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Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming Left-Hand Drive Japanese Market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles 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 left-hand drive (LHD) Japanese Market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) are eligible for importation.

SUMMARY:

This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that LHD 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs manufactured for sale in Japan that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards are eligible for importation into the United States because they are substantially similar to vehicles that were originally manufactured for sale in the United States and that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with the safety standards, and they are capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards.

DATES:

The closing date for comments on the petition is August 26, 2002.

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 a.m. to 5 p.m.].

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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.

Auto Enterprises of Warren Michigan (Registered Importer 93-013) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether LHD 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs originally manufactured for sale in Japan are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which Auto Enterprises believes are Start Printed Page 48702substantially similar are 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs that were manufactured for 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 LHD Japanese Market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs 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.

Auto Enterprises submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified LHD Japanese Market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs, 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 LHD Japanese Market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs are identical to their U.S. certified counterparts with respect to compliance with Standard Nos. 101 Controls and Displays, 102 Transmission Shift Lever Sequence * * *, 103 Defrosting and Defogging Systems, 104 Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems, 105 Hydraulic and Electric Brake Systems, 106 Brake Hoses, 111 Rearview Mirrors (noting that the required warning statement is inscribed on the passenger-side rearview mirror), 113 Hood Latch Systems, 114 Theft Protection (noting that an audible alarm is activated when the ignition key is left in the ignition lock and the driver's door is open), 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 118 Power Window Systems (noting that the power window transport is not activated when the ignition is switched off) 119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles other than Passenger Cars, 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Vehicles other than Passenger Cars (noting the presence of an OEM Export label in the door jamb that contains the required tire and rim information), 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, 208 Occupant Crash Protection (noting that the vehicle is equipped with a safety belt warning buzzer and dash panel light, with U.S.-model driver's and passenger's side air bags, and with Type 2 seat belts in all front and rear outboard seating positions), 209 Seat Belt Assemblies, 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, 212 Windshield Retention, 214 Side Impact Protection, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, 301 Fuel System Integrity, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.

Additionally, the petitioner states that non-U.S. certified LHD Japanese Market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs comply with the Bumper Standard found in 49 CFR part 581, and with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate requirement of 49 CFR part 565.

Petitioner further contends that the vehicles are capable of being readily altered to meet the following standard, in the manner indicated:

Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: replacement of the left and right headlamps, front markers, and front park lamps with U.S.-model components.

The petitioner states that all vehicles must be inspected prior to importation for compliance with the Theft Prevention Standard found in 49 CFR part 541, and that U.S.-model anti-theft devices must be installed on all vehicles lacking that equipment.

The petitioner also states that a certification label must be affixed to the left front door jamb to meet the requirements of 49 CFR part 567.

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 a.m. to 5 p.m.]. 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: July 18, 2002.

Marilynne Jacobs,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. 02-18757 Filed 7-24-02; 8:45 am]

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