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Mack Trucks, Inc., and Volvo Trucks North America, Grant of Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance


American Government Trucking Topics:  Mack, Volvo

Mack Trucks, Inc., and Volvo Trucks North America, Grant of Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Otto G. Matheke III
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
11 December 2019


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67766-67768]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26685]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0029; NHTSA-2019-0030; Notice 2]


Mack Trucks, Inc., and Volvo Trucks North America, Grant of 
Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of petitions.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Mack Trucks Inc., (Mack) and Volvo Trucks North America 
(Volvo) have determined that certain model year (MY) 2014-2019 Mack 
Trucks and certain MY 2014-2019 Volvo Trucks do not comply with Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 101, Controls and Displays. Both 
Mack and Volvo filed noncompliance reports dated August 16, 2018, and 
later amended them on August 23, 2018, and June 2, 2019. Both Mack and 
Volvo subsequently petitioned NHTSA on October 9, 2018, and later 
amended their respective petitions on May 29, 2019, for a decision that 
the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor 
vehicle safety. This notice announces grant of both Mack and Volvo's 
petitions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Finneran, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, NHTSA, telephone (202) 366-5289, facsimile (202) 
366-3081.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview

    Mack and Volvo have determined that certain MY 2014-2019 Mack 
Trucks and that certain MY 2014-2019 Volvo Trucks do not comply with 
Table 2 of FMVSS 101, Controls and Displays (49 CFR 571.101). Both Mack 
and Volvo filed noncompliance reports dated August 16, 2018, and later 
amended

[[Page 67767]]

them on August 23, 2018, and June 2, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, 
Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Both Mack and 
Volvo subsequently petitioned NHTSA on October 9, 2018, and later 
amended their petitions on May 29, 2019, 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, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR 
part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance.
    Notice of receipt of Mack's and Volvo's petitions was published 
with a 30-day public comment period on August 21, 2019, in the Federal 
Register (84 FR 43663). No comments were received.

II. Vehicles Involved

    Approximately 95,000 MY 2014-2019 Mack Anthem, Granite, LR, 
Pinnacle, TerraPro, and Titan Trucks, manufactured between September 1, 
2013, and August 13, 2018, are potentially involved.
    Approximately 130,000 MY 2014-2019 Volvo VAH, VHD, VNL, VNM, VNR 
VNX, and VT Trucks, manufactured between September 1, 2013, and August 
13, 2018, are potentially involved.

III. Noncompliance

    Mack and Volvo explained that the noncompliance is that the Low 
Brake Air Pressure telltale for air brake systems does not display the 
words ``Brake Air,'' as specified in Table 2 of FMVSS No. 101. The 
subject Mack vehicles include various combinations of low air 
telltales, pressure gauges, and available alerts, and the subject Volvo 
vehicles include both visual and audible warnings that are not an exact 
match to the ``Brake Air'' telltale requirement.

IV. Rule Requirements

    Paragraphs S5 and S5.2.1 of FMVSS No. 101 include the requirements 
relevant to these petitions. Each passenger car, multipurpose passenger 
vehicle, truck and bus that is fitted with a control, a telltale, or an 
indicator listed in Table 1 or Table 2 must meet the requirements of 
FMVSS No. 101 for the location, identification, color, and illumination 
of that control, telltale or indicator.
    Each control, telltale and indicator that is listed in column 1 of 
Table 1 or Table 2 must be identified by the symbol specified for it in 
column 2 or the word or abbreviation specified for it in column 3 of 
Table 1 or Table 2.

