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BMW of North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mini Cooper

BMW of North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
September 1, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 169 (Tuesday, September 1, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52845-52846]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21580]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0053; Notice 1]


BMW of North America, Inc., 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, Inc. (BMW) has determined that certain 
model year (MY) 2015 MINI Cooper, Cooper S hardtop 2 door, and Cooper S 
hardtop 4 door passenger cars do not fully comply with paragraph 
S4.2.3(a) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 226, 
Ejection Mitigation. BMW has filed an appropriate report dated May 20, 
2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is October 1, 
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 
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 for comments indicated 
above 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. Overview: 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. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 4,208 MY 2015 
MINI Cooper, Cooper S hardtop 2 door, and Cooper S hardtop 4 door 
passenger cars manufactured from February 25, 2015 to April 24, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: BMW explains that written information 
describing the ejection mitigation countermeasure installed in the 
vehicles was not provided to the vehicle consumers as required by 
paragraph S4.2.3(a) of FMVSS No. 226.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.2.3 of FMVSS No. 226 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S4.2.3 Written information.
    (a) Vehicles with an ejection mitigation countermeasure that 
deploys in the event of a rollover must be described as such in the 
vehicle's owner manual or in other written information provided by 
the vehicle manufacturer to the consumer.

    V. Summary of BMW's Position: BMW stated its belief that the 
subject noncompliance in the affected vehicles is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety. A summary of its reasoning is provided as 
follows. Detailed explanations of its reasoning are included in its 
petition:
    1. The vehicles are equipped with a countermeasure that meets the 
performance requirements of FMVSS No. 226.
    2. The owner's manuals contain a description of the ejection 
mitigation countermeasure in the context of side impact.
    3. The owner's manuals contain precautions related to the [ejection 
mitigation] system even though not required by FMVSS No. 226.
    4. The [ejection mitigation] system uses the FMVSS No. 208 required 
readiness indicator, as allowed by FMVSS No. 226.
    5. BMW has not received any customer complaints due to this issue.
    6. BMW is not aware of any accidents or injuries due to this issue.
    7. NHTSA may have granted similar manufacturer petitions re owner's 
manuals.
    8. BMW has corrected the noncompliance so that all future 
production vehicles will comply with FMVSS No. 226.
    In summation, BMW believes that the described noncompliance of the 
subject vehicles 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

[[Page 52846]]

the subject vehicles that BMW 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 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 M. Giuseppe,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2015-21580 Filed 8-31-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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