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Sekurit Glas Union GmbH; Grant of Petition for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Sekurit

Sekurit Glas Union GmbH; Grant of Petition for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Barry Felrice
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
May 23, 1994


[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 98 (Monday, May 23, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-12534]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: May 23, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. 93-67; Notice 2]

 

Sekurit Glas Union GmbH; Grant of Petition for Determination of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

    Sekurit-Glas Union GmbH (hereinafter referred to as ``Sekurit''), a 
division of VEGLA GmbH, of Aachen, Germany, determined that it 
manufactured glazing which was installed in buses imported to the 
United States of America (USA) which does not comply with the marking 
requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 205, 
``Glazing Materials'' (49 CFR 571.205), and filed an appropriate report 
pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573.
    As a result of these findings, Sekurit also petitioned to be 
exempted from the notification and remedy requirements of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) on the 
basis that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor 
vehicle safety.
    Notice of receipt of the petition was published on September 30, 
1993 (58 FR 51126) and an opportunity afforded for comment.
    Standard No. 205, which incorporates, by reference, American 
National Standard Institute's ``Safety Code for Safety Glazing 
Materials for Glazing Motor Vehicles Operating on Land Highways'' Z-
26.1-1977, January 26, 1977, as supplemented by Z26.1a, July 3, 1980 
(ANS Z26.1), specifies that, with certain exceptions, glazing materials 
for use in motor vehicles shall conform with Paragraphs S5, 
``Requirements,'' S6, ``Certification and Marking,'' and ANS Z26.1.6, 
``Marking of Safety Glazing Materials.'' Accordingly, all safety 
glazing materials shall be legibly and permanently marked in letters 
and numerals, at least 0.070 inch (l.78mm) in height, with the words 
``American National Standard'' or the characters AS, and, adjacent to 
those characters, the numeral that identifies the type of construction 
of the glazing materials.
    Sekurit's noncompliant glazings were mounted in front doors of 
buses manufactured by Karl Kassbohrer GmbH, a customer of Sekurit, and 
exported to the USA. These door glazings were erroneously marked AS3, 
instead of AS2. This type of glazing has a regular light transmittance 
over 70 percent, so that its identification as an AS3 item was 
irrelevant.
    The total number (worldwide) of vehicles equipped with mismarked 
glazings was 6000. The percentage of vehicles in North America, i.e., 
where mismarking by USA standards is relevant, was 2.33 percent. That 
figure is based on 140 vehicles with a total of 280 mismarked glazings 
(140 left and 140 right side).
    On March 2, 1992, Sekurit was notified by their customer, 
Kassbohrer, that the mismarking had been noticed by a Department of 
Transportation inspector in New Jersey at a vehicle approval 
registration.
    The mismarked glazing is a 17.O mm nominal thickness, class 1, 
multiple glazed unit consisting of one sheet of ``AS2'', M-320'' clear 
tempered float safety glass and one sheet of ``AS2, M-24100'' green 
tinted tempered float safety glass with an AirGap of 6.0-12.0 mm, 
SEKURIT SAINT-GOBAIN, ``DOT-27, AS3, M-4412.'' According to the 
petitioner, this glazing can be used anywhere in a motor vehicle except 
the windshield.
    Sekurit supported its petition for inconsequential noncompliance by 
stating that the item in question should be marked--and has been so 
since March 1993--AS2 and not AS3, as it complies with requirements of 
Test 1, ``Light Stability,'' and Test 2, ``Luminous Transmittance'' of 
ANS Z26.1-1983, as it shows values of light transmission over 70 
percent. Double glazings of class 1 complying with these requirements 
may be mounted anywhere in a vehicle except windshields. Sekurit 
further stated that by mismarking AS2 glazings as AS3 they prejudiced 
the use of the mismarked glazings by indicating a restriction in 
permitted locations that was irrelevant. The DOT-27 M4412 complies in 
all ways except the mark ``AS3,'' with safety requirements requisite at 
locations such as front door windows of buses.
    Several measures have been taken by Sekurit to remedy the error of 
mismarked glazings:

--Applied for revision of ETL Report #495331 of December 11, 1989 to 
have the correct test reference and marking included. Revised May 12, 
1993; ETL was asked as an official laboratory to perform another series 
of tests on samples of a recent production campaign, in order to check 
the continuous conformity of the product to AS2 requirements. ETL test 
report #529002 of May 19, 1993 verifies this.
--Revisions from ETL Report #495331 were registered at American 
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), who consequently 
adjusted their Notice #900342/930515.
--Customer was supplied with two glazings (1 left side and 1 right 
side) with correct marking for immediate check, comparison and 
replacement.
--Prepared and introduced correct marking
--Checked light transmission in our [Sekurit] internal laboratory
--Informed the European authorities; received final statement of 
inconsequential mismarking on May 10, 1993

    Sekurit believes that mismarking of AS2 glazings with AS3 
designation is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety 
and therefore petitioned for exemption from the notification and 
remedial portions of the Act.
    No comments were received on the petition.
    NHTSA is satisfied that the performance requirements for AS2 
glazing are met by the misidentified materials. However, there are 
considerations that go beyond compliance with performance requirements. 
NHTSA recalls Docket IP80-3 in which Volkswagen omitted to mark certain 
windshields with the required AS1 designation. Two comments were 
received, both from States, who commented that the lack of marking 
would result in rejection under their inspection systems.
    NHTSA observed that rejection puts the owner the burden of 
contacting Volkswagen, or of replacing the windshield before the State 
would again inspect the vehicle and authorize its continued operation 
on the roads. NHTSA found that ``[t]he noncompliance has a direct 
impact upon the vehicle safety inspection process, diverting public 
resources with no corresponding safety benefit.'' Accordingly, it 
denied the petition.
    Although Sekurit's is a case of mismarked side windows rather than 
an unmarked windshield, the considerations are similar. Here, the 
noncompliance was discovered by a State inspector, so that the impact 
upon the inspection process is actual rather than theoretical. NHTSA 
consulted Kassbohrer of North America and found that it was willing to 
provide each of the bus owners with the noncompliant glazing with a 
letter noting the mismarking and averring as to its compliance 
otherwise with Standard No. 205. The letter, dated April 21, 1994, 
advises the recipient to keep it in the bus ``in case a DOT inspector 
notices the incorrect mark.'' This letter should minimize the effect of 
the noncompliance upon the State inspection process, and affords a 
basis upon which NHTSA may grant the petition.
    A further concern of NHTSA was whether, at the time of replacement, 
AS3 glazing might be installed instead of AS2. This possibility appears 
unlikely because local glass shops do not cut multiple glazed units of 
this type and only factory-made AS2 windows are used to fill 
replacement orders.
    For the reasons stated above, it is hereby found that the 
petitioner has met its burden of persuasion that the noncompliance 
herein described is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle 
safety, and its petition is granted. (15 U.S.C. 1417; delegations of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 49 CFR 501.8)

    Issued on May 18, 1994.
Barry Felrice,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 94-12534 Filed 5-20-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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