Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 80225-80227 [2020-27258]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 239 / Friday, December 11, 2020 / Notices name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Under 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its processes. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/ privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. Issued in Washington, DC. John Karl Alexy, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–27269 Filed 12–10–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket Number FRA–2020–0090] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal System Under part 235 of title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and 49 U.S.C. 20502(a), this document provides the public notice that on November 19, 2020, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) seeking approval to discontinue or modify a signal system. FRA assigned the petition Docket Number FRA–2020– 0090. Applicant: National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Nicholas J. Croce III, PE, Deputy Chief Engineer, C&S, 2995 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Specifically, Amtrak requests permission to convert approximately 3 miles of its cab signal and fixed automatic block signal system to a signal system having cab signals without fixed automatic block signals, operated under NORAC Rule 562, on Amtrak’s Mid-Atlantic Division, Main Line Philadelphia to Washington, Northeast Corridor, between Bush interlocking located at milepost (MP) 71.6, in Perryman, Maryland, and Wood interlocking located at MP 75.3, in Edgewood, Maryland. Amtrak is the owner and operator of this line. Maryland Area Regional Commuter Train Service and Norfolk Southern Railway operate on portions of this line as tenants with trackage rights. Both have concurred with the application. VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:25 Dec 10, 2020 Jkt 253001 The changes proposed are to remove the wayside signals on Tracks No. 2 and No. 3 at automatic block points 733 and 744. Both locations will remain in service as a block point without wayside signals. The reason for removal of the signals is to eliminate maintenance and operation of unnecessary hardware and to reduce delays to trains caused by failures of the signals. A copy of the petition, as well as any written communications concerning the petition, is available for review online at www.regulations.gov. Interested parties are invited to participate in these proceedings by submitting written views, data, or comments. FRA does not anticipate scheduling a public hearing in connection with these proceedings since the facts do not appear to warrant a hearing. If any interested parties desire an opportunity for oral comment and a public hearing, they should notify FRA, in writing, before the end of the comment period and specify the basis for their request. All communications concerning these proceedings should identify the appropriate docket number and may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Website: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Operations Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Communications received by January 25, 2021 will be considered by FRA before final action is taken. Comments received after that date will be considered if practicable. Anyone can search the electronic form of any written communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). Under 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its processes. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL– 14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.transportation.gov/privacy. See also https://www.regulations.gov/ PO 00000 Frm 00236 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 80225 privacyNotice for the privacy notice of regulations.gov. Issued in Washington, DC. John Karl Alexy, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety,Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–27268 Filed 12–10–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2020–0091; Notice 1] Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Receipt of petition. AGENCY: Mercedes-Benz AG (‘‘MBAG’’) and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, (‘‘MBUSA’’) (collectively, ‘‘Mercedes-Benz’’) have determined that certain model year (MY) 2019–2021 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems. Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance report dated August 14, 2020. MercedesBenz subsequently petitioned NHTSA on September 4, 2020, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of Mercedes-Benz’s petition. DATES: Send comments on or before January 11, 2021. 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 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\11DEN1.SGM 11DEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 80226 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 239 / Friday, December 11, 2020 / Notices 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 petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision 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 docket. 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 has determined that certain MY 2019–2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, CLA-Class, GLA-Class, and GLB-Class motor vehicles do not fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems (49 CFR 571.135). MercedesBenz filed a noncompliance report dated August 14, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Mercedes-Benz subsequently petitioned NHTSA on September 4, 2020, for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:25 Dec 10, 2020 Jkt 253001 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 MercedesBenz’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. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 56,223 of the following MY 2019–2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, CLA-Class, GLA-Class, and GLB-Class motor vehicles, manufactured between October 8, 2018, and July 27, 2020, are potentially involved: • 2020 Mercedes-Benz A35 AMG • 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG • 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 • 2019–2020 Mercedes-Benz A220 • 2020–2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 • 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG • 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG • 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA35 AMG • 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 III. Noncompliance: Mercedes-Benz explains that the noncompliance is that the subject vehicles are not equipped with an acoustic or optical device that warns the driver when the rear brake lining requires replacement, and therefore, does not meet the requirements specified in paragraph S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 135. Specifically, the subject vehicles do not have an electrical sensor to measure the thickness of the rear brake pads. IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 135 includes the requirements relevant to this petition. The wear condition of all service brakes shall be indicated by either acoustic or optical devices warning the driver at his or her driving position when lining replacement is necessary or by way of visually checking the degree of brake lining wear, from the outside or underside of the vehicle, utilizing only the tools or equipment normally supplied with the vehicle. The removal of wheels is permitted for this purpose. V. Summary of Mercedes-Benz’s Petition: The following views and arguments presented in this section, ‘‘V. Summary of Mercedes-Benz’s Petition’’, are the views and arguments provided by Mercedes-Benz. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Mercedes-Benz described the subject noncompliance and stated their belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. PO 00000 Frm 00237 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In support of its petition, MercedesBenz submitted the following reasoning: 1. In the affected vehicles, the front service brakes use an electrical brake pad sensor to monitor the thickness of the front brake pads. Once the front brakes reach a thickness of 1⁄8 inch or 3 mm, a warning lamp will automatically display in the instrument cluster and will remain permanently illuminated until the vehicle is serviced. In addition, the message appears in the instrument cluster and communicates the brake pad wear status to the driver. 2. The brake warning indicator and invehicle message will display at each ignition cycle until the brake pads are replaced. The warning lamp cannot be extinguished unless new brake pads are installed. While the driver could manually extinguish the warning message, it will automatically reappear at each ignition cycle. 3. Depending on the vehicle platform, the brake force distribution is in a range of 71.9%–75.5% (front)/28.1%–24.5% (rear). This means that between nearly 72% to more than 75% of the vehicle’s braking force is generated by the front brake pads. Because of the brake force distribution, the front brake pads will always initially wear out faster than the brake pads on the rear wheels. Indeed, the front brake pads will then continue to wear out at a faster pace than the rear brake pads, approximately 1 1⁄2 to 2 times more frequently depending on the operator’s driving style. 4. Once the front brake pads reach a thickness of approximately 3 mm, both the warning lamp and the warning message are automatically triggered, and the consumer is advised to visit the workshop to have the front brake pads replaced. Any time one set of brake pads is inspected at a MercedesBenz workshop, the standard work instructions direct the technician to also inspect and evaluate the status of all other sets of brake pads. (This inspection is carried out visually with the tire and wheel on the vehicle. In exceptional circumstances, the technician may need to remove the wheel to conduct the inspection and measurement. The technician does not use the gauge tool discussed in this petition in either scenario.) The workshop instructions provide that the technician is to assess the remaining braking distance for each axle based on the thickness of the brake pad that is most heavily worn. If the remaining thickness of the brake pads is not sufficient to make it to the next service interval, the customer will be advised to replace the brake pads. However, if the wear limit has already been reached, the technician will automatically replace the brake pads. Thus, at every Mercedes-Benz workshop visit, all four sets of brake pads will be inspected for wear. The customer will be advised of the remaining thickness and individual brake pads are replaced automatically if needed. Because the front brakes wear faster than the rear due to the brake force distribution, the vehicle’s rear brakes will be inspected by a trained professional technician a number of times before they ever need to be replaced. 