Hankook Tire America Corporation, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 21504-21506 [2020-08114]

Download as PDF 21504 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 75 / Friday, April 17, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES plans may be submitted in paper form. Flight plans may be filed in the following ways: • Air carrier and air taxi operations, and certain corporate aviation departments, have been granted authority to electronically file flight plans directly with the FAA. The majority of air carrier and air taxi flights are processed in this manner. • Air carrier and air taxi operators may submit pre-stored flight plan information on scheduled flights to Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) to be entered electronically at the appropriate times. • Pilots may call 1–800–WX–BRIEF (992–7433) and file flight plans with a flight service station specialist who enters the information directly into a computer system that automatically transmits the information to the appropriate air traffic facility. Pilots calling certain flight service stations have the option of using a voice recorder to store the information that will later be entered by a specialist. • Using internet access, pilots may file flight plans electronically through Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS) vendors, at no cost to the users. The two vendors allow pilots to store flight data so that minimal additional information is required when filing a flight plan. • Private and corporate pilots who fly the same aircraft and routes at regular times may prestore flight plans with flight service stations. The flight plans will then be entered automatically into the air traffic system at the appropriate time. • Pilots who visit a flight service station in person may choose to a file flight plan by using a paper form. The data will then be entered into a computer and filed electronically. The pilot will often keep the paper copy for his/her record. Respondents: Air carrier and air taxi operations, and certain corporate aviation departments, General Aviation Pilots. Frequency: On occasion. Estimated Average Burden per Response: 2.5 minutes per flight plan. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 718,618 hours. Issued in Washington, DC, on April 13, 2020. Aldwin E. Humphrey, Air Traffic Control Specialist, Office of Flight Service Safety and Operations, AJR–B. [FR Doc. 2020–08165 Filed 4–16–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Apr 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Safety Advisory 20–1] Recommended Actions To Reduce the Risk of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) Among Transit Employees and Passengers Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of Safety Advisory. AGENCY: During the COVID–19 public health emergency, transit agencies across the country are continuing to provide millions of trips a day to lifeline services and to carry healthcare and other essential workers to critical jobs. FTA has published Safety Advisory 20– 1 recommending that transit agencies develop and implement procedures and practices consistent with all applicable guidance and information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure the continued safety of transit passengers and employees. A copy of Safety Advisory 20–1 can be found on the FTA website at https:// www.transit.dot.gov/coronavirus. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Henrika Buchanan, Associate Administrator for Transit Safety and Oversight and Chief Safety Officer, FTA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, telephone (202) 366–1783 or henrika.buchanan@ dot.gov. SUMMARY: K. Jane Williams, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–08160 Filed 4–16–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2019–0132; Notice 1] Hankook Tire America Corporation, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Receipt of petition. AGENCY: Hankook Tire America Corporation (Hankook) has determined that certain Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires manufactured by Hankook’s indirect subsidiary, Hankook SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00119 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Tire Manufacturing Tennessee, LP, do not fully comply with Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Hankook filed a noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of Hankook’s petition. DATES: Send comments on or before May 18, 2020. 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 may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to the 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 the 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 for Federal Holidays. • Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website 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. E:\FR\FM\17APN1.SGM 17APN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 75 / Friday, April 17, 2020 / Notices When the petitions are granted or denied, notice of the decisions 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: Hankook has determined that certain Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires, do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 571.139). Hankook filed a noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, 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, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance. This notice of receipt of the Hankook’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. Tires Involved: Approximately 467 Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires, size 235/45R17V XL H457, manufactured between October 7, 2019, and October 12, 2019, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance: Hankook explains that the noncompliance is due to a mold error in which the subject tires, were marked with the date-code in the Tire Identification Number (TIN) inverted and; therefore, they do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.5.1 (b) of FMVSS No. 139. Specifically, the date code was printed upside down. IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139, includes the requirements relevant to this petition. Each tire must be marked on each sidewall with the information VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Apr 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 specified in paragraph S5.5.1(b) and the tire size designation as listed in the documents and publications specified in paragraph S4.1.1 of FMVSS No. 139. V. Summary of Hankook’s Petition: The following views and arguments presented in this section, V. Summary of Hankook’s petition, are the views and arguments provided by Hankook. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. The petitioner described the subject noncompliance and stated their belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, Hankook submitted the following reasoning: 1. Under the Safety Act, each FMVSS promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) must be ‘‘practicable, meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and be stated in objective terms.’’ 49 U.S.C. 3011l(a). The Safety Act defines ‘‘motor vehicle safety’’ as: the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle. 2. 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(9). The Safety Act exempts manufacturers from the Safety Act’s notice and remedy requirements when NHTSA determines that noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. See 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h). Sections 30118(d) and 30120(h) demonstrate Congress’s acknowledgment that there are cases where a vehicle fails to meet the requirements of a safety standard, yet the impact on motor vehicle safety is so slight that an exemption from the notice and remedy requirements of the Safety Act is justified. Hankook quoted the following text from BMW of North America, LLC; Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC; and Autolive, Inc., 84 FR 19994 (May 7, 2019), Decision of Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance. Neither the Safety Act nor Part 556 defines the term ‘‘inconsequential.’’ Rather, the agency determines whether particular noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety based upon the specific facts before it in a particular petition. In some instances, NHTSA has determined that a manufacturer met its burden of demonstrating that a noncompliance is inconsequential to safety. For example, a label intended to provide safety advice PO 00000 Frm 00120 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 21505 to an owner or occupant may have a misspelled word, or it may be printed in the wrong format or the wrong type size. Where a manufacturer has shown that the discrepancy with the safety requirement is unlikely to lead to any misunderstanding, NHTSA has granted an inconsequentiality exemption, especially where other sources of correct information are available. 3. The noncompliance involves new pneumatic radial tires used on passenger vehicles. Such tires must comply with the labeling and performance requirements of FMVSS 139, which specifies that ‘‘each tire must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 573.4 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire.’’ FMVSS 139 S5.5.1(b). Part 574(a) states that ‘‘[e]ach new tire manufacturer must conspicuously label on one sidewall of each tire it manufactures . . . a TIN [tire identification number] consisting of 13 symbols and containing the information set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3) of this section.’’ Subparagraph (b)(3) requires a date code ‘‘consisting of four numerical symbols. . . [that] must identify the week and year of manufacture.’’ 574.5(b)(3.) 4. The purpose of the labeling requirements in Part 574 is to ‘‘facilitate notification to purchasers of defective or nonconforming tires.’’ Part 574.2. The date code portion of the TIN is required so that purchasers can identify the week and year of the tire’s manufacture in the event the tire is subject to a safety recall. 5. The date-code characters reflect the correct week and year of the tires’ manufacture, but the date code is technically out of compliance because the characters are inverted. Despite the inversion, the date code meets the character height requirements of Part 574 and is readily identifiable, permitting tire owners to easily determine the week and year of manufacture. 6. NHTSA has previously granted a petition for inconsequential noncompliance for a similar issue. In granting a petition from Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, 81 FR 43708 (July 5, 2016) the Agency explained: The Agency believes that in the case of a tire labeling noncompliance, one measure of its inconsequentiality to motor vehicle safety is whether the mislabeling would affect the manufacturer’s or consumer’s ability to identify the mislabeled tires properly, should the tires be recalled for performance related noncompliance. In this case, the nature of the labeling error does not prevent the correct identification of the affected tires. 49 E:\FR\FM\17APN1.SGM 17APN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 21506 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 75 / Friday, April 17, 2020 / Notices CFR 574.5 requires the date code portion of the tire identification number to be placed in the last or correct position. In Cooper’s case, it is in the right-most position, however, the manufacture date code is upside down. Because the label is located on the tire sidewall, it is not likely to be misidentified. A reader will be able to read the date code, by spinning the tire, and therefore inverting the date code will allow it to easily be read. As with the Cooper tires, the date code on the subject tires is located on the sidewall, is not likely to be misidentified, and a reader will be able to read and understand the date code. The subject tires otherwise meet the marking and performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139. 7. The labeling noncompliance at issue here is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety: the relevant information remains readily identifiable, the Agency has granted a similar petition in the past, the subject tires otherwise meet the marking and performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139, and Hankook is not aware of any complaints, claims or incidents related to the subject noncompliance. Hankook concluded by expressing its 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 decision on this petition only applies to the subject tires that Hankook no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after Hankook notified them that the subject noncompliance existed. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:19 Apr 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8 Otto G. Matheke III, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance. [FR Doc. 2020–08114 Filed 4–16–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2017–0028, Notice 2] Decision That Nonconforming Model Year 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari Passenger Cars Are Eligible for Importation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition. AGENCY: This document announces a decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that certain Model Year (MY) 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari passenger cars (PCs) that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) are eligible for importation into the United States because the 2014 model year vehicles are substantially similar to vehicles that were originally manufactured for importation into and offered for sale in the United States and certified to all applicable FMVSS (the U.S-certified version of the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari PCs) or are capable of being altered to comply with all applicable FMVSS. SUMMARY: Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(l)(B), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided its safety features comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, all applicable FMVSS based on destructive test data or such other evidence that NHTSA decides to be adequate. Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and affords interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the close of the comment period, NHTSA decides, on the basis of the petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this decision in the Federal Register. J.K. Technologies, LLC, (Registered Importer R–90–006), of Baltimore, Maryland, petitioned NHTSA to decide whether MY 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari PCs are eligible for importation into the United States. NHTSA published a notice of the petition on October 10, 2019 (84 FR 54727) to afford an opportunity for public comment. The reader is referred to the notice for a thorough description of the petition. Comments SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Two comments were submitted to this docket The first comment stated ‘‘Luxury cars should not be afforded any other exceptions or privileges that nonluxury cars are’’. This statement is considered non-substantive as all vehicles are held to the same safety standards regardless of value. The second comment is a detailed analysis in support of granting the petition and echoing the petitioners reasonings. Background NHTSA Conclusions Under 49 U.S.C. § 30141(a)(l)(A), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, certified under 49 U.S.C. § 30115, and of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable FMVSS. In its petition, J.K. Technologies noted that the original manufacturer, Ferrari, certified the MY 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari PCs to all applicable FMVSS and offered those vehicles for sale in the United States. NHTSA has reviewed the petition and has concluded that the nonconforming versions of the MY 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari PCs described in the petition are substantially similar to the U.S.certified versions of the MY 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari PCs and are capable of being readily altered to comply with all applicable FMVSS. This decision became effective on December 10, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Mazurowski, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202–366– 1012). DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00121 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\17APN1.SGM 17APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 75 (Friday, April 17, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21504-21506]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08114]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0132; Notice 1]


