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Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Continental Tire

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
29 September 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 188 (Friday, September 29, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45661-45663]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-20908]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2017-0040; Notice 1]


Continental Tire the Americas, 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: Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA), has determined that 
certain Continental brand tires do not fully comply with Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for 
Light Vehicles. CTA filed a noncompliance report dated March 31, 2017. 
CTA also petitioned NHTSA on April 27, 2017, and amended it on June 28, 
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 October 30, 
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 be 
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://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: Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA), has 
determined that certain Continental brand tires do not fully comply 
with paragraphs S5.5(e) and S5.5(f) of FMVSS No. 139, New Pneumatic 
Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. CTA filed a noncompliance report dated 
March 31, 2017, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports. CTA also petitioned NHTSA on April 27, 
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 CTA'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.

[[Page 45662]]

    II. Tires Involved: Approximately 111,500 of the following 
Continental brand tires, manufactured between August 3, 2014, and March 
25, 2017, are potentially involved:

 XL Continental Cross Contact UHP size 255/55R18 109Y
 Barum Brillantis 2 size 175/70R13 82T
 Continental ContiTrac size P225/70R15 100S
 XL General Grabber UHP size 275/55R20 117V
 Continental ExtremeContact DWS size 285/30ZR20 99W XL
 Continental CrossContact LX20 size 245/55R19 103S
 XL Continental CrossContact LX20 size 285/45R 114H
 General Altimax RT43 size 215/45R17 87V&
    III. Noncompliance: CTA states that the noncompliance is due to a 
mold error, and that as a result, the number of tread plies indicated 
on the sidewall of the subject tires do not match the actual number of 
plies in the tire construction, as required by paragraphs S5.5(e) and 
S5.5(f) of FMVSS No. 139. Specifically, below is a list of the subject 
tires with the labeling as marked (Marked) and how the sidewall should 
have been marked (Actual):

 XL Continental Cross Contact UHP size 255/55R18 109Y
--Marked: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 RAYON + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE''
--Actual: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 RAYON + 2 STEEL + 1 POLYAMIDE''
 Barum Brillantis 2 size 175/70R13 82T
--Marked: ``TREAD 4 PLIES: 1 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 1 POLYAMIDE''
--Actual: ``TREAD 5 PLIES: 1 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE''
 Continental ContiTrac size P225/70R15 100S
--Marked: ``TREAD 4 PLIES: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL''
--Actual: ``TREAD 5 PLIES: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 1 POLYAMIDE''
 XL General Grabber UHP size 275/55R20 117V
--Marked: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE SIDEWALL: 
2 POLYESTER''
--Actual: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 RAYON + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE SIDEWALL: 2 
RAYON''
 Continental ExtremeContact DWS size 285/30ZR20 99W
--Marked: ``PLIES: TREAD: 1 RAYON + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE''
--Actual: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 RAYON + 2 STEEL + 1 POLYAMIDE''
 Continental CrossContact LX20 size 245/55R19 103S
--Marked: ``PLIES: TREAD: 1 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE''
--Actual: ``PLIES: TREAD: 1 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 1 POLYAMIDE''
 XL Continental CrossContact LX20 size 285/45R22 114H
--Marked: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE''
--Actual: ``PLIES: TREAD: 1 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE''
 General Altimax RT43 size 215/45R17 87V
--Marked: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 1 POLYAMIDE''
--Actual: ``PLIES: TREAD: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + 2 POLYAMIDE''

    IV. Rule Text: Paragraphs S5.5(e) and S5.5(f) of FMVSS No. 139 
require in pertinent part:

    S5.5 Tire Markings. Except as specified in paragraph (a) through 
(i) of S5.5, each tire must be marked on each sidewall with the 
information specified in S5.5(a) through (d) and on one sidewall 
with the information specified in S5.5(e) through (i) according to 
the phase-in schedule specified in S7 of this standard. . .
    (e) The generic name of each cord material used in the plies 
(both sidewall and tread area) of the tire;
    (f) The actual number of plies in the sidewall, and the actual 
number of plies in the tread area, if different. . .

    V. Summary of CTA's Petition: CTA 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, CTA submitted the following reasoning:
    (a) The tires covered by this petition are labeled with incorrect 
information regarding the number of tread plies and in two cases, the 
incorrect and/or missing ply material. However, this mislabeling has no 
impact on the operational performance of these tires or on the safety 
of vehicles on which these tires are mounted. The subject tires meet or 
exceed all of the performance requirements specified by FMVSS No. 139.
    (b) NHTSA has concluded in response to numerous other petitions 
that this type of noncompliance is inconsequential to safety.
    (c) Continental cited three petitions \1\ that NHTSA has previously 
granted and noted that on several occasions NHTSA has stated:
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    \1\ Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, 82 FR 17075 (April 7, 2017); 
Nitto Tire USA, Inc., 81FR 17764 (April 30, 2016); Hankook Tire 
America Corp., 79 FR 30688 (May 28, 2014); Bridgestone 78 FR 47049 
(August 2, 2013).

    ``In the agency's judgment, the incorrect labeling of the tire 
construction information will have an inconsequential effect on 
motor vehicle safety because most consumers do not base tire 
purchases or vehicle operation parameters on the ply material in a 
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tire.''

    (d) All tires covered by this petition meet or exceed the 
performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139, as well as the other 
labeling requirements of the standard.
    (e) CTA is not aware of any crashes, injuries, customer complaints, 
or field reports associated with the mislabeling.
    (f) CTA has quarantined all existing inventory of these tires that 
contain the noncompliant tire sidewall labeling.
    (g) CTA has corrected the molds at the manufacturing plant, so no 
additional tires will be manufactured with the noncompliance.
    CTA 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.
    To view CTA's petition analyses and test data 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 tires that CTA no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment 
distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for 
sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after CTA 
notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.


[[Page 45663]]


    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. 2017-20908 Filed 9-28-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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