Public Hearing To Determine Whether Transportation Collaborative, Inc. (TCI) Has Met Notification and Remedy Requirements, 48624-48627 [E9-22954]

Download as PDF 48624 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 23, 2009 / Notices grantees on a reimbursement basis. FRA anticipates awarding grants to multiple eligible participants. FRA may choose to award a grant or grants within the available funds in any amount. Funding made available through grants provided under this program, together with funding from other sources that is committed by a grantee as part of a grant agreement, must be sufficient to complete the funded project and achieve the anticipated rehabilitation and repairs to Class II and Class IIII railroads. FRA will be publishing a second Notice of Funding Availability shortly and will begin accepting grant applications 10 days after publication of this second Notice of Funding Availability in the Federal Register. Please see this Notice for further information. Form Number(s): SF–424. Annual Estimated Burden Hours: 4,875 hours. Addressee: Send comments regarding this information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 Seventeenth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FRA Desk Officer. Comments may also be sent via e-mail to OMB at the following address: oira_submissions@omb.eop.gov. Comments are invited on the following: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. A comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520. Issued in Washington, DC, on September 16, 2009. Donna Alwine, Acting Director, Office of Financial Management, Federal Railroad Administration. [FR Doc. E9–22940 Filed 9–22–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P VerDate Nov<24>2008 20:58 Sep 22, 2009 Jkt 217001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2009–0160] Public Hearing To Determine Whether Transportation Collaborative, Inc. (TCI) Has Met Notification and Remedy Requirements AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of public hearing. SUMMARY: NHTSA will hold a public hearing to gather information on whether Transportation Collaborative, Inc. of Warwick, New York, (‘‘TCI’’) has reasonably met its obligations under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended, to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers and/or remedy failures to comply with federal motor-vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) or defects related to motor vehicle safety in fifteen (15) recalls involving vehicles built by U.S. Bus, Inc. of Suffern, New York (‘‘U.S. Bus’’). The proceeding may result in the issuance of an order directing TCI to provide proper notification and/or an effective remedy in one or more of the recalls. DATES: The public hearing will be held beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 23, 2009 in Room 4 of the D.O.T. Conference Center, located at 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590. NHTSA recommends that all persons attending the hearing arrive at least 45 minutes early in order to facilitate entry into the Conference Center. If you wish to attend or speak at the hearing, you must register in advance no later than Tuesday, October 20, 2009, by following the instructions in the PROCEDURAL MATTERS section of this notice. NHTSA will consider late registrants to the extent time and space allows, but NHTSA cannot ensure that late registrants will be able to attend or speak at the hearing. To ensure that NHTSA has an opportunity to consider comments, NHTSA must receive written comments by Tuesday, October 20, 2009. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the docket number identified in the heading of this document by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. Regardless of how you submit your comments, you should mention the docket number of this document. You may call the Docket at 202–366– 9324. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Zachary Dunlap, Office of Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590; (202) 366–5263. Information related to the recalls is available through NHTSA’s Web site: http://www.safercar.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120(e), and 49 CFR 557.7, NHTSA’s Administrator has decided that it is necessary to schedule a public hearing to determine whether TCI reasonably met notification and remedy requirements for noncompliant and defective vehicles manufactured by U.S. Bus. TCI purchased U.S. Bus’ assets in an asset sale on or about November 1, 2007. Prior to this sale, U.S. Bus filed at least fifteen (15) reports with NHTSA that vehicles it manufactured failed to comply with applicable FMVSS or contained safety defects. Since the date of the asset sale, neither U.S. Bus nor TCI have taken any actions to remedy the defects and noncompliances. According to current and former U.S. Bus officials, U.S. Bus ceased operations on or about October 31, 2007 and no longer manufactures buses. TCI and U.S. Bus have continuity of ownership, management, personnel, assets, and general business operations. Based on available information, the shareholders of both U.S. Bus and TCI—Debra Bess Deutsch-Corr, Steven Marksohn, Jerome B. Marksohn, Bart Marksohn, and Helena Marksohn—are the same. A. Requirements Applicable to Recalls: If a manufacturer of a motor vehicle learns that a vehicle contains a defect and determines that the defect relates to motor-vehicle safety, or determines that the vehicle does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard, the manufacturer shall notify the Secretary of Transportation and the owners, purchasers, and dealers of the vehicle. 49 U.S.C. 30118(c). Notification shall be given within a reasonable time after the manufacturer first decides that a safety-related defect or non- E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 23, 2009 / Notices 49 U.S.C. 30120(c)(2). After filing a notification with the Secretary that a vehicle contains a defect or does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard, the manufacturer shall file a copy of the manufacturer’s remedy program. 49 U.S.C. 30120(d). The manufacturer is required to file quarterly reports that include information about the implementation of the remedy plan. 49 U.S.C. 30120(d). The Secretary’s authority has been delegated to NHTSA. 