Yokohama Tire Corporation, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 11189-11190 [2012-4297]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 37 / Friday, February 24, 2012 / Notices 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: February 13, 2012. Julie P. Agarwal, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–4140 Filed 2–23–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2010–0056; Notice 2] Yokohama Tire Corporation, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Denial of Petition for Inconsequential Noncompliance. AGENCY: Yokohama Tire Corporation, (YTC),1 replacement tires for passenger cars, manufactured between December 2, 2007, and September 19, 2009, failed to comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. YTC has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports (dated January 19, 2010). Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, YTC has petitioned for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Notice of receipt of YTC’s petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on May 20, 2010, in the Federal Register (75 FR 28319). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System Web site at: https://www.regulations.gov/. Then srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 1 Yokohama Tire Company (YTC) is a replacement equipment manufacturer incorporated in the State of California. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Feb 23, 2012 Jkt 226001 follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2010– 0056.’’ For further information on this decision, contact Mr. George Gillespie, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–5299, facsimile (202) 366– 7002. Summary of YTC’s Petition YTC petitioned NHTSA for a determination that a noncompliance in approximately 8,238 size P215/60R15 93H Yokohama AVID H4S brand passenger car replacement tires manufactured between December 2, 2007, and September 19, 2009, at YTC’s plant located in Salem, Virginia is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. YTC explains that the noncompliance is that, due to a mold labeling error, the markings on the non-compliant tires omit the partial tire identification number on one of the sidewalls as required by paragraph S5.5.1(b). YTC also indicates that the non-compliant tires include the full Tire Identification Number (TIN) on one sidewall but omit the partial serial number on the other sidewall. YTC reported that this noncompliance was brought to their attention when ‘‘one of several molds were being certified and readied as part of a production quantity of replacement tires for the USA.’’ YTC explained its belief that the Tire Identification Number (TIN) and the partial TIN are used to properly identify tires that are involved in a safety campaign. YTC also stated its belief that the full TIN is molded on the intended outboard sidewall of these tires and consumers could be directed to have both sidewalls inspected for the TIN if any safety campaign would be required for these tires in the future. In summation, YTC asserts that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the noncompliant sidewall marking does not affect the physical characteristics of the tires and all other labeling requirements have been met. Therefore, no corrective action is warranted. NHTSA Decision: NHTSA does not agree with YTC’s assessment that the noncompliance with FMVSS No. 139 is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. As discussed below, the tire markings required by paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 provide valuable information to assist consumers in determining if their tires are the subject of a safety recall. Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 requires that radial tires manufactured on or after September 1, PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 11189 2009 for motor vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less be permanently labeled with (1) a full TIN required by 49 CFR part 574 on one sidewall of the tire (2) except for retreaded tires, either the full or a partial TIN containing all characters in the TIN, except for the date code, and at the discretion of the manufacturer, any optional code, must be labeled on the other sidewall of the tire.2 The tire recalls in the year 2000 highlighted the difficulty that consumers experienced when attempting to determine whether a tire is subject to a recall when a tire is mounted so that the sidewall bearing the TIN faces inward, i.e., underneath the vehicle. After a series of Congressional hearings about the safety of and experiences regarding the Firestone tires involved in those recalls, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act on November 1, 2000. Public Law 106–414. 114 Stat. 1800. One matter addressed by the TREAD Act was tire labeling. Section 11 of the TREAD Act required a rulemaking to improve the labeling of tires to assist consumers in identifying tires that may be the subject of a recall. In response to the TREAD Act’s mandate, NHTSA published a final rule that, among other things, required that the TIN be placed on a sidewall of the tire and a full or partial TIN be placed on the other sidewall. See 67 FR 69600, 69628 (November 18, 2002), as amended 69 FR 31306 (June 3, 2004). In the preamble to the 2002 final rule, the agency identified the safety problem which prompted the issuance of the rule. 67 FR at 69602, 69606, and 69610. The agency explained that when tires are mounted so that the TIN appears on the inward facing sidewalls, motorists have three difficult and inconvenient options for locating and recording the TINs. Consumers must either: (1) Slide under the vehicle with a flashlight, pencil and paper and search the inside sidewalls for the TINs; (2) remove each tire, find and record the TIN, and then replace the tire; or (3) enlist the aid of a garage or service station that can perform option 1 or place the vehicle on a vehicle lift so that the TINs can be 2 Tires manufactured after September 1, 2009 must be labeled with the TIN on the intended outboard sidewall of a tire and either the TIN or partial TIN on the other sidewall. 