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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) 2019 2020 Volkswagen and Audi motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 138, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. Volkswagen filed a noncompliance report dated May 6, 2020, and later amended it on May 15, 2020. Volkswagen subsequently petitioned NHTSA on May 20, 2020, and later amended it on June 8, 2020, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of Volkswagen's petition.

DATES:

Send comments on or before August 10, 2020.

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.
  • 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 docket. 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 2019 2020 Volkswagen and Audi motor vehicles do not fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S6(f)(3) of FMVSS No. 138, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (49 CFR 571.138). Volkswagen filed a Start Printed Page 41671noncompliance report dated May 6, 2020, and later amended it on May 15, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Volkswagen subsequently petitioned NHTSA on May 20, 2020, but amended it on June 8, 2020, 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 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, 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 299,043 of the following MY 2019-2020 Volkswagen and Audi motor vehicles manufactured between November 26, 2018, and February 19, 2020, are potentially involved:

  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Atlas
  • 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
  • 2019 Volkswagen Golf R
  • 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan LWB
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta NF
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
  • 2019 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen A7
  • 2019 Audi Q3
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf A7
  • 2019-2020 Audi A3 Sedan
  • 2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet

III. Noncompliance: Volkswagen explains that the noncompliance is that the subject vehicles are equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that do not fully comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph S6(f)(3) of FMVSS No. 138. Specifically, when there is a simultaneous pressure loss on all four tires, in which pressure loss occurs at the same rate and time, the detection may not occur within the 20-minute timeframe specified in test procedure requirements.

IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S6(f)(3) of FMVSS No. 138 includes requirements relevant to this petition. The sum of the total cumulative drive time under paragraphs S6(f)(1) and (2) shall be the lesser of 20 minutes or the time at which the low tire pressure telltale illuminates.

V. Summary of Volkswagen's Petition: The following views and arguments presented in this section, V. Summary of Volkswagen's Petition, are the views and arguments provided by Volkswagen. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Volkswagen described the subject noncompliance and stated their belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.

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

1. A rapid tire pressure loss on one or more tires is accurately detected and the low tire pressure warning telltale will illuminate and warn the driver.

2. A pressure loss on fewer than four tires at the same time and rate will be detected, and the low tire pressure warning telltale will illuminate and warn the driver.

3. A simultaneous pressure loss on all four tires at the same rate will be detected and indicated to the driver, but not in the required 20 minutes. Internal tests have shown that in those tests where the pressure loss was not detected in 20 minutes, a warning to the driver was still shown in under 50 minutes. Volkswagen believes this behavior is not relevant for real world driving, as this particular diffusion scenario, involving all four tires at the same time and same rate, is very unlikely to happen in real world driving.

4. As of the production dates listed below, the condition has been corrected:

Volkswagen:

  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf vehicles, as of October 26, 2019;
  • 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack vehicles, as of October 26, 2019;
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI vehicles, as of October 26, 2019;
  • 2019 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen vehicles, as of August 28, 2019;
  • 2019 Volkswagen Golf R vehicles, as of August 20, 2019;
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta vehicles, as of October 24, 2019;
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI vehicles, as of October 24, 2019;
  • 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan vehicles, as of August 18, 2019;
  • 2019-2020 Volkswagen Atlas vehicles, as of February 20, 2020; and
  • 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vehicles, as of July 25, 2019.

Audi:

  • 2019-2020 Audi A3 vehicles, as of January 25, 2020;
  • 2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet vehicles, as of July 13, 2019; and
  • 2019 Audi Q3 vehicles, as of July 31, 2019.

5. The affected vehicles held at the factory have been corrected, and unsold units in dealer inventory will be corrected prior to sale.

6. Additionally, Volkswagen is not aware of any field or customer complaints related to this condition, nor has it been made aware of any accidents or injuries that have occurred as a result of this issue.

Volkswagen concluded by expressing its belief 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 vehicle 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.

Start Authority

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

End Authority Start Signature

Otto G. Matheke III,

Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-14847 Filed 7-9-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P