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Notice

Volkswagen Group of 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:

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen), has determined that certain Model year (MY) 2015-2016 Audi A3 and Audi S3 motor vehicles do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. Volkswagen filed a noncompliance report dated January 28, 2019, and also petitioned NHTSA on January 28, 2019, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This document announces receipt of Volkswagen's petition.

DATES:

Send comments on or before August 8, 2019.

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 submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to the 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 Delivery: Deliver comments by hand to the 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 for Federal Holidays.
  • Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website at https://www.regulations.gov/​. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.Start Printed Page 32831
  • 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 https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

All comments and supporting materials 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 fullest 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 comments, background documentation, and supporting materials 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 https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this petition is shown in the heading of this notice.

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

End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview: Volkswagen has determined that certain MY 2015-2016 Audi A3, S3 Sedan, and A3 Cabriolet motor vehicles do not comply with paragraph S9.3.6. of FMVSS No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment (49 CFR 571.108). Volkswagen filed a noncompliance report dated January 28, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on January 28, 2019, 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, pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 30118 and 49 U.S.C. 30120, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance.

This notice of receipt of Volkswagen'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: Approximately 81,831 MY 2015-2016 Audi A3, S3 Sedan and A3 Cabriolet motor vehicles, manufactured between November 28, 2013, and July 28, 2016, are potentially involved.

III. Noncompliance: Volkswagen explains that the noncompliance is that the subject vehicles are equipped with turn signal pilot indicators that do not meet the flashing rate as required by paragraph S9.3.6 of FMVSS No. 108. Specifically, the left turn signal indicator, does not have a significant change in the flashing rate when the left rear turn signal LED array becomes inoperative.

IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S9.3.6 of FMVSS No. 108 provides the requirements relevant to this petition. Failure of one or more turn signal lamps, such that the minimum photometric performance specified in Tables VI or VII of FMVSS No. 108 is not being met, must be indicated by the turn signal pilot indicator by a “steady on,” “steady off,” or by a significant change in the flashing rate.

V. Summary of Petition: Volkswagen described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

In support of its petition, Volkswagen submitted the following reasoning:

1. The driver receives two different indicator warnings in the instrument cluster immediately upon error. The brake light and indicator light/turn signal are combined and the referenced tail lamp assembly subject to FMVSS No. 108 is the outboard lighting assembly. The subject condition is limited to the outermost left rear lamp assembly only.

2. In the case of bulb failure, both lights (brake light and indicator light/turn signal are combined) become inoperative, including the turn signal. Should the LED left turn signal become inoperative, the external indicator lights that signal left turns, which are located on the trunk and on the left side view mirror of the vehicle, are still operational.

3. Additionally, the reverse lamp in the left rear tail lamp assembly, the left brake light in the trunk lid assembly, and the center high mount stop lamp, will remain operational.

Volkswagen concluded that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition to be exempted 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 vehicles that Volkswagen 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 vehicles under their control after Volkswagen notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.

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

Start Signature

Otto G. Matheke III,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-14484 Filed 7-8-19; 8:45 am]

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