Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 14323-14325 [2022-05305]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Notices jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 V. Summary of Volkswagen’s Petition The following views and arguments presented in this section, ‘‘V. Summary of Volkswagen’s Petition,’’ are the views and arguments provided by Volkswagen. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Volkswagen describes the subject noncompliance and contends that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. Volkswagen says that although the owner’s manual does not accurately state the duration of time that the ‘‘Passenger Airbag On’’ light is illuminated, Volkswagen claims that the light ‘‘is neither required nor regulated’’ by FMVSS No. 208. Volkswagen contends that although the light does not remain illuminated, the ‘‘system itself is switched on, is ready to function, and is otherwise accurately described within the owner’s manual.’’ Volkswagen explains that the owner’s manual for the subject vehicles ‘‘provides an explanation of how the system’s components function together, as well as how the ‘‘Passenger Airbag Off’’ light functions,’’ as required by FMVSS No. 208. Volkswagen further explains that the owner’s manual also provides ‘‘a presentation and explanation of the main components of the advanced passenger air bag system, an explanation of how the components function, and the basic requirements for proper operations, among other important relevant safety information.’’ Volkswagen notes that it has corrected the noncompliance for vehicles still in its control by adding a supplemental page with the accurate information into the owner’s manual. Volkswagen states that it is aware of one customer inquiry related to the subject noncompliance which has been resolved but is not aware of any accidents or injuries that have occurred as a result of the subject noncompliance. Volkswagen concludes by stating its belief that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety and 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:51 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, any decision on this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that Volkswagen no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not relieve vehicle distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after Volkswagen 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. 2022–05306 Filed 3–11–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA–2020–0083; Notice 1] Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Receipt of petition. AGENCY: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper Tire) has determined that certain Cooper Discoverer AT3 tubeless radial light truck tires do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Cooper Tire filed a noncompliance report dated July 6, 2020. Cooper subsequently petitioned NHTSA on July 31, 2020, and supplemented its petition on May 28, 2021, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of Cooper Tire’s petition. DATES: Send comments on or before April 13, 2022. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and submitted by any of the following methods: • Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14323 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver comments by hand to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Federal holidays. • Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website at https:// www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493–2251. Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish to receive confirmation that comments you have submitted by mail were received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. All comments and supporting materials received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the fullest extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority indicated at the end of this notice. All comments, background documentation, and supporting materials submitted to the docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for accessing the docket. The docket ID number for this petition is shown in the heading of this notice. DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\14MRN1.SGM 14MRN1 14324 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Notices I. Overview Cooper Tire has determined that certain Cooper Discoverer AT3 tubeless radial light truck tires do not fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S.5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 571.139). Cooper Tire filed a noncompliance report dated July 6, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Cooper Tire subsequently petitioned NHTSA on July 31, 2020, and supplemented its petition on May 28, 2021, for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance. This notice of receipt of Cooper Tire’s petition is published under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any Agency decision or other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition. II. Tires Involved Approximately 271 Cooper Discoverer AT3 tubeless radial light truck tires, size LT 245/75R16, manufactured between May 3, 2020, and May 31, 2020, are potentially involved. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with NOTICES1 III. Noncompliance Cooper Tire explains that the noncompliance is that the subject tires were manufactured having additional characters representing the press location inserted into the tire identification number (TIN) and therefore, do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139. Specifically, the additional grouping of characters representing the press location are insterted before the date code. The subject tires were manufactured with ‘‘UT 11 1M1 V02R 1820,’’ when they should have been manufactured with ‘‘UT 11 1M1 1820,’’ followed by V02R. IV. Rule Requirements Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 includes the requirements relevant to this petition for tires having an intended outboard sidewall. Each tire must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 CFR part 574 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire. Either the tire identification number or a partial tire identification number, containing all characters in the tire identification number, except for the date code and, at the discretion of the manufacturer, any VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:51 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 optional code, must be labeled on the other sidewall of the tire. V. Summary of Cooper Tire’s Petition The following views and arguments presented in this section, ‘‘V. Summary of Cooper Tire’s Petition,’’ are the views and arguments provided by Cooper Tire. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and do not reflect the views of the Agency. Cooper Tire described the subject noncompliance and stated their belief that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. In support of its petition, Cooper Tire submitted the following reasoning: 1. Cooper Tire says that while the 271 tires in the subject population contain an additional grouping of letters/numbers before the required date code on the intended outboard sidewall, these tires are in all other respects properly labeled and meet all performance requirements under the FMVSSs. The additional press location grouping has no bearing on the performance or operation of the tires and does not create a safety concern to either the operator of the vehicle on which the tires are mounted, or the safety of personnel in the tire repair, retread, and recycling industry. 2. Tires produced by manufacturers that continue to use two-digit plant codes (available through 2025) can have TINs that vary in length depending on the use of the optional brand name owner code. The addition of the press location (V02R), while incorrectly placed on the tire, will not cause confusion for the consumer or dealer that is selecting and mounting the tire. Consumers/ dealers will continue to see the date code appear at the end of the series of letters and numbers that begin with ‘‘DOT.’’ NHTSA’s guidance states that ‘‘the last four digits of the TIN show the week and year of manufacture.’’ 1 That guidance is still accurate here. Consumers and dealers will be able to easily identify the date of manufacture (week/year). 3. Tire registration and traceability will not be interrupted. Cooper Tire’s internally controlled online registration system has been modified to be able to accept the TINs with the additional press location grouping. Any tires registered with that TIN will be identified and recorded properly. This will ensure that Cooper Tire is able to identify these tires in the event they must be recalled. 4. Cooper states that NHTSA has granted a number of previous inconsequentiality petitions relating to out-of-order or mislabeled TINs, provided that the mislabeling does not affect the manufacturer’s ability to identify the tires. ‘‘The purpose of the date code is to identify a tire so that, if necessary, the appropriate action can be taken in the interest of public 1 See NHSTA’s ‘‘Safety in Numbers,’’ June 2013, Volume 1, Issue 3, available at https:// www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/Safety1nNum3ers/june2013/ 9719_images/9719_S1N_Tires_Nwsltr_June13_ 062713_v4_tag.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 safety-such as, a safety recall notice.’’ 2 Accordingly, Cooper states that NHTSA has explained in multiple instances that ‘‘[t]he Agency believes that the true measure of inconsequentiality to motor vehicle safety in this case is the effect of the noncompliance on the ability of the tire manufacturer to identify the tires in the event of recall.’’ 3 5. As a result, Cooper states that NHTSA has granted petitions and found that TIN noncompliance is inconsequential to safety in cases where the TIN is out of sequence or mislabeled. Cooper cited the following examples: a. Bridgestone Firestone North America Tire, LLC, Grant of Petition, 71 FR 4396, January 26, 2006, (granting petition where date code was missing because manufacturer could still identify and recall the tires). b. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Grant of Application, 68 FR 16115, April 2, 2003, (granting petition where tires were labeled with wrong plant code, because ‘‘’the tires have a unique DOT identification’’). c. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., Grant of Application for Decision That Noncompliance Is Inconsequential to Motor Vehicle Safety, 66 FR 45076, August 27, 2001, (granting petition where the date code was labeled incorrectly, because ‘‘the information included on the tire identification label and the manufacturer’s tire production records is sufficient to ensure that these tires can be identified in the event of a recall’’). d. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.; Grant of Application for Decision of Inconsequntial Noncompliance, 64 FR 29080, May 28, 1999, (granting petition where the wrong year was marked in date code on the tires). e. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company; Grant of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 63 FR 29059, May 27, 1998, (granting petition where date code was missing where tires had a unique TIN for recall purposes). f. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.; Grant of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 60 FR 57617, Nov. 16, 1995, (granting petition where date code was out of sequence). g. Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company; Grant of Petition for Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 59 FR 64232, December 13, 1994, (granting petition where week and year were mislabeled on tires). 6. Cooper will be able identify the tires that are the subject of this petition in the event of recall. As described above, these tires will have a unique DOT identifier that will allow for Cooper to identify and recall them in the event that any issues arise in the future. 7. Cooper Tire states that it has taken steps over the last few years to add additional checks in its processes to prevent TIN errors. Cooper tire is undertaking additional process 2 See Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.; Grant of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 64 FR 29080 (May 28, 1999); see also Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Grant of Application for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 68 FR 16115 (April 2, 2003) (same). 3 See Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., Grant of Application, 66 FR 45076 (Aug. 27, 2001). E:\FR\FM\14MRN1.SGM 14MRN1 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

