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Notice

Ford Motor Company, 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:

Ford Motor Company, (Ford) has determined that certain model year (MY) 2014 Ford Focus passenger cars do not fully comply with paragraph S3.1.4.1(a) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 102, Transmission Shift Position Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect. Ford has filed an appropriate report dated November 25, 2013 pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

DATES:

The closing date for comments on the petition is July 21, 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. Ford's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Ford 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 Ford'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. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 43,699 MY 2014 Ford Focus passenger cars manufactured from August 2, 2013 through September 27, 2013, at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.

III. Noncompliance: Ford explains that the noncompliance is that after the vehicle has been started under certain non-typical conditions the subject vehicles do not fully meet the requirements of paragraph S3.1.4.1(a) of FMVSS No. 102 because the transmission shift position indicator (PRNDx) does not display transmission shift position sequence and position, i.e., Park, until after the shifter release button is depressed.

IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S3.1.4.1 of FMVSS No. 102 requires in pertinent part:

S3.1.4.1 Except as specified in S3.1.4.3, if the transmission shift position sequence includes a park position, identification of shift positions, including the positions in relation to each other and the position selected, shall be displayed in view of the driver whenever any of the following exist:

(a) The ignition is in a position where the transmission can be shifted; or . . .

V. Summary of Ford's Analyses:

Ford stated that no other Ford vehicles are affected by this condition, and it is not aware of any owner complaints, accidents, or injuries related to this condition. In Ford's judgment, the condition does not present a risk to motor vehicle safety, for the following reasons:

(1) This concern condition can only occur after a non-typical key-on sequence and only when the transmission is in Park, thus not presenting a risk to motor vehicle safety.

(2) As soon as the transmission shift lever release button is depressed (required for shifting to any non-Park position), the PRNDx will illuminate, allowing the customer to select the desired gear.

(3) Under normal usage, the PRNDx illuminates as intended. For example, when the driver or passenger open a door and enter the car, the cluster will wake up from sleep mode and the concern condition will not occur.

(4) If the vehicle is left in any gear other than Park, the cluster will not go into sleep mode, this concern condition will not occur, and the PRNDx will illuminate as intended.

(5) All of the other requirements of FMVSS No. 102 are fully satisfied.

Ford has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the noncompliance so that all future production vehicles will comply with FMVSS No. 102.

In summation, Ford believes that the described noncompliance of the subject vehicles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt Ford 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 vehicles that Ford no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, Start Printed Page 35227any decision on this petition does not relieve Ford distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after Ford 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 Vehicle Safety Compliance.

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[FR Doc. 2014-14287 Filed 6-18-14; 8:45 am]

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