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Hyundai Motor America, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Hyundai Accent

Hyundai Motor America, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
7 April 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 66 (Friday, April 7, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17072-17073]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-06954]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0142; Notice 1]


Hyundai Motor 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: Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) has determined that certain 
model year (MY) 2012-2016 Hyundai Accent motor vehicles do not fully 
comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, 
Occupant Crash Protection. Hyundai filed a noncompliance information 
report dated December 12, 2016. Hyundai also petitioned NHTSA on 
December 16, 2016, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is May 8, 2017.

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 in the title 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 Delivery: 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 https://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

[[Page 17073]]

confirmation that comments you have submitted by mail were received, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. 
Note that all comments received will be posted without change to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    All comments and supporting materials received before the close of 
business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the 
docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials 
received after the closing date will also be filed and will be 
considered to the fullest extent possible.
    When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will 
also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority 
indicated at the end of this notice.
    All comments, background documentation, and supporting materials 
submitted to the docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and 
times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the Internet at 
https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for 
accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this petition is shown 
in the heading of this notice.
    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a 
Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. Overview: Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai), has determined that 
certain model year (MY) 2012-2016 Hyundai Accent motor vehicles do not 
fully comply with paragraph S4.1.5.5.2 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. Hyundai filed a 
noncompliance information report dated December 12, 2016, pursuant to 
49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. 
Hyundai also petitioned NHTSA on December 16, 2016, pursuant to 49 
U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 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.
    This notice of receipt of Hyundai'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: Approximately 6,445 MY 2012-2016 Hyundai 
Accent motor vehicles manufactured between May 19, 2011, and July 7, 
2016, are potentially involved. The affected vehicles are those 
equipped with a non-folding rear seat back and sold in the Puerto Rico 
and Guam markets.
    III. Noncompliance: Hyundai explains that the noncompliance is that 
the affected vehicles are equipped with a non-folding rear seat back 
and a center rear seat belt incorporating a release mechanism that 
detaches both the lap and shoulder portion at the lower anchorage point 
and therefore do not meet the requirements of paragraph S4.1.5.5.2 of 
FMVSS No. 208. Under FMVSS No. 208, a detachable seat belt in the 
middle seat is allowed only in vehicles with a folding rear seat.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.1.5.5.2 of FMVSS No. 208 states in 
pertinent part:

    S4.1.5.5.2 Any inboard designated seating position on a seat for 
which the entire seat back can be folded (including the head 
restraints and any other part of the vehicle attached to the seat 
back) such that no part of the seat back extends above a horizontal 
plane located 250mm above the highest SRP located on the seat may 
meet the requirements of S4.1.5.5.1 by use of a belt incorporating a 
release mechanism that detaches both the lap and shoulder portion at 
either the upper or lower anchorage point, but not both. The means 
of detachment shall be a key or key-like object . . .

    V. Summary of Hyundai's Petition: Hyundai 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, Hyundai submitted the following 
reasoning:

    1. The affected vehicles are equipped with a non-folding rear 
seat back and a center rear seat belt incorporating a release 
mechanism that detaches both the lap and shoulder portion at the 
lower anchorage point to allow improved assembly line procedures.
    2. Hyundai first became aware of the possibility that the center 
rear seat belts of the subject vehicles may not comply with 
S4.1.5.5.2 of FMVSS No. 208 as a result of internal ``port 
inspections'' of certain model year 2016 Hyundai Accent vehicles. A 
subsequent investigation revealed previous model year ``RB'' 
platform Accent vehicles are similarly affected.
    3. Hyundai pointed out that 5-door and 4-door Hyundai Accent 
vehicles equipped with rear folding seats are not affected.
    4. The Accent vehicles in question fully comply with FMVSS No. 
208 and FMVSS No. 209 requirements with the sole exception that the 
lap and shoulder portion of the rear center seat belt may be 
detached from the lower anchorage by use of a tool, such as a key or 
key-like object.
    5. Hyundai states that if the rear seat back of the subject 
vehicles were capable of being folded (which Hyundai claims would 
have no effect on seat belt performance) the detachable aspect would 
not result in a compliance issue.
    6. The Owner's Manual in the subject vehicles contains relevant 
information and illustrations to fasten, unfasten, and disconnect 
the rear center belt.
    7. Hyundai states that it is clear from the intended difficulty 
in detaching the seat belt and the instructions contained in the 
Owner's Manual that the seat belt should not be detached. Further, 
in the Accent with a fixed rear seat back, there is no advantage or 
reason for the owner to detach the center rear seat belt from the 
lower anchorage.
    8. Hyundai does not believe that it is appropriate to conduct a 
recall campaign to replace the center rear seat belts in vehicles 
that have been delivered to customers.
    9. Hyundai stated that they are not aware of any accidents or 
injuries related to the subject noncompliance.

    Hyundai concluded by expressing the belief that the subject 
noncompliance 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 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 vehicles that Hyundai 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 Hyundai 
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. 2017-06954 Filed 4-6-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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