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Chrysler Corporation; Receipt of Petition for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Dodge Ram

Chrysler Corporation; Receipt of Petition for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Barry Felrice
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Register
May 17, 1994

[Federal Register: May 17, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. 94-38; Notice 1]

 
Chrysler Corporation; Receipt of Petition for Determination of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

    The Chrysler Corporation (Chrysler) of Auburn Hills, Michigan, has 
determined that some of its vehicles fail to comply with the outside 
mirror requirements of 49 CFR 571.111, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 111, ``Rearview Mirrors,'' and has filed an 
appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, ``Defect and 
Noncompliance Reports.'' Chrysler has also petitioned to be exempted 
from the notification and remedy requirements of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) on the basis that 
the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle 
safety.
    This notice of receipt of a petition is published under Section 157 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1417) 
and does not represent any agency decision or other exercise of 
judgment concerning the merits of the petition.
    In FMVSS No. 111, paragraph S7.1 states that trucks with gross 
vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds shall have 
outside mirrors of unit magnification.
    During the 1989 through early-1994 model years, Chrysler 
manufactured an estimated total of 26,700 Dodge Ram 350 and 3500 pickup 
trucks and cab/chassis with convex, passenger-side, outside, rearview 
mirrors.
    Chrysler supports its petition for inconsequential noncompliance 
with the following. (Chrysler also submitted two figures which compared 
the fields of view of the noncompliant mirrors to two types of 
complaint mirrors. This material is available in the NHTSA docket.)
    (1) The affected vehicles are also equipped with a driver side 
outside rear view mirror of unit magnification and, except for the less 
than 100 cab/chassis models, an inside rear view mirror of unit 
magnification.
    (2) The installed 6'' x 9'' convex passenger side mirror meets all 
requirements of S5 of FMVSS 111 [passenger car requirements], and 
provides increased field of view capability when compared to the same 
size mirror of unit magnification or the optional 10'' x 7'' unit 
magnification mirror.
    (3) Other than the passenger side mirror being convex rather than 
unit magnification, the rear view mirror system on the affected 
vehicles meets or exceeds all performance and location requirements of 
FMVSS 111. The system capability is adequate in all regards, 
specifically including provision for both overall system and passenger 
side field of view.
    (4) Chrysler is not aware of any owner complaints, field reports or 
allegations of hazardous circumstances relating to performance of the 
passenger side mirror on the affected vehicles.
    (5) The subject condition occurred as the result of the upgrading 
of a model for the 1989 model year to more than 10,000 pounds GVWR. 
That model for prior model years had been equipped with a convex 
passenger side mirror and unit magnification driver side and inside 
rear view mirrors. The same mirror system was carried over on the 
vehicles for which the GVWR was upgraded. Rear view adequacy of the 
convex mirror was not affected by the GVWR increase, and the need to 
instead release a unit magnification mirror for compliance to the FMVSS 
111 requirement at the upgraded GVWR was inadvertently overlooked at 
the time and thereafter.
    (6) From a practical vehicle operation and motor vehicle safety 
standpoint, the mirror system which fully compiled to all FMVSS 111 
requirements on earlier model year vehicles was equivalently effective 
and capable on the upgraded GVWR vehicles.
    (7) Existence of the variance was detected during an engineering 
analysis resulting from a question of mirror size adequacy on certain 
1994 subject models. Size was determined to not be a concern, but the 
analysis uncovered the convex mirror issue. Chrysler than took 
immediate, expedited action to correct the condition by specifying and 
installing the optional 10'' x 7'' unit magnification mirrors on 
affected vehicles.
    Chrysler summarizes its rationale for granting its petition with 
the following.
    Existence of the subject condition was totally inadvertent and not 
a deliberate attempt to evade Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
requirements. Therefore, in spite of good faith and due care efforts by 
Chrysler, some vehicles with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds were 
manufactured and shipped with a convex passenger side outside rear view 
mirror. Upon discovery of the condition, Chrysler took immediate action 
to correct it in production and minimize the number of vehicles 
produced with the convex mirror.
    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and 
arguments on the petition of Chrysler, described above. Comments should 
refer to the docket number and be submitted to: Docket Section, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, room 5109, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.
    All comments received before the close of business on the closing 
date indicated below will be considered. The application and supporting 
materials, and all comments received after the closing date will also 
be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the 
petition is granted or denied, the notice will be published in the 
Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.
    Comment closing date: June 16, 1994.

(15 U.S.C. 1417; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 49 CFR 
501.8)

    Issued on: May 11, 1994.
Barry Felrice,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 94-11921 Filed 5-16-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-M

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