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 49 (Monday, March 14, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14323-14325]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-05305]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2020-0083; Notice 1]


Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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

SUMMARY: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper Tire) has determined that 
certain Cooper Discoverer AT3 tubeless radial light truck tires do not 
fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles. Cooper Tire filed a 
noncompliance report dated July 6, 2020. Cooper subsequently petitioned 
NHTSA on July 31, 2020, and supplemented its petition on May 28, 2021, 
for a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety. This notice announces receipt of 
Cooper Tire's petition.

DATES: Send comments on or before April 13, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written data, 
views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the 
docket and notice number cited in the title of this notice and 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to the U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 
20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver comments by hand to the U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 
20590. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
except for Federal holidays.
     Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging 
onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website at https://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Comments may also be faxed to (202) 493-2251.
    Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater 
than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of 
necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in 
hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish 
to receive confirmation that comments you have submitted by mail were 
received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the 
comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change 
to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    All comments and supporting materials received before the close of 
business on the closing date indicated above will be filed in the 
docket and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials 
received after the closing date will also be filed and will be 
considered to the fullest extent possible.
    When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will 
also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority 
indicated at the end of this notice.
    All comments, background documentation, and supporting materials 
submitted to the docket may be viewed by anyone at the address and 
times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the internet at 
https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for 
accessing the docket. The docket ID number for this petition is shown 
in the heading of this notice.
    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a 
Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 14324]]

I. Overview

    Cooper Tire has determined that certain Cooper Discoverer AT3 
tubeless radial light truck tires do not fully comply with the 
requirements of paragraph S.5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139, New Pneumatic 
Radial Tires for Light Vehicles (49 CFR 571.139). Cooper Tire filed a 
noncompliance report dated July 6, 2020, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, 
Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Cooper Tire 
subsequently petitioned NHTSA on July 31, 2020, and supplemented its 
petition on May 28, 2021, for an exemption from the notification and 
remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. chapter 301 on the basis that this 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, 
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, 
Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance.
    This notice of receipt of Cooper Tire's petition is published under 
49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120 and does not represent any Agency decision or 
other exercise of judgment concerning the merits of the petition.

II. Tires Involved

    Approximately 271 Cooper Discoverer AT3 tubeless radial light truck 
tires, size LT 245/75R16, manufactured between May 3, 2020, and May 31, 
2020, are potentially involved.

III. Noncompliance

    Cooper Tire explains that the noncompliance is that the subject 
tires were manufactured having additional characters representing the 
press location inserted into the tire identification number (TIN) and 
therefore, do not meet the requirements of paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS 
No. 139. Specifically, the additional grouping of characters 
representing the press location are insterted before the date code. The 
subject tires were manufactured with ``UT 11 1M1 V02R 1820,'' when they 
should have been manufactured with ``UT 11 1M1 1820,'' followed by 
V02R.

IV. Rule Requirements

    Paragraph S5.5.1(b) of FMVSS No. 139 includes the requirements 
relevant to this petition for tires having an intended outboard 
sidewall. Each tire must be labeled with the tire identification number 
required by 49 CFR part 574 on the intended outboard sidewall of the 
tire. Either the tire identification number or a partial tire 
identification number, containing all characters in the tire 
identification number, except for the date code and, at the discretion 
of the manufacturer, any optional code, must be labeled on the other 
sidewall of the tire.

V. Summary of Cooper Tire's Petition

    The following views and arguments presented in this section, ``V. 
Summary of Cooper Tire's Petition,'' are the views and arguments 
provided by Cooper Tire. They have not been evaluated by the Agency and 
do not reflect the views of the Agency. Cooper Tire described the 
subject noncompliance and stated their belief that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Cooper Tire submitted the following 
reasoning:

