80 FR 64056 - Mack Trucks, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 204 (October 22, 2015)

Page Range64056-64057
FR Document2015-26803

Mack Trucks, Inc. (Mack), has determined that certain model year (MY) 2014-2016 Mack LEU model incomplete vehicles do not fully comply with paragraphs S5.3.3 and S5.3.4 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 121, Air Brake Systems. Mack has filed an appropriate report dated April 27, 2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 204 (Thursday, October 22, 2015)
[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 204 (Thursday, October 22, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64056-64057]
From the Federal Register Online  [www.thefederalregister.org]
[FR Doc No: 2015-26803]



[[Page 64056]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0054; Notice 2]


Mack Trucks, 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: Mack Trucks, Inc. (Mack), has determined that certain model 
year (MY) 2014-2016 Mack LEU model incomplete vehicles do not fully 
comply with paragraphs S5.3.3 and S5.3.4 of Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 121, Air Brake Systems. Mack has filed an 
appropriate report dated April 27, 2015, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, 
Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports.

ADDRESSES: For further information on this decision contact James 
Jones, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-5294, 
facsimile (202) 366-3081.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    I. Overview: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) (see 
implementing rule at 49 CFR part 556), Mack 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 to 
motor vehicle safety. After reviewing the petition, NHTSA requested 
additional information from Mack by letter dated July 9, 2015. In 
response to that letter, Mack provided supplemental information by 
letter dated July 17, 2015. Copies of NHTSA's request and Mack's 
response are available from the petition docket.
    Notice of receipt of the petition was published, with a 30-day 
public comment period, on August 18, 2015 in the Federal Register (80 
FR 50069). No comments were received. To view the petition and 
supporting documentation log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online 
search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2015-0054.''
    II. Vehicles Involved: Affected are approximately 1,977 MY 2014-
2016 Mack LEU model incomplete vehicles manufactured between July 22, 
2013 and April 20, 2015.
    III. Noncompliance: Mack explains that the noncompliance is that 
the brake actuation and release times slightly (by milliseconds) exceed 
the requirements as specified in paragraphs S5.3.3 and S5.3.4 of FMVSS 
No. 121.
    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S5.3.3 of FMVSS No. 121 requires in 
pertinent part:

S5.3.3 Brake Actuation time. Each service brake system shall meet 
the requirements of S5.3.3.1(a) and (b) . . .
    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 second in the case of trucks and 
buses, . . .

    Paragraph S5.3.4 of FMVSS No. 121 requires in pertinent part:

S5.3.4 Brake Release time. Each service brake system shall meet the 
requirements of S5.3.4.1(a) and (b) . . .
    S5.3.4.1(a) With an initial service brake chamber air pressure 
of 95 psi, the air pressure in each brake chamber shall, when 
measured from the first movements of the service brake control, fall 
to 5 psi in not more than 0.55 second in the case of trucks and 
buses, . . .

    V. Summary of Mack's Arguments: Mack stated its belief that the 
subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for 
the following reasons:
    (A) Mack conducted pneumatic brake timings tests on a test vehicle 
representative of the affected population to show the results compared 
to the requirement. The test vehicle was configured similar to a dual-
drive (or twin steer) residential garbage truck equipped with left-hand 
and right-hand steering and brake controls. Tests were conducted on 
each axle, separately, using the left-hand brake control and then, the 
right hand brake control.
    Mack's data indicate that, on average, steer axle pneumatic brake 
actuation times exceed the requirement by 0.04 seconds, steer axle 
pneumatic brake release times, on average, exceed the requirement by 
0.09 seconds, and drive axle brake timing results indicate compliance 
with the safety standard's requirement.
    Mack stated that a change in brake chamber size from type 24 to 
type 30, which occurred in 2013 production, may have caused the 
noncompliance.
    (B) Mack conducted additional brake timing and dynamic performance 
tests to evaluate how this noncompliance affects overall brake 
performance. The tests were performed by an independent testing and 
evaluation company, Link Commercial Vehicle Testing (Link) located in 
East Liberty, Ohio. According to Mack, the results of these tests 
clearly show that the trucks that are affected by the subject 
noncompliance are compliant with the brake stopping distance 
requirements. Mack provided a chart to illustrate the stopping distance 
test results. (Detailed results from the tests provided by Mack are 
available from the docket for this petition).
    (C) Mack stated that LEU's are used almost exclusively in 
residential garbage collection service. Because of that, Mack says 
there are no concerned vehicles that tow air-braked trailers and that 
compatibility with other air brake vehicles is also not cause for 
concern.
    (D) Mack also stated that brake release timing has been the subject 
of previous petitions that it believes are similar to its petition and 
were granted by NHTSA.
    Mack has additionally informed NHTSA that it is correcting the 
noncompliance so that all future production of the subject trucks will 
fully comply with FMVSS No. 121.
    In summation, Mack believes that the described noncompliance of the 
subject trucks is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its 
petition, to exempt Mack from providing recall notification of 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall 
noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120 should be granted.

