Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP10-002, 73771-73775 [2011-30612]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 229 / Tuesday, November 29, 2011 / Notices Issued in Washington, DC, on November 22, 2011. Robert C. Lauby, Deputy Associate Administrator for Regulatory and Legislative Operations. [FR Doc. 2011–30748 Filed 11–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration [Docket Number MARAD 2011 0153] Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel OCEAN VUE; Invitation for Public Comments Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: As authorized by 46 U.S.C. 12121, the Secretary of Transportation, as represented by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), is authorized to grant waivers of the U.S.-build requirement of the coastwise laws under certain circumstances. A request for such a waiver has been received by MARAD. The vessel, and a brief description of the proposed service, is listed below. DATES: Submit comments on or before December 29, 2011. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to docket number MARAD–2011–0153. Written comments may be submitted by hand or by mail to the Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. You may also send comments electronically via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. All comments will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection and copying at the above address between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An electronic version of this document and all documents entered into this docket is available on the World Wide Web at http:// www.regulations.gov. SUMMARY: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joann Spittle, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W21–203, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366–5979, email Joann.Spittle@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As described by the applicant the intended service of the vessel OCEAN VUE is: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:20 Nov 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 Intended Commercial Use of Vessel: ‘‘conduct water tour for vacationers & tourists.’’ Geographic Region: ‘‘Florida.’’ The complete application is given in DOT docket MARAD–2011–0153 at http://www.regulations.gov. Interested parties may comment on the effect this action may have on U.S. vessel builders or businesses in the U.S. that use U.S.flag vessels. If MARAD determines, in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 12121 and MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR part 388, that the issuance of the waiver will have an unduly adverse effect on a U.S.vessel builder or a business that uses U.S.-flag vessels in that business, a waiver will not be granted. Comments should refer to the docket number of this notice and the vessel name in order for MARAD to properly consider the comments. Comments should also state the commenter’s interest in the waiver application, and address the waiver criteria given in § 388.4 of MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR Part 388. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78). By Order of the Maritime Administrator. Dated: November 17, 2011. Julie P. Agarwal, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2011–30595 Filed 11–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP10–002 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). ACTION: Denial of Petition for a Defect Investigation. AGENCY: This notice describes the reasons for denying a petition (DP10– 002) submitted to NHTSA under 49 U.S.C. Subtitle B, Chapter V, Part 552, Subpart A, requesting that the agency conduct ‘‘an investigation of defective products manufactured by Dayton Wheel Concepts, Inc. (‘Dayton Wheel’ and American Wire Wheel, LLC SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00190 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 73771 (‘American Wheel’).’’ The petition listed the allegedly defective products and the alleged defect (which varied by allegedly defective product). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Young, Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), NHTSA; 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE; Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366–4806. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By a letter dated December 31, 2009, Mr. Thomas M. Gisslen; 707 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd. #158; Dayton, OH 45459, through his lawyer John R. Folkerth, JR; 109 North Main Street; 500 Performance Place; Dayton, OH 45402; petitioned the NHTSA requesting that it investigate ‘‘defective products manufactured by Dayton Wheel Concepts, Inc. (‘Dayton Wheel’ and American Wire Wheel, LLC (‘American Wheel’)’’ and that the Agency ‘‘order * * * Dayton Wheel [to] remedy the indicated design defects and to cease and desist from the manufacture of the defective products until such time as the indicated design defects have been corrected, that all inventory of such defective product be impounded and destroyed, that all defective product be recalled, and that [Dayton Wheel] provide the notice specified in 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30119’’ [basically that Dayton conduct a safety recall of the allegedly defective product(s) and so notify the NHTSA]. NHTSA has reviewed the material provided by the petitioner and other pertinent data. The results of this review and our analysis of the petition’s merit is set forth in the DP10–002 Petition Analysis Report, published in its entirety as an appendix to this notice. For the reasons presented in the petition analysis report, there is no reasonable possibility that an order concerning the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect would be issued as a result of granting Mr. Gisslen’s 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: November 22, 2011. Nancy Lummen Lewis, Associate Administrator for Enforcement. APPENDIX Petition ANALYSIS—DP10–002 1.0 Introduction On January 27, 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received a December 31, 2009, letter from attorney John R. Folkerth, Jr. E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1 73772 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 229 / Tuesday, November 29, 2011 / Notices on behalf of his client, Thomas M. Gisslen, petitioning the agency to conduct an ‘‘investigation’’ of certain products manufacturer by Dayton Wheel Concepts, Inc. (including those branded ‘‘Dayton’’ and ‘‘American Wire Wheel’’) for a range of alleged defects.1 Mr. Gisslen (the ‘‘petitioner’’) is ‘‘seeking an order requiring Dayton Wheel to remedy the [allegedly] indicated design defects and to cease and desist from the manufacture of the defective products until such time as the [allegedly] indicated design defects have been corrected, that all inventory of such [allegedly] defective product be impounded and destroyed, that all [allegedly] defective product be recalled, and that the manufacturer provide the [recall] notice specified in 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30119.’’ In support of his petition, Mr. Gisslen cites: a previous NHTSA investigation (PE02– 073) and subsequent safety-related recall (03E–011) of the subject motorcycle wheels; a web-forum discussion concerning the alleged separation of three spokes in a Dayton model D452 60-spoke laced wheel installed on a 1958 MGA, photographs of purportedly defective Dayton wheel components, photographs of rim cracking in the nipple dimple area on a customer’s Dayton ‘‘BA’’ radially-laced motorcycle wheel taken proximate to June 6, 2007, a web-forum discussion concerning quality concerns with a ‘‘21 inch, forty spoke cross-laced American Wire Wheel installed on a Harley FXDB ‘‘Street Bob’’; internal Dayton email concerning wheel component material, design, and specification, and material related to alleged test failures of certain Dayton products. According to the petitioner, ‘‘Dayton Wheel’s [allegedly] defective products constitute a substantial risk of catastrophic personal injury * * * ’’ 2 On March 9, 2010, NHTSA wrote to Dayton requesting certain information. The company’s response was received by us on May 17, 2010. Included was a request, filed pursuant to 49 CFR part 512, that certain information provided not be released to the public. On July 26, 2010 the petitioner, through attorney Folkerth, submitted a letter to Ron Medford, NHTSA’s Senior Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety, covering additional exhibits primarily concerning alleged product failures both in the field and during various laboratory tests. Many of the exhibits simply duplicated what was in NHTSA’s public file for this petition (DP10–002). On June 24, 2011, the petitioner (no longer represented by Mr. Folkerth) submitted additional information by Email to NHTSA. The thrust of the email (and a duplicate sent on June 28, 2011) was his opining that Dayton had not thoroughly and completely responded to our March 9th inquiry. For purposes of this analysis, ‘‘Dayton’’ refers to Dayton Wire Wheel, Inc. including all of its divisions, subsidiaries (whether or not incorporated, including American Wire Wheel and Dayton Wheel Concepts). In analyzing the petitioner’s allegations and preparing a response, we: ✓ Reviewed the petitioner attorney’s December 31, 2010, and July 26, 2010, letters and exhibits. ✓ Reviewed the petitioner’s June 24, 2011, email and attachments. ✓ Reviewed the petitioner’s June 28, 2011, email and attachments. ✓ Reviewed data provided by Dayton in response to our March 9, 2010, information request. ✓ Reviewed a previous NHTSA defect investigation (PE02–073) concerning the alleged sudden and unforeseen catastrophic failure of certain motorcycle wheels produced by Dayton under the brand name ‘‘American Wire Wheel’’ (AWW). ✓ Reviewed information related to Dayton’s safety recall (03E–011) of the PE02–073 subject AWW wheels. ✓ Reviewed our consumer complaint database for any reports concerning products manufactured by Dayton. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Product 1 Hired on September 6, 2006, Dayton Wheel (‘‘Dayton’’) terminated Mr. Gisslen’s employment on September 11, 2007. Gisslen v. Dayton Wheel Concepts, Inc., et. al. was filed October 6, 2009 on behalf of Mr. Gisslen alleging he was wrongfully terminated (Montgomery County Ohio, 2009 CV 15:20 Nov 28, 2011 2.0 Dayton Wire Wheel History Founded in 1916, today Dayton Wire Wheel manufactures laced wheels for sale, predominantly, in the automotive and motorcycle aftermarket.3 Dayton wheels were used by the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh. As an original equipment supplier in the 1930’s, Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles were built with Daytons. All Dayton wheels are produced in Dayton, Ohio. 3.0 The Petioners Allegations The petitioner provided a listing of the Dayton products he alleges are defective. While discussing his claims regarding the ‘‘radial spoke’’ (i.e., the spokes do not cross another between the hub and rim) motorcycle wheels in his letter, the petitioner references an earlier NHTSA defect investigation (PE02–073) and its related safety recall (03E–011) concerning certain motorcycle wheels assembled by Dayton.4 3.1 The defective products alleged by the Petitioner Mr. Gisslen alleges that the following Dayton products have the following ‘‘defects:’’ 5 Alleged ‘‘Defect’’ 2003–6 BA 40 Radial Spoke Motorcycle Wheel ............... 19″ & 21″ Diameter Front Wheel; 40, 80 & 100 Radial Spoke Wheel * * * all applications. 40 Radial Spoke M/C wheel * * * all sizes and apps ...... 40 Radial Spoke M/C wheel * * * all sizes and apps ...... VerDate Mar<15>2010 ✓ Informally interviewed owners of British cars equipped with Dayton wheels at three Washington, DC-area British car shows. ✓ Informally interviewed owners of motorcycles equipped with Dayton wheels at three Washington, DC-area custom motorcycle shows. ✓ Conducted a wide-ranging, webbased, search for any information (included forum threads) concerning alleged sudden, catastrophic failure of Dayton products. The information gathered and reviewed during this comprehensive effort fails to establish that a defect trend exists in any of Dayton’s products (including those identified by the petitioner). Consequently, the petition is denied. Jkt 226001 Hub cracking at spoke flange. Rim (rolled edge) cracking (splitting) between dimples (spoke holes). Rim (rolled edge) cracking (splitting) between dimples (spoke holes). Incorporating non-conforming spokes and nips [nipples] increasing risk of cracking and nip-spoke thread engagement failure. 08163). Subsequently, Mr. Gisslen petitioned the Agency. 2 John R. Folkerth, Jr., Esq., to Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 31 December 2009, page 5. PO 00000 Frm 00191 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3 Dayton continues to supply original equipment wheels to some vehicle mfrs., including the Morgan Motor Company of County Worcestershire in the UK. 4 Folkerth, pages 1–2 5 Ibid, pages 4–5. E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 229 / Tuesday, November 29, 2011 / Notices Product Alleged ‘‘Defect’’ All Automotive Wire Wheels .............................................. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 3.2 NHTSA’s Earlier Investigation and Recall Unlike random spoke breakages and/ or other infrequent laced wheel issues, sudden, unforeseen wheel collapse is of particular concern to NHTSA, especially when involving motorcycle wheels. On October 10, 2002, NHTSA opened Preliminary Evaluation (PE) 02–073 after receiving one owner’s complaint alleging the sudden, unforeseen collapse of a ‘‘High Performance Super Spoke’’ aftermarket rear motorcycle wheel. This wheel had been produced by American Wire Wheel, Inc. (AWW), a division of Hulcher Enterprises in Denton, Texas. While preparing its inquiry to AWW, NHTSA found the company had sold its assets to Dayton Wheel Concepts of Dayton, Ohio (Dayton) on September 3, 2002. Included in the purchase were all materials related to AWW’s production of ‘‘Super Spoke’’ model wheels. NHTSA’s Office of Chief Counsel (NCC) reviewed materials related to that sale confirming that it involved only a transfer of AWW’s assets. Subsequently, NCC requested information from Dunn & Bradstreet concerning AWW’s current status and was told the company was no longer in business. On October 31, 2002, Dayton received ODI’s request for information concerning the Super Spoke wheels. Allegedly, prior to receiving the inquiry, only one alleged failure had been disclosed to Dayton by AWW. However, in reviewing AWW’s files while preparing its response to our inquiry, Dayton found documentation of nine other Super Spoke spoke-related failures, occurring between February 2000 and September 2002. Of the nine found (for a total of 10 reports), 2 involved injury crashes and all concerned rear wheels manufactured by AWW of Denton, TX. Here is a representative owner statement concerning his August 4, 2002, incident: ‘‘I was riding with a group of people. The rider next to me saw the wheel hopping. I felt it and tried to look down. [It] felt like I hit a bump, that’s when the bike dropped and all hell broke loose.’’ Photos included with the owner’s documentation show the wheel collapsed when all 40 spokes pulled away from the hub. On August 24, 2001, 15:20 Nov 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 Defective design, material & fabrication increasing risk of cracking and failure. Extension lug bolts and nuts securing spline-mounted wheels incorporating improper material and manufacturing processes. Non-conforming spokes and nips incorporated into wheel assembly, resulting in loss of thread engagement and total failure. AWW paid the owner $4,177.62 to settle his claim. During the time it was gathering and reviewing material responsive to ODI’s October 31 information request, Dayton assembled 32 Super Spoke wheels using components produced by AWW prior to Dayton’s asset purchase. Of these, 24 were rear wheels. On January 21, 2003, Dayton shipped the rear wheels to both Custom Chrome and Drag Specialties, wholesale distributors specializing in aftermarket motorcycle parts. On February 12, 2003, Dayton recalled all of the wheels it produced (32). In its ‘‘Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Report’’ filed with the agency for recall 03E–011, it said it was taking this action after determining the wheels ‘‘have the potential for complete failure while in use due to steel spokes pulling out of the machined aluminum hub’’ with a ‘‘potential for vehicle crash and resultant serious injuries to riders and passengers.’’ In its remedy, Dayton provided, without cost, a wheel of different design to each affected customer. 4.0 Consumer Complaints In analyzing this petition’s merit, NHTSA was interested in any verifiable real world failure allegations indicating: (a) the sudden, unforeseen collapse of any Dayton product including those cited by the Petitioner and, (b) if such incidents existed, did their frequency indicate a defect trend existed? 4.1 Real World Failures Cited by the Petitioner With his December 31, 2010, letter and June 24, 2011, email the petitioner alleged there were seven real-world incidents involving Dayton wheels. Of these, four involved automotive wheels and three concerned motorcycle wheels. He also provided information concerning one alleged failure of a motorcycle drive pulley produced by Dayton. 4.1.1 British-Cars.net—Automotive Wheels The petitioner included a report he found on a web-based forum at BritishCars.net which he characterized as: ‘‘A recent wheel failure report surfaced at british-cars.net. Fortunately no one was PO 00000 Frm 00192 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 injured. The failure event was three spokes pulling out of the hub on a single wheel.’’ 6 Subsequently, we found the subject wheel (a Dayton model D452) was installed on a 1958 MGA owned by a British car enthusiast in West Chester, PA. The owner posted three different threads, the first on or about February 4, 2008, detailing his experience with the Dayton wheels. His primary concern was his impression that Dayton was not willing to honor the wheels’ warranty. Subsequently, the issue was resolved to the owner’s satisfaction. At no time did the wheel collapse nor was vehicle controllability compromised by the separation of three spokes on one wheel. 4.1.2 Scott’s Classic Imports— Automobile Wheels The petitioner’s December 31 letter included six photographs of a Dayton model D450 15x4 wheel intended for use on Austin Healey, Lotus, MG and Triumph automobiles. According to Dayton, this September 2005 warranty submission for broken spokes came from a now defunct used car dealer in Plympton, MA. No wheel collapse, or loss of vehicle control, was reported. 4.1.3 The BA Motorcycle Wheel The Petitioner included information concerning a 40 spoke, radially laced, rear motorcycle wheel installed on a 1998 Harley FLHRCI ‘‘Road King Classic.’’ Known internally as the ‘‘BA’’ wheel, it was a redesign of the ‘‘Super Spoke’’ wheel produced by American Wire Wheel of Denton, Texas and later recalled by Dayton. In February 2006, the owner contacted Dayton to report that the wheel rim had cracked and would not hold air. After receiving the 6 Ibid, E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM page 2. 29NON1 EN29NO11.034</GPH> Motorcycle Drive Pulleys and Rotors * * * all sizes and apps.. Automotive wheel lugs and nuts ....................................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 73773 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 229 / Tuesday, November 29, 2011 / Notices wheel, Dayton found that, as a result of overloading, the rim was cracked 270 degrees circumferentially. At no time did the wheel collapse. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 4.1.4 V–Twin Forum.com—Motorcycle Front Wheels The petitioner also included two forum threads from V–Twin Forum.com, both concerning a front wheel installed on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, one radially-laced of an unspecified make or size and the other cross-laced. The first posting, by ‘‘TacomaWA12’’ on February 9, 2006, alleges a crash occurred while riding his Harley FLSTC when the front ‘‘rim metal between the spokes failed and literally split the rim in two.’’ He claims the bike sustained an estimated $4,400 in damage. The thrust of his post was ‘‘how can I find out who made the wheel?’’ because, as the ‘‘3rd or 4th owner,’’ the wheel manufacturer was unknown to him. There have been no entries on this thread since February 22, 2006, and the identity of the wheel manufacturer is unknown. Dayton has no record of this alleged failure and NHTSA has been unable to locate the owner to ascertain whether Dayton produced the wheel which allegedly failed. The second thread concerned a 21’’ forty spoke, cross-laced front motorcycle wheel produced under the brand name ‘‘American Wire Wheel’’ by Dayton and installed on Harley FXDB ‘‘Street Bob.’’ Beginning on September 20, 2008, the customer (aka ‘‘Sponk’’) provides a laundry list of complaints: slow delivery, poor bearing quality, fitment problems, and slow air loss. At no time was a wheel collapse indicated or alleged. 4.1.5 Motorcycle Drive Pulleys Appendix K of the petitioner’s December 31 letter purports to document manufacturing defects with Dayton-produced motorcycle belt-drive pulleys for Harley-Davidson fitment. Appendix L is a photo of an alleged customer pulley with a complete hub separation occurring in the summer of 2007. Dayton confirms that this is a customer’s pulley but states it was improperly installed. Witness marks on the hub indicate improper fasteners were used to secure the pulley to the hub. 4.1.6 Complaints Identified in Gisslen Email 7 On June 24, 2011, the Petitioner (Gisslen) alleged that two real-world 7 Email from Thomas Gisslen to Robert Young, June 24, 2011, page 2. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:20 Nov 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 incidents, within the scope of our December 31 inquiry, had not been identified by Dayton in its March 9, 2011, response. Both incidents involved Swedish customers who had fitted Dayton wire wheels to their automobiles. The first, reported to Dayton in March 2011 (and revealed to the Petitioner during discovery in his civil suit against Dayton), involved an air leakage problem with the Dayton wheels installed on a late-model Ford Thunderbird. No wheel collapse was reported. The second, occurring in 2005, involved alleged spoke breakage on Dayton wheels installed on a modified Jaguar. No wheel collapse was reported. Neither of the alleged ‘‘failures’’ documented in these ‘‘complaints’’ were within the scope of our December 31 inquiry. 4.2 Real-World, In-Scope, Complaints Received by Dayton Wire Wheel, Inc. In requesting customer complaint information from Dayton, we limited the scope of our inquiry to those products identified in the Petitioner’s December 31st letter: Subject Products: 1. 2003–06 BA 40 spoke, radiallylaced, motorcycle wheel; 2. 19 inch, 40 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel; 3. 19 inch, 80 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel; 4. 19 inch, 100 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel; 5. 21 inch, 40 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel; 6. 21 inch, 80 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel; 7. 21 inch, 100 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel; 8. All motorcycle drive pulleys; 9. All motorcycle brake rotors; 10. All extension spline-mounting lugs; 11. All extension spline-mounting lug nuts; and 12. All automotive wire wheels. and the alleged defect was defined as: Alleged defect: For Subject Products Nos. 1 through 7: any rim and or hub cracking and/or spoke/nipple thread failure resulting in wheel collapse [emphasis added]. For Subject Product Nos. 8 and 9: any fracturing PO 00000 Frm 00193 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of the pulley or rotor [emphasis added]. For Subject Product Nos. 10 and 11: Any failure resulting in clamping force reduction and wheel separation [emphasis added]. For Subject Product No. 12: any fracturing of the spoke head and/or any stripping of spoke/ nipple threads resulting in wheel collapse [emphasis added].8 According to Dayton, the company ‘‘has never had a report or instances where any problem or issue with Subject Products Nos. 1–7 resulting in a wheel collapse. Similarly, Dayton has never had any report or instance where a problem or issue with Subject Products Nos. 10 and 11 resulted in wheel separation. Dayton has never had any report or instance where any problem or issue with Subject Product No. 12 resulted in wheel collapse. With respect to Subject Products Nos. 8 and 9, Dayton has had one instance where a pulley failed * * * as a direct result of improper mounting.’’ 