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Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Volkswagen CC, Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 95 (Thursday, May 18, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22869-22870]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-10091]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2017-0020; Notice 1]


Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., 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: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen), has determined 
that certain model year (MY) 2013-2017 Volkswagen CC and MY 2012-2017 
Volkswagen Tiguan motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 126, Electronic Stability Control 
Systems for Light Vehicles. Volkswagen filed a noncompliance report 
dated March 1, 2017. Volkswagen also petitioned NHTSA on March 2, 2017, 
for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is June 19, 2017.

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 Delivery: 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 https://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 https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    All comments and supporting materials 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 fullest 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 comments, background documentation, and supporting materials 
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 
https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for 
accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this petition is shown 
in the heading of this notice.
    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a 
Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Overview

    Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen), has determined that 
certain model year (MY) 2013-2017 Volkswagen CC and MY 2012-2017 
Volkswagen Tiguan motor vehicles do not fully comply with paragraph 
S5.3.3 of FMVSS No. 126, Electronic Stability Control Systems for Light 
Vehicles. Volkswagen filed a noncompliance report dated March 1, 2017, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports. Volkswagen also petitioned NHTSA on March 2, 2017, 
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 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.
    This notice of receipt of Volkswagen'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. Vehicles Involved

    Approximately 230,458 MY 2013-2017 Volkswagen CC motor vehicles, 
manufactured between January 19, 2012, and November 28, 2016, and MY 
2012-2017 Volkswagen Tiguan motor vehicles, manufactured between 
January 9, 2012 and February 28, 2017, are potentially involved.

III. Noncompliance

    Volkswagen explains that during an electronic stability control 
(ESC) malfunction in the subject vehicles, the ESC malfunction telltale 
illuminates as required by FMVSS No. 126 unless the steering angle 
sensor is the source of the malfunction. In the instance of a steering 
angle sensor malfunction the indicator telltale does not re-illuminate 
immediately after the vehicle ignition is reactivated as required by 
paragraph S5.3.3 of FMVSS No. 126. Specifically, the ESC malfunction 
telltale will only re-illuminate after the vehicle reaches a speed of 
1.2 mph.

IV. Rule Text

    Paragraph S5.3.3 of FMVSS No. 26 provides, in pertinent part:

    S5.3.3 As of September 1, 2011, except as provided in paragraphs 
S5.3.4, S5.3.5, S5.3.8, and S5.3.10, the ESC malfunction telltale 
must illuminate only when a malfunction(s) of the ESC system exists 
and must remain continuously illuminated under the conditions 
specified in S5.3 for as long as the malfunction exists (unless the 
``ESC malfunction'' and ``ESC off'' telltales are combined in a two-
part telltale and the ``ESC off'' telltale is illuminated), whenever 
the ignition locking system is in the ``On'' (``Run'') position . . 
.

V. Summary of Volkswagen's Petition

    Volkswagen submits that the condition described above is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety because the 
warning (ESC warning lamp) immediately re-illuminates when the vehicle 
starts to move and reaches 2 km/h or 1.2 mph.
    Further, the particular condition is limited to an ESC system fault 
caused by the steering angle sensor. For all other potential ESC system 
faults, the warning lamp illuminates as required with the next ignition 
key in the ``On'' (``Run'') position.

[[Page 22870]]

    Volkswagen 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.
    In a supplemental email from Volkswagen dated March 29, 2017, 
Volkswagen stated that the ESC warning light illuminates and stays on 
for the complete ignition cycle and does not turn off when the vehicle 
decelerates below 1.2 mph. However, the steering wheel warning light is 
constantly illuminated and is not turned off with ignition key cycle, 
which represents a substitutional warning. Volkswagen says that the 1.2 
mph (2km/h) threshold was used to prevent triggering of warning lamps 
when workshops work on steering components and turn the wheels during 
repairs with non-attached components/sensors etc. during the repair and 
causing erratic signals during such repairs. This ``repair aid 
threshold'' is in conflict with the FMVSS. Volkswagen also says, to 
clarify, all Tiguan and CC vehicles are affected that were built since 
the updated regulation went into effect (regulation refers to the 
specific vehicle production date, i.e. 2011-09-01). All CC and Tiguan's 
are fitted with the same ABS/ESC system.
    To view Volkswagen's petition analyses and any supplemental 
information in its entirety you can visit https://www.regulations.gov 
by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets and by 
using the docket ID number for this petition shown in the heading of 
this notice.
    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 vehicles that Volkswagen no 
longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance 
existed. However, any decision on 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 
Volkswagen 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. 2017-10091 Filed 5-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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