Daimler Trucks North America, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 14325-14327 [2022-05304]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Notices reviews at this time including measures such as color coding portions of the mold, makding software changes to remove manual data entry, and adding additional visual quality checks of the molds when information is changed. Cooper Tire is also reviewing its inspection processes to ensure that any errors are identified earlier and/or prevented before they occur. Cooper Tire concluded by expressing the belief that the subject noncompliances are inconsequential as they relate 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 tires that Cooper Tire 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 buses under their control after Cooper Tire 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. 2022–05305 Filed 3–11–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 [Docket No. NHTSA–2019–0008; Notice 2] Daimler Trucks North America, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Grant of petition. AGENCY: Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has determined that SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:51 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 certain model year (MY) 2017–2019 Freightliner Cascadia motor vehicles do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. DTNA filed a noncompliance report dated January 16, 2019. DTNA subsequently petitioned NHTSA on February 8, 2019, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This document announces the grant of DTNA’s petition. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leroy Angeles, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366–5304, leroy.angles@ dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview DTNA has determined that certain MY 2017–2019 Freightliner Cascadia motor vehicles do not fully comply with paragraph S6.2.1 of FMVSS No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment (49 CFR 571.108). DTNA filed a noncompliance report dated January 16, 2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. DTNA subsequently petitioned NHTSA on February 8, 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 DTNA’s petition was published with a 30-day public comment period, on February 27, 2020, in the Federal Register (85 FR 11450). 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–2019– 0008.’’ II. Trucks Involved Approximately 74,675 MY 2017–2019 Freightliner Cascadia motor vehicles, manufactured between May 3, 2016, and December 17, 2018, are potentially involved. III. Noncompliance DTNA described the noncompliance as automatic illumination of the stop lamps when the low air pressure warning indicator light illuminates. Since low air pressure does not PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14325 necessarily activate the brakes or result in braking without driver intervention, this activation of the stop lamps does not meet the requirements of S6.2.1 of FMVSS No. 108. IV. Rule Requirements Paragraph S6.2.1 of FMVSS No. 108 includes the requirements relevant to this petition. No additional lamp, reflective device, or other motor vehicle equipment is permitted to be installed that impairs the effectiveness of lighting equipment required by FMVSS No. 108. V. Summary of DTNA’s Petition The following views and arguments presented in this section, ‘‘V. Summary of DTNA’s Petition,’’ are the views and arguments provided by DTNA. DTNA described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. DTNA submitted the following background information on how their air brake system affects the stop lamps: DTNA’s air brake system is comprised of two brake systems, primary and secondary. The primary system controls the service brakes on the drive axles, and the secondary system controls the service brakes on the steer axle, in which the higher pressure of these two controls the trailer service brakes. These two systems are isolated from each other so that if there is an air loss in one system, the other system will still be functional to control the vehicle service brakes. When either one of the systems drops below 70 psi, the low air warning indicator light on the dash turns ON and the stop lamps illuminate. However, if this occurs, it does not mean that the drive axle parking brakes being applied, since the other brake system may still be functional and keeping the brake from applying. In such a situation, the air that holds off the drive axle parking brakes would be the higher pressure of either primary or secondary air brake. In other words, if the primary air brake pressure falls below 70 psi, the indicator light and stop lamps illuminate, but the parking brakes do not start to drag since the secondary air (presumably unaffected) remains high and holds off the parking springs. In the same manner, the trailer parking brakes are held off by the higher of either primary or secondary air brake system. Only when both air systems drop below about 70 psi will the trailer parking brakes begin to apply. DTNA submitted the following views and arguments in support of the petition: 1. The normal operating air pressure of the vehicle is between 110 and 130 E:\FR\FM\14MRN1.SGM 14MRN1 jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 14326 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Notices psi. There is a regulator that turns on the air compressor if the air pressure is below 110 psi and turns off the air compressor when the system pressure is above 130 psi. If the air pressure begins to drop and reaches approximately 70 psi, the air system pressure is not adequate to maintain optimum operation, so a warning indicator light illuminates on the dash and a buzzer activates to alert the driver to this condition. On these vehicles, the stop lamps illuminate when the warning indiactor light illuminates on the dash. The events induced by a low air condition after initial vehicle startup are rare and are not expected in normal operation. If the condition were to occur during operation, the driver would be alerted to the circumstances with audible and visual low air warning signals and would be expected to apply the service brakes and pull over in a safe manner. Additionally, if the pressure in both air systems drops below 70 psi, the parking brakes will slowly begin to apply. 