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Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Motorcycles Topics:  Continental

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
July 8, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 130 (Wednesday, July 8, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39192-39193]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16640]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0030; Notice 2]


Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Grant of Petition for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of Petition.

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

SUMMARY: Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, (CTA), has determined that 
certain Continental brand TKC80 diagonal (bias) motorcycle replacement 
tires do not fully comply with paragraph S6.5(c) of Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for 
motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 pounds) 
and Motorcycles. CTA has filed an appropriate report dated February 18, 
2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact Abraham 
Diaz, Office of Vehicles Safety Compliance, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-5310, 
facsimile (202) 366-5930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. CTA's Petition

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), CTA 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.
    Notice of receipt of the CTA's petition was published, with a 30-
day public comment period, on May 4, 2015 in the Federal Register (80 
FR 25355). 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-2015-0030.''

II. Tires Involved

    Affected are approximately 1,062 Continental brand TKC80 size 120/
70-19 M/C 60Q diagonal (bias) motorcycle replacement tires manufactured 
between April 8, 2012 and January 31, 2015.

III. Noncompliance

    CTA explains that the noncompliance is that the tire size 
designation marking on the sidewalls of the subject tires does not 
contain the correct construction code designator symbol from The Tire 
and Rim Association yearbook. Therefore, the tires do not fully comply 
with paragraph S6.5(c) of FMVSS No. 119 because the tire size 
designation is not as listed in the documents and publications 
designated in S5.1. Specifically, the tires were marked with the 
construction code designator ``B'' indicating bias-belted construction 
and should have been marked with the designator ``-'' indicating 
diagonal (bias) construction.

IV. Rule Text

    Paragraph S6.5 of FMVSS No. 119 requires in pertinent part:

    S6.5 Tire Markings. Except as specified in paragraphs, each tire 
shall be marked on each sidewall with the information specified in 
paragraphs (a) through (j) of this section . . .

[[Page 39193]]

    (c) The tire size designation as listed in the documents and 
publications designated in S5.1.

V. Summary of CTA's Analyses

    CTA stated its belief that the subject noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    (A) CTA notes that the only improper marking on the sidewall of the 
subject tires is the use of the letter character ``B'' in the tire size 
designation instead of a hyphen character ``-,'' and that from its 
experience it believes that most motorcycle tire consumers do not 
understand the differences in tire construction and therefore do not 
base tire purchases on the tire construction type.
    (B) CTA stated that the subject tires were built as designed and 
that the performance requirements and testing requirements specified in 
FMVSS No. 119 are exactly the same for both bias-belted and diagonal 
(bias) tires.
    (C) CTA believes that the subject noncompliance has no impact on 
the safety of vehicles on which the subject tires are mounted and that 
the subject tires meet or exceed all the performance requirement of 
FMVSS No. 119.
    (D) CTA also stated that it is not aware of any crashes, injuries, 
customer complaints, or field reports associated with the subject 
noncompliance.
    CTA additionally informed NHTSA that the molds at the manufacturing 
plant have been corrected so that no additional tires will be 
manufactured or sold with the noncompliance.
    In summation, CTA believes that the described noncompliance of the 
subject tires is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its 
petition, to exempt CTA 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's Decision

    NHTSA's Analysis of CTA's Arguments: CTA acknowledges that the 
subject tires were wrongly stamped with the size marking ``120/70B19 M/
C 60Q,'' which includes the construction code designator ``B'' that 
incorrectly indicates bias-belted ply construction. The tires should 
have been marked ``120/70-19M/C 60Q,'' which includes the hyphen ``-'' 
indicating diagonal (bias) ply construction.
    Because bias-belted motorcycle tires and diagonal (bias) motorcycle 
tires require the same rim specification, there is no additional 
possibility of confusion when mounting a bias-belted or a diagonal bias 
tire due to the noncompliance.
    Furthermore, there is no additional safety risk of overloading or 
over pressurization due to the subject noncompliance because the 
maximum permissible pressures and maximum permissible loads for the 
subject tires as listed in the Tire and Rim Association Yearbook are 
the same for all three types of motorcycle tire ply construction; 
radial, diagonal (bias), and bias-belted.
    Because mislabeling has no impact on the operational performance or 
durability of these tires, or on the safety of vehicles on which these 
tires are mounted, NHTSA agrees with CTA that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
    NHTSA's Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has 
decided that CTA has met its burden of persuasion that the 
noncompliance described is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. 
Accordingly, CTA's petition is hereby granted and CTA is exempted from 
the obligation of providing notification of, and remedy for the subject 
noncompliance.
    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 the subject tires that CTA no longer controlled at the 
time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the 
granting of this petition does not relieve tire distributors and 
dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or 
introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of 
the noncompliant tires under their control after CTA 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. 2015-16640 Filed 7-7-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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