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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 37881-37882]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14920]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0118; 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 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 
pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports, dated June 21, 2012.
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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) 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 the 
petition was published, with a 30-day public comment period, on October 
24, 2012 in the Federal Register (77 FR 65051). 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-2012-0118.''
    Contact Information: For further information on this decision 
contact Mr. Harry Thompson, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone 
(202)366-5289, facsimile (202) 366-5930.
    Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 16,748 Mazda brand 
motor vehicles manufactured between 2007 and 2012 for sale or lease in 
Puerto Rico* * *
    Rule Text: Section S4.5 of FMVSS No. 138 specifically states:
    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 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 Analyses: 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.
    MNAO stated its belief that while the subject motor vehicles were 
delivered to customers in Puerto Rico with owner's manuals that did not 
include the statement as required by paragraph

[[Page 37882]]

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 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.
    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 of the 
subject vehicles 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.
    NHTSA Decision: NHTSA agrees with MNAO 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. 138 
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 16,748 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. 2013-14920 Filed 6-21-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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