9 4.3 Real-World Dayton Product Failure Reports in NHTSA’s Consumer Complaint Database Using the broadest possible search criteria 10 we found five complaints involving Dayton products. Of these, four concerned the ‘‘Super Spoke’’ motorcycle wheels recalled by the company on February 12, 2003, (03E– 011). The fifth documented this petition. 4.4 Real-World Dayton Product Failure Allegations on the Web Using the broadest possible web search criteria,11 we found no reports of Dayton product collapse and/or separation. 4.5 Real-World Dayton Product Experience In an effort to gather additional information about consumer experience with Dayton products, particularly as it relates to wheel collapse/separation or motorcycle drive pulley collapse, we attended three local British car shows and the same number of custom motorcycle shows. While there, we found some owners displaying vehicles 8 Letter from Richard P. Boyd to Charlie Schroeder, March 9, 2010, page 2. 9 Folkerth, page 2. 10 Our searches included those where the manufacturer was identified as ‘‘Dayton’’ and/or ‘‘American Wire Wheel’’ (including wild cards). In the event the wheel manufacturer was not specifically identified, we searched for those complaints where ‘‘wheel’’ or ‘‘sprocket’’ appeared in the complaint summary and then manually reviewed each for any involving a Dayton product. 11 We searched the web using readily available search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo for any information related to Dayton product failures. We then looked for those involving collapse and/or separation. E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1 EN29NO11.035</GPH> 73774 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 229 / Tuesday, November 29, 2011 / Notices equipped with Dayton wheels and/or (in the case of motorcycles) drive sprockets. No problems with the Dayton products, of any sort, were claimed by any of those we queried. 5.0 Dayton Product Evaluations 5.1 Petitioner Documentation In support of his claim that the subject products are ‘‘defective’’ thus constituting ‘‘a substantial risk of catastrophic personal injury,’’ the petitioner cites a number of tests and analyses conducted on behalf of Dayton * * * the last of these dated February 22, 2006.12 The Petitioner has characterized these as documented test failures. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 5.2 Dayton Documentation In responding to both the petitioner’s allegations and item numbers 6 and 9 of our March 9, 2010, inquiry, Dayton provided additional information and context. Two items are relevant here: First, the Finite Element Analysis conducted by RHAMM Technologies, LLC of Dayton, Ohio on behalf of Dayton in January 2006 was later found flawed because the analysis parameters did not account for work-hardening of the spoke material. Additionally, RHAMM could not define a real-world failure point within the reasonably expected load limits.13 The second relevant item concerns the allegation that testing conducted by Standard Test Labs (STL) on Dayton’s behalf, was invalid. According to Dayton, when this allegation was first made, sometime in 2006, it retained the services of Rexnord Technical Services of Milwaukee, WI to assess STL’s testing and results. Rexnord’s analysis validated STL’s tests and results.14 6.0 NHTSA Analysis In assessing the petitioner’s claim that the subject Dayton products are defective, NHTSA reviewed all reasonably available information to determine whether the products were failing in real-world use and, if so, how frequently? After conducting a comprehensive effort to uncover reports of Dayton wheel separation and/or collapse or motorcycle drive pulley failure, we found no such reports concerning Dayton wheels and one (from 2007) involving a drive pulley, the latter apparently resulting from improper installation. If, as the 12 John R. Folkerth, Jr., Esq., to Ronald Medford, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 26 July 2010, attachment 8. 13 Letter from Jeffrey P. Hinebaugh to Richard P. Boyd, NHTSA, Washington, DC, 14 May 2010, item number 9. 14 Ibid. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:20 Nov 28, 2011 Jkt 226001 petitioner alleges, the testing results (from 2003–2006) indicated Dayton was producing and selling sub-standard wheels and pulleys, it would follow that real-world failures would have occurred, certainly in the last five years. NHTSA found no such evidence. 7.0 Conclusion Based on the foregoing analysis, there is no reasonable possibility that an order concerning the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect would be issued as a result of granting Mr. Gisslen’s 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. [FR Doc. 2011–30612 Filed 11–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2011–0223 (Notice No. 11–12)] Information Collection Activities Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Information Collection Requests (ICR) abstracted below will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comments. The ICRs describe the nature of the information collections and their expected burden. A Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on these collections of information was published in the Federal Register on September 14, 2011 [76 FR 56872] under Docket No. PHMSA–2011–0223 (Notice No. 11–9). DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 29, 2011. ADDRESSES: Send comments regarding the burden estimate, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for PHMSA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Comments are invited on: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00194 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 73775 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 most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Andrews or T. Glenn Foster, U.S. Department of Transportation, Standards and Rulemaking Division (PHH–10), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, East Building, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC. 20590– 0001, Telephone (202) 366–8553. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1320.8(d), Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations requires Federal agencies to provide interested members of the public and affected agencies an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping requests. This notice identifies information collection requests that PHMSA will be submitting to OMB for renewal and extension. These information collections are contained in 49 CFR Parts 172 and 173 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171–180). PHMSA has revised burden estimates, where appropriate, to reflect current reporting levels or adjustments based on changes in proposed or final rules published since the information collections were last approved. The following information is provided for each information collection: (1) Title of the information collection, including former title if a change is being made; (2) OMB control number; (3) abstract of the information collection activity; (4) description of affected persons; (5) estimate of total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden; and (6) frequency of collection. PHMSA will request a three-year term of approval for each information collection activity and, when approved by OMB, publish notice of the approvals in the Federal Register. PHMSA requests comments on the following information collections: Title: Testing, Inspection, and Marking Requirements for Cylinders. OMB Control Number: 2137–0022. Summary: Requirements in § 173.301 for qualification, maintenance and use of cylinders require that cylinders be periodically inspected and retested to ensure continuing compliance with packaging standards. Information E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 229 (Tuesday, November 29, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73771-73775]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30612]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP10-002

