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Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

Mercedes-Benz USA LLC (Mercedes) has determined that the designated seating capacity placards for certain vehicles that it produced in 2004 do not comply with S4.3(b) of 49 CFR 571.110, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, “Tire selection and rims.” Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h), Mercedes has petitioned for a determination that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, “Defect and Noncompliance Reports.” Notice of receipt of a petition was published, with a 30-day comment period, on June 2, 2005 in the Federal Register (70 FR 32398). NHTSA received no comments.

Affected are a total of approximately 1,576 SLK class vehicles produced between March 24, 2004 and December 15, 2004. S4.3(b) of FMVSS No. 110 requires that a “placard, permanently affixed to the glove compartment door or an equally accessible location, shall display the * * * [d]esignated seating capacity * * *.” The noncompliant vehicles have placards stating that the seating capacity is four, when in fact the seating capacity is two.

Mercedes believes that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and that no corrective action is warranted. Mercedes states:

* * * most, if not all, consumers will look at the number of seats in the vehicle and the number of safety belts to determine its capacity, rather than looking at the tire information placard. Because the SLK Roadster is a two-seater vehicle with no rear seat, it is immediately obvious that the seating capacity is two and not four, and that it is not possible to seat four occupants in the vehicle.

Mercedes further states:

Because it is impossible for the SLK to hold four occupants, the seating capacity labeling error has no impact on the vehicle capacity weight, recommended cold tire inflation Start Printed Page 41256pressure and recommended size designation information. All of this information is correct on the tire information placard. Moreover, the purpose of providing seating capacity information is to prevent vehicle overloading. Because the SLK holds only two occupants, it is not possible to overload the vehicle due to reliance on the tire information placard.

NHTSA agrees with Mercedes that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. As Mercedes states, because the vehicles are two-seaters with no rear seat, it is obvious that the seating capacity is two and not four. Therefore it is impossible to overload the vehicles by relying on the incorrect designated seating capacity information. As Mercedes further points out, the other information on the tire information placard is correct. Mercedes has corrected the problem.

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that the petitioner has met its burden of persuasion that the noncompliance described is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Mercedes' petition is granted and the petitioner is exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, and a remedy for, the noncompliance.

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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: June 8, 2005.

Ronald L. Medford,

Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.

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[FR Doc. 05-14034 Filed 7-15-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P