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


American Government Topics:  Volkswagen, Audi

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

Otto G. Matheke III
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
10 July 2020


[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 133 (Friday, July 10, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41670-41671]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-14847]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2020-0066; Notice 1]


Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., 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: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., (Volkswagen) has determined 
that certain model year (MY) 2019 2020 Volkswagen and Audi motor 
vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 138, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. Volkswagen filed a 
noncompliance report dated May 6, 2020, and later amended it on May 15, 
2020. Volkswagen subsequently petitioned NHTSA on May 20, 2020, and 
later amended it on June 8, 2020, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. 
This notice announces receipt of Volkswagen's petition.

DATES: Send comments on or before August 10, 2020.

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 the 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 the 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 for Federal holidays.
     Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging 
onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website 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 docket. 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: Volkswagen has determined that certain MY 2019 2020 
Volkswagen and Audi motor vehicles do not fully comply with the 
requirements of paragraph S6(f)(3) of FMVSS No. 138, Tire Pressure 
Monitoring Systems (49 CFR 571.138). Volkswagen filed a

[[Page 41671]]

noncompliance report dated May 6, 2020, and later amended it on May 15, 
2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports. Volkswagen subsequently petitioned NHTSA on 
May 20, 2020, but amended it on June 8, 2020, 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, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR 
part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance.
    This notice of receipt of Volkswagen'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 299,043 of the following MY 
2019-2020 Volkswagen and Audi motor vehicles manufactured between 
November 26, 2018, and February 19, 2020, are potentially involved:
 2019-2020 Volkswagen Atlas
 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
 2019 Volkswagen Golf R
 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan LWB
 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta NF
 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
 2019 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen A7
 2019 Audi Q3
 2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI
 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
 2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf A7
 2019-2020 Audi A3 Sedan
 2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet
    III. Noncompliance: Volkswagen explains that the noncompliance is 
that the subject vehicles are equipped with tire pressure monitoring 
systems (TPMS) that do not fully comply with the requirements set forth 
in paragraph S6(f)(3) of FMVSS No. 138. Specifically, when there is a 
simultaneous pressure loss on all four tires, in which pressure loss 
occurs at the same rate and time, the detection may not occur within 
the 20-minute timeframe specified in test procedure requirements.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S6(f)(3) of FMVSS No. 138 includes 
requirements relevant to this petition. The sum of the total cumulative 
drive time under paragraphs S6(f)(1) and (2) shall be the lesser of 20 
minutes or the time at which the low tire pressure telltale 
illuminates.
    V. Summary of Volkswagen's Petition: The following views and 
arguments presented in this section, V. Summary of Volkswagen's 
Petition, are the views and arguments provided by Volkswagen. They have 
not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the 
Agency. Volkswagen described the subject noncompliance and stated their 
belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor 
vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Volkswagen submitted the following 
reasoning:
    1. A rapid tire pressure loss on one or more tires is accurately 
detected and the low tire pressure warning telltale will illuminate and 
warn the driver.
    2. A pressure loss on fewer than four tires at the same time and 
rate will be detected, and the low tire pressure warning telltale will 
illuminate and warn the driver.
    3. A simultaneous pressure loss on all four tires at the same rate 
will be detected and indicated to the driver, but not in the required 
20 minutes. Internal tests have shown that in those tests where the 
pressure loss was not detected in 20 minutes, a warning to the driver 
was still shown in under 50 minutes. Volkswagen believes this behavior 
is not relevant for real world driving, as this particular diffusion 
scenario, involving all four tires at the same time and same rate, is 
very unlikely to happen in real world driving.
    4. As of the production dates listed below, the condition has been 
corrected:
    Volkswagen:
     2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf vehicles, as of October 26, 
2019;
     2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack vehicles, as of October 26, 
2019;
     2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI vehicles, as of October 26, 
2019;
     2019 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen vehicles, as of August 28, 
2019;
     2019 Volkswagen Golf R vehicles, as of August 20, 2019;
     2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta vehicles, as of October 24, 
2019;
     2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vehicles, as of October 24, 
2019;
     2019 Volkswagen Tiguan vehicles, as of August 18, 2019;
     2019-2020 Volkswagen Atlas vehicles, as of February 20, 
2020; and
     2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vehicles, as of July 25, 
2019.
    Audi:
     2019-2020 Audi A3 vehicles, as of January 25, 2020;
     2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet vehicles, as of July 13, 2019; and
     2019 Audi Q3 vehicles, as of July 31, 2019.
    5. The affected vehicles held at the factory have been corrected, 
and unsold units in dealer inventory will be corrected prior to sale.
    6. Additionally, Volkswagen is not aware of any field or customer 
complaints related to this condition, nor has it been made aware of any 
accidents or injuries that have occurred as a result of this issue.
    Volkswagen concluded by expressing its 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 Volkswagen 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 
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

Otto G. Matheke III,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2020-14847 Filed 7-9-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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