Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 16432-16436 [2018-07826]

Download as PDF srobinson on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 16432 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 73 / Monday, April 16, 2018 / Notices www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov or the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Mazurowski, U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Room W43–445, NRM–130, Washington, DC 20590. Mr. Robert Mazurowski’s telephone number is 202–366–1012 and fax number is 202–366–7002. Please identify the relevant collection of information by referring to its OMB Control Number. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before an agency submits a proposed collection of information to OMB for approval, it must first publish a document in the Federal Register providing a 60-day comment period and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information. The OMB has promulgated regulations describing what must be included in such a document. Under OMB’s regulation (at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)), an agency must ask for public comment on the following: (i) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) How to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (iv) How to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g. permitting electronic submission of responses. In compliance with these requirements, NHTSA asks for public comments on VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Apr 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 the following proposed collection of information: Title: ‘‘Motorcycle Helmets (Labeling)’’. OMB Control Number: 2127–0518. Requested Expiration Date of Approval: Three years from the approval date. Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection. Affected Public: Businesses. Summary of the Collection of Information: The National Traffic Vehicle Safety statute at 49 U.S.C. Subchapter II Standards and Compliance, Sections 30111 and 30117, authorizes the issuance of Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). The Secretary is authorized to issue, amend, and revoke such rules and regulations as he/she deems necessary. The Secretary is also authorized to require manufacturers to provide information to first purchasers of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment when the vehicle equipment is purchased, in the form of printed matter placed in the vehicle or attached to the motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment. Using this authority, the agency issued the initial FMVSS No. 218, ‘‘Motorcycle helmets,’’ in 1974. Motorcycle helmets are devices used to protect motorcyclists from head injury in motor vehicle accidents. FMVSS No. 218 S5.6 requires that each helmet shall be labeled permanently and legibly in a manner such that the label(s) can be read easily without removing padding or any other permanent part. Estimated Annual Burden: 9,100 hours. NHTSA estimates that 3,250,000 motorcycle helmets are manufactured annually by 45 motorcycle helmet manufacturers. NHTSA also estimates that 0.0028 hours are spent per helmet on the required labels. Therefore, the estimated total annual burden hours for the collection of information required in FMVSS No. 218 is 9,100 hours (= 3,250,000 × 0.0028). Comments are invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of PO 00000 Frm 00148 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking. [FR Doc. 2018–07875 Filed 4–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2016–0127; Notice 2] Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition. AGENCY: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., on behalf of Toyota Motor Corporation (collectively referred to as ‘‘Toyota’’), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2016–2017 Lexus RX350 and RX450H motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 302, Flammability of Interior Materials. Toyota filed a noncompliance information report dated November 3, 2016. Toyota also petitioned NHTSA on November 23, 2016, and provided a supplement to their petition on December 12, 2016, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Abraham Diaz, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone 202–366–5310, facsimile 202–366–5930. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview: Toyota has determined that certain MY 2016–2017 Lexus RX350 and Lexus RX450H motor vehicles do not fully comply with paragraph S4.2 of FMVSS No. 302, Flammability of Interior Materials (49 CFR 571.302). Toyota filed a noncompliance information report dated November 3, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Toyota also petitioned NHTSA on November 23, 2016, and provided a supplement to their petition on December 12, 2016, 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 73 / Monday, April 16, 2018 / Notices 49 U.S.C. chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on April 7, 2017 in the Federal Register (82 FR 17076). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2016– 0127.’’ II. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 102,075 MY 2016–2017 Lexus RX350 and Lexus RX450H motor vehicles manufactured between September 29, 2015 and October 21, 2016, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance: Toyota explains that the noncompliance is that the front and rear seat covers and rear center armrest assemblies, in the subject vehicles, were manufactured with needle punch felt material that does not meet the burn rate requirements as specified in paragraphs S4.2 and S4.3 of FMVSS No. 302. IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraphs S4.2 and S4.3(a) of FMVSS No. 302 includes the requirements relevant to this petition: srobinson on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES • Any portion of a single or composite material which is within 13 millimeters (mm) of the occupant compartment air space shall meet the requirements of paragraph S4.3. • When tested in accordance with paragraph S5, material described in paragraphs S4.1 and S4.2 shall not burn, nor transmit a flame front across its surface, at a rate of more than 102 mm per minute. • The requirement concerning transmission of a flame front shall not apply to a surface created by cutting a test specimen for purposes of testing pursuant to paragraph S5. V. Summary of Toyota’s Petition: Toyota described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. Toyota provided the following description of the construction of the front and rear seats related to the subject noncompliance. The front and rear seats in the subject vehicles are constructed of several layers of soft material mounted on a steel seat frame. The layers of soft material include a leather or synthetic leather seating surface with a cover pad laminated or laminated and sewn underneath, and a needle punch felt material attached to a seat cushion foam pad. The leather or synthetic leather surface, the cover pad, and the needle punch felt material together are VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Apr 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 referred to as the cover subassembly. The needle punch felt material is used to attach the cover subassembly to the foam pad. Depending on the vehicle specification, the seat assembly may or may not contain a seat heater, which is constructed of a urethane pad and attached light gauge wire acting as the heating element. The seat