Pirelli Tire LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 27476-27478 [2013-11091]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 27476 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 91 / Friday, May 10, 2013 / Notices which agrees with Fuji’s initial estimate of 27 vehicles. • As of April 10, 2013, a total of 144 consumer complaints have been received by NHTSA for the 2010 Subaru Legacy and Outback models. None of these complaints are related to the problem described by Subaru in their petition for inconsequentiality. • As described in Fuji’s petition, power is supplied to the passenger air bag status telltale lamp and the multifunction display with the same wiring harness connector. If the telltale does not receive power due to an open circuit from a loose connector, the entire multi-function display will also not illuminate and will be inoperable. Fuji believes this condition will be apparent to the consumer and would lead them to have the vehicle serviced. There were no consumer complaints reported to NHTSA related to this problem. • Fuji explained that, based upon their supplier’s vibration testing, the fault would not occur on a vehicle that originally had a functioning passenger air bag status telltale lamp and multifunction display. There were no consumer complaints reported to NHTSA related to loss of illumination of the telltale lamp and/or multifunction display. Given the absence any related consumer complaints to date, the conspicuous nature of the problem on any vehicles with the fault, and Fuji’s action to put in place a procedure to repair the few that did, the agency does not believe there is a significant risk to the motoring public in this specific case. NHTSA Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that Fuji met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 208 noncompliance with respect to the front passenger air bag suppression status telltale lamp described in Fuji’s Noncompliance Information Report is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Fuji’s petition is hereby granted and the Fuji is exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, and a remedy for, that noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120. NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, this decision only applies to the 3,405 noncompliant vehicles that Fuji no longer controlled at the time that it VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:05 May 09, 2013 Jkt 229001 determined that a noncompliance existed in the subject vehicles. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120; delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8. Issued On: May 6, 2013. Claude H. Harris, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance. [FR Doc. 2013–11089 Filed 5–9–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2010–0142; Notice 2] Pirelli Tire LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of Petition Grant. AGENCY: Pirelli Tire LLC (Pirelli), has determined that approximately 30,881 Pirelli Pzero Nero M+S and Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico replacement tires produced between September 2, 2007, and December 12, 2009, do not fully comply with the tire labeling requirements of paragraphs S5.5 and S7.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. On March 12, 2010, Pirelli filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, Pirelli 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. Specifically, Pirelli submitted the original petition dated March 12, 2010, and a supplement to the original petition dated April 12, 2010. Notice of receipt of Pirelli’s petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on November 9, 2010, in the Federal Register (75 FR 68855). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2010– 0142.’’ Contact Infromation: For further information on this decision, contact SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Mr. Jack Chern, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–0661, facsimile (202) 366–7002. Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 30,881 Pirelli Pzero Nero M+S and Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico replacement tires produced between September 2, 2007, and December 12, 2009,—in the tire sizes indicated in the following list—have the subject noncompliance: P245/45ZR17 95W, Pzero Nero M+S P235/45ZR17 94W, Pzero Nero M+S P235/40ZR18 91W, Pzero Nero M+S P215/35ZR18 84W, Pzero Nero M+S P215/35ZR19 85W, Pzero Nero M+S 265/35ZR22 102W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 295/30ZR22 103W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 305/35ZR23 111W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 265/45ZR20 108W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico Summary of Pirelli’s Analysis and Arguments: Pirelli described the noncompliance as the absence of either the complete or partial tire identification number (TIN) on the inner tire sidewall as required by paragraphs S5.5 and S7.3 of FMVSS No. 139. Pirelli argues that because all of the affected tires have an asymmetric tread pattern that can only be correctly installed with the intended outer sidewall facing the outside of the vehicle. Pirelli also points out that asymmetric tires represent a very small percentage of the overall tire market. Pirelli explained that all of the affected tires are stenciled on the intended outboard sidewall with the lettering OUTER in four different languages (English, French, German and Italian). Pirelli further explained that the noncompliance was identified on February 26, 2010, during an inspection of mold branding at the plant that produced the subject tires. Pirelli then examined related production records in order to accurately identify the specific noncompliant tires. All molds are being modified or have been modified to ensure that the appropriate TIN information is contained on both sidewalls for future production. Pirelli provided the following basis of why they believe the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety: While the subject tires are noncompliant with paragraph S5.5 of FMVSS No. 139 for labeling, the noncompliance has an inconsequential effect on tire performance and motor vehicle safety because all of the affected tires meet or exceed all of the E:\FR\FM\10MYN1.SGM 10MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 91 / Friday, May 10, 2013 / Notices minimum performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139. In addition, the Company mentioned the existence of certain factors that facilitates and encourages proper installation and thus provide accessibility and visibility of the full TIN on the outboard sidewall: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Pirelli’s internal policy allows dealers to sell these asymmetric tires only in pairs or in groups of four. As a result, these replacement tires are installed either on both sides of the rear axle or on all four locations. The odds of even one tire being mounted incorrectly are extremely remote, and the odds of two or four tires being mounted the wrong way are even more remote. All subject tires are either Pzero Nero M+S or Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico. Both product families are ultra high performance tires; their asymmetric tread design is one of the main features sought by consumers for the following reasons: precision handling in all conditions; full and compact external shoulder blocks for increased safety and dry handling performance; and inner shoulders designed to maximize traction with deeper and more regular cuts. These benefits are obtained only if the tires are mounted with the outer sidewall pointing to the outside of the vehicle. Having paid a substantial price to obtain these performance characteristics, the customers seek to ensure that their tires are installed correctly. Pirelli’s product literature and training procedures reinforce the message on proper mounting. Pirelli provides extensive training to its authorized dealers, and that training focuses specifically on the need to mount asymmetric tires in the correct way. A second TIN number (on the inboard side of the tire) is not necessary either to ensure traceability or to allow consumers to operate their vehicles safely. Pirelli has not received a single complaint from any consumer, dealer, law enforcement agency, or other source that indicated any difficulty or problem in finding the full TIN, including the date code on its asymmetrical tires. Pirelli collects and tracks data on warranty claims for all of tires, including the tires at issue here. The warranty data confirm that these tires have performed extremely well in the field. The number of claims is very small, and there have been no claims involving property damage. In summation, for the reasons stated above, Pirelli believes that the described noncompliance concerning the tire labeling requirements of paragraphs S5.5 and S7.3 of FMVSS No. 139 are inconsequential and do not present a risk to motor vehicle safety. Thus, Pirelli requests that its petition, to exempt it from providing recall notification of noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted. In a supplement to its petition Pirelli requested that if NHTSA decides VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:05 May 09, 2013 Jkt 229001 to deny the petition, that at a minimum, NHTSA exempt the company from the remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. 30120. Rather than replacing all tires subject to any such recall, Pirelli suggests that it would instead issue recall notices to all end users who can be located. Pirelli then would have its dealers inspect the tires. If the tires are properly mounted, with the TINs facing the outboard side of the vehicle, the tires would be left on the vehicle. Finally, if any tires were found to be mounted with the outboard sidewalls facing inward (which is extremely unlikely), the tires would be remounted in the appropriate way. Requirement Background Paragraph s5.5 of FMVSS No. 139 requires in pertinent part: S5.5 Tire Markings. Except as specified in paragraphs (a) through (i) of S5.5, each tire must be marked on each sidewall with the information specified in S5.5(a) through (d) and on one sidewall with the information specified in S5.5(e) through (i) according to the phase-in schedule specified in S7 of this standard. The markings must be placed between the maximum section width and the bead on at least one sidewall, unless the maximum section width of the tire is located in an area that is not more than one-fourth of the distance from the bead to the shoulder of the tire. If the maximum section width falls within that area, those markings must appear between the bead and a point one-half the distance from the bead to the shoulder of the tire, on at least one sidewall. The markings must be in letters and numerals not less than 0.078 inches high and raised above or sunk below the tire surface not less than 0.015 inches. S5.5.1 Tire identification number. (a) Tires manufactured before September 1, 2009. Each tire must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 574 on a sidewall of the tire. Except for retreaded tires, either the tire identification number or a partial tire identification number, containing all characters in the tire identification number, 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. (b) Tires manufactured on or after September 1, 2009. Each tire must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 574 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire. Except for retreaded tires, either the tire identification number or a partial tire identification number, containing all characters in the tire identification number, 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. Except for retreaded tires, if a tire does not have an intended outboard sidewall, the tire must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 574 on one sidewall and with either the tire identification number or a partial tire identification number, containing all characters in the tire identification number PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27477 except for the date code and, at the discretion of the manufacturer, any optional code, on the other sidewall * * * NHTSA’s Analysis of Perelli’s Reasoning: NHTSA does agree with Pirelli’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 of FMVSS No. 139 provide valuable information to assist consumers in determining if their tires are the subject of a safety recall. However, in these asymmetric tires, the TIN will always be on the intended outboard sidewall. Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 requires that radial tires manufactured on or after September 1, 2009 for motor vehicles less than 10,000 GVWR be permanently labeled with: (1) a full TIN required by 49 CFR Part 574 on the intended outboard 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.1 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 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. Pub. L. 106–414. 114 Stat. 1800. One of the matters 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 1 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\10MYN1.SGM 10MYN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 27478 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 91 / Friday, May 10, 2013 / Notices 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 found and recorded. Without any TIN information on the outboard sidewalls of tires, the difficulty and inconvenience of obtaining the TIN by consumers results in a reduction of the number of people who respond to a tire recall campaign and the number of motorists who unknowingly continue to drive vehicles with potentially unsafe tires. Pirelli suggests that this noncompliance does not preclude motorists from checking the inboard sidewall if the TIN is not found on the outboard sidewall. However, since asymmetric tires are specially constructed for certain performance parameters, and the TIN is marked on the intended outboard sidewall, the Agency agrees that it is extremely unlikely that the tires will be mismounted with the inboard sidewall facing outboard. However, even though 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 this case it is extremely unlikely that one or more of the asymmetric tires will be incorrectly mounted with the intended outboard sidewall facing inboard. NHTSA Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that the petitioner has met its burden of persuasion that the noncompliance described is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Pirelli’s petition is hereby granted. NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:05 May 09, 2013 Jkt 229001 these provisions only apply to the 30,8812 vehicles that Pirelli no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. Authority: (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at CFR 1.95 and 501.8) Issued on: May 1, 2013. Claude H. Harris, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance. [FR Doc. 2013–11091 Filed 5–9–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2008–0210; Notice 2] Newell Coach Corporation, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT. ACTION: Grant of petition. AGENCY: Newell Coach Corporation (Newell) has determined that certain motor homes that it manufactured between June 17, 1996 and August 26, 2008, do not fully comply with paragraph S5.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of More than 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 pounds). Newell filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports on September 9, 2008. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule implementing those provisions at 49 CFR Part 556, Newell 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 the petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on December 19, 2008 in the Federal Register (73 FR 77876). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site SUMMARY: 2 Pirelli’s petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, requests an agency decision to exempt Pirelli as a Tire manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR part 573 for the 30,881 affected tires. However, a decision on this petition cannot relieve tire distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after Pirelli notified them that the subject noncompliance existed. PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2008– 0210.’’ Contact Information: For further information on this decision, contact Mr. John Finneran, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–0654, facsimile (202) 366–5930. Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 456 motor homes manufactured by Newell between June 17, 1996 and August 26, 2008. Newell explains that the noncompliance is that the tire and rim information lettering engraved on the vehicles’ certification labels1 is only 1.8 millimeters high, as opposed to the 2.4 millimeter height required under paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 120. Summary of Newell’s Petition: Newell stated that it discovered the noncompliance after investigating an inquiry from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning readability of the tire and rim information on the vehicles’ certification labels. Newell argues that while the required tire and rim information lettering is only 0.6 mm (about 1/45 of an inch) shorter than the 2.4 mm height required by the standard that it creates no risk to motor vehicle safety. Newell believes that all of the relevant information is set forth on the certification label, and that it is easily readable. Newell further states that for vehicles manufactured from 2002 through 2008, if an operator has difficulty reading the information on the certification label, the tire inflation information is available in the owner’s manuals provided with the vehicles. Newell additionally stated that it has provided tire inflation information in the Newell’s News, a newsletter that Newell sends to its customers. Newell also points out that the rim size and type are marked on the wheels of the vehicle, and the tire designation is marked on the tires themselves, thus providing a further source for most of the information required by the standard. Newell also believes that NHTSA has previously granted at least one petition for inconsequential noncompliance where the facts were almost identical to those stated in this petition. Moreover, Newell believes that on numerous occasions NHTSA has granted petitions 1 49 CFR Part 567 states the requirements for the certification label. FMVSS No. 120 states the requirements for tire and rim information included on a certification label. E:\FR\FM\10MYN1.SGM 10MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 91 (Friday, May 10, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27476-27478]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11091]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0142; Notice 2]


