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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
10 November 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 218 (Thursday, November 10, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79093-79094]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27118]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0094; 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 S6.5(d) of Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, New pneumatic tires for 
motor vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) 
and motorcycles. MNA filed a report dated September 1, 2016, pursuant 
to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and 
Reports. MNA then petitioned NHTSA 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 12, 
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) and their implementing 
regulations 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 184 Michelin Pilot Power 3 size 180/
55ZR17 M/C (73W) replacement tires manufactured between April 17, 2016, 
and May 7, 2016 that are primarily intended for street use on sport 
motorcycles.

III. Noncompliance

    MNA describes the noncompliance as the inadvertent omission of the 
markings that designate the maximum load and corresponding inflation 
pressure for the load, as required by paragraph S6.5(d) of FMVSS No. 
119.

IV. Rule Text

    Paragraph S6.5(d) of FMVSS No. 119 provides, in pertinent part:

S6.5 Tire markings. Except as specified in this paragraph, each tire 
shall be marked on each sidewall with the information specified in 
paragraphs (a) through (j) of this section . . .
    (d) The maximum load rating and corresponding inflation pressure 
of the tire, shown as follows:
    (Mark on tires rated for single and dual load): Max load single 
__kg (__lb) at __kPa (__psi) cold. Max load dual __kg (__lb) at 
__kPa (__psi) cold.

[[Page 79094]]

    (Mark on tires rated only for single load): Max load __kg (__lb) 
at __kPa (__psi) cold . . .

V. Summary of MNA's Petition

    MNA 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, MNA submitted the following reasoning:
    (a) Installation--The subject tires provide sidewall markings that 
include the correct industry standard tire size identified as ``180/
55ZR17 M/C,'' the service description identified as ``(73W)'' using an 
ISO load index and speed symbol, and the load range identified as Load 
Range ``B.'' This properly and precisely identifies the tire for 
correct installation.
    (b) Inflation Pressure--The correct application pressures for the 
front and rear positions are identified on the motorcycle vehicle 
placard as required by 49 CFR part 567 and in the owner's manual, and 
these sources are referred to specifically in information published by 
NHTSA, motorcycle manufacturers, and tire manufacturers. The inflation 
pressures furnished by the motorcycle manufacturer via these two 
sources are the pressures that provide the load capacity and optimum 
ride and handling characteristics specific to the application. The 
sidewall marking is not cited as a source for the recommended operating 
inflation pressure.
    a. For example, NHTSA's online ``Motorcycle Safety Tips'' 
specifically refers to the owner's manual and vehicle placard: ``Look 
in your motorcycle owner's manual to find the right PSI (pounds per 
square inch) of air pressure for your tires. Some bike manufacturers 
also list this information on the bike itself. Common locations include 
the swing arm, front fork tubes, inside the trunk, and under the 
seat.''
    b. Additionally, the Motorcycle Industry Council Tire Guide 
explains, ``Check the air pressure when the tires are cold. . .and 
adjust it according to your motorcycle owner's manual or the tire 
information label on the chain guard, frame, or swingarm.''
    c. Similarly, Michelin's Professional Motorcycle Tire Guide 2016 
states: ``Use the inflation pressure recommended by the motorcycle 
manufacturer . . . The proper inflation pressures for your motorcycle 
tires are shown in your motorcycle owner's manual.''
    d. The applicable pressure is also a function of the maximum speed 
capability of the motorcycle, another reason that the proper source for 
tire inflation pressure is the motorcycle vehicle placard or owner's 
manual rather than the tire sidewall.
    e. Michelin's Professional Motorcycle Tire Guide 2016 and the 
Motorcycle Industry Tire Guide both advise not to exceed the pressure 
marked on the sidewall when setting a usage pressure. However, the 
recommended pressure on the motorcycle vehicle placard and the 
motorcycle owner's manual conforming to 49 CFR 571.120 will never 
exceed the sidewall pressure for a properly fitted tire as described 
above in section ``A'' (Installation). The tire size, load index, speed 
symbol, and load range all provide for proper installation. 
Additionally, the sidewall pressure is not a ``maximum'' pressure. It 
is the pressure corresponding to the maximum load. For example, 
Michelin's Professional Motorcycle Tire Guide 2016 advises that the 
pressure regulator be set at 60 psi for mounting motorcycle tires, and 
the Michelin motorcycle Web site FAQ section explains that up to 60 psi 
of pressure can be used to seat beads when mounting motorcycle tires 
and then adjusted to the recommended pressure found on the vehicle 
placard or owner's manual. The sidewall pressure corresponding to the 
maximum load on the subject tire is 290 kPa or 42 psi.
    (c) Max Load Information--The maximum load value corresponding to 
the ISO load index on the tire is published in Michelin's Professional 
Motorcycle Tire Guide 2016 available online, the Motorcycle Industry 
Council Tire Guide available online, as well as a number of retail 
sites. The ISO load index of ``73'' and the designation Load Range 
``B'' that are present on the tire provide load description 
information, and along with the tire size they provide a clear cross 
reference to the cited publications that offer the load value in pounds 
if needed. Again, the tire size and load range provided are sufficient 
to assure the tire is appropriate for the motorcycle and corresponding 
pressure requirements as a function of speed capability are provided on 
the vehicle placard as well as the owner's manual.
    (d) Other Markings--All other markings conform to the applicable 
regulations.
    (e) Performance--The subject tire meets all performance 
requirements of FMVSS No. 119.
    MNA 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 tires that MNA no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, any decision on this petition does not relieve tire 
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. 2016-27118 Filed 11-9-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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