[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 120 (Thursday, June 23, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37555-37556]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-13364]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2019-0130; Notice 2]


Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Denial of Petition for Decision 
of Inconsequential Noncompliance

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

ACTION: Notice of petition denial.

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

SUMMARY: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Goodyear), has determined that 
certain Kelly Armorsteel KDM 1 commercial truck tires do not comply 
with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 119, New 
Pneumatic Tires for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 
kilograms (10,000 pounds) and Motorcycles. Goodyear petitioned NHTSA on 
November 25, 2019, for a decision that the subject noncompliance is 
inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety, and filed a 
noncompliance report dated November 26, 2019. This document announces 
and explains the denial of Goodyear's petition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jayton Lindley, Office of Vehicle 
Safety Compliance, NHTSA, telephone (325) 655-0547.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    I. Overview: Goodyear has determined that certain Kelly Armorsteel 
KDM 1 commercial truck tires do not fully comply with paragraph S6.5 of 
FMVSS No. 119, New Pneumatic Tires for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 
More than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) and Motorcycles (49 CFR 
571.119). Goodyear petitioned NHTSA on November 25, 2019, 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, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 
30120(h) and 49 CFR part 556, Exemption for Inconsequential Defect or 
Noncompliance. Goodyear filed a noncompliance report dated November 26, 
2019, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance 
Responsibility and Reports.
    Notice of receipt of Goodyear's petition was published with a 30-
day public comment period in the Federal Register (85 FR 35994, June 
12, 2020). No comments were received. To view the petition and all 
supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System 
(FDMS) website at https://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online 
search instructions to locate docket number ``NHTSA-2019-0130.''
    II. Tires Involved: Approximately 76 Kelly Armorsteel KDM 1 
commercial truck tires, size 11/R22.5 LRH, manufactured between August 
25, 2019, and August 31, 2019, are potentially involved.
    III. Noncompliance: Goodyear explained that the noncompliance is 
that the Tire Identification Number (TIN) on the subject tires contains 
a date code that was engraved less than the required depth of 0.51 mm 
(0.02 inch) and, therefore, does not meet the requirements of paragraph 
S6.5 of FMVSS No. 119.
    IV. Rule Requirements: Paragraph S6.5 of FMVSS No. 119 includes the 
requirements relevant to this petition. Each tire shall be marked on 
each sidewall with the information specified in paragraphs (a) through 
(j) of this section. The markings shall comply with part 574.5 Tire 
Identification Markings which requires, among other things, that the 
markings be permanently molded 0.51 mm (0.02 inch) to 1.02 mm (0.04 
inch) deep.
    V. Summary of Goodyear's Petition: The following views and 
arguments presented in this section are the views and arguments 
provided by Goodyear. They do not reflect the views of the Agency.
    Accordingly, Goodyear described the subject noncompliance and 
stated that the noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to motor 
vehicle safety.
    1. Goodyear believes this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor 
vehicle safety because these tires were manufactured as designed and 
meet or exceed all applicable FMVSS. All of the sidewall markings 
related to tire service (load capacity, corresponding inflation 
pressure, etc.) are correct. The mislabeling and irregular date code is 
not a safety concern and has no impact on the retreading, repairing, 
and recycling industries. The affected date code stencil has been 
corrected, and all future production will not contain the irregularity 
in the date code.
    2. Goodyear states that the date code portion of the TIN becomes 
important in

[[Page 37556]]

the event of a safety campaign, so that the consumer may properly 
identify the recalled tire(s). Goodyear states that in the unlikely 
event that a safety campaign would ever become necessary for this Kelly 
Armorsteel KDM 1 11/R22.5 LRH commercial truck tire made in the 34th 
week of 2019, it would include in the listing of recalled TINs the TIN 
for these tires with the date code portion as shown: MJ3TK2BW3419, as 
well as the TIN for these tires with the date code portion omitted as 
shown: MJ3TK2BW, so that the consumer would know that tires with this 
TIN are included in the recall even if they have difficulty reading the 
date code portion because it is not raised to the 0.51 mm level.
    Goodyear 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.
    VI. NHTSA's Analysis: NHTSA does not agree with Goodyear's 
assessment that the noncompliance with FMVSS No. 119 is inconsequential 
to motor vehicle safety. As discussed below, the tire markings required 
by paragraph S6.5 (b) of FMVSS No. 119 provide valuable information 
about the tire. Goodyear does not provide information on the actual 
engraved depth of the date code, other than stating it is less than the 
required depth of 0.51 mm (0.02 inch). However, an exemplar photo 
provided by Goodyear in its petition shows that it is more than a de 
minimus deviation from the required depth and illustrates that the date 
code is very difficult or impossible to read.
    NHTSA recognizes that Goodyear has addressed one safety related 
concern by ensuring that the subject tires with the insufficient date 
code depth will be included in any relevant future recall. However, the 
Agency finds that this measure does not address all safety concerns 
associated with a missing or illegible date code.
    A significant source of tire related accidents is tire age. This is 
especially a concern in recreational vehicles (RVs) on which the 
subject tires could be installed because of the tire's size. RVs often 
sit in storage, unused, for extensive periods of time. NHTSA's website 
provides guidance for replacing a tire due to age and states the 
following: ``As tires age, they are more prone to failure. Some vehicle 
and tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires that are six to 10 
years old regardless of treadwear.'' \1\ In the case of the subject 
tires, the insufficient date code depth makes the date code challenging 
to read, and the date code may become completely illegible with wear. 
This will prevent consumers from making informed decisions related to 
the age of the tire, which may lead to prolonged usage and increased 
risk of accidents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/tires (``Should I replace my 
tires?'')
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, Goodyear stated and believes this noncompliance is 
inconsequential to motor vehicle safety because these tires were 
manufactured as designed and meet or exceed all applicable Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Further, Goodyear stated all the 
sidewall markings related to tire service (load capacity, corresponding 
inflation pressure, etc.) are correct. NHTSA does not find these 
arguments to be relevant to the safety concerns presented by the 
noncompliance because they do not relate to the information provided by 
the date code.
    VII. NHTSA's Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA has 
decided that Goodyear has not met its burden of persuasion that the 
subject FMVSS No. 119 noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle 
safety. Accordingly, Goodyear's petition is hereby denied and Goodyear 
is consequently obligated to provide notification of and free remedy 
for that noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.

(Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 49 
CFR 1.95 and 501.8)

Anne L. Collins,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2022-13364 Filed 6-22-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P