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Daimler Trucks North America, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

Daimler Trucks North America, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
7 November 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 215 (Monday, November 7, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78259-78261]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26764]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0103; Notice 1]


Daimler Trucks North America, Receipt of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Receipt of petition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), has determined that 
certain model year (MY) 2016-2017 Freightliner and Western Star trucks 
do not fully comply with Table 2 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard (FMVSS) No. 101, Controls and Displays. DTNA filed a report 
dated September 22, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and 
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. DTNA also petitioned NHTSA on 
September 22, 2016, under 49 CFR part 556 for 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 December 7, 
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 
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 https://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 https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided.
    All comments and supporting materials 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 fullest 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 comments, background documentation, and supporting materials 
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 
https://www.regulations.gov by following the online instructions for 
accessing the dockets. The docket ID number for this petition is shown 
in the heading of this notice.
    DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement is available for review in a 
Federal Register notice published on April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477-78).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    I. Overview: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h), 49 CFR 
part 556, DTNA 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 DTNA'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 36,959 MY 2016-
2017 versions of the following trucks, manufactured between September 
28, 2015 and July 30, 2016:

 Freightliner Cascadia
 Freightliner 122SD
 Freightliner Coronado

[[Page 78260]]

 Western Star 5700

    III. Noncompliance: DTNA explains that the noncompliance is that 
the Low Brake Air Pressure telltale for air brake systems displays the 
word ``BRAKE'' and a red International Standards Organization (ISO) 
symbol for brake malfunction when a low air brake pressure condition 
exists, rather than the words ``BRAKE AIR,'' as specified in Table 2 of 
FMVSS No. 101. DTNA states that the telltale is accompanied by an 
audible alert and low pressure gauge reading.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5 of FMVSS No. 101 provides: ``Each 
passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck and bus that is 
fitted with a control, a telltale, or an indicator listed in Table 1 or 
Table 2 must meet the requirements of this standard for the location, 
identification, color, and illumination of that control, telltale or 
indicator.''
    Paragraph S5.2.1 of FMVSS No. 101 provides, in pertinent part: ``. 
. . each control, telltale and indicator that is listed in column 1 and 
2 of Table 1 or Table 2 must be identified by the symbol specified for 
it in column 2 or the word or abbreviation specified for it in column 3 
of Table 1 or Table 2.''
    Table 2 appears as follows:

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN07NO16.001

BILLING CODE 4910-59-C

    V. Summary of DTNA's Petition: DTNA described the subject 
noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, DTNA submitted the following reasoning:
    (a) DTNA notes that the purpose of the low brake air pressure 
telltale is to alert the driver to a low air condition, consistent with 
the requirements of FMVSS No. 121, S5.1.5 (warning signal). The word 
``BRAKE'' instead of ``BRAKE AIR,'' together with the audible alert 
that occurs in the subject vehicles would still alert the driver to an 
issue with the brake system. Once alerted, the driver can check the 
actual air pressure by reading the primary and secondary air gauges and 
seeing the contrasting color on the gauges indicating low pressure.

[[Page 78261]]

    (b) NHTSA stated in a 2005 FMVSS No. 101 rulemaking that the reason 
for including vehicles over 10,000 pounds in the requirements of FMVSS 
No. 101 is that there is a need for drivers of heavier vehicles to see 
and identify their displays, just as there is for drivers of lighter 
vehicles. See 70 FR 48295, 48298 (Aug. 17, 2005). The telltale in the 
subject vehicles saying ``BRAKE'' would allow the driver to see and 
identify the improper functioning system as was the intent of the rule, 
thus serving the purpose of the FMVSS No. 101 requirement.
    (c) There are two scenarios when a low brake air pressure condition 
would exist: A parked vehicle and a moving vehicle. Each of these are 
discussed separately below; in each scenario, there is ample warning 
provided to the driver of low brake air pressure.

a. Parked Vehicle

    The driver of an air-braked vehicle must ensure that the vehicle 
has enough brake air pressure to operate safely. At startup, the 
vehicle will likely be in a low air condition. When in a low air 
condition the following warnings would occur, conditioning the driver 
over time as to the purpose of the telltale and audible alerts and 
under what conditions they are activated.
     Red contrasting color of the telltale saying ``BRAKE''.
     Red contrasting color of the ISO symbol for brake 
malfunction.
     Audible alert to the driver as long as the vehicle has low 
air.
     Air gauges for the primary and secondary air tanks clearly 
showing the air pressure in the system.
     Red contrasting color on the air gauges indicating when 
the pressure is low.
     Difficulty/inability of releasing the parking brakes with 
low air.
     Reduced drivability if the driver attempts to drive with 
the parking brakes applied.

b. Moving Vehicle

    If a low brake air pressure situation occurs while driving, the 
function of the service brakes may be reduced or lost and, eventually 
if the pressure gets low enough, the parking brakes will engage. The 
driver must pull to the side of the road and apply the parking brakes 
as soon as possible. A loss of brake air pressure while driving 
represents a malfunctioning brake system and requires immediate action 
from the driver. Drivers recognize that a telltale illuminated in red 
represents a malfunction which needs to be remedied.
    The following warning would occur if a low air condition occurred 
while driving.
     Red contrasting color of the telltale saying ``BRAKE''.
     Red contrasting color of the ISO symbol for brake 
malfunction.
     Audible alert to the driver as long as the vehicle has low 
air.
     Air gauges for the primary and secondary air tanks clearly 
showing the air pressure in the system.
     Red contrasting color on the air gauges indicating when 
the pressure is low.
    The functionality of both the parking brake system and the service 
brake system remains unaffected by the ``BRAKE'' telltale used in the 
subject vehicles.
    (d) NHTSA Precedents--DTNA notes that NHTSA has previously granted 
petitions for decisions of inconsequential noncompliance for similar 
brake telltale issues, in which the ISO symbol in combination with 
other available warnings was deemed sufficient to provide the necessary 
driver warning. See Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0004, 78 FR 69931 (November 
21, 2013) (grant of petition for Ford Motor Company) and Docket No. 
NHTSA-2014-0046, 79 FR 78559 (December 30, 2014) (grant of petition for 
Chrysler Group, LLC). In both of these instances, the vehicles at issue 
displayed an ISO symbol for the brake telltale instead of the wording 
required under FMVSS No. 101. The ISO symbol in combination with other 
available warnings was deemed sufficient to provide the necessary 
driver warning. DTNA respectfully suggests that the same is true for 
the subject vehicles: The ISO symbol, together with other warnings and 
alerts, are fully sufficient to warn the driver of a low brake air 
pressure situation.
    DTNA concluded by expressing the belief that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, 
and that its petition to be exempted 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 vehicles that DTNA 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 or delivery for introduction into interstate 
commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after DTNA 
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. 2016-26764 Filed 11-4-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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