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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Continental

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

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
October 29, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 209 (Thursday, October 29, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66613-66614]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-27610]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0098; Notice 1]


Continental Tire the Americas, 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: Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA), has determined that 
certain Continental Tire T-type spare tires do not fully comply with 
paragraph S4.3(a) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
109, New Pneumatic and Certain Specialty Tires. CTA has filed an 
appropriate report dated August 25, 2015 and amended on October 1, 
2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is November 30, 
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 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), 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.
    This notice of receipt of CTA'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. Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 3,627 Continental 
Tire CST 17 size T125/70R17 98M temporary spare tires sold to General 
Motors and also in small quantities in the replacement market. These 
tires were manufactured between March 18, 2012 and April 11, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: CTA explains that the noncompliance is that the 
tire size designation markings on the sidewalls of the subject tires do 
not contain the tire type code designator symbol from The Tire and Rim 
Association yearbook as required by paragraph S4.3(a) of FMVSS No. 109. 
Specifically, the subject tire size reads ``125/70R17 98M'' but should 
read ``T125/70R17 98M'' indicating the tire is a spare tire and for 
temporary use.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.3(a) of FMVSS No. 109 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S4.3 Labeling Requirements. Except as provided in S4.3.1 and 
S4.3.2 of this standard, each tire, except for those certified to 
comply with S5.5 of Sec.  571.139, shall have permanently molded 
into or onto both sidewalls, in letters and numerals not less than 
0.078 inches high, the information shown in paragraphs S4.3(a) 
through (g) of this standard. On at least one sidewall, the 
information shall be positioned in an area between the maximum 
section width and bead of the tire, unless the maximum section width 
of the tire falls between the bead and one-fourth of the distance 
from the bead to the shoulder of the tire . . .
    (a) One size designation, except that equivalent inch and metric 
size designations may be used; . . .

    V. Summary of CTA's Analyses: CTA stated that the only missing 
marking on the sidewalls of the affected tires is the letter ``T'' as 
part of the size designation.
    CTA also stated its belief that the omission of the tire size 
designation markings has no impact on the operational performance or 
durability of these tires or on the safety of vehicles on which these 
tires may be mounted and that the affected tires cannot be confused 
with normal P-metric or metric passenger tires for the following 
reasons:
    1. Both sidewalls of the affected tires have permanently molded 
letters that are \1/2\ inch tall with the words ``TEMPORARY USE ONLY.''
    2. Both sidewalls of the affected tires have permanently molded 
letters and numerals that are \1/2\ inch tall with the words ``INFLATE 
TO 420KPA (60PSI),'' as required by section S4.3.5 of FMVSS No. 109.
    3. The affected tires are intended as a spare tire for the Chevy 
Impala, which is equipped with four ground tires of size P235[/]55R17 
98W. Thus, the ground tires are significantly different in

[[Page 66614]]

width (approximately four inches wider) and in diameter (approximately 
three inches larger).
    The affected tires also have a starting tread depth of only \3/32\ 
inch, whereas a typical P-metric or metric passenger tire has a much 
deeper tread depth of approximately \10/32\ inch.
    CTA notes that they are not aware of any crashes, injuries, 
customer complaints or field reports associated with this 
noncompliance.
    CTA informed NHTSA that it has corrected the mold at the 
manufacturing plant so that no additional tires will be manufactured 
with the subject noncompliance and that all remaining CTA inventory of 
the subject tires in their possession have been scrapped.
    CTA stated its belief that NHTSA has previously granted 
inconsequential noncompliance petitions regarding noncompliances that 
they believe are similar to the subject 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 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 tires that CTA 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 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 M. Giuseppe,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2015-27610 Filed 10-28-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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