49 CFR 1.50(a). mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 1. Defect and Noncompliance Information Report 49 CFR 573.6 specifies the information the manufacturer must include in its Defect and Noncompliance Information Report, commonly referred to as a Part 573 report, which notifies NHTSA of the existence of a noncompliance with a FMVSS or a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety. The manufacturer is required to report the estimated date on which it will begin sending notifications to owners and to dealers that there is a noncompliance or safety-related defect and that a remedy without charge will be available to owners, and the estimated date(s) on which it will complete such notifications. The manufacturer is to describe its program for remedying the defect or noncompliance. If a manufacturer subsequently becomes aware that either the beginning or the completion dates reported to the agency for any of the notifications will be delayed by more than two weeks, it shall promptly advise the agency of the delay and the reasons therefor, and furnish a revised estimate. 2. Notification Under 49 CFR 577.5, the manufacturer of motor vehicles is required to provide notice to owners and dealers when it determines that any motor vehicle contains a noncompliance with a FMVSS or a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety. The proposed owner notification letter must be submitted to NHTSA’s Recall Management Division no fewer then five Federal Government business days before the manufacturer intends to begin mailing it to owners. This section also states the substantive requirements for the body of the notice. In summary, it must include a statement of measures to be taken to remedy the problem, without charge. Also to be included is the earliest date on which the defect or noncompliance will be remedied without charge. In the case of remedy by repair, this date shall be the earliest date on which the VerDate Nov<24>2008 21:01 Sep 22, 2009 Jkt 217001 manufacturer reasonably expects that dealers or other service facilities will receive necessary parts and instructions. 3. Time and Manner of Notification 49 CFR 577.7 requires the manufacturer to furnish the notification required by 49 CFR 577.5 to owners and dealers within a reasonable time after the manufacturer first decides that a noncompliance or defect that relates to motor vehicle safety exists. 4. Quarterly Reports 49 CFR 573.7 requires that each manufacturer who is conducting a noncompliance or defect notification campaign to submit on a quarterly basis, a report to NHTSA containing certain information. Included in this report is NHTSA’s notification campaign number, the date notification began and was completed, and the number of vehicles or items of equipment involved in the notification campaign. The manufacturer must provide the number of vehicles and equipment items which have been inspected and repaired, the number of vehicles and equipment items inspected and determined not to need repair, and the number of vehicles or items of equipment determined to be unreachable for inspection for any reason. Finally, the number of vehicles or items or equipment in each category shall be specified. This information must be included in a quarterly report with respect to each notification campaign, for each of six consecutive quarters beginning with the quarter in which the campaign was initiated (i.e., the date of initial mailing of the defect or noncompliance notification to owners) or corrective action has been completed on all defective or non-complying vehicles or items of replacement equipment involved in the campaign, whichever occurs first. 5. Requirement To Provide a Free Remedy After notice is given, a manufacturer ‘‘shall remedy the defect or noncompliance without charge when the vehicle or equipment is presented for remedy.’’ 49 U.S.C. 30120(a)(1). A manufacturer can remedy one of three ways: by repairing the vehicle; by replacing the vehicle with an identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle; or, by refunding the purchase price, less a reasonable allowance for depreciation. 49 U.S.C. 30120(a)(1)(A). 6. Public Hearing As provided by 49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120(e), and 49 CFR 557.7, NHTSA’s Administrator can conduct a hearing to PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48625 decide whether a manufacturer has reasonably met its notification requirements or remedy requirements. If the Administrator determines that the manufacturer has not reasonably met his obligation to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a safety-related defect or failure to comply with a FMVSS or to remedy such defect or failure to comply, he can order the manufacturer to take specified action to comply with the manufacturer’s obligation. In addition, the Administrator may take any action authorized by the Act. 49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120(e), and 49 CFR 557.8. A. U.S. Bus and TCI U.S. Bus is a New York corporation that formerly manufactured buses. From 2001 to 2007, U.S. Bus filed twenty-one (21) defect and noncompliance information reports (‘‘Part 573 Report’’) with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR 573.6. A number of the recall campaigns initiated by U.S. Bus have not been completed. In some, owners, purchasers, and dealers have not been provided notice. In a larger number of recalls, many buses have not been repaired. By mid 2007, U.S. Bus had committed to completing a number of recall and remedy campaigns that would require substantial repairs. Around November 1, 2007, U.S. Bus notified the Agency that it sold its assets to another corporation, TCI. TCI is a New York corporation that manufactures buses, and does business under the name, TransTech Bus or Trans-Tech Bus. The asset sale between TCI and U.S. Bus occurred on or about November 1, 2007. After the sale, NHTSA served Special Orders requesting information about the outstanding recalls, the asset sale and the ownership, activities, and management of both companies from TCI, U.S. Bus, and their management. After reviewing this information, NHTSA has tentatively concluded that TCI, as the successor of U.S. Bus, is legally responsible for completing the notification or remedy campaigns for the outstanding U.S. Bus recalls. B. Affected Recalls Fifteen (15) noncompliance or defect recalls initiated by U.S. Bus remain incomplete. A list of the incomplete recalls is listed below. • NHTSA Recalls No. 01V–234 and 01V–235: Recall of 474 vehicles whose seat back impact barriers failed to meet the strength requirements of FMVSS No. 222, school bus passenger seating and crash protection, increasing the risk of occupant injury in a crash. U.S. Bus reported that all owners had been E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES 48626 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 23, 2009 / Notices notified and 216 vehicles had been repaired. • NHTSA Recall No. 01V–281: Recall of 188 Model Year (‘‘MY’’) 1998 through 2001 Sturdibus vehicles that failed to comply with the body joint strength requirements of FMVSS No. 221, school bus body joint strength, increasing the risk that the vehicle body panels might separate in a crash. As of U.S. Bus’ last official filing with NHTSA in October 2007, U.S. Bus reported that all owners had been notified but none of the vehicles had been remedied. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that there were 171 affected vehicles, 165 of which had been notified, and 74 had been inspected and remedied. U.S. Bus also stated that ‘‘[t]his recall is superceeded [sic] by Recall Number: 05V–375 Body Joint Strength,’’ which is inaccurate. • NHTSA Recall No. 05V–255: Recall of 172 MY 2004 and 2005 model year Sturdibus and Universe vehicles whose seat back impact barriers failed to meet the strength requirements of FMVSS No. 222, school bus passenger seating and crash protection, increasing the risk of occupant injury in a crash. As of August 2007, U.S. Bus reported that it had notified all owners of these vehicles but had not performed any repairs to remedy the condition cited in the recall. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that 154 affected owners were notified, customer notification was complete, and that repairs were started. U.S. Bus reported that it did not know how many parts shipments were sent. U.S. Bus also reported that Norco Industries would be conducting the recall. • NHTSA Recall No. 05V–257: Recall of 200 MY 2005 Sturdibus vehicles whose windows failed to meet the retention requirements of FMVSS 217, bus emergency exits and window retention and release, increasing the risk that passengers could be ejected in a crash. As of August 2007, U.S. Bus reported that there were 137 affected vehicles, all owners had been notified and provided with repair kits. However, it also reported that only 24 vehicles were known to have actually been repaired. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that owners of 134 of the 137 affected vehicles had been notified, and 44 vehicles had been inspected and remedied. U.S. Bus reported 134 ‘‘remedy parts kits shipped.’’ • NHTSA Recall No. 05V–336: Recall of 38 vehicles equipped with stop arms that may fail to extend in cold weather VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:06 Sep 22, 2009 Jkt 217001 conditions. As of April 2007, U.S. Bus reported that it had no information on notification or remedy of this defect and contended that the manufacturer of the stop arm was providing notice and remedy. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that the notification was ‘‘complete,’’ and that Specialty Manufacturing, which made the stop arms, was determining the recall status. • NHTSA Recall No. 05V–375: Recall of 137 MY 2005 Sturdibus HD vehicles with body joints that failed to meet the strength requirements of FMVSS No. 221, school bus body joint strength, increasing the risk that body panels might separate in a crash. As of August 2007, U.S. Bus reported that all owners had been notified, provided with repair kits, and 24 vehicles had been repaired. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that owners of the 134 of the 137 affected vehicles had been notified, and 44 vehicles had been inspected and remedied. U.S. Bus also noted that ‘‘[p]arts for Recall 01V– 281 are to be shipped as part of this recall.’’ • NHTSA Recall No. 06V–416: Recall of 4019 MY 1998–2006 Universe and Sturdibus vehicles manufactured with a mirror use label applied in a position where it cannot be seen by a seated driver as required by FMVSS No. 111, rearview mirrors. As of its last report to NHTSA in October 2007, U.S. Bus identified 3694 affected owners and inspected and remedied 1510 vehicles. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that owners of 3694 of the 4019 affected vehicles had been notified, and 2025 vehicles had been inspected and remedied. • NHTSA Recall No. 06V–443: Recall of 96 MY 2000–2006 Sturdibus vehicles built with seat back barriers that did not match the contour of the seats on which they were installed, as required by FMVSS No. 222, school bus passenger seating and crash protection, increasing the risk that occupants might be injured in a crash. U.S. Bus reported notifying all owners of this recall and reported shipping repair kits to these owners. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that 96 remedy parts kits were shipped and 5 vehicles were repaired. However, in the same document, U.S. Bus reported that the parts are available for shipping. • NHTSA Recall No. 07V–056: Recall of 122 MY 2005–2006 Universe and Sturdibus vehicles manufactured without the tire and loading label PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 required by FMVSS No. 110, tire selection and rims for motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less, or with the label applied incorrectly, increasing the risk that tires might be overloaded or improperly inflated. U.S. Bus reported that all owners of the affected vehicles were notified of this noncompliance and 25 of those vehicles had been remedied. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that there were 129 affected vehicles. U.S. Bus also reported mailing 129 notifications on October 27, 2007, and that 25 vehicles had been reported to be remedied with repairs ‘‘currently ongoing and in-process.’’ • NHTSA Recall No. 07V–069: Recall of 38 vehicles built between 2003 and January 2007 equipped with 3-passenger C.E. White Student Safety Seats. The buses have seat attachments that do not meet the attachment strength requirements of FMVSS No. 210, seat belt assembly anchorages. U.S. Bus reported to NHTSA that it notified owners of this recall in May 2007, but the number of owners who were sent these notices and the number of vehicles that were remedied is presently unknown to NHTSA. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that there were 38 affected vehicles, and that it had not sent notifications to owners. U.S. Bus also reported that the ‘‘[f]inal [r]emedy for this recall has not been finalized.’’ • NHTSA Recall 07V–155: Recall of 106 MY 2000–2006 Sturdibus, Sturdivan, and Universe vehicles equipped with Freedman Family Seats. The buses have seat attachments and seat spacing that does not meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 210, seat belt assembly anchorages, and FMVSS No. 222, school bus passenger seating and crash protection. U.S. Bus and TCI have not notified any owners of these vehicles of this non-compliance and have not remedied any of the vehicles involved. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that the repair procedure was being written, and that it intended to file a revised 573 Notice. • NHTSA Recall 07V–167: Recall of 25 MY 2006 U.S. Bus Sturdibus and Universe buses manufactured between January 6, 2006 and September 6, 2006 with a Ricon lift. The inner barrier interlock switch system in the lift baseplate could fail to detect the presence of a passenger. A wheelchair could tip backwards onto the lift platform. In U.S. Bus’ response, listed as E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 23, 2009 / Notices being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that the recall was complete and that notifications were mailed on May 1, 2007. This report is the only report NHTSA received from U.S. Bus in regard to this recall. • NHTSA Recall 07V–223: Recall of 89 MY 2006–2007 model year Sturdibus and Universe handicap accessible buses with a wheelchair lift interlock module that may not lock the vehicle in park if the lift is operated with low battery voltage. U.S. Bus and TCI have not notified any owners of these vehicles of this non-compliance and have not remedied any of the vehicles involved. • NHTSA Recall 07V–493: Recall of 137 MY 2007 US Bus Sturdibus School or Activity buses built on the GMT 610 Chevrolet Express Chassis, manufactured between September 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007. The buses failed to conform with FMVSS No. 108, lamps, reflected devices, and associated equipment. When the brakes are applied, the stop lamps will illuminate. When the brake pedal is released, the stop lamps are no longer illuminated but the rear brakes may still be applied. The brake may release after a few seconds or after the next firm brake pedal application. GM Dealers will reprogram the anti-lock brake system module. GM’s recall began on October 17, 2007. In U.S. Bus’ response, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that information from GM had been collected and contact information for end users was being researched. U.S. Bus did not send out notifications. NHTSA will conduct the public hearing to determine whether TCI reasonably met its obligations under the notification requirements of 49 U.S.C. 30118–30119 and the remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. 30120. In the event NHTSA determines that TCI is obligated to complete the notification and/or remedy campaigns, it will order TCI to take actions to provide proper notification and/or effective remedies. Procedural Matters: Interested persons are invited to participate in this proceeding through written and/or oral presentations. Persons wishing to make oral presentations must notify Carla Taylor, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, W41–202, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590; Telephone: (202) 366–5263, or by fax at (202) 366–3820, before the close of business on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. The notifications should specify the amount of time that the presentation is expected to last, and shall include the presenter’s name, organizational affiliation, phone number, and e-mail address. The agency VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:06 Sep 22, 2009 Jkt 217001 will prepare a schedule of presentations. Depending upon the number of persons who wish to make oral presentations, and the anticipated length of those presentations, the agency may add an additional day or days to the hearing and may limit the length of oral presentations. The hearing will be held at a site accessible to individuals with disabilities. Individuals who require accommodations, such as sign language interpreters, should contact Mr. Zachary Dunlap using the contact information in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above no later than Friday, October 9, 2009. A transcript of the hearing and information received by NHTSA at the hearing will be placed in the docket for this notice at a later date. Persons who wish to file written comments should submit them so that they are received by NHTSA no later than Tuesday, October 20, 2009. Instructions on how to submit written comments to the docket is located under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120 (e); 49 CFR 557.7; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50(a), 49 CFR 501.4(a)(3), and 49 CFR 501.8. Issued: September 18, 2009. Ronald L. Medford, Acting Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. E9–22954 Filed 9–22–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. SUMMARY: The FAA published a meeting notice on September 10, 2009 (74 FR 46655) advising the public that a meeting of the Federal Aviation Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee would be held on October 6, 2009. This notice adds an additional meeting date of Wednesday, October 7, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. DATES: The meeting will be held Tuesday, October 6th, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, October 7th, 2009, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard Jehlen, Executive Director, ATP AC, System Operations and Safety, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 493–4527. PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48627 Issued in Washington, DC, on September 17, 2009. Richard Jehlen, Executive Director, Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee. [FR Doc. E9–22957 Filed 9–22–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 17, 2009. The Department of Treasury will submit the following public information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104–13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling the Treasury Bureau Clearance Officer listed. Comments regarding this information collection should be addressed to the OMB reviewer listed and to the Treasury Department Clearance Officer, Department of the Treasury, Room 11000, 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20220. DATES: Written comments should be received on or before October 23, 2009 to be assured of consideration. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) OMB Number: 1545–0260. Type of Review: Extension. Form: 706–CE. Title: Certificate of Payment of Foreign Death Tax. Description: Form 706–CE is used by the executors of estates to certify that foreign death taxes have been paid so that the estate may claim the foreign death tax credit allowed by IRS section 2014. The information is used by IRS to verify that the proper tax credit has been claimed. Respondents: Individuals and Households. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 3,870 hours. OMB Number: 1545–1535. Type of Review: Extension. Title: Revenue Procedure 97–19 Timely Mailing Treated as Timely Filing. Description: Revenue Procedure 97– 19 provides the criteria that will be used by the IRS to determine whether a private delivery service qualifies as a designated Private Delivery Service under section 7502 of the Internal Revenue Code. Respondents: Businesses or other forprofits. E:\FR\FM\23SEN1.SGM 23SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 183 (Wednesday, September 23, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48624-48627]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-22954]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0160]


