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PACCAR, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Kenworth, Peterbilt

PACCAR, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
18 January 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 18, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5638-5639]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-01003]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0075; Notice 2]


PACCAR, Inc., 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: PACCAR, Inc. (PACCAR), has determined that certain Peterbilt 
and Kenworth trucks do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective devices, and 
Associated Equipment. PACCAR filed a noncompliance report dated June 
11, 2015, that was later revised on June 12, 2015. PACCAR also 
petitioned NHTSA on July 9, 2015, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact Mike Cole, 
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-2334, facsimile 
(202) 366-5930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Overview

    PACCAR, Inc. (PACCAR), has determined that certain Peterbilt and

[[Page 5639]]

Kenworth trucks do not fully comply with paragraph S9.3.2 of Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective 
devices, and Associated Equipment. PACCAR filed a noncompliance report 
dated June 11, 2015, that was later revised on June 12, 2015, pursuant 
to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and 
Reports. PACCAR also petitioned NHTSA on July 9, 2015, pursuant to 49 
U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 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 to motor vehicle safety.
    Notice of receipt of PACCAR's petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on September 25, 2015 in the Federal Register 
(80 FR 57911). One comment was received. To view the petition, comments 
and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the 
online search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2015-0075.''

II. Trucks Involved

    Affected are approximately 197 MY 2015-2016 Kenworth K270 and K370 
manufactured between November 11, 2014 and March 18, 2015 and MY 2015-
2016 Peterbilt 220 manufactured between November 10, 2014 and March 18, 
2015.

III. Noncompliance

    PACCAR explains that due to a programming error in the cab 
controller software in the subject trucks, the turn signal pilot 
indicator located on the instrument panel flashes twice as fast as the 
turn signals flash, and therefore does not meet the requirements of 
paragraph S9.3.2 of FMVSS No. 108.

IV. Rule Text

    Paragraph S9.3.2 of FMVSS No. 108 requires in pertinent part


    S9.3.2 The indicator must consist of one or more lights flashing 
at the same frequency as the turn signal lamps.

V. Summary of PACCAR's Position

    PACCAR stated its belief that the subject noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. PACCAR states that the purpose 
of the turn signal pilot indicator is to assure that the vehicle 
operator can determine whether the turn signal system is activated. 
Thus, PACCAR believes that the pilot indicators in the subject trucks 
fully accomplishes that purpose; i.e., they flash when the turn signal 
is activated, and they cease flashing when the turn signal is 
deactivated (either manually or automatically).
    PACCAR reviewed the agency's decisions on petitions for 
inconsequentiality in connection with various noncompliances with turn 
signal requirements. While PACCAR did not find any prior decisions that 
are similar to this noncompliance, PACCAR believes that NHTSA has 
granted previous petitions in connection with turn signal noncompliance 
that carried potentially greater safety risks.
    PACCAR is not aware of any crashes or injuries associated with the 
noncompliance and it has not received any consumer complaints or 
warranty claims related to this issue.
    PACCAR additionally informed NHTSA that after the noncompliance was 
discovered, all production of the noncompliant trucks in PACCAR's 
possession was put on hold until the software error could be corrected.
    In summation, PACCAR believes that the described noncompliance of 
the subject trucks is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that 
its petition, to exempt PACCAR 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's Decision

    Comments Received: One comment was received from Mr. Bryan Branson 
who supported granting this petition. Mr. Branson explained that 
because the in-cab warning to the driver is there and working, this 
noncompliance causes no safety hazard to the motoring public. Mr. 
Branson also believed that a recall for this issue would be a costly 
and difficult burden to the truck owner if they had to take the unit 
out of service to repair this issue.
    NHTSA's Analysis: As noted by PACCAR, the (exterior mounted) turn 
signal lamps on the affected vehicles comply with all requirements of 
FMVSS No. 108. As such, surrounding traffic and pedestrians would be 
unaffected by the noncompliance and would be notified of the driver's 
intention to make a turn when the affected vehicle's turn signals are 
activated. The person solely affected by the noncompliance would be the 
individual driver of the vehicle. When the turn signal lamps are 
activated, the driver will still be receiving the required notification 
that the vehicle's turn signals are flashing, albeit at twice the 
required rate. This could be seen as a minor annoyance to the driver; 
however, the agency does not believe that this would distract the 
driver or cause the driver to refrain from using the turn signal lamps 
to indicate his intention to turn. Thus, the agency does not believe 
that this is a safety issue.
    Further, PACCAR indicated that most of the trucks in this 
population are covered by another recall (15V-206) and the remedy for 
that recall will include a software reflash that will correct the turn 
signal indicator lamp flash rate at the same time. As such, we believe 
that truck owners will be afforded a correction for this issue at their 
truck's next service visit or when receiving the remedy to the 
aforementioned recall.
    NHTSA's Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds 
that PACCAR has met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 
108 noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. 
Accordingly, PACCAR's petition is hereby granted and PACCAR is exempted 
from the obligation of providing notification of, and remedy for the 
subject noncompliance.
    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 PACCAR 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 PACCAR 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. 2017-01003 Filed 1-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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