Weldon, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 6646-6648 [2022-02311]

Download as PDF 6646 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 24 / Friday, February 4, 2022 / Notices www.stb.gov. A recording of the public commentary phase of the hearing, the conference, and the evidentiary phase of the hearing, as well as a transcript of each, will be posted on the Board’s website when they become available. It is ordered: 1. A public hearing in this proceeding will commence on February 15, 2022. All portions of the hearing taking place on February 15, 2022, and February 16, 2022, will be held online using video conferencing. 2. By February 7, 2022, any person who is not one of the Parties identified above and wishes to speak at the public portion of the hearing shall file with the Board a notice of intent to participate identifying the entity, if any, the person represents, the proposed speaker, and the amount of time requested, and also summarizing the key points that the speaker intends to address. Also by February 7, 2022, such persons shall submit, via email at Hearings@stb.gov, the email address of the speaker. 3. Notices of intent to participate will be posted to the Board’s website and need not be served on any other persons or entities. 4. Counsel for Amtrak, CSXT, NSR, and the Port are directed to appear at a conference before the Board on February 16, 2022, at 9:30 a.m., or immediately following the conclusion of the public commentary phase of the hearing, whichever is later. 5. Amtrak, CSXT, NSR, and the Port are directed to appear at the evidentiary phase of the hearing before the Board beginning on March 9, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. 6. All evidence previously filed in this proceeding is accepted into the record. 7. This decision is effective on its service date. 8. This decision will be published in the Federal Register. Decided: February 1, 2022. By the Board, Board Members Fuchs, Hedlund, Oberman, Primus, and Schultz. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2022–02416 Filed 2–3–22; 8:45 am] lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 BILLING CODE 4915–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:50 Feb 03, 2022 Jkt 256001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Docket No. FAA–2021–1086] Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of a Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools; Correction Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice; correction. AGENCY: The FAA published a document in the Federal Register of November 23, 2021, concerning request for comments about the FAA’s intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The document was published with an incorrect docket number. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tanya Glines by email at: Tanya.glines@ faa.gov; phone: 202–380–5896. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Correction: In the Federal Register of November 23, 2021, FR Doc. 2021– 25472, on page 66615, in the third column, correct the docket number to read: SUMMARY: [Docket No. FAA–2021–1086] Issued in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2022. Tanya A. Glines, Aviation Safety Inspector, FAA Safety Standards, Aircraft Maintenance Division. [FR Doc. 2022–02356 Filed 2–3–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2018–0107 Notice 2] Weldon, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Denial of petition. AGENCY: Weldon, a Division of Akron Brass Company, has determined that certain backup lamps do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. Weldon filed a noncompliance report dated November 7, 2018, and subsequently petitioned SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00164 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NHTSA on November 30, 2018, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces the denial of Weldon’s petition. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leroy Angeles, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), (202) 366–5304, Leroy.Angeles@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview Weldon has determined that certain backup lamps it manufactures do not fully comply with paragraph S14.4.1 of FMVSS No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment (49 CFR 571.108). Weldon filed a noncompliance report dated November 7, 2018, pursuant to 49 CFR part 556, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on November 30, 2018, 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 Weldon’s petition was published with a 30-day public comment period, on July 15, 2020, in the Federal Register (85 FR 42977). 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/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ‘‘NHTSA–2018– 0107.’’ II. Equipment Involved Approximately 6,315 rear combination lamps manufactured between June 6, 2018, and June 25, 2018, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance Weldon explains that its subject rear combination lamp is noncompliant because its backup lamp does not meet the requirements for color as specified in paragraph S14.4.1 of FMVSS No. 108. Specifically, the subject backup lamp, when tested in accordance with the Tristimulus Method, fell outside the required boundaries for white light. IV. Rule Requirements Paragraphs S14.4.1, S14.4.1.4.2, and S14.4.1.4.2.3, of FMVSS No. 108 includes the requirements relevant to this petition. The color of a sample device must comply when tested by E:\FR\FM\04FEN1.SGM 04FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 24 / Friday, February 4, 2022 / Notices lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 either the Visual Method or the Tristimulus Method. When tested using the Tristimulus method, the backup lamp color must comply with the color of light emitted within the following boundaries for white (achromatic): • x = 0.31 (blue boundary) • y = 0.44 (green boundary) • x = 0.50 (yellow boundary) • y = 0.15 + 0.64x (green boundary) • y = 0.38 (red boundary) • y = 0.05 + 0.75x (purple boundary) V. Summary of Weldon’s Petition The following views and arguments presented in this section, ‘‘V. Summary of Weldon’s Petition,’’ are the views and