Spartan Motors USA, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 237 (Tuesday, December 10, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 237 (Tuesday, December 10, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67509-67511]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26527]
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. NHTSA-2018-0104, Notice 1]
Spartan Motors USA, 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: Spartan Motors USA, Inc. (Spartan), has determined that
certain model year (MY) 2017-2019 Spartan Emergency Response Gladiator
and Metro Star chassis do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle
Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 121, Air Brake Systems. Spartan filed a
noncompliance report dated December 26, 2018, subsequently petitioned
NHTSA on November 12, 2018, and amended on July 31, 2019, for a
decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential as it
relates to motor vehicle safety. This document announces receipt of
petition and offers the opportunity for public comment.
DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is January 9,
2020.
ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written data,
views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the
docket number and notice number cited in the title of this notice and
may be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail: Send comments by mail addressed to the 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 the 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 for Federal Holidays.
     Electronically: Submit comments electronically by logging
onto the
[[Page 67510]]
Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) website 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 also
will 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: Spartan has determined that certain MY 2017-2019
Spartan Emergency Response Gladiator and Metro Star chassis cabs do not
fully comply with paragraph S5.3.3.1(a) of FMVSS No. 121, Air Brake
Systems (49 CFR 571.121). Spartan filed a noncompliance report dated
December 26, 2018, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and
Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports. Spartan subsequently
petitioned NHTSA on November 12, 2018 (and amended this petition on
July 31, 2019) seeking 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,
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556,
Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or Noncompliance.
    This notice of receipt of Spartan'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. Chassis Cabs Involved: Approximately 15 MY 2017-2019 Spartan
Emergency Response Gladiator and Metro Star chassis cabs manufactured
between November 16, 2016, and October 30, 2018, are potentially
involved.
    III. Noncompliance: Spartan described the noncompliance as the
service brake application timing exceeds the 0.45 timing requirement as
specified in paragraph S5.3.3.1(a) of FMVSS No. 121.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S5.3.3 of FMVSS No. 121 includes
the requirements relevant to this petition. Each service brake system
shall meet the requirements of paragraph S5.3.3.1(a). With an initial
service reservoir system air pressure of 100 psi, the air pressure in
each brake chamber shall, when measured from the first movement of the
service brake control, reach 60 psi in not more than 0.45 seconds in
the case of trucks and buses.
    V. Summary of Spartan's Petition: Spartan described the subject
noncompliance and stated its belief that the noncompliance is
inconsequential as it related to motor vehicle safety.
    In support of its petition, Spartan submitted the following
reasoning:
    1. Section 5.3.3.1 of FMVSS No. 121 defines the amount of pressure
(60 psi) that must be achieved in front brake chambers. Further, it
also defines a ``not to exceed'' time (0.45 seconds) in which that
pressure at the brake chamber must be achieved. This is not interpreted
to mean brakes are to be applied at 60 psi but rather a certain
pressure at the brake chamber will be achieved. Brakes will be applied
nearly instantaneously after actuation of the treadle valve.
    2. Spartan conducted three tests on a sample chassis cab of similar
brake system configuration to those subject to the identified
noncompliance. The reported average was used to determine the actual
results in comparison to the requirements. By rounding the average of
the three tests for each sample, Spartan identified it exceeds the
requirements by 0.04-0.05 seconds.
    3. The measurement of time, in this case, is for when air pressure
at the chamber reaches 60 psi. As stated, the brakes are still being
applied irrespective of achieving the 60 psi pressure at the front
brake chambers. The impact of being 0.044 to 0.05 seconds above the
requirement of 0.45 seconds would have very little impact
(approximately 4ft @60 mph) to stopping distance of the vehicle and
would not impede the capability of the vehicle being able to stop.
    4. According to the Driver's License Manual, stopping distance is
impacted by driver perception distance and reaction distance. Other
factors include speed and gross weight of the vehicle. These attributes
would appear to have a more significant impact on overall stopping
distance, than 0.05 seconds of timing, for the air pressure to reach 60
psi at the front brake chambers.
    5. From a speed of 60 mph, vehicles affected by this condition are
required to achieve a complete stop in 310 feet. It would take
approximately 3.52 seconds for vehicles to stop at this rate of speed.
Vehicles affected by the condition that has resulted in the identified
noncompliance as capable of stopping, within the distance of 310 feet,
as prescribed by FMVSS No. 121 and would still be able to stop within
the required stopping distance.
    Spartan 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 Spartan 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 Spartan
notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.
[[Page 67511]]
    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at
49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.
Otto G. Matheke III,
Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2019-26527 Filed 12-9-19; 8:45 am]
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