Hankook Tire America Corporation, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 49411-49412 [2021-18953]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 168 / Thursday, September 2, 2021 / Notices subjects any other crewmember responsible to individual liability proceedings, including disqualification and/or civil penalties. See 49 CFR 240.117(e)(5), 240.305(a)(5), and 242.403(b) and (e)(5). (2) Immediately conduct a complete audit of the PTC onboard design of all locomotives and cab cars equipped with PTC to determine how the onboard PTC equipment is integrated into each railroad’s locomotive and cab car’s braking system, to ascertain what percentage of the locomotive and cab car fleet is subject to the interface design issue described above; (3) Within ten (10) days of the publication of this Safety Advisory, provide FRA, via the SIR site, with a report of the number and type of locomotives and cab cars that have this interface design issue; (4) Upon completion of item (2) above, determine the mitigating measures and/or corrective actions necessary to address the safety risk presented by the design issue, and provide FRA, via the SIR site, with a report documenting the planned measures and/or actions, including a schedule for completion; and (5) Immediately commence implementation of the planned measures and/or actions to address the safety risk presented by the design issue per the documented schedule, and provide FRA, via the SIR site, confirmation of completion. Issued in Washington, DC. John Karl Alexy, Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer. [FR Doc. 2021–18997 Filed 9–1–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2019–0132; Notice 2] Hankook Tire America Corporation, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition. AGENCY: Hankook Tire America Corporation (Hankook) has determined that certain Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires manufactured by Hankook’s indirect subsidiary, Hankook Tire Manufacturing Tennessee, LP, do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:33 Sep 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Hankook filed a noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces and explains the grant of Hankook’s petition. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Abraham Diaz, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–5310, facsimile (202) 366–3081. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview: Hankook has determined that certain Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires, do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 571.139). Hankook filed a noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance. Notice of receipt of Hankook’s petition was published with a 30-day public comment period, on April 17, 2020, in the Federal Register (85 FR 21504). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website at https://www.regulations.gov/, and then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2019– 0132.’’ II. Tires Involved: Approximately 467 Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires, size 235/45R17V XL H457, manufactured between October 7, 2019, and October 12, 2019, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance: Hankook explains that the noncompliance is due to a mold error in which the subject tires, were marked with the date-code in the Tire Identification Number (TIN) inverted and; therefore, they do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139. Specifically, the date code was printed upside down. IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 includes the requirements relevant to the PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49411 petition. Each tire must be labeled with the TIN required by 49 CFR part 574.5 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire. Except for retreaded tires, if a tire does not have an intended outboard sidewall, the tire must be labeled with the TIN required by 49 CFR part 574.5 on one sidewall and with either the TIN or a partial TIN, containing all characters in the TIN except for the date code and, at the discretion of the manufacturer, any optional code, on the other sidewall. Each tire must be marked on each sidewall with the TIN required by 49 CFR part 574.5 as listed in the documents and publications specified in paragraph (b) TIN content requirement. V. Summary of Hankook’s Petition: Hankook describes the subject noncompliance and contends that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, Hankook offers the following reasoning: 1. The purpose of the labeling requirements in Part 574 is to ‘‘facilitate notification to purchasers of defective or nonconforming tires.’’ See Part 574.2. The date code portion of the TIN is required so that purchasers can identify the week and year of the tire’s manufacture in the event the tire is subject to a safety recall. 2. The date-code characters reflect the correct week and year of the tires’ manufacture, but the date code is technically out of compliance because the characters are inverted. Despite the inversion, the date code meets the character height requirements of Part 574 and is readily identifiable, permitting tire owners to easily determine the week and year of manufacture. 3. NHTSA has previously granted a petition for inconsequential noncompliance for a similar issue. In granting a petition from Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, 81 FR 43708 (July 5, 2016), the Agency explained: The Agency believes that in the case of a tire labeling noncompliance, one measure of its inconsequentiality to motor vehicle safety is whether the mislabeling would affect the manufacturer’s or consumer’s ability to identify the mislabeled tires properly, should the tires be recalled for performance-related noncompliance. In this case, the nature of the labeling error does not prevent the correct identification of the affected tires. 49 CFR 574.5 requires the date code portion of the tire identification number to be placed in the last or correct position. In Cooper’s case, it is in the right-most position, however, the manufacture date code is upside down. E:\FR\FM\02SEN1.SGM 02SEN1 49412 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 168 / Thursday, September 2, 2021 / Notices lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 Because the label is located on the tire sidewall, it is not likely to be misidentified. A reader will be able to read the date code, by spinning the tire, and therefore inverting the date code will allow it to easily be read. The petitioner argues that, as with the Cooper tires, the date code on the subject tires is located on the sidewall, is not likely to be misidentified, and a reader will be able to read and understand the date code. Hankook communicated in an email to the agency on November 19, 2020, that a partial TIN is labeled on at least one sidewall of the tire. The subject tires otherwise meet the marking and performance requirements of FMVSS No. 139. 