Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP19-003, 39671-39672 [2020-14157]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 127 / Wednesday, July 1, 2020 / Notices applicants may be released in response to FOIA requests. Quintin Kendall, Deputy Administrator. [FR Doc. 2020–14142 Filed 6–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–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. DATES: The webinar-based (online) public meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, from 1 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 no later than by Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Requests to submit written materials to be reviewed during the meeting must be received by Wednesday, July 8, 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, July 8, 2020. Please visit the MTSNAC website at https://www.maritime.dot.gov/outreach/ maritime-transportation-system-mts/ maritimetransportation-systemnational-advisory-O. 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: SUMMARY: 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 01:53 Jul 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 39671 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). Written Comments: Persons who wish to submit written comments for consideration by the Committee must send them to the person listed in the II. Agenda Dated: June 26, 2020. By Order of the Maritime Administrator. T. Mitchell Hudson, Jr., Secretary, Maritime Administration. The agenda will include: (1) Welcome, opening remarks, and introductions; (2) administrative items; (3) subcommittee break-out sessions; (4) refining recommendations for the maritime transportation system for the full MTSNAC committee to vote and adopt during the September 28–29, 2020 meeting. The agenda will include updates to the Committee on the subcommittee research, processes for developing their recommendations, and a second look at the subcommittee’s draft implementation strategies to help achieve the recommendations; and (5) public comments. A detailed agenda will be posted on the MTSNAC internet website at https:// www.maritime.dot.gov/outreach/ maritime-transportation-system-mts/ maritimetransportation-systemnational-advisory-O at least one week in advance of the meeting. III. Public Participation The meeting will be open to the public. 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 p.m. EST on July 15, 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. PO 00000 Frm 00153 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. (Authority: 49 CFR 1.93(a); 5 U.S.C. 552b; 41 CFR part 102–3; 5 U.S.C. app. Sections 1–16) [FR Doc. 2020–14204 Filed 6–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2020–0027] Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP19–003 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Denial of a petition for a defect investigation. AGENCY: This notice sets forth the reasons for the denial of a petition, DP19–003, submitted by Mr. Kevin O’Brien to the Administrator of NHTSA (the ‘‘Agency’’) by a letter dated August 12, 2019. The petition requests that the agency initiate a safety defect investigation into an alleged ‘‘excessive stalling problem’’ experienced by operators of 2019 Model Year (MY) Volkswagen GTI, Jetta GLI, and Golf GTI manual transmission vehicles (the ‘‘subject vehicles’’) ‘‘as the vehicles slow to a stop or prepare to make a turn across traffic with the clutch pressed in and the car in neutral.’’ After conducting a technical review of: (1) Consumer complaints submitted by the petitioner; (2) consumer complaint information in NHTSA’s databases; and (3) information provided by Volkswagen in response to our information requests regarding vehicle stalling and complaints received by Volkswagen, NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigations (ODI) has concluded that it is unlikely that additional investigation would result in a finding that a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists. As a result, no further investigation of the issue raised by the petition is warranted and the agency, accordingly, has denied the petition. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sharon Yukevich, Vehicle Defect Division A, Office of Defects Investigation, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01JYN1.SGM 01JYN1 39672 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 127 / Wednesday, July 1, 2020 / Notices Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202–366–4925. Email: sharon.yukevich@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction Interested persons may petition NHTSA requesting that the agency initiate an investigation to determine whether a motor vehicle or an item of replacement equipment does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard or contains a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety. 49 U.S.C. 30162(a)(2); 49 CFR 552.1. Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, the agency conducts a technical review of the petition, material submitted with the petition and any additional information. 49 U.S.C. 30162(a)(2); 49 CFR 552.6. The technical review may consist solely of a review of information already in the possession of the agency or it may include the collection of information from the motor vehicle manufacturer and/or other sources. After conducting the technical review and considering appropriate factors, which may include, but are not limited to, the nature of the complaint, allocation of agency resources, agency priorities, the likelihood of uncovering sufficient evidence to establish the existence of a defect and the likelihood of success in any necessary enforcement litigation, the agency will grant or deny the petition. See 49 U.S.C. 30162(a)(2); 49 CFR 552.8. Background Information In a letter dated August 12, 2019, Mr. Kevin O’Brien (the petitioner) requested that NHTSA ‘‘initiate a safety defect investigation into the excessive stalling problem’’ experienced by operators of 2019 Model Year (MY) Volkswagen GTI, Jetta GLI, and Golf GTI manual transmission vehicles ‘‘as the vehicles slow to a stop or prepare to make a turn across traffic with the clutch pressed in and the car in neutral.’’ Mr. O’Brien based his request on his own experience and data found in the NHTSA Vehicle Owner Questionnaire (VOQ) database. NHTSA has based its decision on a review of the material cited by the petitioner, information submitted by Volkswagen in response to our Information Request letter, and other pertinent information in NHTSA’s databases. Summary of the Petition The petitioner reported that his 2019 MY Volkswagen GTI experienced excessive stalling as the vehicle slowed to a stop or prepared to make a turn across traffic with the clutch pressed in and the vehicle in neutral on numerous VerDate Sep<11>2014 01:53 Jul 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 occasions. The petitioner further noted that this issue is being experienced by operators of 2019 MY Volkswagen Golf GTI and Jetta GLI vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, as evidenced by additional complaints on NHTSA’s website related to the same issue in the subject vehicle models. Office of Defects Investigation Analysis The hazard posed by a vehicle stalling event is manifested in the inability of the vehicle to move with the flow of surrounding traffic. The stalled vehicle, along with its operator and occupants, becomes a stationary target with traffic moving past the vehicle. Two factors have a major impact on the potential hazard to the vehicle, its occupants and surrounding vehicles, the surrounding traffic speed and the stalled vehicle’s restart ability. If the vehicle operator is able to restart the vehicle immediately or within a reasonable amount of time, the hazard is reduced and the vehicle can rejoin the flow of traffic. In the case of the vehicles that are the subject of this petition, restart is immediate, which substantially reduces the risk of harm to the vehicle, its occupants and surrounding vehicles. If the surrounding traffic is not traveling at a significantly higher speed than the stalled vehicle, the surrounding traffic has sufficient time and ability to take evasive measures to avoid the road hazard imposed by the stalled vehicle. In the case of the vehicles that are the subject of this petition, the stall occurs when the vehicle is slowing to stop for a traffic signal or make a turn, or is completely stopped and at idle, further reducing the hazard due to the low speeds of all vehicles near the stalled vehicle. As of March 2, 2020, out of the population of 11,333 subject vehicles, NHTSA has identified 214 consumer complaints with unique Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), in NHTSA’s databases alleging engine stalling as vehicles are being brought to a stop and/or preparing to make a cross traffic turn, as cited in the petition. When combined with the warranty, field report and customer complaint data received from Volkswagen in response to the Information Request letter sent, NHTSA identified 413 unique VINs alleging low speed engine stalling with immediate restart. Of the allegations received by both NHTSA and Volkswagen, only two (2) resulted in minor collisions, neither of which had any injuries associated with the impact. One collision was a rear impact and the other was a curb swipe. PO 00000 Frm 00154 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Volkswagen determined the low speed/idle engine stall was the result of unwanted gases remaining in the cylinder, caused by the intake valve camshaft not being in the correct position at idle. The intake camshaft is in an advanced position. This advanced position results in too much overlap with the position of the exhaust valve camshaft, allowing both the intake and exhaust valves to be open at the same time. The erroneous advanced position of the intake camshaft is a result of low oil pressure at idle and high oil temperatures, ≥110 °C/230 °F, combined with engine control algorithms in the Engine Control Module (ECM) that position the intake camshaft. Based on an examination of returned engines, only engines manufactured at the Silao Mexico plant were affected, due to a tolerance stack-up issue with the oil system of the engines. In December of 2019, Volkswagen initiated a Service Action (24FD), with active customer notification, to remedy the stalling issue in the affected vehicles. The warranty for the affected vehicles was extended to December 31, 2025. The software in the ECM will be updated with a new calibration value for the adaptation nodes of the regulation valve to ensure the intake camshaft is in the proper position at idle and/or low speeds. In December 2019 letters were sent to vehicle owners, instructing them to bring their vehicles to their dealership to have the software update installed in their vehicle. NHTSA believes there is a high likelihood that many affected vehicles will be remedied with this action due to the vehicle age. After thoroughly assessing the material submitted by the petitioner, information already in NHTSA’s possession, information submitted by Volkswagen in response to an information request, and the potential risks to safety implicated by the petitioner’s allegation, NHTSA does not believe that the stalling condition alleged by the petitioner indicates the likelihood of a safety related defect that would warrant a formal investigation. After full consideration of the potential for finding a safety related defect and in view of NHTSA’s enforcement priorities, the petition is denied. Jeffrey Mark Giuseppe, Associate Administrator for Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2020–14157 Filed 6–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P E:\FR\FM\01JYN1.SGM 01JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 127 (Wednesday, July 1, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39671-39672]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-14157]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2020-0027]


Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP19-003

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

ACTION: Denial of a petition for a defect investigation.

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SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the reasons for the denial of a 
petition, DP19-003, submitted by Mr. Kevin O'Brien to the Administrator 
of NHTSA (the ``Agency'') by a letter dated August 12, 2019. The 
petition requests that the agency initiate a safety defect 
investigation into an alleged ``excessive stalling problem'' 
experienced by operators of 2019 Model Year (MY) Volkswagen GTI, Jetta 
GLI, and Golf GTI manual transmission vehicles (the ``subject 
vehicles'') ``as the vehicles slow to a stop or prepare to make a turn 
across traffic with the clutch pressed in and the car in neutral.'' 
After conducting a technical review of: (1) Consumer complaints 
submitted by the petitioner; (2) consumer complaint information in 
NHTSA's databases; and (3) information provided by Volkswagen in 
response to our information requests regarding vehicle stalling and 
complaints received by Volkswagen, NHTSA's Office of Defect 
Investigations (ODI) has concluded that it is unlikely that additional 
investigation would result in a finding that a defect related to motor 
vehicle safety exists. As a result, no further investigation of the 
issue raised by the petition is warranted and the agency, accordingly, 
has denied the petition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sharon Yukevich, Vehicle Defect 
Division A, Office of Defects Investigation, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey

[[Page 39672]]

Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202-366-4925. Email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    Interested persons may petition NHTSA requesting that the agency 
initiate an investigation to determine whether a motor vehicle or an 
item of replacement equipment does not comply with an applicable motor 
vehicle safety standard or contains a defect that relates to motor 
vehicle safety. 49 U.S.C. 30162(a)(2); 49 CFR 552.1. Upon receipt of a 
properly filed petition, the agency conducts a technical review of the 
petition, material submitted with the petition and any additional 
information. 49 U.S.C. 30162(a)(2); 49 CFR 552.6. The technical review 
may consist solely of a review of information already in the possession 
of the agency or it may include the collection of information from the 
motor vehicle manufacturer and/or other sources. After conducting the 
technical review and considering appropriate factors, which may 
include, but are not limited to, the nature of the complaint, 
allocation of agency resources, agency priorities, the likelihood of 
uncovering sufficient evidence to establish the existence of a defect 
and the likelihood of success in any necessary enforcement litigation, 
the agency will grant or deny the petition. See 49 U.S.C. 30162(a)(2); 
49 CFR 552.8.

Background Information

    In a letter dated August 12, 2019, Mr. Kevin O'Brien (the 
petitioner) requested that NHTSA ``initiate a safety defect 
investigation into the excessive stalling problem'' experienced by 
operators of 2019 Model Year (MY) Volkswagen GTI, Jetta GLI, and Golf 
GTI manual transmission vehicles ``as the vehicles slow to a stop or 
prepare to make a turn across traffic with the clutch pressed in and 
the car in neutral.'' Mr. O'Brien based his request on his own 
experience and data found in the NHTSA Vehicle Owner Questionnaire 
(VOQ) database. NHTSA has based its decision on a review of the 
material cited by the petitioner, information submitted by Volkswagen 
in response to our Information Request letter, and other pertinent 
information in NHTSA's databases.