back construction is identical to the construction of the seat cushion. The rear seat assembly also includes a center armrest assembly that is covered with an armrest cover sub-assembly. Depending on the vehicle’s specification, the armrest may or may not include a storage bin inside the center armrest. The needle punch felt is the only material that does not comply with FMVSS No. 302 requirements. In support of its petition, Toyota submitted the following reasoning: 1. The needle punch felt material complies with FMVSS No. 302 when tested as a ‘‘composite’’ as installed in the vehicle, i.e., along with the surrounding FMVSS No. 302 compliant seat cover, cover pad, foam pad, seat heater, carpet, and storage bin. 2. Toyota testing and design review of the seat heater and its components indicate that the chance of fire or flame induced by a malfunctioning seat heater is essentially zero. 3. The non-complying needle punch felt material would normally not be exposed to open flame or an ignition source (like matches or cigarettes) in its installed application, because it is installed within or completely covered by complying materials that meet FMVSs No. 302. 4. The needle punch felt material is a very small portion of the overall mass of the soft material portions comprising the entire seat assembly and is significantly less in relation to the entire vehicle interior surface area that could potentially be exposed to flame. Therefore, it would have an insignificant adverse effect on interior material burn rate and the potential for occupant injury due to interior fire. 5. Toyota is not aware of any data suggesting that fires have occurred in the field due to the installation of the non-complying needle punch felt material. 6. In similar situations, NHTSA has granted petitions for inconsequential noncompliance relating to FMVSS No. 302 requirements. Toyota provided details of the above reasoning which are described below. 1. Composite Test Conditions To emulate the potential real world conditions that could occur to the PO 00000 Frm 00149 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 16433 relevant soft material portions of the front and rear seats as they are assembled into the subject vehicles, Toyota conducted FMVSS No. 302 burn testing of the seating materials when assembled as a ‘‘composite.’’ Toyota chose locations to evaluate that were judged to potentially be the least flame resistant to be the most conservative in determining material performance. Toyota determined synthetic leather to be the least flame resistant surface material to test based on review of the material construction as well as ‘‘composite’’ FMVSS No. 302 evaluations performed on the cover subassembly itself. According to Toyota, natural leather made from cow skin contains collagen fibers which are a non-flammable material. Synthetic leather is constructed of flammable urethane resin and polyester fibers which are treated with a flame retardant to achieve flammability requirements. To identify the potentially least flame resistant ‘‘composite’’ sample locations to evaluate, Toyota did a thorough design review and ‘‘composite’’ testing of the cover assemblies according to FMVSS No. 302 procedures. Toyota tested the cover subassembly for the seat back and cushions at 21 different locations where needle punch felt is used. All locations met FMVSS No. 302 criteria; however, the three locations with the fastest burn rate were selected for further testing as assembled in the subject vehicles. These locations were tested under various conditions simulating open flame exposure inside the vehicle. The conditions examined included those where the top leather and cover pad layers of the cover subassembly are torn and where the needle punch felt is exposed to direct flame. The samples were tested in their installed condition; however, in locations where the seat foam is part of the ‘‘composite,’’ only the portion which is within the 13 mm of the occupant airspace specified by the standard was tested. When applicable, the seat heater was included in the ‘‘composite’’ in its ‘‘OFF’’ condition. Toyota provided test results under eight different test conditions. In all test conditions, the samples exhibited burn rates well within the FMVSS No. 302 S4.3(a) requirements (i.e., no more than 102 mm/min), therefore meeting the FMVSS No. 302 criteria. Toyota provided the following table summarizing the test results. E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 73 / Monday, April 16, 2018 / Notices Toyota stated that based on the test results shown in the table above, the needle punch felt material complies with FMVSS No. 302 when tested as a ‘‘Composite’’ as installed in the vehicle, i.e., along with the surrounding FMVSS No. 302 compliant cover sub-assembly parts, foam pad, seat heater, or storage bin. Toyota stated that the noncomplying needle punch felt material would not be exposed to open flame or an ignition source (like matches or cigarettes) in its installed application, because it is within or completely covered by complying materials that meet FMVSS No. 302. Toyota further opined that given that the purpose of FMVSS No. 302 is to ‘‘reduce the deaths and injuries to motor vehicle occupants caused by vehicle fires, especially those originating in the interior of the vehicle from sources such as matches or cigarettes,’’ it believes that the noncompliant needle punch felt material as installed in the vehicle does not present a safety risk, and the chance of fire or flame propagation is essentially zero. srobinson on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 2. Risk of the Seat Heater Element as an Ignition Source In order to evaluate any potential risk associated with the seat heater element as an internal ignition source, Toyota stated that it conducted a design review and tests. Toyota provided the following findings of the review and tests: a. In all locations, the needle punch felt material never comes in direct contact with a seat heater element wire. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Apr 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 b. The seat heater system has a selfdiagnosis function. At ignition ‘‘ON,’’ a system self-diagnosis check is performed to confirm that the switch, which consists of a relay and an IPD (Intelligent Power Device), is operating properly. If the diagnosis detects a fault in the relay and/or the IPD, the system would not allow the seat heater to be turned on. In the unlikely event both the relay and the IPD fail and are stuck in the open position after the selfdiagnosis, each seat heater’s temperature is still regulated by its thermostat. Under normal design operating conditions, the thermostat restricts the temperature of the element wire in a range of approximately 50 °C to 100 °C, depending on the specific application. This temperature range is far below the auto-ignition temperature of the needle punch felt, which is approximately 253 °C. c. The seat heater element wire used in the subject vehicle is of a design which eliminates the potential for localized ‘‘hot spots.’’ The heating element wire is comprised of multiple individual filaments insulated from each other by urethane coating. The filaments are connected to each other in parallel rather than in series. In the event that one or more of the filaments are damaged, there is no change in current through the seat heater wire, and therefore no increase in temperature. Given the findings from the evaluation of the seat heater and its components, Toyota believes that the chance of an ignition internal to the seat PO 00000 Frm 00150 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 induced by a malfunctioning seat heater is essentially zero, and no safety risk is presented. 