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Determination That Nonconforming 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (Long Wheel Base Type 463) Multi-Purpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mercedes-Benz 300GE

Determination That Nonconforming 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (Long Wheel Base Type 463) Multi-Purpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

William A. Boehly
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Register
May 25, 1994

[Federal Register: May 25, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
[Docket No. 94-19; Notice 2]

 
Determination That Nonconforming 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 
Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (Long Wheel Base Type 463) Multi-
Purpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of determination by NHTSA that nonconforming 1990, 1991, 
1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300 GE (long wheel base Type 
463) multi-purpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) are eligible for 
importation.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the determination by NHTSA that 1990, 
1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base 
Type 463) MPVs that were not originally manufactured to comply with all 
applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards are eligible for 
importation into the United States because they have safety features 
that comply with, or are capable of being modified to comply with, all 
such standards.

DATES: The determination is effective as of the date of its publication 
in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ted Bayler, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5306).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under section 108(c)(3)(A)(i)(I) of the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act (the Act), 15 U.S.C. 1397 (c)(3)(A)(i)(I), a motor 
vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all 
applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards shall be refused 
admission into the United States on and after January 31, 1990, unless 
NHTSA has determined that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to 
a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale 
in the United States, certified under section 114 of the Act, and of 
the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, 
and is capable of being readily modified to conform to all applicable 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Where there is no substantially 
similar U.S.-certified motor vehicle, section 108(c)(3)(A)(i)(II) of 
the Act, 15 U.S.C. 1397(c)(3)(A)(i)(II), permits a nonconforming motor 
vehicle to be admitted into the United States if its safety features 
comply with, or are capable of being modified to comply with, all 
applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards based on destructive 
test data or such other evidence as NHTSA determines to be adequate.
    Petitions for eligibility determinations may be submitted by either 
manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 
49 CFR part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice 
in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and affords 
interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the 
close of the comment period, NHTSA determines, on the basis of the 
petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is 
eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this determination 
in the Federal Register.
    Europa International, Inc. of Santa Fe, New Mexico (Registered 
Importer No. R-91-002) petitioned NHTSA to determine whether 1990, 
1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base 
Type 463) MPVs are eligible for importation into the United States. 
NHTSA published notice of the petition on March 29, 1994 (59 FR 14708) 
to afford an opportunity for public comment. As described in that 
notice, the petitioner claimed that 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 
Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base Type 463) MPVs have 
safety features that comply with Standard Nos. 102 Transmission Shift 
Lever Sequence * * *. (based on visual inspection and operation), 103 
Defrosting and Defogging Systems (based on inspection), 104 Windshield 
Wiping and Washington Systems (based on operation), 105 Hydraulic Brake 
Systems (based on documented testing), 106 Brake Hoses (based on visual 
inspection of certification markings), 107 Reflecting Surfaces (based 
on visual inspection), 113 Hood Latch Systems (based on information in 
owner's manual describing operation of secondary latch mechanism), 116 
Brake Fluids (based on visual inspection of certification markings and 
information in owner's manual describing fluids installed at factory), 
119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles other than Passenger Cars (based 
on visual inspection of certification markings), 124 Accelerator 
Control Systems (based on operation and comparison to U.S.-certified 
equipment), 201 Occupant Protection in Interior Impact (based on test 
film and certification of vehicle to European standard), 202 Head 
Restraints (based on test film and certification of vehicle to European 
standard), 204 Steering Control Rearward Displacement (based on test 
film), 205 Glazing Materials (based on visual inspection of 
certification markings), 207 Seating Systems, (based on undocumented 
test results and certification of vehicle to European standard), 209 
Seat Belt Assemblies (based on certification markings and schematic 
diagram of seat belt warning system), 211 Wheel Nuts, Wheel Discs and 