Public Hearing To Determine Whether Transportation Collaborative, 
Inc. (TCI) Has Met Notification and Remedy Requirements

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of public hearing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NHTSA will hold a public hearing to gather information on 
whether Transportation Collaborative, Inc. of Warwick, New York, 
(``TCI'') has reasonably met its obligations under the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended, to notify owners, purchasers, 
and dealers and/or remedy failures to comply with federal motor-vehicle 
safety standards (FMVSS) or defects related to motor vehicle safety in 
fifteen (15) recalls involving vehicles built by U.S. Bus, Inc. of 
Suffern, New York (``U.S. Bus''). The proceeding may result in the 
issuance of an order directing TCI to provide proper notification and/
or an effective remedy in one or more of the recalls.

DATES: The public hearing will be held beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, 
October 23, 2009 in Room 4 of the D.O.T. Conference Center, located at 
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590. NHTSA recommends that 
all persons attending the hearing arrive at least 45 minutes early in 
order to facilitate entry into the Conference Center. If you wish to 
attend or speak at the hearing, you must register in advance no later 
than Tuesday, October 20, 2009, by following the instructions in the 
PROCEDURAL MATTERS section of this notice. NHTSA will consider late 
registrants to the extent time and space allows, but NHTSA cannot 
ensure that late registrants will be able to attend or speak at the 
hearing. To ensure that NHTSA has an opportunity to consider comments, 
NHTSA must receive written comments by Tuesday, October 20, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the docket number identified in 
the heading of this document by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 am and 5 pm Eastern 
Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    Regardless of how you submit your comments, you should mention the 
docket number of this document.
    You may call the Docket at 202-366-9324.
    Note that all comments received will be posted without change to 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Zachary Dunlap, Office of Chief 
Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590; (202) 366-5263. Information 
related to the recalls is available through NHTSA's Web site: http://www.safercar.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120(e), 
and 49 CFR 557.7, NHTSA's Administrator has decided that it is 
necessary to schedule a public hearing to determine whether TCI 
reasonably met notification and remedy requirements for noncompliant 
and defective vehicles manufactured by U.S. Bus. TCI purchased U.S. 
Bus' assets in an asset sale on or about November 1, 2007. Prior to 
this sale, U.S. Bus filed at least fifteen (15) reports with NHTSA that 
vehicles it manufactured failed to comply with applicable FMVSS or 
contained safety defects. Since the date of the asset sale, neither 
U.S. Bus nor TCI have taken any actions to remedy the defects and 
noncompliances. According to current and former U.S. Bus officials, 
U.S. Bus ceased operations on or about October 31, 2007 and no longer 
manufactures buses. TCI and U.S. Bus have continuity of ownership, 
management, personnel, assets, and general business operations. Based 
on available information, the shareholders of both U.S. Bus and TCI--
Debra Bess Deutsch-Corr, Steven Marksohn, Jerome B. Marksohn, Bart 
Marksohn, and Helena Marksohn--are the same.
    A. Requirements Applicable to Recalls:
    If a manufacturer of a motor vehicle learns that a vehicle contains 
a defect and determines that the defect relates to motor-vehicle 
safety, or determines that the vehicle does not comply with an 
applicable motor vehicle safety standard, the manufacturer shall notify 
the Secretary of Transportation and the owners, purchasers, and dealers 
of the vehicle. 49 U.S.C. 30118(c). Notification shall be given within 
a reasonable time after the manufacturer first decides that a safety-
related defect or non-compliance exists.

[[Page 48625]]

49 U.S.C. 30120(c)(2). After filing a notification with the Secretary 
that a vehicle contains a defect or does not comply with an applicable 
motor vehicle safety standard, the manufacturer shall file a copy of 
the manufacturer's remedy program. 49 U.S.C. 30120(d). The manufacturer 
is required to file quarterly reports that include information about 
the implementation of the remedy plan. 49 U.S.C. 30120(d). The 
Secretary's authority has been delegated to NHTSA. 49 CFR 1.50(a).

1. Defect and Noncompliance Information Report

    49 CFR 573.6 specifies the information the manufacturer must 
include in its Defect and Noncompliance Information Report, commonly 
referred to as a Part 573 report, which notifies NHTSA of the existence 
of a noncompliance with a FMVSS or a defect that relates to motor 
vehicle safety. The manufacturer is required to report the estimated 
date on which it will begin sending notifications to owners and to 
dealers that there is a noncompliance or safety-related defect and that 
a remedy without charge will be available to owners, and the estimated 
date(s) on which it will complete such notifications. The manufacturer 
is to describe its program for remedying the defect or non-compliance. 
If a manufacturer subsequently becomes aware that either the beginning 
or the completion dates reported to the agency for any of the 
notifications will be delayed by more than two weeks, it shall promptly 
advise the agency of the delay and the reasons therefor, and furnish a 
revised estimate.

