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Notice

Guizhou Tyre Corporation; Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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ACTION:

Receipt of Petition.

SUMMARY:

GTC North America, Inc., on behalf of Guizhou Tyre I/E Co. LTD (collectively referred to as “GTC”) has determined that certain Samson and Advance brand ST trailer Tires, do not fully comply with paragraph S6.5 (j) 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. GTC has filed an appropriate report dated March 22, 2012, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR Part 556), GTC submitted a petition 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 GTC'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.

Equipment involved: Affected are approximately 4,291 size ST235/85R16/14 ply Samson and Advance brand ST Trailer Tires manufactured from December 4, 2011 through March 31, 2012.

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 subject 4,291 [1] tires that GTC no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed.

Noncompliance: GTC explains that the noncompliance is that, due to a mold labeling error, the sidewall marking on the tires incorrectly identifies the Load Range as “F” when in fact it should be “G”.

Rule text: Paragraph S6.5(j) 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 0.4mm (0.015 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 * * *

(j) The letter designating the tire load range.

Summary of GTC's Analysis and Arguments

GTC states that while the tire sidewall labeling incorrectly identifies the Load Range as “F” when in fact it should be identified as “G” it does not pose a safety issue because if a consumer followed the load range “F” designation they would actually fall below the actual recommended load carrying capacity. Since the tire load range designation “F” falls below the actual recommended load carrying capacity the tires will perform without incident causing no safety issue.

GTC also stated that all other required sidewall markings are present and correct.

GTC has additionally informed NHTSA that it has stopped production of the subject tires, is correcting the tire molds so that the subject noncompliance does not occur in future production, and has notified dealers to discontinue selling the tires.

In summation, GTC believes that the described noncompliance of its tires 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 should be granted.

Comments: 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.

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: July 25, 2012.

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

Issued on: June 18, 2012.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

Footnotes

1.  Guizhou Tyre Corporation's (GTC) petition, which was filed under 49 CFR Part 556, requests an agency decision to exempt GTC as a tire manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR Part 573 for the 4,291 affected tires. However, a decision on this petition will not relieve equipment distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after GTC notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2012-15396 Filed 6-22-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P