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PACCAR Incorporated, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government Topics:  Kenworth, Peterbilt

PACCAR Incorporated, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
September 26, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 187 (Thursday, September 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59419-59420]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23366]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0065; Notice 1]


PACCAR Incorporated, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Receipt of Petition.

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SUMMARY: PACCAR Inc. (PACCAR) has determined that certain model year 
(MY) 2013 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, do not fully comply with 
paragraph S3.1.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
102, Transmission Shift Position Sequence, Starter Interlock, and 
Transmission Braking Effect. PACCAR has filed an appropriate revised 
report dated March 1, 2013, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: October 28, 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 delivery: 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 (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. PACCAR's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) 
(see implementing rule at 49 CFR Part 556), PACCAR submitted a petition 
for an exemption from the notification and

[[Page 59420]]

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 PACCAR'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.
    II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 452 Kenworth MY 
2013 model K270 and model K370 trucks that were manufactured between 
March 29, 2012 and November 2, 2012, and MY 2013 Peterbilt model 210 
and model 220 vehicles that were manufactured between March 21, 2012 
and November 6, 2012.
    III. Noncompliance: PACCAR explains that the noncompliance is that 
the starter interlock in the affected automatic transmission trucks 
does not conform to paragraph S3.1.3 of FMVSS No. 102 because the 
starter interlock is based on a system that differs from the system 
specified in the standard. Although the starter interlock on these 
trucks prevents the transmission from propelling the vehicle and, 
therefore, is effective in preventing truck ``roll away,'' the 
engineering of the starter interlock is not consistent with the 
specification prescribed in paragraph S3.1.3 of FMVSS No. 102.
    The trucks in the affected population are designed so that the 
engine will start with the gear selector in any position, but the 
transmission will remain in neutral until the service brake is applied 
and the transmission is shifted from neutral into a gear. Because an 
operator can start the engine with the gear selector in any position, 
the starter interlock on these vehicles does not conform to the 
applicable requirement.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S3.1.3 of FMVSS No. 102 specifically 
states:

    S3.1.3 Starter interlock. Except as provided in S3.1.3.1 through 
S3.1.3.3, the engine starter shall be inoperative when the 
transmission shift position is in a forward or reverse drive 
position.

    V. Summary of PACCAR's Analyses: PACCAR stated its belief that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for 
the following reasons:

    S3.1.3 of FMVSS No. 102 provides, in pertinent part: ``. . . the 
engine starter shall be inoperative when the transmission shift 
position is in a forward or reverse drive position.'' Assuming that 
the term ``transmission shift position'' refers to the position of 
the gear selector (as opposed to the position of the transmission 
itself), the subject trucks do not comply with this provision as 
written. That is because the starter interlock system in these 
vehicles, which is an electronic system that is used in PACCAR's 
European trucks, differs from the system specified in S3.1.3. 
PACCAR's starter interlock system effectively achieves the 
objectives of S3.1.3 by precluding the possibility of a powered 
rollaway or lurching when the vehicle is started. However, the 
manner in which the system functions is not consistent with the 
design that is prescribed in the standard.

    The engine in the subject trucks can be started with the gear 
selector in any position, thus creating what appears to be a technical 
noncompliance with S3.1.3. However, even if the engine is started when 
the gear selector indicates a forward or reverse gear, the transmission 
itself will remain in neutral, and the message ``Gearshift Inhibited'' 
will be prominently displayed to the driver, as shown in the photograph 
below. The transmission can be shifted into a forward or reverse gear 
only after the gear selector is first moved into the neutral position 
and then moved back into gear while the service brake is applied. At 
that point, the ``Gearshift Inhibited'' message will be replaced by a 
``Transmission Warning'' message, which will remain illuminated until 
the engine is turned off and then restarted.
    As NHTSA explained in a 2005 Final Rule that amended FMVSS No. 102 
to allow idle stop technology, ``The purpose of [S3.1.3] is to prevent 
injuries and death from the unexpected motion of a vehicle when the 
driver starts the vehicle with the transmission inadvertently in a 
forward or reverse gear.'' 70 FR 38040 (July 1, 2005). The agency also 
referred to ``S3.1.3s underlying purpose of ensuring that the vehicle 
will not lurch forward or backward during driver activation of the 
engine starter. . ..'' ld. at 38041. As described above, the starter 
interlock system in the subject vehicles completely prevents any 
possibility of ``unexpected motion'' or vehicle ``lurching'' because 
the transmission remains neutralized, even if the engine is started 
with the gear selector indicating a forward or reverse gear. Thus, the 
PACCAR system, which has been used successfully for more than three 
years in PACCAR's European vehicles, fully satisfies the purposes of 
S3.1.3 and achieves the same level of safety as that provision. 
Moreover, PACCAR is unaware of any consumer complaints, accidents, or 
injuries related to this design.
    PACCAR has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production vehicles will comply with 
FMVSS No. 102.
    In summation, PACCAR 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 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 trucks that PACCAR no longer controlled at 
the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. Therefore, these 
provisions only apply to the 452 trucks that PACCAR no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on this petition does not relieve vehicle 
distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for 
sale, or introduction for delivery or introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after PACCAR 
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)

Claude H. Harris,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-23366 Filed 9-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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