Toyota Motor North America, Inc., Receipt of Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 15549-15551 [2021-05921]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 54 / Tuesday, March 23, 2021 / Notices no risk of brake system failure due to pressure loss. Testing also shows there is no meaningful effect on vehicle braking performance built with the noncompliant brake hose assemblies. 2. FCA claims that the Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis vehicle achieves no more than 2,500 pounds per square inch (PSI) in the brake hose assemblies when performing FMVSS No. 105 testing for stopping distance. FMVSS No. 106 specifies a minimum burst strength requirement of 7,000 PSI for brake hoses of 1/8″ or smaller diameter. (The subject brake hoses have a diameter of 1/8″.) The FCA internal specification requires the supplier to perform burst testing daily, and the minimum requirement that all hose assemblies must meet is 9,000 PSI under the FMVSS No. 106 test conditions. The brake hose assemblies containing an out of specification orifice all surpassed the requirement and showed no difference from those containing a compliant orifice. 3. FCA believes that the viscosity of brake fluid at colder temperatures increases, thus, the flow rate of brake fluid will be reduced at colder temperatures, making cold temperature testing the worst-case scenario. The Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis vehicle brake hose assemblies containing an out of specification orifice and those with a compliant orifice were tested for flow at ambient and at cold temperature. The cold temperature test included an overnight soak at ¥30° C. The test was conducted using a panic brake application of 500 Newtons in 0.5 seconds per FMVSS No. 105 pedal force requirements and then held for an additional 5 seconds to ensure fluid flow to the wheel end. The compliant and noncompliant brake hose assemblies showed no meaningful difference in the time they each took to reach 50 bar and 100 bar at either ambient or cold. 4. FCA tested the Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis vehicle for stopping distance according to FMVSS No. 105 testing procedures for vehicles over 10,000 pounds (‘‘lbs.’’) Gross Vehicle Weight, which is the worst-case scenario. The test was conducted on a vehicle that was slowed from a speed of 60 mph with a maximum pedal effort of 150 lbs. to determine if it could meet the required stopping distance requirements. The test was conducted six times, and FCA focused on second effectiveness and third effectiveness results. The best distance was used to calculate the Best Stop Percentage Margin. The test results showed no meaningful difference between the second effectiveness and the third effectiveness government specifications VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Mar 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 or the more stringent FCA internal stopping requirements between a brake hose with an out of specification orifice and a brake hose with a compliant orifice. FCA completed two tests with brake hose assemblies with compliant orifice sizes and one test with the subject out of specification orifice size. 5. FCA is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or customer complaints associated with the condition. FCA concludes by again contending 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, be granted. FCA’s complete petition and all supporting documents, including details of test results, 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. 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 and equipment that FCA 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 and equipment under their control after FCA 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. 2021–05922 Filed 3–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15549 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2020–0036; Notice 1] Toyota Motor North America, Inc., Receipt of Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Receipt of petitions. AGENCY: Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) on behalf of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) (collectively referred to as ‘‘Toyota’’) has determined that certain replacement seat belt assemblies manufactured by Tokai Rika Mexico and Joyson Safety Systems and sold to Toyota dealerships as replacement equipment do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. Toyota filed two noncompliance reports, both dated May 4, 2020. Toyota subsequently submitted two petitions to NHTSA both dated May 28, 2020, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of Toyota’s petition. DATES: Send comments on or before April 22, 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 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23MRN1.SGM 23MRN1 15550 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 54 / Tuesday, March 23, 2021 / Notices 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 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: Toyota has determined that certain replacement seat belt assemblies manufactured by Tokai Rika Mexico and Joyson Safety Systems and sold to Toyota dealerships as replacement equipment do not fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S4.1(k) and (l) of FMVSS No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies (49 CFR 571.209). Toyota filed two noncompliance reports both dated May 4, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Toyota subsequently submitted two petitions to NHTSA both dated May 28, 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Mar 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 This notice of receipt of Toyota’s 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. Equipment