Ride the Ducks International, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 38993-38995 [2017-17326]

Download as PDF asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 157 / Wednesday, August 16, 2017 / Notices V. Summary of RTDI’s Petition: As background, in 1996, RTDI began to produce APVs. The original Amphibious Passenger vehicles (APVs) are based on military vehicles that were capable of operation over both land and water. The ‘‘Stretch’’ APVs were refurbished by RTDI in accordance with state and U.S. Coast Guard rules and regulations. These vehicles have renewed hulls that are ‘‘stretched’’ over the original chassis frame and original vehicle components that were replaced with modern equipment. RTDI manufactured the stretch APVs until 2005, when RTDI introduced its ‘‘Truck’’ APVs. The truck APVs are based on military cargo vehicles. RTDI has not manufactured any vehicles since 2014. RTDI described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, RTDI submitted the following reasoning: 1. FMVSS No. 103 specifies that ‘‘[e]ach vehicle shall have a windshield defrosting and defogging system.’’ 49 CFR 571.103, S4(a), S4.1. The purpose of FMVSS No. 103 is to establish minimum performance requirements for vehicle windshield defrosting and defogging systems in order to ensure that the vehicle operator is able to sufficiently see through the windshield. The APVs have features that are designed to achieve the same purpose as the standard. The APVs’ ‘‘open-air’’ design precludes fog from building up on the windshield. Fog buildup on the interior or exterior of a motor vehicle windshield occurs when water condenses on the windshield. For water to condense on a windshield, the air next to the windshield must be humid and the air’s dew point—the temperature to which air must be cooled to become saturated with water vapor— must be higher than the windshield’s temperature. In other words, humid and warm air must surround a cool windshield. Because of its open-air design, the APVs will not encounter any of the physical conditions that create fog buildup on the windshield. The APVs do not have solid glass windows in the passenger compartment and the rear of the vehicle is also open to the air. The side panels of the driver’s compartment are open on both sides of the windshield and the center windshield can be pushed outward and opened when needed. Because of the APVs’ design, the ambient air is able to continually circulate within the interior of the vehicle, creating no difference between the temperature or humidity of the air outside and inside the vehicle. In VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Aug 15, 2017 Jkt 241001 the unlikely event that fog did accumulate on the windshield, the APVs have windshield wipers to clear the surface and the vehicle operator can also push down the windshield for visibility. 2. Frost builds up on the windshield of a vehicle when the temperature of liquid or condensation on the windshield decreases to the freezing point of water, turning the condensation into frost. The APVs’ lack of a defrosting system similarly does not present a safety concern. The APVs are only operated on a seasonal basis and not during the winter months in any location where the vehicles provide tours. The APVs, therefore, are not operated during or exposed to weather conditions that would expose the vehicles to frost or create the need to defrost the windshields. As above, the operator also has the ability to push down the center windshield or use the windshield wipers to increase visibility in the unlikely event of frost. 3. From its inception, the Safety Act has included a provision recognizing that some noncompliances may pose little or no actual safety risk. The Safety Act exempts manufacturers from their statutory obligation to provide notice and remedy upon a determination by NHTSA that a noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. See 49 U.S.C. 30118(d). In applying this recognition to particular fact situations, the agency considers whether the noncompliance gives rise to ‘‘a significantly greater risk than . . . in a compliant vehicle.’’ 69 FR 19897, 19900 (April 14, 2000). As described above, the specialized design of the APVs and the vehicles’ pattern of use does not expose the vehicles to conditions that could create an increased safety risk when compared to a vehicle that has a windshield defrosting and defogging system installed. RTDI concluded by expressing the belief that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition to be exempted from providing notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be 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, any PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 38993 decision on this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that RTDI no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on 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 RTDI 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. 2017–17325 Filed 8–15–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2017–0038; Notice 1] Ride the Ducks International, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Receipt of petition. AGENCY: Ride the Ducks International, LLC (RTDI), has determined that certain model year (MY) 1996–2014 Ride the Ducks International Stretch Amphibious passenger vehicles (APVs) do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 104, Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems. RTDI filed a noncompliance information report dated March 15, 2017. RTDI also petitioned NHTSA on April 12, 2017, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is September 15, 2017. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and submitted by any of the following methods: • Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver comments by hand to U.S. Department of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16AUN1.SGM 16AUN1 asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES 38994 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 157 / Wednesday, August 16, 2017 / Notices Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays. • Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at https:// www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493–2251. Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish to receive confirmation that comments you have submitted by mail were received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. All comments and supporting materials received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the fullest extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated at the end of this notice. All comments, background documentation, and supporting materials submitted to the docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the Internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this petition is shown in the heading of this notice. DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477–78). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview: Ride the Ducks International, LLC (RTDI), has determined that certain model year (MY) 1996–2014 Ride the Ducks International Stretch Amphibious passenger vehicles (APVs) do not fully comply with paragraph S4.2.2 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Aug 15, 2017 Jkt 241001 (FMVSS) No. 104, Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems. RTDI filed a noncompliance information report dated March 15, 2017, pursuant to 49 CFR 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. RTDI also petitioned NHTSA on April 12, 2017, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice of receipt of RTDI’s petition is published under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition. II. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 105 MY 1996–2014 Ride the Ducks International Stretch APVs, manufactured between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2014, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance: RTDI explained that the noncompliance is that the subject vehicles were manufactured without a windshield washing system, as required by paragraph S4.2.2 of FMVSS No. 104. IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.2.2 of FMVSS No. 104 states in pertinent part: S4.2.2 Each multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, and bus shall have a windshield washing system that meets the requirements of SAE Recommended Practice J942 (1965) (incorporated by reference, see § 571.5), except that the reference to ‘‘the effective wipe pattern defined in SAE J903, paragraph 3.1.2’’ in paragraph 3.1 of SAE Recommended Practice J942 (1965) shall be deleted and ‘‘the pattern designed by the manufacturer for the windshield wiping system on the exterior surface of the windshield glazing’’ shall be inserted in lieu thereof. V. Summary of RTDI’s Petition: As background, in 1996, RTDI began to produce APVs. The original Amphibious Passenger vehicles (APVs) are based on military vehicles that were capable of operation over both land and water. The ‘‘Stretch’’ APVs were refurbished by RTDI in accordance with state and U.S. Coast Guard rules and regulations. These vehicles have renewed hulls that are ‘‘stretched’’ over the original chassis frame and original vehicle components that were replaced with modern equipment. RTDI manufactured the stretch APVs until 2005, when RTDI introduced its ‘‘Truck’’ APVs. The truck APVs are based on military cargo vehicles. RTDI has not manufactured any vehicles since 2014. RTDI described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, RTDI submitted the following reasoning: 1. FMVSS No. 104 specifies, in relevant part, that ‘‘each . . . [vehicle] shall have a windshield washing system that meets the requirements of SAE Recommended Practice J942 (1965)’’ 49 CFR 571.104, S4(a), S4.2.2. This FMVSS is designed to ensure that when activated, the windshield washing system is capable of reaching a sufficient portion of the exterior surface of the windshield, as designed by the manufacturer. The standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the windshield wiping and washing systems so that the vehicle operator is able to sufficiently see through the windshield. The APVs have features installed that are designed to achieve the same purpose as the standard. If there is debris present on the windshield, the driver is able to engage the vehicle’s windshield wipers to clear the windshield’s exterior surface. Further, the windshield of the APVs have a unique design that allows the driver to fully lower and raise the windshield glass. In the event that the windshield wipers could not clear the surface of the windshield, the driver has the option of lowering the windshield. Under either option, the visibility of the operator would not be compromised. 2. In the water portion of the vehicles’ tours, the APVs are required to have the windshield lowered during operation, per U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The Coast Guard has recognized that in the event of an accident on the water, a raised windshield could impede passenger egress. Consequently, the Coast Guard has issued guidance which provides that the windshields of APVs be ‘‘designed to fold down with minimal force to allow egress.’’ U.S. Coast Guard Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1–01, inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles, p.24. Further, the APV’s exteriors, including the windshields, are washed after each tour, removing any debris that may have accumulated during the last tour. 3. From its inception, the Safety Act has included a provision recognizing that some noncompliances may pose little or no actual safety risk. The Safety Act exempts manufacturers from their statutory obligation to provide notice and remedy upon a determination by NHTSA that a noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. See 49 U.S.C. 30118(d). In applying this recognition to particular fact situations, the agency considers whether the noncompliance gives rise to ‘‘a significantly greater risk than . . . in a compliant vehicle.’’ 69 FR 19897, 19900 (April 14, 2000). As described above, the specialized design of the APVs and the vehicles’ pattern of use does not expose the vehicles to conditions that could create an increased safety risk when compared to a vehicle that has a windshield washing system installed. RTDI concluded by expressing the belief that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition to be E:\FR\FM\16AUN1.SGM 16AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 157 / Wednesday, August 16, 2017 / Notices exempted from providing notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be 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, any decision on this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that RTDI no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on 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 RTDI 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. 2017–17326 Filed 8–15–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2017–0063] Autocar Industries, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Receipt of petition. AGENCY: Autocar Industries, LLC (Autocar Industries), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2014–2018 Autocar Xspotter trucks do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 101, Controls and Displays. Autocar Industries filed a noncompliance report dated June 12, 2017, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on June 19, 2017, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is September 15, 2017. asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:33 Aug 15, 2017 Jkt 241001 Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and submitted by any of the following methods: • Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver comments by hand to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays. • Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at https:// www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493–2251. Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish to receive confirmation that comments you have submitted by mail were received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. All comments and supporting materials received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the fullest extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated at the end of this notice. All comments, background documentation, and supporting materials submitted to the docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the Internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 38995 petition is shown in the heading of this notice. DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477–78). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview: Autocar Industries has determined that certain MY 2014–2018 Autocar Xspotter trucks do not fully comply with Table 2 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 101, Controls and Displays. Autocar Industries filed a noncompliance report dated June 12, 2017, pursuant to CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and petitioned NHTSA on June 19, 2017, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice of receipt of their petition is published under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition. II. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 644 MY 2014–2018 Autocar Xspotter trucks, manufactured between September 12, 2013 and August 4, 2017, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance: Autocar Industries explains that the noncompliance is that the Low Brake Air Pressure telltale for air brake systems displays the word ‘‘BRAKE PRESSURE’’ and the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 101 specified symbol, rather than the words ‘‘Brake Air,’’ as specified in Table 2 of FMVSS No. 101. Autocar Industries states that the telltale is accompanied by an audible alert and pressure gauges. IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5 of FMVSS No. 101 provides: ‘‘Each passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck and bus that is fitted with a control, a telltale, or an indicator listed in Table 1 or Table 2 must meet the requirements of this standard for the location, identification, color, and illumination of that control, telltale or indicator.’’ Paragraph S5.2.1 of FMVSS No. 101 provides, in pertinent part: ‘‘. . . each control, telltale and indicator that is listed in column 1 of Table 1 or Table 2 must be identified by the symbol specified for it in column 2 or the word or abbreviation specified for it in column 3 of Table 1 or Table 2.’’ Table 2 appears as follows: E:\FR\FM\16AUN1.SGM 16AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 157 (Wednesday, August 16, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38993-38995]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-17326]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2017-0038; Notice 1]


