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BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  BMW M4

BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
25 August 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 164 (Friday, August 25, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40640-40643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-17998]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2017-0042; Notice 1]


BMW of North America, 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: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW), a subsidiary of BMW AG, 
Munich, Germany, has determined that certain model year (MY) 2018 BMW 
M4 Coupe and BMW M4 convertible motor vehicles do not fully comply with 
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. BMW filed a noncompliance report dated April 
26, 2017. BMW also petitioned NHTSA on May 19, 2017, 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 September 25, 
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 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://

[[Page 40641]]

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: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW), a subsidiary of BMW 
AG, Munich, Germany, has determined that certain model year (MY) 2018 
BMW M4 Coupe and BMW M4 convertible motor vehicles do not fully comply 
with one or more of the following paragraphs: S4.3(a), S4.3(c) and 
S4.3(d) of 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. BMW 
filed a noncompliance report dated April 26, 2017, pursuant to 49 CFR 
part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. BMW also 
petitioned NHTSA on May 19, 2017, 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 BMW'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 93 MY 2018 BMW M4 Coupe and 
BMW M4 convertible motor vehicles, manufactured between February 28, 
2017, and March 24, 2017, are potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: BMW describes three noncompliances of the 
affected vehicles equipped with a Tire Information Placard that may not 
fully conform to FMVSS No. 110. Although the affected vehicles were 
properly equipped with 20-inch tires, the FMVSS No. 110 Tire 
Information Placard states that the vehicles were equipped with 18-inch 
tires. Additionally, the placard for the BMW M4 Coupe states a vehicle 
capacity weight of 390kg although it should state a vehicle capacity 
weight of 381kg. Furthermore, the placard for the BMW M4 Convertible 
states a manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation pressure of 
32psi when it should state a tire inflation pressure of 33psi.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 110 states 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) and (i), on a placard permanently affixed to 
the driver's side B-pillar . . .
    (a) Vehicle capacity weight expressed as ``The combined weight 
of occupants and cargo should never exceed XXX kilograms or XXX 
pounds . . .
    (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 BMW's Petition: BMW 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, BMW submitted the following reasoning:
    1. BMW M4 Coupe--Although affected vehicles were properly equipped 
with 20-inch tires, the FMVSS No. 110 Tire Information Placard 
incorrectly states that the vehicles are equipped with 18-inch tires. 
It also incorrectly states a vehicle capacity weight of 390kg. The 
placard should state that the vehicles are equipped with 20-inch tires 
and have a vehicle capacity weight of 381kg.
    The vehicle capacity weight of 390kg will not result in a vehicle 
overload condition as explained in further detail below.
    a. Assessment of Additional Vehicle Capacity Weight--An analysis 
was performed regarding the potential adverse effect of the additional 
9kg on vehicle braking, steering, and stability. Vehicle components and 
system including brakes, steering, and suspension were evaluated. It 
was determined that there would not be any adverse impact on these 
vehicle systems due to robustness in vehicle design. In other words, 
the vehicle was designed to account for a larger vehicle capacity 
weight than the weight stated on the tire information placard.
    b. Part 567 Certification Label--Affected vehicles are equipped 
with a Part 567 Certification Label which states accurate information 
for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Therefore, a vehicle 
operator who uses this information would be able to determine the 
correct maximum vehicle weight.
    2. BMW M4 Convertible--Although affected vehicles were properly 
equipped with 20-inch tires, the FMVSS No. 110 Tire Information Placard 
incorrectly states that the vehicles were equipped with 18-inch tires, 
and incorrectly states a manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation 
pressure of 32psi. The placard should state that the vehicles are 
equipped with 20-inch tires and have a manufacturer's recommended cold 
tire inflation pressure of 33psi.
    The manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation pressure of 
32psi will not result in a vehicle overload condition as explained in 
further detail below.
    a. Using Tire Information Placard to Set Tire Pressure
    i. Assessment Using Tire Pressure Information--(Front Tires)--The 
FMVSS No. 110 Tire Information Placard identifies a front tire size of 
``255/40 R 18'' with a recommended cold tire inflation pressure of 
32psi (220kPa). The load rating from the European Tire and Rim 
Technical Organization (ETRTO) table at 32psi (220kPa) is 605kg for a 
tire with a load index of 94. Note that the equipped tires are Extra 
Load (XL) tires, and that the ETRTO standards require the use of the 
Standard Load table for tire pressures up to 250kPa (36psi). The sum of 
the load ratings for the front tires is 1,210kg. As noted, the GAWR 
(front) is 1,050kg. Therefore, the 20-inch front tires, inflated to 
32psi, are sufficient to support vehicle loading.
    (Rear Tires)--The FMVSS No. 110 Tire Information Placard identifies 
a rear tire size of ``275/40 R 18'' with a recommended cold tire 
inflation pressure of 32psi (220kPa). The load rating from the European 
Tire and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO) table at 32psi (220kPa) is 
700kg for a tire with a load index of 99. It should be noted that the 
equipped tires are Extra Load (XL) tires, and also that the ETRTO 
standards state to use the Standard Load table for tire pressures up to 
250kPa (36psi). The sum of the load ratings for the rear tires is 
1,400kg. As noted, the GAWR (rear) is 1,250kg. Therefore, the 20-inch 
rear tires, inflated to 32psi, are sufficient to support vehicle 
loading.
    ii. Assessment Using Tire Load Limits--FMVSS No. 110 Section 4.2.1 
(Tire Load Limits for Passenger Cars) states, in subsection 4.2.1.2:


