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Ford Motor Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ

Ford Motor Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Claude H. Harris
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
March 3, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 41 (Monday, March 3, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11871-11872]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04564]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0066; Notice 1]


Ford Motor Company, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Receipt of Petition.

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SUMMARY: Ford Motor Company (Ford) has determined that certain model 
year (MY) 2013 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ passenger cars built from 
August 12, 2012 through January 14, 2013 do not fully comply with 
paragraph S3.1.4.1(a) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
No. 102 Transmission Shift Position Sequence, Starter Interlock, and 
Transmission Braking Effect, or paragraph S5.2.1 of FMVSS No. 114 Theft 
Protection and Rollaway Prevention. Ford has filed an appropriate 
report dated March 4, 2013, pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is April 2, 2014.

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. Ford's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) 
(see implementing rule at 49 CFR Part 556), Ford 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 Ford'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 4,727 MY 2013 
Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ passenger cars built from August 12, 2012 
through January 14, 2013 at the Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant 
(HSAP) in Hermosillo, Mexico.
    III. Noncompliance: Ford has determined that because the affected 
vehicles were inadvertently shipped to dealers in the ``Factory Mode'' 
that the transmission gear selected in relation to other gears is not 
always displayed by the shift position sequence indicator (aka, PRNDL) 
as required by paragraph S3.1.4.1(a) of FMVSS No. 102. In addition, the 
affected Ford Fusion vehicles manufactured with mechanical key ignition 
systems do not fully meet the requirements of paragraph S5.2.1 of FMVSS 
No. 114 because under certain

[[Page 11872]]

conditions the mechanical key may be removed from the ignition lock 
cylinder when the transmission shift lever is in a position other than 
``park.''
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S3.1.4.1(a) of FMVSS No. 102 specifically 
states:

    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; . . .

    Paragraph S5.2.1 of FMVSS No. 114 specifically states:

    S5.2.1 For each vehicle type manufactured by a manufacturer, the 
manufacturer must provide at least 1,000 unique key combinations, or 
a number equal to the total number of the vehicles of that type 
manufactured by the manufacturer, whichever is less. The same 
combinations may be used for more than one vehicle type.

    V. Summary of Ford's Analyses: Ford stated its belief that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for 
the following reasons:
    1. The vehicle design is self-remedying. The affected vehicles are 
designed to automatically switch from Factory Mode to Transport Mode 
after 60 key cycles (beginning with assembly line initialization). Once 
in Transport Mode the vehicles are fully compliant with FMVSS 
requirements.
    2. While in Factory Mode, affected vehicles clearly display the 
message ``Factory Mode Contact Dealer'' in either the message center or 
instrument cluster). Additionally, the ``Factory Mode Contact Dealer'' 
message does not obscure any regulatory malfunction indicator lamps, or 
(non-mandated) cautionary warnings.
    3. The dealership's Pre-Delivery Inspection instructions require 
dealerships to change the vehicle into Customer Mode, prior to 
delivery, which ensures the condition will be remedied before delivery 
to the customer. Ford is not aware of any of the subject vehicles being 
delivered to customers in Factory Mode.
    4. All other requirements of FMVSS No. 102 and FMVSS No. 114 are 
fully satisfied.
    5. Ford is not aware of any owner complaints, accidents, or 
injuries attributed to this condition.
    Ford has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the 
noncompliance so that all future vehicles will comply with FMVSS Nos. 
102 and 114.
    In summation, Ford 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 4,727 vehicles that Ford 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 Ford 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. 2014-04564 Filed 2-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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