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

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


Receipt of Petition.


Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, “Cooper” has determined that certain Cooper light truck tires do not fully comply with paragraph S6.4 of Federal Motor Tire 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. Cooper has filed an appropriate report dated December 6, 2013 pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.


The closing date for comments on the petition is June 23, 2014.


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​. 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, 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 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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I. Cooper's Petition

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Cooper 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 Cooper'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 83,343 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ brand LT315/70R17 Load Range D Tubeless tires manufactured from January 28, 2006 through October 31, 2013.

III. Noncompliance

Cooper explains that the noncompliance is that, due to a molding error, the subject tires were manufactured with only five of the six treadwear indicators required by paragraph S6.4 of FMVSS No. 119.

IV. Rule Text

Paragraph S6.4 of FMVSS No. 119 requires in pertinent part:

S6.4 Treadwear Indicators. Except as specified in this paragraph, each tire shall have at least six treadwear indicators spaced approximately equally around the circumference of the tire that enable a person inspecting the tire to determine visually whether the tire has worn to a tread depth of 1.6mm (one-sixteenth of an inch). . . .

V. Summary of Cooper's Analyses

Cooper believes that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the absence of a single treadwear indicator has no practical effect on motor vehicle safety. Cooper supported this belief by stating that the presence of five of the six treadwear indicators provides ample coverage over the surface of the tire Start Printed Page 29503because consumers or technicians who attempt to inspect tread depth by relying on the treadwear indicators can easily see several of the indicators. In fact, when the vehicle is parked, only a small portion of the tread surface is not visible.

Therefore, Cooper believes that five treadwear indicators have an equivalent functionality of six indicators whether the tire is mounted on a vehicle or not.

Copper also points out that NHTSA has previously granted other petitions that Cooper believes were similar to the subject petition.

Cooper has informed NHTSA that it has corrected the noncompliance so that all future production of these tires will comply with FMVSS No. 119.

In summation, Cooper believes that the described noncompliance of the subject tires is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt Cooper 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 Cooper no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve Cooper distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant motor tires under their control after Cooper 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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Jeffrey M. Giuseppe,

Acting Director, Office of Tire Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. 2014-11882 Filed 5-21-14; 8:45 am]