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Notice

BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) [1] a subsidiary of BMW AG, Munich, Germany, has determined that certain BMW vehicles equipped with “run-flat” tires do not fully comply with paragraphs S4.3(c) and S4.3(d) of 49 CFR 571.110, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less. BMW filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports dated November 2, 2010.

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

BMW estimates that approximately 54,200 vehicles equipped with “run flat” tires are affected. The affected vehicle models are certain: Model Year 2008-2011 BMW X5 SAV multipurpose passenger vehicles, manufactured from February 2, 2008 through October 26, 2010; Model Year 2008-2011 BMW X6 SAC multipurpose passenger vehicles, manufactured from September 19, 2008 through October 26, 2010; and 2011 BMW 5-Series, BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo, and BMW 7-Series passenger cars, manufactured from September 1, 2010 through October 26, 2010.

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, Start Printed Page 12411purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, these provisions only apply to the 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. * * *

(c) Vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation pressure for front, rear and spare tires, subject to the limitations of S4.3.4. For full size spare tires, the statement “see above” may, at the manufacturer's option replace manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation pressure. If no spare tire is provided, the word “none” must replace the manufacturer's recommended cold tire inflation pressure* * *

(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;* * *

BMW explains that the noncompliance is that the tire and loading information placards on the affected vehicles incorrectly include a recommended cold tire inflation pressure and size designation for a spare tire. Because the vehicles are equipped with “run-flat” tires and have no spare tire, the word “none,” as required by paragraphs S4.3(c) and S4.3(d) is required in place of the spare tire size and the associated recommended cold tire inflation pressure.

BMW argues that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:

1. Vehicle owners are informed via the vehicle Owner's Manual that if “RSC” is stamped on the sidewall of the tire, then the tire is a “run-flat” tire.

2. BMW vehicle owners can contact BMW Roadside AssistanceTM representatives by telephone 24 hours/day. These representatives can provide vehicle owners, on a vehicle model and model year basis, with all available tire sizes and specifications for the tires originally mounted on their vehicle, including the installation of “run-flat” tires.

3. For vehicles equipped with BMW Assist,TM passengers can contact BMW Roadside Assistance,TM representatives directly from within the vehicle.[2]

BMW reported that the noncompliance was brought to their attention during inspections of vehicles equipped with “run-flat” tires. On October 26, 2010, BMW realized that the affected vehicles do not conform to FMVSS No. 110.

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

In summation, BMW 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.

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 is in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

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: April 6, 2011.

Start Authority

Authority: (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at CFR 1.50 and 501.8).

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Issued on: February 4, 2011.

Claude H. Harris,

Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is a vehicle manufacturer incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey.

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2.  Refer to the BMW petition for specific details on the availability of BMW Assist.TM

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[FR Doc. 2011-5036 Filed 3-4-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P