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Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance


American Government Topics:  Continental Tire

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
November 21, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 225 (Friday, November 21, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69554-69556]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-27585]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0107; Notice 1]


Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Receipt of Petition for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of Petition.

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SUMMARY: Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA) has determined that 
certain Continental General Altimax RT43 replacement tires do not fully 
comply with paragraphs S5.5(c) and (f) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light 
Vehicles. CTA has filed an appropriate report dated August 19, 2014, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is December 22, 
2014.

ADDRESSES: 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 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail: Send comments 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.
     Hand Deliver: Deliver comments by hand 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.
     Electronically: Submit comments 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 (202) 493-2251.

[[Page 69555]]

    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.

Supplementary Information:
    I. CTA's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see 
implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), CTA submitted a petition 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 CTA'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.
    II. Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 814 replacement 
tires that were manufactured for sale in the United States and Canada. 
CTA states that 181 of the replacement tires are still under their 
control. CTA further identified the tires as General Altimax RT43 brand 
195/65R15 91T passenger car tires and General Altimax RT43 brand 195/
65R15 91H passenger car tires.
    III. Noncompliance: CTA explains that the noncompliance is that due 
to a mold labeling error the sidewall markings on both tires 
incorrectly describe the maximum inflation pressure as required by 
paragraph 5.5 (c) and the actual number plies in the tread area of the 
tires as required by paragraph S5.5(f) of FMVSS No. 139. Specifically, 
the 195/65R15 91T General Altimax RT43 tires were manufactured with 
``Max Inflation Pressure: 350 kPa (51 PSI); Tread: 1 Polyester + 2 
Steel + 2 Polyamide.'' The correct labeling and stamping should have 
been ``Max Inflation Pressure: 300 kPa (44 PSI); Tread: 1 Polyester + 2 
Steel + 1 Polyamide.'' The 195/65R15 91H General Altimax RT43 tires 
were manufactured with ``Max Inflation Pressure 300 kPa (44 PSI); 
Tread: 1 Polyester + 2 Steel + 1 Polyamide.'' The correct labeling and 
stamping should have been ``Max Inflation Pressure 350 kPa (51 PSI); 
Tread: 1 Polyester + 2 Steel + 2 Polyamide.''
    V. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.5(c) and (f) 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 . . .
    (C) The maximum permissible inflation pressure, subject to the 
limitation of S5.5.4 through S5.5.6 of this standard;
    (f) The actual number of plies in the sidewall, and the actual 
number of plies in the tread area, if different;

    V. Summary of CTA's Analyses: CTA stated its belief that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for 
the following reasons:
    (A) Number of Plies: CTA believes that the mislabeling of the 
number of plies on the subject tires has no impact on the operational 
performance of the subject tires or on the safety of vehicles on which 
these tires are to be mounted. CTA states that the subject tires also 
meet or exceed all of the performance requirements specified by FMVSS 
No. 139.
    (B) Max Inflation Pressure: CTA believes that the choice of the 
maximum inflation pressure level is the decision of the tire 
manufacturer, as long as it is in compliance with the established 
values under FMVSS No. 139 paragraph S5.5.4. CTA also believes that the 
maximum inflation pressure values of 350 kPa and 300 kPa on both tires 
are acceptable choices and stated that both tires can accommodate a 
maximum pressure of 350 kPa (51 PSI.)
    (C) Overloading: CTA believes that the use of either of the maximum 
inflation pressures displayed on the subject tire sidewalls as the 
source of information for the recommended inflation pressure will not 
result in an overloading of the tires or their load carrying capacity. 
CTA says this is because both values (300 kPa and 350 kPa) are above 
the inflation pressure of 250 kPa (36 PSI) at which the tire's maximum 
load capacity is defined by the European Tyre and Rim Technical 
Organisation (ETRTO) standard.
    (C) Strength: CTA stated that each standard load tire has a 
specified tire strength requirement. Which is defined in paragraph S6.5 
of FMVSS No. 139 (and paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 109) and must be met 
whether the selected maximum permissible pressure marking value is 240 
kPa (35 PSI), 300 kPa (44 PSI), or 350 kPa (51 PSI). CTA believes that 
both of the subject tires meet this requirement.
    (D) Incidents: CTA stated that they are not aware of any crashes, 
injuries, customer complaints, or field reports associated with the 
subject noncompliance.
    (C) Previous Rulings: CTA made mention that NHTSA has previously 
granted tire companies inconsequentiality exemptions relating to errors 
in sidewall markings.
    CTA has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production of the subject tires comply 
with FMVSS No. 139.
    In summation, CTA believes that the described noncompliance of the 
subject tires is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its 
petition, to exempt CTA 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. Therefore, any decision on 
this petition only applies to the subject tires that CTA no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment 
distributors and dealers 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 CTA 
notified

[[Page 69556]]

them that the subject noncompliance existed.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 
49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe,
Acting Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2014-27585 Filed 11-20-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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