Hankook Tire America Corporation, Receipt of Petition for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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

SUMMARY: Hankook Tire America Corporation (Hankook) has determined that 
certain Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires manufactured by Hankook's 
indirect subsidiary, Hankook Tire Manufacturing Tennessee, LP, do not 
fully comply with Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) No. 
139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Hankook filed a 
noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, and subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. 
This notice announces receipt of Hankook's petition.

DATES: Send comments on or before May 18, 2020.

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 may be 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to the 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 the 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 for Federal Holidays.
     Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging 
onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website 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.

[[Page 21505]]

    When the petitions are granted or denied, notice of the decisions 
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: Hankook has determined that certain Hankook Ventus V2 
Concept 2 tires, do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS 
No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 
571.139).
    Hankook filed a noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, 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, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or 
Noncompliance.
    This notice of receipt of the Hankook'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. Tires Involved: Approximately 467 Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 
tires, size 235/45R17V XL H457, manufactured between October 7, 2019, 
and October 12, 2019, are potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: Hankook explains that the noncompliance is due 
to a mold error in which the subject tires, were marked with the date-
code in the Tire Identification Number (TIN) inverted and; therefore, 
they do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.5.1 (b) of FMVSS No. 
139. Specifically, the date code was printed upside down.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139, 
includes the requirements relevant to this petition. Each tire must be 
marked on each sidewall with the information specified in paragraph 
S5.5.1(b) and the tire size designation as listed in the documents and 
publications specified in paragraph S4.1.1 of FMVSS No. 139.
    V. Summary of Hankook's Petition: The following views and arguments 
presented in this section, V. Summary of Hankook's petition, are the 
views and arguments provided by Hankook. They have not been evaluated 
by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. The 
petitioner described the subject noncompliance and stated their belief 
that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor 
vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Hankook submitted the following 
reasoning:
    1. Under the Safety Act, each FMVSS promulgated by the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) must be ``practicable, 
meet the need for motor vehicle safety, and be stated in objective 
terms.'' 49 U.S.C. 3011l(a). The Safety Act defines ``motor vehicle 
safety'' as: the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk 
of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or 
performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death 
or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor 
vehicle.
    2. 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(9).
    The Safety Act exempts manufacturers from the Safety Act's notice 
and remedy requirements when NHTSA determines that noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. See 49 U.S.C. 
30118(d) and 30120(h). Sections 30118(d) and 30120(h) demonstrate 
Congress's acknowledgment that there are cases where a vehicle fails to 
meet the requirements of a safety standard, yet the impact on motor 
vehicle safety is so slight that an exemption from the notice and 
remedy requirements of the Safety Act is justified. Hankook quoted the 
following text from BMW of North America, LLC; Jaguar Land Rover North 
America, LLC; and Autolive, Inc., 84 FR 19994 (May 7, 2019), Decision 
of Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance.
    Neither the Safety Act nor Part 556 defines the term 