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

ACTION: Denial of Petition for a Defect Investigation.

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SUMMARY: This notice describes the reasons for denying a petition 
(DP10-002) submitted to NHTSA under 49 U.S.C. Subtitle B, Chapter V, 
Part 552, Subpart A, requesting that the agency conduct ``an 
investigation of defective products manufactured by Dayton Wheel 
Concepts, Inc. (`Dayton Wheel' and American Wire Wheel, LLC (`American 
Wheel').'' The petition listed the allegedly defective products and the 
alleged defect (which varied by allegedly defective product).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Young, Office of Defects 
Investigation (ODI), NHTSA; 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE; Washington, DC 
20590. Telephone: (202) 366-4806.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By a letter dated December 31, 2009, Mr. 
Thomas M. Gisslen; 707 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd. 158; Dayton, 
OH 45459, through his lawyer John R. Folkerth, JR; 109 North Main 
Street; 500 Performance Place; Dayton, OH 45402; petitioned the NHTSA 
requesting that it investigate ``defective products manufactured by 
Dayton Wheel
    Concepts, Inc. (`Dayton Wheel' and American Wire Wheel, LLC 
(`American Wheel')'' and that the Agency ``order * * * Dayton Wheel 
[to] remedy the indicated design defects and to cease and desist from 
the manufacture of the defective products until such time as the 
indicated design defects have been corrected, that all inventory of 
such defective product be impounded and destroyed, that all defective 
product be recalled, and that [Dayton Wheel] provide the notice 
specified in 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30119'' [basically that Dayton conduct 
a safety recall of the allegedly defective product(s) and so notify the 
NHTSA].
    NHTSA has reviewed the material provided by the petitioner and 
other pertinent data. The results of this review and our analysis of 
the petition's merit is set forth in the DP10-002 Petition Analysis 
Report, published in its entirety as an appendix to this notice.
    For the reasons presented in the petition analysis report, there is 
no reasonable possibility that an order concerning the notification and 
remedy of a safety-related defect would be issued as a result of 
granting Mr. Gisslen's 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: November 22, 2011.
Nancy Lummen Lewis,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.

APPENDIX

Petition ANALYSIS--DP10-002

1.0 Introduction

    On January 27, 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) received a December 31, 2009, letter from 
attorney John R. Folkerth, Jr.

[[Page 73772]]

on behalf of his client, Thomas M. Gisslen, petitioning the agency to 
conduct an ``investigation'' of certain products manufacturer by Dayton 
Wheel Concepts, Inc. (including those branded ``Dayton'' and ``American 
Wire Wheel'') for a range of alleged defects.\1\ Mr. Gisslen (the 
``petitioner'') is ``seeking an order requiring Dayton Wheel to remedy 
the [allegedly] indicated design defects and to cease and desist from 
the manufacture of the defective products until such time as the 
[allegedly] indicated design defects have been corrected, that all 
inventory of such [allegedly] defective product be impounded and 
destroyed, that all [allegedly] defective product be recalled, and that 
the manufacturer provide the [recall] notice specified in 49 U.S.C. 
30118 and 30119.'' In support of his petition, Mr. Gisslen cites: a 
previous NHTSA investigation (PE02-073) and subsequent safety-related 
recall (03E-011) of the subject motorcycle wheels; a web-forum 
discussion concerning the alleged separation of three spokes in a 
Dayton model D452 60-spoke laced wheel installed on a 1958 MGA, 
photographs of purportedly defective Dayton wheel components, 
photographs of rim cracking in the nipple dimple area on a customer's 
Dayton ``BA'' radially-laced motorcycle wheel taken proximate to June 
6, 2007, a web-forum discussion concerning quality concerns with a ``21 
inch, forty spoke cross-laced American Wire Wheel installed on a Harley 
FXDB ``Street Bob''; internal Dayton email concerning wheel component 
material, design, and specification, and material related to alleged 
test failures of certain Dayton products. According to the petitioner, 
``Dayton Wheel's [allegedly] defective products constitute a 
substantial risk of catastrophic personal injury * * * '' \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Hired on September 6, 2006, Dayton Wheel (``Dayton'') 
terminated Mr. Gisslen's employment on September 11, 2007. Gisslen 
v. Dayton Wheel Concepts, Inc., et. al. was filed October 6, 2009 on 
behalf of Mr. Gisslen alleging he was wrongfully terminated 
(Montgomery County Ohio, 2009 CV 08163). Subsequently, Mr. Gisslen 
petitioned the Agency.
    \2\ John R. Folkerth, Jr., Esq., to Administrator, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 31 December 
2009, page 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On March 9, 2010, NHTSA wrote to Dayton requesting certain 
information. The company's response was received by us on May 17, 2010. 
Included was a request, filed pursuant to 49 CFR part 512, that certain 
information provided not be released to the public.
    On July 26, 2010 the petitioner, through attorney Folkerth, 
submitted a letter to Ron Medford, NHTSA's Senior Associate 
Administrator for Vehicle Safety, covering additional exhibits 
primarily concerning alleged product failures both in the field and 
during various laboratory tests. Many of the exhibits simply duplicated 
what was in NHTSA's public file for this petition (DP10-002).
    On June 24, 2011, the petitioner (no longer represented by Mr. 
Folkerth) submitted additional information by Email to NHTSA. The 
thrust of the email (and a duplicate sent on June 28, 2011) was his 
opining that Dayton had not thoroughly and completely responded to our 
March 9th inquiry.
    For purposes of this analysis, ``Dayton'' refers to Dayton Wire 
Wheel, Inc. including all of its divisions, subsidiaries (whether or 
not incorporated, including American Wire Wheel and Dayton Wheel 
Concepts).
    In analyzing the petitioner's allegations and preparing a response, 
we:
    [check] Reviewed the petitioner attorney's December 31, 2010, and 
July 26, 2010, letters and exhibits.
    [check] Reviewed the petitioner's June 24, 2011, email and 
attachments.
    [check] Reviewed the petitioner's June 28, 2011, email and 
attachments.
    [check] Reviewed data provided by Dayton in response to our March 
9, 2010, information request.
    [check] Reviewed a previous NHTSA defect investigation (PE02-073) 
concerning the alleged sudden and unforeseen catastrophic failure of 
certain motorcycle wheels produced by Dayton under the brand name 
``American Wire Wheel'' (AWW).
    [check] Reviewed information related to Dayton's safety recall 
(03E-011) of the PE02-073 subject AWW wheels.
    [check] Reviewed our consumer complaint database for any reports 
concerning products manufactured by Dayton.
    [check] Informally interviewed owners of British cars equipped with 
Dayton wheels at three Washington, DC-area British car shows.
    [check] Informally interviewed owners of motorcycles equipped with 
Dayton wheels at three Washington, DC-area custom motorcycle shows.
    [check] Conducted a wide-ranging, web-based, search for any 
information (included forum threads) concerning alleged sudden, 
catastrophic failure of Dayton products.
    The information gathered and reviewed during this comprehensive 
effort fails to establish that a defect trend exists in any of Dayton's 
products (including those identified by the petitioner). Consequently, 
the petition is denied.