3. Exposure of the Needle Punch Felt Material Toyota stated that the needle punch felt material is one of several layers of the soft material of the seats which is used for securing components together, improving appearance, and reducing noise. Toyota stated that for all seating areas the needle punch felt material is either encased between or covered by other materials which themselves comply with FMVSS No. 302 requirements. Toyota explained the construction of the seat cover subassembly as follows: In the vast majority of applications, the needle punch is encased by other FMVSS No. 302 materials. A typical construction consists of the leather seating surface on which an occupant sits. A cover pad is glued to the underside of the leather. The cover and cover pad each comply with FMVSS No. 302. The needle punch felt is sewn to the cover pad assembly, and when so equipped, a layer of seat heater material is attached to the underside, forming a cover sub-assembly. The seat heater complies with FMVSS No. 302 requirements. The cover sub-assembly is then tightly secured over the seat cushion pad foam or seat back pad foam to the seat structure with ‘‘hog’’ rings. The seat cushion and seat back foam each comply with FMVSS No. 302 requirements. When so secured, no portion of the needle punch felt material E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 EN16AP18.024</GPH> 16434 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 73 / Monday, April 16, 2018 / Notices is visible or directly exposed to the occupant compartment. Toyota stated that as constructed, it would be highly unlikely that the needle punch felt material would ever be exposed to ignition sources such as matches or cigarettes, identified in S2 of FMVSS No. 302 as a stated purpose of the standard. Toyota stated that because the needle punch felt is completely surrounded by FMVSS No. 302 compliant material, it would be extremely unlikely that a vehicle occupant would ever be exposed to a risk of injury as a result of the noncompliance. 4. Proportion of the Needle Punch Felt Material Relative to the Other Soft Material in the Seat According to Toyota, the needle punch felt material comprises up to approximately 0.32 percent of the total mass of the soft material of the front seat assembly, and between 0.48 percent and 0.55 percent of the total mass of the soft material of the rear seat assembly. Toyota noted that the needle punch felt material is only a very small part of the overall mass of the soft material comprising the entire seat assembly and is significantly less in relation to the entire vehicle interior surface area that could potentially be exposed to flame. Toyota stated that therefore, it would have an insignificant adverse effect on the interior material burn rate and the potential for occupant injury due to interior fire. srobinson on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 5. Field Events Involving the Needle Punch Felt Material Toyota stated that there are no known field events involving ignition of the needle punch felt material as of November 22, 2016. Toyota is not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or customer complaints involving this component in the subject vehicles. 6. Previous NHTSA Grants of Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance Toyota noted that NHTSA has previously granted at least nine FMVSS No. 302 petitions for inconsequential noncompliance, one of which was for a vehicle’s seat heater assemblies, one of which was for a vehicle’s console armrest, one of which was for large truck sleeper bedding, and six of which were for issues related to child restraints. (For a full list along with summaries of the petitions that Toyota references please see Toyota’s petition.) Toyota stated that they have made improvements that were implemented as of October 21, 2016, to assure that any new vehicle sold by Toyota will meet all FMVSS No. 302 requirements. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Apr 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 In a supplemental letter dated December 12, 2016, Toyota notified NHTSA that Transport Canada (TC) had determined this noncompliance to be inconsequential. TC concluded ‘‘there is no real or implied degradation to motor vehicle safety’’ presented by the noncompliance with Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 302. Toyota Canada, Inc. stated that no further notification or remedy action is required. Toyota 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’s Decision NHTSA’s Analysis: NHTSA has reviewed Toyota’s analyses that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. NHTSA considered several factors specific to this petition and agrees that the failure of the needle punch felt material to comply with FMVSS No. 302 is inconsequential to safety in this case: 1. The needle punch felt material in the subject vehicles is covered by other materials that do comply with FMVSS No. 302 thus, the needle punch felt material is protected from the occupant compartment where it could directly come into contact with an ignition source such as a match or cigarette. 2. With respect to the ignition risk associated with the seat heater, in the subject vehicles, NHTSA considered several factors before agreeing that the failure of the needle punch felt material, to comply with FMVSS No. 302, is inconsequential to safety. In its evaluation, NHTSA relied on the information Toyota provided about the seat heater. First, the needle punch felt material never comes into direct contact with the seat heater element wire; second, the wire design has multiple built in safety shut off components; and third, the heater element is designed to prevent hot-spots. These design factors restrict the temperature range of the seat heater element wire to 50 °C–100 °C. Since this temperature restricted range is far below the ignition temperature of the needle punch felt material, 253 °C as cited by Toyota, it is highly unlikely for the noncompliant material to become ignited by the seat heater. 3. When the needle punch felt material is tested as a composite with the FMVSS No. 302 compliant materials (i.e., seat cover, cover pad, foam pad, seat heater, carpet, and storage bin), that PO 00000 Frm 00151 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 16435 cover the punch felt material, in accordance with the procedures of FMVSS No. 302, the requirements for burn rate are met accordingly. Toyota provided composite test data representing eight worst case scenarios for which they collected FMVSS No. 302 test results. The test data provided showed the maximum burn rate was 68 mm per minute, therefore each of the tests performed met the burn rate requirements of 102 mm per minute. 4. The noncompliant material is approximately 0.32 percent of the total mass of the soft material of the front seat assembly and between 0.48 percent and 0.55 percent (less than 1 percent) of the total mass of the soft material of the rear seat assembly. Therefore, the noncompliant material represents an insignificant quantity of material compared to the total quantity of interior vehicle material. In addition, this insignificant quantity of material is covered by other materials, all together forming a composite material that meets the standard. 