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Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 2000 Ford F150 Pickup Trucks 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 2000 Ford F150 pickup trucks are eligible for importation.

SUMMARY:

This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that 2000 Ford F150 pickup trucks 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 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.

DATE:

The closing date for comments on the petition is January 14, 2004.

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 Start Printed Page 697665 p.m.]. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-3151).

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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 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.

Automobile Concepts, Inc. of North Miami, Florida (“AMC”) (Registered Importer 01-278) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether 2000 Ford F150 pickup trucks manufactured in the United States for export to foreign markets are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which AMC believes are substantially similar are 2000 Ford F150 pickup trucks 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 2000 Ford F150 pickup trucks 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.

AMC submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 2000 Ford F150 pickup trucks, 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 2000 Ford F150 pickup trucks 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 and Electric Brake Systems, 106 Brake Hoses, 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment, 113 Hood Latch Systems, 114 Theft Protection, 116 Brake Fluid, 118 Power Window Systems, 119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles other than Passenger Cars, 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, 214 Side Impact Protection, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, 301 Fuel System Integrity, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.

The 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: replacement of the instrument cluster with a U.S.-model component so that the speedometer reads in miles per hour.

Standard No. 120 Tire Selection and Rims: installation of a tire information placard.

Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: inspection of all vehicles and replacement of any seat belts, air bag control units, air bags, and knee bolsters with U.S.-model components on vehicles that are not already so equipped. Petitioner states that the vehicle should be equipped with an automatic restraint system consisting of driver's and passenger's air bags and knee bolsters, air bag crash sensors, and an air bag control unit. Petitioner also states that the vehicle should be equipped with combination lap and shoulder belts that are self-tensioning and that release by means of a single red pushbutton. Petitioner further states that the vehicle is equipped with a seat belt warning lamp identical to that on the vehicle's U.S.-certified counterpart.

The petitioner also states that a vehicle identification plate must be affixed to the vehicle near the left windshield post and a reference and certification label must be affixed to the edge of the driver's side door or to the latch post nearest the driver to meet the requirements of 49 CFR Part 565. In addition, a certification label must be affixed to the driver's side doorjamb 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: December 9, 2003.

Kenneth N. Weinstein,

Associate Administrator for Enforcement.

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[FR Doc. 03-30830 Filed 12-12-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P