Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, 14988 [E6-4309]

Download as PDF 14988 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 57 / Friday, March 24, 2006 / Notices • Objectives, • Implementation strategies, • Performance measures, and • Monitoring and evaluation plan. Upon receipt, the applications will be reviewed by FMCSA and prioritized for potential funding. Applicants approved for funding will be required to enter into a grant agreement with FMCSA. A Division Administrator will execute the grant agreement with the applicant on behalf of FMCSA. If funds remain available after allocations are made for applications submitted by April 28, 2006, additional applications may be submitted and will be considered for funding until all available funds have been allocated. A copy of the MCSAP–1 grant application form is available and can be downloaded from http:// www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/ safety-initiatives/mcsap/ mcsapforms.htm. It is anticipated the grants.gov application process will be available for use by applicants applying for MCSAP New Entrant and High Priority grants by April 28, 2006. Addresses of the FMCSA Division Offices are available on the Internet at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/ contact/offices/displayfieldroster.asp. Issued on: March 20, 2006. Annette M. Sandberg, Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–4325 Filed 3–23–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Denial of petition for a defect investigation. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the reasons for the denial of a petition submitted by Ms. Elyse Gerber to NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), received October 13, 2005, under 49 U.S.C. 30162, requesting that the agency commence a proceeding to determine the existence of a defect related to motor vehicle safety with respect to electrical system shut down on model year (MY) 2000 Mercedes Benz E430 vehicles. After a review of the petition and other information, NHTSA has concluded that further expenditure of the agency’s investigative resources on the issues VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:26 Mar 23, 2006 Jkt 208001 raised by the petition does not appear to be warranted. The agency accordingly has denied the petition. The petition is hereinafter identified as DP05–007. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Steve Chan, Defects Assessment Division, Office of Defects Investigation, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366–8537. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By letter dated September 20, 2005, Ms. Gerber of Belleair Beach, FL, submitted a petition requesting that the agency investigate electrical system shut down on MY 2000 Mercedes Benz E430 vehicles. The petitioner alleges that coffee from a cup, placed in the cup holder, spilled onto the gear shifter and shut down the vehicle’s entire electrical system. The petitioner indicated that the vehicle jerked and slowed down, but she was able to maneuver the vehicle off the highway and into a shopping center parking lot. The concern raised by the petitioner was investigated by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) of NHTSA. The investigation (SQ01–010) was opened on September 25, 2001 on MY 2000 through 2001 Mercedes Benz SLK, C, CLK, and E Series vehicles. NHTSA opened the investigation after receiving three complaints concerning liquid spillage onto the transmission shifter (center console) area, which reportedly caused the vehicle to stall or shut down, and a related technical service bulletin (TSB) issued by Mercedes Benz. The TSB identifies improved ‘‘TouchShifters’’ (ESM-Electronic Selector Modules) that were more resistant to fluid contamination, which were installed on vehicles produced after March 2001. Mercedes Benz’s letter dated January 24, 2002, sent in response to a request for information by ODI, identified 164 consumer complaints and 241 nonduplicate warranty claims concerning liquid spillage onto the transmission shifter. The response showed that in many cases, depending on the severity of the spill, fluid spills onto the transmission shifter/center console of the subject vehicles will have no effect on drivability. Where a substantial amount of fluid is spilled, the fluid may penetrate the console and contaminate the ESM circuitry located under the console. In certain cases, this can result in a shifter malfunction. Owners reported that they have experienced that the shifter is stiff or difficult to operate, or that the shifter could not be shifted out of the ‘‘Park’’ position. In the event of a fluid spill while the vehicle is moving, the damaged ESM will activate PO 00000 Frm 00157 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the electronic transmission’s ‘‘limphome’’ mode. This mode will prevent the transmission from shifting past second gear while averting a stall or shut-down so that the vehicle can still be driven at a lower speed. Furthermore, Mercedes Benz’s response indicated that there are no electronics related to the power brakes, power steering, or engine under the center console, and the company was unaware of any engineering basis for fluid spills in this area having any effect on those vehicle functions. No related crashes or injuries were identified during SQ01–010. Based on Mercedes’ response and ODI’s analysis of the facts, ODI closed its inquiry in February 2002. ODI concluded that the facts did not demonstrate a safety-related defect. ODI has subsequently received nine more complaints alleging fluid contamination of the transmission shifter since the investigation was closed, none of which report crashes or injuries. These nine complainants mainly expressed dissatisfaction with the design of the cup holder and the cost of replacing the contaminated ESM. Similarly, in petitioner’s case she was able to operate the vehicle to a place where it could be safety stopped after the liquid spillage. The petitioner has not provided any evidence of a safetyrelated defect. In view of the foregoing, it is unlikely that NHTSA would issue an order for the notification and remedy of the alleged defect as defined by the petitioner at the conclusion of the investigation requested in the petition. Therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA’s limited resources to best accomplish the agency’s safety mission, the petition is denied. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30162(d); delegations of authority at CFR 1.50 and 501.8. Issued on: March 21, 2006. Daniel Smith Associate Administrator for Enforcement. [FR Doc. E6–4309 Filed 3–23–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [STB Finance Docket No. 34843] Union Pacific Railroad Company— Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption—BNSF Railway Company BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) has agreed to grant temporary overhead trackage rights to Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) over BNSF’s lines E:\FR\FM\24MRN1.SGM 24MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 57 (Friday, March 24, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Page 14988]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-4309]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition

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

ACTION: Denial of petition for a defect investigation.

