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Autoliv, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Autoliv

Autoliv, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Jeffrey M. Giuseppe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
11 May 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 90 (Thursday, May 11, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22050-22051]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-09498]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0139; Notice 1]


Autoliv, 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: Autoliv, Inc. (Autoliv), on behalf of Autoliv B.V. & CO. KG, 
has determined that certain Autoliv seat belt assemblies do not fully 
comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 209, Seat 
Belt Assemblies. Autoliv filed a noncompliance report dated December 1, 
2016. Autoliv also petitioned NHTSA on December 23, 2016, 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 June 12, 2017.

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

[[Page 22051]]

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: Autoliv, Inc. (Autoliv), has determined that certain 
Autoliv seat belt assemblies do not fully comply with paragraph 
S4.3(j)(2)(i) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 209, 
Seat Belt Assemblies. Autoliv filed a noncompliance report dated 
December 1, 2016, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports. Autoliv also petitioned NHTSA on December 
23, 2016, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 
556, 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 Autoliv'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. Seat Belt Assemblies Involved: Approximately 31,682 Autoliv 
R230.2 and R200.2 front seat LH10[deg] seat belt assemblies 
manufactured between May 6, 2016, and October 18, 2016, are potentially 
involved. Autoliv sold the subject seat belt assemblies to BMW of North 
America, LLC and Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC for installation 
in their vehicles (``affected vehicles'').
    III. Noncompliance: Autoliv explains that the noncompliance is that 
the Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) in the subject safety belt 
assemblies are equipped with a vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism 
which does not lock as designed when subjected to the requirements of 
paragraph S4.3(j)(2)(ii) of FMVSS No. 209.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 209 states in pertinent 
part:

    S4.3 Requirements for hardware . . .
    (j) Emergency-locking retractor . . .
    (2) For seat belt assemblies manufactured on or after February 
22, 2007 and for manufacturers opting for early compliance. An 
emergency-locking retractor of a Type 1 or Type 2 seat belt 
assembly, when tested in accordance with the procedures specified in 
paragraph S5.2(j)(2) . . .
    (ii) Shall lock before the webbing payout exceeds the maximum 
limit of 25 mm when the retractor is subjected to an acceleration of 
0.7 g under the applicable test conditions of S5.2(j)(2)(iii)(A) or 
(B). The retractor is determined to be locked when the webbing belt 
load tension is at least 35 N.

    V. Summary of Autoliv's Petition: Autoliv 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, Autoliv submitted the following 
reasoning:
    (a) ELR is Voluntarily Equipped with a Webbing Sensitive Locking 
Mechanism: The ELR also contains a voluntary webbing sensitive locking 
mechanism. The webbing sensitive locking mechanism is designed to lock 
at approximately 1.4-2.0g with no more than 50mm webbing payout. The 
webbing-sensitive locking mechanism was designed to meet the 
requirements of other non-US markets.
    (b) Necessary Reliance on Automaker In-Vehicle Assessments to 
Support Autoliv's Petition: With regard to the effect of the ELR on the 
retractor locking performance of the seatbelt, as the equipment 
manufacturer, Autoliv is not in a position to provide testing and data 
on in-vehicle performance issues. However, Autoliv has consulted on and 
reviewed the testing performed by both BMW and JLR and even 
participated in some of the testing. Autoliv believes the tests 
substantiate the claims set forth in both the BMW petition and JLR 
petition. Therefore, Autoliv adopts and incorporates by reference, the 
test results summarized in both the BMW and JLR petitions.
    (c) Owner Contacts to Autoliv: Autoliv has not received any 
contacts from vehicle owners regarding this issue.
    (d) Accidents/Injuries: Autoliv is not aware of any accidents or 
injuries that have occurred as a result of this issue.
    (e) Prior NHTSA Rulings re Manufacturer Petitions: NHTSA previously 
granted a petition from General Motors (GM) on a very similar issue. 
[69 FR 19897, Docket No. NHTSA-2002-12366, Apr 14, 2004]. GM provided 
test results and analyses indicating that while there existed a non-
functional vehicle sensitive locking mechanism within the safety belt 
assembly ELR, the webbing sensitive locking mechanism provided 
comparable restraint performance to that of a fully functional vehicle 
sensitive locking mechanism.
    (f) Autoliv Production: Autoliv production has been corrected to 
fully conform to FMVSS No. 209 Sections 4.3(j)(2)(i) and (ii).
    Autoliv 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 seat belt assemblies that 
Autoliv no longer controlled at the time it determined that the 
noncompliance existed. However, any decision on this petition does not 
relieve vehicle distributors, 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 safety 
belt assemblies under their control after Autoliv 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. 2017-09498 Filed 5-10-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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