arguments provided by Weldon and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Weldon describes the subject noncompliance and contends that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, Weldon offers the following reasoning: 1. Weldon states that backup lamps are intended to signal to other drivers that a vehicle is in reverse gear. Weldon says that despite the slight deviation from the white color boundaries, the backup lamps, when engaged, are fully illuminated and are still sufficiently white in color that they will not create confusion (at any distance) that the truck is in the reverse gear. The lamps still comply with the luminous intensity photometry requirements of FMVSS No. 108. Weldon contends that even with the color specification noncompliance, these backup lamps fulfill the intended purpose of FMVSS No. 108 as it applies to signal lamps, namely to ensure signals are understood by other road users. 2. Weldon also argues that the vehicles for which the lamps have been supplied have full backup lamp functionality. This creates no safety risk, as the backup lamps are fully functional and remain completely illuminated. Further, Weldon states, the difference in color white light is very slight, so much so that the color is nearly imperceptible to the human eye at any distance. The lamps are sufficiently visible, effective, would not be confused with any other signal lamp, and do not create a safety risk. 3. In considering past petitions involving FMVSS No. 108, Weldon contends that NHTSA has previously considered and found deviations from the standard which were not perceptible to the human eye and/or did not affect the illumination or brightness of the lamp were inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. According to Weldon, NHTSA has found that deviation from the photometric parameters were VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:50 Feb 03, 2022 Jkt 256001 inconsequential to safety when the overall intensity of the equipment was near to the required parameters to not be perceptible to the human eye. Weldon asserts that NHTSA has historically employed a rule that a margin of up to 25 percent deviation from FMVSS No. 108 photometric intensity requirements is reasonable to grant a petition of inconsequentiality for noncompliant signal lamps. See ‘‘Driver Perception of Just Noticeable Differences of Automotive Signal Lamp Intensities,’’ (herein, ‘‘UMTRI Report’’) DOT HS 808 209, Sept. 1994 (described by Weldon as a study sponsored by NHTSA that demonstrated that a change in luminous intensity of 25 percent or less is not noticeable by most drivers and is a reasonable criterion for determining the inconsequentiality of noncompliant signal lamps). According to Weldon, NHTSA has stated that it has granted such inconsequentiality petitions when it was ‘‘confident that the noncompliant signal lights would still be visible to nearby drivers.’’ 1 Moreover, Weldon notes that NHTSA has stated that ‘‘because signal lighting is not intended to provide roadway illumination to the driver, a less than 25 percent reduction in light output at any particular test point is less critical.’’ Id. Weldon points out that NHTSA has stated the UMTRI Report’s findings to be ‘‘mostly analogous to those of the signal lighting research.’’ Id. Weldon also states that NHTSA granted a petition for a determination of inconsequentiality to General Motors for turn signals that met the photometry requirements in just three of four test groups and produced, on average, 90 percent of the required photometric intensity.2 Weldon further states that NHTSA has granted similar petitions for lamps that do not comply with photometric requirements in other slight ways. 4. Conversely, Weldon states that NHTSA has denied inconsequentiality petitions in cases where headlamps do not meet the minimum FMVSS requirements, thus, causing an increased safety risk.3 The purpose of headlamps, as opposed to rear signal lighting, is roadway illumination, which 1 See General Motors Corporation; Denial of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 66 FR 38341 (July 23, 2001). 2 See General Motors Corporation; Grant of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 61 FR 1663 (January 22, 1996). 3 See General Motors Corporation; Denial of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 66 FR 38341 (July 23, 2001), for a denial of inconsequentiality petition where points on the headlamp used for overhead sign illumination were substantially below the photometric minimum values, which impaired driver visibility. PO 00000 Frm 00165 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6647 is crucial to road safety. Insufficient roadway illumination from nonconforming headlamps creates an increased safety risk to the public and thus is held to a higher standard than the 25 percent deviation of the UMTRI Report. Id. Backup indicator taillamps,4 unlike headlamps, do not illuminate the road for drivers, and thus deviation from the FMVSS No. 108 color requirement of the standard does not impede visibility. Weldon says the backup lamps in question are still entirely visible (that is, the brightness of the tail lamps is not affected) 5 and still appear white to the human eye at any distance, as demonstrated by Weldon’s findings. The lamps fulfill the intended purpose of FMVSS No. 108 as it applies to signal lamps, which is to make a driver’s operating signals understood. Further, Weldon states that despite the slight deviation from the white light boundaries, the backup lamps would be understood to signal that the truck is in reverse gear and create no additional safety risk and fulfill the intent of FMVSS No. 108. 5. Weldon has not received any reports related to the performance of the lamps from the field and is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue. Weldon 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 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 noncompliances inconsequential.6 Potential performance failures of safetycritical equipment, are rarely deemed inconsequential. An important issue to consider in determining inconsequentiality is the safety risk to individuals who 4 NHTSA notes that Weldon uses the incorrect term ‘‘backup indicator taillamps’’. NHTSA believes that Weldon is referring to a ‘‘backup lamp.’’ 5 NHTSA believes that Weldon means that the backup lamp intensity is not affected. 