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Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming Long-Wheel Base 2005 Mercedes-Benz G-Class (463 Chassis) Multi-Purpose Passenger Vehicles Are Eligible for Importation

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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.


Receipt of petition.


This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that 2005 Long-Wheel Base (LWB) Mercedes-Benz G-class (463 chassis) multi-purpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) are eligible for importation into the United States because they are substantially similar to vehicles that were originally manufactured for sale in the United States and that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with the safety standards (the U.S.-certified version of the 2005 LWB Mercedes-Benz G-class (463 chassis) MPV) and they are capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards.


The closing date for comments on the petition is March 18, 2013.


Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above and be submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

Instructions: 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, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Privacy Act: 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.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

How to Read Comments submitted to the Docket: You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the address and times given above. You may also view the documents from the Internet at Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. The docket ID number and title of this notice are shown at the heading of this document notice. Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically search the Docket for new material.

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George Stevens, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5308).

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Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, certified under 49 U.S.C. § 30115, and of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable FMVSS.

Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR Part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and affords interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the close of the comment period, Start Printed Page 10687NHTSA decides, on the basis of the petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this decision in the Federal Register.

G&K Automotive Conversion, Inc. of Santa Ana, California (G&K)(Registered Importer 90-007) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether nonconforming 2005 LWB Mercedes-Benz G-class (Type 463) MPVs are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which WETL believes are substantially similar are 2005 LWB Mercedes-Benz G-class (Type 463) MPVs that were manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States and certified by their manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS.

The petitioner claims that it compared non-U.S. certified 2005 LWB Mercedes-Benz G-class (Type 463) MPVs to their U.S.-certified counterparts, and found the vehicles to be substantially similar with respect to compliance with most FMVSS. G&K submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 2005 LWB Mercedes-Benz G-class (Type 463) MPVs, as originally manufactured, conform to many FMVSS in the same manner as their U.S. certified counterparts, or are capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards. Specifically, the petitioner claims that non-U.S. certified 2005 LWB Mercedes-Benz G-class (Type 463) MPVs are identical to their U.S. certified counterparts with respect to compliance with Standard Nos. 102 Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect; 103 Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems; 104 Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems; 105 Hydraulic and Electric Brake Systems; 106 Brake Hoses; 113 Hood Latch System; 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids; 119 New Pneumatic Tires; 124 Accelerator Control Systems; 201 Occupant Protection in Interior Impact; 202 Head Restraints; 204 Steering Control Rearward Displacement; 205 Glazing Materials; 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components; 207 Seating Systems; 209 Seat Belt Assemblies; 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages; 212 Windshield Mounting; 216 Roof Crush Resistance; 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion; 225 Child Restraint Anchorage Systems; and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.

The petitioner also contends that the vehicles are capable of being altered to meet the following standards, in the manner indicated:

Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: Replacement of the instrument cluster with a U.S.-model component and reprogramming and initializing the vehicle control system to integrate the instrument cluster and activate the required warning systems.

Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment: Installation of U.S.- model headlamps and front and rear side marker lamps.

Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirrors: Replacement of the passenger-side rearview mirror with a U.S.-model component, or inscription of the required warning statement on the face of that mirror.

Standard No. 114 Theft Protection: Reprogramming the vehicle's control system so that the required warning is activated when the key is in the ignition and the driver's door is open.

Standard No. 118 Power-Operated Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems: Reprogramming the vehicle's control system and door modules so that the window transport mechanism is inoperative when the ignition is turned in the off position.

Standard No. 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other than Passenger Cars: Installation of a tire information placard.

Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: Reprogramming the interior control computer to activate the seat belt warning system.

The petitioner also stated that the vehicles are equipped with an automatic restraint system that consists of a seat belt warning lamp, driver and passenger air bags and knee bolsters, air bag crash sensors, and an air bag control unit. The vehicles are also equipped in the front and rear outboard seating positions with Type 2 lap and shoulder belts identical to those found on the vehicle's U.S. certified counterpart that are self-tensioning and released by means of a single red push button.

Standard No. 214 Side Impact Protection: Inspection of each vehicle to ensure it is equipped with door beams that meet the requirements of the standard.

Standard No. 301 Fuel System Integrity: Inspection of each vehicle and replacement of non-U.S. model components with U.S. model components to meet the requirement of the standard.

In addition, the petitioner states that a vehicle identification number (VIN) plate must be installed in the area of the left windshield post with the vehicle's original VIN identified as a substitute for a U.S. VIN to meet the requirements of 49 CFR Part 565.

All comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be considered, and will be available for examination in the docket at the above addresses both before and after that date. To the extent possible, comments filed after the closing date will also be considered. Notice of final action on the petition will be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), and (b)(1); 49 CFR 593.7; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.

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Issued on: February 11, 2013.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. 2013-03459 Filed 2-13-13; 8:45 am]