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AM General Corp.; Receipt of Petition For Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Hummer H1

AM General Corp.; Receipt of Petition For Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Barry Felrice
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
April 13, 1994

[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 71 (Wednesday, April 13, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-8811]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: April 13, 1994]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. 94-26; Notice 01]


AM General Corp.; Receipt of Petition For Determination of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

    AM General Corporation of Livonia, Michigan has determined that 
some of its vehicles fail to comply with Paragraph S5.3.1.1 of 49 CFR 
571.108, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, ``Lamps, 
Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment,'' and has filed an 
appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573. AM General has also 
petitioned to be exempted from the notification and remedy requirements 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1381 et 
seq.) on the basis that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety.
    This notice of receipt of a petition is published under section 157 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1417) 
and does not represent any agency decision or other exercise of 
judgment concerning the merits of the petition.
    Paragraph S5.3.1.1 of Standard No. 108 states in part that ``* * * 
no part of the vehicle shall prevent * * * any other lamp from meeting 
the photometric output at any test point specified in any applicable 
SAE Standard or Recommended Practice.''
    AM General determined that certain of its 1992-1994 HUMMER vehicles 
do not meet the requirements of Paragraph S5.3.1.1 in Standard No. 108. 
The HUMMER is a truck. Its gross vehicle weight rating is 10,300 
pounds. The noncompliant vehicles were built from July 1992 through 
February 1994, and are those models equipped with an optional rear-
mounted, swingaway carrier for a full-size spare tire.
    AM General stated that the HUMMER is required to be equipped with 
identification lamps at the rear of the vehicle, since the width of the 
HUMMER exceeds 80 inches. The HUMMER has three identification lamps 
(left-side, center, and right-side) mounted on a horizontal bar just 
above the rear bumper. The noncompliance is that the optional spare 
tire and its carrier, supported by the rear bumper, obstruct some 
visibility of each of the three identification lamps. On 578 vehicles, 
built from July 1992 through January 1994, a photometric noncompliance 
exists at the 10U 45R test point on the right lamp, and the 10U 45L 
test point on the left and center lamps.
    AM General explained that its solution for this problem was to 
lower the lamps by 0.75 inch. However, ``[s]ubsequent to implementing 
this revision, it was discovered that a small hex screw head (\1/4\ x 
\5/8\) on the spare tire carrier now obstructed the [V 10]D test point 
on the center lamp with the lamp in the revised lower position.'' The 
vehicles involved in this second noncompliance were built in February 
1994. The actual number of vehicles is not known at this time.
    AM General stated it believes the first noncompliance among the 578 
vehicles is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and 
offered the following rationale:

    The obscuration of the lamps by the wheel/tire assembly affects 
only a 10 U45 test point for each lamp * * *. [T]his typically 
reduces the visibility angle from 10 deg. to about 7 deg.. At a 
following distance of 12 feet in an adjacent lane, this reduces the 
effective visibility point by less than 8 [inches] * * *.
    The obscuration occurs only in close proximity to the vehicle. 
Since an identification lamp is a steady-burning market lamp, not a 
signaling lamp, its function is most important as a vehicle 
approaches from the rear. For approaching vehicles in which the 
operator's seating position is high above the ground, such as a bus 
or a heavy truck, the lamp would be fully visible to the operator 
until the operator was about 25 [feet] behind. For conventional 
passenger cars, the lamp will remain visible until the operator is 
12-15 [feet] behind. (This assumes a go/no go visibility situation. 
In reality the lower portion of the lamp lens will still be visible 
at these distances, although the photometric output is reduced).
    The rear surface of the HUMMER is already highly   decorated  
with  multiple   marker lamps * * *. In addition to the partially 
obstructed identification lamp(s), at least one identification lamp 
is always visible from either side. A clearance lamp is supplied on 
the rear of each fender, as well as two taillamps * * *. With so 
much prominent lighting on the rear of the vehicle we believe that 
the loss of visibility of a portion of each lamp in only a very 
small visibility regime represents no hazard to motor vehicle 
safety. Any following vehicle in an adjacent lane will have more 
than sufficient indication of the size and presence of the vehicle.

    AM General also stated it believes the second noncompliance among 
the vehicles built in February 1994 is inconsequential as it relates to 
motor vehicle safety, and offered the following rationale:

    The obscuration of the lamp affects only the V [10]D test point. 
As described above, the HUMMER is already amply equipped with rear 
marker lamps, and any following vehicle will have more than adequate 
notice of the presence of the vehicle.

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and 
arguments on the petition of AM General, 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 six copies be submitted.
    All comments received before the close of business on the closing 
date indicated below will be considered. The application and supporting 
materials, and all comments received after the closing date will also 
be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the 
petition is granted or denied, the notice will be published in the 
Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.
    Comment closing date: May 13, 1994.

(15 U.S.C. 1417; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 49 CFR 

    Issued on: April 7, 1994.
Barry Felrice,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 94-8811 Filed 4-12-94; 8:45 am]

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