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Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance


American Government Topics:  Cooper Tire

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
25 March 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 58 (Friday, March 25, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16268-16269]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-06730]



[[Page 16268]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0002; Notice 1]


Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, 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: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper), has determined that 
certain Cooper tires do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New pneumatic 
radial tires for light vehicles. Cooper filed a report dated January 8, 
2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports. Cooper then petitioned NHTSA under 49 CFR 
part 556 requesting a decision that the subject noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is April 25, 2016.

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 in the title of this notice and be 
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 comments you have submitted by mail 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.
    The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received 
before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will 
be filed in the docket 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 
also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority 
indicated at the end of this notice.
    All documents submitted to the 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. The docket ID number for this 
petition is shown at the heading of this notice.
    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    I. Overview: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see 
implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Cooper 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 Cooper'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 338 Cooper 
Discoverer A/T3 size 265/70R18 Standard Load Tubeless Radial tires that 
were manufactured between September 27, 2015 and October 3, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: Cooper explains that the DOT serial week and 
year appears upside down and backwards in the tire identification 
number (TIN) molded into the outboard sidewalls of the subject tires 
and those tires therefore do not meet the requirements specified in 
paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S5.5.1 Tire Identification Number.
    . . .
    (b) Tires manufactured on or after September 1, 2009. Each tire 
must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 
CFR part 574 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire. Except 
for retreaded tires, either the tire identification number or a 
partial tire identification number, containing all characters in the 
tire identification number, except for the date code and, at the 
discretion of the manufacturer, any optional code, must be labeled 
on the other sidewall of the tire. Except for retreaded tires, if a 
tire does not have an intended outboard sidewall, the tire must be 
labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 
574 on one sidewall and with either the tire identification number 
or a partial tire identification number, containing all characters 
in the tire identification number except for the date code and, at 
the discretion of the manufacturer, any optional code, on the other 
side wall.

    V. Summary of Cooper's Petition: Cooper believes that this 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Cooper submitted the following 
information and analysis of the subject noncompliance:
    1. Cooper cited paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139, which 
requires tires manufactured on or after September 1, 2009 to be labeled 
with the TIN required by 49 CFR part 574 on the intended outboard 
sidewall of the tire.
    2. Cooper also noted that 49 CFR 574.5 states that ``[e]ach tire 
manufacturer shall conspicuously label on one sidewall of each tire it 
manufactures . . . a tire identification number containing the 
information set forth in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section.'' 
The company further noted that 49 CFR 574.5(d) specifies that ``[t]he 
fourth grouping, consisting of four numerical symbols, must identify 
the week and year of manufacture,'' with the first two symbols 
identifying the week and the last two identifying the year.
    3. Cooper stated that the subject tires, on the outboard side only, 
were molded with an upside down and backwards DOT serial week and year. 
The serial number stamping should read: ``DOT UPH4 1A6 3915.'' The 
outboard side, which includes the date code, was molded with the date 
code information oriented incorrectly upside down and backwards, which 
resulted in the characters being out of proper sequence.
    4. Cooper explained that the existence of the stamping error was 
determined by visual examination of a subject tire on October 21, 2015 
by warehouse personnel in Grand Prairie, TX. Upon further 
investigation, it was determined that only tires cured in one press

[[Page 16269]]

location (E10L) during one production week (3915) were affected. Tires 
with the same SKU code were also curing in another press (Z11L), but 
these tires were stamped correctly. Cooper stated that sorting of its 
internal inventories revealed that for curing press E10L, during DOT 
serial week 3915, there was a total net cure of 518 tires, of which 180 
tires have been accounted for in its warehouse. There were 338 tires 
distributed. Cooper made the final determination that a noncompliance 
exists as to those 338 tires on January 6, 2015.
    5. Cooper states that the 338 subject tires do meet and/or exceed 
all performance requirements and all other labeling and marking 
requirements of FMVSS No. 139.
    Furthermore, Cooper is not aware of any crashes, injuries, customer 
complaints, or field reports associated with the subject tires.
    Cooper has informed NHTSA that the subject tires located in its 
inventory count reconciliation have been returned to the company's 
Findlay, OH plant, where they will be corrected prior to being released 
for sale.
    In summation, Cooper believes that the described noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to 
exempt Cooper from providing recall notification of the noncompliance, 
as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and remedying the 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 Cooper 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 Cooper 
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 M. Giuseppe,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2016-06730 Filed 3-24-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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