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Mazda North American Operations, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mazda RX-8

Mazda North American Operations, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
October 21, 2010

[Federal Register: October 21, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 203)]
[Notices]               
[Page 65053-65054]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21oc10-97]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0141; Notice 1]

 
Mazda North American Operations, Receipt of Petition for Decision 
of Inconsequential Noncompliance

    Mazda North American Operations (MNAO),\1\ on behalf of Mazda Motor 
Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan (Mazda), has determined the lens of the 
headlamps equipped on certain 2004 through 2009 Mazda RX-8 model 
passenger cars, manufactured from April 1, 2003, to May 29, 2009, and 
certain 2006 through 2008 MX-5 model passenger cars, built from May 17, 
2005, to November 27, 2008, failed to meet the requirements of 
paragraph S7.2(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
108 Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. Mazda has 
filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, dated December 18, 2009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Mazda Motor Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan (Mazda) is the 
manufacturer of the subject vehicles and Mazda North American 
Operations (MNAO) is the importer of the vehicles as well as the 
registered agent for Mazda.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), Mazda has petitioned for an exemption from the 
notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. chapter 301 on the 
basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle 
safety.
    This notice of receipt of Mazda'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.
    Mazda estimates approximately 123,000 2004 through 2009 Mazda RX-8 
model passenger cars, manufactured from April 1, 2003 to May 29, 2009, 
and 2006 through 2008 MX-5 model passenger cars, built from May 17, 
2005 to November 27, 2008, are affected. All of the affected vehicles 
were built at Mazda's plant in Hiroshima Japan.
    Paragraph 7.2(b) of FMVSS No. 108 requires:

    S7.2(b) The lens of each headlamp and of each beam contributor 
manufactured on or after December 1, 1989, to which paragraph (a) of 
this section applies shall be marked with the name and/or trademark 
registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of the 
manufacturer of such headlamp or beam contributor, or its importer, 
or any manufacturer of a vehicle equipped with such headlamp or beam 
contributor. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to 
authorize the marking of any such name and/or trademark by one who 
is not the owner, unless the owner has consented to it.

    Mazda states that the noncompliance is that the lenses of the 
headlamps on the affected vehicles are not marked with the name or 
trademark of the manufacturer of the headlamp, the manufacturer of the 
vehicle, or the importer of the vehicle.
    Mazda was notified by its headlamp manufacturer, Koito 
Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (Koito) of the apparent

[[Page 65054]]

noncompliance. Mazda then concluded that the vehicles equipped with the 
affected headlamps failed to comply with paragraph S7.2(b) of FMVSS No. 
108.
    Mazda stated the following reasons why they believe the 
noncompliance is inconsequential to vehicle safety and does not present 
a risk to motor vehicle safety:

    The affected headlamps fulfill all the relevant performance 
requirements of FMVSS No. 108, except that trade name and/or 
trademark of the manufacturer or importer is missing on the lens. 
However, the affected headlamps have the trademark of the headlamp 
manufacturer on the rim of the headlamp housing. Thus, Mazda 
contends that this marking on the rim is visible with the vehicle's 
front hood open and states that it believes that the rim marking 
could assist the easy identification of the headlamp manufacturer by 
the users of the vehicles.
    Mazda has not received any complaints or claims related to the 
noncompliance nor is it aware of any known reports of accidents or 
injuries attributed to the noncompliance.

    In summary, Mazda states that it believes the noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the affected headlamps 
fulfill all other relevant requirements of FMVSS No. 108.
    The company also states that it has taken steps to correct the 
noncompliance in future production.
    Supported by the above stated reasons, Mazda believes that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and 
that its petition, to exempt it from providing recall notification of 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall 
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.
    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and 
arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the docket and 
notice number cited at the beginning of this notice and be submitted by 
any of the following methods:
    a. 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.
    b. By hand delivery 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 am to 5 pm except Federal Holidays.
    c. Electronically: By logging onto the Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Web site at http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments. Comments may also be faxed 
to 1-202-493-2251.
    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 your comments were received, please 
enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that 
all comments received will be posted without change to http://
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
    Documents submitted to a docket may be viewed by anyone at the 
address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the 
Internet at http: //www.regulations.gov by following the online 
instructions for accessing the dockets. DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement is available for review in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).
    The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received 
before the close of business on the closing date indicated below will 
be filed and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials 
received after the closing date will also be filed and will be 
considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or 
denied, notice of the decision will be published in the Federal 
Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.
    Comment Closing Date: November 22, 2010.

    Authority:  (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: Delegations of authority at 
CFR 1.50 and 501.8)

    Issued on: October 15, 2010.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2010-26425 Filed 10-20-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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