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Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, on Behalf of Daimler AG, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, on Behalf of Daimler AG, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
July 22, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 140 (Monday, July 22, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43967-43968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-17438]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0115; Notice 2]


Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, on Behalf of Daimler AG, Grant of 
Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Grant of petition .

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SUMMARY: Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA), \1\ on behalf of itself and 
its parent company Daimler AG (DAG),\2\ has determined that certain 
model year (MY) 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (204 platform) passenger 
cars manufactured between March and August 2011, do not fully comply 
with paragraph S4.3(d) 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. MBUSA has filed an 
appropriate report dated May 4, 2012, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, 
Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC is a U.S. company that manufacturers 
and imports motor vehicles.
    \2\ Daimler AG is a German 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, MBUSA 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 
September 13, 2012 in the Federal Register (77 FR 56698). 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-2012-0115.''
    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) 
366-1018, facsimile (202) 366-5930.
    Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 1,479 MY 2012 
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (204 platform) passenger vehicles manufactured 
between March and August 2011.
    Rule Text: Section S4.3(d) of FMVSS No. 110 specifically states:

    S4.3 Placard. Each vehicle, except for a trailer or incomplete 
vehicle, shall show the information specified in S4.3(a) through 
(g), and may show, at the manufacturer's option, the information 
specified in S4.3(h) and (i), on a placard permanently affixed to 
the driver's side B-pillar.* * *
    (b) Tire size designation, indicated by the headings ``size'' or 
``original tire size'' or ``original size,'' and ``spare tire'' or 
``spare,'' for the tires installed at the time of the first purchase 
for purposes other than resale. * * *

    Summary of MBUSA'S Analyses: MBUSA explains that the noncompliance 
is that the vehicle placard on the affected vehicles incorrectly 
identifies the tire size designation of the spare tire in the vehicle.
    MBUSA explains that while the vehicle placard incorrectly 
identifies the designated spare tire size corresponding to the actual 
size of the spare tire originally installed in the vehicle, the 
recommended cold tire inflation pressure for the spare tire is 
correctly stated. In addition, all information required under S4.3 for 
maintaining and replacing the front and rear tires, as well as vehicle 
weight and seating capacity, is correct.
    MBUSA also stated that if a vehicle owner were to question the 
correct spare tire size they would be able to check the size by 
comparing it with the size stamped on the sidewall of the originally 
provided spare tire. If the vehicle owner were to attempt to put a 
spare tire of the size indicated on the vehicle placard on the spare 
tire rim originally provided with the vehicle, it would be immediately 
apparent that the tire is too large to be installed on the rim and hold 
any inflation pressure. Both the actually provided spare tire and a 
tire of the size indicated on the vehicle placard for the spare tire 
meet the FMVSS No. 110 loading requirements at the recommended cold 
inflation pressure stated on the vehicle placard. Both the originally 
installed spare tire and a spare tire of the size listed on the vehicle 
placard, when inflated to the labeled recommended cold inflation 
pressure, are appropriate to handle the vehicle maximum loads.
    MBUSA has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected future 
production and that all other required markings are present and 
correct.
    MBUSA is not aware of any incidents or customer complaints related 
to the noncompliant vehicle placard.
    MBUSA also expressed its belief that NHTSA has previously granted 
similar petitions.
    In summation, MBUSA 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 has reviewed and accepts MBUSA's analyses 
that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. 
MBUSA has provided sufficient documentation that other than the vehicle 
placard error, the vehicles comply with all other safety performance 
requirements of FMVSS No. 110. Since the correct information is 
provided in other locations, MBUSA has met its burden of persuasion. 
Accordingly, MBUSA's petition is hereby granted, and MBUSA is exempted 
from the obligation of providing notification of, and a remedy for, 
that noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.

[[Page 43968]]

    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 1,479 vehicles that MBUSA no longer controlled at 
the time it determined that a noncompliance existed. However, the 
granting of this petition does not relieve 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 MBUSA 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: July 9, 2013.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-17438 Filed 7-19-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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