2.0 Dayton Wire Wheel History

    Founded in 1916, today Dayton Wire Wheel manufactures laced wheels 
for sale, predominantly, in the automotive and motorcycle 
aftermarket.\3\ Dayton wheels were used by the Wright Brothers and 
Charles Lindbergh. As an original equipment supplier in the 1930's, 
Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles were built with Daytons. All 
Dayton wheels are produced in Dayton, Ohio.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Dayton continues to supply original equipment wheels to some 
vehicle mfrs., including the Morgan Motor Company of County 
Worcestershire in the UK.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.0 The Petioners Allegations

    The petitioner provided a listing of the Dayton products he alleges 
are defective. While discussing his claims regarding the ``radial 
spoke'' (i.e., the spokes do not cross another between the hub and rim) 
motorcycle wheels in his letter, the petitioner references an earlier 
NHTSA defect investigation (PE02-073) and its related safety recall 
(03E-011) concerning certain motorcycle wheels assembled by Dayton.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Folkerth, pages 1-2
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.1 The defective products alleged by the Petitioner

    Mr. Gisslen alleges that the following Dayton products have the 
following ``defects:'' \5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Ibid, pages 4-5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Product                         Alleged ``Defect''
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2003-6 BA 40 Radial Spoke Motorcycle   Hub cracking at spoke flange.
 Wheel.
19'' & 21'' Diameter Front Wheel; 40,  Rim (rolled edge) cracking
 80 & 100 Radial Spoke Wheel * * *      (splitting) between dimples
 all applications.                      (spoke holes).
40 Radial Spoke M/C wheel * * * all    Rim (rolled edge) cracking
 sizes and apps.                        (splitting) between dimples
                                        (spoke holes).
40 Radial Spoke M/C wheel * * * all    Incorporating non-conforming
 sizes and apps.                        spokes and nips [nipples]
                                        increasing risk of cracking and
                                        nip-spoke thread engagement
                                        failure.

[[Page 73773]]

 
Motorcycle Drive Pulleys and Rotors *  Defective design, material &
 * * all sizes and apps..               fabrication increasing risk of
                                        cracking and failure.
Automotive wheel lugs and nuts.......  Extension lug bolts and nuts
                                        securing spline-mounted wheels
                                        incorporating improper material
                                        and manufacturing processes.
All Automotive Wire Wheels...........  Non-conforming spokes and nips
                                        incorporated into wheel
                                        assembly, resulting in loss of
                                        thread engagement and total
                                        failure.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2 NHTSA's Earlier Investigation and Recall

    Unlike random spoke breakages and/or other infrequent laced wheel 
issues, sudden, unforeseen wheel collapse is of particular concern to 
NHTSA, especially when involving motorcycle wheels. On October 10, 
2002, NHTSA opened Preliminary Evaluation (PE) 02-073 after receiving 
one owner's complaint alleging the sudden, unforeseen collapse of a 
``High Performance Super Spoke'' aftermarket rear motorcycle wheel. 
This wheel had been produced by American Wire Wheel, Inc. (AWW), a 
division of Hulcher Enterprises in Denton, Texas. While preparing its 
inquiry to AWW, NHTSA found the company had sold its assets to Dayton 
Wheel Concepts of Dayton, Ohio (Dayton) on September 3, 2002. Included 
in the purchase were all materials related to AWW's production of 
``Super Spoke'' model wheels. NHTSA's Office of Chief Counsel (NCC) 
reviewed materials related to that sale confirming that it involved 
only a transfer of AWW's assets. Subsequently, NCC requested 
information from Dunn & Bradstreet concerning AWW's current status and 
was told the company was no longer in business.
    On October 31, 2002, Dayton received ODI's request for information 
concerning the Super Spoke wheels. Allegedly, prior to receiving the 
inquiry, only one alleged failure had been disclosed to Dayton by AWW. 
However, in reviewing AWW's files while preparing its response to our 
inquiry, Dayton found documentation of nine other Super Spoke spoke-
related failures, occurring between February 2000 and September 2002. 
Of the nine found (for a total of 10 reports), 2 involved injury 
crashes and all concerned rear wheels manufactured by AWW of Denton, 
TX. Here is a representative owner statement concerning his August 4, 
2002, incident:

    ``I was riding with a group of people. The rider next to me saw 
the wheel hopping. I felt it and tried to look down. [It] felt like 
I hit a bump, that's when the bike dropped and all hell broke 
loose.''