2. The Freightliner Cascadia Driver’s Manual states ‘‘If the low air pressure warning is activated, check the air pressure gauges to determine which system has low air pressure. Although the vehicle’s speed can be reduced using the foot brake control pedal, either the front or rear service brakes will not be operating at full capacity, causing a longer stopping distance. Bring the vehicle to a safe stop and have the air system repaired before continuing.’’ 3. Brakes are commonly applied causing the stop lamps to illuminate when a driver sees a vehicle display warning or senses that the vehicle is experiencing a problem. Reducing vehicle speed in relation to a vehicle operational problem increases safety, providing following drivers the opportunity to increase the following distance. A low air warning indicator light would likely cause the vehicle driver to immediately engage the brake system and bring the vehicle to a safe stop. Stop lamp illumination for a brake system low air event would help provide early warning to following drivers to slow down. 4. DTNA stated, in ‘‘Motorcoach Brake Systems and Safety Technologies,’’ the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued guidance, while directed toward motorcoach drivers, that supports the expectation that a driver, upon receipt of a low-pressure warning, would apply brakes and pull off the roadway. FMCSA stated: ‘‘Low Pressure Warning—In most cases, you should notice an air leak or malfunction before getting a low-pressure warning; VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:51 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 however, when a low-pressure warning occurs, immediately bring the motorcoach to a safe stop, off of the roadway. Continuing to operate the motorcoach could result in an automatic application of the park brakes, possibly leading to a loss of control or a stop in an unsafe position.’’ 5. DTNA is not aware of any accidents, injuries, owner complaints, or field reports related to this condition on the subject vehicles. 6. DTNA also stated that NHTSA has previously granted petitions for decisions of inconsequential noncompliance for lighting requirements where technical noncompliance exists, but does not create a negative impact on safety: • In General Motors Corporation; Grant of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. 66 FR 32871 (June 18, 2001) a petition for inconsequentiality by General Motors Corporation was granted by NHTSA. In this instance, certain models could have unintended CHMSL illumination briefly if the hazard warning lamp switch is depressed to its limit of travel. • In General Motors, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, a petition for inconsequentiality by General Motors, LLC (GM) was granted by NHTSA. See 83 FR 7847 (February 22, 2018). In this instance, under certain conditions, the parking lamps on the subject vehicles fail to meet the requirement that parking lamps must be activated when headlamps are activated in a steady burning state. • In Grant of Application for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance with FMVSS No. 108, a petition for inconsequentiality by General Motors Corporation was granted by NHTSA. See 64 FR 48231 (September 2, 1999). In this instance, a certain model equipped with an electronic turn signal was affected by random inputs that cause the internal timing of the electronic circuit to become unsynchronized causing the left front turn signal lamp to flash at a rapid rate while the left rear turn signal lamp illuminates but does not flash. These conditions can continue after the turn signal lever automatically returns to the off position. 7. DTNA believes that a technical noncompliance exists but does not create a negative impact on safety when the brake lamps illuminate during a brake system low air warning event. The stop lamp illumination serves to emphasize the message to following drivers that the vehicle is experiencing trouble and they should pay close attention. The Brake Air warning PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 indicator light, on the driver’s display panel, shows the driver that there is an issue with the air brake system. This would result in the driver bringing the vehicle to a safe stop and having the air system repaired before continuing. DTNA concluded by expressing its belief that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition to be exempted from providing notification of the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted. 