Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, 12821-12822 [2020-04384]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 43 / Wednesday, March 4, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES may conclude early. Due to seating limitations, advanced registration by March 10 is required; FMCSA will cap registration at 200 persons. Persons wishing to propose questions for panelists may do so by emailing the address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below. Those wishing to submit written comments, data or analysis on trucking safety may do so here: FMCSA–2020–0076. ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Participation in the public meeting is free, but advanced registration is required. You may register at the email address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Janettarose L. Greene, (202) 366–1927, FMCSA-PIO@dot.gov, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Services for Individuals with Disabilities: FMCSA is committed to providing equal access to this meeting for all participants. For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, please contact Ms. Greene at the number or email address above by March 6, 2020. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Data and analysis released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over the last several years there has been an increase in fatalities occurring as a result of crashes involving large trucks. See, for example, Large Truck Traffic Safety Fact Sheet (DOT HS # 812–663, available at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/#/). To respond to this trend, FMCSA continues to work with State entities, industry and others to identify new approaches to safety. These approaches can involve technology, company management practices, enforcement, outreach and education, and other techniques— encompassing a holistic approach to truck safety. FMCSA plans to convene a formal conference, ‘‘The FMCSA 2020 Trucking Safety Summit,’’ on March 19, 2020, to solicit information on improving safe operation of propertycarrying commercial motor vehicles on our Nation’s roadways. This event will provide diverse stakeholders—including motor carriers, drivers, safety technology developers and users, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Mar 03, 2020 Jkt 250001 Federal and State partners, and safety advocacy groups—as well as members of the public an opportunity to share their ideas on improving trucking safety. The sessions are intentionally structured to facilitate an exchange between experienced players in the trucking space, people who might not otherwise meet face-to-face to collaborate. Senior FMCSA personnel will facilitate every session, selecting and posing questions to promote a productive discussion. FMCSA intends to record the session and will follow up with a record of proceedings or Safety Action Plan in the weeks following the event. The program will include panel presentations from industry, technology innovators, State and FMCSA enforcement personnel and others. Participants in the panels will be announced later. In addition, during and after the panel presentations, conference attendees will have an opportunity to provide oral and written comments. Meeting Participation FMCSA will present and solicit information during five panel discussions. FMCSA will provide a live streaming video of the Trucking Safety Summit for interested part to share in the information being presented. Additionally, the Agency will provide an opportunity for the public to participate remotely in the public comment session. The Agency will provide the public with all relevant details for participating in this meeting in advance at: http:// www.fmcsa.dot.gov. Meeting participants will need to register to participate and to gain access to the headquarters building at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, in Washington, DC. Oral comments from the public will be heard during the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments to public docket referenced at the beginning of this notice using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Room W12– 140, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12821 Issued on: February 27, 2020. Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–04427 Filed 3–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2019–0104] Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Denial of petition for a defect investigation. AGENCY: This notice sets forth the reasons for the denial of a petition submitted on May 9, 2018, by Mr. J. Kevin Byrne (the petitioner) to NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI). The petition requests that the Agency ‘‘undertake a defects investigation’’ into ‘‘rust-related fuel tank detachment of Isuzu Rodeo fuel tanks.’’ The petitioner bases his request upon a partial fuel tank detachment he experienced on his vehicle, a model year (MY) 2004 Isuzu Rodeo, and another complaint he found in NHTSA’s online complaint database involving a MY 2001 Isuzu Rodeo. The petitioner also asserts that the partial fuel tank detachment is covered by NHTSA Recall Number 13V–547. On May 23, 2018, ODI opened Defect Petition (DP) 18–001 to evaluate the petitioner’s concerns. After reviewing the information provided by the petitioner and field data regarding fuel tank detachment in MY 2001 through 2004 Isuzu Rodeos and similarly equipped vehicles, NHTSA has concluded that the issues raised by the petition do not warrant a defect investigation. Accordingly, the Agency has denied the petition. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Matthew Martens, Vehicle Defects Division–D, Office of Defects Investigation, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Introduction Pursuant to 49 CFR 552.1, interested persons may petition NHTSA requesting that the Agency initiate an investigation to determine whether a motor vehicle or an item of replacement motor vehicle equipment fails to comply with applicable motor vehicle safety standards or contains a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety. Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, the E:\FR\FM\04MRN1.SGM 04MRN1 12822 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 43 / Wednesday, March 4, 2020 / Notices Agency conducts a technical review (§ 552.6) of the petition, material submitted with the petition, and any appropriate additional information. After considering the technical review and taking into account appropriate factors, the Agency will grant or deny the petition (§ 552.8). jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Overview of the Petition On April 10, 2018, the petitioner submitted a petition to NHTSA requesting that the Agency ‘‘undertake a defects investigation’’ of ‘‘rust-related detachment of Isuzu Rodeo fuel tanks’’ (NHTSA ID 11091788). The petitioner alleged that the fuel tank on his MY 2004 Isuzu Rodeo partially detached from his vehicle due to corrosion of the parts that attached the fuel tank to his vehicle, namely the metal bracketstraps, bolts, and a horizontal jacket. Furthermore, the petitioner asserted that the partial fuel tank detachment on his vehicle should be covered by NHTSA Recall Number 13V–547. Finally, the petitioner cited a complaint about a MY 2001 Isuzu Rodeo found in NHTSA’s complaint database under NHTSA ID 10992150, which the petitioner asserted ‘‘points to a history of rust-related detachment of Isuzu Rodeo fuel tanks.’’ The petition followed a letter that the petitioner had previously sent to the Agency on April 10, 2018, which expressed concern about repairs that the petitioner had to complete on his vehicle and the cost of those repairs. ODI’s Analysis of the Defect Petition On May 23, 2018, ODI opened DP18– 001 to evaluate the petitioner’s request for a defect investigation. ODI considers vehicle age, environment, detectability, and severity when assessing whether complaints alleging corrosion-related failures indicate a potential defect trend. Failures that occur later in a vehicle’s life, or display evidence of severe general corrosion to underbody components, are usually indicative of expected wear-and-tear from exposure to highly corrosive environments for an extended period, or may result from improper care and maintenance. While every vehicle has the potential to experience corrosion in its lifetime, failures that develop earlier in a vehicle’s life or vehicles that display evidence of localized corrosion damage to specific safety-critical components are more likely to indicate potential defects related to corrosion protection or moisture retention, which may indicate that further investigation is appropriate. However, although a manufacturing or design defect may contribute to premature corrosion-related failures to vehicle underbody components, a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Mar 03, 2020 Jkt 250001 severe operating environment or improper care and maintenance can also cause such failures. Annual inspections, monthly cleaning, and detecting and repairing problems early can help to prevent such problems or lessen their impact. The petitioner purchased the subject 2004 Isuzu Rodeo, as a used vehicle, in August 2013. At that time, the vehicle had been in service for approximately nine years and had been driven approximately 122,000 miles. The vehicle has been registered in the Saint Paul, Minnesota, metropolitan area, a region with high winter road salt use, for almost all its service life. When the petitioner’s mechanic completed the fuel tank retention repairs on the petitioner’s vehicle in July 2017, the vehicle had been in service for approximately 13 years and driven roughly 155,000 miles. While the petitioner noted that his vehicle is covered by NHTSA Recall Number 13V–547, that recall, which was initiated by Isuzu in October 2013, is distinct from the partial fuel tank detachment that the petitioner’s vehicle experienced. Recall Number 13V–547 addresses a rear suspension link bracket defect in certain MY 2003 and 2004 Isuzu Rodeo and Axiom vehicles, and MY 2003 Isuzu Rodeo Sport vehicles, which were originally sold or registered in certain states, including Minnesota, that have high winter road salt usage. While Recall Number 13V–547 addresses a defect of the rear suspension link bracket, which can affect the vehicle’s handling and control, the petitioner’s partial fuel tank detachment, according to the available information, appears to have been caused by corrosion of parts that attach the fuel tank to the vehicle. In any event, those parts that attach the petitioner’s fuel tank to his vehicle are not covered by Recall Number 13V–547. After reviewing the concerns raised in the petition, ODI did not find evidence of a defect trend during its evaluation of DP18–001. ODI’s evaluation included all MY 2001 through 2004 Isuzu Rodeo, MY 2002 through 2004 Isuzu Axiom, and MY 2001 through 2002 Honda Passport vehicles (hereinafter ‘‘the subject vehicles’’) equipped with the same fuel tank and tank retention shield part numbers as the petitioner’s vehicle. Design change information provided by Isuzu indicates that the fuel tank retention shield used to secure the tank to the vehicle was modified in 2001 to improve the corrosion resistance of the part. The modification was implemented as a running change in early MY 2002 production. Aside from the petitioner’s vehicle, ODI has not PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 identified any other incidents of complete or partial fuel tank detachment in the subject vehicles equipped with the modified retention shield. Similarly, ODI did not find evidence of a defect trend in vehicles that are not equipped with the modified retention shield. ODI identified eighteen (18) complaints alleging complete or partial detachment in the subject vehicles produced before the tank shield modification. Analysis of these complaints found that they occurred in older vehicles that were driven in states with high winter road salt usage (i.e., roads with a corrosive environment). ODI also noted evidence of severe general underbody corrosion in complaints that included photographs of the fuel tank detachment. Five (5) of the detachment complaints included narratives indicating that the detachment was severe enough that tank contact with the ground may have occurred. None of the incidents resulted in any reported fuel leakage or fire in any of the subject vehicles analyzed as part of this petition evaluation. Conclusion After a review of the available data, ODI has not identified evidence of a defect trend for corrosion-related fuel tank detachments in the MY 2004 Isuzu Rodeo or similarly equipped vehicles. The damage that may result in tank retention concerns appears to occur progressively over many years with ample opportunity for detection and repair. Furthermore, ODI has not identified any crashes, fires, injuries, or fuel leaks associated with fuel tank retention failures in a population of vehicles that currently ranges from 16 to 19 years old. In addition, the partial fuel tank detachment that the petitioner experienced is not within the scope of NHTSA Recall Number 13V–547. Accordingly, the Agency is denying the petition. A summary of ODI’s analysis of this petition will be published in the Federal Register and is also available in the investigative file for this action. Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30162(d); delegations of authority at CFR 1.50 and 501.8. Jeffrey Mark Giuseppe, Associate Administrator for Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2020–04384 Filed 3–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\04MRN1.SGM 04MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 43 (Wednesday, March 4, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12821-12822]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-04384]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0104]


Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition

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

ACTION: Denial of petition for a defect investigation.

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

SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the reasons for the denial of a 
petition submitted on May 9, 2018, by Mr. J. Kevin Byrne (the 
petitioner) to NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI). The 
petition requests that the Agency ``undertake a defects investigation'' 
into ``rust-related fuel tank detachment of Isuzu Rodeo fuel tanks.'' 
The petitioner bases his request upon a partial fuel tank detachment he 
experienced on his vehicle, a model year (MY) 2004 Isuzu Rodeo, and 
another complaint he found in NHTSA's online complaint database 
involving a MY 2001 Isuzu Rodeo. The petitioner also asserts that the 
partial fuel tank detachment is covered by NHTSA Recall Number 13V-547.
    On May 23, 2018, ODI opened Defect Petition (DP) 18-001 to evaluate 
the petitioner's concerns. After reviewing the information provided by 
the petitioner and field data regarding fuel tank detachment in MY 2001 
through 2004 Isuzu Rodeos and similarly equipped vehicles, NHTSA has 
concluded that the issues raised by the petition do not warrant a 
defect investigation. Accordingly, the Agency has denied the petition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Matthew Martens, Vehicle Defects 
Division-D, Office of Defects Investigation, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Introduction

    Pursuant to 49 CFR 552.1, interested persons may petition NHTSA 
requesting that the Agency initiate an investigation to determine 
whether a motor vehicle or an item of replacement motor vehicle 
equipment fails to comply with applicable motor vehicle safety 
standards or contains a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety. 
Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, the

[[Page 12822]]

Agency conducts a technical review (Sec.  [thinsp]552.6) of the 
petition, material submitted with the petition, and any appropriate 
additional information. After considering the technical review and 
taking into account appropriate factors, the Agency will grant or deny 
the petition (Sec.  [thinsp]552.8).

Overview of the Petition

    On April 10, 2018, the petitioner submitted a petition to NHTSA 
requesting that the Agency ``undertake a defects investigation'' of 
``rust-related detachment of Isuzu Rodeo fuel tanks'' (NHTSA ID 
11091788). The petitioner alleged that the fuel tank on his MY 2004 
Isuzu Rodeo partially detached from his vehicle due to corrosion of the 
parts that attached the fuel tank to his vehicle, namely the metal 
bracket-straps, bolts, and a horizontal jacket. Furthermore, the 
petitioner asserted that the partial fuel tank detachment on his 
vehicle should be covered by NHTSA Recall Number 13V-547. Finally, the 
petitioner cited a complaint about a MY 2001 Isuzu Rodeo found in 
NHTSA's complaint database under NHTSA ID 10992150, which the 
petitioner asserted ``points to a history of rust-related detachment of 
Isuzu Rodeo fuel tanks.'' The petition followed a letter that the 
petitioner had previously sent to the Agency on April 10, 2018, which 
expressed concern about repairs that the petitioner had to complete on 
his vehicle and the cost of those repairs.

