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American Honda Motor Company, 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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Start Preamble

American Honda Motor Company, Inc. (Honda) has determined that certain Start Printed Page 17953vehicles that it produced in 2005 and 2006 do not comply with S3.1.4.1 of 49 CFR 571.102, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 102, “Transmission shift position sequence, starter interlock, and transmission braking effect.” Honda 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), Honda 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 Honda'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 2,641 model year 2006 Honda Ridgeline vehicles. S3.1.4.1 of FMVSS No. 102 requires,

[I]f the transmission shift position sequence includes a park position, identification of shift positions, including the positions in relation to each other and the position selected, shall be displayed in view of the driver whenever any of the following conditions exist: (1) The ignition is in a position where the transmission can be shifted; or (b) The transmission is not in park.

Honda explains the noncompliance as follows:

* * * American Honda offered, as an optional part, through its dealers, a wiring harness as part of a trailer towing kit. The wiring harness included a circuit to provide for back-up lights, if present on a trailer, to illuminate when the transmission was shifted into reverse gear. The Ridgeline utilizes an electronic display in the instrument panel to indicate transmission gear position. When the wiring harness in question has been installed, and the ignition key is turned to the accessory position, the electronic display indicates not only the actual position of the selected gear, but also illuminates the reverse position indicator in the display, such that there are two indicator lights lighted at the same time, unless the reverse position is the gear selected, in which case only the reverse position indicator will be lighted.

Honda has corrected the problem that caused these errors so that they will not be repeated in future production.

Honda believes that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and that no corrective action is warranted. Honda states that neither the actual function of the transmission nor the transmission lockout will be affected. Honda states that there is no possibility of danger from the noncompliant display while the key is in the accessory position. Honda states:

The key cannot be removed, the vehicle cannot start, and the actual gear position would be illuminated, as well as the reverse position. There are two possible scenarios to consider.

In the first and most common scenario, if the key had been removed, upon initial insertion of the key, the vehicle would have had to be in “PARK,” and turning the key to the accessory position will illuminate both the “PARK” and “REVERSE” indications, but not allow the vehicle to be shifted from the “PARK” position. Then, when the key was turned to the “on” position, allowing the vehicle to be shifted from the “PARK” position, the gear position indicator would function properly.

In the second scenario, if the key has been left in the ignition while in a gear other than “PARK,” when the operator turns the key to the accessory position, the electronic display will indicate the correct gear, as well as reverse. This would be a highly unusual circumstance, and the vehicle would not start unless the key was turned to the “on” position, in which case the gear position indicator would function properly. Nor could the key be removed until the shift lever was placed in the “PARK” position. Even if this highly unlikely situation were to occur, movement of the shift lever would indicate the correct gear, as well as the illumination of the reverse gear. It would become readily apparent to the operator that the illumination of the reverse gear would be inappropriate and not indicative of the actual gear being engaged. Again, once the ignition is turned to the “ON” position, the gearshift indicator would function completely normally. At no time would the engine operate while in the “ACCESSORY” position.

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on this petition. 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: May 8, 2006.

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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: April 4, 2006.

Daniel C. Smith,

Associate Administrator for Enforcement.

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[FR Doc. E6-5124 Filed 4-6-06; 8:45 am]