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Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, on Behalf of Daimler AG, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, on Behalf of Daimler AG, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
September 13, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 178 (Thursday, September 13, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56698-56700]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22559]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0115; Notice 1]


Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, on Behalf of Daimler AG, Receipt of 
Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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SUMMARY: Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA),\1\ on behalf of itself and its 
parent company Daimler AG (DAG) \2\, has determined that certain model 
year 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (204 platform) passenger cars 
manufactured

[[Page 56699]]

between March and August 2011, do not fully comply with paragraph 
S4.3(d) 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. MBUSA has filed an appropriate 
report dated May 4, 2012, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, is a U.S. company that manufacturers 
and imports motor vehicles.
    \2\ Daimler AG, is a German company that manufactures motor 
vehicles.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), MBUSA submitted a petition 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.
    This notice of receipt of MBUSA'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.
    Vehicles involved: Affected are approximately 1,479 model year 2012 
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (204 platform) passenger vehicles manufactured 
between March and August 2011.
    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, these provisions 
only apply to the subject 1,479 \3\ vehicles that MBUSA no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed.
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    \3\ MBUSA's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt MBUSA as a vehicle 
manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 
CFR part 573 for the 1,479 affected vehicles. However, a decision on 
this petition will not relieve vehicle distributors and dealers of 
the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, introduction or 
delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the 
noncompliant vehicles under their control after MBUSA notified them 
that the subject noncompliance existed.
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    Noncompliance: MBUSA explains that the noncompliance is that the 
vehicle placard on the affected vehicles incorrectly identifies the 
tire size designation of the spare tire in the vehicle.
    Rule text: Paragraph S4.3(d) of FMVSS No. 110 requires in pertinent 
part:

    S4.3 Placard. Each vehicle, except for a trailer or incomplete 
vehicle, shall show the information specified in S4.3(a) through 
(g), and may show, at the manufacturer's option, the information 
specified in S4.3(h) and (i), on a placard permanently affixed to 
the driver's side B-pillar. * * *
    (b) Tire size designation, indicated by the headings ``size'' or 
``original tire size'' or ``original size,'' and ``spare tire'' or 
``spare,'' for the tires installed at the time of the first purchase 
for purposes other than resale. * * *

Summary of MBUSA's Analysis and Arguments

    MBUSA explains that while the vehicle placard incorrectly 
identifies the designated spare tire size corresponding to the actual 
size of the spare tire originally installed in the vehicle, the 
recommended cold tire inflation pressure for the spare tire is 
correctly stated. In addition, all information required under S4.3 for 
maintaining and replacing the front and rear tires, as well as vehicle 
weight and seating capacity, is correct.
    MBUSA also stated that if a vehicle owner were to question the 
correct spare tire size they would be able to check the size by 
comparing it with the size stamped on the sidewall of the originally 
provided spare tire. If the vehicle owner were to attempt to put a 
spare tire of the size indicated on the vehicle placard on the spare 
tire rim originally provided with the vehicle, it would be immediately 
apparent that the tire is too large to be installed on the rim and hold 
any inflation pressure. Both the actually provided spare tire and a 
tire of the size indicated on the vehicle placard for the spare tire 
meet the FMVSS No. 110 loading requirements at the recommended cold 
inflation pressure stated on the vehicle placard. Both the originally 
installed spare tire and a spare tire of the size listed on the vehicle 
placard, when inflated to the labeled recommended cold inflation 
pressure, are appropriate to handle the vehicle maximum loads.
    MBUSA has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected future 
production and that all other required markings are present and 
correct.
    MBUSA is not aware of any incidents or customer complaints related 
to the noncompliant vehicle placard.
    MBUSA also expressed its belief that NHTSA has previously granted 
similar petitions.
    In summation, MBUSA believes that the described noncompliance of 
its vehicle placards regarding the spare tire size is inconsequential 
to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt 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.
    Comments: Interested persons are invited to submit written data, 
views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the 
docket and notice number cited at the beginning of this notice and be 
submitted by any of the following methods:
    a. By mail addressed to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    b. By hand delivery to: 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 Federal Holidays.
    c. Electronically: by logging onto the Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Web site at http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments. Comments may also be faxed 
to 1-202-493-2251.
    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 your comments were received, please 
enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that 
all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
    Documents submitted to a docket may be viewed by anyone at the 
address and times given above. The documents may also be viewed on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by following the online 
instructions for accessing the dockets. DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement is available for review in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).
    The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received 
before the close of business on the closing date indicated below will 
be filed and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials 
received after the closing date will also be filed and will be 
considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or 
denied, notice of the decision will be published in the Federal 
Register pursuant to the authority indicated below.

[[Page 56700]]

    Comment Closing Date: October 15, 2012.

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

    Issued on: September 6, 2012.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2012-22559 Filed 9-12-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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