Involved: Approximately 37 Tokai Rika Mexico replacement seat belt assemblies manufactured between March 1, 2019, and April 15, 2020, and approximately 97,550 Joyson Safety Systems replacement seat belt assemblies manufactured between July 18, 1997, and February 25, 2020, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance: Toyota explains that the noncompliance involves seatbelt assemblies sourced to Toyota dealerships by Tokai Rika Mexico and Joyson Safety Systems for use or subsequent resale to dealership customers as replacement equipment. Specifically, certain replacement seat belt assemblies were sold with missing or incorrect ‘‘Installation instructions’’ and ‘‘Usage and maintenance instructions’’ and therefore, do not meet all applicable requirements specified in paragraph S4.1(k) and (l) of FMVSS No. 209. IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S4.1(k) and (l) of FMVSS No. 209 include the requirements relevant to this petition. A seat belt assembly, other than a seat belt assembly installed in a motor vehicle by an automobile manufacturer, shall be accompanied by an instruction sheet providing sufficient information for installing the assembly in a motor vehicle. A seat belt assembly or retractor shall be accompanied by written instructions for the proper use of the assembly, stressing particularly the importance of wearing the assembly snugly and properly located on the body, and on the maintenance of the assembly and periodic inspection of all components. V. Summary of Toyota’s Petition: The following views and arguments presented in this section, V. Summary of Toyota’s Petition, are the views and arguments provided by Toyota. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Toyota 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, Toyota submitted the following reasoning: 1. The subject seat belt assemblies were sold only by Toyota dealerships. Due to the dealerships’ replacement parts ordering system and the parts packaging, improper replacement seat PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 belt assembly selection would not likely occur. Toyota stated that it is unlikely that the subject replacement seat belt assemblies would be selected for an incorrect seating position as a result of this issue. The subject assemblies were only sold by Toyota dealerships. The parts ordering system clearly indicates the part and enables identification of the appropriate model vehicle and seating position for which the assembly is intended to be installed. When selecting a replacement part, the dealerships can search by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), part number, and vehicle model. They can also see a diagram of the part location via the Electronic Parts Catalog. In addition, the part can be identified by the label on the box and the old part can be compared to the new part. The label on the box in which the replacement seat belt is packaged specifies the part number and part description. Because of the Toyota dealerships’ robust part ordering system and the additional label on the box, it is unlikely that an incorrect seat belt would be provided or used as a replacement part. The missing instruction sheet has no effect on a dealership’s ability to provide the correct replacement part ordered or on the installer’s ability to correctly identify the appropriate replacement part. 2. The improper installation of the seat belt assembly is unlikely. Dealership technicians and third-party installers can access Toyota’s electronic repair manual and other aftermarket manuals. It is unlikely that an improper installation of a replacement seat belt would occur as a result of a missing instruction sheet. First, if the instruction sheet is missing from the box, the installer would likely obtain the correct installation information from a different source or would return the part to the dealer. Second, after identifying that the part does not have the installation instruction sheet, the installer could return the part to the dealer, request the installation instructions from the dealer, or consult other sources of installation instructions that are readily available. Technicians at Toyota dealerships have access to Toyota’s electronic repair manual. Third-party installers have access to various aftermarket repair manuals and can obtain access to Toyota’s electronic repair manual. Finally, the installer can also request a copy of the installation instructions from Toyota; and it would be provided free of charge. E:\FR\FM\23MRN1.SGM 23MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 54 / Tuesday, March 23, 2021 / Notices Third, the subject assemblies themselves have characteristics that discourage incorrect installation. Because the subject seat belts are not universal type seat belts, they are intended to be used to replace specific seat belts in specific seating positions. Thus, the installation procedure is the reverse of part removal. Further, Toyota believes that it is unlikely that the subject seat belts can be installed properly in an incorrect seating position. All of the Tokai Rika Mexico seat belt assemblies are intended to be used as replacement equipment for the model year (MY) 2020 Corolla rear seat. Toyota determined that these seat belt assemblies cannot be properly installed in any of the other MY 2020 Corolla seating positions and are not used on any other Toyota or Lexus models. Concerning the Joyson Safety Systems seat belt assemblies, based on the audits Toyota conducted of the replacement seat belt assemblies in its parts distribution centers, Toyota identified 27 different replacement seat belt assembly models that had incorrect instruction sheets. While there could be other variations not identified in these audits, Toyota determined that the seat belt assemblies identified in these audits could not be properly installed in the location specified by the incorrect instruction sheet. In addition, the torque value for structurally mounting the seat belt assemblies is a standard value and is correct regardless of which instruction sheet is used (42Nm). Because these torque values are common, even if the technician uses the torque values from the wrong installation instruction sheet, the torque value will still be correct. For these reasons, it is unlikely that the subject seat belt assemblies would be improperly installed. 