Summary of the Petition

    The petitioner reported that his 2019 MY Volkswagen GTI experienced 
excessive stalling as the vehicle slowed to a stop or prepared to make 
a turn across traffic with the clutch pressed in and the vehicle in 
neutral on numerous occasions. The petitioner further noted that this 
issue is being experienced by operators of 2019 MY Volkswagen Golf GTI 
and Jetta GLI vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, as evidenced 
by additional complaints on NHTSA's website related to the same issue 
in the subject vehicle models.

Office of Defects Investigation Analysis

    The hazard posed by a vehicle stalling event is manifested in the 
inability of the vehicle to move with the flow of surrounding traffic. 
The stalled vehicle, along with its operator and occupants, becomes a 
stationary target with traffic moving past the vehicle. Two factors 
have a major impact on the potential hazard to the vehicle, its 
occupants and surrounding vehicles, the surrounding traffic speed and 
the stalled vehicle's restart ability.
    If the vehicle operator is able to restart the vehicle immediately 
or within a reasonable amount of time, the hazard is reduced and the 
vehicle can rejoin the flow of traffic. In the case of the vehicles 
that are the subject of this petition, restart is immediate, which 
substantially reduces the risk of harm to the vehicle, its occupants 
and surrounding vehicles.
    If the surrounding traffic is not traveling at a significantly 
higher speed than the stalled vehicle, the surrounding traffic has 
sufficient time and ability to take evasive measures to avoid the road 
hazard imposed by the stalled vehicle. In the case of the vehicles that 
are the subject of this petition, the stall occurs when the vehicle is 
slowing to stop for a traffic signal or make a turn, or is completely 
stopped and at idle, further reducing the hazard due to the low speeds 
of all vehicles near the stalled vehicle.
    As of March 2, 2020, out of the population of 11,333 subject 
vehicles, NHTSA has identified 214 consumer complaints with unique 
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), in NHTSA's databases alleging 
engine stalling as vehicles are being brought to a stop and/or 
preparing to make a cross traffic turn, as cited in the petition. When 
combined with the warranty, field report and customer complaint data 
received from Volkswagen in response to the Information Request letter 
sent, NHTSA identified 413 unique VINs alleging low speed engine 
stalling with immediate restart. Of the allegations received by both 
NHTSA and Volkswagen, only two (2) resulted in minor collisions, 
neither of which had any injuries associated with the impact. One 
collision was a rear impact and the other was a curb swipe.
    Volkswagen determined the low speed/idle engine stall was the 
result of unwanted gases remaining in the cylinder, caused by the 
intake valve camshaft not being in the correct position at idle. The 
intake camshaft is in an advanced position. This advanced position 
results in too much overlap with the position of the exhaust valve 
camshaft, allowing both the intake and exhaust valves to be open at the 
same time. The erroneous advanced position of the intake camshaft is a 
result of low oil pressure at idle and high oil temperatures, >=110 
[deg]C/230 [deg]F, combined with engine control algorithms in the 
Engine Control Module (ECM) that position the intake camshaft. Based on 
an examination of returned engines, only engines manufactured at the 
Silao Mexico plant were affected, due to a tolerance stack-up issue 
with the oil system of the engines.
    In December of 2019, Volkswagen initiated a Service Action (24FD), 
with active customer notification, to remedy the stalling issue in the 
affected vehicles. The warranty for the affected vehicles was extended 
to December 31, 2025. The software in the ECM will be updated with a 
new calibration value for the adaptation nodes of the regulation valve 
to ensure the intake camshaft is in the proper position at idle and/or 
low speeds. In December 2019 letters were sent to vehicle owners, 
instructing them to bring their vehicles to their dealership to have 
the software update installed in their vehicle. NHTSA believes there is 
a high likelihood that many affected vehicles will be remedied with 
this action due to the vehicle age.
    After thoroughly assessing the material submitted by the 
petitioner, information already in NHTSA's possession, information 
submitted by Volkswagen in response to an information request, and the 
potential risks to safety implicated by the petitioner's allegation, 
NHTSA does not believe that the stalling condition alleged by the 
petitioner indicates the likelihood of a safety related defect that 
would warrant a formal investigation. After full consideration of the 
potential for finding a safety related defect and in view of NHTSA's 
enforcement priorities, the petition is denied.

Jeffrey Mark Giuseppe,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2020-14157 Filed 6-30-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P