5. In an email dated February 20, 2018, Toyota stated that they conducted a review of field information and confirmed that as of February 8, 2018, Toyota was still not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or customer complaints involving this component in the subject vehicles. 6. As Toyota mentioned, the agency has granted previous petitions with similar noncompliances for FMVSS No. 302. The agency is providing comments for: (i) Ford (63 FR 40780, July 30, 1998). Vehicle console armrests: In Ford’s petition a non-compliant center console armrest ‘‘plus pad’’ was determined to be inconsequential to safety in that it was located under an exterior cover. Similarly to Toyota’s petition, the needle felt punch material is under exterior components covering it that meet FMVSS No. 302 flammability requirements. (ii) Toyota (80 FR 4035, January 26, 2015). Vehicle seat heaters: The agency had concluded, the noncompliance in certain MY 2012–2014 Toyota Camry, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra, and Tacoma motor vehicles to be inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, in part, because the non-complying seat heaters would normally not be exposed to open flame or an ignition source in its installed application and because they were installed within and surrounded by complying materials that meet FMVSS No. 302. NHTSA’s Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds that Toyota has met its burden of persuasion E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 16436 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 73 / Monday, April 16, 2018 / Notices that the subject FMVSS No. 302 noncompliance in the subject vehicles is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Toyota’s petition is hereby granted and Toyota is consequently exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, and a free 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 subject vehicles that Toyota 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 Toyota 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) Claudia W. Covell, Acting Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance. BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Multiemployer Pension Plan Application To Reduce Benefits Department of the Treasury. Notice of availability; Request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: The Board of Trustees of the Pressroom Unions’ Pension Trust Fund, a multiemployer pension plan, has submitted an application to reduce benefits under the plan in accordance with the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The purpose of this notice is to announce that the application submitted by the Board of Trustees of the Pressroom Unions’ Pension Trust Fund has been published on the website of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and to request public comments on the application from interested parties, including participants and beneficiaries, employee organizations, and contributing srobinson on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:42 Apr 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 For information regarding the application from the Pressroom Unions’ Pension Trust Fund, please contact Treasury at (202) 622–1534 (not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: MPRA amended the Internal Revenue Code to permit a multiemployer plan that is projected to have insufficient funds to reduce pension benefits payable to participants and beneficiaries if certain conditions are satisfied. In order to reduce benefits, the plan sponsor is required to submit an application to the Secretary of the Treasury, which must be approved or denied in consultation with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the Department of Labor. On March 15, 2018, the Board of Trustees of the Pressroom Unions’ Pension Trust Fund submitted an application for approval to reduce benefits under the plan. As required by MPRA, that application has been published on Treasury’s website at https://www.treasury.gov/services/ Pages/Plan-Applications.aspx. Treasury is publishing this notice in the Federal Register, in consultation with PBGC and the Department of Labor, to solicit public comments on all aspects of the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [FR Doc. 2018–07826 Filed 4–13–18; 8:45 am] SUMMARY: employers of the Pressroom Unions’ Pension Trust Fund. DATES: Comments must be received by May 31, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov, in accordance with the instructions on that site. Electronic submissions through www.regulations.gov are encouraged. Comments may also be mailed to the Department of the Treasury, MPRA Office, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 1224, Washington, DC 20220, Attn: Eric Berger. Comments sent via facsimile and email will not be accepted. Additional Instructions. All comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, will be made available to the public. Do not include any personally identifiable information (such as your Social Security number, name, address, or other contact information) or any other information in your comment or supporting materials that you do not want publicly disclosed. Treasury will make comments available for public inspection and copying on www.regulations.gov or upon request. Comments posted on the internet can be retrieved by most internet search engines. PO 00000 Frm 00152 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Pressroom Unions’ Pension Trust Fund application. Comments are requested from interested parties, including participants and beneficiaries, employee organizations, and contributing employers of the Pressroom Unions’ Pension Trust Fund. Consideration will be given to any comments that are timely received by Treasury. Dated: April 9, 2018. David Kautter, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy. [FR Doc. 2018–07842 Filed 4–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–25–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive License Department of Veterans Affairs. Notice of intent. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Research and Development, Technology Transfer Program, intends to grant to Meiogen Biotechnology Corporation, 20 Assembly Square Drive, Somerville, MA 02145, an exclusive license to U.S. patent application No. 62/571,900 (‘‘Compositions and Methods of Interferon Alpha Binding Proteins’’) VA Invention Disclosure number 2018–010 titled, ‘‘B18R (NormferonTM-alpha).’’ The invention provides compositions comprising of interferon-alpha binding protein (B18R) and combined anti-retroviral therapy (cART) to treat HIV associated neurogenerative disorder (HAND). Ultimately, this invention provides a novel therapeutic option for subjects with HAND. DATES: Comments must be received by May 1, 2018. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through www.regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to the Director, Regulations Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273–9026 (this is not a toll-free number). Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Call (202) 461–4902 for an appointment (this is not a toll-free number). In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 73 (Monday, April 16, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16432-16436]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-07826]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0127; Notice 2]


Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., 
Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

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SUMMARY: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., 
on behalf of Toyota Motor Corporation (collectively referred to as 
``Toyota''), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2016-2017 
Lexus RX350 and RX450H motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 302, Flammability of Interior 
Materials. Toyota filed a noncompliance information report dated 
November 3, 2016. Toyota also petitioned NHTSA on November 23, 2016, 
and provided a supplement to their petition on December 12, 2016, for a 
decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Abraham Diaz, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Compliance, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
telephone 202-366-5310, facsimile 202-366-5930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    I. Overview: Toyota has determined that certain MY 2016-2017 Lexus 
RX350 and Lexus RX450H motor vehicles do not fully comply with 
paragraph S4.2 of FMVSS No. 302, Flammability of Interior Materials (49 
CFR 571.302). Toyota filed a noncompliance information report dated 
November 3, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports. Toyota also petitioned NHTSA on November 
23, 2016, and provided a supplement to their petition on December 12, 
2016, 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

[[Page 16433]]

49 U.S.C. chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on April 7, 2017 in the Federal Register (82 FR 
17076). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) website at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online 
search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2016-0127.''
    II. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 102,075 MY 2016-2017 Lexus 
RX350 and Lexus RX450H motor vehicles manufactured between September 
29, 2015 and October 21, 2016, are potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: Toyota explains that the noncompliance is that 
the front and rear seat covers and rear center armrest assemblies, in 
the subject vehicles, were manufactured with needle punch felt material 
that does not meet the burn rate requirements as specified in 
paragraphs S4.2 and S4.3 of FMVSS No. 302.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraphs S4.2 and S4.3(a) of FMVSS No. 302 
includes the requirements relevant to this petition:

     Any portion of a single or composite material which is 
within 13 millimeters (mm) of the occupant compartment air space 
shall meet the requirements of paragraph S4.3.
     When tested in accordance with paragraph S5, material 
described in paragraphs S4.1 and S4.2 shall not burn, nor transmit a 
flame front across its surface, at a rate of more than 102 mm per 
minute.
     The requirement concerning transmission of a flame 
front shall not apply to a surface created by cutting a test 
specimen for purposes of testing pursuant to paragraph S5.

