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Notice

Michelin North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Receipt of petition.

SUMMARY:

Michelin North America, Inc. (MNA), has determined that certain MNA tires do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New pneumatic radial tires for light vehicles. MNA filed a report dated May 5, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. MNA then petitioned NHTSA under 49 CFR part 556 requesting a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

DATES:

The closing date for comments on the petition is September 2, 2016.

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 in the title 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 comments you have submitted by mail 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.

The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket 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 also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated at the end of this notice.

All documents submitted to the 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. The docket ID number for this petition is shown at the heading of this notice.

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), MNA 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 as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

This notice of receipt of MNA'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 186 MNA Uniroyal Tiger Paw AWP II size P215/70R15 97T passenger car tires that were manufactured between January 10, 2016 and January 13, 2016.

III. Noncompliance: MNA explains that two of the digits in the tire identification number (TIN) that identify the week and year of manufacture were inadvertently switched. This resulted in the tires, which were manufactured in the second week of 2016, being molded with a manufacturing date of “0126” rather than the correct marking of “0216,” Start Printed Page 51267contrary to the requirements specified in paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139 and 49 CFR 574,5(g)(4).

IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139 requires in pertinent part:

S5.5.1 Tire Identification Number.

. . .

(b) Tires manufactured on or after September 1, 2009. Each tire must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 574 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire.

49 CFR 574.5(g)(4) provides that the fourth grouping of symbols within the tire identification number shall “identify the week and year of manufacture.” The regulation specifies that “[t]he first and second symbols of the date code must identify the week of the year,” and “[t]he third and fourth symbols of the date code identify the last two digits of the year of manufacture.” Applying these requirements, the subject tires, which were manufactured during week 2 of 2016, should display “0216” as the date code, but instead display “0126” as the date code.

V. Summary of MNA's Petition: MNA believes that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

In support of its petition, MNA submitted the following information and analysis of the subject noncompliance:

1. MNA stated that although the date code is not correct, it specifies a date well into the future and thus offers a unique identification for the subject tires. Futhermore, the incorrect but unique coding has been recorded in MNA's records and can be used to identify the subject tires in the event of a future market action.

2. MNA also stated that there should be no risk of duplication of the TIN in the future since the current 2 digit plant code will evolve to a 3 digit plant code by April 25, 2025, thus creating a new TIN sequence prior to week 1 of 2026 (the date inadvertently specified on the subject tires).

3. MNA further noted that that the incorrect date code does not compromise the ability to register the tire. Tire registration cards accept the date as marked (0126). Moreover, the Uniroyal tire registration Web page accepts the TIN with the date as described.

4. MNA also stated that Michelin's consumer care team has been informed should there be any questions from a consumer or dealer.

5. MNA concluded by noting that all other markings on the subject tires conform to the applicable regulations and meet all performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139.

In its part 573 Report, MNA stated that there is no imminent safety risk associated with the mismarking.

In summation, MNA believes that the described noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt MNA from providing notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the 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 MNA no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment 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 MNA 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)

End Authority Start Signature

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-18308 Filed 8-2-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P