Pirelli Tire LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Petition Grant.

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

SUMMARY: Pirelli Tire LLC (Pirelli), has determined that approximately 
30,881 Pirelli Pzero Nero M+S and Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico replacement 
tires produced between September 2, 2007, and December 12, 2009, do not 
fully comply with the tire labeling requirements of paragraphs S5.5 and 
S7.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New 
Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. On March 12, 2010, Pirelli 
filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.
    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule 
implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, Pirelli 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. Specifically, 
Pirelli submitted the original petition dated March 12, 2010, and a 
supplement to the original petition dated April 12, 2010.
    Notice of receipt of Pirelli's petition was published, with a 30-
day public comment period, on November 9, 2010, in the Federal Register 
(75 FR 68855). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System Web 
site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search 
instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2010-0142.''
    Contact Infromation: For further information on this decision, 
contact Mr. Jack Chern, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 
366-0661, facsimile (202) 366-7002.
    Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 30,881 Pirelli Pzero 
Nero M+S and Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico replacement tires produced 
between September 2, 2007, and December 12, 2009,--in the tire sizes 
indicated in the following list--have the subject noncompliance:

P245/45ZR17 95W, Pzero Nero M+S
P235/45ZR17 94W, Pzero Nero M+S
P235/40ZR18 91W, Pzero Nero M+S
P215/35ZR18 84W, Pzero Nero M+S
P215/35ZR19 85W, Pzero Nero M+S
265/35ZR22 102W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico
295/30ZR22 103W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico
305/35ZR23 111W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico
265/45ZR20 108W Extra Load, Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico

    Summary of Pirelli's Analysis and Arguments: Pirelli described the 
noncompliance as the absence of either the complete or partial tire 
identification number (TIN) on the inner tire sidewall as required by 
paragraphs S5.5 and S7.3 of FMVSS No. 139.
    Pirelli argues that because all of the affected tires have an 
asymmetric tread pattern that can only be correctly installed with the 
intended outer sidewall facing the outside of the vehicle. Pirelli also 
points out that asymmetric tires represent a very small percentage of 
the overall tire market.
    Pirelli explained that all of the affected tires are stenciled on 
the intended outboard sidewall with the lettering OUTER in four 
different languages (English, French, German and Italian).
    Pirelli further explained that the non-compliance was identified on 
February 26, 2010, during an inspection of mold branding at the plant 
that produced the subject tires. Pirelli then examined related 
production records in order to accurately identify the specific 
noncompliant tires. All molds are being modified or have been modified 
to ensure that the appropriate TIN information is contained on both 
sidewalls for future production.
    Pirelli provided the following basis of why they believe the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety:

    While the subject tires are noncompliant with paragraph S5.5 of 
FMVSS No. 139 for labeling, the noncompliance has an inconsequential 
effect on tire performance and motor vehicle safety because all of 
the affected tires meet or exceed all of the

[[Page 27477]]

minimum performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139.

    In addition, the Company mentioned the existence of certain factors 
that facilitates and encourages proper installation and thus provide 
accessibility and visibility of the full TIN on the outboard sidewall:

    Pirelli's internal policy allows dealers to sell these 
asymmetric tires only in pairs or in groups of four. As a result, 
these replacement tires are installed either on both sides of the 
rear axle or on all four locations. The odds of even one tire being 
mounted incorrectly are extremely remote, and the odds of two or 
four tires being mounted the wrong way are even more remote.
    All subject tires are either Pzero Nero M+S or Scorpion Zero 
Asimmetrico. Both product families are ultra high performance tires; 
their asymmetric tread design is one of the main features sought by 
consumers for the following reasons: precision handling in all 
conditions; full and compact external shoulder blocks for increased 
safety and dry handling performance; and inner shoulders designed to 
maximize traction with deeper and more regular cuts. These benefits 
are obtained only if the tires are mounted with the outer sidewall 
pointing to the outside of the vehicle. Having paid a substantial 
price to obtain these performance characteristics, the customers 
seek to ensure that their tires are installed correctly.
    Pirelli's product literature and training procedures reinforce 
the message on proper mounting.
    Pirelli provides extensive training to its authorized dealers, 
and that training focuses specifically on the need to mount 
asymmetric tires in the correct way.
    A second TIN number (on the inboard side of the tire) is not 
necessary either to ensure traceability or to allow consumers to 
operate their vehicles safely.
    Pirelli has not received a single complaint from any consumer, 
dealer, law enforcement agency, or other source that indicated any 
difficulty or problem in finding the full TIN, including the date 
code on its asymmetrical tires.
    Pirelli collects and tracks data on warranty claims for all of 
tires, including the tires at issue here. The warranty data confirm 
that these tires have performed extremely well in the field. The 
number of claims is very small, and there have been no claims 
involving property damage.

    In summation, for the reasons stated above, Pirelli believes that 
the described noncompliance concerning the tire labeling requirements 
of paragraphs S5.5 and S7.3 of FMVSS No. 139 are inconsequential and do 
not present a risk to motor vehicle safety. Thus, Pirelli requests that 
its petition, to exempt it from providing recall notification of 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted. In a 
supplement to its petition Pirelli requested that if NHTSA decides to 
deny the petition, that at a minimum, NHTSA exempt the company from the 
remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. 30120. Rather than replacing all tires 
subject to any such recall, Pirelli suggests that it would instead 
issue recall notices to all end users who can be located. Pirelli then 
would have its dealers inspect the tires. If the tires are properly 
mounted, with the TINs facing the outboard side of the vehicle, the 
tires would be left on the vehicle. Finally, if any tires were found to 
be mounted with the outboard sidewalls facing inward (which is 
extremely unlikely), the tires would be remounted in the appropriate 
way.

Requirement Background

    Paragraph s5.5 of FMVSS No. 139 requires in pertinent part:

    S5.5 Tire Markings. Except as specified in paragraphs (a) 
through (i) of S5.5, each tire must be marked on each sidewall with 
the information specified in S5.5(a) through (d) and on one sidewall 
with the information specified in S5.5(e) through (i) according to 
the phase-in schedule specified in S7 of this standard. The markings 
must be placed between the maximum section width and the bead on at 
least one sidewall, unless the maximum section width of the tire is 
located in an area that is not more than one-fourth of the distance 
from the bead to the shoulder of the tire. If the maximum section 
width falls within that area, those markings must appear between the 
bead and a point one-half the distance from the bead to the shoulder 
of the tire, on at least one sidewall. The markings must be in 
letters and numerals not less than 0.078 inches high and raised 
above or sunk below the tire surface not less than 0.015 inches.
    S5.5.1 Tire identification number.
    (a) Tires manufactured before September 1, 2009. Each tire must 
be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR 
part 574 on a sidewall of the tire. Except for retreaded tires, 
either the tire identification number or a partial tire 
identification number, containing all characters in the tire 
identification number, 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.
    (b) Tires manufactured on or after September 1, 2009. Each tire 
must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 
CFR part 574 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire. Except 
for retreaded tires, either the tire identification number or a 
partial tire identification number, containing all characters in the 
tire identification number, 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. Except for retreaded tires, if a 
tire does not have an intended outboard sidewall, the tire must be 
labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 
574 on one sidewall and with either the tire identification number 
or a partial tire identification number, containing all characters 
in the tire identification number except for the date code and, at 
the discretion of the manufacturer, any optional code, on the other 
sidewall * * *

    NHTSA's Analysis of Perelli's Reasoning: NHTSA does agree with 
Pirelli'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 of FMVSS No. 139 provide valuable 
information to assist consumers in determining if their tires are the 
subject of a safety recall. However, in these asymmetric tires, the TIN 
will always be on the intended outboard sidewall.
    Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 requires that radial tires 
manufactured on or after September 1, 2009 for motor vehicles less than 
10,000 GVWR be permanently labeled with: (1) a full TIN required by 49 
CFR Part 574 on the intended outboard 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.\1\
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    \1\ 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.
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    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 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. Pub. L. 106-414. 114 
Stat. 1800.
    One of the matters 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

[[Page 27478]]

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 found and recorded. Without any TIN 
information on the outboard sidewalls of tires, the difficulty and 
inconvenience of obtaining the TIN by consumers results in a reduction 
of the number of people who respond to a tire recall campaign and the 
number of motorists who unknowingly continue to drive vehicles with 
potentially unsafe tires.
    Pirelli suggests that this noncompliance does not preclude 
motorists from checking the inboard sidewall if the TIN is not found on 
the outboard sidewall. However, since asymmetric tires are specially 
constructed for certain performance parameters, and the TIN is marked 
on the intended outboard sidewall, the Agency agrees that it is 
extremely unlikely that the tires will be mismounted with the inboard 
sidewall facing outboard.
    However, even though 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 this case it is extremely 
unlikely that one or more of the asymmetric tires will be incorrectly 
mounted with the intended outboard sidewall facing inboard.
    NHTSA Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has 
decided that the petitioner has met its burden of persuasion that the 
noncompliance described is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. 
Accordingly, Pirelli's petition is hereby granted.
    NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a 
determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers 
only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, 
to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance 
and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, these provisions 
only apply to the 30,881\2\ vehicles that Pirelli no longer controlled 
at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed.
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    \2\ Pirelli's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt Pirelli as a Tire manufacturer 
from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR part 573 
for the 30,881 affected tires. However, a decision on this petition 
cannot relieve tire distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on 
the sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery for introduction 
into interstate commerce of the noncompliant tires under their 
control after Pirelli notified them that the subject noncompliance 
existed.

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

    Issued on: May 1, 2013.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-11091 Filed 5-9-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P