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Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL 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 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 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL passenger cars 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 importation into and 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.

DATES:

The closing date for comments on the petition is June 24, 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 5 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 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.

American Auto Dream of Costa Mesa, California (“AAD”) (Registered Importer 02-224) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether nonconforming 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL passenger cars are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which AAD believes are substantially similar are 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL passenger cars that were manufactured for importation into, and 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 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL passenger cars 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.

AAD submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL passenger cars, 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 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL passenger cars are identical to their U.S. certified counterparts with respect to compliance with Standard Nos. 102 Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect, 103 Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems, 104 Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems, 105 Hydraulic Brake Systems, 106 Brake Hoses, 107 Start Printed Page 30183 Reflecting Surfaces, 109 New Pneumatic Tires, 113 Hood Latch System, 114 Theft Protection, 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 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, 211 Wheel Nuts, Wheel Discs and Hub Caps, 212 Windshield Mounting, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, 301 Fuel System Integrity, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.

In addition, the petitioner claims that the vehicles comply with the Bumper Standard found in 49 CFR part 581.

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: (a) installation of an indicator lamp lens cover inscribed with the word “brake” in the instrument cluster in place of one inscribed with the international ECE warning symbol, and (b) replacement or conversion of the speedometer/odometer assembly to read in miles per hours and miles driven, respectively.

Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: Replacement of the following with U.S.-model components: (a) Headlamp assemblies that incorporate front side marker lamps and side reflex reflectors; (b) taillamp assemblies that incorporate rear side marker lamps and side reflex reflectors; and (c) center high mounted stop lamp.

Standard No. 110 Tire Selection and Rims: Installation of a tire information placard.

Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirrors: Installation of a U.S.-model passenger side rearview mirror, or inscription of the required warning statement on the face of that mirror.

Standard No. 115 Vehicle Identification: Installation of a vehicle identification plate near the left windshield post to meet the requirements of this standard.

Standard No. 118 Power-Operated Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems: Rewiring the power-operated window system to meet the requirements of the standard.

Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: Installation of a supplemental warning buzzer which is wired to the seat belt latch to ensure that the seat belt warning system activates in the proper manner.

The petitioner also states that the vehicles are equipped with a driver's air bag, and combination lap and shoulder belts at the front seating positions. These seat belts are self-tensioning and capable of being released by means of a single red push button.

Standard No. 214 Side Impact Protection: Installation of door bars identical to those in the U.S. certified models.

The petitioner states that all vehicles will be inspected prior to importation to assure compliance with the Theft Prevention Standard at 49 CFR part 541, and that vehicles will be modified, if necessary, to comply with that standard.

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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Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. 05-10365 Filed 5-24-05; 8:45 am]

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