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Forest River, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses Topics:  Forest River

Forest River, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Michael A. Cole
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1 March 2019


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 41 (Friday, March 1, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7178-7180]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-03573]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2018-0003; Notice 2]


Forest River, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of 
Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Grant of petition.

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SUMMARY: Forest River, Inc. (Forest River), has determined that certain 
model year (MY) 2017-2018 Forest River buses and school buses do not 
fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 
205, Glazing Materials. Forest River filed two separate noncompliance 
reports, both dated November 30, 2017. Forest River then petitioned 
NHTSA on December 12, 2017, for a decision that the subject 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety. 
This notice announces the grant of this petition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leroy Angeles, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, NHTSA, telephone (202) 366-5304, facsimile (202) 
366-3081.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview

    Forest River has determined that certain MY 2017-2018 Forest River 
buses and school buses do not fully comply with FMVSS No. 205, Glazing 
Materials (49 CFR 571.205). Forest River filed two separate 
noncompliance reports, both dated November 30, 2017, pursuant to 49 CFR 
part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Forest 
River then petitioned NHTSA on December 12, 2017, 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.

II. Buses Involved

    Approximately 544 MY 2017-2018 Forest River school buses and 
approximately 2,121 MY 2017-2018 Forest River buses, manufactured 
between June 26, 2017, and November 10, 2017, are potentially involved. 
The following Forest River buses are involved:

School Buses

 Starcraft Allstar XL, Quest XL and Prodigy

[[Page 7179]]

Buses

 Starcraft Allstar XL, Allstar, Starlite, XLT, Starquest, and 
Allstar MVP
 StarTrans President, PS2, Senator, Senator II, Candidate, and 
Candidate II
 Glaval Apollo, Commute, Concorde II, Entourage, Legacy, 
Primetime, Sport, Titan II, Titan II LF and Universal
 Elkhart Coach ECII

III. Noncompliance

    Forest River explains that the noncompliance is that the subject 
buses were equipped with curbside entry door glass that does not fully 
comply with paragraph S6 of FMVSS No. 205. Specifically, the curbside 
entry door glass has the AS3 glazing marking when it should have been 
marked with the AS2 glazing marking.

IV. Rule Requirements

    Section S6 of FMVSS No. 205, titled ``Certification and Marking'' 
includes the requirements relevant to this petition:
     A prime glazing material manufacturer must certify, in 
accordance with 49 U.S.C. 30115, each piece of glazing material to 
which this standard applies is designed as:
    a. A component of any specific motor vehicle or camper; or
    b. To be cut into components for use in motor vehicles or items of 
motor vehicle equipment.
     A prime glazing manufacturer certifies its glazing by 
adding to the marks required by section 7 of ANSI/SAE Z26.1-1996, in 
letters and numerals of the same size, the symbol ``DOT'' and a 
manufacturer's code mark that NHTSA assigns to the manufacturer.
     NHTSA will assign a code mark to a manufacturer after the 
manufacturer submits a written request to the Office of Vehicle Safety 
Compliance, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The request 
must include the company name, address, and a statement from the 
manufacturer certifying its status as a prime glazing manufacturer as 
defined in paragraph S4.
     A manufacturer or distributor who cuts a section of 
glazing material to which this standard applies, for use in a motor 
vehicle or camper, must:
    a. Mark that material in accordance with section 7 of ANSI/SAE 
Z26.1-1996; and
    b. Certify that its product complies with this standard in 
accordance with 49 U.S.C. 30115.

V. Summary of Forest River's Petition

    Forest River 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, Forest River submitted the 
following arguments:
    1. As an initial matter, the noncompliance does not present a 
safety risk because it has no effect on the structure, performance, or 
safety of the glass. That is, the noncompliance relates solely to the 
glass' markings, specifically the use of the marking ``AS3,'' instead 
of ``AS2.''
    2. The glass required for the subject buses and school buses must 
meet the requirements of ANSI 26.1-1996 AS2. Forest River requested 
that a sample of the glass be tested to ensure its compliance with all 
applicable standards. The test results have affirmed that the glass 
indeed meets ANSI 26.1-1996 AS2's requirements and is compliant for the 
designed position in which it is applied.
    3. Forest River is enclosing copies of statements from the glass 
manufacturer Cleer Vision, and test data confirming the glass' 
compliance with ANSI and FMVSS No. 205's performance standards.
    4. Forest River stated that the agency has previously granted 
numerous petitions for determinations of inconsequential noncompliance 
in regard to FMVSS No. 205, including petitions involving mismarkings 
similar to the instant matter. See the following recent examples:

