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Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 Passenger Cars Are Eligible for Importation

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of receipt of petition for decision that nonconforming 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 passenger cars are eligible for importation.

SUMMARY:

This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that the 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 that was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards is eligible for importation into the United States because: (1) It is substantially similar to a vehicle that was originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States and that was certified by its manufacturer as complying with the safety standards, and (2) it is capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards.

DATES:

The closing date for comments on the petition is November 24, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

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]

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

George Entwistle, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5306).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

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.

Bayway Auto, Inc. of Elizabeth, New Jersey (“BWA”) (Registered Importer 98-166) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 passenger cars are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicle which BWA believes is substantially similar is the 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 that was manufactured for importation into, and sale in, the United States and certified by its manufacturer, Daimler Benz, A.G., as conforming to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.

The petitioner claims that it carefully compared the non-U.S. certified 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 passenger car to its U.S. certified counterpart, and found the two vehicles to be substantially similar with respect to compliance with most Federal motor vehicle safety standards.

BWA submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that the non-U.S. certified 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320, as originally manufactured, conforms to many Federal motor vehicle safety standards in the same manner as its U.S. certified counterpart, or is capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards.

Specifically, the petitioner claims that the non-U.S. certified 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 is identical to its U.S. certified counterpart 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, 207 Seating Systems, 209 Seat Belt Assemblies, 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, 212 Windshield Retention, 214 Side Impact Protection, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.

Petitioner also contends that the vehicle is 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) installation of a seat belt warning lamp that displays the appropriate symbol; (c) recalibration of the speedometer/odometer from kilometers to miles per hour.

Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: (a) Installation of U.S.-model headlamp assemblies which incorporate headlamps with DOT markings; (b) installation of U.S.-model front sidemarker/reflector assemblies; (c) installation of U.S.-model taillamp assemblies.

Standard No. 110 Tire Selection and Rims: Installation of a tire information placard. Start Printed Page 63911

Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirror: Replacement of the passenger side rearview mirror with a U.S.-model component.

Standard No. 114 Theft Protection: Installation of a warning buzzer microswitch in the steering lock assembly and a warning buzzer.

Standard No. 118 Power Window Systems: Rewiring of the power window system so that the window transport is inoperative when the ignition is switched off.

Standard No. 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components: Replacement of rear door locks and rear door lock buttons with U.S.-model components.

Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: (a) Installation of a U.S.-model seat belt in the driver's seating position or a belt webbing actuated microswitch inside the driver's seat belt retractor; (b) installation of an ignition switch actuated seat belt warning lamp and buzzer; (c) replacement of the driver's and passenger's side air bags and knee bolsters with U.S.-model components if the vehicle is not already so equipped. The petitioner states that the vehicles are equipped with combination lap and shoulder restraints which adjust by means of an automatic retractor and release by means of a single push button in both front designated seating positions, with combination lap and shoulder restraints which release by means of a single push button in both rear outboard designated seating positions, and with a lap belt in the rear center designated seating position.

Standard No. 301 Fuel System Integrity: Installation of a rollover valve in the fuel tank vent line.

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.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on the petition described above. Comments should refer to the docket number and be submitted to: Docket Section, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room 5109, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. 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.

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A) and (b)(1); 49 CFR 593.8; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 501.8.

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Issued on: October 18, 2000.

Marilynne Jacobs,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. 00-27330 Filed 10-24-00; 8:45 am]

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