Ride the Ducks International, LLC, Receipt of Petition for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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

SUMMARY: Ride the Ducks International, LLC (RTDI), has determined that 
certain model year (MY) 1996-2014 Ride the Ducks International Stretch 
Amphibious passenger vehicles (APVs) do not fully comply with Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 104, Windshield Wiping and 
Washing Systems. RTDI filed a noncompliance information report dated 
March 15, 2017. RTDI also petitioned NHTSA on April 12, 2017, for a 
decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is September 15, 
2017.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written data, 
views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the 
docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver comments by hand to U.S. Department 
of

[[Page 38994]]

Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. The 
Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except 
Federal Holidays.
     Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging 
onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at https://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493-2251.
    Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater 
than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of 
necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in 
hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish 
to receive confirmation that comments you have submitted by mail were 
received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the 
comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    All comments and supporting materials received before the close of 
business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the 
docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials 
received after the closing date will also be filed and will be 
considered to the fullest extent possible.
    When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will 
also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority 
indicated at the end of this notice.
    All comments, background documentation, and supporting materials 
submitted to the docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and 
times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the Internet at 
https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for 
accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this petition is shown 
in the heading of this notice.
    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a 
Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. Overview: Ride the Ducks International, LLC (RTDI), has 
determined that certain model year (MY) 1996-2014 Ride the Ducks 
International Stretch Amphibious passenger vehicles (APVs) do not fully 
comply with paragraph S4.2.2 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 104, Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems. RTDI filed a 
noncompliance information report dated March 15, 2017, pursuant to 49 
CFR 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. RTDI also 
petitioned NHTSA on April 12, 2017, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, for an exemption from the notification 
and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    This notice of receipt of RTDI's petition is published under 49 
U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or 
other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition.
    II. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 105 MY 1996-2014 Ride the 
Ducks International Stretch APVs, manufactured between January 1, 1996, 
and December 31, 2014, are potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: RTDI explained that the noncompliance is that 
the subject vehicles were manufactured without a windshield washing 
system, as required by paragraph S4.2.2 of FMVSS No. 104.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.2.2 of FMVSS No. 104 states in 
pertinent part:

