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Notice

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Goodyear) [1] has determined that certain Goodyear commercial truck tires manufactured between April 2007 and July 2010 do not fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S6.5(f) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, New Pneumatic Tires for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 Pounds) and Motorcycles. Goodyear has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, dated August 12, 2010.

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Goodyear 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 Goodyear'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 43,887 Goodyear G622 LR-F commercial truck tires manufactured from April 2007 to July 2010. A total of approximately 38,991 of these tires have been delivered to Goodyear's customers in the United States and Canada.

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 Start Printed Page 81713noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance.[2]

Paragraph S6.5 of FMVSS No. 119 requires in pertinent part:

S6.5 Tire markings. Except as specified in this paragraph, each tire shall be marked on each sidewall with the information specified in paragraphs (a) through (j) of this section. The markings shall be placed between the maximum section width (exclusive of sidewall decorations or curb ribs) and the bead on at least one sidewall, unless the maximum section width of the tire is located in an area which is not more than one-fourth of the distance from the bead to the shoulder of the tire. If the maximum section width falls within that area, the markings shall appear between the bead and a point one-half the distance from the bead to the shoulder of the tire, on at least one sidewall. The markings shall be in letters and numerals not less than 2 mm (0.078 inch) high and raised above or sunk below the tire surface not less than 0.4 mm (0.015 inch), except that the marking depth shall be not less than 0.25mm (0.010 inch) in the case of motorcycle tires. The tire identification and the DOT symbol labeling shall comply with part 574 of this chapter. Markings may appear on only one sidewall and the entire sidewall area may be used in the case of motorcycle tires and recreational, boat, baggage, and special trailer tires. . .

(f) The actual number of plies and the composition of the ply cord material in the sidewall and, if different, in the tread area;

Goodyear explains that the noncompliance is that, due to a mold labeling error, the sidewall marking on the reference side of the tires incorrectly identifies the number of plies as “Tread 5 Plies Steel” when in fact it should be identified as “Tread 4 Plies Steel” on the sidewall of the tires as required by paragraph S6.5(f) of FMVSS No. 119.

Goodyear also explains that while the non-compliant tires are mislabeled, all of the tires included in this petition meet or exceed the performance requirements of FMVSS No. 119.

Goodyear argues that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the noncompliant sidewall marking does not create an unsafe condition and all other labeling requirements have been met.

Goodyear also points out that NHTSA has previously granted similar petitions for non-compliances in sidewall marking.

Goodyear additionally states that it has corrected the affected tire molds and all future production will have the correct material shown on the sidewall.

In summation, Goodyear believes that the described noncompliance of its tires to meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 119 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 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.

Comment closing date: January 27, 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 20, 2010.

Claude H. Harris,

Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.

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Footnotes

1.  The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Goodyear) is a State of Ohio corporation that manufactures replacement motor vehicle equipment.

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2.  Goodyear's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, requests an agency decision to exempt Goodyear as a replacement equipment manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR part 573 for the 38,991 tires that were delivered to its customers in the United States. However, the agency cannot relieve Goodyear distributors of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after Goodyear recognized that the subject noncompliance existed. Those tires must be brought into conformance, exported, or destroyed. In addition, any of the affected tires that Goodyear has not delivered to its customers must be brought into compliance, exported or destroyed.

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[FR Doc. 2010-32558 Filed 12-27-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P