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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No.

16 / Wednesday, January 26, 2005 / Notices 3765

MMSC has received no customer version. The font size and letter spacing In consideration of the foregoing,
complaints related to the bilingual are not covered by regulation and thus NHTSA has decided that the petitioner
labels. are not relevant to the message area has met its burden of persuasion that
NHTSA has reviewed the petitioner’s requirement. The black font color is the sun visor air bag warning labeling
arguments. The air bag warning labels required, but it is not relevant to the noncompliance portion of its petition is
are the agency’s primary method for message area requirement. NHTSA inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
obtaining the owner’s attention and intended the message area to be filled. Accordingly, we grant its petition on
conveying important safety information. Therefore, the font and spacing should this issue.
The agency believes that these air bag be chosen with that as a consideration Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and
warning labels are necessary to make along with owner ease of use. 30120(h); delegations of authority at CFR
owners aware of the safest way to use Fourth, it states that the labels meet 1.50 and 501.8.
their air bag equipped vehicles. In all other label requirements. This is not Issued on: January 19, 2005.
NHTSA’s occupant crash protection rule relevant to the message area
published on May 12, 2000 (65 FR Claude H. Harris,
requirement.
30680), the agency stated ‘‘* * * as Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
Fifth, it believes dash labels have
with the current labels, manufacturers already been removed. Again this is not [FR Doc. 05–1432 Filed 1–25–05; 8:45 am]
may provide translations of the required relevant to the message area BILLING CODE 4910–59–P
English language message as long as all requirement.
the requirements for the English label Finally, it states it has received no
are met, including size’’ (65 FR 30722) DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
customer complaints. NHTSA is not
(emphasis added). Thus, the agency surprised that there are no customer
reconfirmed the importance of the National Highway Traffic Safety
complaints since the labels do not affect Administration
message area requirement in the the operation of the vehicle.
advanced air bag final rule. The sun visor alert label is a [Docket No. NHTSA 2004–17679; Notice 2]
The intent of FMVSS No. 208 is that
permanent label that will still be on the
the warning or alert message fill the General Motors Corporation, Denial of
vehicles when they enter the used
message area (see 61 FR 60206 at 60210 Petition for Decision of
vehicle market. New owners, as well as
(November 27, 1996)). Not filling the Inconsequential Noncompliance
the current owners, should be afforded
message area would make purposeless
the opportunity to have the air bag General Motors Corporation (GM), has
the specification. The label on the
dashboard has a message area that is 37 warning labels in the minimum format determined that certain 2004 model year
percent below the required 30 cm2. The specified by FMVSS No. 208, which was vehicles that it produced do not comply
air bag alert label on the sun visor has deemed to be the most effective through with S5.1 of 49 CFR 571.124, Federal
a message area that is 40 percent below focus group testing. Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS)
the required 20 cm2. These are The label on the dashboard, although No. 124, ‘‘Accelerator control systems.’’
significant reductions in message area. temporary on a new vehicle, is Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and
Having reductions of this magnitude important to NHTSA. Since all the 30120(h), GM has petitioned for a
is equivalent to not filling the message labels had insufficient message area, a determination that this noncompliance
area. The agency has provided figures in remedy for this label will help reinforce is inconsequential to motor vehicle
FMVSS No. 208 that show the message the air bag message for the owners. safety and has filed an appropriate
text covers the majority of the message In consideration of the foregoing, report pursuant to 49 CFR part 573,
area. NHTSA has decided that the petitioner ‘‘Defect and Noncompliance Reports.’’
MMSC hypothesized that there is has not met its burden of persuasion Notice of receipt of a petition was
enhanced label perception by the that the noncompliance it describes is published, with a 30-day comment
consumer because the size of the inconsequential to safety for the sun period, on May 19, 2004, in the Federal
bilingual label is larger than the English- visor air bag alert label or for the label Register (69 FR 28977). NHTSA
only label. The bilingual label is on the dashboard. Accordingly, in received no comments.
addressed in the Federal Register notice regard to these two labels, its petition is Approximately 19,924 model year
quoted above. In addition, the message hereby denied. MMSC must now fulfill 2004 Cadillac SRX, Cadillac XLR, and
area requirements in FMVSS No. 208 its obligation to notify and remedy Pontiac Grand Prix vehicles are affected.
enhance the effectiveness of labels by under 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h). S5.1 and S5.3 of FMVSS No. 124 require
not only impacting the label size, but The sun visor air bag warning label that there shall be at least two sources
also the appearance of the text message. has a message area that is 10 percent of energy capable of returning the
If the agency were only concerned with below the required 30 cm2. Even though throttle to the idle position from any
the size of the label, we would have the label minimum format is not met, accelerator position or speed whenever
limited our requirement to label size. NHTSA believes in this case that the the driver removes the opposing
Second, it states that the bilingual owner and future owners will have a actuating force. In the event of failure of
label will reach a larger audience. This message size that is acceptable. Since one source of energy by a single
is not relevant to the message area this label contains the actual owner severance or disconnection, the return
requirement. The label can still be guidance, NHTSA prefers to keep the to idle shall occur within three seconds
bilingual but the minimum English current label intact rather than require for any vehicle that is exposed to
message area is specified in the a 10 percent increase in message area. ambient air at ¥18 °C to ¥40 °C.
regulatory text. Had the Agency In addition, the label on the dashboard However, for the subject vehicles, in
required a bilingual label, it would have will have to be remedied and it contains the event of failure of either of the two
been logical to specify the same 30 cm2 the same information as the sun visor Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Pedal
message area for both languages. air bag warning label. NHTSA expects return springs at ambient temperatures
Third, it states the font size, font the remedy will have the effect of of ¥30 °C to ¥40 °C for the Grand Prix
color, and letter spacing remains the reemphasizing the warning on the visor and XLR and ¥10 °C to ¥40 °C for the
same as the English-only complying label. SXR, the engine in some of these

