Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 21792-21794 [2021-08453]

Download as PDF 21792 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 77 / Friday, April 23, 2021 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES and the engine is off. Further, the vehicle cannot be restarted unless the ignition is switched out of ‘‘ACC’’ at which point the shift position indicator would reset and show the correct position.’’ (Id.) FCA US cited the Agency as agreeing with Nissan, that under these ‘‘rare’’ circumstances, ‘‘the noncompliance poses little if any risk to motor vehicle safety.’’ FCA US says that similar to Nissan’s case, in the Charger Pursuit vehicles, the inaccurate transmission shift position display occurs only when a specific set of conditions are present after the operator intentionally activates Surveillance Mode. The inaccurate transmission shift position display returns to the correct position immediately upon pressing the brake, opening the driver’s door, shifting the transmission, or pressing the Surveillance Mode switch. Importantly, the vehicle cannot be operated in the noncompliant condition. b. FMVSS No. 118 When the OPP module is in Surveillance Mode, detection of a presence at the rear of the vehicle will initiate automatic window closure of the driver and passenger front windows. While closing, the power-operated windows will stop when an obstruction is detected, however, they will not reverse direction. Removal of the reverse direction feature was a conscious design decision made by the creator of the OPP module, InterMotive, to facilitate the purpose of the module— the safety and protection of law enforcement officers. FCA US says that the regulatory history of the standard confirms that the primary concern is the risk to children. FCA US cited the Agency as saying, ‘‘The Agency’s experience is that children are the group of people most likely at risk from inadvertent or unsupervised operation of power windows.’’ See 57 FR 23958 (June 5, 1992). FCA US believes that given the police surveillance circumstances in which this noncompliance would manifest, children are highly unlikely to be present in the motor vehicle. FCA US says that NHTSA has previously granted a petition for a determination of inconsequential noncompliance based on an analysis of whether children were likely to be present in the front seat of the noncompliant delivery trucks. FCA US cited the Agency as saying, ‘‘NHTSA agrees that, given the nature and intended use of the subject vocational vehicles, it would be unlikely for children to be placed in the front passenger seating area.’’ See 81 FR 87654–87656 (December 5, 2016). FCA US believes this purpose can be fulfilled VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 while also protecting law enforcement officers. FCA US contends that successful activation of Surveillance Mode requires a specific set of conditions. Not only must the vehicle be in the RUN position, in PARK, with the doors closed and no application of the service brake, the driver must choose to activate the Surveillance Mode. When Surveillance Mode is activated, the backup camera view will be displayed on the radio head unit. This is an immediate visual cue that the OPP module is in Surveillance Mode. It is unlikely that Surveillance Mode would be inadvertently activated, and even if it were, it is easily recognizable. Deactivation of Surveillance Mode is easily achieved. It is much more likely that Surveillance Mode can be inadvertently deactivated rather than inadvertently activated. Switching the vehicle ignition to the OFF position, opening the driver door, pressing the service brake, shifting the transmission out of PARK, or pressing the Surveillance Mode switch immediately restores normal vehicle functionality, including reverse direction functionality of the driver and passenger front power windows. Surveillance Mode cannot be latched on from key cycle to key cycle, as a requirement for Surveillance Mode is the ignition in the RUN position. Again, switching the vehicle ignition to OFF deactivates Surveillance Mode. Purchasers of Charger Pursuit vehicles who request the OPP module are law enforcement agencies. Officers of such law enforcement agencies are highly trained and sophisticated vehicle operators. Law enforcement personnel use vehicles much differently than the average vehicle owner, and are accustomed to, if not expect, unique vehicle attributes while engaged in law enforcement duties. The OPP module is a ‘‘plug and play’’ module that can be easily removed when and if the law enforcement agency sells the vehicle into the civilian market. FCA US acknowledges, however, that the law enforcement agencies cannot be required to remove the OPP module from the vehicle prior to such sale. Lastly, FCA US is not aware of any injuries, or customer complaints associated with the condition. FCA US 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 PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 FCA US 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 FCA US 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. 2021–08447 Filed 4–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2020–0116; 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, ‘‘MercedesBenz’’), have determined that certain model year (MY) 2020–2021 MercedesBenz GLE and GLS Class motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire Selection and Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer Load Carrying Capacity Information for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 pounds) or Less. Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance report dated October 30, 2020. Mercedes-Benz subsequently petitioned NHTSA on November 16, 2020, for a decision that the subject noncompliance SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 77 / Friday, April 23, 2021 / Notices is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of Mercedes-Benz’s petition. DATES: Send comments on or before May 24, 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 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 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). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kerrin Bressant, Compliance Engineer, NHTSA, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, (202) 366–1110. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview: Mercedes-Benz has determined that certain MY 2020–2021 GLE and GLS Class motor vehicles do not fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S4.3(c) of FMVSS No. 110, Tire Selection and Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer Load Carrying Capacity Information for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 pounds) or Less (49 CFR 571.110). Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance report dated October 30, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. MercedesBenz subsequently petitioned NHTSA on November 16, 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 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 22,439 MY 2020–2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE350, GLE450, GLE580, GLS450, and GLS580 motor vehicles, manufactured between July 7, 2018, and October 16, 2020, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance: Mercedes-Benz explains that the noncompliance is that the subject vehicles are equipped with a vehicle placard affixed to the driver’s side B-pillar of the vehicle that erroneously overstates maximum permissible cold tire pressure and therefore, does not fully meet the requirements specified in paragraph S4.3(c) of FMVSS No. 110. Specifically, the vehicle placard overstates the maximum permissible cold tire pressure PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 21793 as 320 kPa, when it should state a maximum cold tire pressure of 300 kPa. IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S4.3(c) of FMVSS No. 110 includes the requirements relevant to this petition. Each vehicle, except for a trailer or incomplete vehicle, shall show the information specified in S4.3(a) through (g), and may show, at the manufacturer’s option, the information specified in S4.3(h) and (i), on a placard permanently affixed to the driver’s side B-pillar. This information shall be in the English language and conform in color and format, not including the border surrounding the entire placard, as shown in the example set forth in Figure 1 in this standard. At the manufacturer’s option, the information specified in S4.3 (c), (d), and, as appropriate, (h) and (i) may be shown, alternatively to being shown on the placard, on a tire inflation pressure label which must conform in color and format, not including the border surrounding the entire label, as shown in the example set forth in Figure 2 in this standard. 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 describes the subject noncompliance and contends that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, MercedesBenz submitted the following reasoning: 1. For the vehicles at issue in this petition, the placard lists the maximum tire inflation pressure as 320 kPa while the tire sidewall indicates that the maximum tire inflation pressure is 300 kPa. The tire pressure information located on the inside of the gas tank flap also indicates that the maximum tire pressure is 320 kPa. Mercedes-Benz asserts the difference in information between the tire sidewall and what is included on the vehicle and placard does not present any risk of overinflation since, per the tire manufacturer, the tires were actually designed to a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 kPa. 2. Mercedes-Benz claims there is no risk of tire overloading here, even if the consumer were to inflate the tires based on the 320 kPa inflation pressure listed on the placard or on the gas tank flap. The tire manufacturer in this instance, Michelin, has confirmed that the Primacy Tour A/S tires that are equipped on the subject vehicles are designed and manufactured to withstand a maximum tire pressure of E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 21794 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 77 / Friday, April 23, 2021 / Notices 350 kPa, which is even higher than what is listed on the placard or on the tire sidewall. The supplier has confirmed that there are no effects on vehicle performance and there would be no adverse safety consequences if the tires were inflated to the 320 kPa limit indicated on the placard or to the 300 kPa limit listed on the sidewall. Mercedes-Benz says the tires otherwise meet or exceed all applicable FMVSS performance requirements. 