4. Hankook is not aware of any complaints, claims, or incidents related to the subject noncompliance. Hankook concludes 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. VI. NHTSA’s Analysis: In evaluating this tire labeling noncompliance issue, NHTSA considered if the incorrectly marked date code could mislead a consumer about the actual age of the tire or make it difficult to correctly determine if the tire has been recalled. The burden of establishing the inconsequentiality of a failure to comply with a performance requirement in a standard—as opposed to a labeling requirement with no performance implications—is more substantial and difficult to meet. Accordingly, the Agency has not found many such performance-related noncompliances inconsequential.1 Potential performance failures of safety-critical equipment, like seat belts or air bags, are rarely deemed inconsequential. An important issue to consider in determining inconsequentiality is the safety risk to individuals who experience the type of event against which the recall would otherwise protect.2 In general, NHTSA does not 1 Cf. Gen. Motors Corporation; Ruling on Petition for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 69 FR 19897, 19899 (Apr. 14, 2004) (citing prior cases where noncompliance was expected to be imperceptible, or nearly so, to vehicle occupants or approaching drivers). 2 See Gen. Motors, LLC; Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 78 FR 35355 (June 12, 2013) (finding noncompliance had no effect on occupant safety because it had no effect on the proper operation of the occupant classification system and the correct deployment of an air bag); Osram Sylvania Prods. Inc.; Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:33 Sep 01, 2021 Jkt 253001 consider the absence of complaints or injuries to show that the issue is inconsequential to safety. ‘‘Most importantly, the absence of a complaint does not mean there have not been any safety issues, nor does it mean that there will not be safety issues in the future.’’ 3 ‘‘[T]he fact that in past reported cases good luck and swift reaction have prevented many serious injuries does not mean that good luck will continue to work.’’ 4 Arguments that only a small number of vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment are affected have also not justified granting an inconsequentiality petition.5 Similarly, NHTSA has rejected petitions based on the assertion that only a small percentage of vehicles or items of equipment are likely to actually exhibit a noncompliance. The percentage of potential occupants that could be adversely affected by a noncompliance does not determine the question of inconsequentiality. Rather, the issue to consider is the consequence to an occupant who is exposed to the consequence of that noncompliance.6 These considerations are also relevant when considering whether a defect is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. In the instant case, the date code required by FMVSS No. 139 is properly located in the right-most position and shows the correct week and year of manufacture but has been imprinted upside-down, and the upside-down font Noncompliance, 78 FR 46000 (July 30, 2013) (finding occupant using noncompliant light source would not be exposed to significantly greater risk than occupant using similar compliant light source). 3 Morgan 3 Wheeler Limited; Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 81 FR 21663, 21666 (Apr. 12, 2016). 4 United States v. Gen. Motors Corp., 565 F.2d 754, 759 (D.C. Cir. 1977) (finding defect poses an unreasonable risk when it ‘‘results in hazards as potentially dangerous as sudden engine fire, and where there is no dispute that at least some such hazards, in this case fires, can definitely be expected to occur in the future’’). 5 See Mercedes-Benz, U.S.A., L.L.C.; Denial of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 66 FR 38342 (July 23, 2001) (rejecting argument that noncompliance was inconsequential because of the small number of vehicles affected); Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.; Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 81 FR 41370 (June 24, 2016) (noting that situations involving individuals trapped in motor vehicles—while infrequent—are consequential to safety); Morgan 3 Wheeler Ltd.; Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 81 FR 21663, 21664 (Apr. 12, 2016) (rejecting argument that petition should be granted because the vehicle was produced in very low numbers and likely to be operated on a limited basis). 6 See Gen. Motors Corp.; Ruling on Petition for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 69 FR 19897, 19900 (Apr. 14, 2004); Cosco Inc.; Denial of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 64 FR 29408, 29409 (June 1, 1999). PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 cannot be confused with right-side up font. If a consumer reads the label as it is, the fact that the date code is inverted would become self-evident. In such a case, it would not be difficult to rotate the tire to a position where the code could be read and deciphered. The tire’s age would then be available as needed and the tire could also be identified if recalled. VII. NHTSA’s Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds that Hankook has met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 139 noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Hankook’s petition is hereby granted, and Hankook is exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, and a remedy for, the noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120. 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, this decision only applies to the subject tires that Hankook no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the granting of this petition does not relieve tire distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after Hankook 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. 2021–18953 Filed 9–1–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900–0219] Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: CHAMPVA Benefits—Application, Claim, Other Health Insurance, Potential Liability & Miscellaneous Expenses Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\02SEN1.SGM 02SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 168 (Thursday, September 2, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49411-49412]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-18953]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0132; Notice 2]


Hankook Tire America Corporation, Grant of Petition for Decision 
of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

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

SUMMARY: Hankook Tire America Corporation (Hankook) has determined that 
certain Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 tires manufactured by Hankook's 
indirect subsidiary, Hankook Tire Manufacturing Tennessee, LP, do not 
fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Hankook filed a 
noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, and subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. 