3. The replacement seat belt assemblies are intended to replace the original equipment seat belts. The owner’s manual for each vehicle contains the seat belt usage and maintenance instructions. It is unlikely that an improper use or maintenance of a replacement seat belt would occur as a result of a missing or incorrect instruction sheet. The affected seat belt assemblies are designed to replace the originally equipped seat belts in specific Toyota vehicles. All of the vehicle models for which these replacement seat belt assemblies were designed were originally equipped with an owner’s manual that contains usage and maintenance instructions for these seat belt assemblies. Thus, the vehicle owner has access to the usage and maintenance instructions and would not VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Mar 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 need to refer to the instruction sheet for this information. 4. The seat belts comply with all other requirements of FMVSS No. 209. The missing or incorrect instruction sheets have no bearing on the materials or performance of the replacement seat belt assembly itself. Thus, the assemblies continue to meet the other performance requirements specified in FMVSS No. 209. There is no impact to performance, functionality, or occupant safety. 5. Toyota is unaware of allegations of missing instruction sheets. Toyota has searched its records for allegations of missing instruction sheets concerning the subject replacement seat belt assemblies. As of April 23, 2020, no owner complaints, field reports, warranty claims, legal claims, or dealer technical assistance calls concerning the missing installation instruction sheets were found. 6. In similar situations, NHTSA has granted petitions for inconsequential noncompliance relating to the subject requirement of FMVSS No. 209. NHTSA has previously granted at least seven similar petitions for inconsequential noncompliance for missing or incorrect instruction sheets for certain replacement seat belt assemblies. These include: FCA US LLC (84 FR 20948, May 13, 2019); Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (77 FR 24762, April 25, 2012); Bentley Motors, Inc. (76 FR 58343, September 20, 2011); Hyundai Motor Company (74 FR 9125, March 2, 2009); Ford Motor Company, (73 FR 11462, March 3, 2008); Mazda North American Operations (73 FR 11464, March 3, 2008); and Subaru of America, Inc. (65 FR 67471, November 9, 2000). Toyota’s complete petition 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. Toyota 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 PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15551 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 equipment that Toyota no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant seat belt assemblies under their control after Toyota 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. 2021–05921 Filed 3–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [Docket ID OCC–2021–0004] Minority Depository Institutions Advisory Committee Department of the Treasury, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announces a meeting of the Minority Depository Institutions Advisory Committee (MDIAC). DATES: The OCC MDIAC will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, via webinar, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). ADDRESSES: The OCC will hold the April 13, 2021 meeting of the MDIAC via webinar. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Beverly Cole, Designated Federal Officer and Deputy Comptroller for the Northeastern District, (212) 790–4001, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 340 Madison Ave., Fifth Floor, New York, New York 10173. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By this notice, the OCC is announcing that the MDIAC will convene a meeting at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, via webinar. Agenda items will include current topics of interest to the industry. The purpose of the meeting is for the MDIAC to advise the OCC on steps the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23MRN1.SGM 23MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 54 (Tuesday, March 23, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15549-15551]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-05921]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2020-0036; Notice 1]


Toyota Motor North America, Inc., Receipt of Petitions for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petitions.

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

SUMMARY: Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) on behalf of Toyota 
Motor Corporation (TMC) (collectively referred to as ``Toyota'') has 
determined that certain replacement seat belt assemblies manufactured 
by Tokai Rika Mexico and Joyson Safety Systems and sold to Toyota 
dealerships as replacement equipment do not fully comply with Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies. 
Toyota filed two noncompliance reports, both dated May 4, 2020. Toyota 
subsequently submitted two petitions to NHTSA both dated May 28, 2020, 
for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of 
Toyota's petition.

