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Cosco, Inc.; Receipt of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Cosco

Cosco, Inc.; Receipt of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

L. Robert Shelton
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
February 20, 1998

[Federal Register: February 20, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 34)]
[Notices]               
[Page 8735-8736]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20fe98-118]

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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. NHTSA-97-3194; Notice 1]

 
Cosco, Inc.; Receipt of Application for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

    Cosco, Incorporated of Columbus, Indiana, has determined that 
several models of the Touriva convertible child restraint system fail 
to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, 
``Child Restraint Systems,'' (49 CFR 571.213) and has filed an 
appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, ``Defects and 
Noncompliance Reports.'' Cosco has also petitioned to be exempted from 
the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301--
``Motor Vehicle Safety'' on the basis that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
    This notice of receipt of a petition is published under 49 U.S.C. 
30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or other 
exercise of judgement concerning the merits of the petition.
    FMVSS No. 213, Paragraph S5.7 requires that each material used in a 
child restraint system shall conform to the requirements of S4 of FMVSS 
No. 302, ``Flammability of Interior Materials.'' This requires that any 
material that does not adhere to other material(s) at every point of 
contact shall meet the burn rate requirements of S4.3 when tested 
separately. Materials are to be tested as a composite only if the 
material adheres to other material(s) at every point of contact.
    After testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(NHTSA) and notification to Cosco, the company confirmed through its 
own investigation that it manufactured and distributed 148,098 Touriva 
convertible child restraint systems between April 1994 and June 1996, 
of which 82,176 have covers that incorporate an additional polyester 
fiberfill pillow which may not meet the flammability requirements of 
FMVSS Nos. 213 and 302. The Cosco child restraints affected and the 
dates of production are as follows: Touriva Overhead Shield Accu-Just 
(Model 02-025; 3/95 to 6/96); Touriva Luxury

[[Page 8736]]

Overhead Shield AccuJust (Model 02-045; 2/95 to 6/96); Touriva Overhead 
Shield (Model 02-034; 4/94 to 6/96); Touriva Overhead Shield Accu-Just 
(Model 02-054; 4/94 to 6/96); Touriva 5 point (Model 02-564; 3/95 to 6/
96); Touriva Overhead Shield (Model 02-055; 1/95 to 6/96); Touriva 
Luxury Overhead Shield (Model 02-065; 3/95 to 6/96); Olympian Overhead 
Shield (Model 02-257; 6/96); Touriva 5 point (Model 02-597; 6/96); 
Touriva Safe T-Shield (Model 02-096; 4/96 to 6/96); and Touriva 
Overhead Shield Accu-Just (Model 02-064; 1/95 to 6/96). All of the 
models listed are convertible child restraints incorporating the same 
shell design and a pillow in the head contact area, but the different 
models are a combination of restraint types, cover designs, and 
options. In each of the affected models, a polyester fiberfill is 
utilized to form the pillow in the head area of the cover, and it is 
this polyester fiberfill material which exceeded the 4 inches per 
minute burn rate when tested in accordance with S5 of FMVSS No. 302. In 
its investigation, Cosco found burn rates ranging from 17.3 inches per 
minute to 39.5 inches per minute in six tests conducted on two 
different samples of the polyester fiberfill in question. In addition, 
Cosco determined that the noncompliant fiberfill material had been 
provided by one of the two vendors responsible for supplying the 
material to Cosco, but that not all fiberfill from this particular 
supplier was non-complying. However, as Cosco is unable to limit the 
extent to which the Touriva child restraints in question were 
manufactured with non-complying fiberfill with greater certainty, the 
82,176 units referenced above represent all Touriva models manufactured 
using fiberfill from the supplier of the non-compliant material.
    Cosco supports its application for inconsequential noncompliance 
with the following:
    The non-complying polyester fiberfill is incorporated into a pillow 
located in the child restraint near the top of the pad in a vertical 
orientation. Cosco contends that this configuration minimizes the 
likelihood of ignition from cigarettes, which are specifically listed 
in FMVSS Standard No. 302 as a primary ignition source of concern, or 
any other similar ignition source.
    The amount of potentially non-complying polyester fiberfill 
incorporated in the pillow is 0.0951 pounds, or approximately one 
percent of the total weight of the child restraint. This relatively 
small amount of non-complying polyester fiberfill is fully encased by 
materials which comply with the FMVSS No. 302 flammability requirements 
to include the fabric covering the surface of the pad, the polyurethane 
foam in the pad, the fabric backing of the pad, and the polypropylene 
shell itself. The only way the non-complying fiberfill would be exposed 
to a source of ignition that has not already consumed the child 
restraint is if the cover of the pillow is torn, exposing the 
fiberfill, and an ignition source then finds its way to this exposed 
fiberfill. Cosco contends that the probability of such a sequence of 
events occurring is virtually nonexistent, and that the corresponding 
potential of the non-complying polyester fiberfill in the pillow 
contributing to an injury or death even less likely.
    Cosco has not received reports indicating the burning of a cover of 
one of the suspect models, or any other child restraint cover. All 
occupant protection studies reviewed by Cosco indicate an almost 
infinitesimal risk of injury or death by vehicle fires in collisions.
    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and 
arguments on the application of Cosco described above. Comments should 
refer to the docket number and be submitted to: U.S. Department of 
Transportation Docket Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, 
Washington, DC 20590. It is requested, but not required, that two 
copies be submitted.
    All comments received before the close of business on the closing 
date indicated below will be considered. The application and supporting 
materials, and all comments received after the closing date, will also 
be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the 
application is granted or denied, the notice will be published in the 
Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.
    Comment closing date: March 23, 1998.

(49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 
and 501.8)

    Issued on: February 13, 1998.
L. Robert Shelton,
Associate Administrator for Safety Performance Standards.
[FR Doc. 98-4354 Filed 2-19-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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