Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Pirelli Tire, LLC, Receipt of Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 30014-30019 [2020-10423]

Download as PDF 30014 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices exemptions are applicable as of April 23, 2020, and will expire on April 23, 2022. As of April 26, 2020, and in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b), the following four individuals have satisfied the renewal conditions for obtaining an exemption from the epilepsy and seizure disorders prohibition in the FMCSRs for interstate CMV drivers (85 FR 19222): Brian Johnson (MN) Gerald Klein Jr. (ID) Shane W. Martinek (OK) William P. Swick (MI) The drivers were included in docket numbers FMCSA–2018–0050. Their exemptions are applicable as of April 26, 2020, and will expire on April 26, 2022. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b), each exemption will be valid for 2 years from the effective date unless revoked earlier by FMCSA. The exemption will be revoked if the following occurs: (1) The person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption has resulted in a lower level of safety than was maintained prior to being granted; or (3) continuation of the exemption would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b). Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy. [FR Doc. 2020–10698 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration U.S. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee; Notice of Public Meeting Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announces a public meeting of the U.S. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC) to discuss advice and recommendations for the U.S. Department of Transportation on issues related to the marine transportation system. SUMMARY: The webinar-based (online) public meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Requests to speak during the public comment period of the meeting must submit a written copy of their remarks to DOT by DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 no later than by Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Requests to submit written materials to be reviewed during the meeting must be received by Wednesday, May 27, 2020. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held via webinar, accessible via most internet browsers. The website link to join the meeting will be posted on the MTSNAC website by Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Please visit the MTSNAC website at https://www.maritime.dot.gov/outreach/ maritime-transportation-system-mts/ maritime-transportation-systemnational-advisory-0. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Rutherford, Designated Federal Officer, at MTSNAC@dot.gov or at (202) 366–1332. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W21–307, Washington, DC 20590. Any committee related request should be sent to the person listed in this section. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The MTSNAC is a Federal advisory committee that advises the U.S. Secretary of Transportation through the Maritime Administrator on issues related to the marine transportation system. The MTSNAC was originally established in 1999 and mandated in 2007 by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110–140). The MTSNAC is codified at 46 U.S.C. 55603 and operates in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). II. Agenda The agenda will include: (1) Welcome, opening remarks, and introductions; (2) administrative items; (3) subcommittee break-out sessions; (4) developing recommendations for the maritime transportation system for the full MTSNAC committee to vote and adopt during the September 28–29, 2020 meeting; (5) updates to the full Committee on the subcommittee research, processes for developing their recommendations, and an initial look at the subcommittee’s draft implementation strategies to help achieve the recommendations; and (6) public comments. A detailed agenda will be posted on the MTSNAC internet website at https:// www.maritime.dot.gov/outreach/ maritime-transportation-system-mts/ maritime-transportation-systemnational-advisory-0 at least one week in advance of the meeting. III. Public Participation The meeting will be open to the public. PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Services for Individuals with Disabilities: The public meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to providing equal access to this meeting for all participants. If you need alternative formats or services because of a disability, such as sign language, interpretation, or other ancillary aids, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Public Comments: A public comment period will commence at approximately 3:30 p.m. EST on June 3, 2020. To provide time for as many people to speak as possible, speaking time for each individual will be limited to three minutes. Members of the public who would like to speak are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Commenters will be placed on the agenda in the order in which notifications are received. If time allows, additional comments will be permitted. Copies of oral comments must be submitted in writing at the meeting or preferably emailed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Additional written comments are welcome and must be filed, as indicated below. Written comments: Persons who wish to submit written comments for consideration by the Committee must send them to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. (Authority: 49 CFR part 1.93(a); 5 U.S.C. 552b; 41 CFR parts 102–3; 5 U.S.C. app. Sections 1–16) Dated: May 14, 2020. By Order of the Maritime Administrator. T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr., Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2020–10705 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2019–0038; Notice 1] Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Pirelli Tire, LLC, Receipt of Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Receipt of petitions. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices Daimler AG (DAG) and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) collectively referred to as ‘‘MercedesBenz,’’ and Pirelli Tire, LLC (Pirelli), have determined that certain Pirelli P7 Cinturato RUN FLAT radial tires installed as original equipment in certain model year (MY) 2018–2019 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles and sold as replacement equipment do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Pirelli filed a noncompliance report dated February 25, 2019, and later amended it on March 15, 2019, and Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance report dated March 4, 2019. Pirelli subsequently petitioned NHTSA on March 18, 2019, and Mercedes-Benz subsequently petitioned NHTSA on March 27, 2019, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli’s petitions. DATES: Send comments on or before June 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 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 submitted by mail were received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. All comments and supporting materials received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the fullest extent possible. When the 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: Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli have determined that certain Pirelli P7 Cinturato RUN FLAT radial tires installed as original equipment in certain MY 2018–2019 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles and sold as replacement equipment do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5(c) of FMVSS No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 571.139). Pirelli filed a noncompliance report dated February 25, 2019, and later amended it on March 15, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on March 18, 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. Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance report dated March 4, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and subsequently petitioned PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30015 NHTSA on March 27, 2019,1 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. Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli are further referred to as the petitioners. This notice of receipt of the petitioners’ petitions is published under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency decision or other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition. II. Vehicles and Tires Involved: Approximately 2,023 Pirelli P7 Cinturato RUN FLAT replacement radial tires, size 245/45R18 100 Y (the subject tires), manufactured between April 3, 2017, and February 15, 2019, are potentially involved. The subject tires were installed as original equipment on approximately 206 of the following MY 2018–2019 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles, manufactured between May 4, 2017, and February 7, 2019, are potentially involved: • 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Cabriolet • 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe • 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet • 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC Cabriolet • 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 Cabriolet • 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 Coupe • 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC Coupe III. Noncompliance: The petitioners explain that the noncompliance is that the subject tires, manufactured by Pirelli and sold as replacement equipment, as well as sold by Mercedes-Benz as original equipment on certain MY 2018– 2019 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles, were erroneously marked with the incorrect maximum permissible inflation pressure. Therefore, the tires do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.5(c) of FMVSS No. 139. Specifically, the subject tires are marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa, when they should have been marked with the maximum inflation pressure of 350 kPa. IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.5(c) 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(c): The maximum 1 The date on the petition is March 27, 2018. We believe the petitioner made an error and the intended date is March 27, 2019. E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 30016 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices permissible inflation pressure, subject to the limitations of S5.5.4 through S5.5.6 of this standard. Specifically, the maximum permissible inflation pressure is subject to the limitations of paragraph S5.5.4 of FMVSS No. 139. V. Summary of Petition: The following views and arguments presented in this section, V. Summary of this petition, are the views and arguments provided by the petitioners. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. The petitioners described the subject noncompliance and stated their belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. Background: On January 15, 2019, DAG received preliminary information from the Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute (KATRI), that when KATRI tested the subject tires installed on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the subject tires reportedly did not meet the performance requirements for the strength test. When the subject tire was tested according to the applicable Korean standard (which Mercedes-Benz says is equivalent to FMVSS No. 139 in all material respects), using the test specifications applicable for 340 kPa (the maximum tire pressure that was indicated on the sidewall) the tire reportedly failed the strength test. DAG informed Pirelli Deutschland GMBH about the KATRI testing result on January 18, 2019. On February 7, 2019, Pirelli was advised by Pirelli Deutschland GMBH that it was investigating an informal report from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customer, Mercedes-Benz, that KATRI allegedly tested the subject tire (fitted onto a DAG vehicle) and that the tire reportedly did not meet the tread strength (breaking energy) requirement under the Korean Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (KMVSS) performance standard ‘‘A,’’ which Pirelli says in substance is similar to the tire strength test contained in FMVSS No. 109 and FMVSS No. 139. Pirelli’s investigation concluded that the subject tires were erroneously marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa. As a consequence of using test criteria applicable to a 340 kPa marked tire, however, the KATRI test indicated a test failure. In support of their petitions, Pirelli and Mercedes-Benz submitted the following reasoning: 1. The Petitioners cited the following noncompliance petitions that the Agency has granted previously: a. Mercedes-Benz cited Continental Tire the America, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 Noncompliance. See 83 FR 36668 (July 30, 2018). b. Pirelli cited Tireco Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. See 76 FR 66353 (October 26, 2011). c. Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli cited Michelin North America, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. See 74 FR 10805 (March 12, 2009). Pirelli highlighted that in the Michelin case, the tire was marked on one sidewall as having a maximum permissible inflation pressure of ‘‘300 kPa,’’ while the other sidewall was marked ‘‘350 kPa.’’ In concluding that this noncompliance was inconsequential to safety, NHTSA cited the following justifications: ‘‘Since the load that is marked on both sides of the tire (i.e., 750 KG (1653 lb.)) is correct; the recommended inflation pressure (240 kPa (35 PSI)) is well below both the correct tire pressure of 300 kPa (44 PSI), and the incorrectly labeled tire pressure of 350 kPa (51 PSI); and, in any event, the tire was manufactured to safely accommodate a pressure of 350 kPa (51 PSI), the tire cannot be inadvertently overloaded. 