ODI's Analysis of the Defect Petition

    On May 23, 2018, ODI opened DP18-001 to evaluate the petitioner's 
request for a defect investigation. ODI considers vehicle age, 
environment, detectability, and severity when assessing whether 
complaints alleging corrosion-related failures indicate a potential 
defect trend. Failures that occur later in a vehicle's life, or display 
evidence of severe general corrosion to underbody components, are 
usually indicative of expected wear-and-tear from exposure to highly 
corrosive environments for an extended period, or may result from 
improper care and maintenance. While every vehicle has the potential to 
experience corrosion in its lifetime, failures that develop earlier in 
a vehicle's life or vehicles that display evidence of localized 
corrosion damage to specific safety-critical components are more likely 
to indicate potential defects related to corrosion protection or 
moisture retention, which may indicate that further investigation is 
appropriate. However, although a manufacturing or design defect may 
contribute to premature corrosion-related failures to vehicle underbody 
components, a severe operating environment or improper care and 
maintenance can also cause such failures. Annual inspections, monthly 
cleaning, and detecting and repairing problems early can help to 
prevent such problems or lessen their impact.
    The petitioner purchased the subject 2004 Isuzu Rodeo, as a used 
vehicle, in August 2013. At that time, the vehicle had been in service 
for approximately nine years and had been driven approximately 122,000 
miles. The vehicle has been registered in the Saint Paul, Minnesota, 
metropolitan area, a region with high winter road salt use, for almost 
all its service life. When the petitioner's mechanic completed the fuel 
tank retention repairs on the petitioner's vehicle in July 2017, the 
vehicle had been in service for approximately 13 years and driven 
roughly 155,000 miles.
    While the petitioner noted that his vehicle is covered by NHTSA 
Recall Number 13V-547, that recall, which was initiated by Isuzu in 
October 2013, is distinct from the partial fuel tank detachment that 
the petitioner's vehicle experienced. Recall Number 13V-547 addresses a 
rear suspension link bracket defect in certain MY 2003 and 2004 Isuzu 
Rodeo and Axiom vehicles, and MY 2003 Isuzu Rodeo Sport vehicles, which 
were originally sold or registered in certain states, including 
Minnesota, that have high winter road salt usage. While Recall Number 
13V-547 addresses a defect of the rear suspension link bracket, which 
can affect the vehicle's handling and control, the petitioner's partial 
fuel tank detachment, according to the available information, appears 
to have been caused by corrosion of parts that attach the fuel tank to 
the vehicle. In any event, those parts that attach the petitioner's 
fuel tank to his vehicle are not covered by Recall Number 13V-547.
    After reviewing the concerns raised in the petition, ODI did not 
find evidence of a defect trend during its evaluation of DP18-001. 
ODI's evaluation included all MY 2001 through 2004 Isuzu Rodeo, MY 2002 
through 2004 Isuzu Axiom, and MY 2001 through 2002 Honda Passport 
vehicles (hereinafter ``the subject vehicles'') equipped with the same 
fuel tank and tank retention shield part numbers as the petitioner's 
vehicle. Design change information provided by Isuzu indicates that the 
fuel tank retention shield used to secure the tank to the vehicle was 
modified in 2001 to improve the corrosion resistance of the part. The 
modification was implemented as a running change in early MY 2002 
production. Aside from the petitioner's vehicle, ODI has not identified 
any other incidents of complete or partial fuel tank detachment in the 
subject vehicles equipped with the modified retention shield.
    Similarly, ODI did not find evidence of a defect trend in vehicles 
that are not equipped with the modified retention shield. ODI 
identified eighteen (18) complaints alleging complete or partial 
detachment in the subject vehicles produced before the tank shield 
modification. Analysis of these complaints found that they occurred in 
older vehicles that were driven in states with high winter road salt 
usage (i.e., roads with a corrosive environment). ODI also noted 
evidence of severe general underbody corrosion in complaints that 
included photographs of the fuel tank detachment. Five (5) of the 
detachment complaints included narratives indicating that the 
detachment was severe enough that tank contact with the ground may have 
occurred. None of the incidents resulted in any reported fuel leakage 
or fire in any of the subject vehicles analyzed as part of this 
petition evaluation.

Conclusion

    After a review of the available data, ODI has not identified 
evidence of a defect trend for corrosion-related fuel tank detachments 
in the MY 2004 Isuzu Rodeo or similarly equipped vehicles. The damage 
that may result in tank retention concerns appears to occur 
progressively over many years with ample opportunity for detection and 
repair. Furthermore, ODI has not identified any crashes, fires, 
injuries, or fuel leaks associated with fuel tank retention failures in 
a population of vehicles that currently ranges from 16 to 19 years old. 
In addition, the partial fuel tank detachment that the petitioner 
experienced is not within the scope of NHTSA Recall Number 13V-547.
    Accordingly, the Agency is denying the petition. A summary of ODI's 
analysis of this petition will be published in the Federal Register and 
is also available in the investigative file for this action.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30162(d); delegations of authority at CFR 
1.50 and 501.8.

Jeffrey Mark Giuseppe,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2020-04384 Filed 3-3-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P