standard's injury 
criteria at the front passenger position based on a test report from 
the vehicle's manufacturer.
    Standard No. 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages: Insertion of 
instructions on the installation and use of child restraints in the 
owner's manual for the vehicle. The petitioner asserts that the vehicle 
is certified as complying with a European standard that contains more 
severe force application requirements than those of this standard.
    Standard No. 212 Windshield Retention: Application of cement to the 
windshield's edges.
    The petitioner provided test data indicating that the vehicle 
satisfied the frontal barrier requirements of Standard No. 301 Fuel 
System Integrity. The Petitioner also supplied data on a rear barrier 
crash at 31 mph with crash forces approximating those required by the 
standard. The data revealed that fuel leaked from the vent during the 
rollover that was conducted as part of this test. The petitioner 
installed a rollover valve in the fuel tank line to resolve that 
problem. The petitioner also stated that the vehicle should comply with 
the lateral impact test at the lower speed of 20 mph due to the 
reinforcing structure surrounding the fuel tank and the placement of 
the fuel lines inside the main frame of the vehicle.
    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on the petition 
described above. Comments should refer to the docket number and be 
submitted to: Docket Section, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, room 5109, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 
20590. It is requested but not required that 10 copies be submitted.
    All comments received before the close of business on the closing 
date indicated above will be considered, and will be available for 
examination in the docket at the above address both before and after 
that date. To the extent possible, comments field after the closing 
date will also be considered. Notice of final action will be published 
in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1397(c)(3)(A)(i)(II) and (C)(iii); 49 CFR 
593.8; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 501.8

    Issued on: March 22, 1994.
William A. Boehly,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 94-7350 Filed 3-28-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-M

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