This notice announces and explains the grant of Hankook's petition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Abraham Diaz, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
telephone (202) 366-5310, facsimile (202) 366-3081.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. Overview: Hankook has determined that certain Hankook Ventus V2 
Concept 2 tires, do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS 
No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 
571.139).
    Hankook filed a noncompliance report dated November 19, 2019, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on December 5, 2019, for 
an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. 
chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as 
it relates to motor vehicle safety, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or 
Noncompliance.
    Notice of receipt of Hankook's petition was published with a 30-day 
public comment period, on April 17, 2020, in the Federal Register (85 
FR 21504). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) website at https://www.regulations.gov/, and then follow the 
online search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2019-0132.''
    II. Tires Involved: Approximately 467 Hankook Ventus V2 Concept 2 
tires, size 235/45R17V XL H457, manufactured between October 7, 2019, 
and October 12, 2019, are potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: Hankook explains that the noncompliance is due 
to a mold error in which the subject tires, were marked with the date-
code in the Tire Identification Number (TIN) inverted and; therefore, 
they do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 
139. Specifically, the date code was printed upside down.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 
includes the requirements relevant to the petition. Each tire must be 
labeled with the TIN required by 49 CFR part 574.5 on the intended 
outboard sidewall of the tire. Except for retreaded tires, if a tire 
does not have an intended outboard sidewall, the tire must be labeled 
with the TIN required by 49 CFR part 574.5 on one sidewall and with 
either the TIN or a partial TIN, containing all characters in the TIN 
except for the date code and, at the discretion of the manufacturer, 
any optional code, on the other sidewall. Each tire must be marked on 
each sidewall with the TIN required by 49 CFR part 574.5 as listed in 
the documents and publications specified in paragraph (b) TIN content 
requirement.
    V. Summary of Hankook's Petition: Hankook describes the subject 
noncompliance and contends that the noncompliance is inconsequential as 
it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, Hankook 
offers the following reasoning:
    1. The purpose of the labeling requirements in Part 574 is to 
``facilitate notification to purchasers of defective or nonconforming 
tires.'' See Part 574.2. The date code portion of the TIN is required 
so that purchasers can identify the week and year of the tire's 
manufacture in the event the tire is subject to a safety recall.
    2. The date-code characters reflect the correct week and year of 
the tires' manufacture, but the date code is technically out of 
compliance because the characters are inverted. Despite the inversion, 
the date code meets the character height requirements of Part 574 and 
is readily identifiable, permitting tire owners to easily determine the 
week and year of manufacture.
    3. NHTSA has previously granted a petition for inconsequential 
noncompliance for a similar issue. In granting a petition from Cooper 
Tire & Rubber Company, 81 FR 43708 (July 5, 2016), the Agency 
explained:
    The Agency believes that in the case of a tire labeling 
noncompliance, one measure of its inconsequentiality to motor vehicle 
safety is whether the mislabeling would affect the manufacturer's or 
consumer's ability to identify the mislabeled tires properly, should 
the tires be recalled for performance-related noncompliance. In this 
case, the nature of the labeling error does not prevent the correct 
identification of the affected tires. 49 CFR 574.5 requires the date 
code portion of the tire identification number to be placed in the last 
or correct position. In Cooper's case, it is in the right-most 
position, however, the manufacture date code is upside down.

[[Page 49412]]

Because the label is located on the tire sidewall, it is not likely to 
be misidentified. A reader will be able to read the date code, by 
spinning the tire, and therefore inverting the date code will allow it 
to easily be read.
    The petitioner argues that, as with the Cooper tires, the date code 
on the subject tires is located on the sidewall, is not likely to be 
misidentified, and a reader will be able to read and understand the 
date code. Hankook communicated in an email to the agency on November 
19, 2020, that a partial TIN is labeled on at least one sidewall of the 
tire. The subject tires otherwise meet the marking and performance 
requirements of FMVSS No. 139.
    4. Hankook is not aware of any complaints, claims, or incidents 
related to the subject noncompliance.
    Hankook concludes 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.
