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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 Sonic

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

Jeffrey Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
May 12, 2015

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 91 (Tuesday, May 12, 2015)]
[Pages 27229-27230]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-11395]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0035; 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.


SUMMARY: General Motors, LLC, (GM) has determined that certain Model 
Year (MY) 2012-2015 Chevrolet Sonic passenger vehicles do not fully 
comply with paragraph S6. of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated 
Equipment. GM has filed an appropriate report dated March 2, 2015, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is June 11, 2015.

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 
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

[[Page 27230]]

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.

    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 310,243 MY 2012-
2015 Chevrolet Sonic passenger cars manufactured between May 5, 2011 
and February 4, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: GM explains that the noncompliance is that the 
high-beam headlamp lenses on the subject vehicles are not marked with 
``HB3'' (the HB bulb type) as required by paragraph S6. of FMVSS 
No. 108.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S6. of FMVSS No. 108 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S6. The lens of each replaceable bulb headlamp must bear 
permanent marking in front of each replaceable light source with 
which it is equipped that states either: The HB Type, if the light 
source conforms to S11 of this standard for filament light sources, 
. . .

    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 high-beam headlamp lenses in question are clearly marked 
``9005'' (the ANSI designation), which GM believes to be a well-known 
alternative designation recognized throughout the automotive industry 
and used by lighting manufacturers interchangeably with HB3 the lamp's 
HB type. GM also verified that the vehicle owner's manuals identify the 
high beam replacement bulb as 9005.
    (B) That the mismarked high-beam headlamps are the correct 
headlamps for the subject vehicles and that they conform to all other 
requirements including photometric as required by FMVSS No. 108.
    (C) The risk of customer confusion when selecting a correct 
replacement bulb is remote. Both the HB3 type and the 9005 ANSI 
designation are marked on the vehicles' headlamp bulb sockets, and 
packaging for replacement bulbs is commonly marked with both the HB 
type and the ANSI designation. GM searched a number of national 
automotive parts stores (Autozone, O'Reilly, Advanced Auto Parts, and 
Pep Boys), and found that all HB3 replacement bulbs in these stores 
were marked with the 9005 ANSI designation. Should a consumer attempt 
to install an incorrect bulb into the headlamp sockets, the bulb could 
not be successfully installed because of the unique nature of the 
socket hardware.
    (D) GM also cited several previous petitions that NHTSA has granted 
dealing with noncompliances that GM believes are similar to the 
noncompliance that is the subject of its petition. Based on these 
decisions, GM believes that there is also precedent to support granting 
its petition.
    GM is not aware of any VOQ or field data in which a consumer has 
complained of not being able to identify the proper replacement 
headlamp bulb for the affected vehicles, which GM believes to be 
evidence that this noncompliance is not impacting consumers.
    GM has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance by adding the HB3 designation bulb type to the high-beam 
headlamp lens in all vehicles produced on or after February 21, 2015.
    In summation, GM believes that the described noncompliance of the 
subject vehicles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that 
its petition, to exempt GM 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 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.

Jeffrey Giuseppe,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2015-11395 Filed 5-11-15; 8:45 am]

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