Hubcaps (based on visual inspection), 214 Side Impact Protection (based 
on test results), 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion (based on engineering 
evaluation of Standard No. 208 compliance test film and test data), and 
302 Flammability of Interior Materials (based on composition of 
upholstery).
    The petitioner also contended that 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 
Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (long wheel base Type 463) MPVs are 
capable of being modified to comply with the following standards, in 
the manner indicated:
    Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: substitution of a lens 
marked ``Brake'' for a lens with an ECE symbol on the brake failure 
indicator lamp.
    Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated 
Equipment: (a) installation of U.S.-model sealed beam headlamps; (b) 
installation of U.S.-model side marker lamps and reflectors; (c) 
installation of a high mounted stop lamp on vehicles manufactured after 
September 1, 1993. The petitioner asserted that testing performed on 
the taillamp reveals that it complies with the standard, even though it 
lacks a DOT certification marking, and that all other lights are DOT 
certified.
    Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirrors: inscription of the required 
warning statement on the convex surface of the passenger side rearview 
mirror.
    Standard No. 114 Theft Protection: installation of a warning buzzer 
in the steering lock electrical circuit.
    Standard No. 115 Vehicle Identification Number: installation of a 
VIN plate that can be read from outside the left windshield pillar.
    Standard No. 118 Power-Operated Window Systems: rewiring of the 
power window system so that the window transport is inoperative when 
the front doors are open.
    Standard No. 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Vehicles other than 
Passenger Cars: installation of a tire information placard. The 
petitioner asserted that even though the tire rims lack a DOT 
certification marking, they comply with the standard, based on their 
manufacturer's certification that they comply with the German TUV 
regulations, as well as their certification by the British Standards 
Association and the Rim Association of Australia.
    Standard No. 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components: 
installation of interior locking buttons on all door locks and 
modification of rear door locks to disabled latch release controls when 
locking mechanism is engaged.
    Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: installation of a 
complying driver's side air bag and a seat belt warning buzzer. The 
petitioner asserted that the vehicle conforms to the standard's injury 
criteria at the front passenger position based on a test report from 
the vehicle's manufacturer.
    Standard No. 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages: insertion of 
instructions on the installation and use of child restraints in the 
owner's manual for the vehicle. The petitioner asserted that the 
vehicle is certified as complying with a European standard that 
contains more severe force application requirements than those of this 
standard.
    Standard No. 212 Windshield Retention: application of cement to the 
windshield's edges.
    The petitioner provided test data indicating that the vehicle 
satisfied the frontal barrier requirements of Standard No. 301 Fuel 
System Integrity. The petitioner also supplied data on a rear barrier 
crash at 31 mph with crash forces approximating those required by the 
standard. The data revealed that fuel leaked from the vent during the 
rollover that was conducted as part of this test. The petitioner 
installed a rollover valve in the fuel tank line to resolve that 
problem. The petitioner also stated that the vehicle should comply with 
the lateral impact test at the lower speed of 20 mph due to the 
reinforcing structure surrounding the fuel tank and the placement of 
the fuel lines inside the main frame of the vehicle. Based on its 
analysis of information provided by the petitioner, as well as its 
engineering judgment, the agency is satisfied that the vehicle will 
comply with the side impact requirements of Standard No. 301.
    No comments were received in response to the notice of the 
petition. Based on its review of the information submitted by the 
petitioner, NHTSA has determined to grant the petition.

Vehicle Eligibility Number for Subject Vehicles

    The importer of a vehicle admissible under any final determination 
must indicate on the form HS-7 accompanying entry the appropriate 
vehicle eligibility number indicating that the vehicle is eligible for 
entry. VCP #5 is the vehicle eligibility number assigned to vehicles 
admissible under this determination.

Final Determination

    Accordingly, on the basis of the foregoing, NHTSA hereby determines 
that 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994 Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen 300GE (long 
wheel base Type 463) MPVs are eligible for importation into the United 
States because they have safety features that comply with, or are 
capable of being modified to comply with, all applicable Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1397(c)(3)(A)(i)(II) and (C)(iii); 49 CFR 
593.8; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 501.8.

    Issued on: May 20, 1994.
William A. Boehly,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 94-12873 Filed 5-24-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-M

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