5. Even if the vehicle were taken to an independent repair facility that did not follow Mercedes-Benz’s comprehensive brake E:\FR\FM\11DEN1.SGM 11DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 239 / Friday, December 11, 2020 / Notices pad inspection protocols, there is not an increased safety risk due to the vehicle being operated with worn rear brake pads. In the worst case, if a vehicle with fully worn brake pads on the rear axle continued to operate, given the brake force distribution and the performance of the rear brakes, the vehicle would continue to meet the braking distance requirement of FMVSS No. 135. Furthermore, the brakes on the rear axle will continue to operate, even with completely worn rear brake pads, the driver will hear the unmistakable sound of metal being pressed against the brake discs. Moreover, the ABS and ESC functionality is not affected by worn rear brake pads and will continue to function normally, as needed. 6. Mercedes-Benz is not aware of any reports or complaints about the issue from the field and it has corrected the condition in production. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Mercedes-Benz 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 this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that Mercedes-Benz no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve vehicle distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after 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. 2020–27258 Filed 12–10–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:25 Dec 10, 2020 Jkt 253001 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Renewal; Comment Request; Renewal Without Change of Administrative Rulings Regulations Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Treasury. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, FinCEN invites comments on the proposed renewal, without change, of a currently approved information collection found in existing Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations. Specifically, the regulations provide procedures for requestors to seek, and for FinCEN to issue, administrative rulings. This request for comments is made pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Written comments are welcome and must be received on or before February 9, 2021. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: • Federal E-rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Refer to Docket Number FINCEN–2020– 0017 and the specific Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1506–0050. • Mail: Policy Division, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183. Refer to Docket Number FINCEN–2020–0017 and OMB control number 1506–0050. Please submit comments by one method only. Comments will also be incorporated into FinCEN’s review of existing regulations, as provided by Treasury’s 2011 Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules. All comments submitted in response to this notice will become a matter of public record. Therefore, you should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The FinCEN Regulatory Support Section at 1–800–767–2825 or electronically at frc@fincen.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Statutory and Regulatory Provisions The legislative framework generally referred to as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) consists of the Currency and Financial Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, as amended by the Uniting and PO 00000 Frm 00238 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 80227 Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) (Pub. L. 107–56) and other legislation. The BSA is codified at 12 U.S.C. 1829b, 12 U.S.C. 1951–1959, 31 U.S.C. 5311–5314 and 5316–5332, and notes thereto, with implementing regulations at 31 CFR Chapter X. The BSA authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, inter alia, to require financial institutions to keep records and file reports that are determined to have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, and regulatory matters, or in the conduct of intelligence or counter-intelligence activities to protect against international terrorism, and to implement anti-money laundering (AML) programs and compliance procedures.1 Regulations implementing the BSA appear at 31 CFR Chapter X. The authority of the Secretary to administer the BSA has been delegated to the Director of FinCEN.2 A FinCEN administrative ruling is a written ruling interpreting the relationship between the regulations implementing the BSA at 31 CFR Chapter X and each situation for which such a ruling has been requested in conformity with the regulatory requirements.3 The regulations implementing the procedures for requestors to submit, and for FinCEN to issue, administrative rulings appear in Part 1010, Subpart G—Administrative Rulings. Specifically, the regulations address the following: (a) How to submit a request for an administrative ruling (31 CFR 1010.711); (b) treatment of nonconforming requests (31 CFR 1010.712); (c) treatment of oral communications (31 CFR 1010.713); (d) withdrawal of administrative ruling requests (31 CFR 1010.714); (e) issuance of administrative rulings (31 CFR 1010.715); (e) modification and rescission of administrative rulings (31 CFR 1010.716); and (f) disclosure of administrative ruling (31 CFR 1010.717). An administrative ruling has precedential value, and may be relied upon by others similarly situated, only if FinCEN makes them available to the public through publication on the FinCEN website or other appropriate forum.4 1 Section 358 of the USA PATRIOT Act added language expanding the scope of the BSA to intelligence or counter-intelligence activities to protect against international terrorism. 2 Treasury Order 180–01 (re-affirmed Jan. 14, 2020). 3 See 31 CFR 1010.715. 4 Id. FinCEN’s administrative rulings are collected on the FinCEN website at the following address: E:\FR\FM\11DEN1.SGM Continued 11DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 239 (Friday, December 11, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 80225-80227]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27258]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2020-0091; Notice 1]


Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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

SUMMARY: Mercedes-Benz AG (``MBAG'') and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, 
(``MBUSA'') (collectively, ``Mercedes-Benz'') have determined that 
certain model year (MY) 2019-2021 Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles do not 
fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems. Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance 
report dated August 14, 2020. Mercedes-Benz subsequently petitioned 
NHTSA on September 4, 2020, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. 
This notice announces receipt of Mercedes-Benz's petition.

DATES: Send comments on or before January 11, 2021.

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 
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

[[Page 80226]]

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 petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision 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 docket. 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 has determined 
that certain MY 2019-2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, CLA-Class, GLA-Class, 
and GLB-Class motor vehicles do not fully comply with the requirements 
of paragraph S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems (49 
CFR 571.135). Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance report dated August 
14, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports. Mercedes-Benz subsequently petitioned NHTSA 
on September 4, 2020, 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 Mercedes-Benz'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. Vehicles Involved: Approximately 56,223 of the following MY 
2019-2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, CLA-Class, GLA-Class, and GLB-Class 
motor vehicles, manufactured between October 8, 2018, and July 27, 
2020, are potentially involved:

 2020 Mercedes-Benz A35 AMG
 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG
 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250
 2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz A220
 2020-2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA250
 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA35 AMG
 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG
 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA35 AMG
 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250
    III. Noncompliance: Mercedes-Benz explains that the noncompliance 
is that the subject vehicles are not equipped with an acoustic or 
optical device that warns the driver when the rear brake lining 
requires replacement, and therefore, does not meet the requirements 
specified in paragraph S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 135. Specifically, the 
subject vehicles do not have an electrical sensor to measure the 
thickness of the rear brake pads.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.1.2 of FMVSS No. 135 includes 
the requirements relevant to this petition. The wear condition of all 
service brakes shall be indicated by either acoustic or optical devices 
warning the driver at his or her driving position when lining 
replacement is necessary or by way of visually checking the degree of 
brake lining wear, from the outside or underside of the vehicle, 
utilizing only the tools or equipment normally supplied with the 
vehicle. The removal of wheels is permitted for this purpose.
    V. Summary of Mercedes-Benz's Petition: The following views and 
arguments presented in this section, ``V. Summary of Mercedes-Benz's 
Petition'', are the views and arguments provided by Mercedes-Benz. They 
have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of 
the Agency. Mercedes-Benz 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, Mercedes-Benz submitted the following 
reasoning:

    1. In the affected vehicles, the front service brakes use an 
electrical brake pad sensor to monitor the thickness of the front 
brake pads. Once the front brakes reach a thickness of \1/8\ inch or 
3 mm, a warning lamp will automatically display in the instrument 
cluster and will remain permanently illuminated until the vehicle is 
serviced. In addition, the message appears in the instrument cluster 
and communicates the brake pad wear status to the driver.
    2. The brake warning indicator and in-vehicle message will 
display at each ignition cycle until the brake pads are replaced. 
The warning lamp cannot be extinguished unless new brake pads are 
installed. While the driver could manually extinguish the warning 
message, it will automatically reappear at each ignition cycle.
    3. Depending on the vehicle platform, the brake force 
distribution is in a range of 71.9%-75.5% (front)/28.1%-24.5% 
(rear). This means that between nearly 72% to more than 75% of the 
vehicle's braking force is generated by the front brake pads. 
Because of the brake force distribution, the front brake pads will 
always initially wear out faster than the brake pads on the rear 
wheels. Indeed, the front brake pads will then continue to wear out 
at a faster pace than the rear brake pads, approximately 1 \1/2\ to 
2 times more frequently depending on the operator's driving style.
    4. Once the front brake pads reach a thickness of approximately 
3 mm, both the warning lamp and the warning message are 
automatically triggered, and the consumer is advised to visit the 
workshop to have the front brake pads replaced. Any time one set of 
brake pads is inspected at a Mercedes-Benz workshop, the standard 
work instructions direct the technician to also inspect and evaluate 
the status of all other sets of brake pads. (This inspection is 
carried out visually with the tire and wheel on the vehicle. In 
exceptional circumstances, the technician may need to remove the 
wheel to conduct the inspection and measurement. The technician does 
not use the gauge tool discussed in this petition in either 
scenario.) The workshop instructions provide that the technician is 
to assess the remaining braking distance for each axle based on the 
thickness of the brake pad that is most heavily worn. If the 
remaining thickness of the brake pads is not sufficient to make it 
to the next service interval, the customer will be advised to 
replace the brake pads. However, if the wear limit has already been 
reached, the technician will automatically replace the brake pads. 
Thus, at every Mercedes-Benz workshop visit, all four sets of brake 
pads will be inspected for wear. The customer will be advised of the 
remaining thickness and individual brake pads are replaced 
automatically if needed. Because the front brakes wear faster than 
the rear due to the brake force distribution, the vehicle's rear 
brakes will be inspected by a trained professional technician a 
number of times before they ever need to be replaced.
    5. Even if the vehicle were taken to an independent repair 
facility that did not follow Mercedes-Benz's comprehensive brake

[[Page 80227]]

pad inspection protocols, there is not an increased safety risk due 
to the vehicle being operated with worn rear brake pads. In the 
worst case, if a vehicle with fully worn brake pads on the rear axle 
continued to operate, given the brake force distribution and the 
performance of the rear brakes, the vehicle would continue to meet 
the braking distance requirement of FMVSS No. 135. Furthermore, the 
brakes on the rear axle will continue to operate, even with 
completely worn rear brake pads, the driver will hear the 
unmistakable sound of metal being pressed against the brake discs. 
Moreover, the ABS and ESC functionality is not affected by worn rear 
brake pads and will continue to function normally, as needed.
    6. Mercedes-Benz is not aware of any reports or complaints about 
the issue from the field and it has corrected the condition in 
production.

    Mercedes-Benz 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 
this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that Mercedes-Benz 
no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance 
existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve 
vehicle distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer 
for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after 
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. 2020-27258 Filed 12-10-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P