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.1 Potential performance failures of safetycritical 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 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 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 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 E:\FR\FM\14MRN1.SGM 14MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Notices jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 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.5 These considerations are also relevant when considering whether a defect is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. NHTSA notes that DTNA misquoted the decision language pertaining to a prior inconsequential noncompliance petition (83 FR 7847) by adding ‘‘The Agency agrees with GM that in this case’’ prior to the original statement. NHTSA does not consider this addition accurate. The noncompliance, in the DTNA case currently being considered, is that the stop lamp illuminates when a braking system low air pressure warning indicator light is illuminated, regardless of whether the service brakes are applied.6 As the subject trucks have two air brake systems, which split the trailer brakes from the steer axle brakes, low air pressure will cause a brake application only if air pressure is lost in both systems. Should only one of the two air brake systems report low air pressure, the parking brakes would not engage but the stop lamps would illuminate in addition to the low air warning indicator light, which includes an audible alarm. The Agency believes that an alert would prompt the operator to safely pull over and/or attempt to slow/stop the truck soon after the warnings appear. In that case, the noncompliance would only result in a momentary illumination of the stop lamps without the brakes being applied. If the driver of a subject vehicle did not apply the brakes immediately after receiving a low air pressure warning, following drivers would be presented with a false indication that the subject truck was braking. Further, should there be an air leak, application of the service brakes will cause the air pressure to 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 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). 6 Per FMVSS No. 108, stop lamps should only be activated upon activation of the service brakes, or a device intended to retard the movement of the vehicle. See FMVSS No. 108, Table I–a. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:51 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 further drop, braking performance may be impacted, and it is also possible that the system will no longer be able to achieve proper pressure, which subsequently may cause the parking brakes to engage. As the function of a stop lamp is to notify other road users that a vehicle is stopping and/or slowing down, a vehicle equipped with an air braking system where the low air pressure warning on the instrument cluster along with an audible warning has been activated will likely prompt the driver to immediately pull over and/ or attempt to slow/stop the vehicle. A previous NHTSA interpretation concerning trailer stop lamp illumination, requested by Wabash National Corporation, explained that the stop lamps were permitted to be illuminated in the event that the emergency braking system was activated when significant deceleration could occur.7 NHTSA does not agree with DTNA’s argument that the activation of the stop lamps when the low air pressure warning occurs would be helpful for a warning other drivers of the brake malfunction. Nonetheless, NHTSA still believes this noncompliance would be inconsequential to safety. This is because when a vehicle with air brakes experiences a low-air event and notifies the driver of a brake system malfunction, NHTSA believes that the driver would likely respond by pulling over to the side of the road and taking the vehicle out of service until the brake system can be repaired. Because the act of pulling over to the side of the road would result in the intentional activation of the stop lamps and this sequence of events would likely occur only once before the vehicle is repaired, NHTSA believes that the activation of the brake lamps due to the low air pressure event would be inconsequential to safety. VII. NHTSA’s Decision In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds that DTNA has met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 108 noncompliance in the affected trucks is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, DTNA’s petition is hereby granted and DTNA is consequently exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, and a free remedy for, that 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 7 https://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/22036.ztv.html. PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14327 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 trucks that DTNA no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the granting of this petition does not relieve truck distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant trucks under their control after DTNA 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. 2022–05304 Filed 3–11–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of Foreign Assets Control Notice of OFAC Sanctions Action Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘‘OFAC’’) is updating the identifying information on its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (‘‘SDN List’’) for a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, ‘‘Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism,’’ as amended by Executive Order 13886 of September 9, 2019, ‘‘Modernizing Sanctions to Combat Terrorism’’. DATES: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for applicable date(s). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: OFAC: Andrea Gacki, Director, tel.: 202– 622–2490; Associate Director for Global Targeting, tel.: 202–622–2420; Assistant Director for Licensing, tel.: 202–622– 2480; Assistant Director for Regulatory Affairs, tel.: 202–622–4855; or the Assistant Director for Sanctions Compliance & Evaluation, tel.: 202–622– 2490. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14MRN1.SGM 14MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 49 (Monday, March 14, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14325-14327]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-05304]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0008; Notice 2]


