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Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Cooper Tires

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
February 11, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 28 (Monday, February 11, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9775-9776]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03075]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0109; Notice 1]


Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Receipt of Petition.

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SUMMARY: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper),\1\ has determined that 
certain Cooper brand tires manufactured between May 20, 2012 and June 
16, 2012, do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5 of Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New Pneumatic Radial Tires for 
Light Vehicles. Cooper has filed an appropriate report dated July 5, 
2012, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, is a manufacturer of 
replacement equipment and is registered under the laws of the state 
of Delaware.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR Part 556), Cooper 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 Cooper'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 1,080 size P225/70R14 
El Dorado Legend GT brand standard load tires manufactured in Mexico by 
Cooper's affiliate, Corporaci[oacute]n de Occidente S.A. de C.V., 
between May 20, 2012, and June 16, 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

[[Page 9776]]

defect or noncompliance. Therefore, these provisions only apply to the 
subject 1,080 \2\ tires that Cooper no longer controlled at the time it 
determined that the noncompliance existed.
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    \2\ Cooper's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR Part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt Cooper as an equipment 
manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 
CFR Part 573 for the 1,080 affected tires. However, a decision on 
this petition will not relieve tire distributors and dealers of the 
prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery 
for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant tires 
under their control after Cooper notified them that the subject 
noncompliance existed.
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    Noncompliance: Cooper explains that the noncompliance is that, due 
to a mold labeling error. The sidewall marking on the tires incorrectly 
describes the actual number of plies in the tread area of the tires as 
required by paragraph S5.5(f).
    Specifically, the tires in question were inadvertently manufactured 
with ``TREAD 2 PLY STEEL + 2 PLY POLYESTER; SIDEWALL 2 PLY POLYESTER.'' 
The labeling should have been ``TREAD 1 PLY NYLON + 2 PLY STEEL + 2 PLY 
POLYESTER; SIDEWALL ALL 2 PLY POLYESTER.''
    Rule Text: Paragraph S5.5 of FMVSS No. 139 requires in pertinent 
part:

    S5.5 Tire markings. Except as specified in paragraphs (a) 
through (i) of S5.5, each tire must be marked on each sidewall with 
the information specified in S5.5(a) through (d) and on one sidewall 
with the information specified in S5.5(e) through (i) according to 
the phase-in schedule specified in S7 of this standard. The markings 
must be placed between the maximum section width and the bead on at 
least one sidewall, unless the maximum section width of the tire is 
located in an area that is not more than one-fourth of the distance 
from the bead to the shoulder of the tire. If the maximum section 
width falls within that area, those markings must appear between the 
bead and a point one-half the distance from the bead to the shoulder 
of the tire, on at least one sidewall. The markings must be in 
letters and numerals not less than 0.078 inches high and raised 
above or sunk below the tire surface not less than 0.015 inches. * * 
*
    (e) The generic name of each cord material used in the plies 
(both sidewall and tread area) of the tire;
    (f) The actual number of plies in the sidewall, and the actual 
number of plies in the tread area, if different; * * *

Summary of Cooper's Analysis and Arguments

    Cooper believes that while the noncompliant tires are mislabeled; 
the subject tires in fact have more tread plies than indicated and meet 
or exceed all performance requirements as required in part by FMVSS No. 
139.
    In addition, Cooper states that it has corrected the problem that 
caused the noncompliance so that it will not reoccur in future 
production.
    In summation, Cooper believes that the described noncompliance of 
its tires 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: March 13, 2013.

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

    Issued On: February 1, 2013.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-03075 Filed 2-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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