3. Mercedes-Benz contends that in similar situations when evaluating the effect of a noncompliance with FMVSS No. 110, the Agency has recognized that slight discrepancies in the listed tire pressure and deviations in the information listed in the placard do not have a consequential effect on motor vehicle safety. For example, the Agency granted a petition where the placards incorrectly identified the size of the tires installed on the vehicles. Mercedes-Benz says that the Agency reasoned that the noncompliance was inconsequential because, among other reasons, the tires installed on the vehicles are appropriate to handle the vehicle’s maximum loads when inflated to the maximum tire pressure. See Chrysler Group, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 78 FR 38443 (June 26, 2013). Mercedes-Benz claims that this has also been the Agency’s rationale when specific information was missing from the vehicle placard. See General Motors, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 84 FR 25117 (May 30, 2019) (‘‘vehicles are equipped with the appropriate matched spare tire and rim combination, and that when properly mounted on the subject vehicles, would allow the vehicles to be operated safely within the manufacturer’s specified performance and loading limits.’’) Further, Mercedes-Benz states, the Agency has recognized that the maximum tire inflation pressure indicated on the tire sidewall have somewhat limited safety value and that NHTSA ultimately decided to retain maximum inflation pressure labeling requirements simply ‘‘as an aid in preventing over-inflation.’’ See Grant of Petition of Michelin North America, 70 FR 10161 (March 2, 2005). 4. Mercedes-Benz asserts that there is no risk of over-inflation in this case because the tires have been designed and engineered to a higher maximum inflation pressure. The tires are sufficiently robust to accommodate the additional 20 kPa of pressure should the consumer rely on the information listed on the placard or under the gas tank flap. According to Mercedes-Benz, there VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 is also no risk of under pressurizing the tire if the consumer relied upon the value listed on the tire sidewall because 300 kPa is also a sufficient maximum pressure for the tires installed on these vehicles. Inflating the tires at either 300 kPa or 320 kPa is appropriate for the GVWR of the vehicle. Inflating the tires to the pressure listed on either the tire sidewall or the value listed on the placard would not impact the operation of the tire pressure monitoring system, and the vehicle’s load-carrying capacity would not be impacted or reduced if the tire is inflated to 320 kPa (up to 350 kPa) if the consumer followed the inflation level on the placard or under the gas tank flap. Overall, from a vehicle performance perspective, 20 kPa in tire pressure difference is of no consequence, particularly where, as here, there is no effect on vehicle performance or load capacity. 5. Mercedes-Benz says that owners may seek guidance on the appropriate tire pressure inflation value through its Roadside Assistance program which is available 24 hours a day and complimentary during the vehicle warranty period. Alternatively, any Mercedes-Benz customer may obtain information on tire pressure and other service-related information from trained representatives by calling the MercedesBenz Customer Assistance Center. All of the remaining information on the vehicle placard is accurate, including the vehicle loading capacity and tire size and dimensions, which further confirms that the vehicle is not susceptible to overloading even if the tires are inflated to 320 kPa. 6. Mercedes-Benz cites NHTSA as saying ‘‘historically granted petitions for inconsequentiality for inaccurate tire placards where the grantee has supplied sufficient reasoning to support . . . a conclusion [that there is no adverse safety impact.’’] See Kia Motors, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 85 FR 39676 (July 1, 2020). Mercedes-Benz 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, 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 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. 2021–08453 Filed 4–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Department of Transportation’s National Infrastructure Investments (i.e., the Rebuilding American Infrastructure With Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program) Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 Office of the Secretary of Transportation, DOT. ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity. AGENCY: The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants. Funds for the FY 2021 RAISE grant program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for surface transportation infrastructure projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. This program was formerly known as BUILD Transportation Grants DATES: Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on July 12, 2021. ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information concerning this notice, please contact the RAISE grant program staff via email at RAISEgrants@ dot.gov, or call Howard Hill at 202–366– 0301. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 202– 366–3993. In addition, DOT will SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 77 (Friday, April 23, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21792-21794]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-08453]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2020-0116; 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) 2020-2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS Class motor vehicles do 
not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
110, Tire Selection and Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer 
Load Carrying Capacity Information for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 
4,536 Kilograms (10,000 pounds) or Less. Mercedes-Benz filed a 
noncompliance report dated October 30, 2020. Mercedes-Benz subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on November 16, 2020, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance

[[Page 21793]]

is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice 
announces receipt of Mercedes-Benz's petition.

