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General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  General Motors

General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
September 30, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 189 (Monday, September 30, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60019-60020]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23663]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0144; Notice 1]


General Motors, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

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SUMMARY: General Motors, LLC (GM) \1\ has determined that certain model 
year 2013 Chevrolet Malibu passenger cars manufactured between June 21, 
2011 and July 24, 2012, do not fully comply with paragraphs S3.1.4.1(a) 
and (b) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 102, 
Transmission Shift Position Sequence, Starter Interlock, and 
Transmission Braking Effect. GM has filed an appropriate report dated 
August 3, 2012, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.
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    \1\ General Motors, LLC, is a manufacturer of motor vehicles and 
is registered under the laws of the state of Michigan.

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DATES: October 30, 2013.

ADDRESSES: 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:
     Mail: Send comments 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.
     Hand Deliver: Deliver comments by hand 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.
     Electronically: Submit comments 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. GM's Petition

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see implementing rule 
at 49 CFR part 556), GM submitted a petition 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 GM'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.
    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 23,910 \2\ 2013 Chevrolet Malibu passenger 
cars that GM no longer controlled at the time it determined that the 
noncompliance existed.
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    \2\ GM's petition, which was filed under 49 CFR part 556, 
requests an agency decision to exempt GM as a motor vehicle 
manufacturer from the notification and recall responsibilities of 49 
CFR part 573 for the affected 2013 Chevrolet Malibu passenger cars. 
However, a decision on this petition cannot relieve vehicle 
distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for 
sale, introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant motor vehicles under their control 
after GM notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.
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II. Vehicles Involved

    Affected are approximately 23,910 model year 2013 Chevrolet Malibu 
passenger cars manufactured between June 21, 2011 and July 24, 2012.

III. Noncompliance

    GM explains that the noncompliance is that in the subject vehicles, 
because the primary shift lever position backlight in the console shift 
indicator can fail to illuminate, the transmission shift position 
selected in relation to the other gears is not always provided under 
the required conditions specified in S3.1.4.1 (a) and (b).

IV. Rule Text

    Paragraph S3.1.4.1 (a) and (b) of FMVSS No. 102 specifically 
states:

    S3.1.4 Identification of shift positions and of shift position 
sequence.
    S3.1.4.1 Except as specified in S3.1.4.3, if the transmission 
shift position sequence includes a park position, identification of 
shift positions, including the positions in relation to each other 
and the position selected, shall be displayed in view of the driver 
whenever any of the following conditions exist:
    (a) The ignition is in a position where the transmission can be 
shifted; or
    (b) The transmission is not in park.

V. Summary Of GM's Analysis and Arguments

    GM stated its belief that the subject noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:
    1. There is minimal risk that the operator will shift the vehicle 
out of park without being aware that the transmission shift position 
sequence display is not illuminated since the condition can only be 
initiated at key-up (engine crank). The condition cannot be initiated 
while driving.
    2. The condition corrects on the next ignition cycle. Throughout 
our investigation it never repeated on consecutive ignition cycles.

[[Page 60020]]

    3. The gear selected is always provided in a redundant display 
located in the instrument panel (IP) cluster.
    a. The up-level IP cluster is utilized in 85% of the vehicle 
production and displays the gear selected in relation to the other 
gears for 3 seconds whenever the vehicle is shifted. After 3 seconds 
the IP cluster displays only the gear selected.
    b. 15% of production has the base IP cluster which displays only 
the gear selected.
    4. The system is designed to minimize the risk that the operator 
will shift to an unintended gear.
    a. When shifting, a secondary motion (button push on shifter) is 
required to help prevent mis-shift. A button on the shift lever must be 
depressed when shifting from:
    i. PARK to any other gear:
    ii. REVERSE to any other gear: or
    iii. DRIVE to PARK or REVERSE
    b. NEUTRAL gear selection from DRIVE does not require a secondary 
motion (button push on shifter), making location of NEUTRAL easier in a 
panic situation.
    c. The gear selected is provided as a secondary display in the IP 
cluster and the shifter in the subject vehicle utilizes a linear shift 
pattern (used on US vehicles for more than 50 years). Since the 
relationship between PARK, REVERSE, NEUTRAL and DRIVE is well 
understood by the driving public, this should assist the operator in 
determining the shift lever's position in relationship to the other 
gear positions even when not illuminated.
    d. Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) helps to assure the 
driver is not caught unaware when shifting from PARK since the operator 
must first apply the brake.
    e. On the subject vehicles miss-shifting is prevented while the 
vehicles are in motion. At speeds above 10 MPH, shifting from DRIVE to 
REVERSE or PARK; or shifting from REVERSE to PARK or DRIVE, is 
electronically inhibited.
    5. The frequency of the condition occurring is rare and random.
    a. As of 25 July 2012, there were only ten reported incidents which 
occurred on seven of 285 captured test fleet (CTF) vehicles. The 
condition was reported twice on two of the CTF vehicles and did not 
occur on consecutive ignition cycles.
    b. During the investigation, it took more than a week of testing 
during which approximately 1000 ignition cycles were conducted on each 
of four CTF vehicles reported to have the condition in order to 
recreate the occurrence.
    c. Warranty claims as of 25 July 2012
    i. US Warranty 3 of 8,573 vehicles
    ii. China Warranty 2 of 11,872 vehicles
    iii. Korea Warranty 3 of 4,968 vehicles
    d. None of the Warranty claims or CTF reports indicated that the 
operator had experienced a mis-shift condition.
    e. No claims were discovered related to injury or crash.
    f. As of August 1, 2012, GM found no Vehicle Owner's Questionnaires 
(VOQs) resulting from the subject condition during its search of the 
NHTSA database.
    6. GM stated its belief that NHTSA granted a similar petition in 
the past.
    GM has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production will comply with FMVSS No. 
102.
    In summation, GM 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.

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

Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-23663 Filed 9-27-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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