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Notice

Hankook Tire America Corp, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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AGENCY:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Receipt of petition.

SUMMARY:

Hankook Tire America Corp, (Hankook) has determined that certain model year Hankook Roadhandler Sport (H432) tires manufactured between June 21, 2013 and August 29, 2013, do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5(f) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Hankook has filed an appropriate report dated October 4, 2013, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

DATES:

The closing date for comments on the petition is January 9, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

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:

  • Mail: Send comments 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.
  • Hand Deliver: Deliver comments by hand 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.
  • Electronically: Submit comments 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 (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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Hankook's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Hankook 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 Hankook'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.

II. Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 6,257 Roadhandler Sport (H432), size 215/45R17 91W XL, Hankook tires manufactured between June 21, 2013 and August 29, 2013.

III. Noncompliance: Hankook explains that the noncompliance is that, due to a mold labeling error, the sidewall marking on the side of the tires incorrectly describes the actual number of plies in the tread area of the tires as required by paragraph S5.5(f) of 49 CFR 571.139. Specifically, the tires in question were inadvertently manufactured with “Ply Tread 2 steel + 1 Polyester + 2 Nylon, Sidewall 1 Polyester.” The correct labeling and stamping to match the tire construction should have been “Ply Tread 2 steel + 1 Polyester + 1 Nylon, Sidewall 1 Polyester.”

IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.5(f) of FMVSS No. 139 requires in pertinent part:

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S5.5 Tire Markings. Except as specified in paragraphs (a) through (i) of S5.5, each tire must be marked on each sidewall with the information specified in S5.5(a) through (d) and on one side-wall with the information specified in S5.5(e) through (i) according to the phase-in schedule specified in S7 of this standard. The markings must be placed between the maximum section width and the bead on at least one sidewall, unless the maximum section width of the tire is located in an area that is not more than one-fourth of the distance from the bead to the shoulder of the tire. If the maximum section width that falls within that area, those markings must 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 must be in letters and numerals not less than 0.078 inches high and raised above or sunk below the tire surface not less than 0.015 inches . . .

(f) The actual number of plies in the sidewall, and the actual number of plies in the tread area, if different.

V. Summary of Hankook's Analyses: Hankook stated its belief that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:

1. The affected subject tires meet or exceed all applicable FMVSS performance standards.

2. The subject tires will not be affected based on performance, durability, or safety they are designed and build for.

Hankook has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the noncompliance so that all future production of these Roadhandler Sport (H432) tires will comply with FMVSS No. 139.

In summation, Hankook believes that the described noncompliance of the subject 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.

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, any decision on this petition only applies to the subject tires that Hankook no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve tire distributors and dealers 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 Hankook notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.

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Authority: (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8)

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Issued on: December 4, 2013.

Claude H. Harris,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. 2013-29405 Filed 12-9-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P