[[Page 40642]]


    ``The vehicle normal load on the tire shall not be greater than 
94 percent of the load rating at the vehicle manufacturer's 
recommended cold inflation pressure for that tire.''

    The BMW M4 Convertible has a curb weight of 1,841kg (manual 
transmission) and 1,866kg (automatic transmission) and a seating 
capacity of 4 occupants.
    In order to determine the vehicle normal load per tire, the 
automatic transmission weight is used as ``worst case scenario'' as it 
is larger than the manual transmission weight. The vehicle normal load 
per tire is calculated, per ETRTO standards, by distributing 2 
occupants (for a 4 occupant vehicle), at the front axle.
    Using the required weight of 68kg per occupant results in a vehicle 
normal load per front tire of 534kg and a normal load per rear tire of 
466kg.
    (Front Tires)--As noted above, the load rating for the front tires 
is 605kg.
    According to FMVSS No. 110 Section 4.2.1.2, ``[T]he vehicle normal 
load on the tire shall not be greater than 94 percent of the load 
rating at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation 
pressure for that tire.'' Using the load rating of 605kg results in a 
``94% load rating'' of 568kg. As noted above, the vehicle normal load 
per front tire is 534kg and therefore is within the limit required by 
Section 4.2.1.2.
    (Rear Tires)--As noted above, the load rating for the rear tires is 
700kg.
    According to FMVSS No. 110 Section 4.2.1.2, ``[T]he vehicle normal 
load on the tire shall not be greater than 94 percent of the load 
rating at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation 
pressure for that tire.'' Using the load rating of 700kg results in a 
``94% load rating'' of 658kg. As noted above, the vehicle normal load 
per rear tire is 466kg and therefore is within the limit required by 
Section 4.2.1.2.
    b. Using Other Information Source To Set Tire Pressure--If a 
vehicle operator notices that the tires identified on the tire 
information placard do not correspond to the tires equipped on the 
vehicle, there are a number of information sources and services 
available that can be used to identify the correct tire pressure and, 
therefore, achieve the proper inflation level for the tires equipped on 
the vehicle.
    i. Sources That Point to the Vehicle Owner's Manual--

--FMVSS No. 110 Section 4.3(f) requires that the tire information 
placard contain the following statement: ``See Owner's Manual for 
Additional Information.'' Therefore, the tire information placard will 
help point the vehicle operator to the Owner's Manual in order to 
identify the correct tire inflation pressures for use on the vehicle.
--FMVSS No. 138 Section 4.5(a) requires that the Owner's Manual contain 
the following text: ``Each tire, including the spare (if provided), 
should be checked monthly when cold and inflated to the inflation 
pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer on the vehicle placard 
or tire inflation pressure label. (If your vehicle has tires of a 
different size than the size indicated on the vehicle placard or tire 
inflation pressure label, you should determine the proper tire 
inflation pressure for those tires.)'' (Emphasis added.)

