National Highway Traffic Safety Administration May 14, 2013 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Nissan North America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance
Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan), has determined that certain model year 2008 through 2010 Nissan Titan trucks do not fully comply with the requirements of paragraph S19.2.2(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. Nissan has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, dated August 18, 2010. Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule implementing those provision at 49 CFR Part 556, Nissan has petitioned for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Notice of receipt of Nissan's petition was published, with a 30 day public comment period, on December 21, 2010, in the Federal Register (75 FR 80109). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at: https://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2008-0210.'' Contact Information: For further information on this decision, contact Mr. Lawrence Valvo, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-5359, facsimile (202) 366-7002. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 102,254 model year 2008 through 2010 Nissan Titan trucks that were manufactured from April 10, 2007, through August 6, 2010. Summary of Nissan's Petition: Nissan states that the noncompliance is that the label identifying the amber air bag status telltale lamp for the front outboard passenger seating position is identified with the words ``PASSENGER AIR BAG'' instead of ``PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF.'' Nissan believes the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons: 1. The passenger air bag system on the subject vehicles operates as designed and automatically deactivates the passenger air bag when it is appropriate in accordance with the requirements in S19.2 of FMV55 No. 208. That is, the system requires no input from the operator to perform its intended function. Further, the front passenger airbag status telltale operates correctly and illuminates when the passenger air bag is deactivated as required by the standard. 2. The meaning of the air bag status telltale alone (without the identifying words) is unequivocal to the vehicle occupants. The telltale remains off when the passenger air bag is in the normal mode. When the passenger air bag is deactivated, the telltale is illuminated, showing an icon representing an air bag with an X drawn over it. This clearly represents a deactivated air bag. Nissan notes that in certain other markets, the telltale alone is deemed sufficient with no identifying words required next to the telltale. The identifying words ``passenger side air bag'' (without the word ``OFF'') do not confuse the otherwise clear and readily apparent meaning of the telltale. 3. Information provided in several locations in the vehicle owner's manual further reduces any possibility of operator confusion. If the meaning of telltale is unclear, the operator can refer to multiple explanations in the owner's manual. 4. Telltale Function is also described in Quick Reference Guide. 5. There have been no customer complaints, injuries, or accidents related to the word ``OFF'' missing from the label. Nissan has searched its databases and has found no cases of misunderstanding the telltale. 6. Nissan conducted an informal survey at Nissan's National Headquarters Building in Franklin, Tennessee. The building houses mostly business personnel (sales marketing, finance) and not design engineers that would have special understanding of the air bag systems. As employees were approaching the building to begin their workday, they were asked to participate in a survey regarding the Titan and that the survey would take about 30 seconds of their time. The participants represented a good cross-section of the general population by age, gender and race. The subject Titan pickup truck was equipped with the required yellow passenger side air bag status telltale that contained the ``no air bag'' symbol, but did not display the word ``OFF''. The passenger air bag telltale was illuminated. Survey participants were asked to describe the meaning of the telltale. Sixty people participated in the survey. Of the sixty people, 58 responded correctly that the telltale indicated the passenger side airbag was in suppressed mode. The survey shows that people understand the meaning of the passenger air bag telltale even with the word ``OFF'' missing. We note also that adding the word ``OFF'' did not help the two respondents to understand the meaning of the telltale. They would have needed to consult the Owner's Manual. Nissan acknowledges that this was an ad hoc survey that may not meet rigid statistical standards, nevertheless, we believe it is predictive of the results that would be obtained from a larger, controlled survey. 7. A decision to grant this petition would be consistent with arguably similar prior requests related to labeling issues. For example, NHTSA has previously granted petitions related to certain tire and tire placard labeling errors. Nissan also states that it has taken steps to correct the non- compliance in future production. Supported by the above stated reasons, Nissan believes that the described FMVSS No. 208 noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt it from providing recall notification of noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120, should be granted. Discussion: Section S19.2.2 of FMVSS No. 208 specifically states:
Volkswagen Group of America, Incorporated, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen),\1\ has determined that certain model year (MY) 2011 Volkswagen Jetta passenger cars equipped with a TDI engine and Goodyear Eagle Vector 205/55 R16 94V XL tires, do not fully comply with paragraph S188.8.131.52 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less. Volkswagen has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports (dated June 7, 2011).