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Notice

Panda Power LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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Panda Power LLC (Panda Power),[1] has determined that High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting kits [2] that it imported and sold during 2007, 2008 and 2009 failed to meet the requirements of paragraph S7.7 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. Panda Power has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, dated February 10, 2010.

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

Panda Power estimates that approximately 1,851 headlamp kits that it sold during 2007, 2008 and 2009 are affected. All of the affected kits were manufactured by Guangzhou Kingwoodcar Company, LTD, Guangzhou City, China.

Paragraph S7.7 of FMVSS No. 108 requires:

S7.7 Replaceable light sources. Each replaceable light source shall be designed to conform to the dimensions and electrical specifications furnished with respect to it pursuant to part 564 of this chapter, and shall conform to the following requirements:

(a) If other than an HB Type, the light source shall be marked with the bulb marking designation specified for it in compliance with Appendix A or Appendix B of part 564 of this chapter. The base of each HB Type shall be marked with its HB Type designation. Each replaceable light source shall also be marked with the symbol DOT and with a name or trademark in accordance with paragraph S7.2.

(b) The measurement of maximum power and luminous flux that is submitted in compliance with Appendix A or Appendix B of part 564 of this chapter shall be made in accordance with this paragraph. The filament or discharge arc shall be seasoned before measurement of either. Measurement shall be made with the direct current test voltage regulated within one quarter of one percent. The test voltage shall be 12.8v. The measurement of luminous flux shall be in accordance with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, LM-45, IES Approved Method for Electrical and Photometric Measurements of General Service Incandescent Filament Lamps (April 1980); shall be made with the black cap installed on Type HB1, Type HB2, Type HB4, and Type HB5, and on any other replaceable light source so designed; and shall be made with the electrical conductor and light source base shrouded with an opaque white cover, except for the portion normally located within the interior of the lamp housing. The measurement of luminous flux for the Types HB3 and HB4 shall be made with the base covered with a white cover as shown in the drawings for Types HB3 and HB4 filed in Docket No. NHTSA 98-3397. (The white cover is used to eliminate the likelihood of incorrect lumen measurement that will occur should the reflectance of the light source base and electrical connector be low).

(c) The capsule, lead wires and/or terminals, and seal on each Type HB1, Type HB3, Type HB4, and Type HB5 light source, and on any other replaceable light source which uses a seal, shall be installed in a pressure chamber as shown in Figure 25 so as to provide an airtight seal. The diameter of the aperture in Figure 25 on a replaceable light source (other than an HB Type) shall be that dimension furnished for such light source in compliance with Appendix A or Appendix B of part 564 of this chapter. An airtight seal exists when no air bubbles appear on the low pressure (connector) side after the light source has been immersed in water for one minute while inserted in a cylindrical aperture specified for the light source, and subjected to an air pressure of 70kPa (10 P.S.I.G.) on the glass capsule side.

(d) The measurement of maximum power and luminous flux that is submitted in compliance with section VII of Appendix A of part 564 of this chapter, or section IV of Appendix B of part 564 of this chapter, shall be made with the direct current test voltage regulated within one quarter of one percent. The test voltage shall be 12.8v. The measurement of luminous flux shall be in accordance with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, LM 45; IES Approved Method for Electrical and Photometric Measurements of General Service Incandescent Filament Lamps (April 1980). The filament of a replaceable light source shall be seasoned before such measurement. The white covers are used to eliminate the likelihood of incorrect lumens measurement that will occur should the reflectance of the light source base and electrical connector be low.

(1) For a light source with a resistive element type filament, seasoning of the light Start Printed Page 80111source shall be made in accordance with section 2.9 of SAE Standard J1383 APR85 Performance Requirements for Motor Vehicle Headlamps. The measurement of luminous flux shall be made with the black cap installed on Type HB1, Type HB2, Type HB4, and Type HB5 light sources, and on any other replaceable light source so designed, and shall be made with the electrical conductor and light source base shrouded with an opaque white colored cover, except for the portion normally located within the interior of the lamp housing. The measurement of luminous flux for Type HB3 and Type HB4 shall be made with the base covered with the white cover shown in the drawings for Types HB3 and HB4 filed in Docket No. NHTSA 98-3397.

(2) For a light source using excited gas mixtures as a filament or discharge arc, seasoning of the light source system, including any ballast required for its operation, shall be made in accordance with section 4.0 of SAE Recommended Practice J2009 FEB93 Discharge Forward Lighting Systems. With the test voltage applied to the ballast input terminals, the measurement of luminous flux shall be made with the black cap installed, if so designed, and shall be made with an opaque white colored cover, except for the portion normally located within the interior of the lamp housing.

(e) If a ballast is required for operation, each ballast shall bear the following permanent markings:

(1) Name or logo of ballast manufacturer;

(2) Ballast part number or unique identification;

(3) Part number or other unique identification of the light source for which the ballast is designed;

(4) Rated laboratory life of the light source/ballast combination, if the information for the light source has been filed in Appendix B of part 564 of this chapter;

(5) A warning that ballast output voltage presents the potential for severe electrical shock that could lead to permanent injury or death;

(6) Ballast output power in watts and output voltage in rms volts AC or DC; and

(7) The symbol “DOT”.

(f) For light sources that use excited gas mixtures as a filament or discharge arc, the “rated laboratory life” shall be determined in accordance with sections 4.3 and 4.9 of SAE Recommended Practice J2009 FEB93 Forward Discharge Lighting Systems.

(g) After the force deflection test conducted in accordance with S9, the permanent deflection of the glass envelope shall not exceed 0.13 mm in the direction of the applied force.

Panda Power did not describe the noncompliances in detail, instead it deferred to the agency's concern that the subject HID headlamp kits may not comply with one or more of the regulations enforced by the agency. This concern was described as an apparent noncompliance in a letter sent to Panda Power dated September 2, 2009. The letter was sent to Panda Power as part of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance Office Activity.[3]

In the petition Panda Power argues that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons: (1) The kits were originally intended for sale to the agricultural community to be placed on tractors and combines, for off-road vehicles, and for exhibition purposes; (2) the HID bulbs that were sold with the kits in 2007 and 2008 are likely burned out by now and no longer functioning; and (3) Panda Power no longer sells the headlamp kits.

Supported by the above stated reasons, Panda Power believes that the described FMVSS No. 108 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 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.

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 http://www.regulations.gov 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.

DATES:

Comment closing date: January 20, 2011.

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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: December 15, 2010.

Claude H. Harris,

Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.

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Footnotes

1.  Panda Power, LLC (Panda Power) is organized under the laws of the State of Arizona and is the importer of the subject nonconforming replacement equipment. Panda Power sold the nonconforming replacement equipment while doing business under the name Mobile HID.

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2.  Panda Power's high-intensity lighting (HID kits each contained 2 lamps, 2 lamp ballasts and a wiring harness with relay and fuse).

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3.  Office Activity Number: OA-108-090606G.

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[FR Doc. 2010-32010 Filed 12-20-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P