DATES: Send comments on or before April 22, 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 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

[[Page 15550]]

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 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: Toyota has determined that certain replacement seat 
belt assemblies manufactured by Tokai Rika Mexico and Joyson Safety 
Systems and sold to Toyota dealerships as replacement equipment do not 
fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S4.1(k) and (l) of 
FMVSS No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies (49 CFR 571.209). Toyota filed two 
noncompliance reports both dated May 4, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 
573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Toyota 
subsequently submitted two petitions to NHTSA both dated May 28, 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 Toyota's 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. Equipment Involved: Approximately 37 Tokai Rika Mexico 
replacement seat belt assemblies manufactured between March 1, 2019, 
and April 15, 2020, and approximately 97,550 Joyson Safety Systems 
replacement seat belt assemblies manufactured between July 18, 1997, 
and February 25, 2020, are potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: Toyota explains that the noncompliance involves 
seatbelt assemblies sourced to Toyota dealerships by Tokai Rika Mexico 
and Joyson Safety Systems for use or subsequent resale to dealership 
customers as replacement equipment. Specifically, certain replacement 
seat belt assemblies were sold with missing or incorrect ``Installation 
instructions'' and ``Usage and maintenance instructions'' and 
therefore, do not meet all applicable requirements specified in 
paragraph S4.1(k) and (l) of FMVSS No. 209.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S4.1(k) and (l) of FMVSS No. 209 
include the requirements relevant to this petition. A seat belt 
assembly, other than a seat belt assembly installed in a motor vehicle 
by an automobile manufacturer, shall be accompanied by an instruction 
sheet providing sufficient information for installing the assembly in a 
motor vehicle. A seat belt assembly or retractor shall be accompanied 
by written instructions for the proper use of the assembly, stressing 
particularly the importance of wearing the assembly snugly and properly 
located on the body, and on the maintenance of the assembly and 
periodic inspection of all components.
    V. Summary of Toyota's Petition: The following views and arguments 
presented in this section, V. Summary of Toyota's Petition, are the 
views and arguments provided by Toyota. They have not been evaluated by 
the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Toyota 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, Toyota submitted the following 
reasoning:
    1. The subject seat belt assemblies were sold only by Toyota 
dealerships. Due to the dealerships' replacement parts ordering system 
and the parts packaging, improper replacement seat belt assembly 
selection would not likely occur.
    Toyota stated that it is unlikely that the subject replacement seat 
belt assemblies would be selected for an incorrect seating position as 
a result of this issue. The subject assemblies were only sold by Toyota 
dealerships. The parts ordering system clearly indicates the part and 
enables identification of the appropriate model vehicle and seating 
position for which the assembly is intended to be installed. When 
selecting a replacement part, the dealerships can search by Vehicle 
Identification Number (VIN), part number, and vehicle model. They can 
also see a diagram of the part location via the Electronic Parts 
Catalog. In addition, the part can be identified by the label on the 
box and the old part can be compared to the new part. The label on the 
box in which the replacement seat belt is packaged specifies the part 
number and part description.
    Because of the Toyota dealerships' robust part ordering system and 
the additional label on the box, it is unlikely that an incorrect seat 
belt would be provided or used as a replacement part. The missing 
instruction sheet has no effect on a dealership's ability to provide 
the correct replacement part ordered or on the installer's ability to 
correctly identify the appropriate replacement part.
    2. The improper installation of the seat belt assembly is unlikely. 
Dealership technicians and third-party installers can access Toyota's 
electronic repair manual and other aftermarket manuals.
    It is unlikely that an improper installation of a replacement seat 
belt would occur as a result of a missing instruction sheet. First, if 
the instruction sheet is missing from the box, the installer would 
likely obtain the correct installation information from a different 
source or would return the part to the dealer.
    Second, after identifying that the part does not have the 
installation instruction sheet, the installer could return the part to 
the dealer, request the installation instructions from the dealer, or 
consult other sources of installation instructions that are readily 
available. Technicians at Toyota dealerships have access to Toyota's 
electronic repair manual. Third-party installers have access to various 
aftermarket repair manuals and can obtain access to Toyota's electronic 
repair manual. Finally, the installer can also request a copy of the 
installation instructions from Toyota; and it would be provided free of 
charge.