V. Summary of Petition

    Mack and Volvo both described the subject noncompliance and stated 
its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to 
motor vehicle safety.
    Mack and Volvo submitted the following views and arguments in 
support of the petitions:
    1. Both Mack and Volvo provide a visual and audible alarm along 
with air pressure gauges and feel that their vehicles, even though non-
compliant, meet the intent of the regulation to provide a clear and 
visible warning to the driver when the air pressure in the service 
reservoir system is below 60 psi.
    2. For Mack Granite, Pinnacle, and Titan model vehicles that are 
2018 and earlier, the display includes two gauges and a red low air 
pressure indicator lamp for each gauge. When a low air pressure 
situation occurs, the driver is warned through the gauge, a red 
indicator lamp in each gauge, and an audible warning.
    3. For Mack LR model vehicles, two pressure gauges, a low air 
telltale, a popup in the display, and an audible alarm are provided.
    4. For Mack TerraPro model vehicles, pressure gauges, a low air 
telltale, and an audible alarm are provided.
    5. In 2019 and later Anthem, Pinnacle, and Granite model vehicles, 
pressure gauges, a low air pressure pop-up (System Air Pressure is 
Low), and an audible alarm are provided.
    6. For Volvo, 2014-2019 models, the display includes two gauges and 
a red low air pressure indicator lamp for each gauge. When a low air 
pressure situation occurs, the driver is warned through the gauge, a 
red indicator lamp in each gauge, and an audible warning. On all models 
and model years, a pop-up (Low System Air Pressure) is provided in 
addition to the gauges, a low-pressure indicator, and an audible alarm.
    Both Mack and Volvo concluded by expressing the belief that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle 
safety, and that their petitions 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.

VI. NHTSA's Consideration

    Any manufacturer that determines a noncompliance to exist and 
intends to petition the agency, pursuant to 49 CFR part 556.4(c), must 
submit their petition no later than 30 days after such determination. 
Both Mack and Volvo submitted their petitions 25 days past the 30-day 
requirement. However, due to the nature of the noncompliance and 
considering that the agency has previously granted similar 
inconsequential noncompliance petitions, in this case, the agency has 
decided to accept both Mack and Volvo's petitions.

VII. NHTSA's Analysis

    NHTSA has considered the arguments presented by Mack and Volvo and 
has determined that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety. NHTSA believes that the subject noncompliance 
poses no risk to motor vehicle safety for the reasons discussed below:
    1. When a low air pressure situation exists, each vehicle has a low 
system air pressure indicator illuminated in red with a black 
background. There are no requirements in FMVSS No. 101 for the color of 
the telltale but the petitioner's use of red, which is an accepted 
color representing an urgent condition, provides a definitive 
indication of a situation that needs attention.
    2. Simultaneous to the illumination of the low system air pressure 
indicators is activation of an audible alert, further notifying the 
operator that a malfunction exists, requiring corrective action. 
Although the alert would not, in and of itself, identify the problem, a 
driver would be prompted by the warning tone to heed the other 
indicators.
    3. In a low-pressure situation, the operator is provided additional 
feedback by the primary and secondary instrument cluster air gauges 
which are marked with numerical values in PSI units with red shading 
denoting the low-pressure range.
    4. The Agency believes that the functionality of the parking brake 
system and the braking performance of the service brake system remain 
unaffected by the use of multiple different indicators and audible 
alerts instead of the words ``Brake Air'' on the subject vehicles.
    5. Lastly, NHTSA believes that, as the affected trucks are 
predominately used as commercial vehicles with professional drivers, 
operators will monitor their vehicle's condition and take note of any 
warning signs and gauge readings to ensure proper functionality of all 
systems. Also, professional drivers will become familiar with the 
meaning of the telltales and other warnings and the feedback provided 
to the driver in these vehicles, if a low brake pressure condition 
exists, would be well understood.

[[Page 67768]]

    NHTSA concludes that simultaneous activation of the red low air 
pressure indicators, an audible alert for a low air pressure condition, 
along with the primary and secondary air gauge indicators, provide 
adequate notification to the operator that a brake malfunction exists.

VIII. NHTSA's Decision

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds that Mack and Volvo 
have met their burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 101 
noncompliance is, in each case, inconsequential as it relates to motor 
vehicle safety. Accordingly, Mack and Volvo's petitions are hereby 
granted, and they are exempted from the obligation to provide 
notification of and remedy for, the subject noncompliance in the 
affected vehicles 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 vehicle that Mack and Volvo 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 Mack 
and Volvo 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)

Otto G. Matheke III,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2019-26685 Filed 12-10-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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