    Photos included with the owner's documentation show the wheel 
collapsed when all 40 spokes pulled away from the hub. On August 24, 
2001, AWW paid the owner $4,177.62 to settle his claim.
    During the time it was gathering and reviewing material responsive 
to ODI's October 31 information request, Dayton assembled 32 Super 
Spoke wheels using components produced by AWW prior to Dayton's asset 
purchase. Of these, 24 were rear wheels. On January 21, 2003, Dayton 
shipped the rear wheels to both Custom Chrome and Drag Specialties, 
wholesale distributors specializing in aftermarket motorcycle parts.
    On February 12, 2003, Dayton recalled all of the wheels it produced 
(32). In its ``Part 573 Defect and Noncompliance Report'' filed with 
the agency for recall 03E-011, it said it was taking this action after 
determining the wheels ``have the potential for complete failure while 
in use due to steel spokes pulling out of the machined aluminum hub'' 
with a ``potential for vehicle crash and resultant serious injuries to 
riders and passengers.'' In its remedy, Dayton provided, without cost, 
a wheel of different design to each affected customer.

4.0 Consumer Complaints

    In analyzing this petition's merit, NHTSA was interested in any 
verifiable real world failure allegations indicating: (a) the sudden, 
unforeseen collapse of any Dayton product including those cited by the 
Petitioner and, (b) if such incidents existed, did their frequency 
indicate a defect trend existed?

4.1 Real World Failures Cited by the Petitioner

    With his December 31, 2010, letter and June 24, 2011, email the 
petitioner alleged there were seven real-world incidents involving 
Dayton wheels. Of these, four involved automotive wheels and three 
concerned motorcycle wheels. He also provided information concerning 
one alleged failure of a motorcycle drive pulley produced by Dayton.

4.1.1 British-Cars.net--Automotive Wheels

    The petitioner included a report he found on a web-based forum at 
British-Cars.net which he characterized as: ``A recent wheel failure 
report surfaced at british-cars.net. Fortunately no one was injured. 
The failure event was three spokes pulling out of the hub on a single 
wheel.'' \6\ Subsequently, we found the subject wheel (a Dayton model 
D452) was installed on a 1958 MGA owned by a British car enthusiast in 
West Chester, PA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Ibid, page 2.
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN29NO11.034
    
    The owner posted three different threads, the first on or about 
February 4, 2008, detailing his experience with the Dayton wheels. His 
primary concern was his impression that Dayton was not willing to honor 
the wheels' warranty. Subsequently, the issue was resolved to the 
owner's satisfaction. At no time did the wheel collapse nor was vehicle 
controllability compromised by the separation of three spokes on one 
wheel.

4.1.2 Scott's Classic Imports--Automobile Wheels

    The petitioner's December 31 letter included six photographs of a 
Dayton model D450 15x4 wheel intended for use on Austin Healey, Lotus, 
MG and Triumph automobiles. According to Dayton, this September 2005 
warranty submission for broken spokes came from a now defunct used car 
dealer in Plympton, MA. No wheel collapse, or loss of vehicle control, 
was reported.

4.1.3 The BA Motorcycle Wheel

    The Petitioner included information concerning a 40 spoke, radially 
laced, rear motorcycle wheel installed on a 1998 Harley FLHRCI ``Road 
King Classic.'' Known internally as the ``BA'' wheel, it was a redesign 
of the ``Super Spoke'' wheel produced by American Wire Wheel of Denton, 
Texas and later recalled by Dayton. In February 2006, the owner 
contacted Dayton to report that the wheel rim had cracked and would not 
hold air. After receiving the

[[Page 73774]]

wheel, Dayton found that, as a result of overloading, the rim was 
cracked 270 degrees circumferentially. At no time did the wheel 
collapse.

4.1.4 V-Twin Forum.com--Motorcycle Front Wheels

    The petitioner also included two forum threads from V-Twin 
Forum.com, both concerning a front wheel installed on a Harley-Davidson 
motorcycle, one radially-laced of an unspecified make or size and the 
other cross-laced.
    The first posting, by ``TacomaWA12'' on February 9, 2006, alleges a 
crash occurred while riding his Harley FLSTC when the front ``rim metal 
between the spokes failed and literally split the rim in two.'' He 
claims the bike sustained an estimated $4,400 in damage. The thrust of 
his post was ``how can I find out who made the wheel?'' because, as the 
``3rd or 4th owner,'' the wheel manufacturer was unknown to him. There 
have been no entries on this thread since February 22, 2006, and the 
identity of the wheel manufacturer is unknown. Dayton has no record of 
this alleged failure and NHTSA has been unable to locate the owner to 
ascertain whether Dayton produced the wheel which allegedly failed.
    The second thread concerned a 21'' forty spoke, cross-laced front 
motorcycle wheel produced under the brand name ``American Wire Wheel'' 
by Dayton and installed on Harley FXDB ``Street Bob.'' Beginning on 
September 20, 2008, the customer (aka ``Sponk'') provides a laundry 
list of complaints: slow delivery, poor bearing quality, fitment 
problems, and slow air loss. At no time was a wheel collapse indicated 
or alleged.

4.1.5 Motorcycle Drive Pulleys

    Appendix K of the petitioner's December 31 letter purports to 
document manufacturing defects with Dayton-produced motorcycle belt-
drive pulleys for Harley-Davidson fitment. Appendix L is a photo of an 
alleged customer pulley with a complete hub separation occurring in the 
summer of 2007. Dayton confirms that this is a customer's pulley but 
states it was improperly installed. Witness marks on the hub indicate 
improper fasteners were used to secure the pulley to the hub.

4.1.6 Complaints Identified in Gisslen Email \7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Email from Thomas Gisslen to Robert Young, June 24, 2011, 
page 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On June 24, 2011, the Petitioner (Gisslen) alleged that two real-
world incidents, within the scope of our December 31 inquiry, had not 
been identified by Dayton in its March 9, 2011, response. Both 
incidents involved Swedish customers who had fitted Dayton wire wheels 
to their automobiles. The first, reported to Dayton in March 2011 (and 
revealed to the Petitioner during discovery in his civil suit against 
Dayton), involved an air leakage problem with the Dayton wheels 
installed on a late-model Ford Thunderbird. No wheel collapse was 
reported.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN29NO11.035

    The second, occurring in 2005, involved alleged spoke breakage on 
Dayton wheels installed on a modified Jaguar. No wheel collapse was 
reported.
    Neither of the alleged ``failures'' documented in these 
``complaints'' were within the scope of our December 31 inquiry.

