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Chrysler Group, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country

Chrysler Group, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
June 26, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 123 (Wednesday, June 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38443-38444]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15278]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2011-0074; Notice 2]


Chrysler Group, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Grant of Petition.

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SUMMARY Chrysler Group, LLC (Chrysler),\1\ has determined that certain 
model year (MY) 2011 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 
multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) manufactured between March 16, 
2011 through March 22, 2011, do not fully comply with paragraph S4.3(d) 
of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire 
selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load 
carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 
kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less. Chrysler has filed an appropriate 
report dated May 3, 2011, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ Chrysler Group, LLC is a vehicle manufacturer incorporated 
under the laws of the state of Delaware.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule 
implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, Chrysler has 
petitioned for an exemption from the notification and remedy 
requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this

[[Page 38444]]

noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Notice of 
receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day public comment 
period, on February 15, 2012 in the Federal Register (77 FR 8944). 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-2011-0074''.
    Contact Information: For further information on this decision 
contact Ms. Amina Fisher, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 
366-0645, facsimile (202) 366-5307.
    Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 729 MY 2011 Chrysler 
Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan MPVs manufactured between March 
16, 2011 and March 22, 2011 and equipped with Yokohama size 225/65-R16 
passenger car tires.
    Summary of Chrysler's Analyses: Chrysler explains that the 
noncompliance is that the vehicle placards on the affected vehicles 
incorrectly identify the tire size as required by paragraph S4.3(d) of 
FMVSS No. 110.
    Chrysler additionally explains that during the production of the 
subject vehicles there was a temporary shortage of Kumho size 235/60R16 
passenger car tires. As a result, Yokahama size 225/65R16 tires and 
vehicle placard were substituted. On March 16, 2011, when the Kumbo 
tires were scheduled to be reintroduced, the vehicle placard was 
updated to reflect the tire change and placed on the subject vehicles. 
However, 729 vehicles that received the updated vehicle placard were 
fitted with the Yokahama tires instead of the Kumbo tires.
    Chrysler stated its belief that the subject noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    1. The tire inflation pressure requirement for both tires is the 
same and that the recommended gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the 
vehicles is not affected by the tire change. Chrysler also notes that 
the tire circumference for both tires is essentially the same and that 
the functions of the vehicle speedometer and odometer, the tire 
pressure monitoring system (TPMS), the antilock brake system (ABS) and 
the electronic stability program (ESP) are not affected by the 21 mm 
difference in circumference. In addition, Chrysler stated that the 
subject Kumbo and Yokahama tires provide equivalent performance when 
mounted on the subject vehicles.
    2. While the non-compliant vehicle placards incorrectly state the 
tire size, they meet or exceed all other applicable Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standards.
    3. The noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety 
because the noncompliant vehicle placards do not create an unsafe 
condition and all other labeling requirements have been met.
    Chrysler also added that it believes that NHTSA has previously 
granted similar petitions.
    In summation, Chrysler 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: The intent of FMVSS No. 110 is to ensure that 
vehicles are equipped with tires appropriate to handle maximum vehicle 
loads and prevent overloading. NHTSA has confirmed that: The installed 
and labeled tires, including the spare, when inflated to the labeled 
recommended cold inflation pressure are appropriate to handle the 
vehicle maximum loads; the tire and loading information labels on 
subject vehicles are correct, except for the subject noncompliance; the 
vehicles are equipped with tires that have the complete tire size (225/
65R16) molded into their sidewalls. Consequently, the subject 
noncompliance should not cause any unsafe conditions associated with 
determination of the correct tire inflation pressures or replacement 
tire selection for the subject vehicles.
    Therefore, NHTSA agrees with Chrysler that in this specific case 
the incorrect tire size printed on the tire and loading information 
labels on the affixed vehicles does not have any adverse safety 
implications.
    NHTSA is also not aware of any customer complaints or field reports 
relating to this issue and Chrysler stated that it has corrected the 
problem that caused these errors so that they will not be repeated in 
future production.
    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that Chrysler 
has met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 110 noncompliance 
in the vehicles identified in Chrysler's Noncompliance Information 
Report is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, 
Chrysler's petition is granted and the petitioner 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 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 approximately 729 vehicles that Chrysler no longer 
controlled at the time that it determined that a noncompliance existed 
in the subject vehicles. 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 Chrysler 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.

    Issued on: June 20, 2013.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-15278 Filed 6-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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