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3766 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 16 / Wednesday, January 26, 2005 / Notices

vehicles may not return to idle within pedal return spring failures after testing reduced slowly. Tapping or pumping
the time limits specified by S5.3. multiple samples to 10 million cycles during the accelerator pedal had little affect.
GM believes that the noncompliance the durability testing that was performed on Side taps applied to the pedal improved
is inconsequential to motor vehicle the ETC Accelerator Pedal Module for the
return time such that the pedal returned
subject vehicles.
safety for the following reasons: Condition Requires Extreme Temperatures, within 40–50 seconds. When the driver
Vehicle Controllability: A number of Pedal Assembly Warms Quickly: The root used his foot to lift up the pedal, the
conditions must occur for the noncompliance cause of the condition is an increase in idle condition was achieved within five
to occur. A return spring must be severed, the friction that may occur on some ETC seconds.
stack-up of tolerances in the ETC Pedal Accelerator Pedal Modules due to a stack-up The standard requires that a vehicle’s
Position Sensor must exist, the vehicle must of tolerances, but only when the Module is accelerator control system, with one
have soaked at an ambient temperature of subjected to extreme ambient temperatures. return spring disconnected, return to
¥30° C to ¥40° C for the Grand Prix and All tests at temperatures above those idle in cold ambient temperatures
XLR and ¥10 °C to ¥40 °C for the SXR, and extremes resulted in full compliance with the
the customer must drive the vehicle prior to FMVSS No. 124 time limits for all pedal
within three seconds. A driver who
the vehicle interior warming up. In the assemblies tested. Therefore, the ambient starts a vehicle affected by the
extremely low likelihood of all of these temperatures required for the possibility of noncompliance in these conditions and
conditions existing, the condition would the noncompliance to exist are severe. Even begins driving it soon thereafter could
occur upon the first application of the if a vehicle with a disconnected return spring be unable to control vehicle speed and
throttle pedal. The vehicle would continue to soaked under the necessary harsh conditions experience a loss of control.
be controllable by steering and braking, and for a sufficient time, the potential for the In consideration of the foregoing,
the ETC Pedal assembly would return to noncompliance to occur would exist for only NHTSA has decided that the petitioner
normal operation once the passenger a short time, because the pedal assembly has not met its burden of persuasion
compartment warmed up. would warm up quickly with activation of
that the noncompliance described is
Pedal Assembly is Protected: When the vehicle heating system.
FMVSS No. 124 was established in 1973, the Warranty Data: GM has reviewed warranty inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.
accelerator control systems of vehicles data for these 2004 vehicles, as well as Accordingly, GM’s petition is denied.
consisted of a mechanical connection complaint data. GM is unaware of any data Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120;
between the accelerator pedal and the suggesting the subject condition is a real delegations of authority at CFR 1.50 and
engine’s carburetor. The throttle return world safety issue. 501.8.
springs required by FMVSS No. 124 were Prior NHTSA Decision: On August 3, 1998,
Issued on: January 19, 2005.
typically part of the carburetor, and subject NHTSA granted a petition for decision of
to the harsh engine environment. The inconsequential noncompliance to GM for Claude H. Harris,
requirements of S5.1 were established to 1997 Chevrolet Corvettes that failed to meet Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
ensure that if one of those springs in that the requirements of FMVSS No. 124, with [FR Doc. 05–1433 Filed 1–25–05; 8:45 am]