``inconsequential.'' Rather, the agency determines whether particular 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety based upon the 
specific facts before it in a particular petition. In some instances, 
NHTSA has determined that a manufacturer met its burden of 
demonstrating that a noncompliance is inconsequential to safety. For 
example, a label intended to provide safety advice to an owner or 
occupant may have a misspelled word, or it may be printed in the wrong 
format or the wrong type size. Where a manufacturer has shown that the 
discrepancy with the safety requirement is unlikely to lead to any 
misunderstanding, NHTSA has granted an inconsequentiality exemption, 
especially where other sources of correct information are available.
    3. The noncompliance involves new pneumatic radial tires used on 
passenger vehicles. Such tires must comply with the labeling and 
performance requirements of FMVSS 139, which specifies that ``each tire 
must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR 
part 573.4 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire.'' FMVSS 139 
S5.5.1(b). Part 574(a) states that ``[e]ach new tire manufacturer must 
conspicuously label on one sidewall of each tire it manufactures . . . 
a TIN [tire identification number] consisting of 13 symbols and 
containing the information set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) through 
(b)(3) of this section.'' Subparagraph (b)(3) requires a date code 
``consisting of four numerical symbols. . . [that] must identify the 
week and year of manufacture.'' 574.5(b)(3.)
    4. The purpose of the labeling requirements in Part 574 is to 
``facilitate notification to purchasers of defective or nonconforming 
tires.'' Part 574.2. The date code portion of the TIN is required so 
that purchasers can identify the week and year of the tire's 
manufacture in the event the tire is subject to a safety recall.
    5. The date-code characters reflect the correct week and year of 
the tires' manufacture, but the date code is technically out of 
compliance because the characters are inverted. Despite the inversion, 
the date code meets the character height requirements of Part 574 and 
is readily identifiable, permitting tire owners to easily determine the 
week and year of manufacture.
    6. NHTSA has previously granted a petition for inconsequential 
noncompliance for a similar issue. In granting a petition from Cooper 
Tire & Rubber Company, 81 FR 43708 (July 5, 2016) the Agency explained:
    The Agency believes that in the case of a tire labeling 
noncompliance, one measure of its inconsequentiality to motor vehicle 
safety is whether the mislabeling would affect the manufacturer's or 
consumer's ability to identify the mislabeled tires properly, should 
the tires be recalled for performance related noncompliance. In this 
case, the nature of the labeling error does not prevent the correct 
identification of the affected tires. 49

[[Page 21506]]

CFR 574.5 requires the date code portion of the tire identification 
number to be placed in the last or correct position. In Cooper's case, 
it is in the right-most position, however, the manufacture date code is 
upside down. Because the label is located on the tire sidewall, it is 
not likely to be misidentified. A reader will be able to read the date 
code, by spinning the tire, and therefore inverting the date code will 
allow it to easily be read.
    As with the Cooper tires, the date code on the subject tires is 
located on the sidewall, is not likely to be misidentified, and a 
reader will be able to read and understand the date code. The subject 
tires otherwise meet the marking and performance requirements of FMVSS 
No. 139.
    7. The labeling noncompliance at issue here is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety: the relevant information remains readily 
identifiable, the Agency has granted a similar petition in the past, 
the subject tires otherwise meet the marking and performance 
requirements of FMVSS No. 139, and Hankook is not aware of any 
complaints, claims or incidents related to the subject noncompliance.
    Hankook concluded by expressing its 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 decision on 
this petition only applies to the subject tires that Hankook no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment 
distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for 
sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after Hankook 
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

Otto G. Matheke III,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2020-08114 Filed 4-16-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P