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BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Motorcycles Topics:  BMW R nineT

BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
June 4, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 107 (Thursday, June 4, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31966-31967]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-13600]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0031; Notice 1]


BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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SUMMARY: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW), a subsidiary of BMW AG in 
Munich, Germany, has determined that certain model year (MY) 2014-2015 
BMW R nineT motorcycles do not fully comply with paragraph S6.4.3(a) 
(Table V-b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, 
Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment. BMW has filed an 
appropriate report dated February 20, 2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 
573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is July 6, 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

[[Page 31967]]

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 
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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    I. BMW's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see 
implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), BMW 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 BMW'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. Motorcycles Involved: Affected are approximately 1,792 MY 2014-
2015 BMW R nineT motorcycles manufactured between November 27, 2013 and 
January 26, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: BMW explains that the noncompliance is that the 
rear turn signal lamps were manufactured with a corner point of 
5[ordm]IB. The turn signal lamps should have had a corner point of 
20[ordm]IB as required by paragraph S6.4.3(a)(Table V-b) of FMVSS No. 
108.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S6.4.3(a) of FMVSS No. 108 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S6.4.3 Visibility Options. A manufacturer must certify 
compliance of each lamp function to one of the following visibility 
requirement options, and it may not thereafter choose a different 
option for that vehicle . . .
    (a) Lens area options. When a vehicle is equipped with any lamp 
listed in Table V-b each such lamp must provide not less than 1250 
sq mm of unobstructed effective projected luminous lens area in any 
direction throughout the pattern defined by the corner points 
specified in Table V-b for each such lamp;

    V. Summary of BMW's Analyses: BMW stated its belief that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for 
the following reasons:
    (A) BMW states that when the subject motorcycles are upright on a 
level surface and equipped with standard tires at their recommended 
cold tire inflation pressure; the lower edge of the rear turn signal 
lenses are approximately 747 mm above ground, the lower edge of the 
tail lamp lens is approximately 710 mm above ground and the tail lamp 
lens extend upward. BMW believes that due to these geometric conditions 
there is some overlap in the vertical direction between the rear turn 
signal lenses and the tail lamp lens however, they are not aligned 
along the same longitudinal centerline [of the turn signals]. 
Specifically, the tail lamp is on the motorcycle's longitudinal 
centerline while the rear turn signals are on stalks offset from the 
centerline. As a result, BMW believes that this has a very minor affect 
upon the effective projected luminous lens area.
    (B) BMW stated its belief that the obstruction from the tail lamp 
only occurs if another road user in a following vehicle has an eye-
point of approximately 747 mm above ground (extremely low for an 
average vehicle) and is a worst-case-scenario. For other road users 
with a higher eye-point, there is no apparent obstruction and the turn 
signal would appear to meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 108.
    (C) BMW also stated its belief that the effect of the 
noncompliance, i.e., the overlap or interference of the turn signal 
lamp by the tail lamp does not occur during critical traffic 
conditions. A road user, who is following an affected motorcycle, and 
in the same lane as an affected motorcycle, will be able to fully view 
an affected motorcycle's rear turn signal at a distance of 
approximately 1,935 mm (approximately 6 ft). BMW believes that in most 
traffic conditions, a road user would not want to be closer to a 
motorcycle than 6 ft. Thus, this ``non-visible'' rear turn signal 
condition is not likely to occur during the vast majority of traffic 
conditions. BMW provided detailed analysis of specific travel 
conditions including following directly behind an affected motorcycle 
and overtaking/passing an affected motorcycle that it believes supports 
its conclusion that the condition caused by the subject noncompliance 
will not interfere with the safety of the motorcycle rider or another 
road user.
    (D) BMW Customer Relations has not received any contacts from 
motorcycle riders, or other road users regarding this issue. Also, BMW 
is not aware of any accidents or injuries that have occurred as a 
result of this issue.
    BMW has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production of the subject vehicles 
will fully comply with FMVSS No. 108.
    In summation, BMW believes that the described noncompliance of the 
subject motorcycles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and 
that its petition, to exempt BMW 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 motorcycles that BMW no 
longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance 
existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve 
equipment distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, 
offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into 
interstate commerce of the noncompliant motorcycles under their control 
after BMW 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. 2015-13600 Filed 6-3-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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