environment were to fail, the engine would respect to the requirement to return to idle BILLING CODE 4910–59–P
return to idle in a timely manner. in less than 3 seconds at ¥40 °C.
The ETC Accelerator Pedal Module in the
Additional information was requested
subject vehicles consists of the accelerator
pedal at the end of the accelerator pedal from GM. One of the factors considered DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
lever. The lever is connected to the ETC in the prior petition grant (63 FR 41320,
Pedal Sensor shaft, and is returned to the idle August 3, 1998) was that the accelerator Research and Special Programs
position by two return springs. The ETC control system performance of the Administration
Pedal Sensor provides two redundant signals Corvettes improved after several
to the engine control module to indicate thousand application cycles of the Report on Research Activities;
accelerator pedal position. The ETC accelerator pedal. Request for Comments
Accelerator Pedal Module is located entirely However, in the present case, GM and AGENCY: Research and Special Programs
within the passenger compartment of the its pedal assembly supplier conducted
vehicle. The return springs are in a protected Administration, DOT.
area under the instrument panel, and are not
several tests of samples from the subject ACTION: Notice and Request for
subject to the harsh environment of the population attempting to demonstrate Comments.
engine compartment. this kind of improvement by cycling
Condition Requires Failed Return Spring: pedal assemblies at ambient and cold SUMMARY: The Norman Y. Mineta
The condition that is described can only temperatures, but the throttle return Research and Special Programs
occur if one of the two return springs is performance was not significantly Improvement Act of 2004 (Public Law
severed or disconnected. The springs in the improved. 108–426) will disestablish the
subject Accelerator Pedal Module, however, Six accelerator pedal assemblies were Department of Transportation’s
have extremely high reliability and are not taken from GM vehicles with up to Research and Special Programs
likely to fail in the real world. 11,553 accumulated driving miles and Administration (RSPA). In its place, two
Durability Testing: The ETC Accelerator
Pedal Module is designed for a service life of
tested on a fixture with one return new Federal agencies will be
at least 100,000 miles or 10 years working life spring disconnected at ¥40 °C and established—the Research and
for passenger car application. The Minimum higher temperatures. Checking times to Innovative Technology Administration
Typical Predicted Usage Profile of the return from 10 percent, 50 percent, and (RITA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous
Component Technical Specification states 100 percent wide-open throttle Materials Safety Administration
that the Accelerator Pedal mechanism may be positions to idle, two of the assemblies (PHMSA). These new organizations will
subject to 35,000,000 dithers / 70,000,000 returned to idle within three seconds. be effective no later than February 28,
sensor direction changes. The GM Test The four others had not fully returned 2005.
Procedure TP3750, Accelerator Pedal Lab within one minute. Section 4(g) of the Act directs the
Durability Cycling Test, that is used during The worst performer of these incoming RITA Administrator to
the development and validation of this
system, subjects these parts to 2 million
assemblies was installed in a vehicle for prepare a report to Congress, due March
cycles, an equivalent usage greater than 6 testing on a dynamometer in a cold 30, 2005, on the research activities and
lives for an automatic transmission passenger chamber. The driver accelerated to 70 priorities of the Department of
vehicle and 3 lives for a manual transmission mph and removed his foot from the Transportation. As a part of the
passenger vehicle. There were no accelerator accelerator control pedal. Vehicle speed stakeholder review process, the

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