Daimler Trucks North America, Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

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SUMMARY: Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has determined that 
certain model year (MY) 2017-2019 Freightliner Cascadia motor vehicles 
do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. DTNA 
filed a noncompliance report dated January 16, 2019. DTNA subsequently 
petitioned NHTSA on February 8, 2019, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. 
This document announces the grant of DTNA's petition.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview

    DTNA has determined that certain MY 2017-2019 Freightliner Cascadia 
motor vehicles do not fully comply with paragraph S6.2.1 of FMVSS No. 
108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment (49 CFR 
571.108). DTNA filed a noncompliance report dated January 16, 2019, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports. DTNA subsequently petitioned NHTSA on February 8, 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 DTNA's petition was published with a 30-day 
public comment period, on February 27, 2020, in the Federal Register 
(85 FR 11450). 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-2019-0008.''

II. Trucks Involved

    Approximately 74,675 MY 2017-2019 Freightliner Cascadia motor 
vehicles, manufactured between May 3, 2016, and December 17, 2018, are 
potentially involved.

III. Noncompliance

    DTNA described the noncompliance as automatic illumination of the 
stop lamps when the low air pressure warning indicator light 
illuminates. Since low air pressure does not necessarily activate the 
brakes or result in braking without driver intervention, this 
activation of the stop lamps does not meet the requirements of S6.2.1 
of FMVSS No. 108.

IV. Rule Requirements

    Paragraph S6.2.1 of FMVSS No. 108 includes the requirements 
relevant to this petition. No additional lamp, reflective device, or 
other motor vehicle equipment is permitted to be installed that impairs 
the effectiveness of lighting equipment required by FMVSS No. 108.

V. Summary of DTNA's Petition

    The following views and arguments presented in this section, ``V. 
Summary of DTNA's Petition,'' are the views and arguments provided by 
DTNA.
    DTNA described the subject noncompliance and stated its belief that 
the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle 
safety.
    DTNA submitted the following background information on how their 
air brake system affects the stop lamps:
    DTNA's air brake system is comprised of two brake systems, primary 
and secondary. The primary system controls the service brakes on the 
drive axles, and the secondary system controls the service brakes on 
the steer axle, in which the higher pressure of these two controls the 
trailer service brakes. These two systems are isolated from each other 
so that if there is an air loss in one system, the other system will 
still be functional to control the vehicle service brakes. When either 
one of the systems drops below 70 psi, the low air warning indicator 
light on the dash turns ON and the stop lamps illuminate. However, if 
this occurs, it does not mean that the drive axle parking brakes being 
applied, since the other brake system may still be functional and 
keeping the brake from applying. In such a situation, the air that 
holds off the drive axle parking brakes would be the higher pressure of 
either primary or secondary air brake. In other words, if the primary 
air brake pressure falls below 70 psi, the indicator light and stop 
lamps illuminate, but the parking brakes do not start to drag since the 
secondary air (presumably unaffected) remains high and holds off the 
parking springs. In the same manner, the trailer parking brakes are 
held off by the higher of either primary or secondary air brake system. 
Only when both air systems drop below about 70 psi will the trailer 
parking brakes begin to apply.
    DTNA submitted the following views and arguments in support of the 
petition:
    1. The normal operating air pressure of the vehicle is between 110 
and 130