    S4.2.2 Each multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, and bus shall 
have a windshield washing system that meets the requirements of SAE 
Recommended Practice J942 (1965) (incorporated by reference, see 
Sec.  571.5), except that the reference to ``the effective wipe 
pattern defined in SAE J903, paragraph 3.1.2'' in paragraph 3.1 of 
SAE Recommended Practice J942 (1965) shall be deleted and ``the 
pattern designed by the manufacturer for the windshield wiping 
system on the exterior surface of the windshield glazing'' shall be 
inserted in lieu thereof.

    V. Summary of RTDI's Petition: As background, in 1996, RTDI began 
to produce APVs. The original Amphibious Passenger vehicles (APVs) are 
based on military vehicles that were capable of operation over both 
land and water. The ``Stretch'' APVs were refurbished by RTDI in 
accordance with state and U.S. Coast Guard rules and regulations. These 
vehicles have renewed hulls that are ``stretched'' over the original 
chassis frame and original vehicle components that were replaced with 
modern equipment. RTDI manufactured the stretch APVs until 2005, when 
RTDI introduced its ``Truck'' APVs. The truck APVs are based on 
military cargo vehicles. RTDI has not manufactured any vehicles since 
2014.
    RTDI described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that 
the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle 
safety.
    In support of its petition, RTDI submitted the following reasoning:

    1. FMVSS No. 104 specifies, in relevant part, that ``each . . . 
[vehicle] shall have a windshield washing system that meets the 
requirements of SAE Recommended Practice J942 (1965)'' 49 CFR 
571.104, S4(a), S4.2.2. This FMVSS is designed to ensure that when 
activated, the windshield washing system is capable of reaching a 
sufficient portion of the exterior surface of the windshield, as 
designed by the manufacturer. The standard establishes minimum 
performance requirements for the windshield wiping and washing 
systems so that the vehicle operator is able to sufficiently see 
through the windshield. The APVs have features installed that are 
designed to achieve the same purpose as the standard. If there is 
debris present on the windshield, the driver is able to engage the 
vehicle's windshield wipers to clear the windshield's exterior 
surface. Further, the windshield of the APVs have a unique design 
that allows the driver to fully lower and raise the windshield 
glass. In the event that the windshield wipers could not clear the 
surface of the windshield, the driver has the option of lowering the 
windshield. Under either option, the visibility of the operator 
would not be compromised.
    2. In the water portion of the vehicles' tours, the APVs are 
required to have the windshield lowered during operation, per U.S. 
Coast Guard regulations. The Coast Guard has recognized that in the 
event of an accident on the water, a raised windshield could impede 
passenger egress. Consequently, the Coast Guard has issued guidance 
which provides that the windshields of APVs be ``designed to fold 
down with minimal force to allow egress.'' U.S. Coast Guard 
Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, inspection of 
Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles, p.24. Further, the APV's 
exteriors, including the windshields, are washed after each tour, 
removing any debris that may have accumulated during the last tour.
    3. From its inception, the Safety Act has included a provision 
recognizing that some noncompliances may pose little or no actual 
safety risk. The Safety Act exempts manufacturers from their 
statutory obligation to provide notice and remedy upon a 
determination by NHTSA that a noncompliance is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety. See 49 U.S.C. 30118(d). In applying this 
recognition to particular fact situations, the agency considers 
whether the noncompliance gives rise to ``a significantly greater 
risk than . . . in a compliant vehicle.'' 69 FR 19897, 19900 (April 
14, 2000). As described above, the specialized design of the APVs 
and the vehicles' pattern of use does not expose the vehicles to 
conditions that could create an increased safety risk when compared 
to a vehicle that has a windshield washing system installed.

    RTDI concluded by expressing the belief that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, 
and that its petition to be

[[Page 38995]]

exempted from providing notification of the noncompliance, as required 
by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 
49 U.S.C. 30120, should be 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, any decision on 
this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that RTDI no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on 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 RTDI 
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. 2017-17326 Filed 8-15-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P