    Vehicle operators who attempt to check the vehicle's tire pressure 
on a routine schedule (e.g. monthly, as noted above), or when 
necessary, would be pointed to the Owner's Manual for additional 
clarifying information. Therefore, after reviewing this information, it 
is likely that they would inflate the tires to the recommended cold 
tire inflation pressure.
    A vehicle operator could check the specific tires installed on the 
vehicle which, in this case, are 20-inch tires. The information that is 
stamped onto the sidewall of the tires identifies the tire size. 
Subsequent to checking and identifying the installed tires, the vehicle 
operator could consult the vehicle Owner's Manual, or contact BMW 
Roadside AssistanceTM, BMW AssistTM, or BMW 
Customer Relations, for further information in order to set the correct 
tire pressure.
    ii. Owner's Manual--The vehicle Owner's Manual contains information 
pertaining to the various tire sizes and tire pressures available for 
use on the affected vehicles.
    Affected vehicles contain a tire information placard identifying 
that the vehicles as being equipped with 18-inch tires even though they 
are equipped with 20-inch tires. Therefore, a vehicle operator would be 
able to check the Owner's Manual, identify the correct tires equipped 
on the vehicle, and then set the tire inflation pressures to the 
correct levels.
    Additionally, affected vehicles are also equipped with an in-
vehicle electronic Owner's Manual accessed through the 
iDriveTM controller containing the same information as in 
the hardcopy Owner's Manual.
    Furthermore, the electronic Owner's Manual also contains contact 
information for BMW Roadside AssistanceTM, and if so 
equipped, also with BMW AssistTM, and BMW Customer 
Relations. Vehicle operators can use these additional information 
sources and services to identify the correct tires equipped on the 
vehicle, and then set the tire inflation pressures to the correct 
levels.
    iii. BMW Roadside AssistanceTM--BMW Roadside 
AssistanceTM (available 24 hours/day) representatives have 
information available indicating by vehicle model and model year, all 
of the available tire sizes and specifications for the affected 
vehicles. All affected vehicles contain a reference to, and 
instructions for contacting, BMW Roadside AssistanceTM in 
the vehicle Owner's Manual. Therefore, if contacted, BMW Roadside 
AssistanceTM would be able to help the vehicle operator 
determine the correct tire pressures for use on the vehicle.
    Vehicle operators are able to contact BMW Roadside 
AssistanceTM using the toll-free telephone number located:

--On the BMW Roadside AssistanceTM Card included in the 
vehicle's portfolio
--On one or more BMW Roadside AssistanceTM Labels in the 
vehicle
--Within the vehicle's Quick Reference Guide
--Within the vehicle's Service Warranty Book

    Vehicle operators are also able to contact BMW Roadside 
AssistanceTM using the:

--In-vehicle iDriveTM controller and menu option for BMW 
Roadside AssistanceTM
--In-vehicle emergency call button on the overhead console

    iv. BMW AssistTM--BMW AssistTM (available 24 
hours/day) representatives have information available indicating, by 
vehicle model and model year, all of the available tire sizes and 
specifications for the affected vehicles. All affected vehicles contain 
a reference to, and instructions for, contacting BMW 
AssistTM in the vehicle Owner's Manual. Therefore, if 
contacted, BMW AssistTM would be able to help the vehicle 
operator determine the correct tire pressures for use on the vehicle.
    Vehicle operators are able to contact BMW AssistTM by 
using the:

--In-vehicle iDriveTM controller and menu option for BMW 
AssistTM
--In-vehicle emergency call button on the overhead console

    Vehicles with BMW AssistTM contain a BMW 
AssistTM Book located in the vehicle's portfolio with 
contact information for BMW AssistTM, BMW Roadside 
AssistanceTM, and BMW Customer Relations.
    v. BMW Customer Relations--If a vehicle operator contacts BMW 
Customer Relations, and provides the

[[Page 40643]]

Vehicle Identification Number, a Customer Relations representative will 
be able to inform the vehicle operator of the specific vehicle 
configuration. Therefore, if contacted, BMW Customer Relations would be 
able to help the vehicle operator determine the correct tire pressures 
for use on the vehicle.
    Vehicle operators are able to contact BMW Customer Relations by:

--Using the toll-free telephone number identified in the vehicle 
Owner's Manual and the Service and Warranty Book
--Using the in-vehicle iDriveTM controller and menu option 
for BMW Customer Relations
--Contacting BMW AssistTM which can, if necessary, transfer 
the vehicle operator to BMW Customer Relations

    3. Field Experience--Owner Contacts to BMW Customer Relations--BMW 
Customer Relations has not received any contacts from vehicle owners 
regarding these issues. Therefore, BMW is unaware that any vehicle 
owner has encountered these issues.
    Accidents/Injuries--BMW is unaware of any accidents or injuries 
that have occurred as a result of these issues.
    4. Prior NHTSA Grants to Manufacturer Petitions--NHTSA has 
previously granted petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance 
regarding FMVSS No. 110 involving vehicles for which the tire 
information placard contained tire size and tire pressure information 
which did not match the tires equipped on the vehicle. In some of these 
instances, even though the tire information placard identified a 
manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation pressure that was less 
than the value required for the tires equipped on the vehicle, the load 
carrying capacity of the equipped tires, at this lower tire pressure, 
was still sufficient and would not lead to a vehicle overload 
condition.
    5. Vehicle Production--Vehicle production has been corrected to 
conform to FMVSS No. 110 Section 4.3(a), 4.3(C) and 4.3(d).
    BMW concluded by expressing the belief that the subject 
noncompliances are inconsequential as they relate 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.
    To view BMW's petition analyses and any supplemental information in 
its entirety you can visit https://www.regulations.gov by following the 
online instructions for accessing the dockets and by using the docket 
ID number for this petition shown in the heading of this notice.
    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 BMW 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 BMW 
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. 2017-17998 Filed 8-24-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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