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SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the reasons for the denial of a 
petition submitted by Ms. Elyse Gerber to NHTSA's Office of Defects 
Investigation (ODI), received October 13, 2005, under 49 U.S.C. 30162, 
requesting that the agency commence a proceeding to determine the 
existence of a defect related to motor vehicle safety with respect to 
electrical system shut down on model year (MY) 2000 Mercedes Benz E430 
vehicles. After a review of the petition and other information, NHTSA 
has concluded that further expenditure of the agency's investigative 
resources on the issues raised by the petition does not appear to be 
warranted. The agency accordingly has denied the petition. The petition 
is hereinafter identified as DP05-007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Steve Chan, Defects Assessment 
Division, Office of Defects Investigation, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-8537.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By letter dated September 20, 2005, Ms. 
Gerber of Belleair Beach, FL, submitted a petition requesting that the 
agency investigate electrical system shut down on MY 2000 Mercedes Benz 
E430 vehicles. The petitioner alleges that coffee from a cup, placed in 
the cup holder, spilled onto the gear shifter and shut down the 
vehicle's entire electrical system. The petitioner indicated that the 
vehicle jerked and slowed down, but she was able to maneuver the 
vehicle off the highway and into a shopping center parking lot.
    The concern raised by the petitioner was investigated by the Office 
of Defects Investigation (ODI) of NHTSA. The investigation (SQ01-010) 
was opened on September 25, 2001 on MY 2000 through 2001 Mercedes Benz 
SLK, C, CLK, and E Series vehicles. NHTSA opened the investigation 
after receiving three complaints concerning liquid spillage onto the 
transmission shifter (center console) area, which reportedly caused the 
vehicle to stall or shut down, and a related technical service bulletin 
(TSB) issued by Mercedes Benz. The TSB identifies improved ``Touch-
Shifters'' (ESM-Electronic Selector Modules) that were more resistant 
to fluid contamination, which were installed on vehicles produced after 
March 2001.
    Mercedes Benz's letter dated January 24, 2002, sent in response to 
a request for information by ODI, identified 164 consumer complaints 
and 241 non-duplicate warranty claims concerning liquid spillage onto 
the transmission shifter. The response showed that in many cases, 
depending on the severity of the spill, fluid spills onto the 
transmission shifter/center console of the subject vehicles will have 
no effect on drivability. Where a substantial amount of fluid is 
spilled, the fluid may penetrate the console and contaminate the ESM 
circuitry located under the console. In certain cases, this can result 
in a shifter malfunction. Owners reported that they have experienced 
that the shifter is stiff or difficult to operate, or that the shifter 
could not be shifted out of the ``Park'' position. In the event of a 
fluid spill while the vehicle is moving, the damaged ESM will activate 
the electronic transmission's ``limp-home'' mode. This mode will 
prevent the transmission from shifting past second gear while averting 
a stall or shut-down so that the vehicle can still be driven at a lower 
speed. Furthermore, Mercedes Benz's response indicated that there are 
no electronics related to the power brakes, power steering, or engine 
under the center console, and the company was unaware of any 
engineering basis for fluid spills in this area having any effect on 
those vehicle functions. No related crashes or injuries were identified 
during SQ01-010. Based on Mercedes' response and ODI's analysis of the 
facts, ODI closed its inquiry in February 2002. ODI concluded that the 
facts did not demonstrate a safety-related defect.
    ODI has subsequently received nine more complaints alleging fluid 
contamination of the transmission shifter since the investigation was 
closed, none of which report crashes or injuries. These nine 
complainants mainly expressed dissatisfaction with the design of the 
cup holder and the cost of replacing the contaminated ESM. Similarly, 
in petitioner's case she was able to operate the vehicle to a place 
where it could be safety stopped after the liquid spillage. The 
petitioner has not provided any evidence of a safety-related defect.
    In view of the foregoing, it is unlikely that NHTSA would issue an 
order for the notification and remedy of the alleged defect as defined 
by the petitioner at the conclusion of the investigation requested in 
the petition. Therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize 
NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the agency's safety 
mission, the petition is denied.

     Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30162(d); delegations of authority at CFR 
1.50 and 501.8.

    Issued on: March 21, 2006.
Daniel Smith
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. E6-4309 Filed 3-23-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P