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Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper), has determined that certain tires it manufactured during 2004 do not comply with S6.5(f) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, “New pneumatic tires for vehicles other than passenger cars.” Cooper has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, “Defect and Noncompliance Reports.”

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h), Cooper has petitioned for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.

This notice of receipt of Cooper's petition is published under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition.Start Printed Page 25656

Cooper produced approximately 148 size 11R24.5 Cooper and Mastercraft brand tubeless radial tires during the period from February 29, 2004 through March 6, 2004, that do not comply with FMVSS No. 119, S6.5(f). These tires were marked “tread 5 plies steel; sidewall 1 ply steel,” when they should have been marked “tread 4 plies steel; sidewall 1 ply steel.”

S6.5(f) of FMVSS No. 119 requires that each tire shall be marked with “[t]he actual number of plies * * * in the sidewall and, if different, in the tread area.” Cooper states that the incorrect number of steel tread plies was removed from the molds by buffing and the correct number of steel tread plies inserted; however, prior to the molds being correctly stamped, 148 tires were inadvertently shipped.

Cooper states that the incorrect number of steel tread plies on each tire does not present a safety issue. Cooper explains:

The involved tires have been redesigned by Cooper, and the fifth steel belt removed. This change was done to improve tread wear resistance and has no effect on the tire's ability to meet all applicable DOT testing standards. The certification data from the redesigned four steel ply construction showed no remarkable difference when compared to the equivalent certification data for the previous five ply steel construction. Both sets of data are well in excess of DOT requirements.

Cooper states that the involved tires comply with all other requirements of FMVSS No. 119.

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on the petition described above. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited at the beginning of this notice and be submitted by any of the following methods. Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, 20590-0001. Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC. It is requested, but not required, that two copies of the comments be provided. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays. Comments may be submitted electronically by logging onto the Docket Management System Web site at Click on “Help” to obtain instructions for filing the document electronically. Comments may be faxed to 1-202-493-2251, or may be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated below will be filed and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.

Comment closing date: June 7, 2004.

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at CFR 1.50 and 501.8.

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Issued on: May 4, 2004.

Kenneth N. Weinstein,

Associate Administrator for Enforcement.

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[FR Doc. 04-10472 Filed 5-6-04; 8:45 am]