2. Mercedes states that the subject tires meet or exceed all performance and safety requirements for tires with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, and the mislabeling has no effect whatsoever on their safety or performance. a. These tires were designed and engineered as tires with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, and they meet or exceed all of the performance requirements for such tires. Specifically, the tires meet the applicable specifications contained in FMVSS No. 139 for tire dimensions under paragraph S6.1, high-speed performance test under paragraph S6.2, the tire endurance test under paragraph S6.3, the low inflation pressure test under paragraph S6.4, and the bead unseating test applicable under paragraph S6.6 (and FMVSS No. 109, paragraph S5.2). These tires meet the tire strength test specified for tires with a maximum inflation pressure of 350 kPa, as these tires were designed, under paragraph S6.5 (and FMVSS No. 109, paragraph S5.3). b. Since these tires were labeled as having a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa rather than 350 kPa, the tires would be subject to a different strength test specification under FMVSS No. 139 (which cross-references FMVSS No. 109, paragraph S5.3), which they were not meant to satisfy. c. The mislabeling of the tires has no effect on vehicle safety as compared to PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 tires that are properly and correctly labeled with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa. The error does not present any risk of overinflation since the design maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa is higher than the labeled inflation pressure of 340 kPa. As well, there is no risk of tire under inflation, since the calculated load-carrying capacity of the tire at 340 kPa is met and exceeded by the design for 350 kPa. d. All of the tire load carrying information labeled on the tire is correct and, in fact, that information understates the load-carrying capacity of the tire. Since the tires were designed to have a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, according to the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO) guides, these tires have a load-carrying capacity that is higher by 15 to 20 kg. e. In accordance with FMVSS No. 110, all vehicles must be equipped with a placard bearing information regarding the tires, the loading, and the recommended inflation pressures, which have to be considered when choosing the tires to fit as a replacement on each vehicle. Since the design maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa is higher than the labeled one of 340 kPa, the subject tire is always compliant to the placard. f. The mislabeling does not cause any safety problems, such as increasing the probability of tire failure, if the tires were inflated to 350 kPa under a load of 750kg, and it is not likely to result in unsafe use of the tires. In a similar case, NHTSA granted an inconsequentiality petition with respect to two tires, where one tire was mislabeled as having a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa instead of 300 kPa, and the other tire was mislabeled as having a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 300 kPa instead of 350 kPa. See 80 FR 31092 (June 1, 2015), Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. As NHTSA has acknowledged, ‘‘the choice of the maximum inflation pressure level then becomes the choice of the tire manufacturer, as long as it is in compliance with the established values under FMVSS No. 139 paragraph S5.5.4.’’ See 74 FR 10806. Both 340 and 350 maximum inflation pressure levels are acceptable choices for this tire under paragraph S5.5.4. g. NHTSA has previously stated that it has retained the requirement that tires be marked with the maximum permissible inflation pressure only ‘‘as an aid in preventing over-inflation,’’ for which there is no risk in this case. See E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices 70 FR 10161 (March 2, 2005), Michelin North America, Inc., Grant of Application for Decision that Noncompliance is Inconsequential to Motor Vehicle Safety, concluding that ‘‘the mislabeling issue, in this case, will in no way contribute to the risk of overinflation because the value actually marked is lower than the value required by the regulations’’. 3. Pirelli stated that the different tire strength test criteria for tires marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of ‘‘340’’ vs. ‘‘350’’ do not have any real-world safety relevance in this case. a. Since these tires are labeled as having a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa rather than 350 kPa, the tires would be subject to a different strength test criteria under FMVSS No. 109/139, which they were not meant to satisfy. Due to this labeling error, the appropriate specification to be applied should be that which is applicable to the tire as designed, with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 b. FMVSS No. 139, paragraph S6.5 incorporates the tire strength test requirements of FMVSS No. 109, paragraph S5.3. Specifically, under the tire strength test in paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 109 (which is crossreferenced in paragraph S6.5 of FMVSS No. 139), tires with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa should be tested at 180 kPa, while tires with a maximum pressure of 340 kPa should be tested at 220 kPa. (See FMVSS No. 109, Table II). When tested at these pressures using the test procedures specified in FMVSS No. 109, a tire with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa must have a minimum breaking energy of 294 joules, while a tire with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa must have a minimum breaking energy of 588 joules. The subject tires have shown a breaking energy of 455 joules, which far exceeds the requirements for tires marked with a maximum pressure of 350 kPa (i.e., 54.7% above the required threshold). c. The subject tires were developed for a specific Mercedes-Benz application PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30017 and, accordingly, they were subject to and fulfilled a very stringent OEM homologation process, including all customer requirements related to performance, quality and safety standards. d. With specific reference to the Mercedes-Benz applications, the table below shows the following information for each of the vehicles for which the tires were fitted as original equipment: • A summary of vehicle weights under ‘‘Normal Load’’ and ‘‘Maximum Load’’ operating conditions; • the recommended tire inflation pressures for ‘‘Normal Load’’ and ‘‘Maximum Load’’ operating conditions reported on the vehicles’ placard; • minimum inflation pressures corresponding to each vehicles’ load condition according to TRA