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BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  BMW

BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Register
March 7, 2011

[Federal Register: March 7, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 44)]
[Notices]               
[Page 12410-12412]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07mr11-108]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0180; Notice 1]

 
BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

    BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) \1\ a subsidiary of BMW AG, Munich, 
Germany, has determined that certain BMW vehicles equipped with ``run-
flat'' tires do not fully comply with paragraphs S4.3(c) and S4.3(d) of 
49 CFR 571.110, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, 
Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load 
carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 
kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less. BMW filed an appropriate report 
pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports dated November 2, 2010.
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    \1\ BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is a vehicle manufacturer 
incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), BMW 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 BMW'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.
    BMW estimates that approximately 54,200 vehicles equipped with 
``run flat'' tires are affected. The affected vehicle models are 
certain: Model Year 2008-2011 BMW X5 SAV multipurpose passenger 
vehicles, manufactured from February 2, 2008 through October 26, 2010; 
Model Year 2008-2011 BMW X6 SAC multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
manufactured from September 19, 2008 through October 26, 2010; and 2011 
BMW 5-Series, BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo, and BMW 7-Series passenger 
cars, manufactured from September 1, 2010 through October 26, 2010.
    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,

[[Page 12411]]

purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the 
defect or noncompliance. Therefore, these provisions only apply to the 
vehicles that have already passed from the manufacturer to an owner, 
purchaser, or dealer.
    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. * * *
    (c) Vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation 
pressure for front, rear and spare tires, subject to the limitations 
of S4.3.4. For full size spare tires, the statement ``see above'' 
may, at the manufacturer's option replace manufacturer's recommended 
cold tire inflation pressure. If no spare tire is provided, the word 
``none'' must replace the manufacturer's recommended cold tire 
inflation pressure* * *
    (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;* * *

    BMW explains that the noncompliance is that the tire and loading 
information placards on the affected vehicles incorrectly include a 
recommended cold tire inflation pressure and size designation for a 
spare tire. Because the vehicles are equipped with ``run-flat'' tires 
and have no spare tire, the word ``none,'' as required by paragraphs 
S4.3(c) and S4.3(d) is required in place of the spare tire size and the 
associated recommended cold tire inflation pressure.
    BMW argues that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor 
vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    1. Vehicle owners are informed via the vehicle Owner's Manual that 
if ``RSC'' is stamped on the sidewall of the tire, then the tire is a 
``run-flat'' tire.
    2. BMW vehicle owners can contact BMW Roadside 
AssistanceTM representatives by telephone 24 hours/day. 
These representatives can provide vehicle owners, on a vehicle model 
and model year basis, with all available tire sizes and specifications 
for the tires originally mounted on their vehicle, including the 
installation of ``run-flat'' tires.
    3. For vehicles equipped with BMW Assist,TM passengers 
can contact BMW Roadside Assistance,TM representatives 
directly from within the vehicle.\2\
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    \2\ Refer to the BMW petition for specific details on the 
availability of BMW Assist.TM
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    BMW reported that the noncompliance was brought to their attention 
during inspections of vehicles equipped with ``run-flat'' tires. On 
October 26, 2010, BMW realized that the affected vehicles do not 
conform to FMVSS No. 110.
    BMW has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production vehicles will have 
compliant labels.
    In summation, BMW 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.
    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.
    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 is in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 
(65 FR 19477-78).
    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://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: April 6, 2011.

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


[[Page 12412]]


    Issued on: February 4, 2011.
Claude H. Harris,
Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2011-5036 Filed 3-4-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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