2. Notification

    Under 49 CFR 577.5, the manufacturer of motor vehicles is required 
to provide notice to owners and dealers when it determines that any 
motor vehicle contains a noncompliance with a FMVSS or a defect that 
relates to motor vehicle safety. The proposed owner notification letter 
must be submitted to NHTSA's Recall Management Division no fewer then 
five Federal Government business days before the manufacturer intends 
to begin mailing it to owners.
    This section also states the substantive requirements for the body 
of the notice. In summary, it must include a statement of measures to 
be taken to remedy the problem, without charge. Also to be included is 
the earliest date on which the defect or noncompliance will be remedied 
without charge. In the case of remedy by repair, this date shall be the 
earliest date on which the manufacturer reasonably expects that dealers 
or other service facilities will receive necessary parts and 
instructions.

3. Time and Manner of Notification

    49 CFR 577.7 requires the manufacturer to furnish the notification 
required by 49 CFR 577.5 to owners and dealers within a reasonable time 
after the manufacturer first decides that a noncompliance or defect 
that relates to motor vehicle safety exists.

4. Quarterly Reports

    49 CFR 573.7 requires that each manufacturer who is conducting a 
noncompliance or defect notification campaign to submit on a quarterly 
basis, a report to NHTSA containing certain information. Included in 
this report is NHTSA's notification campaign number, the date 
notification began and was completed, and the number of vehicles or 
items of equipment involved in the notification campaign. The 
manufacturer must provide the number of vehicles and equipment items 
which have been inspected and repaired, the number of vehicles and 
equipment items inspected and determined not to need repair, and the 
number of vehicles or items of equipment determined to be unreachable 
for inspection for any reason. Finally, the number of vehicles or items 
or equipment in each category shall be specified.
    This information must be included in a quarterly report with 
respect to each notification campaign, for each of six consecutive 
quarters beginning with the quarter in which the campaign was initiated 
(i.e., the date of initial mailing of the defect or noncompliance 
notification to owners) or corrective action has been completed on all 
defective or non-complying vehicles or items of replacement equipment 
involved in the campaign, whichever occurs first.

5. Requirement To Provide a Free Remedy

    After notice is given, a manufacturer ``shall remedy the defect or 
noncompliance without charge when the vehicle or equipment is presented 
for remedy.'' 49 U.S.C. 30120(a)(1). A manufacturer can remedy one of 
three ways: by repairing the vehicle; by replacing the vehicle with an 
identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle; or, by refunding the 
purchase price, less a reasonable allowance for depreciation. 49 U.S.C. 
30120(a)(1)(A).

6. Public Hearing

    As provided by 49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120(e), and 49 CFR 557.7, 
NHTSA's Administrator can conduct a hearing to decide whether a 
manufacturer has reasonably met its notification requirements or remedy 
requirements. If the Administrator determines that the manufacturer has 
not reasonably met his obligation to notify owners, purchasers, and 
dealers of a safety-related defect or failure to comply with a FMVSS or 
to remedy such defect or failure to comply, he can order the 
manufacturer to take specified action to comply with the manufacturer's 
obligation. In addition, the Administrator may take any action 
authorized by the Act. 49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120(e), and 49 CFR 557.8.

A. U.S. Bus and TCI

    U.S. Bus is a New York corporation that formerly manufactured 
buses. From 2001 to 2007, U.S. Bus filed twenty-one (21) defect and 
noncompliance information reports (``Part 573 Report'') with NHTSA 
pursuant to 49 CFR 573.6. A number of the recall campaigns initiated by 
U.S. Bus have not been completed. In some, owners, purchasers, and 
dealers have not been provided notice. In a larger number of recalls, 
many buses have not been repaired. By mid 2007, U.S. Bus had committed 
to completing a number of recall and remedy campaigns that would 
require substantial repairs. Around November 1, 2007, U.S. Bus notified 
the Agency that it sold its assets to another corporation, TCI. TCI is 
a New York corporation that manufactures buses, and does business under 
the name, TransTech Bus or Trans-Tech Bus. The asset sale between TCI 
and U.S. Bus occurred on or about November 1, 2007. After the sale, 
NHTSA served Special Orders requesting information about the 
outstanding recalls, the asset sale and the ownership, activities, and 
management of both companies from TCI, U.S. Bus, and their management. 
After reviewing this information, NHTSA has tentatively concluded that 
TCI, as the successor of U.S. Bus, is legally responsible for 
completing the notification or remedy campaigns for the outstanding 
U.S. Bus recalls.

