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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mazda

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

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
October 24, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 206 (Wednesday, October 24, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65051-65052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26156]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0118; Notice 1]


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

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Receipt of Petition.

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SUMMARY: Mazda North American Operations (MNAO),\1\ on behalf of Mazda 
Motor Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan (Mazda),\2\ has determined that 
certain Mazda brand motor vehicles manufactured between 2007 and 2012 
for sale or lease in Puerto Rico, do not fully comply with paragraph 
S4.5 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 138, Tire 
Pressure Monitoring Systems. MNAO has filed an appropriate report dated 
June 21, 2012, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ Mazda North American Operations, is a U.S. company that 
manufactures and imports motor vehicles.
    \2\ Mazda Motor Corporation, is a Japanese 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), MNAO 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 MNAO'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 16,748 Mazda brand 
motor vehicles manufactured between 2007 and 2012 for sale or lease in 
Puerto Rico.
    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 16,748 \3\ vehicles that MNAO no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed.
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    \3\ MNAO's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR Part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt MNAO as a vehicle manufacturer 
from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR Part 573 
for the 16,748 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 MNAO notified them that the 
subject noncompliance existed.
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    Noncompliance: MNAO explains that the noncompliance is that certain 
Mazda brand motor vehicles sold in Puerto Rico were not delivered with 
the instruction statements required by paragraph S4.5(a) of FMVSS No 
138 written in English. The instructions were provided in Spanish as 
part of the Spanish language version of the vehicle owner's manual 
provided with the vehicles at first sale, however, no English version 
owner's manuals were provided.
    Rule Text: Paragraph S4.5 of FMVSS No. 138 requires in pertinent 
part:

    S4.5 Written instructions.
    (a) Beginning on September 1, 2006, the owner's manual in each 
vehicle certified as complying with S4.5 must provide an image of 
the Low Tire Pressure Telltale symbol (and an image of the TPMS 
Malfunction Telltale warning (``TPMS''), if a dedicated telltale is 
utilized for this function) with the following statement in English:
    Each tire, including the spare (if provided), should be checked 
monthly when cold and inflated to the inflation pressure recommended 
by the vehicle manufacturer on the vehicle placard or tire inflation 
pressure label. (If your vehicle has tires of a different size than 
the size indicated on the vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure 
label, you should determine the proper tire inflation pressure for 
those tires.)
    As an added safety feature, your vehicle has been equipped with 
a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that illuminates a

[[Page 65052]]

low tire pressure telltale when one or more of your tires is 
significantly under-inflated. Accordingly, when the low tire 
pressure telltale illuminates, you should stop and check your tires 
as soon as possible, and inflate them to the proper pressure. 
Driving on a significantly under-inflated tire causes the tire to 
overheat and can lead to tire failure. Under-inflation also reduces 
fuel efficiency and tire tread life, and may affect the vehicle's 
handling and stopping ability* * *

    Summary of MNAO'S Analysis and Arguments:
    MNAO believes that while the subject motor vehicles were delivered 
to customers in Puerto Rico with Owners Manuals that did not include 
the statement as required by paragraph S4.5(a) of FMVSS No. 138 in 
English, it is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety 
for the following reasons:
    1. All affected owner's manuals contain accurate Spanish 
translations of the information.
    2. In Puerto Rico, Spanish is the universally prevalent language. 
According to a U.S. Census done by the Census Bureau in 2010, 95.7% of 
Puerto Rico's population speaks Spanish as their primary language.
    3. English Owners manuals for Mazda motor vehicles manufactured on 
or after 2002 can be downloaded from MNAO's Web site or upon request 
through MNAO dealerships and is available for customers in Puerto Rico 
free of charge.
    4. MNAO has not received any complaints or claims in Puerto Rico 
with regards to the language of the Owner's manuals.
    MNAO has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production vehicles will comply with 
FMVSS No. 138.
    In summation, MNAO believes that the described 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.
    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 23, 2012.

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

    Issued on: October 15, 2012.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2012-26156 Filed 10-23-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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