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Volkswagen Group of America, Incorporated, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Group of America, Incorporated, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
Federal Highway Administration
May 14, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 93 (Tuesday, May 14, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Page 28287]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11412]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2011-0082; Notice 2]


Volkswagen Group of America, Incorporated, Grant of Petition for 
Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Grant of Petition.

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SUMMARY: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen),\1\ has 
determined that certain model year (MY) 2011 Volkswagen Jetta passenger 
cars equipped with a TDI engine and Goodyear Eagle Vector 205/55 R16 
94V XL tires, do not fully comply with paragraph S4.2.1.2 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. Volkswagen has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 
49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports 
(dated June 7, 2011).
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    \1\ Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a motor vehicle 
manufacturer and importer incorporated under the laws of the state 
of New Jersey.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule 
implementing those provisions at 49 CFR Part 556, Volkswagen 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. Notice of 
receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day public comment 
period, on February 9, 2012 in the Federal Register (77 FR 6856). No 
comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting 
documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site 
at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search 
instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2011-0082.''
    Contact Information: For further information on this decision 
contact Ms. Amina Fisher, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 
366-5307, facsimile (202) 366-5930.
    Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 463 model year 2011 
Volkswagen Jetta passenger cars equipped with a TDI engine and Goodyear 
Eagle Vector 205/55 R16 94V XL tires, and manufactured between March 
18, 2011 and March 23, 2011.
    Summary of Volkswagen's Analysis and Arguments: Volkswagen explains 
that the noncompliance is that the recommended cold tire inflation 
pressure stated on the tire and loading information label is less than 
that calculated as prescribed by paragraph S4.2.1.2 of FMVSS No. 110 
for the Goodyear Eagle Vector 205/55 R16 94V XL tires installed on the 
subject vehicles. The tire and loading information label shows a 
recommended tire pressure of 33 psi, however, it should read 34 psi.
    Volkswagen argues that this noncompliance is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety because the noncompliant vehicle placards do not 
create an unsafe condition and all other labeling requirements have 
been met.
    In summation, Volkswagen believes that the described noncompliance 
of its tire and loading information labels to meet the requirements of 
FMVSS No. 110 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.
    Requirement Background: Section S4.2.1.2 of FMVSS No. 110 requires:

    S4.2.1.2 The vehicle normal load on the tire shall not be 
greater than 94 percent of the load rating at the vehicle 
manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for that tire.

    NHTSA's Analysis of Volkswagen's Reasoning: NHTSA agrees with 
Volkswagen that the designation of the recommended tire inflation 
pressure on the tire placard affixed to the subject vehicles is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. The intent of FMVSS No. 110 is 
to ensure that vehicles are equipped with tires loaded to an 
appropriate pressure level to handle maximum vehicle loads and prevent 
overloading. Even while inflated to 33 psi the installed 205/55R16 
tires are rated to withstand both the vehicle's fully loaded weight and 
the maximum GVWR for the affected vehicles.
    The subject vehicles have a fully loaded vehicle weight of 4,078.1 
pounds with the right rear tire bearing the most weight at 1,062.6 
pounds (considered ``worst case'' loading for one tire). If calculated 
at 34 psi (which the labels should have specified), the 205/55R16 tire 
is rated to support 1,257 pounds. At 33 psi (which the labels 
mistakenly specify) the tire is rated to support 1,235 pounds, 
exceeding the ``worst case'' loading scenario by 172.4 pounds. The 
subject vehicles have a maximum GVWR of 4299 pounds. The 205/55R16 tire 
inflated at 33 psi has a capacity rating that exceeds this GVWR value 
by 88.5 pounds.
    NHTSA Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has 
determined that Volkswagen has met its burden of persuasion that the 
FMVSS No. 110 noncompliance for the vehicles identified in Volkswagen's 
Noncompliance Information Report is inconsequential to motor vehicle 
safety. Accordingly, Volkswagen's petition is granted and the 
petitioner is exempted from the obligation of providing notification 
of, and a remedy for, the noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 
30120.
    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, this decision 
only applies to the 463 vehicles that Volkswagen no longer controlled 
at the time it determined that a noncompliance existed.

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

    Issued on: May 7, 2013.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-11412 Filed 5-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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