    a. Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. Petition, 80 FR 72482 
(November 19, 2015) (involving rear door windows marked with the 
model number ``M66'' instead of the correct ``M131'');
    b. Custom Glass Solutions Upper Sandusky Corporation Petition, 
79 FR 49833 (January 23, 2015) (involving laminated glass panes 
mistakenly marked as ``tempered'' and with the incorrect 
manufacturer's DOT number, model number, and manufacturer's 
trademark).
    c. Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. Petition, 79 FR 49833 
(August 22, 2014) (involving rear door windows marked with the model 
number ``M13l'' instead of the correct ``M129'');
    d. General Motors LLC Petition, 79 FR 23402 (April 28, 2014) 
(involving quarter windows marked as ``AS2'' instead of the correct 
``AS3'').

    Forest River 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.
    Forest River's complete petition and all supporting documents are 
available by logging onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) 
website at: https://www.regulations.gov and following the online search 
instructions to locate the docket number listed in the title of this 
notice.

VI. NHTSA's Analysis

    NHTSA has reviewed Forest River's petition and agrees with Forest 
River that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor 
vehicle safety. The agency believes that the true measure of 
inconsequentiality to motor vehicle safety in this case is that the 
mismarking of the glazing material has no effect on the operational 
safety of the subject buses. This noncompliance to the labeling 
requirements in FMVSS No. 205 will have an inconsequential effect on 
motor vehicle safety because:
    Forest River's petition included letters from Cleer Vision, stating 
that the glass inadvertently marked AS3 does in fact meet all 
requirements of AS2 certification including, but not limited to, the 
visual light transmittance being 70 percent or greater. Cleer Vision 
provided a Certificate of Conformity from Guardian Industries 
certifying that the float glass products they manufacture comply with 
applicable FMVSS specifications with respect to thickness, optics, 
inclusions, and transmittance. Guardian Industries' provided data 
showing the average visible light transmittance as 80.03 percent, thus 
greater than the minimum 70 percent for AS2.
    ANSI Z26.1-1996 requires that all AS3 tempered glass pass the ball 
impact test, fracture test, and the shot bag impact test. In addition 
to AS3 tempered glass requirements, Forest River's AS2 tempered glass 
must also meet the light stability, luminous transmittance, and 
abrasion resistance requirements set forth in ANSI Z26.1-1996 for AS2 
tempered glass. Since Forest River's petition focused largely on 
luminous transmittance, NHTSA contacted Forest River requesting test 
data confirming that the subject glass meets all the requirements set 
forth in ANSI Z26.1-1996 for AS2 tempered glass.
    In response, Forest River provided a test report documenting the 
results of testing to all of the requirements for AS2 tempered glass. 
NHTSA reviewed Forest River's report and verified that the subject 
glass meets the performance requirements set forth in ANSI Z26.1-1996 
for AS2 tempered glass incorporated by reference in FMVSS No. 205.
    The agency contacted Forest River on April 2, 2018, asking Forest 
River what they will do to ensure the

[[Page 7180]]

noncompliance does not happen again in the future. In response, Forest 
River stated that they have implemented a triple verification process 
between the supplier and Forest River to further prevent future 
occurrences.

VII. NHTSA's Decision

    In consideration of the foregoing analysis, NHTSA has decided that 
Forest River has met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 205 
noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. Accordingly, 
Forest River's petition is hereby granted and Forest River is exempted 
from the obligation of providing notification of, and a remedy for, the 
subject noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.
    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, this decision 
only applies to the subject buses that Forest River no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, the granting of 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 buses under their control after Forest 
River 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).

Michael A. Cole,
Acting Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2019-03573 Filed 2-28-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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