6 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). E:\FR\FM\04FEN1.SGM 04FEN1 6648 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 24 / Friday, February 4, 2022 / Notices experience the type of event against which the recall would otherwise protect.7 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.’’ 8 ‘‘[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.’’ 9 One purpose of vehicle backup lamps is to indicate that a motor vehicle has engaged its reverse gear and is intending to move in that direction, which is a safety-critical alert to both pedestrians and drivers of other vehicles. Another purpose of the backup lamps is to serve as an illumination device so the driver can see what is behind the vehicle when moving in reverse.10 As an illumination device, the driver relies on the correct color of light for proper color rendering. Color rendering of the environment, provided by a lamp whose color is within the range of permissible chromaticity coordinates, allows the driver to properly see objects, obstacles, pedestrians, etc. when conducting this maneuver. Based on the chromaticity plot provided by Weldon for this lamp, the lamp color is outside the white boundary as required by FMVSS No. 108. NHTSA does not agree with Weldon’s arguments that the color of light emitted by backup lamps is inconsequential to safety. With respect to Weldon’s argument related to granting other petitions where a deviation from the requirement is not perceptible to the human eye and/or did not affect the illumination or brightness of the lamp, Weldon states in its own petition that in the subject lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 7 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). 8 Morgan 3 Wheeler Limited; Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 81 FR 21663, 21666 (Apr. 12, 2016). 9 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’’). 10 See 49 CFR 571.108 S4. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:50 Feb 03, 2022 Jkt 256001 noncompliance, there is a noticeable difference between the compliant lamp and the noncompliant lamp when viewed side-by-side. Equally important, NHTSA does not find Weldon’s arguments concerning NHTSA’s past decisions related to the research documented in the ‘‘Driver Perception of Just Noticeable Differences of Automotive Signal Lamp Intensities’’ paper relevant to this petition since the application of the study is limited to luminous intensity of signal lamps and irrelevant to color requirements. VII. NHTSA’s Decision In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that Weldon has not met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 108 noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, Weldon’s petition is hereby denied and Weldon is consequently obligated to provide notification of and free remedy for that noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120. (Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: Delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8) Anne L. Collins, Associate Administrator for Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2022–02311 Filed 2–3–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2021–0118] Pipeline Safety: Request for Special Permit; Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); DOT. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: PHMSA is publishing this notice to solicit public comments on a request for a special permit received from the Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC (FGT). The special permit request is seeking relief from compliance with certain requirements in the federal pipeline safety regulations. At the conclusion of the 30day comment period, PHMSA will review the comments received from this notice as part of its evaluation to grant or deny the special permit request. DATES: Submit any comments regarding this special permit request by March 7, 2022. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00166 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Comments should reference the docket number for this special permit request and may be submitted in the following ways: • E-Gov website: http:// www.Regulations.gov. This site allows the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by any agency. • Fax: 1–202–493–2251. • Mail: Docket Management System: 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: Docket Management System: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: You should identify the docket number for the special permit request you are commenting on at the beginning of your comments. If you submit your comments by mail, please submit two (2) copies. To receive confirmation that PHMSA has received your comments, please include a selfaddressed stamped postcard. Internet users may submit comments at http:// www.Regulations.gov. ADDRESSES: Note: There is a privacy statement published on http://www.Regulations.gov. Comments, including any personal information provided, are posted without changes or edits to http:// www.Regulations.gov. Confidential Business Information: Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this notice contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this notice, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Pursuant to 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 190.343, you may ask PHMSA to give confidential treatment to information you give to the agency by taking the following steps: (1) Mark each page of the original document submission containing CBI as ‘‘Confidential’’; (2) send PHMSA, along with the original document, a second copy of the original document with the CBI deleted; and (3) explain why the information you are submitting is CBI. E:\FR\FM\04FEN1.SGM 04FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 24 (Friday, February 4, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6646-6648]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-02311]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2018-0107 Notice 2]


