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Grote Industries, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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Grote Industries, LLC (Grote) has determined that the amber reflex reflectors on certain trucks manufactured between 2004 through 2007 do not comply with S5.1.5 of 49 CFR 571.108, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, “Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.” Grote 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), Grote 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 Grote'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 approximately 137,050 reflex reflectors that have been sold for installation as original equipment on trucks and were manufactured between December 28, 2004 and January 22, 2007. S5.1.5 of FMVSS No. 108 requires:

The color in all lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment to which this standard applies shall comply with SAE Standard J578c, Color Specification for Electric Signal Lighting Devices, February 1977.

The reflex reflectors do not contain the correct reflective material required to meet the requirements of S5.1.5. Grote has corrected the problem that caused these errors so that they will not be repeated in future production. Grote believes that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and that no corrective action is warranted.

Grote first became aware of the noncompliance of these reflex reflectors when a report was received from one of its customers who noticed a shipment of reflex reflectors it had received from Grote were a different color than previous shipments. The customer was supposed to receive amber reflex reflectors that met the requirements of FMVSS No. 108 for use as front side-mounted and intermediate side-mounted reflex reflectors.

This noncompliance pertains solely to the failure of these reflectors to meet the applicable color requirements. The subject reflex reflectors were manufactured for Grote by a third-party supplier. The third-party supplier incorporated reflective tape that it purchased from a reflective material supplier. Based on the results of tests conducted for Grote, Grote believes the intermediate supplier had been using retroreflective tape that was manufactured to the specification for “selective yellow,” instead of the correct specification for “amber,” as set forth in the SAE J578c requirement. The intermediate supplier was operating under a certification letter from the reflective material supplier, which erroneously listed the material as compliant.

Grote believes the failure of these reflex reflectors to meet the color specification does not reduce their effectiveness in providing proper visibility to allow identification of the front and (where applicable) intermediate side points of a vehicle. Grote believes the difference between compliant amber reflex reflectors and the subject noncompliant selective yellow colored reflex reflectors is barely discernible to the naked eye when reflected with “Illuminant A” light under conditions of ambient darkness. Such conditions are intended to imitate nighttime driving conditions when reflex reflectors serve their primary purpose.

Grote states that it knows of no accidents or other issues associated with this noncompliance. The noncompliant reflex reflectors continue to perform their intended function without any identifiable reduction in safety. Therefore, Grote believes that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and that all other requirements under FMVSS No. 108 are met.

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 am to 5 pm 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 9, 2007.

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

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Issued on: April 3, 2007.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. E7-6462 Filed 4-6-07; 8:45 am]