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Tireco, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Tireco

Tireco, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
June 24, 2015

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 121 (Wednesday, June 24, 2015)]
[Pages 36406-36407]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-15425]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0028; Notice 1]

Tireco, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential 

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

ACTION: Receipt of Petition.


SUMMARY: Tireco, Inc. (Tireco) has determined that certain Milestar 
brand replacement medium truck tires do not fully comply with paragraph 
S6.5(j), and in some cases also paragraph S6.5(d), of Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, New Pneumatic Tires for 
Vehicles with a GVWR of More Than 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 Pounds) and 
Motorcycles. Tireco has filed an appropriate report dated February 5, 
2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is July 24, 2015.

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.
    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.

    I. Tireco's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) 
(see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Tireco 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. In a letter dated May 7, 2015, 
Tireco also submitted a supplement to its petition.
    This notice of receipt of Tireco'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. Replacement Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 31,316 
Milestar brand medium truck replacement tires that were imported by 
Tireco and manufactured by Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co, LTD in China 
between June 3, 2013 and January 25, 2015. Refer to Tireco's 49 CFR 
part 573 report for detailed descriptions of the affected tires.
    III. Noncompliance: Tireco states that the subject tires do not 
comply with paragraph S6.5(j) of FMVSS No. 119 because they are marked 
the letter ``J'' instead of the letter ``L'' to designate the tire's 
load range, or are not marked with any load range letter. In addition, 
some of the affected tires also do not fully comply with paragraph 
S6.5(d) of FMVSS No. 119 because, while the proper maximum load ratings 
and pressures are specified correctly on the sidewalls for both single 
and dual applications, both ratings are identified as ``DUAL.'' The 
first rating should have been identified as ``SINGLE.''
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S6.5 of FMVSS No. 119 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S6.5 Tire markings. Except as specified in this paragraph, each 
tire shall be marked on each sidewall with the information specified 
in paragraphs (a) through (j) of this section. The markings shall be 
placed between the maximum section width (exclusive of sidewall 
decorations or curb ribs) and the bead on at least one sidewall, 
unless the maximum section width of the tire is located in an area 
which is not more than one-fourth of the distance from the bead to 
the shoulder of the tire. If the maximum section width falls within 
that area, the markings shall appear between the bead and a point 
one-half the distance from the bead to the shoulder of the tire, on 
at least one sidewall. The markings shall be in letters and numerals 
not less than 2 mm (0.078 inch) high and raised above or sunk below 
the tire surface not less than 0.4 mm (0.015 inch), except that the 
marking depth shall be not less than 0.25mm (0.010 inch) in the case 
of motorcycle tires. The tire identification and the DOT symbol 
labeling shall comply with part 574 of this chapter. Markings may 
appear on only one sidewall and the entire sidewall area may be used 
in the case of motorcycle tires and recreational, boat, baggage, and 
special trailer tires. . . .

[[Page 36407]]

    (d) The maximum load rating and corresponding inflation pressure 
of the tire, show as follows:
    (Mark on tires rated for single and dual load): Max load single 
__kg (__lb) at __kPa (__psi) cold. Max load dual __kg (__lb) at 
__kPa (__psi) cold.
    (Mark on tires rated only for single load): Max load __kg (__lb) 
at __kPa (__psi) cold. . . .
    (j) The letter designating the tire load range.

    V. Summary of Tireco's Analyses: Tireco believes that the absence 
of the load range marking on some of the subject tires causes little or 
no risk of overloading of the tires by an end-user because the tires 
are marked with the correct number of plies, the correct load index and 
the correct maximum load values which Tireco believes provide 
equivalent information. Tireco also states that it has found one 
previous inconsequential noncompliance petition (see 79 FR 78562 
(December 30, 2014)) in which the agency addressed the issue of a 
missing load range marking and believes that the agency should apply 
the same rationale in the case of the its petition.
    In the case of the subset of affected tires marked with the 
incorrect load range letter ``J,'' Tireco believes there is no safety 
consequence since the tires actually were designed and manufactured to 
be stronger than load range ``J'' tires (which are constructed with two 
fewer plies). Thus, there is no risk that the incorrect marking would 
lead to overloading by an end-user. Moreover, the paper label attached 
to each of the tires, which must remain attached until the time of 
sale, contains the correct load range information, so there is little, 
if any, possibility that a purchaser will be misled.
    In the case of the subset of affected tires that can be used in 
single or dual configuration, Tireco believes that the fact that both 
of the ratings were labeled as applicable to ``DUAL'' applications 
cannot realistically create a safety problem. Particularly since the 
tires are correctly marked with the correct maximum load capacity and 
inflation pressure in accordance with The Tire and Rim Association 2014 
Year Book. Tireco also believes that any prospective purchaser of these 
tires, any operator of a truck equipped with these tires, and any tire 
retailer would immediately recognize that the first rating, ``1800Kg 
(3970LBS) AT 760 KPa (110 PSI) COLD,'' applies to the ``single'' 
configuration, and the second rating, ``1700Kg (3750LBS) AT 760 kPa 
(110 PSI) COLD,'' applies to the ``dual'' configuration. Such persons 
are fully aware that for all medium truck tires designed to be used in 
both single and dual configurations, the maximum load and corresponding 
pressure applicable to the single configuration is listed above the 
information applicable to the dual configuration. Such persons also 
would be aware that there could be no valid reason to have two 
different maximum loads for the dual configuration, and thus would 
immediately understand that the first load rating was meant to apply 
when the tire was utilized in a single configuration. Moreover, since 
the applicable inflation pressure is the same for both configurations, 
there is no risk that the mismarking would cause an operator to 
improperly inflate any of the tires. Tireco states that when a tire is 
designed for use in both single and dual configurations, FMVSS No. 119 
requires that compliance testing be conducted based on the higher, more 
punishing tire load. Accordingly, Tireco believes that the tires will 
perform safely in both configurations. Tireco also believes that this 
principle was relied upon in grants of two similar petitions filed by 
Michelin North America, Inc. See 71 FR 77092 (December 22, 2006) and 69 
FR 62512 (October 26, 2004).
    In addition, Tireco stated its belief that all of tires covered by 
this petition meet or exceed the performance requirements of FMVSS No. 
119, as well as the other labeling requirements of the standard.
    Tireco is not aware of any crashes, injuries, customer complaints, 
or field reports associated with the subject mislabelings.
    As soon as Tireco became aware of the noncompliance, it immediately 
isolated the noncompliant inventory in Tireco's warehouses to prevent 
any additional sales. Tireco will bring all of the noncompliant tires 
into full compliance with the requirements of FMVSS No. 119, or else 
the tires will be scrapped. Tireco also believes that the fabricating 
manufacturer has corrected the molds at the manufacturing plant, so no 
additional tires will be manufactured with the noncompliance.
    In summation, Tireco believes that the described noncompliance of 
the subject tires is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that 
its petition, to exempt Tireco 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 Tireco 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 Tireco 
notified 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 Giuseppe,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2015-15425 Filed 6-23-15; 8:45 am]

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