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

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mazda

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

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
June 24, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 121 (Monday, June 24, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37880-37881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14909]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0117; Notice 2]


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

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Grant 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 2000 and 2012 
for sale or lease in Puerto Rico, do not fully comply with paragraph 
S4.1 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 225, Child 
Restraint Anchorage Systems. MNAO has filed an appropriate report 
pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports, dated June 21, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Mazda North American Operations is a U.S. company that 
manufacturers and imports motor vehicles.
    \2\ Mazda Motor Corporation is a Japanese company that 
manufacturers motor vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule 
implementing those provisions at 49 CFR Part 556, MNAO 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 MNAO's petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on September 28, 2012 in the Federal Register 
(77 FR 59703). 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-2012-0117.''
    Contact Information: For further information on this decision 
contact Mr. Ed Chan, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 493-
0335.
    Vehicles involved: Affected are approximately 60,509 Mazda brand 
motor vehicles manufactured between 2000 and 2012 for sale or lease in 
Puerto Rico.
    Rule Text: Section Sec.  4.1 of FMVSS No. 225 specifically states:

Sec.  4.1 Each Tether anchorage and each child restraint anchorage 
system installed, either voluntarily or pursuant to this standard, 
in any new vehicle manufactured on or after September 1, 1999, shall 
comply with the configuration, location, marking and strength 
requirements of this standard. The vehicle shall be delivered with 
written information, in English, on how to appropriately use those 
anchorages and systems.

    Summary of MNAO's Analysis: MNAO explains that the noncompliance is 
that certain Mazda brand motor vehicles sold in Puerto Rico were not 
delivered with instructions on the use of child restraint tether 
anchorages written in English. The instructions were only provided in 
Spanish as part of the Spanish language version of the vehicle owner's 
manual provided with the vehicles at first sale. No English version 
owner's manuals were provided.
    MNAO believes that while the noncompliant motor vehicles were 
delivered to Puerto Rico with owner's manuals written only in the 
Spanish language and did not include a written

[[Page 37881]]

version in the English language as required by FMVSS No. 225, 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 
the Puerto Rico's population speaks Spanish as their primary language.
    3. NHTSA also has a long history of encouraging the dissemination 
of product information in languages that are useful for the vehicle 
owners. (See example http://isearch.nhtsa.gov/files/8047.html)
    4. English Owner's 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.
    5. 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 future 
production and that all other motor vehicle owner's manuals are 
correct.
    NHTSA Decision: NHTSA agrees with Mazda that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. MNAO has provided sufficient 
documentation that the language in the Owner's Manual is the primary 
language for Puerto Rico and does not present a safety risk.
    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has determined that MNAO 
has met its burden of persuasion that the subject FMVSS No. 225 
noncompliance in the vehicles identified in MNAO's Noncompliance 
Information Report is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. 
Accordingly, MNAO's petition is hereby granted and MNAO is exempted 
from the obligation of providing notification of, and a remedy for, 
that 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 approximately 60,509 vehicles that MNAO no longer 
controlled at the time that it determined that a noncompliance existed 
in the subject vehicles. However, the granting of this petition does 
not relieve vehicle distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the 
sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into 
interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control 
after MNAO notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.

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

    Issued on: June 18, 2013.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-14909 Filed 6-21-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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