49 CFR 571.139 S5.5.1(b). If a tire manufactured after September 1, 2009 does not have an intended outboard sidewall, one sidewall must be labeled with the TIN and the other sidewall must have either a TIN or partial TIN. Id. E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 11190 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 37 / Friday, February 24, 2012 / Notices found and recorded. Without any TIN information on the outside sidewalls of tires, the difficulty and inconvenience of obtaining the TIN by consumers reduces the number of people who respond to a tire recall campaign and increases the number of motorists who unknowingly continue to drive vehicles with potentially unsafe tires. YTC suggests that this noncompliance does not preclude motorists from checking the inboard sidewall if the TIN is not found on the outboard sidewall. This approach is inadequate. The noncompliance here is the exact problem that plagued millions of Firestone tire owners in 2000 and one that Congress mandated that NHTSA address. When the TIN is placed on one sidewall of a tire and that sidewall is mounted on the inboard side of a wheel, it is very difficult and inconvenient for the consumer to locate and record the TIN. In such situations, consumers who attempt to determine if a tire is within the scope of a recall may not be able to read the inboard sidewall without taking one of the three inconvenient steps discussed above. The difficulty and inconvenience of locating a TIN under these circumstances poses serious impediments to the successful recall of the noncompliant tires, which may result in motorists continuing to drive their vehicles with potentially unsafe tires. While NHTSA has determined in the past that in some instances TIN marking omissions were inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, those determinations occurred prior to the adoption of FMVSS No. 139 pursuant to the TREAD Act. Following the enactment of the TREAD Act, NHTSA found that there is a safety need for a full TIN on one sidewall and a full or partial TIN on the other sidewall. For these reasons, FMVSS No. 139 now requires TIN markings on both sidewalls of a tire so that consumers can readily determine if a tire is subject to a safety recall. In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that the petitioner has not met its burden of persuasion that the noncompliance described is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, YTC’s petition is hereby denied, and the petitioner must notify owners, purchasers and dealers pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118 and provide a remedy in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 30120. Authority: (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at CFR 1.50 and 501.8) VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Feb 23, 2012 Jkt 226001 Issued on: February 16, 2012. Nancy Lummen Lewis, Associate Administrator for Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2012–4297 Filed 2–23–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2010–0115; Notice 2] Yokohama Tire Company, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ACTION: Notice of Petition Denial. AGENCY: Yokohama Tire Company (YTC),1 has determined that certain P215/60R15 93H AVID H4S passenger car replacement tires failed to comply with paragraph S5.5.1 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. YTC has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports (dated January 21, 2010). Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, YTC has petitioned for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Notice of receipt of YTC’s petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on August 20, 2010, in the Federal Register (75 FR 51524). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System Web site at: https://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2010– 0115.’’ SUMMARY: Contact Information For further information on this decision, contact Mr. George Gillespie, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–5299, facsimile (202) 366– 7002. Summary of YTC’s Petition YTC petitioned NHTSA for a determination that a noncompliance in 1 Yokohama Tire Company (YTC) is a replacement equipment manufacturer incorporated in the State of California. PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 approximately 6,254 2 P215/60R15 93H AVID H4S passenger car replacement tires that were manufactured in YTC’s Salem, Virginia manufacturing plant during the period December 2, 2007 through September 19, 2009, is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. YTC describes the noncompliance as a labeling error that omits the Tire Identification Number (TIN)/partial TIN required by paragraph S5.5.1 on one of the tire sidewalls. YTC indicates that the noncompliant tires do however include the full TIN on the intended outboard sidewall. YTC argues that the TIN and the partial TIN are used to properly identify tires that are involved in a safety campaign. YTC also stated its belief that the full TIN is molded on the intended outboard sidewall of these tires and consumers could be directed to have both sidewalls inspected for the TIN if any safety campaign would be required for these tires in the future. YTC also explained that all of the subject tires have been tested and certified compliant with all of the durability requirements of FMVSS No. 139 for high speed, endurance and low inflation pressure performance. The tires also meet all of the physical dimension, resistance to bead unseating and strength requirements of FMVSS No. 139. In addition, YTC indicated that warranty and claim data for the subject tires reveals a very small number of tire warranty returns, and no reports of claims associated with accidents or tire failure incidents. YTC also informed NHTSA that it has corrected the problem that caused this noncompliance. In summation, YTC asserts that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the noncompliant sidewall marking does not affect the physical characteristics of the tires and all other labeling requirements have been met. Therefore, no corrective action is warranted. NHTSA Decision NHTSA does not agree with YTC’s assessment that the noncompliance with FMVSS No. 139 is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. As discussed below, the tire markings required by paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139 provide valuable information to assist consumers in determining if their tires are the subject of a safety recall. Paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139 requires that radial tires manufactured 2 YTC’s petition identified 7,836 affected tires. Subsequent to filing its petition, YTC notified NHTSA that the actual number of affected tires is 6,254. E:\FR\FM\24FEN1.SGM 24FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 37 (Friday, February 24, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11189-11190]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-4297]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0056; Notice 2]