    1. Cooper Tire says that while the 271 tires in the subject 
population contain an additional grouping of letters/numbers before 
the required date code on the intended outboard sidewall, these 
tires are in all other respects properly labeled and meet all 
performance requirements under the FMVSSs. The additional press 
location grouping has no bearing on the performance or operation of 
the tires and does not create a safety concern to either the 
operator of the vehicle on which the tires are mounted, or the 
safety of personnel in the tire repair, retread, and recycling 
industry.
    2. Tires produced by manufacturers that continue to use two-
digit plant codes (available through 2025) can have TINs that vary 
in length depending on the use of the optional brand name owner 
code. The addition of the press location (V02R), while incorrectly 
placed on the tire, will not cause confusion for the consumer or 
dealer that is selecting and mounting the tire. Consumers/dealers 
will continue to see the date code appear at the end of the series 
of letters and numbers that begin with ``DOT.'' NHTSA's guidance 
states that ``the last four digits of the TIN show the week and year 
of manufacture.'' \1\ That guidance is still accurate here. 
Consumers and dealers will be able to easily identify the date of 
manufacture (week/year).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See NHSTA's ``Safety in Numbers,'' June 2013, Volume 1, 
Issue 3, available at https://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/Safety1nNum3ers/june2013/9719_images/9719_S1N_Tires_Nwsltr_June13_062713_v4_tag.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. Tire registration and traceability will not be interrupted. 
Cooper Tire's internally controlled online registration system has 
been modified to be able to accept the TINs with the additional 
press location grouping. Any tires registered with that TIN will be 
identified and recorded properly. This will ensure that Cooper Tire 
is able to identify these tires in the event they must be recalled.
    4. Cooper states that NHTSA has granted a number of previous 
inconsequentiality petitions relating to out-of-order or mislabeled 
TINs, provided that the mislabeling does not affect the 
manufacturer's ability to identify the tires. ``The purpose of the 
date code is to identify a tire so that, if necessary, the 
appropriate action can be taken in the interest of public safety-
such as, a safety recall notice.'' \2\ Accordingly, Cooper states 
that NHTSA has explained in multiple instances that ``[t]he Agency 
believes that the true measure of inconsequentiality to motor 
vehicle safety in this case is the effect of the noncompliance on 
the ability of the tire manufacturer to identify the tires in the 
event of recall.'' \3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.; Grant of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 64 FR 29080 (May 28, 
1999); see also Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Grant of Application 
for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 68 FR 16115 (April 2, 
2003) (same).
    \3\ See Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., Grant of Application, 66 FR 
45076 (Aug. 27, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. As a result, Cooper states that NHTSA has granted petitions 
and found that TIN noncompliance is inconsequential to safety in 
cases where the TIN is out of sequence or mislabeled. Cooper cited 
the following examples:
    a. Bridgestone Firestone North America Tire, LLC, Grant of 
Petition, 71 FR 4396, January 26, 2006, (granting petition where 
date code was missing because manufacturer could still identify and 
recall the tires).
    b. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Grant of Application, 68 FR 
16115, April 2, 2003, (granting petition where tires were labeled 
with wrong plant code, because ``'the tires have a unique DOT 
identification'').
    c. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., Grant of Application for 
Decision That Noncompliance Is Inconsequential to Motor Vehicle 
Safety, 66 FR 45076, August 27, 2001, (granting petition where the 
date code was labeled incorrectly, because ``the information 
included on the tire identification label and the manufacturer's 
tire production records is sufficient to ensure that these tires can 
be identified in the event of a recall'').
    d. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.; Grant of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequntial Noncompliance, 64 FR 29080, May 28, 1999, 
(granting petition where the wrong year was marked in date code on 
the tires).
    e. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company; Grant of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 63 FR 29059, May 27, 
1998, (granting petition where date code was missing where tires had 
a unique TIN for recall purposes).
    f. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.; Grant of Application for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 60 FR 57617, Nov. 16, 
1995, (granting petition where date code was out of sequence).
    g. Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company; Grant of Petition for 
Determination of Inconsequential Noncompliance, 59 FR 64232, 
December 13, 1994, (granting petition where week and year were 
mislabeled on tires).
    6. Cooper will be able identify the tires that are the subject 
of this petition in the event of recall. As described above, these 
tires will have a unique DOT identifier that will allow for Cooper 
to identify and recall them in the event that any issues arise in 
the future.
    7. Cooper Tire states that it has taken steps over the last few 
years to add additional checks in its processes to prevent TIN 
errors. Cooper tire is undertaking additional process

[[Page 14325]]

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