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Volkswagen Group of America, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Group of America, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1 March 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 1, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10715-10716]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-04371]



[[Page 10715]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0123; Notice 1]


Volkswagen Group of America, 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: Volkswagen Group of America (Volkswagen), has determined that 
certain model year (MY) 2015-2016 Volkswagen e-Golf and Golf R 
passenger cars do not fully comply with paragraphs S4.3(c) and S4.3(d) 
of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire 
Selection and Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer Load 
Carrying Capacity Information for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 
kilograms (10,000 pounds) or Less. Volkswagen filed a report dated 
November 25, 2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Volkswagen then petitioned 
NHTSA under 49 CFR part 556 requesting a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is March 31, 2016.

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), Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen'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 4,965 MY 2015-
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf passenger vehicles that were manufactured 
between May 21, 2014 and November 14, 2015 and approximately 4,618 MY 
2015-2016 Volkswagen Golf R passenger vehicles that were manufactured 
between October 24, 2014 and November 14, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: Volkswagen explains that the noncompliance is 
that the tire placard, located on the driver's side B-pillar, was 
misprinted and does not contain the word ``none'' in the area reserved 
for the spare tire specifications (i.e., size and pressure valves) as 
required by paragraphs S4.3(c) and S4.3(d) of FMVSS No. 110.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 110 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S4.3 Placard. Each vehicle, except for a trailer or incomplete 
vehicle, shall show the information specified in S4.3(a) through 
(g), and may show, at the manufacturer's option, the information 
specified in S4.3(h) through (i), on a placard permanently affixed 
to the driver's side B-pillar . . .
    (c) Vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation 
pressure for front, rear and spare tires, subject to the limitations 
of S4.3.4. For full size spare tires, the statement ``see above'' 
may, at the manufacturer's option replace manufacturer's recommended 
cold tire inflation pressure. If no spare tire is provided, the word 
``none'' must replace the manufacturer's recommended cold tire 
inflation pressure.
    (d) Tire size designation, indicated by the headings ``size'' or 
``original tire size'' or ``original size,'' and ``spare tire'' or 
``spare,'' for the tires installed at the time of the first purchase 
for purposes other than resale. For full size spare tires, the 
statement ``see above'' may, at the manufacturer's option replace 
the tire size designation. If no spare tire is provided, the word 
``none'' must replace the tire size Designation;

    V. Summary of Volkswagen's Petition: Volkswagen believes that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety 
because the misprinted information on the tire placard is applicable to 
a component (spare tire) that was not provided with the subject 
vehicles. Volkswagen also stated that there is no effect on 
drivability, vehicle safety or tire wear.
    Volkswagen also stated that they are not aware of any field or 
customer complaints related to the subject noncompliance.
    Volkswagen additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all production of the subject vehicle models on 
and after November 14, 2015 will fully comply with FMVSS No. 110.
    In summation, Volkswagen believes that the described noncompliances 
of the subject vehicles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and 
that its petition, to exempt Volkswagen from providing recall 
notification of noncompliances 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

[[Page 10716]]

noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, any 
decision on this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that 
Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen 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. 2016-04371 Filed 2-29-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
 

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