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PACCAR Incorporated, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Kenworth, Peterbilt

PACCAR Incorporated, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
March 28, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 60 (Friday, March 28, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17648-17649]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06922]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0065; Notice 2]


PACCAR Incorporated, Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of Petition.

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SUMMARY: PACCAR Incorporated (PACCAR) has determined that certain model 
year (MY) 2013 Kenworth and Peterbilt brand chassis cab incomplete 
vehicles 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.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact Vince 
Williams, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-2319, 
facsimile (202) 366-5930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. PACCAR's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) 
and the rule implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, PACCAR 
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.
    Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on September 26, 2013 in the Federal Register 
(78 FR 59419). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online 
search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2013-0065.''
    II. Chassis Cabs Involved: Affected are approximately 452 Kenworth 
MY 2013 model K270 and model K370 chassis cabs that were manufactured 
between March 29, 2012 and November 2, 2012, and MY 2013 Peterbilt 
model 210 and model 220 chassis cabs that were manufactured between 
March 21, 2012 and November 6, 2012. Hereafter these vehicles are 
referred to as trucks.
    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.
    IV. 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 was originally 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. 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 ``S3.1.3's 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.

[[Page 17649]]

    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.
    V. NHTSA Decision: The affected incomplete vehicles were 
manufactured as chassis cabs by PACCAR under the Kenworth and Peterbilt 
makes. Based on the brochures on the Kenworth and Peterbilt make Web 
sites, the subject chassis cabs are typically completed by final stage 
manufacturers as class 6 and 7 cargo-carrying medium/heavy trucks. The 
brochures also show the transmission gear selector adjacent to the 
driver's seated position, easily visible to the driver. These vehicles 
will most likely be operated by professional drivers who would be less 
likely to forget to place the transmission control in ``neutral'' when 
stopping the engine. In addition, even if the driver starts the vehicle 
with the gear selector in drive or reverse, PACCAR reported that the 
transmission will remain in neutral until the driver applies the 
service brake, shifts the gear selector to neutral and then selects the 
desired gear.
    Subsequent to filing the subject petition PACCAR notified NHTSA 
that it has initiated a field repair campaign under which owners of the 
affected vehicles could have a starter interlock jumper harness 
installed free of charge to remedy the subject noncompliance. On 6/11/
13, a Field Repair Notice was sent to notify dealerships of the repair 
and of the vehicles within the affected population. PACCAR also stated 
that it was unaware of any instance in which a customer eligible for 
the field repair has experienced unintended movement.
    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has decided that PACCAR 
has met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 102 noncompliance 
is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, PACCAR's 
petition is hereby granted and PACCAR is exempted from the obligation 
of providing notification of, and a remedy for, that noncompliance 
under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.
    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, this decision 
only applies to the chassis cabs that PACCAR no longer controlled at 
the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the 
granting of this petition does not relieve vehicle distributors and 
dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or 
introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of 
the noncompliant trucks 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)

Jeffrey Giuseppe,
Acting Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2014-06922 Filed 3-27-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P



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