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Notice

General Motors Corporation, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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General Motors Corporation (GM),[1] has determined that approximately 1,113 Model Year (MY) 2011 Buick Regal passenger cars do not fully comply with paragraph S4.3(d) of 49 CFR 571.110, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles With a GVWR of 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 pounds) or Less. GM filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports dated July 26, 2010.

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), GM 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 GM'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 1,113 model year 2011 Buick Regal passenger cars manufactured between January 20, 2010, and May 18, 2010 at GM's Rüsselsheim assembly plant.Start Printed Page 70964

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (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. Therefore, these provisions only apply to the 1,113 [2] vehicles that have already passed from the manufacturer to an owner, purchaser, or dealer.

Paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 110 requires in pertinent part:

S4.3 Placard. Each vehicle, except for a trailer or incomplete vehicle, shall show the information specified in S4.3 (a) through (g), and may show, at the manufacturer's option, the information specified in S4.3 (h) and (i), on a placard permanently affixed to the driver's side B-pillar. In each vehicle without a driver's side B-pillar and with two doors on the driver's side of the vehicle opening in opposite directions, the placard shall be affixed on the forward edge of the rear side door. If the above locations do not permit the affixing of a placard that is legible, visible and prominent, the placard shall be permanently affixed to the rear edge of the driver's side door. If this location does not permit the affixing of a placard that is legible, visible and prominent, the placard shall be affixed to the inward facing surface of the vehicle next to the driver's seating position. This information shall be in the English language and conform in color and format, not including the border surrounding the entire placard, as shown in the example set forth in Figure 1 in this standard. At the manufacturer's option, the information specified in S4.3 (c), (d), and, as appropriate, (h) and (i) may be shown, alternatively to being shown on the placard, on a tire inflation pressure label which must conform in color and format, not including the border surrounding the entire label, as shown in the example set forth in Figure 2 in this standard. The label shall be permanently affixed and proximate to the placard required by this paragraph. The information specified in S4.3 (e) shall be shown on both the vehicle placard and on the tire inflation pressure label (if such a label is affixed to provide the information specified in S4.3 (c), (d), and, as appropriate, (h) and (i)) may be shown in the format and color scheme set forth in Figures 1 and 2. * * *

(d) Tire size designation, indicated by the headings “size” or “original tire size” or “original size,” and “spare tire” or “spare,” for the tires installed at the time of the first purchase for purposes other than resale. For full size spare tires, the statement “see above” may, at the manufacturer's option replace the tire size designation. If no spare tire is provided, the word “none” must replace the tire size designation; * * *

GM explains that the noncompliance with FMVSS No. 110 is the omission of the letter “T” in the spare tire size printed on the tire and loading information labels that it affixed to the vehicles. Currently the tire size designation shows the spare tire size as “125/80R16” instead of “T125/80R16.”

GM reported that the noncompliance was brought to their attention in May of 2010 by the Global Subsystem Leadership Team during an internal audit in the Rüsselsheim Assembly Plant.

GM additionally stated that it believes that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:

(1) All information for maintaining and/or replacing the front and rear tires, as well as the seating capacity and vehicle capacity weight are correct on tire and loading information labels on the subject vehicles.

(2) The vehicles are equipped with spare tires that have the complete tire size (T125/80R16) molded their sidewalls.

(3) When a customer needs to replace the spare tire, he/she will take the vehicle to a tire store. The tire store will know what compact spare tire is needed based on the information in their catalog or by looking at the spare tire provided with the vehicle. In the case, they were to refer to the tire and loading information label, it will show the spare tire size 125/80R16 without the letter T. The only tire available with the size designation of 125/80R16 is the compact spare tire T125/80R16, and should not cause any confusion or error.

(4) Risk to the public is negligible because the vehicles are equipped with the correct spare tire, and the tire and loading information label does have the correct inflation pressure for the compact spare tire.

(5) GM is not aware of any incidents or injuries related to the subject condition.

GM has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the noncompliance so that all future production vehicles will have compliant labels.

In summation, GM believes that the described noncompliance of its vehicles to meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 110 is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt 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, and 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 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays.

c. Electronically: By logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at http://www.regulations.gov/​. 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 http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

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.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78). Start Printed Page 70965

You may view documents submitted to a docket at the address and times given above. You may also view the documents on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets available at that Web site.

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: December 20, 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: November 15, 2010.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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Footnotes

1.  General Motors LLC (GM) is vehicle manufacturer incorporated under the laws of the state of Michigan.

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2.  GM's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, requests an agency decision to exempt GM as a manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR part 573 for 1,113 of the affected vehicles. However, the agency cannot relieve GM distributors of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after GM recognized that the subject noncompliance existed.

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[FR Doc. 2010-29168 Filed 11-18-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P