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Mazda North American Operations, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mazda RX-8, Mazda MX-5

Mazda North American Operations, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
Federal Register
October 25, 2011


[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 206 (Tuesday, October 25, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Page 66130]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27581]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0141; Notice 2]


Mazda North American Operations, Grant of Petition for Decision 
of Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential 
Noncompliance.

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SUMMARY: Mazda North American Operations (MNAO),\1\ on behalf of Mazda 
Motor Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan (Mazda), has determined the lens 
of the headlamps equipped on certain 2004 through 2009 Mazda RX-8 model 
passenger cars, manufactured from April 1, 2003, to May 29, 2009, and 
certain 2006 through 2008 MX-5 model passenger cars, built from May 17, 
2005, to November 27, 2008, failed to meet the requirements of 
paragraph S7.2(b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
108 Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. Mazda has 
filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports, dated December 16, 2009.
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    \1\ Mazda Motor Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan (Mazda) is the 
manufacturer of the subject vehicles and Mazda North American 
Operations (MNAO) is the importer of the vehicles as well as the 
registered agent for Mazda.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule 
implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, Mazda 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 the 
petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on October 
21, 2010 in the Federal Register (75 FR 65053). No comments were 
received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto 
the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to 
locate docket number ``NHTSA-2010-0141.''
    For further information on this decision, contact Mr. Michael Cole, 
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-2334, facsimile 
(202) 366-7002.
    Mazda estimates approximately 123,000 2004 through 2009 Mazda RX-8 
model passenger cars, manufactured from April 1, 2003 to May 29, 2009, 
and 2006 through 2008 MX-5 model passenger cars, built from May 17, 
2005 to November 27, 2008, are affected. All of the affected vehicles 
were built at Mazda'a plant in Hiroshima Japan.
    Mazda states that the noncompliance is that the lenses of the 
headlamps on the affected vehicles are not marked with the name or 
trademark of the manufacturer of the headlamp, the manufacturer of the 
vehicle, or the importer of the vehicle.
    Mazda was notified by its headlamp manufacturer, Koito 
Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (Koito) of the apparent noncompliance. 
Mazda then concluded that the vehicles equipped with the affected 
headlamps failed to comply with paragraph S7.2(b) of FMVSS No. 108.
    Mazda stated the following reasons why they believe the 
noncompliance is inconsequential to vehicle safety and does not present 
a risk to motor vehicle safety:

    The affected headlamps fulfill all the relevant performance 
requirements of FMVSS No. 108, except that trade name and/or 
trademark of the manufacturer or importer is missing on the lens. 
However, the affected headlamps have the trademark of the headlamp 
manufacturer on the rim of the headlamp housing. Thus, Mazda 
contends that this marking on the rim is visible with the vehicle's 
front hood open and states that it believes that the rim marking 
could assist the easy identification of the headlamp manufacturer by 
the users of the vehicles.
    Mazda has not received any complaints or claims related to the 
noncompliance nor is it aware of any known reports of accidents or 
injuries attributed to the noncompliance.

    In summary, Mazda states that it believes the noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because the affected headlamps 
fulfill all other relevant requirements of FMVSS No. 108.
    The company also states that it has taken steps to correct the 
noncompliance in future production.
    Supported by the above stated reasons, Mazda believes that the 
subject 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.
    NHTSA Decision: NHTSA agrees with Mazda that the performance of the 
headlamps is not affected by the subject noncompliance. NHTSA also 
agrees that in this unique case that the marking of the trademark on 
the rim of the headlamp housing, rather than on the headlamp lens 
itself as required by the rule, fulfills the same function as the 
requirement because a vehicle user can readily determine the 
manufacturer of the headlamp.
    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 vehicles \2\ that Mazda no longer controlled at the 
time that it determined that a noncompliance existed in the subject 
vehicles.
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    \2\ Mazda's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt Mazda as a manufacturer from 
the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR part 573 for 
the affected vehicles. However, a decision on this petition cannot 
relieve 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 Mazda notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.
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    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that Mazda has 
met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 108 labeling 
noncompliances are inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. 
Accordingly, Mazda's petition is granted and the petitioner is exempted 
from the obligation of providing notification of, and a remedy for, the 
subject noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.

    Authority:  (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 
CFR 1.50 and 501.8.)

    Issued on: October 19, 2011.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2011-27581 Filed 10-24-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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