standard; and • the minimum inflation pressures corresponding to each load condition according to ETRTO standard, which the tire is intended to be referred to. BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 30018 BILLING CODE 4910–59–C e. Either considering the TRA or the ETRTO standard for the maximum tire load-carrying capacity calculation, a tire with a load index of 96 ‘‘Standard Load’’ would be appropriate fitment for each of the identified vehicles and would be more than sufficient to carry the vehicle’s load both under ‘‘Normal Load’’ and ‘‘Maximum Load’’ conditions. In other words, under the above-reported operating conditions, a load index 100 ‘‘Extra Load’’ tire is not necessary to carry the vehicle loads. f. Considering a tire with load index 96 ‘‘Standard Load,’’ and marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, basing on the above consideration, for each of the abovementioned vehicles, the referenced strength test limit, and testing conditions are sufficient to achieve all strength test-related standards. g. The subject tires are self-supporting ‘‘run flat’’ tires designed with a reinforcing element in the sidewall that carries the vehicle load under zero (0) kPa inflation pressure operating VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 conditions, thereby avoiding the complete deflection of the tire sidewall which may lead to the tire rim roll-off. Thus, even in the event of a failure of the type that the tire strength test was originally intended to address, i.e., road hazards, their run flat design enables the vehicle to maintain stability, drivability, and control. Accordingly, there are no safety consequences in the event of such a failure. h. The safety of these tires has been confirmed through rigorous testing under different testing methods focused to measure resistance to accidental impact damage and tire durability, as summarized below: • Curb test according to MercedesBenz test methodology. This test was developed to verify the ability of a tire to resist road hazards. The subject tire fully meets OEM requirements showing performance in line with the competitor and better than a standard tire compliant to maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa. • Maximum Pressure Resistance (static blow out test) according to Pirelli PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 methodology. This test is designed to measure the maximum inflation pressure a pneumatic tire is able to resist. The test results demonstrate that the subject tire is able to resist an inflation pressure of more than 3000 kPa. • Rim roll-off test according to VDA (Verband Deutscher Automobilheresteller) methodology for run flat tires. This test is designed to verify the maximum lateral acceleration achievable while driving in a bend with the front radially external tire at zero (0) kPa inflation pressure. • Fatigue Test with cleat after artificial aging according to FORD methodology. This test is designed to verify the structural integrity of the tire to a very intensive stress in the tread and in the sidewall area. • Run flat mileage test according to Mercedes-Benz test methodology. This test is designed to verify the maximum mileage that the tire is able to run in the ‘‘flat running’’ condition (meaning with zero (0) kPa inflation pressure due to rim valve not in place for the duration E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 EN19MY20.003</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices of the ‘‘flat running’’ phase of the test). It is conducted at a maximum speed of 80 km/h and limiting the maximum lateral acceleration to 0.4g. The results demonstrate the capability of the tire to carry the vehicle partial load (corresponding for this test to 80% of the vehicle maximum load) for at least 150 km and the vehicle maximum load for 59 km, ensuring the ability to maintain full control of the vehicle even if one tire is completely deflated. (A run flat mileage test is clearly not foreseen by vehicle manufacturers for standard (non-run flat) tires.) • Rapid loss of inflation and lane change test performed with the subject run-flat tire, with the aim to simulate the event of a sudden air-loss caused by tread damage. This test demonstrates that the driver is able to easily control the vehicle, performing a lane change to avoid an obstacle placed on the vehicle’s trajectory and to safely stop it. • Integrity tests according to Pirelli methodology confirm the high safety standards to which the subject tire has been designed and is able to achieve. To summarize, even if these tires had been intended to meet the tire strength test requirements applicable to a tire with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa, rather than subjected to such standard as an unintended collateral consequence of the labeling error, any inability of this particular tire to satisfy the criteria of the tire strength test is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Neither petitioner is aware of any warranty claims, field reports, customer complaints, legal claims, or any incidents or injuries related to the original or the replacement tires. The complete petitions and all supporting documents are available by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website at https:// www.regulations.gov and by following the online search instructions to locate the docket number as listed in the title of this notice. Pirelli and Mercedes concluded by expressing the belief that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition to be exempted from providing notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted. NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers only from the duties found in sections 30118 and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 30120, respectively, to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, any decision on these petitions only applies to the subject tires and vehicles that Pirelli and Mercedes-Benz no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on these petitions does not relieve vehicle and 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 Pirelli and Mercedes-Benz 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. 2020–10423 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2008–0257] Pipeline Safety: Request for Special Permit; Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); DOT. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: PHMSA is publishing this notice to solicit public comments on a request from Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P. (TETLP) to renew a previously issued special permit. The special permit renewal request is seeking continued relief from compliance with certain requirements in the Federal pipeline safety regulations. At the conclusion of the 30day comment period, PHMSA will evaluate the comments and the technical analysis of the renewal request, to determine whether to grant or deny the renewal. DATES: Submit any comments regarding this special permit request by June 18, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments should reference the docket number for this special permit request and may be submitted in the following ways: • E-Gov Website: http:// www.Regulations.gov. This site allows the public to enter comments on any SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30019 Federal Register notice issued by any agency. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management System: 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: Docket Management System: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: You should identify the docket number for the special permit request you are commenting on at the beginning of your comments. If you submit your comments by mail, please submit two (2) copies. To receive confirmation that PHMSA has received your comments, please include a selfaddressed stamped postcard. Internet users may submit comments at http:// www.Regulations.gov. Note: There is a privacy statement published on http://www.Regulations.gov. Comments, including any personal information provided, are posted without changes or edits to http:// www.Regulations.gov. Confidential Business Information: Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this notice contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this notice, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Pursuant to 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 190.343, you may ask PHMSA to give confidential treatment to information you give to the agency by taking the following steps: (1) Mark each page of the original document submission containing CBI as ‘‘Confidential’’; (2) send PHMSA, along with the original document, a second copy of the original document with the CBI deleted; and (3) explain why the information you are submitting is CBI. Unless you are notified otherwise, PHMSA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this notice. Submissions containing CBI should be E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 97 (Tuesday, May 19, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30014-30019]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-10423]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0038; Notice 1]


Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Pirelli Tire, LLC, Receipt of 
Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petitions.

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[[Page 30015]]

SUMMARY: Daimler AG (DAG) and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) 
collectively referred to as ``Mercedes-Benz,'' and Pirelli Tire, LLC 
(Pirelli), have determined that certain Pirelli P7 Cinturato RUN FLAT 
radial tires installed as original equipment in certain model year (MY) 
2018-2019 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles and sold as replacement 
equipment do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light 
Vehicles. Pirelli filed a noncompliance report dated February 25, 2019, 
and later amended it on March 15, 2019, and Mercedes-Benz filed a 
noncompliance report dated March 4, 2019. Pirelli subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on March 18, 2019, and Mercedes-Benz subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on March 27, 2019, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. 
This notice announces receipt of Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli's petitions.

DATES: Send comments on or before June 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.
    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: Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli have determined that certain 
Pirelli P7 Cinturato RUN FLAT radial tires installed as original 
equipment in certain MY 2018-2019 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles and sold 
as replacement equipment do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5(c) of 
FMVSS No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 
571.139).
    Pirelli filed a noncompliance report dated February 25, 2019, and 
later amended it on March 15, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect 
and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on March 18, 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.
    Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance report dated March 4, 2019, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on March 27, 2019,\1\ 
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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The date on the petition is March 27, 2018. We believe the 
petitioner made an error and the intended date is March 27, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli are further referred to as the 
petitioners.
    This notice of receipt of the petitioners' petitions is published 
under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any agency 
decision or other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the 
petition.
    II. Vehicles and Tires Involved: Approximately 2,023 Pirelli P7 
Cinturato RUN FLAT replacement radial tires, size 245/45R18 100 Y (the 
subject tires), manufactured between April 3, 2017, and February 15, 
2019, are potentially involved.
    The subject tires were installed as original equipment on 
approximately 206 of the following MY 2018-2019 Mercedes-Benz motor 
vehicles, manufactured between May 4, 2017, and February 7, 2019, are 
potentially involved:

 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Cabriolet
 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe
 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet
 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC Cabriolet
 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 Cabriolet
 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 Coupe
 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC Coupe

    III. Noncompliance: The petitioners explain that the noncompliance 
is that the subject tires, manufactured by Pirelli and sold as 
replacement equipment, as well as sold by Mercedes-Benz as original 
equipment on certain MY 2018-2019 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles, were 
erroneously marked with the incorrect maximum permissible inflation 
pressure. Therefore, the tires do not meet the requirements of 
paragraph S5.5(c) of FMVSS No. 139. Specifically, the subject tires are 
marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa, when 
they should have been marked with the maximum inflation pressure of 350 
kPa.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.5(c) 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(c): The 
maximum

[[Page 30016]]

permissible inflation pressure, subject to the limitations of S5.5.4 
through S5.5.6 of this standard. Specifically, the maximum permissible 
inflation pressure is subject to the limitations of paragraph S5.5.4 of 
FMVSS No. 139.
