National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.
Notice of receipt of petition for decision that nonconforming European and other foreign market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) are eligible for importation.Start Printed Page 7065
This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs manufactured for sale in Europe and other foreign markets 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.
The closing date for comments on the petition is March 15, 2004.
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]. 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.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-3151).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 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs originally manufactured for sale in Europe and other foreign markets are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which WETL believes are substantially similar are 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs that were manufactured for sale in the United States and certified by their manufacturer, Chrysler Corporation, as conforming to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.
The petitioner claims that it carefully compared non-U.S. certified European and other foreign 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.
WETL submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified European and other foreign 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 European and other foreign market 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPVs 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, 111 Rearview Mirrors, 113 Hood Latch Systems, 114 Theft Protection (noting that the vehicle has an audible gong anti-theft system that sounds when the key is left in the ignition lock and the driver's door is opened), 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 118 Power Window Systems (noting that the window transport mechanism is inoperative when the ignition is switched off and the door is opened), 119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles other than Passenger Cars, 120 Tire Selection and Rims 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, 208 Occupant Crash Protection (noting that the vehicle is equipped with a safety belt warning system that includes an audible gong and illuminated dash light, with Type II seat belts in the front and rear outboard designated seating positions, and with a U.S.-model air bag and knee bolster in the driver's seating position), 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 (noting that a rollover valve is integrated into the fuel module assembly, and is identical to that equipped on the vehicle's U.S. certified counterpart) and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.
Additionally, the petitioner states that non-U.S. certified European and other foreign 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 standards, in the manner indicated:
Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: Addition of the brake symbol.
Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: Replacement of the headlight assemblies, which include sidemarker lights, and taillamp assemblies 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 Start Printed Page 7066docket 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: February 9, 2004.
Kenneth N. Weinstein,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 04-3117 Filed 2-11-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P