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Continental Tire North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Continental

Continental Tire North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
November 29, 2010

[Federal Register: November 29, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 228)]
[Notices]               
[Page 73159-73160]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr29no10-155]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0153; Notice 1]

 
Continental Tire North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

    Continental Tire North America, Inc., (Continental),\1\ has 
determined that certain passenger car replacement tires manufactured in 
2009 do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5(b) of Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for 
Light Vehicles. Continental has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 
49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, 
dated August 10, 2010.
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    \1\ Continental Tire North America, Inc. (Continental) is a 
replacement equipment manufacturer and importer that is incorporated 
in the State of Ohio.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), Continental 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 Continental'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 17,121 size 235/45ZR17 94W Continental 
brand Extremecontact DWS model passenger car tires manufactured from 
March 2009

[[Page 73160]]

to October 2009 at Continental's plant located in Cama[ccedil]ari- BA, 
Brasil. A total of approximately 16,325 of these tires have been 
delivered to Continental's customers in the United States and Canada.
    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 16,325 \2\ tires that have already passed from the 
manufacturer to an owner, purchaser, or dealer.
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    \2\ Continental's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR Part 
556, requests an agency decision to exempt Continental as a 
replacement equipment manufacturer from the notification and recall 
responsibilities of 49 CFR Part 573 for the 16,325 tires that were 
delivered to its customers in the United States. However, the agency 
cannot relieve Continental distributors 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 Continental recognized that the subject noncompliance 
existed. Those tires must be brought into conformance, exported, or 
destroyed. In addition, any of the affected tires that Continental 
has not delivered to its customers must be brought into compliance, 
exported or destroyed.
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    Paragraph S5.5(b) of FMVSS No. 139 requires in pertinent part:

    S5.5 Tire markings. Except as specified in paragraphs (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. The markings 
must be placed between the maximum section width and the bead on at 
least one sidewall, unless the maximum section width of the tire is 
located in an area that is not more than one-fourth of the distance 
from the bead to the shoulder of the tire. If the maximum section 
width falls within that area, those markings must appear between the 
bead and a point one-half the distance from the bead to the shoulder 
of the tire, on at least one sidewall. The markings must be in 
letters and numerals not less than 0.078 inches high and raised 
above or sunk below the tire surface not less than 0.015 inches* * *
    (b) The tire size designation as listed in the documents and 
publications specified in S4.1.1 of this standard;

    Continental explains that the noncompliance is that, due to a mold 
labeling error, the sidewall marking on the reference side of the tires 
incorrectly identifies the tire size code as ``658R 3VR'' when in fact 
it should be identified as ``658P 3VR'' in the tread area of the tires 
as required by paragraph S5.5(b).
    Continental also explains that while the non-compliant tires are 
mislabeled, all of the tires included in this petition meet or exceed 
the performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139.
    Continental argues that this noncompliance is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety because the noncompliant sidewall marking does not 
create an unsafe condition and all other labeling requirements have 
been met.
    Continental points out that NHTSA has previously granted similar 
petitions for non-compliances in sidewall marking.
    Continental additionally states that it has corrected the affected 
tire molds and all future production will have the correct material 
shown on the sidewall.
    In summation, Continental believes that the described noncompliance 
of its tires to meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 139 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, 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://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: December 29, 2010.

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

    Issued on: November 19, 2010.
Claude H. Harris,
Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2010-29879 Filed 11-26-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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