    V. Summary of Petition: The following views and arguments presented 
in this section, V. Summary of this petition, are the views and 
arguments provided by the petitioners. They have not been evaluated by 
the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. The petitioners 
described the subject noncompliance and stated their belief that the 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    Background: On January 15, 2019, DAG received preliminary 
information from the Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute 
(KATRI), that when KATRI tested the subject tires installed on a 
Mercedes-Benz vehicle, the subject tires reportedly did not meet the 
performance requirements for the strength test. When the subject tire 
was tested according to the applicable Korean standard (which Mercedes-
Benz says is equivalent to FMVSS No. 139 in all material respects), 
using the test specifications applicable for 340 kPa (the maximum tire 
pressure that was indicated on the sidewall) the tire reportedly failed 
the strength test. DAG informed Pirelli Deutschland GMBH about the 
KATRI testing result on January 18, 2019.
    On February 7, 2019, Pirelli was advised by Pirelli Deutschland 
GMBH that it was investigating an informal report from an original 
equipment manufacturer (OEM) customer, Mercedes-Benz, that KATRI 
allegedly tested the subject tire (fitted onto a DAG vehicle) and that 
the tire reportedly did not meet the tread strength (breaking energy) 
requirement under the Korean Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (KMVSS) 
performance standard ``A,'' which Pirelli says in substance is similar 
to the tire strength test contained in FMVSS No. 109 and FMVSS No. 139. 
Pirelli's investigation concluded that the subject tires were 
erroneously marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 
kPa. As a consequence of using test criteria applicable to a 340 kPa 
marked tire, however, the KATRI test indicated a test failure.
    In support of their petitions, Pirelli and Mercedes-Benz submitted 
the following reasoning:
    1. The Petitioners cited the following noncompliance petitions that 
the Agency has granted previously:
    a. Mercedes-Benz cited Continental Tire the America, LLC, Grant of 
Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. See 83 FR 36668 
(July 30, 2018).
    b. Pirelli cited Tireco Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance. See 76 FR 66353 (October 26, 2011).
    c. Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli cited Michelin North America, Grant of 
Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. See 74 FR 10805 
(March 12, 2009).
    Pirelli highlighted that in the Michelin case, the tire was marked 
on one sidewall as having a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 
``300 kPa,'' while the other sidewall was marked ``350 kPa.'' In 
concluding that this noncompliance was inconsequential to safety, NHTSA 
cited the following justifications:
    ``Since the load that is marked on both sides of the tire (i.e., 
750 KG (1653 lb.)) is correct; the recommended inflation pressure (240 
kPa (35 PSI)) is well below both the correct tire pressure of 300 kPa 
(44 PSI), and the incorrectly labeled tire pressure of 350 kPa (51 
PSI); and, in any event, the tire was manufactured to safely 
accommodate a pressure of 350 kPa (51 PSI), the tire cannot be 
inadvertently overloaded.
    2. Mercedes states that the subject tires meet or exceed all 
performance and safety requirements for tires with a maximum 
permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, and the mislabeling has no 
effect whatsoever on their safety or performance.
    a. These tires were designed and engineered as tires with a maximum 
permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, and they meet or exceed all 
of the performance requirements for such tires. Specifically, the tires 
meet the applicable specifications contained in FMVSS No. 139 for tire 
dimensions under paragraph S6.1, high-speed performance test under 
paragraph S6.2, the tire endurance test under paragraph S6.3, the low 
inflation pressure test under paragraph S6.4, and the bead unseating 
test applicable under paragraph S6.6 (and FMVSS No. 109, paragraph 
S5.2). These tires meet the tire strength test specified for tires with 
a maximum inflation pressure of 350 kPa, as these tires were designed, 
under paragraph S6.5 (and FMVSS No. 109, paragraph S5.3).
    b. Since these tires were labeled as having a maximum permissible 
inflation pressure of 340 kPa rather than 350 kPa, the tires would be 
subject to a different strength test specification under FMVSS No. 139 
(which cross-references FMVSS No. 109, paragraph S5.3), which they were 
not meant to satisfy.
    c. The mislabeling of the tires has no effect on vehicle safety as 
compared to tires that are properly and correctly labeled with a 
maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa. The error does not 
present any risk of over-inflation since the design maximum permissible 
inflation pressure of 350 kPa is higher than the labeled inflation 
pressure of 340 kPa. As well, there is no risk of tire under inflation, 
since the calculated load-carrying capacity of the tire at 340 kPa is 
met and exceeded by the design for 350 kPa.
