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Mazda North American Operations, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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Start Preamble

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO),[1] on behalf of Mazda Motor Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan (Mazda), has determined the lens of the headlamps equipped on certain 2004 through 2009 Mazda RX-8 model passenger cars, manufactured from April 1, 2003, to May 29, 2009, and certain 2006 through 2008 MX-5 model passenger cars, built from May 17, 2005, to November 27, 2008, failed to meet the requirements of paragraph S7.2(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. Mazda has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, dated December 18, 2009.

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Mazda 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 Mazda'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.

Mazda estimates approximately 123,000 2004 through 2009 Mazda RX-8 model passenger cars, manufactured from April 1, 2003 to May 29, 2009, and 2006 through 2008 MX-5 model passenger cars, built from May 17, 2005 to November 27, 2008, are affected. All of the affected vehicles were built at Mazda's plant in Hiroshima Japan.

Paragraph 7.2(b) of FMVSS No. 108 requires:

S7.2(b) The lens of each headlamp and of each beam contributor manufactured on or after December 1, 1989, to which paragraph (a) of this section applies shall be marked with the name and/or trademark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of the manufacturer of such headlamp or beam contributor, or its importer, or any manufacturer of a vehicle equipped with such headlamp or beam contributor. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to authorize the marking of any such name and/or trademark by one who is not the owner, unless the owner has consented to it.

Mazda states that the noncompliance is that the lenses of the headlamps on the affected vehicles are not marked with the name or trademark of the manufacturer of the headlamp, the manufacturer of the vehicle, or the importer of the vehicle.

Mazda was notified by its headlamp manufacturer, Koito Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (Koito) of the apparent Start Printed Page 65054noncompliance. Mazda then concluded that the vehicles equipped with the affected headlamps failed to comply with paragraph S7.2(b) of FMVSS No. 108.

Mazda stated the following reasons why they believe the noncompliance is inconsequential to vehicle safety and does not present a risk to motor vehicle safety:

The affected headlamps fulfill all the relevant performance requirements of FMVSS No. 108, except that trade name and/or trademark of the manufacturer or importer is missing on the lens. However, the affected headlamps have the trademark of the headlamp manufacturer on the rim of the headlamp housing. Thus, Mazda contends that this marking on the rim is visible with the vehicle's front hood open and states that it believes that the rim marking could assist the easy identification of the headlamp manufacturer by the users of the vehicles.

Mazda has not received any complaints or claims related to the noncompliance nor is it aware of any known reports of accidents or injuries attributed to the noncompliance.

In summary, Mazda states that it believes the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the affected headlamps fulfill all other relevant requirements of FMVSS No. 108.

The company also states that it has taken steps to correct the noncompliance in future production.

Supported by the above stated reasons, Mazda believes that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt it from providing recall notification of noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted.

NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance.

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:

a. By mail addressed to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

b. By hand delivery to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 am to 5 pm except Federal Holidays.

c. Electronically: By logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at​. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Comments may also be faxed to 1-202-493-2251.

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.

Documents submitted to a docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the Internet at by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets. DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

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: November 22, 2010.

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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: October 15, 2010.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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1.  Mazda Motor Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan (Mazda) is the manufacturer of the subject vehicles and Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) is the importer of the vehicles as well as the registered agent for Mazda.

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[FR Doc. 2010-26425 Filed 10-20-10; 8:45 am]