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BMW of North America, LLC, a Subsidiary of BMW AG, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  BMW X3

BMW of North America, LLC, a Subsidiary of BMW AG, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
October 16, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 200 (Tuesday, October 16, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63415-63416]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25413]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0074; Notice 1]


BMW of North America, LLC, a Subsidiary of BMW 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: BMW North America, LLC,\1\ a subsidiary of BMW AG. 
(collectively referred to as BMW) \2\ has determined that certain model 
year 2012 BMW X3 SAV multi-purpose passenger vehicles manufactured 
between April 1, 2011 and March 14, 2012, do not fully comply with 
paragraph S4.3.3 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. BMW has filed an appropriate 
report dated March 28, 2012, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ BMW North America, LLC, is a U.S. company that manufactures 
and imports motor vehicles.
    \2\ BMW 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), BMW 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 BMW'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 1,409 model year 2012 
BMW X3 SAV multipurpose passenger vehicles manufactured between April 
1, 2011 through March 14, 2012.
    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 1,409 \3\ vehicles that BMW no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ BMW's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt BMW as a vehicle manufacturer 
from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR part 573 
for the 1,409 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 BMW notified them that the 
subject noncompliance existed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Noncompliance: BMW's explained that the noncompliance is that the 
certification label required by 49 CFR part 567 does not list rim 
information for the tires installed on the vehicles as original 
equipment as required by paragraph S4.3.3 of FMVSS No. 110.
    Rule Text: Paragraph S4.3.3 of FMVSS No. 110 requires in pertinent 
part:

    S4.3.3 Additional labeling information for vehicles other than 
passenger cars. Each vehicle shall show the size designation and, if 
applicable, the type designation of rims (not necessarily those on 
the vehicle) appropriate for the tire appropriate for use on that 
vehicle, including the tire installed as original equipment on the 
certification label required by part 567.4 or part 567.5 of this 
chapter. This information shall be in the English language, lettered 
in block capitals and numerals not less than 2.4 millimeters high 
and in the following format:

GVWR: 2,441 kilograms (5381 pounds).
GAWR: Front--1,299 kilograms (2,864 pounds) with P265/70R16 tires, 
16 x 8.0 rims at 248 kPa (36 psi) cold single.
GAWR: Rear--1,299 kilograms (2,864 pounds) with P265/70R16 tires, 16 
x 8.00 rims, at 248 kPa (36 psi) cold single.

Summary of BMW's Analysis and Arguments

    BMW states that while the certification label required by 49 CFR

[[Page 63416]]

part 567 does not contain tire and rim information for tires and rims 
that were installed as original equipment, the information pertains to 
tires and rims that are appropriate for use on the vehicles. BMW also 
argues that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle 
safety for the following reasons:
    1. If a driver only checks the certification label (which indicates 
either 17-inch tires or 18-inch tires) or if the driver checks the 
certification label and the FMVSS No. 110 tire and loading information 
Vehicle Placard (which shows the size of the tires originally installed 
on the vehicle), and is unsure as to the proper inflation pressure and 
the size of the tires installed on the vehicle, there are a number of 
information sources and services available which can be used to inform 
the driver of the correct tire size and tire pressure.
    a. A driver could check the specific tires installed on the 
vehicle. The information that is stamped onto the sidewall of those 
tires corresponds to the information contained on the FMVSS No. 110 
tire and loading information Vehicle Placard. A driver would be able to 
determine that the tires installed on the vehicle correspond to the 
tires indicated on the FMVSS 110 tire and loading information Vehicle 
Placard. Therefore, a driver would be able to add the correct amount of 
air pressure to the tires in order to achieve the proper inflation 
level.
    b. If the driver were to use the tire size shown on the 
certification label in order to look up the associated tire pressure in 
the owner's manual and then pressurize the tires to that pressure the 
Tire Pressure Monitoring System would not need to initiate.
    c. The driver will also be able to refer to the vehicle's Owner's 
Manual which contains information pertaining to the various tire sizes 
and tire pressures for the affected vehicles.
    d. BMW also offers Roadside Assistance and BMW Assist (only 
included with Premium Package and as a stand-alone option) which are 
available 24 hours/day with representatives that are available to 
provide drivers with all of the available tires sizes and 
specifications for the affected vehicles.
    BMW has received no customer complaints and are unaware of any 
accidents or injuries regarding this noncompliance of the affected 
vehicles.
    BMW has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected future 
production and that all other required markings are present and 
correct.
    BMW also explains that NHTSA has previously granted similar 
petitions.
    In summation, BMW believes that the described noncompliance of its 
certification labels 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.
    Comment Closing Date: November 15, 2012.

    Authority:  (49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 
CFR 1.95 and 501.8)

    Issued on: October 4, 2012.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2012-25413 Filed 10-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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