NHTSA'S Decision

    NHTSA's Analysis of Mack's Arguments: According to Mack, the 
results of the tests conducted by Link clearly show that the trucks 
that are affected by the subject noncompliance are compliant with the 
brake stopping distance requirements. We agree.
    Link performed a series of FMVSS No. 121 stopping distance and 
stability and control tests on a Mack LEU dual-drive test vehicle, 
initially, fitted with type 24 steer axle brake chambers to represent 
the ``compliant configuration'' and then fitted with type 30 steer axle 
brake chambers to represent the ``noncompliant configuration \1\.''
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    \1\ Link also performed Performance Based Brake Tests (PBBT) 
prior to and after the burnish to verify system and ABS 
functionality.
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    With the test vehicle loaded to gross vehicle weight \2\, Link 
conducted stopping distance tests at 9 different target speeds, ranging 
from 20 mph to

[[Page 64057]]

60 mph in 5 mph increments (i.e., 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 
mph). Link conducted the tests, generally following NHTSA test 
protocols.
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    \2\ The Mack LEU dual-drive test vehicle was an incomplete 
chassis cab without a garbage container body installed. Link affixed 
a roll bar and load frame to the chassis frame rails to ensure the 
safety of the driver during testing and to allow ballast to be added 
to the test vehicle to simulate a loaded garbage truck.
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    The data results indicate that the test vehicle in the 
``noncompliant'' configuration met the safety standard's stopping 
distance requirements. Furthermore, the data results show that there is 
no significant difference in stopping distance performance between the 
two configurations. Additionally, Link performed stability and control 
(i.e., Braking-in-a-Curve) tests with the vehicle unloaded (unladen) 
representing worst case. Link conducted these tests, generally 
following NHTSA test protocols except that these tests were more severe 
than compliance tests because they were conducted at test speeds 
approximately 10% higher at 30 mph given a maximum drive speed of 36 
mph.\3\
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    \3\ In the test report, Link indicated that the test vehicle 
achieved a maximum drive through speed of 36 mph. Per FMVSS No. 121, 
S5.3.6.1, the test speed is calculated as 75% of the maximum drive 
through speed which computes to 27 mph.
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    Again, data results indicate that the test vehicle in the 
``noncompliant'' configuration met the safety standard's stability and 
control braking requirements and there is no significant difference in 
braking performance between the two configurations.
    Mack also stated that brake release timing has been the subject of 
previous petitions that it believes are similar to its petition and 
were granted by NHTSA.
    In previous petitions concerning brake release timing, NHTSA 
emphasized that only the failure of the subject vehicles was at issue. 
NHTSA concluded that, ``the test data results and analyses were 
sufficient to grant the petition for the specific conditions that cause 
the subject vehicles to be out of compliance with the standard's 
pneumatic release time requirement.''[emphasis added] (see 77 FR 20482)
    Likewise, for this petition, we only consider the failure of the 
subject vehicles and whether the data and analyses are sufficient to 
grant the petition.
    NHTSA's Decision: NHTSA has concluded that the braking performance 
of subject noncompliant vehicles is not adversely affected as a result 
of slightly longer pneumatic brake actuation and release times. The 
dynamic performance data provided by the petitioner indicate no 
difference in stopping distance performance for noncompliant vehicles 
when compared to compliant vehicles. The data confirm that stopping 
distances of noncompliant vehicles conform to the safety standard's 
performance requirements. Therefore, the subject noncompliant vehicles 
do not appear to pose an undue safety risk in braking performance in 
comparison to compliant vehicles.
    The petitioner has met its burden of persuasion that the 
noncompliance described herein is inconsequential to safety. The 
petition is hereby granted. Accordingly, Mack is exempted from the 
obligation of providing notification of, and remedy for the subject 
noncompliance.
    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 incomplete vehicles that Mack no longer 
controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. 
However, the grant of this petition does not relieve 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 incomplete vehicles under their control 
after Mack 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. 2015-26803 Filed 10-21-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P


Current View
CategoryRegulatory Information
CollectionFederal Register
sudoc ClassAE 2.7:
GS 4.107:
AE 2.106:
PublisherOffice of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration
SectionNotices
ActionGrant of petition.
FR Citation80 FR 64056 

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