Home Page About Us Contribute




Escort, Inc.



Tweets by @CrittendenAuto






By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Nissan Titan

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

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

[Federal Register: December 21, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 244)]
[Notices]               
[Page 80109-80110]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21de10-101]                         


[[Page 80109]]

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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0171; Notice 1]

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

    Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) \1\ has determined that certain 
model year 2008 through 2010 Nissan Titan trucks do not fully comply 
with the requirements of paragraph S19.2.2(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. Nissan has 
filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, dated August 18, 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Nissan North America, Inc., is a state of Tennessee 
corporation that manufacturers and imports motor vehicles and motor 
vehicle equipment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), Nissan 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 Nissan'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.
    Nissan estimates that approximately 102,254 model year 2008 through 
2010 Nissan Titan trucks that were manufactured from April 10, 2007, 
through August 6, 2010, are affected.
    Paragraph S19.2.2 of FMVSS No. 208 requires in pertinent part:

S19.2.2 The vehicle shall be equipped with at least one telltale 
which emits light whenever the passenger air bag system is 
deactivated and does not emit light whenever the passenger air bag 
system is activated, except that the telltale(s) need not illuminate 
when the passenger seat is unoccupied. Each telltale:* * *
    (b) Shall have the identifying words ``PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF'' 
or ``PASS AIR BAG OFF'' on the telltale or within 25 mm (1.0 in) of 
the telltale; and* * *

    Nissan states that the noncompliance is that the label identifying 
the amber air bag status telltale lamp for the front outboard passenger 
seating position is identified with the words ``PASSENGER AIR BAG'' 
instead of ``PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF.''
    Nissan believes the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor 
vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    1. The passenger air bag system on the subject vehicles operates as 
designed and automatically deactivates the passenger air bag when it is 
appropriate in accordance with the requirements in S19.2 of FMV55 No. 
208. That is, the system requires no input from the operator to perform 
its intended function. Further, the front passenger airbag status 
telltale operates correctly and illuminates when the passenger air bag 
is deactivated as required by the standard.
    2. The meaning of the air bag status telltale alone (without the 
identifying words) is unequivocal to the vehicle occupants. The 
telltale remains off when the passenger air bag is in the normal mode. 
When the passenger air bag is deactivated, the telltale is illuminated, 
showing an icon representing an air bag with an X drawn over it. This 
clearly represents a deactivated air bag. Nissan notes that in certain 
other markets, the telltale alone is deemed sufficient with no 
identifying words required next to the telltale. The identifying words 
``passenger side air bag'' (without the word ``OFF'') do not confuse 
the otherwise clear and readily apparent meaning of the telltale.
    3. Information provided in several locations in the vehicle owner's 
manual further reduces any possibility of operator confusion. If the 
meaning of telltale is unclear, the operator can refer to multiple 
explanations in the owner's manual.
    4. Telltale Function is also described in Quick Reference Guide.
    5. There have been no customer complaints, injuries, or accidents 
related to the word ``OFF'' missing from the label. Nissan has searched 
its databases and has found no cases of misunderstanding the telltale.
    6. Nissan conducted an informal survey at Nissan's National 
Headquarters Building in Franklin, Tennessee. The building houses 
mostly business personnel (sales marketing, finance) and not design 
engineers that would have special understanding of the air bag systems. 
As employees were approaching the building to begin their workday, they 
were asked to participate in a survey regarding the Titan and that the 
survey would take about 30 seconds of their time. The participants 
represented a good cross-section of the general population by age, 
gender and race. The subject Titan pickup truck was equipped with the 
required yellow passenger side air bag status telltale that contained 
the ``no air bag'' symbol, but did not display the word ``OFF''. The 
passenger air bag telltale was illuminated. Survey participants were 
asked to describe the meaning of the telltale. Sixty people 
participated in the survey. Of the sixty people, 58 responded correctly 
that the telltale indicated the passenger side airbag was in suppressed 
mode. The survey shows that people understand the meaning of the 
passenger air bag telltale even with the word ``OFF'' missing. We note 
also that adding the word ``OFF'' did not help the two respondents to 
understand the meaning of the telltale. They would have needed to 
consult the Owner's Manual. Nissan acknowledges that this was an ad hoc 
survey that may not meet rigid statistical standards, nevertheless, we 
believe it is predictive of the results that would be obtained from a 
larger, controlled survey.
    7. A decision to grant this petition would be consistent with 
arguably similar prior requests related to labeling issues. For 
example, NHTSA has previously granted petitions related to certain tire 
and tire placard labeling errors.
    Nissan also states that it has taken steps to correct the non-
compliance in future production.
    Supported by the above stated reasons, Nissan believes that the 
described FMVSS No. 208 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

[[Page 80110]]

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: January 20, 2011.

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

    Issued on: December 15, 2010.
Claude H. Harris,
Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2010-32013 Filed 12-20-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute