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Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
8 June 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 109 (Thursday, June 8, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26733-26734]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11871]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0102; Notice 2]


Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision 
of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

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SUMMARY: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen), has determined 
that certain model year (MY) 2016 Volkswagen eGolf motor vehicles do 
not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
108, Lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment. Volkswagen 
filed a noncompliance report dated September 16, 2016. Volkswagen then 
petitioned NHTSA on September 16, 2016, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact Leroy 
Angeles, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-5304, 
facsimile (202) 366-5930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. Overview: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen), has 
determined that certain model year (MY) 2016 Volkswagen eGolf motor 
vehicles do not fully comply with paragraph S6.5.3.2 of Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, reflective devices and 
associated equipment. Volkswagen filed a noncompliance report dated 
September 16, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Volkswagen then petitioned 
NHTSA on September 16, 2016, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h) and their implementing regulations at 49 CFR part 556, for an 
exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. 
Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as 
it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period on October 26, 2016 in the Federal Register (81 
FR 74500). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) Web page at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online 
search instruction to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2016-0102.''
    II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are 1,967 MY 2016 Volkswagen eGolf 
motor vehicles manufactured between June 25, 2015, and September 14, 
2016.
    III. Noncompliance: Volkswagen explains that the noncompliance is 
due to a labeling error. The affected vehicles are equipped with 
halogen headlamps that are missing the required operation voltage label 
on the headlamp assembly and therefore do not meet the requirements 
specified in paragraph S6.5.3.2 of FMVSS No. 108.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S6.5.3.2 of FMVSS No. 108 states:

    S6.5.3.2 Voltage and trade number. Each original and replacement 
equipment headlamp, and each original and replacement equipment beam 
contributor must be marked with its voltage and with its part or 
trade number.

    V. Summary of Volkswagen's Petition: Volkswagen described the 
subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Volkswagen stated that the correct 
halogen bulb specification is denoted on the headlamp glass lens, as 
required, as well as on the headlamp label and in service literature, 
etc. The halogen light bulb type implicitly carries the voltage 
specification, as the designated H7 bulb is always a 12V halogen light 
bulb. Additionally, the halogen light bulb socket is mechanically coded 
and will not accept the fitment of a replacement light bulb of 
incorrect specification. As

[[Page 26734]]

such, no safety risk is present, even though there is a noncompliance 
with FMVSS No. 108 regulatory requirements.
    Volkswagen concluded by expressing the belief that the subject 
noncompliance presents no risk and is inconsequential as it relates to 
motor vehicle safety, and that its petition to be exempted from 
providing notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 
30118, and a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 
30120, should be granted.

NHTSA'S Decision

    NHTSA's Analysis: NHTSA has reviewed and accepts Volkswagen's 
analysis that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor 
vehicle safety. Specifically, the halogen headlamps missing the 
required operation voltage label on the headlamp assembly poses little 
if any risk to motor vehicle safety.
    Volkswagen stated in their petition that the H7 bulb is always a 
12V halogen light bulb. In accordance with paragraph S11 of FMVSS No. 
108, each replaceable light source must be designed to conform to the 
dimensions and electrical specifications furnished with respect to it 
pursuant to part 564, on file in Docket No. NHTSA-98-3397. By VW's line 
of thought, to ensure the bulb performs within the luminous flux and 
power ranges specified, the bulb designer would ensure that the 
performance of the bulb is such that the output is compliant for a 
known input of 12.8V and therefore the voltage becomes implicitly 
specified for that specific bulb. NHTSA notes that the docket entry 
detailing the H7 replaceable light source specifications \1\ shows that 
DOT compliant H7 replaceable light sources when tested at 12.8 volts 
must achieve a luminous flux of 1250  12% lumens with a 
maximum of 55.6 watts.
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    \1\ NHTSA-1998-3397-0004.
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    Consumers, dealers, and repair businesses will look at the bulb 
designation, H7, when replacing the light source in a headlamp assembly 
and will in no way rely on the voltage marking. As such, the missing 
voltage marking poses little if any risk to motor vehicle safety.
    NHTSA's Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds 
that Volkswagen has met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS 
No. 108 noncompliance in the affected vehicles is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Volkswagen's petition is hereby 
granted and Volkswagen is consequently exempted from the obligation of 
providing notification of, and a free remedy for, that noncompliance 
under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.
    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 vehicles that Volkswagen no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, the granting of 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. 2017-11871 Filed 6-7-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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