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General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Chevrolet Captiva, Buick Verano

General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
November 5, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 214 (Monday, November 5, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66501-66502]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26914]



[[Page 66501]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0106; Notice 1]


General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Receipt of Petition.

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SUMMARY: General Motors, LLC \1\ (GM) has determined that certain model 
year 2012 Chevrolet Captiva and Buick Verano passenger cars 
manufactured between April 6, 2011 and June 4, 2011, do not fully 
comply with paragraph S5.2.1 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 101, Controls and Displays and paragraphs S5.5.5 of FMVSS 
No. 135, Light Vehicle Brake Systems. GM has filed an appropriate 
report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports (dated June 13, 2011).
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    \1\ General Motors, LLC is a manufacturer of motor vehicles and 
is registered under the laws of the state of Michigan.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), GM 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.
    This notice of receipt of GM'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 47,822 model year 
2012 Chevrolet Captiva and Buick Verano model passenger cars that were 
manufactured between April 6, 2011 and June 4, 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 47,822 \2\ model year 2012 Chevrolet Captiva and 
Buick Verano model passenger cars that GM no longer controlled at the 
time it determined that the noncompliance existed.
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    \2\ GM's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR Part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt GM as a vehicle manufacturer 
from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 CFR Part 573 
for 47,822 of the affected vehicles. However, a decision on this 
petition cannot 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 GM notified them that the subject 
noncompliance existed.
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    Noncompliance: GM explains that the noncompliance is that the 
telltales used for Park Brake are displayed using International 
Organization for Standardization (ISO) symbols instead of the telltale 
symbols required by FMVSS Nos. 101 and 135.
    Rule Text: Paragraph S5.2.1 of FMVSS No. 101 requires:

    S5.2.1 Except for the Low Tire Pressure Telltale, each control, 
telltale and indicator that is listed in column 1 of Table 1 or 
Table 2 must be identified by the symbol specified for it in column 
2 or the word or abbreviation specified for it in column 3 of Table 
1 or Table 2. If a symbol is used, each symbol provided pursuant to 
this paragraph must be substantially similar in form to the symbol 
as it appears in Table 1 or Table 2. If a symbol is used, each 
symbol provided pursuant to this paragraph must have the 
proportional dimensional characteristics of the symbol as it appears 
in Table 1 or Table 2. The Low Tire Pressure Telltale (either the 
display identifying which tire has low pressure or the display which 
does not identify which tire has low pressure) shall be identified 
by the appropriate symbol designated in column 4, or both the symbol 
in column 4 and the words in column 3. No identification is required 
for any horn (i.e., audible warning signal) that is activated by a 
lanyard or by the driver pressing on the center of the face plane of 
the steering wheel hub; or for a turn signal control that is 
operated in a plane essentially parallel to the face plane of the 
steering wheel in its normal driving position and which is located 
on the left side of the steering column so that it is the control on 
that side of the column nearest to the steering wheel face plane. 
However, if identification is provided for a horn control in the 
center of the face plane of the steering wheel hub, the identifier 
must meet Table 2 requirements for the horn.

    Paragraphs S5.5.5 of FMVSS No. 135 requires in pertinent part:

    S5.5.5. Labeling. (a) Each visual indicator shall display a word 
or words in accordance with the requirements of Standard No. 101 (49 
CFR 571.101) and this section, which shall be legible to the driver 
under all daytime and nighttime conditions when activated. Unless 
otherwise specified, the words shall have letters not less than 3.2 
mm (1/8 inch) high and the letters and background shall be of 
contrasting colors, one of which is red. Words or symbols in 
addition to those required by Standard No. 101 and this section may 
be provided for purposes of clarity.
    (b) Vehicles manufactured with a split service brake system may 
use a common brake warning indicator to indicate two or more of the 
functions described in S5.5.1(a) through S5.5.1(g). If a common 
indicator is used, it shall display the word ``Brake.'' * * *

    Summary of GM's Analysis and Arguments: GM explained that the 
noncompliance is that the telltales used for parking brake are 
displayed using International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 
symbols instead of the telltale symbols required by FMVSS Nos. 101 and 
135.
    GM stated its belief that although the instrument cluster telltale 
symbols are displayed using ISO symbols the noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    (1) The functionality of all braking systems, including the service 
brakes and parking brakes, is not affected by the noncompliance and the 
vehicles will operate as intended.
    (2) In addition to the parking brake telltale, the Captiva Driver 
Information Center (DIC) provides a message when the parking brake is 
set. Specifically, when the parking brake is applied and the ISO 
parking brake telltale is illuminated, the following message is also 
displayed: ``Park Brake Set''
    (3) In the noncompliant vehicles, the electronic parking brake 
automatically releases when the vehicle transmission is in drive and 
the vehicle is driven away.
    (4) The description of the parking braking operation, found in the 
owner's manual, clearly indicates the ISO parking brake symbol will be 
displayed when the parking brake is applied.
    (5) The control, which applies and releases the parking brake on 
the subject vehicles, is identified with the same ISO symbol that is 
used on the telltale to indicate the parking brake is applied.
    (6) Other current and previous vehicles manufactured by GM and 
other manufacturers use the ISO parking brake symbol in conjunction 
with the word ``PARK'', or a common brake telltale incorporating the 
subject park brake symbol in conjunction with the word ``BRAKE'' and 
the ISO symbol for brake malfunction, to indicate the application of 
the parking brake. GM has also, confirmed that the Parking Brake ISO 
telltale, in conjunction with the brake malfunction telltale and word 
``BRAKE'', has been used on other vehicles and thus the motoring public 
has come to associate the ISO park brake symbol with the application of 
the parking brake.
    (7) GM is unaware of any field or owner complaints or injuries 
regarding the subject noncompliance.

[[Page 66502]]

    In summation, GM believes that the described noncompliance of its 
vehicles 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.

DATES: Comment closing date: December 5, 2012.

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

    Issued on: October 24, 2012.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2012-26914 Filed 11-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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