[[Page 15551]]

    Third, the subject assemblies themselves have characteristics that 
discourage incorrect installation. Because the subject seat belts are 
not universal type seat belts, they are intended to be used to replace 
specific seat belts in specific seating positions. Thus, the 
installation procedure is the reverse of part removal. Further, Toyota 
believes that it is unlikely that the subject seat belts can be 
installed properly in an incorrect seating position.
    All of the Tokai Rika Mexico seat belt assemblies are intended to 
be used as replacement equipment for the model year (MY) 2020 Corolla 
rear seat. Toyota determined that these seat belt assemblies cannot be 
properly installed in any of the other MY 2020 Corolla seating 
positions and are not used on any other Toyota or Lexus models.
    Concerning the Joyson Safety Systems seat belt assemblies, based on 
the audits Toyota conducted of the replacement seat belt assemblies in 
its parts distribution centers, Toyota identified 27 different 
replacement seat belt assembly models that had incorrect instruction 
sheets. While there could be other variations not identified in these 
audits, Toyota determined that the seat belt assemblies identified in 
these audits could not be properly installed in the location specified 
by the incorrect instruction sheet. In addition, the torque value for 
structurally mounting the seat belt assemblies is a standard value and 
is correct regardless of which instruction sheet is used (42Nm). 
Because these torque values are common, even if the technician uses the 
torque values from the wrong installation instruction sheet, the torque 
value will still be correct.
    For these reasons, it is unlikely that the subject seat belt 
assemblies would be improperly installed.
    3. The replacement seat belt assemblies are intended to replace the 
original equipment seat belts. The owner's manual for each vehicle 
contains the seat belt usage and maintenance instructions.
    It is unlikely that an improper use or maintenance of a replacement 
seat belt would occur as a result of a missing or incorrect instruction 
sheet. The affected seat belt assemblies are designed to replace the 
originally equipped seat belts in specific Toyota vehicles. All of the 
vehicle models for which these replacement seat belt assemblies were 
designed were originally equipped with an owner's manual that contains 
usage and maintenance instructions for these seat belt assemblies. 
Thus, the vehicle owner has access to the usage and maintenance 
instructions and would not need to refer to the instruction sheet for 
this information.
    4. The seat belts comply with all other requirements of FMVSS No. 
209.
    The missing or incorrect instruction sheets have no bearing on the 
materials or performance of the replacement seat belt assembly itself. 
Thus, the assemblies continue to meet the other performance 
requirements specified in FMVSS No. 209. There is no impact to 
performance, functionality, or occupant safety.
    5. Toyota is unaware of allegations of missing instruction sheets.
    Toyota has searched its records for allegations of missing 
instruction sheets concerning the subject replacement seat belt 
assemblies. As of April 23, 2020, no owner complaints, field reports, 
warranty claims, legal claims, or dealer technical assistance calls 
concerning the missing installation instruction sheets were found.
    6. In similar situations, NHTSA has granted petitions for 
inconsequential noncompliance relating to the subject requirement of 
FMVSS No. 209.
    NHTSA has previously granted at least seven similar petitions for 
inconsequential noncompliance for missing or incorrect instruction 
sheets for certain replacement seat belt assemblies. These include: FCA 
US LLC (84 FR 20948, May 13, 2019); Mitsubishi Motors North America, 
Inc., (77 FR 24762, April 25, 2012); Bentley Motors, Inc. (76 FR 58343, 
September 20, 2011); Hyundai Motor Company (74 FR 9125, March 2, 2009); 
Ford Motor Company, (73 FR 11462, March 3, 2008); Mazda North American 
Operations (73 FR 11464, March 3, 2008); and Subaru of America, Inc. 
(65 FR 67471, November 9, 2000).
    Toyota's complete petition 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.
    Toyota 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 equipment that Toyota no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment 
distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for 
sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant seat belt assemblies under their control 
after Toyota 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. 2021-05921 Filed 3-22-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P