[[Page 14326]]

psi. There is a regulator that turns on the air compressor if the air 
pressure is below 110 psi and turns off the air compressor when the 
system pressure is above 130 psi. If the air pressure begins to drop 
and reaches approximately 70 psi, the air system pressure is not 
adequate to maintain optimum operation, so a warning indicator light 
illuminates on the dash and a buzzer activates to alert the driver to 
this condition. On these vehicles, the stop lamps illuminate when the 
warning indiactor light illuminates on the dash. The events induced by 
a low air condition after initial vehicle startup are rare and are not 
expected in normal operation. If the condition were to occur during 
operation, the driver would be alerted to the circumstances with 
audible and visual low air warning signals and would be expected to 
apply the service brakes and pull over in a safe manner. Additionally, 
if the pressure in both air systems drops below 70 psi, the parking 
brakes will slowly begin to apply.
    2. The Freightliner Cascadia Driver's Manual states ``If the low 
air pressure warning is activated, check the air pressure gauges to 
determine which system has low air pressure. Although the vehicle's 
speed can be reduced using the foot brake control pedal, either the 
front or rear service brakes will not be operating at full capacity, 
causing a longer stopping distance. Bring the vehicle to a safe stop 
and have the air system repaired before continuing.''
    3. Brakes are commonly applied causing the stop lamps to illuminate 
when a driver sees a vehicle display warning or senses that the vehicle 
is experiencing a problem. Reducing vehicle speed in relation to a 
vehicle operational problem increases safety, providing following 
drivers the opportunity to increase the following distance. A low air 
warning indicator light would likely cause the vehicle driver to 
immediately engage the brake system and bring the vehicle to a safe 
stop. Stop lamp illumination for a brake system low air event would 
help provide early warning to following drivers to slow down.
    4. DTNA stated, in ``Motorcoach Brake Systems and Safety 
Technologies,'' the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued 
guidance, while directed toward motorcoach drivers, that supports the 
expectation that a driver, upon receipt of a low-pressure warning, 
would apply brakes and pull off the roadway. FMCSA stated: ``Low 
Pressure Warning--In most cases, you should notice an air leak or 
malfunction before getting a low-pressure warning; however, when a low-
pressure warning occurs, immediately bring the motorcoach to a safe 
stop, off of the roadway. Continuing to operate the motorcoach could 
result in an automatic application of the park brakes, possibly leading 
to a loss of control or a stop in an unsafe position.''
    5. DTNA is not aware of any accidents, injuries, owner complaints, 
or field reports related to this condition on the subject vehicles.
    6. DTNA also stated that NHTSA has previously granted petitions for 
decisions of inconsequential noncompliance for lighting requirements 
where technical noncompliance exists, but does not create a negative 
impact on safety:
     In General Motors Corporation; Grant of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance. 66 FR 32871 (June 18, 2001) 
a petition for inconsequentiality by General Motors Corporation was 
granted by NHTSA. In this instance, certain models could have 
unintended CHMSL illumination briefly if the hazard warning lamp switch 
is depressed to its limit of travel.
     In General Motors, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance, a petition for inconsequentiality by 
General Motors, LLC (GM) was granted by NHTSA. See 83 FR 7847 (February 
22, 2018). In this instance, under certain conditions, the parking 
lamps on the subject vehicles fail to meet the requirement that parking 
lamps must be activated when headlamps are activated in a steady 
burning state.
     In Grant of Application for Determination of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance with FMVSS No. 108, a petition for 
inconsequentiality by General Motors Corporation was granted by NHTSA. 
See 64 FR 48231 (September 2, 1999). In this instance, a certain model 
equipped with an electronic turn signal was affected by random inputs 
that cause the internal timing of the electronic circuit to become 
unsynchronized causing the left front turn signal lamp to flash at a 
rapid rate while the left rear turn signal lamp illuminates but does 
not flash. These conditions can continue after the turn signal lever 
automatically returns to the off position.
    7. DTNA believes that a technical noncompliance exists but does not 
create a negative impact on safety when the brake lamps illuminate 
during a brake system low air warning event. The stop lamp illumination 
serves to emphasize the message to following drivers that the vehicle 
is experiencing trouble and they should pay close attention. The Brake 
Air warning indicator light, on the driver's display panel, shows the 
driver that there is an issue with the air brake system. This would 
result in the driver bringing the vehicle to a safe stop and having the 
air system repaired before continuing.
    DTNA concluded by expressing its belief that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, 
and that its petition to be exempted from providing notification of the 
noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the 
noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted.

