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Michelin North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Michelin

Michelin North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
3 August 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 149 (Wednesday, August 3, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51266-51267]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-18308]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0067; Notice 1]


Michelin North America, Inc., 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: Michelin North America, Inc. (MNA), has determined that 
certain MNA tires do not fully comply with paragraph S5.5.1(b) of 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139, New pneumatic 
radial tires for light vehicles. MNA filed a report dated May 5, 2016, 
pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility 
and Reports. MNA then petitioned NHTSA under 49 CFR part 556 requesting 
a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it 
relates to motor vehicle safety.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is September 2, 
2016.

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 in the title 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 (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 comments you have submitted by mail 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.
    The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received 
before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will 
be filed in the docket 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 
also be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority 
indicated at the end of this notice.
    All documents submitted to the 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. The docket ID number for this 
petition is shown at the heading of this notice.
    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    I. Overview: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see 
implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), MNA 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 as 
it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    This notice of receipt of MNA'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. Tires Involved: Affected are approximately 186 MNA Uniroyal 
Tiger Paw AWP II size P215/70R15 97T passenger car tires that were 
manufactured between January 10, 2016 and January 13, 2016.
    III. Noncompliance: MNA explains that two of the digits in the tire 
identification number (TIN) that identify the week and year of 
manufacture were inadvertently switched. This resulted in the tires, 
which were manufactured in the second week of 2016, being molded with a 
manufacturing date of ``0126'' rather than the correct marking of 
``0216,''

[[Page 51267]]

contrary to the requirements specified in paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 
139 and 49 CFR 574,5(g)(4).
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.5.1 of FMVSS No. 139 requires in 
pertinent part:

    S5.5.1 Tire Identification Number.
    . . .
    (b) Tires manufactured on or after September 1, 2009. Each tire 
must be labeled with the tire identification number required by 49 
CFR part 574 on the intended outboard sidewall of the tire.

    49 CFR 574.5(g)(4) provides that the fourth grouping of symbols 
within the tire identification number shall ``identify the week and 
year of manufacture.'' The regulation specifies that ``[t]he first and 
second symbols of the date code must identify the week of the year,'' 
and ``[t]he third and fourth symbols of the date code identify the last 
two digits of the year of manufacture.'' Applying these requirements, 
the subject tires, which were manufactured during week 2 of 2016, 
should display ``0216'' as the date code, but instead display ``0126'' 
as the date code.
    V. Summary of MNA's Petition: MNA believes that this noncompliance 
is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, MNA submitted the following information 
and analysis of the subject noncompliance:
    1. MNA stated that although the date code is not correct, it 
specifies a date well into the future and thus offers a unique 
identification for the subject tires. Futhermore, the incorrect but 
unique coding has been recorded in MNA's records and can be used to 
identify the subject tires in the event of a future market action.
    2. MNA also stated that there should be no risk of duplication of 
the TIN in the future since the current 2 digit plant code will evolve 
to a 3 digit plant code by April 25, 2025, thus creating a new TIN 
sequence prior to week 1 of 2026 (the date inadvertently specified on 
the subject tires).
    3. MNA further noted that that the incorrect date code does not 
compromise the ability to register the tire. Tire registration cards 
accept the date as marked (0126). Moreover, the Uniroyal tire 
registration Web page accepts the TIN with the date as described.
    4. MNA also stated that Michelin's consumer care team has been 
informed should there be any questions from a consumer or dealer.
    5. MNA concluded by noting that all other markings on the subject 
tires conform to the applicable regulations and meet all performance 
requirements of FMVSS No. 139.
    In its part 573 Report, MNA stated that there is no imminent safety 
risk associated with the mismarking.
    In summation, MNA believes that the described noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and that its 
petition, to exempt MNA from providing notification of the 
noncompliance, as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118, and a remedy for the 
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, any decision on 
this petition only applies to the subject tires that MNA no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on this petition does not relieve equipment 
distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for 
sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant tires under their control after MNA 
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 M. Giuseppe,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2016-18308 Filed 8-2-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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