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Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester Passenger Cars Are Eligible for Importation

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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.


Notice of receipt of petition for decision that nonconforming 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester passenger cars are eligible for importation.


This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester passenger cars that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) are eligible for importation into the United States because (1) they are substantially similar to vehicles that were originally manufactured for sale in the United States and that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with the safety standards (the U.S.-certified version of the 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester passenger car), and (2) they are capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards.


The closing date for comments on the petition is April 2, 2008.


Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above and be submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

Instructions: Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish to receive confirmation that your comments were received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Privacy Act: 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 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit

How To Read Comments Submitted to the Docket: You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the address and times given above. You may also see the comments on the Internet. To read the comments on the Internet, take the following steps:

(1) Go to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web page

(2) On that page, click on “Advanced Docket Search.”

(3) On the next page select “NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION” from the drop-down menu in the Agency field and enter the Docket ID number shown at the heading of this document.

(4) After entering that information, click on “submit.”

(5) The next page contains docket summary information for the docket you selected. Click on the comments you wish to see. You may download the comments. Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically search the Docket for new material.

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Coleman Sachs, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-3151).

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Supplementary Information:


Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS shall be refused Start Printed Page 11467admission 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 FMVSS.

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.

J.K. Technologies, LLC, of Baltimore, Maryland (JK)(Registered Importer 90-006) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether nonconforming 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester passenger cars are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which JK believes are substantially similar are 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester passenger cars that were manufactured for sale in the United States and certified by their manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS.

The petitioner claims that it compared non-U.S. certified 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester passenger cars to their U.S.-certified counterparts, and found the vehicles to be substantially similar with respect to compliance with most FMVSS.

JK submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester passenger cars, as originally manufactured, conform to many FMVSS 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 2006 and 2007 Subaru Forester 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, 106 Brake Hoses, 109 New Pneumatic Tires, 113 Hood Latch System, 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 124 Accelerator Control Systems, 135 Passenger Car Brake 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, 212 Windshield Mounting, 214 Side Impact Protection, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, 225 Child Restraint Anchorage Systems, 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: installation of a U.S.-model instrument cluster that has been reprogrammed to reflect the correct mileage on the vehicle.

Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: (a) Installation of U.S.-model front sidemarker lamps; (b) installation of U.S.-model headlamps; and (c) installation of U.S.-model taillamp assemblies which incorporate rear U.S.-model sidemarker lamps.

Standard no. 110 Tire Selection and Rims: installation of vehicle 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. 114 Theft Protection: installation of U.S. version software to meet the requirements of this standard.

Standard No. 118 Power-Operated Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems: installation of U.S.-version software to meet the requirements of this standard.

Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: (a) installation of U.S.-version software to ensure that the seat belt warning system meets the requirements of this standard, and (b) inspection of all vehicles and replacement of any non-U.S.-model components needed to achieve conformity with this standard with U.S.-model components.

The petitioner states that the European version of the subject vehicle does not meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 208. According to the petitioner, the passenger occupant detection system must be added, the driver's and front passenger's seat belt buckle switch must be replaced, and the Control ECU must be reprogrammed. The petitioner also states that on account of regulatory differences around the world parts of the occupant protection system must be inspected to verify that U.S.-model seat belts and control units are installed.

The agency is especially interested in obtaining comments concerning the subject vehicle's capability of being readily altered to conform to the advanced air bag requirements of this standard. For example, the agency wishes to know whether U.S.-model components can be readily installed in the subject vehicle and be readily calibrated to interface with that vehicle in such a way as to assure its conformity with the air bag low risk deployment and air bag automatic suppression performance requirements of the standard. The agency is willing to consider all information relating to this issue, be it test information or otherwise.

The petitioner additionally states that a vehicle identification plate must be affixed to the vehicles near the left windshield post to meet the requirements of 49 CFR Part 565.

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 addresses 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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Issued on: February 26, 2008.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. E8-4026 Filed 2-29-08; 8:45 am]