    V. Summary of Toyota's Petition: Toyota described the subject 
noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    Toyota provided the following description of the construction of 
the front and rear seats related to the subject noncompliance. The 
front and rear seats in the subject vehicles are constructed of several 
layers of soft material mounted on a steel seat frame. The layers of 
soft material include a leather or synthetic leather seating surface 
with a cover pad laminated or laminated and sewn underneath, and a 
needle punch felt material attached to a seat cushion foam pad. The 
leather or synthetic leather surface, the cover pad, and the needle 
punch felt material together are referred to as the cover subassembly. 
The needle punch felt material is used to attach the cover subassembly 
to the foam pad. Depending on the vehicle specification, the seat 
assembly may or may not contain a seat heater, which is constructed of 
a urethane pad and attached light gauge wire acting as the heating 
element. The seat back construction is identical to the construction of 
the seat cushion. The rear seat assembly also includes a center armrest 
assembly that is covered with an armrest cover sub-assembly. Depending 
on the vehicle's specification, the armrest may or may not include a 
storage bin inside the center armrest. The needle punch felt is the 
only material that does not comply with FMVSS No. 302 requirements.
    In support of its petition, Toyota submitted the following 
reasoning:
    1. The needle punch felt material complies with FMVSS No. 302 when 
tested as a ``composite'' as installed in the vehicle, i.e., along with 
the surrounding FMVSS No. 302 compliant seat cover, cover pad, foam 
pad, seat heater, carpet, and storage bin.
    2. Toyota testing and design review of the seat heater and its 
components indicate that the chance of fire or flame induced by a 
malfunctioning seat heater is essentially zero.
    3. The non-complying needle punch felt material would normally not 
be exposed to open flame or an ignition source (like matches or 
cigarettes) in its installed application, because it is installed 
within or completely covered by complying materials that meet FMVSs No. 
302.
    4. The needle punch felt material is a very small portion of the 
overall mass of the soft material portions comprising the entire seat 
assembly and is significantly less in relation to the entire vehicle 
interior surface area that could potentially be exposed to flame. 
Therefore, it would have an insignificant adverse effect on interior 
material burn rate and the potential for occupant injury due to 
interior fire.
    5. Toyota is not aware of any data suggesting that fires have 
occurred in the field due to the installation of the non-complying 
needle punch felt material.
    6. In similar situations, NHTSA has granted petitions for 
inconsequential noncompliance relating to FMVSS No. 302 requirements.
    Toyota provided details of the above reasoning which are described 
below.

1. Composite Test Conditions

    To emulate the potential real world conditions that could occur to 
the relevant soft material portions of the front and rear seats as they 
are assembled into the subject vehicles, Toyota conducted FMVSS No. 302 
burn testing of the seating materials when assembled as a 
``composite.'' Toyota chose locations to evaluate that were judged to 
potentially be the least flame resistant to be the most conservative in 
determining material performance.
    Toyota determined synthetic leather to be the least flame resistant 
surface material to test based on review of the material construction 
as well as ``composite'' FMVSS No. 302 evaluations performed on the 
cover subassembly itself. According to Toyota, natural leather made 
from cow skin contains collagen fibers which are a non-flammable 
material. Synthetic leather is constructed of flammable urethane resin 
and polyester fibers which are treated with a flame retardant to 
achieve flammability requirements.
    To identify the potentially least flame resistant ``composite'' 
sample locations to evaluate, Toyota did a thorough design review and 
``composite'' testing of the cover assemblies according to FMVSS No. 
302 procedures. Toyota tested the cover subassembly for the seat back 
and cushions at 21 different locations where needle punch felt is used. 
All locations met FMVSS No. 302 criteria; however, the three locations 
with the fastest burn rate were selected for further testing as 
assembled in the subject vehicles. These locations were tested under 
various conditions simulating open flame exposure inside the vehicle. 
The conditions examined included those where the top leather and cover 
pad layers of the cover subassembly are torn and where the needle punch 
felt is exposed to direct flame. The samples were tested in their 
installed condition; however, in locations where the seat foam is part 
of the ``composite,'' only the portion which is within the 13 mm of the 
occupant airspace specified by the standard was tested. When 
applicable, the seat heater was included in the ``composite'' in its 
``OFF'' condition.
    Toyota provided test results under eight different test conditions. 
In all test conditions, the samples exhibited burn rates well within 
the FMVSS No. 302 S4.3(a) requirements (i.e., no more than 102 mm/min), 
therefore meeting the FMVSS No. 302 criteria. Toyota provided the 
following table summarizing the test results.

