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Notice

Notice of Receipt of Petitions for Decision That Nonconforming 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of receipt of petitions for decision that nonconforming 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee multipurpose passenger vehicles are eligible for importation.

SUMMARY:

This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of two petitions for a decision that certain 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) 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, and (2) they are capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards.

DATES:

The closing date for comments on the petitions is October 17, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

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

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. 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.Start Printed Page 53928
  • 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 http://www.regulations.gov, 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).

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 view the documents from the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. The docket ID number and title of this notice are shown at the heading of this document notice. 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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

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 admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for 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.

Auto Boutique, Ltd., of Costa Mesa, California (ABL) (Registered Importer 08-356), petitioned NHTSA to decide whether 1997-2001 Japanese market right-hand drive (RHD) Jeep Cherokee MPVs are eligible for importation into the United States. Shortly after ABL's petition was filed, U.S. Drive Right (USDR), of Spring Arbor, Michigan (Registered Importer 08-355) separately petitioned NHTSA to decide whether 1997 and 1998 RHD and left-hand drive (LHD) Jeep Cherokee MPVs are eligible for importation into the United States. Because the two petitions both pertain to the 1997 and 1998 RHD Jeep Cherokee MPVs, NHTSA is soliciting comments on both petitions in this notice. The vehicles that ABL and USDR believe to be substantially similar are corresponding model year Jeep Cherokee MPVs that were manufactured for sale in the United States and certified by their manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS.

Both petitioners stated that they compared corresponding year non-U.S. certified Jeep Cherokee MPVs to their U.S.-certified counterparts, and found the vehicles to be substantially similar with respect to compliance with most FMVSS.

ABL submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 1997-2001 RHD Jeep Cherokee MPVs, 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, ABL claims that non-U.S. certified 1997-2001 RHD Jeep Cherokee MPVs are identical to their U.S.-certified counterparts with respect to compliance with Standard Nos. 101 Controls and Displays, 102 Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect, 103 Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems, 104 Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems, 105 Hydraulic and Electric Brake Systems, 106 Brake Hoses, 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment, 111 Rearview Mirrors, 113 Hood Latch System, 114 Theft Protection, 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 118 Power-Operated Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems, 119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles Other than Passenger Cars, 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other than Passenger Cars, 124 Accelerator Control 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, 208 Occupant Crash Protection, 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.

ABL 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.

USDR submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 1997 and 1998 RHD and LHD Jeep Cherokee MPVs, 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 USDR claims that non-U.S. certified 1997 and 1998 RHD and LHD Jeep Cherokee MPVs 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, 105 Hydraulic and Electric Brake Systems, 106 Brake Hoses, 111 Rearview Mirrors, 113 Hood Latch System, 114 Theft Protection, 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 118 Power-Operated Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems, 119 New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles Other than Passenger Cars, 124 Accelerator Control 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, 301 Fuel Start Printed Page 53929System Integrity, and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.

USDR 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: Replacement or conversion of the speedometer to read in miles per hour.

Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: Installation of U.S.-model (1) headlamps; (2) front and rear mounted side marker lamps; (3) front and rear mounted side reflex reflectors; (4) rear mounted reflex reflectors; and (5) tail lamps.

Standard No. 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other than Passenger Cars: Installation of a tire information placard.

Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: Inspection of all vehicles and replacement of any non-U.S.-model seat belt audible warning system and telltale components with U.S. model components on vehicles that are not already so equipped.

USDR states that the vehicle's restraint system components include airbags and combination lap and shoulder belts at the front outboard designated seating positions and combination lap and shoulder belts at the rear outboard designated seating positions. USDR also states that the rear center seating position is equipped with a lap belt.

USDR 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 petitions 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: September 11, 2008.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. E8-21637 Filed 9-16-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P