DATES: Send comments on or before May 24, 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 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).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kerrin Bressant, Compliance Engineer, 
NHTSA, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, (202) 366-1110.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    I. Overview: Mercedes-Benz has determined that certain MY 2020-2021 
GLE and GLS Class motor vehicles do not fully comply with the 
requirements of paragraph S4.3(c) of FMVSS No. 110, Tire Selection and 
Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer Load Carrying Capacity 
Information for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 Kilograms (10,000 
pounds) or Less (49 CFR 571.110). Mercedes-Benz filed a noncompliance 
report dated October 30, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Mercedes-Benz subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on November 16, 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 22,439 MY 2020-2021 Mercedes-
Benz GLE350, GLE450, GLE580, GLS450, and GLS580 motor vehicles, 
manufactured between July 7, 2018, and October 16, 2020, are 
potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: Mercedes-Benz explains that the noncompliance 
is that the subject vehicles are equipped with a vehicle placard 
affixed to the driver's side B-pillar of the vehicle that erroneously 
overstates maximum permissible cold tire pressure and therefore, does 
not fully meet the requirements specified in paragraph S4.3(c) of FMVSS 
No. 110. Specifically, the vehicle placard overstates the maximum 
permissible cold tire pressure as 320 kPa, when it should state a 
maximum cold tire pressure of 300 kPa.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S4.3(c) of FMVSS No. 110 includes 
the requirements relevant to this petition. Each vehicle, except for a 
trailer or incomplete vehicle, shall show the information specified in 
S4.3(a) through (g), and may show, at the manufacturer's option, the 
information specified in S4.3(h) and (i), on a placard permanently 
affixed to the driver's side B-pillar. This information shall be in the 
English language and conform in color and format, not including the 
border surrounding the entire placard, as shown in the example set 
forth in Figure 1 in this standard. At the manufacturer's option, the 
information specified in S4.3 (c), (d), and, as appropriate, (h) and 
(i) may be shown, alternatively to being shown on the placard, on a 
tire inflation pressure label which must conform in color and format, 
not including the border surrounding the entire label, as shown in the 
example set forth in Figure 2 in this standard.
    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 describes the subject noncompliance and 
contends that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to 
motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Mercedes-Benz submitted the following 
reasoning:
    1. For the vehicles at issue in this petition, the placard lists 
the maximum tire inflation pressure as 320 kPa while the tire sidewall 
indicates that the maximum tire inflation pressure is 300 kPa. The tire 
pressure information located on the inside of the gas tank flap also 
indicates that the maximum tire pressure is 320 kPa. Mercedes-Benz 
asserts the difference in information between the tire sidewall and 
what is included on the vehicle and placard does not present any risk 
of over-inflation since, per the tire manufacturer, the tires were 
actually designed to a maximum permissible inflation pressure of 350 
kPa.
    2. Mercedes-Benz claims there is no risk of tire overloading here, 
even if the consumer were to inflate the tires based on the 320 kPa 
inflation pressure listed on the placard or on the gas tank flap. The 
tire manufacturer in this instance, Michelin, has confirmed that the 
Primacy Tour A/S tires that are equipped on the subject vehicles are 
designed and manufactured to withstand a maximum tire pressure of

[[Page 21794]]

350 kPa, which is even higher than what is listed on the placard or on 
the tire sidewall. The supplier has confirmed that there are no effects 
on vehicle performance and there would be no adverse safety 
consequences if the tires were inflated to the 320 kPa limit indicated 
on the placard or to the 300 kPa limit listed on the sidewall. 