    VI. NHTSA's Analysis: In evaluating this tire labeling 
noncompliance issue, NHTSA considered if the incorrectly marked date 
code could mislead a consumer about the actual age of the tire or make 
it difficult to correctly determine if the tire has been recalled. The 
burden of establishing the inconsequentiality of a failure to comply 
with a performance requirement in a standard--as opposed to a labeling 
requirement with no performance implications--is more substantial and 
difficult to meet. Accordingly, the Agency has not found many such 
performance-related noncompliances inconsequential.\1\ Potential 
performance failures of safety-critical equipment, like seat belts or 
air bags, are rarely deemed inconsequential.
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    \1\ Cf. Gen. Motors Corporation; Ruling on Petition for 
Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 69 FR 19897, 19899 
(Apr. 14, 2004) (citing prior cases where noncompliance was expected 
to be imperceptible, or nearly so, to vehicle occupants or 
approaching drivers).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An important issue to consider in determining inconsequentiality is 
the safety risk to individuals who experience the type of event against 
which the recall would otherwise protect.\2\ In general, NHTSA does not 
consider the absence of complaints or injuries to show that the issue 
is inconsequential to safety. ``Most importantly, the absence of a 
complaint does not mean there have not been any safety issues, nor does 
it mean that there will not be safety issues in the future.'' \3\ 
``[T]he fact that in past reported cases good luck and swift reaction 
have prevented many serious injuries does not mean that good luck will 
continue to work.'' \4\
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    \2\ See Gen. Motors, LLC; Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance, 78 FR 35355 (June 12, 2013) (finding 
noncompliance had no effect on occupant safety because it had no 
effect on the proper operation of the occupant classification system 
and the correct deployment of an air bag); Osram Sylvania Prods. 
Inc.; Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential 
Noncompliance, 78 FR 46000 (July 30, 2013) (finding occupant using 
noncompliant light source would not be exposed to significantly 
greater risk than occupant using similar compliant light source).
    \3\ Morgan 3 Wheeler Limited; Denial of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance, 81 FR 21663, 21666 (Apr. 12, 2016).
    \4\ United States v. Gen. Motors Corp., 565 F.2d 754, 759 (D.C. 
Cir. 1977) (finding defect poses an unreasonable risk when it 
``results in hazards as potentially dangerous as sudden engine fire, 
and where there is no dispute that at least some such hazards, in 
this case fires, can definitely be expected to occur in the 
future'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Arguments that only a small number of vehicles or items of motor 
vehicle equipment are affected have also not justified granting an 
inconsequentiality petition.\5\ Similarly, NHTSA has rejected petitions 
based on the assertion that only a small percentage of vehicles or 
items of equipment are likely to actually exhibit a noncompliance. The 
percentage of potential occupants that could be adversely affected by a 
noncompliance does not determine the question of inconsequentiality. 
Rather, the issue to consider is the consequence to an occupant who is 
exposed to the consequence of that noncompliance.\6\ These 
considerations are also relevant when considering whether a defect is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See Mercedes-Benz, U.S.A., L.L.C.; Denial of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 66 FR 38342 (July 23, 
2001) (rejecting argument that noncompliance was inconsequential 
because of the small number of vehicles affected); Aston Martin 
Lagonda Ltd.; Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential 
Noncompliance, 81 FR 41370 (June 24, 2016) (noting that situations 
involving individuals trapped in motor vehicles--while infrequent--
are consequential to safety); Morgan 3 Wheeler Ltd.; Denial of 
Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 81 FR 21663, 
21664 (Apr. 12, 2016) (rejecting argument that petition should be 
granted because the vehicle was produced in very low numbers and 
likely to be operated on a limited basis).
    \6\ See Gen. Motors Corp.; Ruling on Petition for Determination 
of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 69 FR 19897, 19900 (Apr. 14, 
2004); Cosco Inc.; Denial of Application for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance, 64 FR 29408, 29409 (June 1, 1999).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the instant case, the date code required by FMVSS No. 139 is 
properly located in the right-most position and shows the correct week 
and year of manufacture but has been imprinted upside-down, and the 
upside-down font cannot be confused with right-side up font. If a 
consumer reads the label as it is, the fact that the date code is 
inverted would become self-evident. In such a case, it would not be 
difficult to rotate the tire to a position where the code could be read 
and deciphered. The tire's age would then be available as needed and 
the tire could also be identified if recalled.
    VII. NHTSA's Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA 
finds that Hankook has met its burden of persuasion that the subject 
FMVSS No. 139 noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor 
vehicle safety. Accordingly, Hankook's petition is hereby granted, and 
Hankook is exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, 
and a remedy for, the noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.
    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, this decision 
only applies to the subject tires that Hankook no longer controlled at 
the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the 
granting of this petition does not relieve tire distributors and 
dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or 
introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of 
the noncompliant tires under their control after Hankook 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. 2021-18953 Filed 9-1-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P