Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance
Otto G. Matheke III
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
3 April 2019
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 64 (Wednesday, April 3, 2019)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-06478]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. NHTSA-2017-0072; Notice 2]
Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, Grant of Petition for
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance
AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S.
Department of Transportation (DOT).
ACTION: Grant of petition.
SUMMARY: Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (JLR), on behalf of
Jaguar Land Rover Limited, has determined that certain model year (MY)
2012-2018 Jaguar motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems.
JLR filed a
noncompliance report dated June 22, 2017. JLR also petitioned NHTSA on
July 20, 2017, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. For the reasons
stated below, NHTSA grants the petition.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Finneran, Office of Vehicle
Safety Compliance, NHTSA, telephone (202) 366-5289, facsimile (202)
JLR, on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover Limited, has determined that
certain MY 2012-2018 Jaguar motor vehicles do not fully comply with
FMVSS No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems (49 CFR 571.135). JLR filed
a noncompliance report dated June 22, 2017, pursuant to 49 CFR part
573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. JLR also
petitioned NHTSA on July 20, 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.
Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day
public comment period, on September 1, 2017, in the Federal Register
(82 FR 41677). One comment was received. To view the petition, any
comments, and all supporting documents, log onto the Federal Docket
Management System (FDMS) website at: https://www.regulations.gov/. Then
follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-
II. Vehicles Involved
Approximately 126,127 of the following Jaguar motor vehicles,
manufactured between February 8, 2012, and June 19, 2017, are
2017-2018 Jaguar F-Pace
2017-2018 Jaguar XE
2017-2018 Jaguar XF
2014-2018 Jaguar F-TYPE
2013-2017 Jaguar XJ
2012-2015 Jaguar XK
JLR explains that the noncompliance is that the brake fluid warning
statement label on the subject vehicles is not permanently affixed as
required by paragraph S5.4.3(a) of FMVSS No. 135. Specifically, JLR
installed a label that fits over the neck of the brake fluid reservoir
that can be removed when the brake fluid reservoir cap is removed.
IV. Rule Requirements
Paragraph S5.4.3(a) of FMVSS No. 135 titled ``Reservoir Labeling''
includes the requirements relevant to this petition:
Each vehicle equipped with hydraulic brakes shall have a
brake fluid warning statement that reads as follows, in letters at
least 3.2 mm (\1/8\ inch) high:
``WARNING: Clean filler cap before removing. Use only ____fluid
from a sealed container.'' (inserting the recommended type of brake
fluid as specified in 49 CFR 571.116, e.g., ``DOT 3.'').
Permanently affixed, engraved or embossed.
V. Summary of JLR's Petition
As background, in JLR's noncompliance report, JLR stated that a
Product Safety and Compliance Committee (PSCC) Investigation was opened
on June 6, 2017, following communication from a safety compliance
engineer from NHTSA's Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance. The
communication highlighted a concern that the brake reservoir label was
not permanently affixed to the brake fluid reservoir as required by
FMVSS No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems. On June 13, 2017, JLR's
PSCC concluded that the concern should be forwarded to the Recall
Determination Committee (RDC). The RDC reviewed all information on June
15, 2017, and concluded that the issue represented a compliance concern
related to FMVSS No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems, but that the
condition was considered inconsequential and requested that a petition
for decision of inconsequential noncompliance be filed with NHTSA.
JLR described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that
the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle
In support of its petition, JLR submitted the following reasoning:
1. The installed label will not fall off or become displaced during
normal vehicle use or operation.
2. The installed label provides mechanical resistance to being
3. There is interference between the installed label and reservoir
filler neck such that a minimum of 2mm interference exists.
4. The installed label is only able to be removed when the brake
fluid reservoir cap is displaced which, based on routine maintenance
schedules, is once every 3 years in service.
5. The filler cap shows clearly the specification of brake fluid
6. The filler cap provides clear symbols including one for caution
and one referring to handbook instructions. The owner's handbook
descriptions indicate the proper brake fluid specification to be used
in the vehicle.
7. The installed cap conforms to the requirements of ISO9128:2006
which is a requirement of UN-ECE Regulation 13 and 13h. NHTSA has
previously granted petitions to accept ISO symbols in the absence of
a. Jaguar Land Rover petition regarding controls and displays
including brake system-related telltales (78 FR 66101-03).
b. Ford petition regarding controls and displays including brake
system-related telltales (78 FR 69931-32)
c. Hyundai petition regarding lower anchorage identification (73 FR
8. JLR has not received any customer complaints on this issue.
9. There have been no accidents or injuries as a result of this
10. Vehicle production has been corrected to fully conform to FMVSS
No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems, S5.4.3(a) with a new filler cap.
JLR 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.
VI. Public Comments
Comments were received from one individual who was opposed to NHTSA
granting JLR's petition and provided a wide-ranging list of objections,
many of which were not directly related to the petition issue of a non-
permanent brake master cylinder reservoir label. Applicable comments
included the following:
1. Brake fluid is a toxic, flammable and combustible liquid that
requires a permanently affixed warning label;
2. Jaguar cannot say with 100% certainty or any probability that
the label will not fall off or be displaced during vehicle use or
3. Subsequent purchasers will be exposed to known and undisclosed
4. The vehicles have no routine maintenance schedule and are
brought in to be serviced within days or months of purchase;
5. The filler cap alone does not adequately serve as a warning
label and is not a permanent fixture;
6. A filler cap can be easily removed and replaced with any other
cap that has the same measurements;
7. Jaguar has received customer complaints which have not been
provided to NHTSA; and
8. Jaguar cannot accurately assert that there has been no accidents
or injuries regarding the issue in question.