Mercedes-Benz says the tires otherwise meet or exceed all applicable 
FMVSS performance requirements.
    3. Mercedes-Benz contends that in similar situations when 
evaluating the effect of a noncompliance with FMVSS No. 110, the Agency 
has recognized that slight discrepancies in the listed tire pressure 
and deviations in the information listed in the placard do not have a 
consequential effect on motor vehicle safety. For example, the Agency 
granted a petition where the placards incorrectly identified the size 
of the tires installed on the vehicles. Mercedes-Benz says that the 
Agency reasoned that the noncompliance was inconsequential because, 
among other reasons, the tires installed on the vehicles are 
appropriate to handle the vehicle's maximum loads when inflated to the 
maximum tire pressure. See Chrysler Group, LLC, Grant of Petition for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 78 FR 38443 (June 26, 2013). 
Mercedes-Benz claims that this has also been the Agency's rationale 
when specific information was missing from the vehicle placard. See 
General Motors, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential 
Noncompliance, 84 FR 25117 (May 30, 2019) (``vehicles are equipped with 
the appropriate matched spare tire and rim combination, and that when 
properly mounted on the subject vehicles, would allow the vehicles to 
be operated safely within the manufacturer's specified performance and 
loading limits.'') Further, Mercedes-Benz states, the Agency has 
recognized that the maximum tire inflation pressure indicated on the 
tire sidewall have somewhat limited safety value and that NHTSA 
ultimately decided to retain maximum inflation pressure labeling 
requirements simply ``as an aid in preventing over-inflation.'' See 
Grant of Petition of Michelin North America, 70 FR 10161 (March 2, 
2005).
    4. Mercedes-Benz asserts that there is no risk of over-inflation in 
this case because the tires have been designed and engineered to a 
higher maximum inflation pressure. The tires are sufficiently robust to 
accommodate the additional 20 kPa of pressure should the consumer rely 
on the information listed on the placard or under the gas tank flap. 
According to Mercedes-Benz, there is also no risk of under pressurizing 
the tire if the consumer relied upon the value listed on the tire 
sidewall because 300 kPa is also a sufficient maximum pressure for the 
tires installed on these vehicles. Inflating the tires at either 300 
kPa or 320 kPa is appropriate for the GVWR of the vehicle. Inflating 
the tires to the pressure listed on either the tire sidewall or the 
value listed on the placard would not impact the operation of the tire 
pressure monitoring system, and the vehicle's load-carrying capacity 
would not be impacted or reduced if the tire is inflated to 320 kPa (up 
to 350 kPa) if the consumer followed the inflation level on the placard 
or under the gas tank flap. Overall, from a vehicle performance 
perspective, 20 kPa in tire pressure difference is of no consequence, 
particularly where, as here, there is no effect on vehicle performance 
or load capacity.
    5. Mercedes-Benz says that owners may seek guidance on the 
appropriate tire pressure inflation value through its Roadside 
Assistance program which is available 24 hours a day and complimentary 
during the vehicle warranty period. Alternatively, any Mercedes-Benz 
customer may obtain information on tire pressure and other service-
related information from trained representatives by calling the 
Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Center. All of the remaining 
information on the vehicle placard is accurate, including the vehicle 
loading capacity and tire size and dimensions, which further confirms 
that the vehicle is not susceptible to overloading even if the tires 
are inflated to 320 kPa.
    6. Mercedes-Benz cites NHTSA as saying ``historically granted 
petitions for inconsequentiality for inaccurate tire placards where the 
grantee has supplied sufficient reasoning to support . . . a conclusion 
[that there is no adverse safety impact.''] See Kia Motors, Inc., Grant 
of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 85 FR 39676 
(July 1, 2020).
    Mercedes-Benz 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, 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. 2021-08453 Filed 4-22-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P