B. Affected Recalls

    Fifteen (15) noncompliance or defect recalls initiated by U.S. Bus 
remain incomplete. A list of the incomplete recalls is listed below.
     NHTSA Recalls No. 01V-234 and 01V-235: Recall of 474 
vehicles whose seat back impact barriers failed to meet the strength 
requirements of FMVSS No. 222, school bus passenger seating and crash 
protection, increasing the risk of occupant injury in a crash. U.S. Bus 
reported that all owners had been

[[Page 48626]]

notified and 216 vehicles had been repaired.
     NHTSA Recall No. 01V-281: Recall of 188 Model Year 
(``MY'') 1998 through 2001 Sturdibus vehicles that failed to comply 
with the body joint strength requirements of FMVSS No. 221, school bus 
body joint strength, increasing the risk that the vehicle body panels 
might separate in a crash. As of U.S. Bus' last official filing with 
NHTSA in October 2007, U.S. Bus reported that all owners had been 
notified but none of the vehicles had been remedied. In a subsequent 
response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, 
U.S. Bus reported that there were 171 affected vehicles, 165 of which 
had been notified, and 74 had been inspected and remedied. U.S. Bus 
also stated that ``[t]his recall is superceeded [sic] by Recall Number: 
05V-375 Body Joint Strength,'' which is inaccurate.
     NHTSA Recall No. 05V-255: Recall of 172 MY 2004 and 2005 
model year Sturdibus and Universe vehicles whose seat back impact 
barriers failed to meet the strength requirements of FMVSS No. 222, 
school bus passenger seating and crash protection, increasing the risk 
of occupant injury in a crash. As of August 2007, U.S. Bus reported 
that it had notified all owners of these vehicles but had not performed 
any repairs to remedy the condition cited in the recall. In a 
subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 
19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that 154 affected owners were notified, 
customer notification was complete, and that repairs were started. U.S. 
Bus reported that it did not know how many parts shipments were sent. 
U.S. Bus also reported that Norco Industries would be conducting the 
recall.
     NHTSA Recall No. 05V-257: Recall of 200 MY 2005 Sturdibus 
vehicles whose windows failed to meet the retention requirements of 
FMVSS 217, bus emergency exits and window retention and release, 
increasing the risk that passengers could be ejected in a crash. As of 
August 2007, U.S. Bus reported that there were 137 affected vehicles, 
all owners had been notified and provided with repair kits. However, it 
also reported that only 24 vehicles were known to have actually been 
repaired. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being 
updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that owners of 134 of 
the 137 affected vehicles had been notified, and 44 vehicles had been 
inspected and remedied. U.S. Bus reported 134 ``remedy parts kits 
shipped.''
     NHTSA Recall No. 05V-336: Recall of 38 vehicles equipped 
with stop arms that may fail to extend in cold weather conditions. As 
of April 2007, U.S. Bus reported that it had no information on 
notification or remedy of this defect and contended that the 
manufacturer of the stop arm was providing notice and remedy. In a 
subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 
19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that the notification was ``complete,'' and 
that Specialty Manufacturing, which made the stop arms, was determining 
the recall status.
     NHTSA Recall No. 05V-375: Recall of 137 MY 2005 Sturdibus 
HD vehicles with body joints that failed to meet the strength 
requirements of FMVSS No. 221, school bus body joint strength, 
increasing the risk that body panels might separate in a crash. As of 
August 2007, U.S. Bus reported that all owners had been notified, 
provided with repair kits, and 24 vehicles had been repaired. In a 
subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 
19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that owners of the 134 of the 137 affected 
vehicles had been notified, and 44 vehicles had been inspected and 
remedied. U.S. Bus also noted that ``[p]arts for Recall 01V-281 are to 
be shipped as part of this recall.''
     NHTSA Recall No. 06V-416: Recall of 4019 MY 1998-2006 
Universe and Sturdibus vehicles manufactured with a mirror use label 
applied in a position where it cannot be seen by a seated driver as 
required by FMVSS No. 111, rearview mirrors. As of its last report to 
NHTSA in October 2007, U.S. Bus identified 3694 affected owners and 
inspected and remedied 1510 vehicles. In a subsequent response from 
U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus 
reported that owners of 3694 of the 4019 affected vehicles had been 
notified, and 2025 vehicles had been inspected and remedied.
     NHTSA Recall No. 06V-443: Recall of 96 MY 2000-2006 
Sturdibus vehicles built with seat back barriers that did not match the 
contour of the seats on which they were installed, as required by FMVSS 
No. 222, school bus passenger seating and crash protection, increasing 
the risk that occupants might be injured in a crash. U.S. Bus reported 
notifying all owners of this recall and reported shipping repair kits 
to these owners. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as 
being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that 96 remedy 
parts kits were shipped and 5 vehicles were repaired. However, in the 
same document, U.S. Bus reported that the parts are available for 
shipping.
     NHTSA Recall No. 07V-056: Recall of 122 MY 2005-2006 
Universe and Sturdibus vehicles manufactured without the tire and 
loading label required by FMVSS No. 110, tire selection and rims for 
motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less, 
or with the label applied incorrectly, increasing the risk that tires 
might be overloaded or improperly inflated. U.S. Bus reported that all 
owners of the affected vehicles were notified of this noncompliance and 
25 of those vehicles had been remedied. In a subsequent response from 
U.S. Bus, listed as being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus 
reported that there were 129 affected vehicles. U.S. Bus also reported 
mailing 129 notifications on October 27, 2007, and that 25 vehicles had 
been reported to be remedied with repairs ``currently on-going and in-
process.''
     NHTSA Recall No. 07V-069: Recall of 38 vehicles built 
between 2003 and January 2007 equipped with 3-passenger C.E. White 
Student Safety Seats. The buses have seat attachments that do not meet 
the attachment strength requirements of FMVSS No. 210, seat belt 
assembly anchorages. U.S. Bus reported to NHTSA that it notified owners 
of this recall in May 2007, but the number of owners who were sent 
these notices and the number of vehicles that were remedied is 
presently unknown to NHTSA. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, 
listed as being updated November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that there 
were 38 affected vehicles, and that it had not sent notifications to 
owners. U.S. Bus also reported that the ``[f]inal [r]emedy for this 
recall has not been finalized.''
     NHTSA Recall 07V-155: Recall of 106 MY 2000-2006 
Sturdibus, Sturdivan, and Universe vehicles equipped with Freedman 
Family Seats. The buses have seat attachments and seat spacing that 
does not meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 210, seat belt assembly 
anchorages, and FMVSS No. 222, school bus passenger seating and crash 
protection. U.S. Bus and TCI have not notified any owners of these 
vehicles of this non-compliance and have not remedied any of the 
vehicles involved. In a subsequent response from U.S. Bus, listed as 
being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that the repair 
procedure was being written, and that it intended to file a revised 573 
Notice.
     NHTSA Recall 07V-167: Recall of 25 MY 2006 U.S. Bus 
Sturdibus and Universe buses manufactured between January 6, 2006 and 
September 6, 2006 with a Ricon lift. The inner barrier interlock switch 
system in the lift baseplate could fail to detect the presence of a 
passenger. A wheelchair could tip backwards onto the lift platform. In 
U.S. Bus' response, listed as

