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


American Government Topics:  Cadillac CT6, Cadillac CTS, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac XTS

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

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
20 December 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 244 (Tuesday, December 20, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 92963-92964]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-30578]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0093; Notice 2]


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

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

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SUMMARY: General Motors, LLC (GM), has determined that certain model 
year (MY) 2016-2017 Cadillac CTS, CT6, XTS and Escalade motor vehicles 
do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems. GM filed a defect report dated 
August 17, 2016. GM then petitioned NHTSA on August 22, 2016, for a 
decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact Stu Seigel, 
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-5287, facsimile 
(202) 366-3081.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Overview

    General Motors, LLC (GM), has determined that certain model year 
(MY) 2016-2017 Cadillac CTS, CT6, XTS and Escalade motor vehicles do 
not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.5(a) of Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems. GM filed 
a defect report dated August 17, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, 
Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. GM then petitioned 
NHTSA on August 22, 2016, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) 
and their implementing regulations at 49 CFR part 556, for an exemption 
from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 
on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates 
to motor vehicle safety.
    Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on September 29, 2016, in the Federal Register 
(81 FR 67057). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) Web site at: https://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the 
online search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2016-0093.''

II. Vehicles Involved

    Affected are 46,205 of the following MY 2016-2017 Cadillac motor 
vehicles manufactured between March 10, 2015, and June 13, 2016.

     Cadillac CT6
     Cadillac CTS
     Cadillac Escalade
     Cadillac Escalade ESV
     Cadillac XTS

III. Noncompliance

    GM explains that the noncompliance is that when the parking brake 
is applied on the subject vehicles the indicator light that illuminates 
within the cluster does not meet the lettering height requirements as 
specified in paragraph S5.5.5(a) of FMVSS No. 135 and also referenced 
in table 1; column 1, of FMVSS No. 101. Specifically, the lettering 
height for the indicator on the subject vehicles is 2.44 mm when it 
should be a minimum height of 3.2 mm.

IV. Rule Text

    Paragraph S5.5.5(a) of FMVSS No. 135 states, in pertinent part:

    S5.5.5 Labeling. (a) Each visual indicator shall display a word 
or words in accordance with the requirements of Standard No. 101 (49 
CFR 571.101) and this section, which shall be legible to the driver 
under all daytime and nighttime conditions when activated. Unless 
otherwise specified, the words shall have letters not less than 3.2 
mm (\1/8\ inch) high and the letters and background shall be of 
contrasting colors, one of which is red . . .

V. Summary of GM's Petition

    GM described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that 
the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle 
safety.
    In support of its petition, GM submitted the following reasoning:
    (a) The park brake applied telltale (identified by the word 
``PARK'') is red in color contrasted against a black screen, as 
required by S5.5.5(a) and (d)(4), conspicuously located and readily 
visible at the top left-of-center position of the instrument panel 
cluster. Additionally, the four letters of the word ``PARK'' are all 
capitalized such

[[Page 92964]]

that the 2.44 mm height is preserved across the width of the word.
    (b) In addition to the park brake applied telltale required by 
FMVSS No. 135, all of the affected vehicles also have a driver 
information center (DIC) message ``Park Brake Set'' that illuminates 
when the parking brake is applied. The lettering height of this DIC 
message is 3.24 mm, greater than the 3.2 mm minimum specified for 
visual indicators in FMVSS No. 135. The DIC message is also 
substantially wider than the typical width of the telltale required by 
the standard. The redundant telltale and the DIC message, assure ample 
communication to the driver that the parking brake is applied.
    (c) The operation and performance of the park brake itself is 
unaffected by this telltale condition. The park brake complies with all 
applicable requirements of FMVSS No. 135.
    (d) The NHTSA has previously granted inconsequential treatment for 
labeling issues across various motor vehicle safety standards, 
including for discrepancies involving lettering height, missing 
information, incorrect information, and misplaced or obscured 
information. For example, two comparable petitions for inconsequential 
treatment involving brake telltale lettering height were granted to Kia 
and Hyundai (reference Docket numbers ``NHTSA-2004-17439'', Notice 2 
and ``NHTSA-2004-17439'' (sic), Notice 2, published in the Federal 
Register on July 8, 2004, and July 9, 2004, respectively). The Kia 
petition cited multiple previous petitions for inconsequential 
treatment for brake telltale noncompliance granted by NHTSA, and we ask 
to incorporate them here by reference.
    (e) After searching VOQ, TREAD and internal GM databases, GM is not 
aware of any crashes, injuries, or customer complaints associated with 
this condition.
    (f) GM has corrected this condition in production. All vehicles 
produced after June 13, 2016, comply with the telltale lettering height 
specified in FMVSS No. 135.
    GM concluded by expressing the belief that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, 
and that its petition to be exempted from providing notification of the 
noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the 
noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted.

NHTSA'S Decision

    NHTSA's Analysis: NHTSA has reviewed GM's analysis that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Specifically, 
the lettering height for the park brake applied indicator ``Park'' at 
2.44 mm versus the FMVSS No. 135 requirement of 3.2 mm poses little if 
any risk to motor vehicle safety. This decision is based on the 
following:
    1. The subject vehicles appear to meet all of the other parking 
brake indicator labeling requirements as specified in S5.5.5 of FMVSS 
No. 135. If a separate indicator is provided for application of the 
parking brake, the single word ``Park'' or the words ``Parking Brake'' 
may be used. GM has opted to comply with this section by use of the 
single word ``PARK'' and has capitalized all four letters of the word 
providing a more pronounced indicator. The indicator used is legible to 
the driver under all daytime and nighttime conditions when activated. 
The indicator is conspicuously located in the top left-of-center 
position on the instrument panel which is in front of and in clear view 
of the driver. The ``Park'' indicator is red in color when illuminated 
and has a black contrasting background. All of these required features 
help ensure that the indicator can be seen and recognized by the driver 
when illuminated.
    2. The affected vehicles are equipped with a driver information 
center which is located in the instrument cluster and adjacent to the 
speedometer, in direct view of the driver. When the parking brake is 
applied, the FMVSS No. 135 required ``PARK'' indicator is illuminated. 
Simultaneously, in addition to the ``PARK'' indicator, the information 
center provides a message that the parking brake is activated with the 
wording ``Park Brake Set.'' GM stated that the height of this message 
is 3.24 mm and is substantially wider than the typical width of the 
required indicators. Illumination of both the ``PARK'' indicator 
combined with the information center statement ``Park Brake Set'' 
provides ample communication to the driver that the parking brake has 
been applied.
    NHTSA'S Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA decided 
that GM has met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 135 
noncompliance in the affected vehicles is inconsequential to motor 
vehicle safety. Accordingly, GM's petition is hereby granted and GM is 
consequently exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, 
and a free remedy for, that noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 
30120.
    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, this decision 
only applies to the subject vehicles that GM no longer controlled at 
the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the 
granting of this petition does not relieve vehicle distributors and 
dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or 
introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of 
the noncompliant vehicles under their control after GM 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. 2016-30578 Filed 12-19-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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