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Combi USA, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Combi

Combi USA, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
August 9, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 154 (Friday, August 9, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48767-48768]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19278]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0080; Notice 1]


Combi USA, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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SUMMARY: Combi USA, Inc., (Combi),\1\ has determined that certain model 
child restraint systems manufactured between 2007 and 2012, do not 
fully comply with paragraph 5.4.1.2(a) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, Child Restraint Systems. Combi has filed an 
appropriate report dated June 9, 2013, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, 
Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ Combi USA, Inc., is a U.S. company that manufactures child 
restraint systems.
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    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR Part 556), Combi 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.
    This notice of receipt of Combi'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.
    Child Restraints Involved: Affected are approximately 23,357 Combi 
Coccoro child restraint systems manufactured between 2009-2012, 5,391 
Combi Zeus 360 child restraint systems manufactured between 2009-2012, 
and 4,391 Combi Zeus Turn child restraint systems manufactured between 
2007-2009.
    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, these provisions 
only apply to the subject 33,139 \2\ child restraint systems

[[Page 48768]]

that Combi no longer controlled at the time it determined that the 
noncompliance existed.
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    \2\ Combi's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR Part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt Combi as a child restraint 
system manufacturer from the notification and recall 
responsibilities of 49 CFR Part 573 for the 33,139 affected 
restraints. However, a decision on this petition cannot relieve 
child restraint system distributors and dealers of the prohibitions 
on the sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery for 
introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant restraints 
under their control after Combi notified them that the subject 
noncompliance existed.
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    Noncompliance: Combi states that the noncompliance is that due to 
an imbedded stop button within the harness system of the affected child 
restraint systems, the harness webbing does not meet the minimum 
breaking strength requirements of FMVSS No. 213 paragraph 5.4.1.2(a).
    Rule Text: Section S5.4.1.2 (a) of FMVSS No. 213 states, in 
pertinent part:

    . . . The webbing of belts provided with a child restraint 
system and used to attach the system to the vehicle or to restrain 
the child within the system shall . . .
    (a) Have a minimum breaking strength for new webbing . . . not 
less than 11,000 N in case of the webbing used to secure a child to 
a child restraint system when tested in accordance with S5.1 of 
FMVSS No. 209 . . .

    Summary of Combi's Analyses: Combi explains that the harness 
webbing of the subject Coccoro and Zeus child restraint systems does 
not meet the minimum breaking strength requirements of FMVSS No. 213 
and is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following 
reasons:
    1. Combi states that the production of the Zeus Turn child 
restraint system ended on March 25, 2009, and that the production of 
the Zeus 360 child restraint system ended on May 24, 2012.
    2. Combi also stated that all of the subject Coccoro child 
restraint systems were produced with the identical harness system as 
tested by NHTSA in 2012. Combi further noted that all of the subject 
Zeus 360 and Zeus Turn child restraint systems were produced with the 
same imbedded stop button within the harness system as the Coccoro 
child restraints tested by NHTSA in 2012. Combi's petition includes 
discussion of the test results of NHTSA's 2012 compliance testing of 
the subject Coccoro child restraint system harness webbing which 
yielded breaking strength test results of 8990 N, 9170 N, and 9300 N.
    3. Combi also explained that given the relative small number of 
subject Coccoro, Zeus 360, and Zeus Turn child restraints, the 
effectiveness of any notification campaign regarding this technical 
noncompliance will be limited. Combi further states that any 
noncompliance notice campaign may result in customers deciding to 
discontinue using their Coccoro and Zeus child restraints for a period 
of time, adding a risk of injury where none exists as a result of the 
noncompliance of the harness webbing of the subject Coccoro and Zeus 
child restraints with the minimum breaking strength requirements of 
FMVSS No. 213.
    4. Combi also provided testing data of the force loading on the 
harness system of the Coccoro and Zeus 360 child restraint when 
subjected to the FMVSS No. 213 dynamic crash pulse (30 mph crash pulse) 
and the NCAP pulse (35 mph crash pulse). The test results showed load 
cell values ranging from approximately 1150 N to 1900 N. Combi stated 
that these results confirm that the harness assemblies of the subject 
Coccoro, Zeus 360, and Zeus Turn child restraints will under no 
circumstances fail in a real world crash, as the forces acting on the 
harness system in dynamic testing are less than 22 percent of the 
breaking strength test results determined by NHTSA. Combi therefore 
believes that the harness assemblies of the subject Coccoro and Zeus 
child restraints present no motor vehicle safety risk.
    5. Combi further explained that they have not received any notice 
from any source, including but not limited to NHTSA, of any partial or 
complete breakage or tearing of the harness system in any Coccoro and 
Zeus child restraints.
    6. Combi also stated that they have implemented an engineering 
modification to all production of the Coccoro child restraints produced 
to remove the imbedded stop button since January 29, 2013.
    In summation, Combi believes that the described noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to 
exempt it from providing notification of noncompliance as required by 
49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the 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.
    Comment Closing Date: September 9, 2013.

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

    Dated: July 31, 2013.
Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-19278 Filed 8-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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