National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.
Notice of receipt of petition for decision that nonconforming 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars are eligible for importation.
This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards are eligible for importation into the United States because (1) they are substantially similar to vehicles that were originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States and that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with the safety standards, and (2) they are capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards.
The closing date for comments on the petition is August 18, 2000.
Comments should refer to the docket number and notice number, and be submitted to: Docket Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC 20590. [Docket hours are from 9 am to 5 pm].Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
George Entwistle, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5306).End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, certified under 49 U.S.C. 30115, and of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and affords interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the close of the comment period, NHTSA decides, on the basis of the petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this decision in the Federal Register.
Wallace Environmental Testing Laboratories, Inc. of Houston, Texas (“WETL”)(Registered Importer 90-005) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which WETL believes are substantially similar are 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars that were manufactured for importation into, and sale in, the United States and certified by their manufacturer as conforming to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.
The petitioner claims that it carefully compared non-U.S. certified 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars to their U.S.-certified counterparts, and found the vehicles to be substantially similar with respect to compliance with most Federal motor vehicle safety standards.
WETL submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars, as originally manufactured, conform to many Federal motor vehicle safety standards in the same manner as their U.S. certified counterparts, or are capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards.
Specifically, the petitioner claims that non-U.S. certified 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars are identical to their U.S. certified counterparts with respect to compliance with Standard Nos. 102 Transmission Shift Lever Sequence * * * ., 103 Defrosting and Defogging Systems, 104 Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems, 105 Hydraulic Brake Systems, 106 Brake Hoses, 109 New Pneumatic Tires, 113 Hood Latch Systems, 116 Brake Fluid, 124 Accelerator Control Systems, 201 Occupant Protection in Interior Impact, 202 Head Restraints, 204 Steering Control Rearward Displacement, 205 Glazing Materials, 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components, 207 Seating Systems, 209 Seat Belt Assemblies, 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, 212 Windshield Retention, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.
Additionally, the petitioner states that non-U.S. certified 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz E Series passenger cars comply with the Bumper Standard found in 49 CFR part 581.
Petitioner also contends that the vehicles are capable of being readily altered to meet the following standards, in the manner indicated:
Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: (a) Substitution of a lens marked “brake” for a lens with a noncomplying symbol on the brake failure indicator lamp; (b) replacement of the speedometer/odometer, which is calibrated in kilometers, with a component that conforms to the standard.
Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: (a) Replacement of the headlight and taillight lenses with lenses that conform to the standard; (b) installation of a high mounted stop lamp.
Standard No. 110 Tire Selection and Rims: installation of a tire information placard.
Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirror: inscription of the required warning statement in the passenger side rearview mirror.
Standard No. 114 Theft Protection: installation of a warning buzzer and a warning buzzer microswitch in the steering lock assembly.
Standard No. 118 Power Window Systems: Rewiring of the power window system so that the window transport mechanism is inoperative when the ignition is switched off.
Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: (a) Replacement of the driver's seat belt latch and installation of a safety belt warning buzzer; (b) replacement of the driver's side air bag and knee bolster with U.S.-model components on 1991-1993 190E model Start Printed Page 44851vehicles, replacement of the driver's side air bag and knee bolster with U.S.-model components on all other 1991-1992 E Series vehicles, and replacement of the driver's and passenger's side air bags and knee bolsters on 1993-1995 E Series vehicles. The petitioner states that the vehicles are equipped at the front and rear outboard seating positions with Type II seat belts, and with a lap belt in the rear center designated seating position.
Standard No. 214 Side Impact Protection: Installation of reinforcing beams in the doors which comply with the standard.
Standard No. 301 Fuel System Integrity: Installation of a rollover valve in the fuel tank vent line between the fuel tank and the evaporative emissions collection canister.
The petitioner also states that a vehicle identification number plate must be affixed to the vehicle to meet the requirements of 49 CFR part 565.
Additionally, the petitioner states that all vehicles will be inspected prior to importation to ensure that they are equipped with U.S.-model anti-theft devices, and that all vehicle that are not so equipped will be modified to comply with the Theft Prevention Standard at 49 CFR part 541.
Interested persons are invited to submit comments on the petition described above. Comments should refer to the docket number and be submitted to: Docket Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh St., SW, Washington, DC 20590. [Docket hours are from 9 am to 5 pm.] It is requested but not required that 10 copies be submitted.
All comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be considered, and will be available for examination in the docket at the above address both before and after that date. To the extent possible, comments filed after the closing date will also be considered. Notice of final action on the petition will be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.Start Signature
Issued on: July 13, 2000.
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 00-18247 Filed 7-18-00; 8:45 am]
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