Weldon, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential 
Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Denial of petition.

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

SUMMARY: Weldon, a Division of Akron Brass Company, has determined that 
certain backup lamps do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and 
Associated Equipment. Weldon filed a noncompliance report dated 
November 7, 2018, and subsequently petitioned NHTSA on November 30, 
2018, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential 
as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces the denial 
of Weldon's petition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leroy Angeles, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(NHTSA), (202) 366-5304, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview

    Weldon has determined that certain backup lamps it manufactures do 
not fully comply with paragraph S14.4.1 of FMVSS No. 108, Lamps, 
Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment (49 CFR 571.108). Weldon 
filed a noncompliance report dated November 7, 2018, pursuant to 49 CFR 
part 556, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, and 
subsequently petitioned NHTSA on November 30, 2018, 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 Weldon's petition was published with a 30-day 
public comment period, on July 15, 2020, in the Federal Register (85 FR 
42977). 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/. Then follow the online 
search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2018-0107.''

II. Equipment Involved

    Approximately 6,315 rear combination lamps manufactured between 
June 6, 2018, and June 25, 2018, are potentially involved.

III. Noncompliance

    Weldon explains that its subject rear combination lamp is 
noncompliant because its backup lamp does not meet the requirements for 
color as specified in paragraph S14.4.1 of FMVSS No. 108. Specifically, 
the subject backup lamp, when tested in accordance with the Tristimulus 
Method, fell outside the required boundaries for white light.

IV. Rule Requirements

    Paragraphs S14.4.1, S14.4.1.4.2, and S14.4.1.4.2.3, of FMVSS No. 
108 includes the requirements relevant to this petition. The color of a 
sample device must comply when tested by

[[Page 6647]]

either the Visual Method or the Tristimulus Method. When tested using 
the Tristimulus method, the backup lamp color must comply with the 
color of light emitted within the following boundaries for white 
(achromatic):

 x = 0.31 (blue boundary)
 y = 0.44 (green boundary)
 x = 0.50 (yellow boundary)
 y = 0.15 + 0.64x (green boundary)
 y = 0.38 (red boundary)
 y = 0.05 + 0.75x (purple boundary)