VII. NHTSA's Analysis
NHTSA has evaluated the merits of the inconsequential petition
submitted by JLR and has considered the applicable comments received
from the public, and has determined that this particular noncompliance
is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Specifically, paragraph
S5.4.3 of FMVSS No. 135 requires that each vehicle equipped with
hydraulic brakes have a brake fluid warning statement with specific
language that is (a) permanently affixed, engraved or embossed, (b)
located so as to be visible by direct view either on or within 100 mm
of the brake fluid reservoir filler plug or cap, and is (c) a color
that contrasts with its background if it is not engraved or embossed.
JLR in its submittal of its Part 573 acknowledged that the brake fluid
warning label is not permanently affixed as it can be removed once the
filler cap is removed. However, the warning statement wording on the
label is correct, and requirements (b) and (c) above are met.
NHTSA has concluded that the noncompliance is inconsequential based
on two principal reasons: (1) Although the label can be removed, the
chance of it becoming detached is highly improbable, and (2) in the
unlikely event of label displacement, the required information
specified on the label is available from other locations or sources.
These reasons are further explained below:
Addressing item (1) above, the installed label appears to be made
of a durable plastic material which is positioned on the filler neck
and is retained by the filler cap. During normal vehicle use and
operation, the filler cap remains attached to the reservoir, and the
label is effectively permanently affixed. The reservoir filler cap and
label are positioned within the engine compartment and in many cases,
further sealed below plastic trim. Thus, to access and remove the label
requires intentional actions by an owner or service technician by hood
release, secondary hood release, trim removal, cap removal and finally
pulling the label itself off. This multi-step process will not occur
JLR explains that the routine maintenance schedule for the brake
fluid is once every 3 years in service. Unless a brake fluid issue
arises during the intervening time period, the cap should remain
affixed and the label in place. In addition, FMVSS No. 135 S5.4.4
requires the brake fluid reservoir to be so constructed that the level
of fluid can be checked without the need for the reservoir to be
opened. Thus, the frequency with which the cap will be removed and
therefore the time frame in which the label can be removed is
exceedingly limited. We further note that the removal of the brake
filler cap for fluid addition, replacement or flush is predominately
performed by trained service technicians, not vehicle owners, who will
have no reason to remove a warning tag and are knowledgeable on
precautions when dealing with brake fluid.
Addressing item (2) above, the S5.4.3 warning statement that is
required to be on or near the reservoir filler opening has four
essential components as listed below:
1. The word ``Warning''
2. The statement ``Clean filler cap before removing''
3. Fluid specification ie., ``DOT 4'' fluid, and
4. The statement ``Brake fluid from a sealed container''.
In the unlikely event the label is removed, these four specified
items contained on the warning label are available from other locations
or sources. The filler cap itself has four embossed yellow symbols on a
black background. One symbol is for the brake system, indicating that
the reservoir is brake related. The second symbol is an exclamation
point within a triangle, generally recognized as a pictorial equivalent
to the word ``warning,'' and the third is a symbol representing the
owner's manual, implying that the document should be reviewed prior to
tampering with the reservoir system. The owner's manual provides
instructions for topping off the brake fluid, stating ``always use the
brake fluid with the correct specifications, only use new fluid from an
airtight container, and to clean the brake fluid filler cap before
removing . . .'' Thus, the reservoir cap symbols pictorially warn and
instruct that prior to cap removal, the owner's manual should be
reviewed where all the pertinent maintenance information is described
and is redundant to the label statements. Therefore, in the unlikely
situation where the label has been removed, the technician is still
warned and guided as to the proper procedures for working with the
master cylinder reservoir opening. The fourth cap marking is ``DOT 4,''
which is redundant to the label listing and is arguably the most
important caution, as the fluid used is critical to the performance and
durability of the brake system. Even without the label, the appropriate
fluid is clearly indicated.
Furthermore, as indicated by JLR there have been no customer
complaints or accidents as a result of this issue. As the noncompliance
has existed for some models since 2012, a significant amount of time
has elapsed in which the problem could have arisen, yet it has not been
noted by any complaints or implicated in any accidents.
Although the S5.4.3 warning label is not technically permanently
affixed as required in S5.4.3 (a) the noncompliance is inconsequential
to motor vehicle safety because the likelihood of the tag being
displaced under normal vehicle operation and usage is exceedingly
small, and all the information required by S5.4.3 even in the absence
of the label is detailed in the owner's manual which is pictorially
referenced by symbols on the cap itself. Lastly, it is likely that only
trained service technicians will remove the cap leaving the label in
place, and the critical fluid specification ``DOT 4'' is both on the
label and the cap.
VIII. NHTSA's Decision
In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that JLR has
met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 135 noncompliance is
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, JLR's petition is
hereby granted and JLR is exempted from the obligation of providing
notification of, and a 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 JLR 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 JLR 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.
Otto G. Matheke III,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2019-06478 Filed 4-2-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P