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.\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).
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    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'').

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[[Page 14327]]

    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.\5\ These considerations are also relevant when 
considering whether a defect is inconsequential to motor vehicle 
safety.
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    \5\ 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).
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    NHTSA notes that DTNA misquoted the decision language pertaining to 
a prior inconsequential noncompliance petition (83 FR 7847) by adding 
``The Agency agrees with GM that in this case'' prior to the original 
statement. NHTSA does not consider this addition accurate.
    The noncompliance, in the DTNA case currently being considered, is 
that the stop lamp illuminates when a braking system low air pressure 
warning indicator light is illuminated, regardless of whether the 
service brakes are applied.\6\ As the subject trucks have two air brake 
systems, which split the trailer brakes from the steer axle brakes, low 
air pressure will cause a brake application only if air pressure is 
lost in both systems. Should only one of the two air brake systems 
report low air pressure, the parking brakes would not engage but the 
stop lamps would illuminate in addition to the low air warning 
indicator light, which includes an audible alarm. The Agency believes 
that an alert would prompt the operator to safely pull over and/or 
attempt to slow/stop the truck soon after the warnings appear. In that 
case, the noncompliance would only result in a momentary illumination 
of the stop lamps without the brakes being applied.
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    \6\ Per FMVSS No. 108, stop lamps should only be activated upon 
activation of the service brakes, or a device intended to retard the 
movement of the vehicle. See FMVSS No. 108, Table I-a.
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    If the driver of a subject vehicle did not apply the brakes 
immediately after receiving a low air pressure warning, following 
drivers would be presented with a false indication that the subject 
truck was braking. Further, should there be an air leak, application of 
the service brakes will cause the air pressure to further drop, braking 
performance may be impacted, and it is also possible that the system 
will no longer be able to achieve proper pressure, which subsequently 
may cause the parking brakes to engage. As the function of a stop lamp 
is to notify other road users that a vehicle is stopping and/or slowing 
down, a vehicle equipped with an air braking system where the low air 
pressure warning on the instrument cluster along with an audible 
warning has been activated will likely prompt the driver to immediately 
pull over and/or attempt to slow/stop the vehicle.
    A previous NHTSA interpretation concerning trailer stop lamp 
illumination, requested by Wabash National Corporation, explained that 
the stop lamps were permitted to be illuminated in the event that the 
emergency braking system was activated when significant deceleration 
could occur.\7\ NHTSA does not agree with DTNA's argument that the 
activation of the stop lamps when the low air pressure warning occurs 
would be helpful for a warning other drivers of the brake malfunction. 
Nonetheless, NHTSA still believes this noncompliance would be 
inconsequential to safety. This is because when a vehicle with air 
brakes experiences a low-air event and notifies the driver of a brake 
system malfunction, NHTSA believes that the driver would likely respond 
by pulling over to the side of the road and taking the vehicle out of 
service until the brake system can be repaired. Because the act of 
pulling over to the side of the road would result in the intentional 
activation of the stop lamps and this sequence of events would likely 
occur only once before the vehicle is repaired, NHTSA believes that the 
activation of the brake lamps due to the low air pressure event would 
be inconsequential to safety.
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    \7\ https://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/22036.ztv.html.
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VII. NHTSA's Decision

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds that DTNA has met 
its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 108 noncompliance 
in the affected trucks is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. 
Accordingly, DTNA's petition is hereby granted and DTNA is consequently 
exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, and a free 
remedy for, that 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 trucks that DTNA no longer controlled at 
the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the 
granting of this petition does not relieve truck distributors and 
dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or 
introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of 
the noncompliant trucks under their control after DTNA 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. 2022-05304 Filed 3-11-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P