V. Summary of Weldon's Petition

    The following views and arguments presented in this section, ``V. 
Summary of Weldon's Petition,'' are the views and arguments provided by 
Weldon and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Weldon describes the 
subject noncompliance and contends that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Weldon offers the following reasoning:
    1. Weldon states that backup lamps are intended to signal to other 
drivers that a vehicle is in reverse gear. Weldon says that despite the 
slight deviation from the white color boundaries, the backup lamps, 
when engaged, are fully illuminated and are still sufficiently white in 
color that they will not create confusion (at any distance) that the 
truck is in the reverse gear. The lamps still comply with the luminous 
intensity photometry requirements of FMVSS No. 108. Weldon contends 
that even with the color specification noncompliance, these backup 
lamps fulfill the intended purpose of FMVSS No. 108 as it applies to 
signal lamps, namely to ensure signals are understood by other road 
users.
    2. Weldon also argues that the vehicles for which the lamps have 
been supplied have full backup lamp functionality. This creates no 
safety risk, as the backup lamps are fully functional and remain 
completely illuminated. Further, Weldon states, the difference in color 
white light is very slight, so much so that the color is nearly 
imperceptible to the human eye at any distance. The lamps are 
sufficiently visible, effective, would not be confused with any other 
signal lamp, and do not create a safety risk.
    3. In considering past petitions involving FMVSS No. 108, Weldon 
contends that NHTSA has previously considered and found deviations from 
the standard which were not perceptible to the human eye and/or did not 
affect the illumination or brightness of the lamp were inconsequential 
to motor vehicle safety. According to Weldon, NHTSA has found that 
deviation from the photometric parameters were inconsequential to 
safety when the overall intensity of the equipment was near to the 
required parameters to not be perceptible to the human eye. Weldon 
asserts that NHTSA has historically employed a rule that a margin of up 
to 25 percent deviation from FMVSS No. 108 photometric intensity 
requirements is reasonable to grant a petition of inconsequentiality 
for noncompliant signal lamps. See ``Driver Perception of Just 
Noticeable Differences of Automotive Signal Lamp Intensities,'' 
(herein, ``UMTRI Report'') DOT HS 808 209, Sept. 1994 (described by 
Weldon as a study sponsored by NHTSA that demonstrated that a change in 
luminous intensity of 25 percent or less is not noticeable by most 
drivers and is a reasonable criterion for determining the 
inconsequentiality of noncompliant signal lamps). According to Weldon, 
NHTSA has stated that it has granted such inconsequentiality petitions 
when it was ``confident that the noncompliant signal lights would still 
be visible to nearby drivers.'' \1\ Moreover, Weldon notes that NHTSA 
has stated that ``because signal lighting is not intended to provide 
roadway illumination to the driver, a less than 25 percent reduction in 
light output at any particular test point is less critical.'' Id. 
Weldon points out that NHTSA has stated the UMTRI Report's findings to 
be ``mostly analogous to those of the signal lighting research.'' Id. 
Weldon also states that NHTSA granted a petition for a determination of 
inconsequentiality to General Motors for turn signals that met the 
photometry requirements in just three of four test groups and produced, 
on average, 90 percent of the required photometric intensity.\2\ Weldon 
further states that NHTSA has granted similar petitions for lamps that 
do not comply with photometric requirements in other slight ways.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See General Motors Corporation; Denial of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 66 FR 38341 (July 23, 
2001).
    \2\ See General Motors Corporation; Grant of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 61 FR 1663 (January 22, 
1996).
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    4. Conversely, Weldon states that NHTSA has denied 
inconsequentiality petitions in cases where headlamps do not meet the 
minimum FMVSS requirements, thus, causing an increased safety risk.\3\ 
The purpose of headlamps, as opposed to rear signal lighting, is 
roadway illumination, which is crucial to road safety. Insufficient 
roadway illumination from nonconforming headlamps creates an increased 
safety risk to the public and thus is held to a higher standard than 
the 25 percent deviation of the UMTRI Report. Id. Backup indicator 
taillamps,\4\ unlike headlamps, do not illuminate the road for drivers, 
and thus deviation from the FMVSS No. 108 color requirement of the 
standard does not impede visibility. Weldon says the backup lamps in 
question are still entirely visible (that is, the brightness of the 
tail lamps is not affected) \5\ and still appear white to the human eye 
at any distance, as demonstrated by Weldon's findings. The lamps 
fulfill the intended purpose of FMVSS No. 108 as it applies to signal 
lamps, which is to make a driver's operating signals understood. 
Further, Weldon states that despite the slight deviation from the white 
light boundaries, the backup lamps would be understood to signal that 
the truck is in reverse gear and create no additional safety risk and 
fulfill the intent of FMVSS No. 108.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ See General Motors Corporation; Denial of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 66 FR 38341 (July 23, 
2001), for a denial of inconsequentiality petition where points on 
the headlamp used for overhead sign illumination were substantially 
below the photometric minimum values, which impaired driver 
visibility.
    \4\ NHTSA notes that Weldon uses the incorrect term ``backup 
indicator taillamps''. NHTSA believes that Weldon is referring to a 
``backup lamp.''
    \5\ NHTSA believes that Weldon means that the backup lamp 
intensity is not affected.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. Weldon has not received any reports related to the performance 
of the lamps from the field and is not aware of any accidents or 
injuries related to the issue.
    Weldon 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

