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General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Topics:  Chevrolet Malibu, Buick Regal

General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
September 17, 2013

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 180 (Tuesday, September 17, 2013)]
[Pages 57216-57218]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22561]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0165; Notice 1]

General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petition.


SUMMARY: General Motors, LLC (GM) \1\ has determined that certain model 
year (MY) 2011 through 2013 Buick Regal and MY 2013 Chevrolet Malibu 
passenger cars may not fully comply with the telltale bulb outage 
requirement found in paragraph S5.5.6 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated 
Equipment. GM has filed an appropriate report dated October 3, 2012, 
pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports.

    \1\ General Motors, LLC is a manufacturer of motor vehicles and 
is registered under the laws of the state of Michigan.

DATES: October 17, 2013.

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 be 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail: Send 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.
    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

[[Page 57217]]

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.

    I. GM's petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see 
implementing rule at 49 CFR Part 556), GM 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 GM'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.
    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, these provisions 
only apply to the 109,563 \2\ vehicles that GM no longer controlled at 
the time it determined that the noncompliance existed.

    \2\ GM's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR Part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt GM as a motor vehicle 
manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 
CFR Part 573 for the 109,563 affected vehicles. However, a decision 
on this petition cannot relieve vehicle distributors and dealers of 
the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, introduction or 
delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the 
noncompliant motor vehicles under their control after GM notified 
them that the subject noncompliance existed.

    II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 109,563 MY 2011 
through 2013 Buick Regal and MY 2013 Chevrolet Malibu passenger cars 
manufactured from January 20, 2010 through September 18, 2012.
    III. Noncompliance: GM explains that the subject vehicles are 
equipped with front turn signals, each of which incorporates two light 
sources. When both light sources of either front turn signal fail, bulb 
outage indication is provided as required by paragraph S5.5.6 of FMVSS 
No. 108. However, bulb outage indication is not provided if only one of 
the light sources fails in either front turn signal assembly. If a 
single bulb fails to illuminate, the turn signal is still illuminated 
by the other bulb.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.5.6 of FMVSS No. 108 specifically 

    S5.5.6 Each vehicle equipped with a turn signal operating unit 
shall also have an illuminated pilot indicator. Failure of one or 
more turn signal lamps to operate shall be indicated in accordance 
with SAE Standard J588e, Turn Signal Lamps, September 1970 . . .

    V. Summary of GM'S Analyses: GM stated its belief that the lack of 
bulb outage indication is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for 
the following reasons:
    1. As delivered to the customer the turn signal lamps function 
properly and meet all requirements of FMVSS No. 108. This is not a 
situation where the photometric output of the turn signals fails to 
meet the requirements as delivered to the customer. In fact, the light 
output of the normally operating turn signals greatly exceeds the 
photometric requirements as produced.
    2. Most drivers will never be affected by the reduction of 
photometric output, without outage indication as a result of a single 
front bulb failure, because the failure rate of the turn signal bulb is 
extremely low. The bulb life of these turn signals is three to four 
times the life of the bulbs used in turn signals when the bulb outage 
indication requirement was incorporated into the standard. The bulbs 
used in the subject front turn signals have a tested life of 1,100 
hours at 12.8 volts. Using this information in a Monte Carlo simulation 
analysis provides the following results:

Years...........................................             2.5             5.0             7.5            10.0
Miles...........................................          31,250          62,500          93,750         125,000
No. of Burnouts.................................               0               0               1               4
SIM Vehicles....................................          10,000          10,000          10,000          10,000
Failure IPTV....................................           0.000           0.000           0.400           4.000

    Consequently, it is extremely unlikely a driver will experience a 
single turn signal bulb failure over the life of the vehicle, and thus 
the lack of outage indication, with a single bulb failure, is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.

    3. With a single bulb, the turn signal still functions and provides 
perceptible indication that the vehicle may be turning. In the 
extremely remote case that both light sources were to fail, in either 
front turn signal, bulb outage is indicated as required by the 
    4. In the Malibu vehicle, if an outboard front turn bulb is not 
working, the inboard bulb continues to meet the photometric 
requirements. In this case, the centroid of the light shifts and is 
greater than 100 mm from the lit edge of the low beam head lamp. The 
light output of the inboard bulb easily meets the minimum photometric 
requirements specified in FMVSS No. 108.
    5. If the inboard bulb burns out on the Malibu, or either bulb on 
the Regal, the remaining lamp continues to provide light which meets 
the photometric requirements in some zones, and comes close to the 
requirements in most of the remaining zones. This light exceeds the 
standard turn signal photometric requirements, but due to the location 
of the turn signal (i.e., the turn signal centroid within 100 mm of the 
lit edge of the low beam lamp) the 2.5 multiplier must be applied to 
photometric requirements.
    a. For the Malibu turn signal lamps, the photometric requirements 
with the 2.5 multiplier, are met in three of the five zones; and are 
within 25% of the requirements in a 4th zone.

[[Page 57218]]

    b. For the Regal turn signal lamps, the photometric requirements 
with the 2.5 multiplier, are met in two of the five zones; and are 
within 25% of the requirements in two other zones. The Malibu and Regal 
turn signal lamps provide the required light under normal driving 
conditions. In the unlikely circumstance that a single bulb stops 
functioning, the remaining bulb continues to provide the minimum turn 
signal light specified in the standard and is generally within 25% of 
the minimum required light after the 2.5 multiplier is applied. In the 
case of these vehicles, GM's analysis indicates the light provided by 
the single bulb is perceptible to the motoring public.
    GM has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production vehicles will comply with 
FMVSS No. 108.
    In summation, GM believes that the described noncompliance of its 
vehicles 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 should be granted.

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

Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-22561 Filed 9-16-13; 8:45 am]

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