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Spartan Motors, Inc. on Behalf of Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Emergency Services Vehicles American Government Topics:  Spartan Gladiator, Spartan MetroStar

Spartan Motors, Inc. on Behalf of Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
September 25, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 186 (Wednesday, September 25, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59089-59090]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23359]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0083; Notice 1]


Spartan Motors, Inc. on Behalf of Spartan Motors Chassis, 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: Spartan Motors, Inc. on behalf of Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc. 
(Spartan) has determined that certain model year 2008 through 2013 
Spartan Gladiator and MetroStar chassis cabs do not fully comply with 
paragraph S5.3.3.1(a) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
No. 121, Air Brake Systems. Spartan has filed an appropriate report 
dated April 19, 2013, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: October 25, 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. Spartan's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) 
(see implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Spartan submitted a 
petition for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements 
of 49 U.S.C.

[[Page 59090]]

Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential to 
motor vehicle safety.
    This notice of receipt of Spartan'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. Chassis Cabs Involved: Affected are approximately 26 model year 
2008 through 2013 Spartan Gladiator and MetroStar chassis cabs 
manufactured between April 9, 2008 and January 14, 2013.
    III. Noncompliance: Spartan explains that it has determined that 
certain emergency rescue chassis cabs built between April 9, 2009 and 
January 14, 2013 may not meet the brake actuation time for trucks as 
identified in Sec.  5.3.3 of FMVSS No. 121.
    IV. Rule Text: Section S5.3.3 of FMVSS No. 121 specifically states:

    S5.3.3 Brake actuation time. Each service brake system shall 
meet the requirements of S5.3.3.1 (a) and (b).
    S5.3.3.1(a) With an initial service reservoir system air 
pressure of 100 psi, the air pressure in each brake chamber shall, 
when measured from the first movement of the service brake control, 
reach 60 psi in not more than 0.45 second in the case of trucks and 
buses,* * *

    V. Summary of Spartan's Analyses: Spartan stated its belief that 
the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety 
for the following reasons:
    Section 5.3.3.1 of FMVSS No. 121 defines the amount of pressure (60 
psi) for, in this case, the front brake chambers. Further, it also 
defines a ``not to exceed'' time (0.45 seconds) in which that pressure 
at the brake chamber must be achieved. This is not interpreted to mean 
brakes are to be applied at 60 psi but rather a certain pressure at the 
brake chamber will be achieved. Brakes will be applied nearly 
instantaneously after actuation of the treadle valve.
    Spartan conducted three tests on a sample of three chassis cabs of 
similar brake system configurations. Detailed results from the testing 
are shown in Spartan's petition. The reported average was used to 
determine the actual results in comparison to the requirements. By 
rounding the average of the three tests for each sample, Spartan 
Chassis identified it exceeds the requirements by 0.01 second.
    The measurement of time, in this case, is for when air pressure at 
the chamber reaches 60 psi. As stated, the brakes are still being 
applied irrespective of achieving the 60 psi pressure at the front 
brake chambers. The impact of being 0.006 to 0.01 seconds above the 
requirement of 0.45 seconds would have very little impact 
(approximately 1 ft @ 60 mph) to stopping distance of the vehicle and 
would not impede the capability of the vehicle being able to stop.
    According to Driver's License Manual, stopping distance is impacted 
by driver perception distance and reaction distance. Other factors 
include speed and gross weight of the vehicle. These attributes would 
appear to have a more significant impact to overall stopping distance 
than 0.01 second timing for air pressure to reach 60 psi at the front 
brake chambers.
    From a speed of 60 mph, vehicles affected by this condition are 
required to achieve a complete stop in 310 ft. At this speed, it would 
take approximately 3.52 seconds for vehicles to stop at this rate of 
speed. Vehicles affected by the condition that has resulted in the 
identified non-compliance are capable of stopping within the distance 
of 310 ft as prescribed by FMVSS No. 121 and would still be able to 
stop within the required stopping distance.
    Spartan has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future production Gladiator and MetroStar 
chassis cabs will comply with FMVSS No. 121.
    In summation, Spartan believes that the described noncompliance of 
the subject chassis cabs 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, 26 Gladiator and 
MetroStar chassis cabs that Spartan no longer controlled at the time it 
determined that the noncompliance existed. Therefore, these provisions 
only apply to the 26 Chassis cabs that Spartan 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 Spartan 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. 2013-23359 Filed 9-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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