    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 noncompliances inconsequential.\6\ Potential 
performance failures of safety-critical equipment, are rarely deemed 
inconsequential.
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    \6\ 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

[[Page 6648]]

experience the type of event against which the recall would otherwise 
protect.\7\ 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.'' \8\ ``[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.'' \9\
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    \7\ 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).
    \8\ Morgan 3 Wheeler Limited; Denial of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance, 81 FR 21663, 21666 (Apr. 12, 2016).
    \9\ 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'').
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    One purpose of vehicle backup lamps is to indicate that a motor 
vehicle has engaged its reverse gear and is intending to move in that 
direction, which is a safety-critical alert to both pedestrians and 
drivers of other vehicles. Another purpose of the backup lamps is to 
serve as an illumination device so the driver can see what is behind 
the vehicle when moving in reverse.\10\
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    \10\ See 49 CFR 571.108 S4.
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    As an illumination device, the driver relies on the correct color 
of light for proper color rendering. Color rendering of the 
environment, provided by a lamp whose color is within the range of 
permissible chromaticity coordinates, allows the driver to properly see 
objects, obstacles, pedestrians, etc. when conducting this maneuver. 
Based on the chromaticity plot provided by Weldon for this lamp, the 
lamp color is outside the white boundary as required by FMVSS No. 108. 
NHTSA does not agree with Weldon's arguments that the color of light 
emitted by backup lamps is inconsequential to safety. With respect to 
Weldon's argument related to granting other petitions where a deviation 
from the requirement is not perceptible to the human eye and/or did not 
affect the illumination or brightness of the lamp, Weldon states in its 
own petition that in the subject noncompliance, there is a noticeable 
difference between the compliant lamp and the noncompliant lamp when 
viewed side-by-side.
    Equally important, NHTSA does not find Weldon's arguments 
concerning NHTSA's past decisions related to the research documented in 
the ``Driver Perception of Just Noticeable Differences of Automotive 
Signal Lamp Intensities'' paper relevant to this petition since the 
application of the study is limited to luminous intensity of signal 
lamps and irrelevant to color requirements.

VII. NHTSA's Decision

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that Weldon 
has not met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 108 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, 
Weldon's petition is hereby denied and Weldon is consequently obligated 
to provide notification of and free remedy for that noncompliance under 
49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.

(Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: Delegations of authority at 49 
CFR 1.95 and 501.8)

Anne L. Collins,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2022-02311 Filed 2-3-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P