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Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 Passenger Cars Are Eligible for Importation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Mercedes-Benz 250E, Mercedes-Benz E250

Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 Passenger Cars Are Eligible for Importation

Marilynne Jacobs
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Register
March 23, 1998

[Federal Register: March 23, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 55)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13911-13912]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23mr98-131]

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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. NHTSA-98-3627]

 
Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 
1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 Passenger Cars Are 
Eligible for Importation

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of receipt of petition for a decision that nonconforming 
1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 passenger cars are 
eligible for importation.

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

SUMMARY: This notice announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that 1990-
1993 Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 passenger cars that were not 
originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards are eligible for importation into the United 
States because (1) they are substantially similar to vehicles that were 
originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United 
States and that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with 
the safety standards, and (2) they are capable of being readily altered 
to conform to the standards.

DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is April 22, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number and notice 
number, and be submitted to: Docket Management, Room PL-401, 400 
Seventh St., SW, Washington, DC 20590. [Docket hours are from 10 am to 
5 pm]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Entwistle, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5306).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 30141(a)(1)(A) (formerly section 
108(c)(3)(A)(i)(I) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
(the Act)), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to 
conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards shall 
be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided 
that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle 
originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United 
States, certified under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 30115 (formerly section 114 of 
the Act), and of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle 
to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to conform to 
all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.
    Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either 
manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 
49 CFR part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice 
in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and affords 
interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the 
close of the comment period, NHTSA decides, on the basis of the 
petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is 
eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this decision in 
the Federal Register.
    Bayway Auto of Newark, New Jersey (Bayway) (Registered Importer No. 
R-98-166) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether 1990-1993 Mercedes-
Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 passenger cars are eligible for 
importation into the United States. The vehicles which Bayway believes 
are substantially similar are 1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 300E and 1994-
1995 E300 passenger cars. Bayway has submitted information indicating 
that Daimler Benz, A.G., the company that manufactured the 1990-1993 
Mercedes-Benz 300E and 1994-1995 E300, certified those vehicles as 
conforming to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards and 
offered them for sale in the United States.
    The petitioner contends that it carefully compared the 1990-1993 
Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 to the 1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 
300E and 1994-1995 E300, and found those models to be substantially 
similar with respect to compliance with most applicable Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards.
    Champagne submitted information with its petition intended to 
demonstrate that the 1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250, 
as originally manufactured, conform to many Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards in the same manner as the 1990-1993 Mercedes-Benz 300E 
and 1994-1995 E300 that were offered for sale in the United States, or 
are capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards.
    Specifically, the petitioner claims that the 1990-1993 Mercedes-
Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 are identical to the certified 1990-1993 
Mercedes-Benz 300E and 1994-1995 E300 with respect to compliance with 
Standards Nos. 102 Transmission Shift Lever

[[Page 13912]]

Sequence * * *, 103 Defrosting and Defogging Systems, 104 Windshield 
Wiping and Washing Systems, 105 Hydraulic Brake Systems, 106 Brake 
Hoses, 109 New Pneumatic Tires, 113 Hood Latch Systems, 116 Brake 
Fluid, 124 Accelerator Control Systems, 201 Occupant Protection in 
Interior Impact, 202 Head Restraints, 204 Steering Control Rearward 
Displacement, 205 Glazing Materials, 207 Seating Systems, 209 Seat Belt 
Assemblies, 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages, 212 Windshield 
Retention, 216 Roof Crush Resistance, 219 Windshield Zone Intrusion, 
and 302 Flammability of Interior Materials.
    Additionally, the petitioner states that the 1990-1993 Mercedes-
Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 comply with the Bumper Standard found in 
49 CFR Part 581.
    Petitioner also contends that the vehicles are capable of being 
readily altered to meet the following standards, in the manner 
indicated:
    Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays: (a) Substitution of a lens 
marked ``Brake'' for a lens with an ECE symbol on the brake failure 
indicator lamp; (b) installation of a seat belt warning lamp that 
displays the appropriate symbol; (c) recalibration of the speedometer/
odometer from kilometers to miles per hour.
    Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated 
Equipment: (a) Installation of U.S.-model headlamp assemblies which 
incorporate headlamps with a DOT marking; (b) installation of U.S.-
model front and rear sidemarker/reflector taillamp assemblies; (c) 
installation of U.S.-model taillamp assemblies.
    Standard No. 110 Tire Selection and Rims: installation of a tire 
information placard.
    Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirrors: replacement of the passenger 
side rear view mirror with a U.S.-model component.
    Standard No. 114 Theft Protection: installation of a buzzer 
microswitch in the steering lock assembly, and a warning buzzer.
    Standard No. 118 Power Window Systems: rewiring of the power window 
system so that the window transport is inoperative when the ignition is 
switched off.
    Standard No. 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components: 
replacement of the rear door locks and locking buttons with U.S.-model 
parts.
    Standard No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection: (a) Installation of a 
U.S.-model seat belt in the driver's position, or a belt webbing-
actuated microswitch inside the driver's seat belt retractor; (b) 
installation of an ignition switch-actuated seat belt warning lamp and 
buzzer; (c) replacement of the driver's and passenger's side air bags 
and knee bolsters with U.S.-model components if the vehicle is not so 
equipped. The petitioner states that 1990-1993 models are equipped with 
driver's side air bags and knee bolsters and that 1994-1995 models are 
equipped with both driver's and passenger's side air bags and knee 
bolsters. The petitioner further states that all models are equipped 
with combination lap and shoulder restraints that adjust by means of an 
automatic retractor and release by means of a single push button at 
both front designated seating positions, with combination lap and 
shoulder restraints that release by means of a single push button at 
both rear outboard designated seating positions, and with a lap belt in 
the rear center designated seating position.
    Standard No. 214 Side Impact Protection: installation of 
reinforcing beams.
    Standard No. 301 Fuel System Integrity: installation of a rollover 
valve in the fuel tank vent line between the fuel tank and the 
evaporative emissions collection canister.
    The petitioner also states that a vehicle identification number 
plate must be affixed to the vehicles to meet the requirements of 49 
CFR part 565.
    Additionally, the petitioner states that an alarm system identical 
to that found on U.S.-certified models will be installed on each 1990-
1993 Mercedes-Benz 250E and 1994-1995 E250 prior to importation so that 
the vehicle meets the Theft Prevention Standard found at 49 CFR part 
541.
    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on the petition 
described above. Comments should refer to the docket number and be 
submitted to: Docket Management, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh St., SW, 
Washington, DC 20590. It is requested but not required that 10 copies 
be submitted.
    All comments received before the close of business on the closing 
date indicated above will be considered, and will be available for 
examination in the docket at the above address both before and after 
that date. To the extent possible, comments filed after the closing 
date will also be considered. Notice of final action on the petition 
will be published in the Federal Register pursuant to the authority 
indicated below.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A) and (b)(1); 49 CFR 593.8; 
delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 501.8.

    Issued on: March 18, 1998.
Marilynne Jacobs,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 98-7456 Filed 3-20-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE: 4910-59-P

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