Yokohama Tire Corporation, Denial of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Denial of Petition for Inconsequential Noncompliance.

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

SUMMARY: Yokohama Tire Corporation, (YTC),\1\ replacement tires for 
passenger cars, manufactured between December 2, 2007, and September 
19, 2009, failed to comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for 
Light Vehicles. YTC has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR 
Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports (dated 
January 19, 2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Yokohama Tire Company (YTC) is a replacement equipment 
manufacturer incorporated in the State of California.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule 
implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, YTC has petitioned 
for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 
U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
    Notice of receipt of YTC's petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on May 20, 2010, in the Federal Register (75 FR 
28319). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System Web 
site at: https://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search 
instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2010-0056.''
    For further information on this decision, contact Mr. George 
Gillespie, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-5299, 
facsimile (202) 366-7002.

Summary of YTC's Petition

    YTC petitioned NHTSA for a determination that a noncompliance in 
approximately 8,238 size P215/60R15 93H Yokohama AVID H4S brand 
passenger car replacement tires manufactured between December 2, 2007, 
and September 19, 2009, at YTC's plant located in Salem, Virginia is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
    YTC explains that the noncompliance is that, due to a mold labeling 
error, the markings on the non-compliant tires omit the partial tire 
identification number on one of the sidewalls as required by paragraph 
S5.5.1(b). YTC also indicates that the non-compliant tires include the 
full Tire Identification Number (TIN) on one sidewall but omit the 
partial serial number on the other sidewall. YTC reported that this 
noncompliance was brought to their attention when ``one of several 
molds were being certified and readied as part of a production quantity 
of replacement tires for the USA.''
    YTC explained its belief that the Tire Identification Number (TIN) 
and the partial TIN are used to properly identify tires that are 
involved in a safety campaign. YTC also stated its belief that the full 
TIN is molded on the intended outboard sidewall of these tires and 
consumers could be directed to have both sidewalls inspected for the 
TIN if any safety campaign would be required for these tires in the 
future.
    In summation, YTC asserts that this noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the noncompliant 
sidewall marking does not affect the physical characteristics of the 
tires and all other labeling requirements have been met. Therefore, no 
corrective action is warranted.
    NHTSA Decision: NHTSA does not agree with YTC's assessment that the 
noncompliance with FMVSS No. 139 is inconsequential to motor vehicle 
safety. As discussed below, the tire markings required by paragraph 
S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 provide valuable information to assist 
consumers in determining if their tires are the subject of a safety 
recall.
    Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 requires that radial tires 
manufactured on or after September 1, 2009 for motor vehicles having a 
gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less be 
permanently labeled with (1) a full TIN required by 49 CFR part 574 on 
one sidewall of the tire (2) except for retreaded tires, either the 
full or a partial TIN containing all characters in the TIN, except for 
the date code, and at the discretion of the manufacturer, any optional 
code, must be labeled on the other sidewall of the tire.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Tires manufactured after September 1, 2009 must be labeled 
with the TIN on the intended outboard sidewall of a tire and either 
the TIN or partial TIN on the other sidewall. 49 CFR 571.139 
S5.5.1(b). If a tire manufactured after September 1, 2009 does not 
have an intended outboard sidewall, one sidewall must be labeled 
with the TIN and the other sidewall must have either a TIN or 
partial TIN. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The tire recalls in the year 2000 highlighted the difficulty that 
consumers experienced when attempting to determine whether a tire is 
subject to a recall when a tire is mounted so that the sidewall bearing 
the TIN faces inward, i.e., underneath the vehicle. After a series of 
Congressional hearings about the safety of and experiences regarding 
the Firestone tires involved in those recalls, Congress passed and the 
President signed into law the Transportation Recall Enhancement, 
Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act on November 1, 2000. 
Public Law 106-414. 114 Stat. 1800.
    One matter addressed by the TREAD Act was tire labeling. Section 11 
of the TREAD Act required a rulemaking to improve the labeling of tires 
to assist consumers in identifying tires that may be the subject of a 
recall.
    In response to the TREAD Act's mandate, NHTSA published a final 
rule that, among other things, required that the TIN be placed on a 
sidewall of the tire and a full or partial TIN be placed on the other 
sidewall. See 67 FR 69600, 69628 (November 18, 2002), as amended 69 FR 
31306 (June 3, 2004). In the preamble to the 2002 final rule, the 
agency identified the safety problem which prompted the issuance of the 
rule. 67 FR at 69602, 69606, and 69610. The agency explained that when 
tires are mounted so that the TIN appears on the inward facing 
sidewalls, motorists have three difficult and inconvenient options for 
locating and recording the TINs. Consumers must either: (1) Slide under 
the vehicle with a flashlight, pencil and paper and search the inside 
sidewalls for the TINs; (2) remove each tire, find and record the TIN, 
and then replace the tire; or (3) enlist the aid of a garage or service 
station that can perform option 1 or place the vehicle on a vehicle 
lift so that the TINs can be

[[Page 11190]]

found and recorded. Without any TIN information on the outside 
sidewalls of tires, the difficulty and inconvenience of obtaining the 
TIN by consumers reduces the number of people who respond to a tire 
recall campaign and increases the number of motorists who unknowingly 
continue to drive vehicles with potentially unsafe tires.
    YTC suggests that this noncompliance does not preclude motorists 
from checking the inboard sidewall if the TIN is not found on the 
outboard sidewall. This approach is inadequate. The noncompliance here 
is the exact problem that plagued millions of Firestone tire owners in 
2000 and one that Congress mandated that NHTSA address. When the TIN is 
placed on one sidewall of a tire and that sidewall is mounted on the 
inboard side of a wheel, it is very difficult and inconvenient for the 
consumer to locate and record the TIN. In such situations, consumers 
who attempt to determine if a tire is within the scope of a recall may 
not be able to read the inboard sidewall without taking one of the 
three inconvenient steps discussed above. The difficulty and 
inconvenience of locating a TIN under these circumstances poses serious 
impediments to the successful recall of the noncompliant tires, which 
may result in motorists continuing to drive their vehicles with 
potentially unsafe tires.
    While NHTSA has determined in the past that in some instances TIN 
marking omissions were inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, those 
determinations occurred prior to the adoption of FMVSS No. 139 pursuant 
to the TREAD Act. Following the enactment of the TREAD Act, NHTSA found 
that there is a safety need for a full TIN on one sidewall and a full 
or partial TIN on the other sidewall. For these reasons, FMVSS No. 139 
now requires TIN markings on both sidewalls of a tire so that consumers 
can readily determine if a tire is subject to a safety recall.
    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that the 
petitioner has not met its burden of persuasion that the noncompliance 
described is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, 
YTC's petition is hereby denied, and the petitioner must notify owners, 
purchasers and dealers pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118 and provide a remedy 
in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 30120.

    Authority: (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 
CFR 1.50 and 501.8)

    Issued on: February 16, 2012.
Nancy Lummen Lewis,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2012-4297 Filed 2-23-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P