[[Page 48627]]

being updated on November 19, 2007, U.S. Bus reported that the recall 
was complete and that notifications were mailed on May 1, 2007. This 
report is the only report NHTSA received from U.S. Bus in regard to 
this recall.
     NHTSA Recall 07V-223: Recall of 89 MY 2006-2007 model year 
Sturdibus and Universe handicap accessible buses with a wheelchair lift 
interlock module that may not lock the vehicle in park if the lift is 
operated with low battery voltage. U.S. Bus and TCI have not notified 
any owners of these vehicles of this non-compliance and have not 
remedied any of the vehicles involved.
     NHTSA Recall 07V-493: Recall of 137 MY 2007 US Bus 
Sturdibus School or Activity buses built on the GMT 610 Chevrolet 
Express Chassis, manufactured between September 1, 2006 and September 
30, 2007. The buses failed to conform with FMVSS No. 108, lamps, 
reflected devices, and associated equipment. When the brakes are 
applied, the stop lamps will illuminate. When the brake pedal is 
released, the stop lamps are no longer illuminated but the rear brakes 
may still be applied. The brake may release after a few seconds or 
after the next firm brake pedal application. GM Dealers will reprogram 
the anti-lock brake system module. GM's recall began on October 17, 
2007. In U.S. Bus' response, listed as being updated on November 19, 
2007, U.S. Bus reported that information from GM had been collected and 
contact information for end users was being researched. U.S. Bus did 
not send out notifications.
    NHTSA will conduct the public hearing to determine whether TCI 
reasonably met its obligations under the notification requirements of 
49 U.S.C. 30118-30119 and the remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. 30120. 
In the event NHTSA determines that TCI is obligated to complete the 
notification and/or remedy campaigns, it will order TCI to take actions 
to provide proper notification and/or effective remedies.
    Procedural Matters: Interested persons are invited to participate 
in this proceeding through written and/or oral presentations. Persons 
wishing to make oral presentations must notify Carla Taylor, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, W41-202, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., Washington, DC 20590; Telephone: (202) 366-5263, or by fax at 
(202) 366-3820, before the close of business on Tuesday, October 20, 
2009. The notifications should specify the amount of time that the 
presentation is expected to last, and shall include the presenter's 
name, organizational affiliation, phone number, and e-mail address. The 
agency will prepare a schedule of presentations. Depending upon the 
number of persons who wish to make oral presentations, and the 
anticipated length of those presentations, the agency may add an 
additional day or days to the hearing and may limit the length of oral 
presentations.
    The hearing will be held at a site accessible to individuals with 
disabilities. Individuals who require accommodations, such as sign 
language interpreters, should contact Mr. Zachary Dunlap using the 
contact information in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 
above no later than Friday, October 9, 2009. A transcript of the 
hearing and information received by NHTSA at the hearing will be placed 
in the docket for this notice at a later date.
    Persons who wish to file written comments should submit them so 
that they are received by NHTSA no later than Tuesday, October 20, 
2009. Instructions on how to submit written comments to the docket is 
located under the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 30118(e), 30120 (e); 49 CFR 557.7; 
delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50(a), 49 CFR 501.4(a)(3), and 
49 CFR 501.8.

    Issued: September 18, 2009.
Ronald L. Medford,
Acting Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. E9-22954 Filed 9-22-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P