4.2 Real-World, In-Scope, Complaints Received by Dayton Wire Wheel, 
Inc.

    In requesting customer complaint information from Dayton, we 
limited the scope of our inquiry to those products identified in the 
Petitioner's December 31st letter:
    Subject Products:
    1. 2003-06 BA 40 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel;
    2. 19 inch, 40 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel;
    3. 19 inch, 80 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel;
    4. 19 inch, 100 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel;
    5. 21 inch, 40 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel;
    6. 21 inch, 80 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel;
    7. 21 inch, 100 spoke, radially-laced, motorcycle wheel;
    8. All motorcycle drive pulleys;
    9. All motorcycle brake rotors;
    10. All extension spline-mounting lugs;
    11. All extension spline-mounting lug nuts; and
    12. All automotive wire wheels.

and the alleged defect was defined as:

    Alleged defect: For Subject Products Nos. 1 through 7: any rim 
and or hub cracking and/or spoke/nipple thread failure resulting in 
wheel collapse [emphasis added]. For Subject Product Nos. 8 and 9: 
any fracturing of the pulley or rotor [emphasis added]. For Subject 
Product Nos. 10 and 11: Any failure resulting in clamping force 
reduction and wheel separation [emphasis added]. For Subject Product 
No. 12: any fracturing of the spoke head and/or any stripping of 
spoke/nipple threads resulting in wheel collapse [emphasis 
added].\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Letter from Richard P. Boyd to Charlie Schroeder, March 9, 
2010, page 2.

According to Dayton, the company ``has never had a report or instances 
where any problem or issue with Subject Products Nos. 1-7 resulting in 
a wheel collapse. Similarly, Dayton has never had any report or 
instance where a problem or issue with Subject Products Nos. 10 and 11 
resulted in wheel separation. Dayton has never had any report or 
instance where any problem or issue with Subject Product No. 12 
resulted in wheel collapse. With respect to Subject Products Nos. 8 and 
9, Dayton has had one instance where a pulley failed * * * as a direct 
result of improper mounting.'' \9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Folkerth, page 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.3 Real-World Dayton Product Failure Reports in NHTSA's Consumer 
Complaint Database

    Using the broadest possible search criteria \10\ we found five 
complaints involving Dayton products. Of these, four concerned the 
``Super Spoke'' motorcycle wheels recalled by the company on February 
12, 2003, (03E-011). The fifth documented this petition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Our searches included those where the manufacturer was 
identified as ``Dayton'' and/or ``American Wire Wheel'' (including 
wild cards). In the event the wheel manufacturer was not 
specifically identified, we searched for those complaints where 
``wheel'' or ``sprocket'' appeared in the complaint summary and then 
manually reviewed each for any involving a Dayton product.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.4 Real-World Dayton Product Failure Allegations on the Web

    Using the broadest possible web search criteria,\11\ we found no 
reports of Dayton product collapse and/or separation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ We searched the web using readily available search engines 
including Google, Bing, and Yahoo for any information related to 
Dayton product failures. We then looked for those involving collapse 
and/or separation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.5 Real-World Dayton Product Experience

    In an effort to gather additional information about consumer 
experience with Dayton products, particularly as it relates to wheel 
collapse/separation or motorcycle drive pulley collapse, we attended 
three local British car shows and the same number of custom motorcycle 
shows. While there, we found some owners displaying vehicles

[[Page 73775]]

equipped with Dayton wheels and/or (in the case of motorcycles) drive 
sprockets. No problems with the Dayton products, of any sort, were 
claimed by any of those we queried.

5.0 Dayton Product Evaluations

5.1 Petitioner Documentation

    In support of his claim that the subject products are ``defective'' 
thus constituting ``a substantial risk of catastrophic personal 
injury,'' the petitioner cites a number of tests and analyses conducted 
on behalf of Dayton * * * the last of these dated February 22, 
2006.\12\ The Petitioner has characterized these as documented test 
failures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ John R. Folkerth, Jr., Esq., to Ronald Medford, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 26 July 2010, 
attachment 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.2 Dayton Documentation

    In responding to both the petitioner's allegations and item numbers 
6 and 9 of our March 9, 2010, inquiry, Dayton provided additional 
information and context. Two items are relevant here: First, the Finite 
Element Analysis conducted by RHAMM Technologies, LLC of Dayton, Ohio 
on behalf of Dayton in January 2006 was later found flawed because the 
analysis parameters did not account for work-hardening of the spoke 
material. Additionally, RHAMM could not define a real-world failure 
point within the reasonably expected load limits.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Letter from Jeffrey P. Hinebaugh to Richard P. Boyd, NHTSA, 
Washington, DC, 14 May 2010, item number 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The second relevant item concerns the allegation that testing 
conducted by Standard Test Labs (STL) on Dayton's behalf, was invalid. 
According to Dayton, when this allegation was first made, sometime in 
2006, it retained the services of Rexnord Technical Services of 
Milwaukee, WI to assess STL's testing and results. Rexnord's analysis 
validated STL's tests and results.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6.0 NHTSA Analysis

    In assessing the petitioner's claim that the subject Dayton 
products are defective, NHTSA reviewed all reasonably available 
information to determine whether the products were failing in real-
world use and, if so, how frequently? After conducting a comprehensive 
effort to uncover reports of Dayton wheel separation and/or collapse or 
motorcycle drive pulley failure, we found no such reports concerning 
Dayton wheels and one (from 2007) involving a drive pulley, the latter 
apparently resulting from improper installation. If, as the petitioner 
alleges, the testing results (from 2003-2006) indicated Dayton was 
producing and selling sub-standard wheels and pulleys, it would follow 
that real-world failures would have occurred, certainly in the last 
five years. NHTSA found no such evidence.

7.0 Conclusion

    Based on the foregoing analysis, there is no reasonable possibility 
that an order concerning the notification and remedy of a safety-
related defect would be issued as a result of granting Mr. Gisslen's 
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.

[FR Doc. 2011-30612 Filed 11-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P