[[Page 16434]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN16AP18.024

    Toyota stated that based on the test results shown in the table 
above, the needle punch felt material complies with FMVSS No. 302 when 
tested as a ``Composite'' as installed in the vehicle, i.e., along with 
the surrounding FMVSS No. 302 compliant cover sub-assembly parts, foam 
pad, seat heater, or storage bin. Toyota stated that the non-complying 
needle punch felt material would not be exposed to open flame or an 
ignition source (like matches or cigarettes) in its installed 
application, because it is within or completely covered by complying 
materials that meet FMVSS No. 302. Toyota further opined that given 
that the purpose of FMVSS No. 302 is to ``reduce the deaths and 
injuries to motor vehicle occupants caused by vehicle fires, especially 
those originating in the interior of the vehicle from sources such as 
matches or cigarettes,'' it believes that the noncompliant needle punch 
felt material as installed in the vehicle does not present a safety 
risk, and the chance of fire or flame propagation is essentially zero.

2. Risk of the Seat Heater Element as an Ignition Source

    In order to evaluate any potential risk associated with the seat 
heater element as an internal ignition source, Toyota stated that it 
conducted a design review and tests. Toyota provided the following 
findings of the review and tests:
    a. In all locations, the needle punch felt material never comes in 
direct contact with a seat heater element wire.
    b. The seat heater system has a self-diagnosis function. At 
ignition ``ON,'' a system self-diagnosis check is performed to confirm 
that the switch, which consists of a relay and an IPD (Intelligent 
Power Device), is operating properly. If the diagnosis detects a fault 
in the relay and/or the IPD, the system would not allow the seat heater 
to be turned on. In the unlikely event both the relay and the IPD fail 
and are stuck in the open position after the self-diagnosis, each seat 
heater's temperature is still regulated by its thermostat. Under normal 
design operating conditions, the thermostat restricts the temperature 
of the element wire in a range of approximately 50 [deg]C to 100 
[deg]C, depending on the specific application. This temperature range 
is far below the auto-ignition temperature of the needle punch felt, 
which is approximately 253 [deg]C.
    c. The seat heater element wire used in the subject vehicle is of a 
design which eliminates the potential for localized ``hot spots.'' The 
heating element wire is comprised of multiple individual filaments 
insulated from each other by urethane coating. The filaments are 
connected to each other in parallel rather than in series. In the event 
that one or more of the filaments are damaged, there is no change in 
current through the seat heater wire, and therefore no increase in 
temperature.
    Given the findings from the evaluation of the seat heater and its 
components, Toyota believes that the chance of an ignition internal to 
the seat induced by a malfunctioning seat heater is essentially zero, 
and no safety risk is presented.

3. Exposure of the Needle Punch Felt Material

    Toyota stated that the needle punch felt material is one of several 
layers of the soft material of the seats which is used for securing 
components together, improving appearance, and reducing noise. Toyota 
stated that for all seating areas the needle punch felt material is 
either encased between or covered by other materials which themselves 
comply with FMVSS No. 302 requirements.
    Toyota explained the construction of the seat cover subassembly as 
follows: In the vast majority of applications, the needle punch is 
encased by other FMVSS No. 302 materials. A typical construction 
consists of the leather seating surface on which an occupant sits. A 
cover pad is glued to the underside of the leather. The cover and cover 
pad each comply with FMVSS No. 302. The needle punch felt is sewn to 
the cover pad assembly, and when so equipped, a layer of seat heater 
material is attached to the underside, forming a cover sub-assembly. 
The seat heater complies with FMVSS No. 302 requirements. The cover 
sub-assembly is then tightly secured over the seat cushion pad foam or 
seat back pad foam to the seat structure with ``hog'' rings. The seat 
cushion and seat back foam each comply with FMVSS No. 302 requirements. 
When so secured, no portion of the needle punch felt material

[[Page 16435]]

is visible or directly exposed to the occupant compartment.
    Toyota stated that as constructed, it would be highly unlikely that 
the needle punch felt material would ever be exposed to ignition 
sources such as matches or cigarettes, identified in S2 of FMVSS No. 
302 as a stated purpose of the standard. Toyota stated that because the 
needle punch felt is completely surrounded by FMVSS No. 302 compliant 
material, it would be extremely unlikely that a vehicle occupant would 
ever be exposed to a risk of injury as a result of the noncompliance.

4. Proportion of the Needle Punch Felt Material Relative to the Other 
Soft Material in the Seat

    According to Toyota, the needle punch felt material comprises up to 
approximately 0.32 percent of the total mass of the soft material of 
the front seat assembly, and between 0.48 percent and 0.55 percent of 
the total mass of the soft material of the rear seat assembly. Toyota 
noted that the needle punch felt material is only a very small part of 
the overall mass of the soft material comprising the entire seat 
assembly and is significantly less in relation to the entire vehicle 
interior surface area that could potentially be exposed to flame. 
Toyota stated that therefore, it would have an insignificant adverse 
effect on the interior material burn rate and the potential for 
occupant injury due to interior fire.

5. Field Events Involving the Needle Punch Felt Material

    Toyota stated that there are no known field events involving 
ignition of the needle punch felt material as of November 22, 2016. 
Toyota is not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or customer 
complaints involving this component in the subject vehicles.

