Home Page About Us Contribute




Escort, Inc.



Tweets by @CrittendenAuto






By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Chevrolet Volt

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

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
August 19, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 160 (Tuesday, August 19, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49155-49157]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19603]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0133; Notice 2]


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

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 49156]]

SUMMARY: General Motors, LLC (GM) has determined that certain model 
year (MY) 2011, 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet Volt passenger cars sold with 
windshield sunshades as a ``Limited Personalization Option,'' do not 
fully comply with paragraph S4.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. FMVSS 302, Flammability of Interior Materials. GM 
has filed an appropriate report dated August 27, 2013, pursuant to 49 
CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact Mr. Mike 
Cole, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-2334, facsimile 
(202) 366-5930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. GM's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 
the rule implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, GM has 
petitioned 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.
    Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on January 21, 2014 in the Federal Register (79 
FR 3471). No comments were received. To view the petition, and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online 
search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2013-0133.''
    II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 3,426 MY 2011, 
2012 and 2013 Chevrolet Volt passenger cars that were manufactured from 
12/14/2010 to 06/26/2013 and sold to retail customers with windshield 
sunshades as a ``Limited Personalization Option.''
    III. Noncompliance: GM explains that the noncompliance is that the 
subject vehicles were delivered as new vehicles to retail customers 
with windshield sunshades that do not meet the maximum burn rate 
requirement of paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 302.
    IV. Rule Text: Refer to the entire text of Paragraph S4 of FMVSS 
No. 302 for contextual restrictions as well as the specific 
requirements of subparagraph S4.3.
    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. When tested as a finished part (i.e., with the inner and outer 
layers tested as though they form a composite), the sunshade's burn 
rate of 35mm/minute is significantly less than the FMVSS No. 302 
maximum burn rate of 102 mm/minute. The outer layer is composed of 
self-extinguishing material that meets all of the requirements of FMVSS 
No. 302. While the layers of the assembly are not bonded at every point 
of contact, they are held together and encased with FMVSS No. 302 
compliant self-extinguishing trim and stitching around the entire 
perimeter of the sunshade. Additional double rows of stitching create 
vertical accordion fold lines in the sunshade. The stitching segments 
the inner layer into smaller pieces that are separated by double layers 
of the FMVSS No. 302 compliant self-extinguishing outer layer material.
    b. Only the inner layer, by itself, does not meet the FMVSS No. 302 
burn rate, and at 110 mm/minute, it is only marginally above the 102 
mm/minute requirement.
    c. The sunshade has a storage bag which is made of FMVSS No. 302 
compliant material. When the sunshade is stored in the provided bag 
while the vehicle is in use, the external surface that is presented to 
the occupant compartment is well within the FMVSS requirement, and two 
layers of FMVSS No. 302 compliant material would have to be penetrated 
to reach the marginally noncompliant inner layer.
    d. Even if the sunshade was not placed in its storage bag when not 
in use, the external surface that is presented to the occupant 
compartment is still FMVSS compliant, and this layer would still need 
to be penetrated to reach the marginally noncompliant inner layer. In 
addition, folding it alone reduces the sunshade's surface area to 
approximately one eighth of the unfolded surface area, further reducing 
the exposure to any potential ignition source.
    e. GM stated its belief that the purpose of FMVSS No. 302 is ``to 
reduce the deaths and injuries to motor vehicle occupants caused by 
vehicle fires, especially those originating in the interior of the 
vehicle from sources such as matches or cigarettes.'' FMVSS No. 302, 
paragraph S2. The sunshade is designed to be used only when the vehicle 
is parked, and it is extremely unlikely that the inner layer would ever 
come in contact with an ignition source. As such, it is extremely 
unlikely that a vehicle occupant would ever be exposed to a risk of 
injury as a result of the noncompliance.
    f. Because the sunshade is intended to help reduce sun load during 
hot weather conditions, it may be removed from the vehicle entirely 
during colder months, further reducing the exposure of the sunshade to 
the interior of the vehicle.
    g. GM stated its belief that NHTSA has previously granted several 
inconsequential noncompliance petitions that GM believes can be applied 
to a decision on its petition. See GM's petition for a complete 
discussion of its reasoning.
    h. There are no known field events involving ignition of sunshades. 
GM is not aware of any crashes, injuries or customer complaints 
involving this windshield sunshade.
    GM has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production vehicles delivered with 
windshield sunshades will comply with FMVSS No. 302.
    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 Decision:
    NHTSA Analysis: NHTSA agrees with GM that the noncompliant 
corrugated plastic material incorporated into the subject sunshades is 
unlikely to pose a flammability risk due to: the unlikelihood of 
exposure to an ignition source; the fact that the noncompliant material 
is fully encased by materials which comply with the flammability 
requirements of FMVSS No. 302; the fact that the sunshade is provided 
with a bag made of materials that comply with the flammability 
requirements of FMVSS No. 302 for storage of the sunshade when the 
vehicle is in use; and the fact that when tested separately the inner 
layer is only marginally above the 102 mm/minute requirement.
    NHTSA Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has 
decided that GM has met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 302 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, 
GM's petition is hereby granted and GM is exempted from the obligation 
of providing notification of, and a remedy for, that noncompliance 
under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.
    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

[[Page 49157]]

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, this decision only 
applies to the subject noncompliant vehicles that GM no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, the granting of 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)

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe,
Acting Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2014-19603 Filed 8-18-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute