Spartan Motors USA, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 87654-87656 [2016-29026]

Download as PDF 87654 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2016 / Notices Liaisons can be found on FTA’s Web site at http://www.transit.dot.gov/ 13094_15845.html. Funds allocated in this announcement must be obligated in a grant by September 30, 2018. Tribes selected for competitive funding should work with their FTA regional tribal liaison to finalize the grant application in TrAMs. Carolyn Flowers, Acting Administrator. TABLE I—FY 2016 TRIBAL TRANSIT PROGRAM AWARDS State AK AK AK AK AK AK AZ CA CA ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... ................................... CA ................................... CA ................................... CA ................................... CT ................................... ID .................................... KS ................................... MN .................................. MN .................................. MN .................................. MT .................................. MT .................................. MT .................................. NM OK OK OK OK OK OK WA .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. .................................. WA .................................. WA .................................. WA .................................. WA .................................. WA .................................. WI ................................... Total Allocation ........ Recipient Project ID Project description McGrath Native Village ......................... Native Village of Fort Yukon ................. Native Village of Unalakleet ................. Nome Eskimo Community .................... Nulato Village ........................................ Rampart Village .................................... Hualapai Indian Tribe ........................... Blue Lake Rancheria, California ........... North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California. Susanville Indian Rancheria ................. Susanville Indian Rancheria ................. Yurok Tribe ........................................... Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation ..... Shoshone-Bannock Tribes ................... Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation .......... Bois Forte Band of Chippewa .............. Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians Chippewa Cree Tribe ............................ Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Res. Jicarilla Apache Nation ......................... Cherokee Nation ................................... Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma ............... Miami Tribe of Oklahoma ..................... Muscogee (Creek) Nation ..................... Seminole Nation of Oklahoma .............. Wichita and Affiliated Tribes ................. Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Cowlitz Indian Tribe .............................. Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation. Muckleshoot Indian Tribe ..................... Nooksack Indian Tribe .......................... Snoqualmie Indian Tribe ....................... Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. D2016–TRTR–001 D2016–TRTR–002 D2016–TRTR–003 D2016–TRTR–004 D2016–TRTR–005 D2016–TRTR–006 D2016–TRTR–007 D2016–TRTR–008 D2016–TRTR–009 Start-up/Capital ..................................... Replacement/Capital ............................. Replacement/Capital ............................. Existing/Operating ................................. Start-up/Planning .................................. Start-up/Planning .................................. Start-up/Capital ..................................... Replacement/Capital ............................. Expansion, Replacement/Capital .......... $63,000 131,655 28,340 179,621 25,000 25,000 140,962 120,000 66,994 D2016–TRTR–010 D2016–TRTR–011 D2016–TRTR–012 D2016–TRTR–013 D2016–TRTR–014 D2016–TRTR–015 D2016–TRTR–016 D2016–TRTR–017 Replacement/Capital ............................. Existing/Capital ..................................... Expansion, Replacement/Capital .......... Start-up/Operating ................................ Expansion/Capital ................................. Expansion, Replacement/Capital .......... Expansion/Capital ................................. Existing/Capital ..................................... 45,000 1,980 234,000 133,705 85,400 287,500 329,843 127,987 D2016–TRTR–018 D2016–TRTR–019 D2016–TRTR–020 Replacement/Capital ............................. Replacement/Capital ............................. Expansion/Capital ................................. 116,352 77,875 329,843 D2016–TRTR–021 Replacement/Capital ............................. 119,340 D2016–TRTR–022 D2016–TRTR–023 D2016–TRTR–024 D2016–TRTR–025 D2016–TRTR–026 D2016–TRTR–027 D2016–TRTR–028 D2016–TRTR–029 Start-up/Capital ..................................... Replacement/Capital ............................. Expansion, Replacement/Capital .......... Expansion, Replacement/Capital .......... Existing/Capital ..................................... Replacement/Capital ............................. Start-up/Planning .................................. Expansion/Capital ................................. 211,197 321,561 329,843 179,100 108,000 135,000 24,998 255,344 D2016–TRTR–030 D2016–TRTR–031 Existing, Replacement/Capital .............. Replacement/Capital ............................. 58,056 51,021 D2016–TRTR–032 D2016–TRTR–033 D2016–TRTR–034 D2016–TRTR–035 Existing/Operating ................................. Existing/Operating ................................. Existing/Operating ................................. Existing/Planning .................................. 329,843 188,000 113,640 25,000 .............................. ............................................................... 5,000,000 ............................................................... ACTION: [FR Doc. 2016–29020 Filed 12–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P Grant of petition. Spartan Motors USA, Inc. (Spartan), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2013–2015 Utilimaster Vans do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant crash protection. Spartan Motors USA, Inc., filed a defect report dated January 15, 2016. Spartan then petitioned NHTSA on February 12, 2016, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. SUMMARY: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0024; Notice 2] Spartan Motors USA, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Dec 02, 2016 Jkt 241001 For further information on this decision please contact James A. Jones, Office of Vehicle Safety ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Allocation Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–5294, facsimile (202) 366–3081. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview: Spartan Motors USA, Inc. (Spartan), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2013–2015 Utilimaster Vans do not fully comply with paragraph S4.5.1(c) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant crash protection. Spartan Motors USA, Inc., filed a report dated January 15, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports for Spartan. Spartan also petitioned NHTSA on E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2016 / Notices February 12, 2016, under 49 CFR part 556 requesting a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Spartan submitted a petition 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 July 21, 2016 in the Federal Register (81 FR 47493). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2016– 0024.’’ II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 910 MY 2013–2015 Utilimaster Vans that were manufactured between July 11, 2014 and December 8, 2015. III. Noncompliance: Spartan explains that the noncompliance occurred during alterations to the subject vehicles. During alterations the sun visors were removed and then reinstalled. As a result of the reinstallation, the required sun visor air bag warning labels are not visible when the sun visors are in the stowed position. Since the sun visor air bag warning labels are not visible when in the stowed position, an air bag alert label is required and therefore does not meet the requirements as specified in paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 208. IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 208 requires in pertinent part: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES S4.5.1(c) Air bag alert label. If the label required by S4.5.1(b) is not visible when the sun visor is in the stowed position, an air bag alert label shall be permanently affixed to that visor so that the label is visible when the visor is in that position. The label shall conform in content to the sun visor label shown in Figure 6(c) of this standard, and shall comply with the requirements of S4.5.1(c)(1) through S4.5.1(c)(3) . . . V. Summary of Spartan’s Petition: Spartan described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons: (a) Spartan cited the definition of motor vehicle safety as stated in the Safety Act under 49 U.S.C. 30111(a). Spartan also cited 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) under the Safety Act where Congress acknowledges that there are cases where a manufacturer has failed to comply VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Dec 02, 2016 Jkt 241001 with a safety standard, yet the impact on motor vehicle safety is so slight that an exemption from the notice and remedy requirements of the Safety Act is justified. (b) Spartan stated that paragraph S4.5.1(b)(2) of FMVSS No. 208 requires an air bag warning label to be installed, at the manufacturer’s option, on either side of the sun visor at each outboard seating position equipped with an inflatable restraint. Within that same section of FMVSS No. 208, it states that air bag warning labels are to be installed, at the manufacturer’s option, in accordance with Figure 8 or 11 of the standard. Footnotes under Figures 8 and 11, among others, state ‘‘Sun Visor Label Visible when Visor is in Down Position.’’ Spartan submitted a photograph depicting that the air bag warning label on the subject vehicles is visible when the sun visor is in the down position, however, the content is inverted. (c) Spartan specified that the content of the sun visor label identifies the risks associated with the placement of children, or child seats, encourages the use of seatbelts, and defers to the owner’s manual for information pertaining to the air bags. Spartan notes that they are a vehicle alterer in this case and are not responsible for the content of the air bag warning label and that they make no assertions relating to compliance of the label. However, during alterations to the vehicles they do remove and reinstall the sun visors. (d) Spartan also stated that they alter a completed vehicle (in this case a van) to become a vocational vehicle intended to be used as a delivery service vehicle (i.e., a vehicle used to carry parcel packages or other goods.) And although, the altered vehicle would be equipped with two outboard seating positions, delivery service vehicles are typically occupied by the driver who has a specific purpose of delivering goods. Given the nature of, or intended use of, the vehicle, it would be unlikely for children to be placed in the passenger seating area. (e) Spartan clearly expressed that they do not alter information in the owner’s manual although it may provide supplements related to the alterations being made. Spartan says that the content in the owner’s manual states that the air bag system is supplemental to the seat belts and further describes risks associated with the air bag system. Furthermore, the information in the owner’s manual discusses an air bag warning indicator (tell-tale) of which the vehicle is equipped and its function (this indicator would provide indication PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 87655 to the driver that the vehicle is equipped with an air bag system.) (f) Spartan believes that while the content on the sun visor warning label (although not provided by Spartan) may not be in the upright position to be easily read by the occupants, it is visible with the sun visor in the down position. And even though the label is inverted, the coloring scheme would continue to signify risks associated with the air bag system. Spartan elaborated by saying that the information within the owner’s manual for the affected vehicles expands on potential risks related to the system but also encourages the use of seatbelts as the primary purpose of occupant protection. Spartan additionally informed NHTSA that on December 8, 2015 containment actions were conducted and all units in control of Utilimaster were inspected and the noncompliance corrected. This included vehicles currently undergoing alterations. In summation, Spartan believes that given the vocational use of the affected vehicles and information provided in the foregoing that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt Spartan from providing notification of the noncompliances as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120 should be granted. NHTSA’S Decision: Background: To reduce the adverse effects of air bags, especially for children, NHTSA required newly improved, attention getting labels in a final rule issued on November 27, 1996.1 The new rule required vehicle manufacturers permanently affix an air bag alert label to the sides of sun visors. See paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 208. A manufacturer did not have to provide the alert label if the sun visor air bag warning label (see paragraph S4.5.1(b)of FMVSS No. 208) was placed so that it is visible when the visor is in the stowed position. The air bag alert label includes instructions to ‘‘flip the visor over’’ and a pictogram of a rear facing child restraint being struck by an air bag. NHTSA believed that the alert label is more likely to attract the attention of vehicle occupants and induce them to look for the air bag 1 The new labels would not be required on vehicles having a ‘‘smart passenger-side air bag’’ (i.e., an air bag that would automatically shut-off or adjust its deployment so as not to adversely affect children).’’ This provision, however, was removed from the current rule issued on May 12, 2000. E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 87656 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2016 / Notices warning label on the other side of the sun visor. See 61 FR 60206. On May 12, 2000, NHTSA refreshed the content requirements of the air bag warning labels consistent with its intent to require labels for vehicles with advanced air bags. Additionally, in order to provide consumers with adequate information about their occupant restraint system, NHTSA required manufacturers to provide a written explanation of the vehicle’s advanced air bag system in owner’s manuals. See 65 FR 30722. NHTSA’s Analysis: Acting as an alterer,2 Spartan removed and reinstalled sun visors as part of its modification of the subject vocational vehicles. The vocational vehicles are equipped with advanced air bags at the driver and front passenger seating positions and had compliant air bag warning labels pursuant to paragraph S4.5.1(b)(1) of FMVSS No. 208 permanently affixed to the sun visors, and visible to vehicle occupants when the sun visors were stowed prior to Spartan’s modifications. The left and right-side sun visors are nearly identical in size, have identical attachment points to the headliner and are interchangeable. Apparently, when re-installing the sun visors, Spartan incorrectly placed the left-side visor on the right-side of the vehicle and viceversa. As a result, the air bag warning labels are no longer visible to vehicle occupants when the sun visors are stowed. Rather, the air bag warning labels are inverted and only visible to vehicle occupants when the sun visors are deployed. In accordance with paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No.208, if the air bag warning label is not visible when the sun visor is in the stowed position, an additional label (i.e., air bag alert label) conforming to Figure 6(c) of FMVSS No. 208 shall be permanently affixed to the visor and visible when the visor is in the stowed position. Spartan failed to affix air bag alert labels to the sun visors as required.3 NHTSA’s Decision: NHTSA has concluded that the absence of the air bag alert labels affixed to sun visors on subject Spartan vocational vehicles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. NHTSA agrees that given the nature and intended use of the subject vocational vehicles, it would be unlikely for 2 As defined by 49 CFR 567.3. the petition, Spartan discussed noncompliance to paragraph S4.5.1(b)(2) of FMVSS No. 208 and in their safety recall report, incorrectly cited paragraph S4.5.1 5(c) of FMVSS No. 208. The noncompliance resulting from the absence of air bag alert labels pursuant to paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 208 is under review in this petition. 3 In VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Dec 02, 2016 Jkt 241001 children to be placed in the front passenger seating area. The subject vehicles are equipped with OEM installed advanced airbags that have the potential to substantially decrease the risk of injuries and deaths occurring from deployment. In addition, a written explanation of the advanced passenger air bag system is included in the owner’s manuals. This petition is granted solely on the agency’s decision that the noncompliance in the subject vehicles is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. It is important that all other vehicles subject to these requirements continue to meet them. 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 subject vehicles that Spartan no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the granting of this petition does not relieve vehicle distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after Spartan notified them that the subject noncompliance existed. Authority: (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8) Jeffrey M. Giuseppe, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance. [FR Doc. 2016–29026 Filed 12–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2013–0137] Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for Portable and Aftermarket Devices National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed Federal guidelines. AGENCY: This notice details the proposed contents of the second phase of the National Highway Traffic Safety SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Administration’s (NHTSA) Driver Distraction Guidelines (Phase 2 Guidelines). The purpose of the Phase 2 Guidelines is to provide a safety framework for developers of portable and aftermarket electronic devices to use when developing visual-manual user interfaces for their systems. The Guidelines encourage innovative solutions such as pairing and Driver Mode that, when implemented, will reduce the potential for unsafe driver distraction by limiting the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, while at the same time preserving the full functionality of these devices when they are not used while driving. Currently no safety guidelines exist for portable device technologies when they are used during a driving task. NHTSA seeks comments and suggestions to improve this proposal. DATES: You should submit your comments early enough to be received not later than February 3, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the docket number identified in the heading of this document by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: 202–493–2251. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act discussion below. We will consider all comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above. To the extent possible, we will also consider comments filed after the closing date. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time or to 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Telephone: (202) 366–9826. Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 233 (Monday, December 5, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 87654-87656]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29026]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0024; Notice 2]


Spartan Motors USA, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

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

SUMMARY: Spartan Motors USA, Inc. (Spartan), has determined that 
certain model year (MY) 2013-2015 Utilimaster Vans do not fully comply 
with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant 
crash protection. Spartan Motors USA, Inc., filed a defect report dated 
January 15, 2016. Spartan then petitioned NHTSA on February 12, 2016, 
for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision please contact 
James A. Jones, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-
5294, facsimile (202) 366-3081.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. Overview: Spartan Motors USA, Inc. (Spartan), has determined 
that certain model year (MY) 2013-2015 Utilimaster Vans do not fully 
comply with paragraph S4.5.1(c) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant crash protection. Spartan Motors 
USA, Inc., filed a report dated January 15, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR 
part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports for 
Spartan. Spartan also petitioned NHTSA on

[[Page 87655]]

February 12, 2016, under 49 CFR part 556 requesting a decision that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), Spartan submitted a petition 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 July 21, 2016 in the Federal Register (81 FR 
47493). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online 
search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2016-0024.''
    II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 910 MY 2013-2015 
Utilimaster Vans that were manufactured between July 11, 2014 and 
December 8, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: Spartan explains that the noncompliance 
occurred during alterations to the subject vehicles. During alterations 
the sun visors were removed and then reinstalled. As a result of the 
reinstallation, the required sun visor air bag warning labels are not 
visible when the sun visors are in the stowed position. Since the sun 
visor air bag warning labels are not visible when in the stowed 
position, an air bag alert label is required and therefore does not 
meet the requirements as specified in paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 
208.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 208 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S4.5.1(c) Air bag alert label. If the label required by 
S4.5.1(b) is not visible when the sun visor is in the stowed 
position, an air bag alert label shall be permanently affixed to 
that visor so that the label is visible when the visor is in that 
position. The label shall conform in content to the sun visor label 
shown in Figure 6(c) of this standard, and shall comply with the 
requirements of S4.5.1(c)(1) through S4.5.1(c)(3) . . .

    V. Summary of Spartan's Petition: Spartan described the subject 
noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    (a) Spartan cited the definition of motor vehicle safety as stated 
in the Safety Act under 49 U.S.C. 30111(a). Spartan also cited 49 
U.S.C. 30118(d) under the Safety Act where Congress acknowledges that 
there are cases where a manufacturer has failed to comply with a safety 
standard, yet the impact on motor vehicle safety is so slight that an 
exemption from the notice and remedy requirements of the Safety Act is 
justified.
    (b) Spartan stated that paragraph S4.5.1(b)(2) of FMVSS No. 208 
requires an air bag warning label to be installed, at the 
manufacturer's option, on either side of the sun visor at each outboard 
seating position equipped with an inflatable restraint. Within that 
same section of FMVSS No. 208, it states that air bag warning labels 
are to be installed, at the manufacturer's option, in accordance with 
Figure 8 or 11 of the standard. Footnotes under Figures 8 and 11, among 
others, state ``Sun Visor Label Visible when Visor is in Down 
Position.''
    Spartan submitted a photograph depicting that the air bag warning 
label on the subject vehicles is visible when the sun visor is in the 
down position, however, the content is inverted.
    (c) Spartan specified that the content of the sun visor label 
identifies the risks associated with the placement of children, or 
child seats, encourages the use of seatbelts, and defers to the owner's 
manual for information pertaining to the air bags.
    Spartan notes that they are a vehicle alterer in this case and are 
not responsible for the content of the air bag warning label and that 
they make no assertions relating to compliance of the label. However, 
during alterations to the vehicles they do remove and reinstall the sun 
visors.
    (d) Spartan also stated that they alter a completed vehicle (in 
this case a van) to become a vocational vehicle intended to be used as 
a delivery service vehicle (i.e., a vehicle used to carry parcel 
packages or other goods.) And although, the altered vehicle would be 
equipped with two outboard seating positions, delivery service vehicles 
are typically occupied by the driver who has a specific purpose of 
delivering goods. Given the nature of, or intended use of, the vehicle, 
it would be unlikely for children to be placed in the passenger seating 
area.
    (e) Spartan clearly expressed that they do not alter information in 
the owner's manual although it may provide supplements related to the 
alterations being made. Spartan says that the content in the owner's 
manual states that the air bag system is supplemental to the seat belts 
and further describes risks associated with the air bag system. 
Furthermore, the information in the owner's manual discusses an air bag 
warning indicator (tell-tale) of which the vehicle is equipped and its 
function (this indicator would provide indication to the driver that 
the vehicle is equipped with an air bag system.)
    (f) Spartan believes that while the content on the sun visor 
warning label (although not provided by Spartan) may not be in the 
upright position to be easily read by the occupants, it is visible with 
the sun visor in the down position. And even though the label is 
inverted, the coloring scheme would continue to signify risks 
associated with the air bag system.
    Spartan elaborated by saying that the information within the 
owner's manual for the affected vehicles expands on potential risks 
related to the system but also encourages the use of seatbelts as the 
primary purpose of occupant protection.
    Spartan additionally informed NHTSA that on December 8, 2015 
containment actions were conducted and all units in control of 
Utilimaster were inspected and the noncompliance corrected. This 
included vehicles currently undergoing alterations.
    In summation, Spartan believes that given the vocational use of the 
affected vehicles and information provided in the foregoing that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and 
that its petition, to exempt Spartan from providing notification of the 
noncompliances as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120 should be granted.
    NHTSA'S Decision:
    Background: To reduce the adverse effects of air bags, especially 
for children, NHTSA required newly improved, attention getting labels 
in a final rule issued on November 27, 1996.\1\ The new rule required 
vehicle manufacturers permanently affix an air bag alert label to the 
sides of sun visors. See paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 208. A 
manufacturer did not have to provide the alert label if the sun visor 
air bag warning label (see paragraph S4.5.1(b)of FMVSS No. 208) was 
placed so that it is visible when the visor is in the stowed position. 
The air bag alert label includes instructions to ``flip the visor 
over'' and a pictogram of a rear facing child restraint being struck by 
an air bag. NHTSA believed that the alert label is more likely to 
attract the attention of vehicle occupants and induce them to look for 
the air bag

[[Page 87656]]

warning label on the other side of the sun visor. See 61 FR 60206.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The new labels would not be required on vehicles having a 
``smart passenger-side air bag'' (i.e., an air bag that would 
automatically shut-off or adjust its deployment so as not to 
adversely affect children).'' This provision, however, was removed 
from the current rule issued on May 12, 2000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On May 12, 2000, NHTSA refreshed the content requirements of the 
air bag warning labels consistent with its intent to require labels for 
vehicles with advanced air bags. Additionally, in order to provide 
consumers with adequate information about their occupant restraint 
system, NHTSA required manufacturers to provide a written explanation 
of the vehicle's advanced air bag system in owner's manuals. See 65 FR 
30722.
    NHTSA's Analysis: Acting as an alterer,\2\ Spartan removed and re-
installed sun visors as part of its modification of the subject 
vocational vehicles. The vocational vehicles are equipped with advanced 
air bags at the driver and front passenger seating positions and had 
compliant air bag warning labels pursuant to paragraph S4.5.1(b)(1) of 
FMVSS No. 208 permanently affixed to the sun visors, and visible to 
vehicle occupants when the sun visors were stowed prior to Spartan's 
modifications.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ As defined by 49 CFR 567.3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The left and right-side sun visors are nearly identical in size, 
have identical attachment points to the headliner and are 
interchangeable. Apparently, when re-installing the sun visors, Spartan 
incorrectly placed the left-side visor on the right-side of the vehicle 
and vice-versa. As a result, the air bag warning labels are no longer 
visible to vehicle occupants when the sun visors are stowed. Rather, 
the air bag warning labels are inverted and only visible to vehicle 
occupants when the sun visors are deployed.
    In accordance with paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No.208, if the air 
bag warning label is not visible when the sun visor is in the stowed 
position, an additional label (i.e., air bag alert label) conforming to 
Figure 6(c) of FMVSS No. 208 shall be permanently affixed to the visor 
and visible when the visor is in the stowed position. Spartan failed to 
affix air bag alert labels to the sun visors as required.\3\
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    \3\ In the petition, Spartan discussed noncompliance to 
paragraph S4.5.1(b)(2) of FMVSS No. 208 and in their safety recall 
report, incorrectly cited paragraph S4.5.1 5(c) of FMVSS No. 208. 
The noncompliance resulting from the absence of air bag alert labels 
pursuant to paragraph S4.5.1(c) of FMVSS No. 208 is under review in 
this petition.
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    NHTSA's Decision: NHTSA has concluded that the absence of the air 
bag alert labels affixed to sun visors on subject Spartan vocational 
vehicles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. NHTSA agrees that 
given the nature and intended use of the subject vocational vehicles, 
it would be unlikely for children to be placed in the front passenger 
seating area. The subject vehicles are equipped with OEM installed 
advanced airbags that have the potential to substantially decrease the 
risk of injuries and deaths occurring from deployment. In addition, a 
written explanation of the advanced passenger air bag system is 
included in the owner's manuals.
    This petition is granted solely on the agency's decision that the 
noncompliance in the subject vehicles is inconsequential as it relates 
to motor vehicle safety. It is important that all other vehicles 
subject to these requirements continue to meet them.
    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 subject vehicles that Spartan no longer controlled 
at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the 
granting of this petition does not relieve vehicle distributors and 
dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or 
introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of 
the noncompliant vehicles under their control after Spartan notified 
them that the subject noncompliance existed.

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

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2016-29026 Filed 12-2-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P