6. Previous NHTSA Grants of Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance

    Toyota noted that NHTSA has previously granted at least nine FMVSS 
No. 302 petitions for inconsequential noncompliance, one of which was 
for a vehicle's seat heater assemblies, one of which was for a 
vehicle's console armrest, one of which was for large truck sleeper 
bedding, and six of which were for issues related to child restraints. 
(For a full list along with summaries of the petitions that Toyota 
references please see Toyota's petition.)
    Toyota stated that they have made improvements that were 
implemented as of October 21, 2016, to assure that any new vehicle sold 
by Toyota will meet all FMVSS No. 302 requirements.
    In a supplemental letter dated December 12, 2016, Toyota notified 
NHTSA that Transport Canada (TC) had determined this noncompliance to 
be inconsequential. TC concluded ``there is no real or implied 
degradation to motor vehicle safety'' presented by the noncompliance 
with Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 302. Toyota Canada, 
Inc. stated that no further notification or remedy action is required.
    Toyota 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's Decision

    NHTSA's Analysis: NHTSA has reviewed Toyota's analyses that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. NHTSA 
considered several factors specific to this petition and agrees that 
the failure of the needle punch felt material to comply with FMVSS No. 
302 is inconsequential to safety in this case:
    1. The needle punch felt material in the subject vehicles is 
covered by other materials that do comply with FMVSS No. 302 thus, the 
needle punch felt material is protected from the occupant compartment 
where it could directly come into contact with an ignition source such 
as a match or cigarette.
    2. With respect to the ignition risk associated with the seat 
heater, in the subject vehicles, NHTSA considered several factors 
before agreeing that the failure of the needle punch felt material, to 
comply with FMVSS No. 302, is inconsequential to safety. In its 
evaluation, NHTSA relied on the information Toyota provided about the 
seat heater. First, the needle punch felt material never comes into 
direct contact with the seat heater element wire; second, the wire 
design has multiple built in safety shut off components; and third, the 
heater element is designed to prevent hot-spots. These design factors 
restrict the temperature range of the seat heater element wire to 50 
[deg]C-100 [deg]C. Since this temperature restricted range is far below 
the ignition temperature of the needle punch felt material, 253 [deg]C 
as cited by Toyota, it is highly unlikely for the noncompliant material 
to become ignited by the seat heater.
    3. When the needle punch felt material is tested as a composite 
with the FMVSS No. 302 compliant materials (i.e., seat cover, cover 
pad, foam pad, seat heater, carpet, and storage bin), that cover the 
punch felt material, in accordance with the procedures of FMVSS No. 
302, the requirements for burn rate are met accordingly. Toyota 
provided composite test data representing eight worst case scenarios 
for which they collected FMVSS No. 302 test results. The test data 
provided showed the maximum burn rate was 68 mm per minute, therefore 
each of the tests performed met the burn rate requirements of 102 mm 
per minute.
    4. The noncompliant material is approximately 0.32 percent of the 
total mass of the soft material of the front seat assembly and between 
0.48 percent and 0.55 percent (less than 1 percent) of the total mass 
of the soft material of the rear seat assembly. Therefore, the 
noncompliant material represents an insignificant quantity of material 
compared to the total quantity of interior vehicle material. In 
addition, this insignificant quantity of material is covered by other 
materials, all together forming a composite material that meets the 
standard.
    5. In an email dated February 20, 2018, Toyota stated that they 
conducted a review of field information and confirmed that as of 
February 8, 2018, Toyota was still not aware of any fires, crashes, 
injuries or customer complaints involving this component in the subject 
vehicles.
    6. As Toyota mentioned, the agency has granted previous petitions 
with similar noncompliances for FMVSS No. 302.
    The agency is providing comments for:
    (i) Ford (63 FR 40780, July 30, 1998). Vehicle console armrests: In 
Ford's petition a non-compliant center console armrest ``plus pad'' was 
determined to be inconsequential to safety in that it was located under 
an exterior cover. Similarly to Toyota's petition, the needle felt 
punch material is under exterior components covering it that meet FMVSS 
No. 302 flammability requirements.
    (ii) Toyota (80 FR 4035, January 26, 2015). Vehicle seat heaters: 
The agency had concluded, the noncompliance in certain MY 2012-2014 
Toyota Camry, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra, and Tacoma motor 
vehicles to be inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, in part, 
because the non-complying seat heaters would normally not be exposed to 
open flame or an ignition source in its installed application and 
because they were installed within and surrounded by complying 
materials that meet FMVSS No. 302.
    NHTSA's Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds 
that Toyota has met its burden of persuasion

[[Page 16436]]

that the subject FMVSS No. 302 noncompliance in the subject vehicles is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Toyota's petition 
is hereby granted and Toyota is consequently exempted from the 
obligation of providing notification of, and a free 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 subject vehicles that Toyota 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 Toyota 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)

Claudia W. Covell,
Acting Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2018-07826 Filed 4-13-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P