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General Motors Corporation, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Buick Regal

General Motors Corporation, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
November 19, 2010

[Federal Register: November 19, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 223)]
[Notices]               
[Page 70963-70965]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr19no10-113]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0151; Notice 1]

 
General Motors Corporation, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

    General Motors Corporation (GM),\1\ has determined that 
approximately 1,113 Model Year (MY) 2011 Buick Regal passenger cars do 
not fully comply with paragraph S4.3(d) of 49 CFR 571.110, Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire Selection and Rims 
for Motor Vehicles With a GVWR of 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 pounds) or 
Less. GM filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, 
Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports dated July 26, 
2010.
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    \1\ General Motors LLC (GM) is vehicle manufacturer incorporated 
under the laws of the state of Michigan.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), GM 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 GM'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.
    Affected are approximately 1,113 model year 2011 Buick Regal 
passenger cars manufactured between January 20, 2010, and May 18, 2010 
at GM's R[uuml]sselsheim assembly plant.

[[Page 70964]]

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (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, these provisions only 
apply to the 1,113 \2\ vehicles that have already passed from the 
manufacturer to an owner, purchaser, or dealer.
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    \2\ GM's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt GM as a manufacturer from the 
notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR part 573 for 
1,113 of the affected vehicles. However, the agency cannot relieve 
GM distributors 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 GM recognized 
that the subject noncompliance existed.
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    Paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 110 requires 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. In each vehicle without a driver's side 
B-pillar and with two doors on the driver's side of the vehicle 
opening in opposite directions, the placard shall be affixed on the 
forward edge of the rear side door. If the above locations do not 
permit the affixing of a placard that is legible, visible and 
prominent, the placard shall be permanently affixed to the rear edge 
of the driver's side door. If this location does not permit the 
affixing of a placard that is legible, visible and prominent, the 
placard shall be affixed to the inward facing surface of the vehicle 
next to the driver's seating position. This information shall be in 
the English language and conform in color and format, not including 
the border surrounding the entire placard, as shown in the example 
set forth in Figure 1 in this standard. At the manufacturer's 
option, the information specified in S4.3 (c), (d), and, as 
appropriate, (h) and (i) may be shown, alternatively to being shown 
on the placard, on a tire inflation pressure label which must 
conform in color and format, not including the border surrounding 
the entire label, as shown in the example set forth in Figure 2 in 
this standard. The label shall be permanently affixed and proximate 
to the placard required by this paragraph. The information specified 
in S4.3 (e) shall be shown on both the vehicle placard and on the 
tire inflation pressure label (if such a label is affixed to provide 
the information specified in S4.3 (c), (d), and, as appropriate, (h) 
and (i)) may be shown in the format and color scheme set forth in 
Figures 1 and 2. * * *
    (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; * * *

    GM explains that the noncompliance with FMVSS No. 110 is the 
omission of the letter ``T'' in the spare tire size printed on the tire 
and loading information labels that it affixed to the vehicles. 
Currently the tire size designation shows the spare tire size as ``125/
80R16'' instead of ``T125/80R16.''
    GM reported that the noncompliance was brought to their attention 
in May of 2010 by the Global Subsystem Leadership Team during an 
internal audit in the R[uuml]sselsheim Assembly Plant.
    GM additionally stated that it believes that this noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    (1) All information for maintaining and/or replacing the front and 
rear tires, as well as the seating capacity and vehicle capacity weight 
are correct on tire and loading information labels on the subject 
vehicles.
    (2) The vehicles are equipped with spare tires that have the 
complete tire size (T125/80R16) molded their sidewalls.
    (3) When a customer needs to replace the spare tire, he/she will 
take the vehicle to a tire store. The tire store will know what compact 
spare tire is needed based on the information in their catalog or by 
looking at the spare tire provided with the vehicle. In the case, they 
were to refer to the tire and loading information label, it will show 
the spare tire size 125/80R16 without the letter T. The only tire 
available with the size designation of 125/80R16 is the compact spare 
tire T125/80R16, and should not cause any confusion or error.
    (4) Risk to the public is negligible because the vehicles are 
equipped with the correct spare tire, and the tire and loading 
information label does have the correct inflation pressure for the 
compact spare tire.
    (5) GM is not aware of any incidents or injuries related to the 
subject condition.
    GM has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production vehicles will have 
compliant labels.
    In summation, GM believes that the described noncompliance of its 
vehicles to meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 110 is inconsequential 
to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt 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, and 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 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays.
    c. Electronically: By logging onto the Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Web site at http:[sol][sol]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:[sol][sol]www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy 
Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 
FR 19477-78).

[[Page 70965]]

    You may view documents submitted to a docket at the address and 
times given above. You may also view the documents on the Internet at 
http:[sol][sol]www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions 
for accessing the dockets available at that Web site.
    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: December 20, 2010

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

    Issued on: November 15, 2010.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2010-29168 Filed 11-18-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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