    d. All of the tire load carrying information labeled on the tire is 
correct and, in fact, that information understates the load-carrying 
capacity of the tire. Since the tires were designed to have a maximum 
permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, according to the European 
Tyre and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO) guides, these tires have a 
load-carrying capacity that is higher by 15 to 20 kg.
    e. In accordance with FMVSS No. 110, all vehicles must be equipped 
with a placard bearing information regarding the tires, the loading, 
and the recommended inflation pressures, which have to be considered 
when choosing the tires to fit as a replacement on each vehicle. Since 
the design maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa is higher 
than the labeled one of 340 kPa, the subject tire is always compliant 
to the placard.
    f. The mislabeling does not cause any safety problems, such as 
increasing the probability of tire failure, if the tires were inflated 
to 350 kPa under a load of 750kg, and it is not likely to result in 
unsafe use of the tires. In a similar case, NHTSA granted an 
inconsequentiality petition with respect to two tires, where one tire 
was mislabeled as having a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 
350 kPa instead of 300 kPa, and the other tire was mislabeled as having 
a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 300 kPa instead of 350 kPa. 
See 80 FR 31092 (June 1, 2015), Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, 
Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. As 
NHTSA has acknowledged, ``the choice of the maximum inflation pressure 
level then becomes the choice of the tire manufacturer, as long as it 
is in compliance with the established values under FMVSS No. 139 
paragraph S5.5.4.'' See 74 FR 10806. Both 340 and 350 maximum inflation 
pressure levels are acceptable choices for this tire under paragraph 
S5.5.4.
    g. NHTSA has previously stated that it has retained the requirement 
that tires be marked with the maximum permissible inflation pressure 
only ``as an aid in preventing over-inflation,'' for which there is no 
risk in this case. See

[[Page 30017]]

70 FR 10161 (March 2, 2005), Michelin North America, Inc., Grant of 
Application for Decision that Noncompliance is Inconsequential to Motor 
Vehicle Safety, concluding that ``the mislabeling issue, in this case, 
will in no way contribute to the risk of over-inflation because the 
value actually marked is lower than the value required by the 
regulations''.
    3. Pirelli stated that the different tire strength test criteria 
for tires marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 
``340'' vs. ``350'' do not have any real-world safety relevance in this 
case.
    a. Since these tires are labeled as having a maximum permissible 
inflation pressure of 340 kPa rather than 350 kPa, the tires would be 
subject to a different strength test criteria under FMVSS No. 109/139, 
which they were not meant to satisfy. Due to this labeling error, the 
appropriate specification to be applied should be that which is 
applicable to the tire as designed, with a maximum permissible 
inflation pressure of 350 kPa.
    b. FMVSS No. 139, paragraph S6.5 incorporates the tire strength 
test requirements of FMVSS No. 109, paragraph S5.3. Specifically, under 
the tire strength test in paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 109 (which is 
cross-referenced in paragraph S6.5 of FMVSS No. 139), tires with a 
maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa should be tested at 
180 kPa, while tires with a maximum pressure of 340 kPa should be 
tested at 220 kPa. (See FMVSS No. 109, Table II). When tested at these 
pressures using the test procedures specified in FMVSS No. 109, a tire 
with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa must have a 
minimum breaking energy of 294 joules, while a tire with a maximum 
permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa must have a minimum breaking 
energy of 588 joules. The subject tires have shown a breaking energy of 
455 joules, which far exceeds the requirements for tires marked with a 
maximum pressure of 350 kPa (i.e., 54.7% above the required threshold).
    c. The subject tires were developed for a specific Mercedes-Benz 
application and, accordingly, they were subject to and fulfilled a very 
stringent OEM homologation process, including all customer requirements 
related to performance, quality and safety standards.
    d. With specific reference to the Mercedes-Benz applications, the 
table below shows the following information for each of the vehicles 
for which the tires were fitted as original equipment:
     A summary of vehicle weights under ``Normal Load'' and 
``Maximum Load'' operating conditions;
     the recommended tire inflation pressures for ``Normal 
Load'' and ``Maximum Load'' operating conditions reported on the 
vehicles' placard;
     minimum inflation pressures corresponding to each 
vehicles' load condition according to TRA standard; and
     the minimum inflation pressures corresponding to each load 
condition according to ETRTO standard, which the tire is intended to be 
referred to.
