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Notice

Toyota Motor North America, Inc., Receipt 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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Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) has determined that certain model year 2003 through 2005 vehicles that it produced do not comply with S5(c)(2) of 49 CFR 571.225, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 225, “Child restraint anchorage systems.” Toyota 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), Toyota 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 Toyota'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.

Affected are a total of approximately 156,555 model year 2003 to 2005 Toyota Tundra access cab vehicles produced between September 1, 2002 and April 22, 2005. S5(c)(2) of FMVSS No. 225 requires each vehicle that

(i) Has a rear designated seating position and meets the conditions in S4.5.4.1(b) of Standard No. 208 * * * and, (ii) Has an air bag on-off switch meeting the requirements of S4.5.4 of Standard 208 * * * shall have a child restraint anchorage system for a designated passenger seating position in the front seat, instead of a child restraint anchorage system that is required for the rear seat. * * *

The subject vehicles do not have a child restraint lower anchorage in the front seat as required by S5(c)(2).

Toyota believes that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and that no corrective action is warranted. Toyota states that it considered whether rear-facing child restraints could be used in the noncompliant vehicles, and “is unaware of any rear-facing child restraints that require lower anchorages in the vehicle.” Toyota further states,

Most, if not all rear facing child restraints (even those with lower anchorage systems), have belt paths which allow the child restraint to be secured properly in the front passenger seat of the subject vehicles utilizing the front passenger seatbelt. We also note that child restraint manufacturers provide instructions with their child seats (even lower anchorage equipped child seats) on how to install their restraint with the seatbelt. In addition, all Toyota Tundra vehicles provide instructions on how to install child restraints with the seatbelt.

Toyota points out that model year 2000 to 2002 Tundra access cab vehicles have a front passenger airbag on-off switch as standard equipment but not lower anchorage system because they were produced prior to the FMVSS No. 225 lower anchorage requirement with which the subject vehicles noncomply. Toyota asserts that,

considering child restraint installation in the front passenger seat, the 2003-2005 MY vehicles (subject vehicles) are no different than the 2000-02 MY vehicles and further, it follows that the subject vehicles are no less safe than the 2000-02 MY vehicles.

Toyota further states that it considered

whether a lower anchorage child restraint can be mistakenly installed in the front passenger seat attempting to utilize the lower anchorage. Upon investigating the seat bight of the subject vehicles, we believe a current vehicle owner or subsequent owner could easily observe that no lower anchorage bars exist. We would also note that there are no portions of the seat frame within the seat bight of the front passenger seat that may be mistaken for lower anchorage bars.

Toyota notes that it has not received customer complaints regarding the absence of a front passenger seat child restraint lower anchorage system, not has it received any reports of a crash, injury or fatality due to this noncompliance.

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 Start Printed Page 41477Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted electronically by logging onto the Docket Management System Web site at http://dms.dot.gov. 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 http://www.regulations.gov. 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: August 18, 2005.

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

Issued on: July 13, 2005.

Ronald L. Medford,

Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety.

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[FR Doc. 05-14109 Filed 7-18-05; 8:45 am]

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