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN19MY20.003

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    e. Either considering the TRA or the ETRTO standard for the maximum 
tire load-carrying capacity calculation, a tire with a load index of 96 
``Standard Load'' would be appropriate fitment for each of the 
identified vehicles and would be more than sufficient to carry the 
vehicle's load both under ``Normal Load'' and ``Maximum Load'' 
conditions. In other words, under the above-reported operating 
conditions, a load index 100 ``Extra Load'' tire is not necessary to 
carry the vehicle loads.
    f. Considering a tire with load index 96 ``Standard Load,'' and 
marked with a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa, basing 
on the above consideration, for each of the above-mentioned vehicles, 
the referenced strength test limit, and testing conditions are 
sufficient to achieve all strength test-related standards.
    g. The subject tires are self-supporting ``run flat'' tires 
designed with a reinforcing element in the sidewall that carries the 
vehicle load under zero (0) kPa inflation pressure operating 
conditions, thereby avoiding the complete deflection of the tire 
sidewall which may lead to the tire rim roll-off. Thus, even in the 
event of a failure of the type that the tire strength test was 
originally intended to address, i.e., road hazards, their run flat 
design enables the vehicle to maintain stability, drivability, and 
control. Accordingly, there are no safety consequences in the event of 
such a failure.
    h. The safety of these tires has been confirmed through rigorous 
testing under different testing methods focused to measure resistance 
to accidental impact damage and tire durability, as summarized below:
     Curb test according to Mercedes-Benz test methodology. 
This test was developed to verify the ability of a tire to resist road 
hazards. The subject tire fully meets OEM requirements showing 
performance in line with the competitor and better than a standard tire 
compliant to maximum permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa.
     Maximum Pressure Resistance (static blow out test) 
according to Pirelli methodology. This test is designed to measure the 
maximum inflation pressure a pneumatic tire is able to resist. The test 
results demonstrate that the subject tire is able to resist an 
inflation pressure of more than 3000 kPa.
     Rim roll-off test according to VDA (Verband Deutscher 
Automobilheresteller) methodology for run flat tires. This test is 
designed to verify the maximum lateral acceleration achievable while 
driving in a bend with the front radially external tire at zero (0) kPa 
inflation pressure.
     Fatigue Test with cleat after artificial aging according 
to FORD methodology. This test is designed to verify the structural 
integrity of the tire to a very intensive stress in the tread and in 
the sidewall area.
     Run flat mileage test according to Mercedes-Benz test 
methodology. This test is designed to verify the maximum mileage that 
the tire is able to run in the ``flat running'' condition (meaning with 
zero (0) kPa inflation pressure due to rim valve not in place for the 
duration

[[Page 30019]]

of the ``flat running'' phase of the test). It is conducted at a 
maximum speed of 80 km/h and limiting the maximum lateral acceleration 
to 0.4g. The results demonstrate the capability of the tire to carry 
the vehicle partial load (corresponding for this test to 80% of the 
vehicle maximum load) for at least 150 km and the vehicle maximum load 
for 59 km, ensuring the ability to maintain full control of the vehicle 
even if one tire is completely deflated. (A run flat mileage test is 
clearly not foreseen by vehicle manufacturers for standard (non-run 
flat) tires.)
     Rapid loss of inflation and lane change test performed 
with the subject run-flat tire, with the aim to simulate the event of a 
sudden air-loss caused by tread damage. This test demonstrates that the 
driver is able to easily control the vehicle, performing a lane change 
to avoid an obstacle placed on the vehicle's trajectory and to safely 
stop it.
     Integrity tests according to Pirelli methodology confirm 
the high safety standards to which the subject tire has been designed 
and is able to achieve.
    To summarize, even if these tires had been intended to meet the 
tire strength test requirements applicable to a tire with a maximum 
permissible inflation pressure of 340 kPa, rather than subjected to 
such standard as an unintended collateral consequence of the labeling 
error, any inability of this particular tire to satisfy the criteria of 
the tire strength test is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
    Neither petitioner is aware of any warranty claims, field reports, 
customer complaints, legal claims, or any incidents or injuries related 
to the original or the replacement tires. The complete petitions and 
all supporting documents are available by logging onto the Federal 
Docket Management System (FDMS) website at https://www.regulations.gov 
and by following the online search instructions to locate the docket 
number as listed in the title of this notice.
    Pirelli and Mercedes concluded by expressing the belief that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle 
safety, and that its petition to be exempted from providing 
notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and 
a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should 
be granted.
    NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a 
determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers 
only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, 
to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance 
and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, any decision on 
these petitions only applies to the subject tires and vehicles that 
Pirelli and Mercedes-Benz no longer controlled at the time it 
determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on 
these petitions does not relieve vehicle and 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 Pirelli and Mercedes-
Benz 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. 2020-10423 Filed 5-18-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P