September 17, 2019

Archives for June 2019

On June 21, 2019, NHTSA Published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Relating to FMVSS 304, Compressed Natural Gas Fuel System Container Integrity (49 CFR 571.304)

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 20, 2019.

SUMMARY: FMVSS 304 currently contains an inspection requirement for CNG fuel system containers of 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first for all size vehicles.  Both the current and the proposed standard requires inspection for deterioration and damage after a motor vehicle accident. NHTSA recognizes that heavy duty commercial vehicles may put 36,000 miles on the vehicle in a very short period, which might lead to multiple inspections within a year.  It proposes to Amend FMVSS 304, S7.4 Labeling to require the following statement:

“(g) The statement: ‘‘This container should be visually inspected for damage and deterioration after a motor vehicle accident or fire, and either (a) at least every 12 months when installed on a vehicle with a GVWR greater than 4,536 kg or (b) at least every 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, when installed on a vehicle with a GVWR less than or equal to 4,536 kg.’’

On June 18, the CPSC Published Its Final Rule Safety Standard on Stationary Activity Centers, [(SACs) (16 CFR 1112 and 1238)]

DATES:  The rule will become effective on December 18, 2019. The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of December 18, 2019.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

ASTM F2012–18?1 defines an SAC as ‘‘a freestanding product intended to remain stationary that enables a sitting or standing occupant whose torso is completely surrounded by the product to walk, rock, play, spin or bounce, or all of these, within a limited range of motion.’’ ASTM F2012–18?1, section 3.1.12. This definition does not include doorway jumpers.

BACKGROUND:

On June 19, 2018, the Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR), proposing to incorporate by reference the voluntary standard for SACs, ASTM F2012–18?1, without modifications. ASTM F2012–18?1 is still the current version of the standard.

In this final rule, the Commission incorporated by reference ASTM F2012– 18?1, with no modifications, as the mandatory safety standard for SACs. The CPSC staff had consulted with manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, consumer advocacy groups, consultants, and the public to develop this standard, largely through the ASTM standard- development process. In addition, this final rule amended the list of the requirements in 16 CFR part 1112.15(b) for third party conformity testing bodies to include the standard for SACs. This rule was based on information in CPSC staff’s briefing package, ‘‘Staff’s Draft Final Rule for Stationary Activity Centers Under the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act,’’ which is available on CPSC’s website.

On June 10, 2019 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Published a Request for Information Request for Information Concerning Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Detention Times During Loading and Unloading

DATES: Comments on this notice must be received on or before September 9, 2019

INFORMATION REQUESTED:

  1.  Are data currently available that can accurately record loading, unloading, and delay times?
  2.  Is there technology available that could record and delineate prompt loading and unloading times versus the extended delays sometimes experienced by drivers?
  3.  How can delay times be captured and recorded in a systematic, comparable manner?
  4.  Could systematic collection and publication of loading, unloading, and delay times be useful in driver or carrier business decisions and help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?
  5.  What should FMCSA use as an estimate of reasonable loading/ unloading time? Please provide a basis for your response.
  6.  How do contract arrangements between carriers and shippers address acceptable wait times? Do these arrangements include penalties for delays attributable to a carrier or shipper?
  7.  What actions by FMCSA, within its current statutory authority, would help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?

On May 29, NHTSA Published in the Federal Register its Denial of a Motor Vehicle Defect Petition Regarding the Rollover Performance of 2010 Chevrolet Tahoes and All Similar Vehicles

DATES:  This Decision of NHTSA does not require any period for comments.  The Petition was filed on August 6, 2014.

SUMMARY OF CLAIM:  The Petitioner claimed there were several defects in 2010 Chevrolet Tahoes including:

  • “Safety” belts
  • Roof Strength
  • Containment/Glazing
  • The Rollover Side Curtain Air Bags (RSCABs) Lacked Tethers

NHTSA RATIONALE FOR DENIAL:

Although the petitioner claims the fatal occupant was wearing her 3-point seat belt based on forensic and other evidence, the police accident report and GM’s analysis indicate she and the two other ejected occupants were not restrained at the time of the crash.  Based upon all the evidence available, ODI could not reasonably determine whether or not the fatal occupant was wearing her seat belt and that any potential defect in the seat belt system exists.

No data was submitted in support of roof strength allegation.

The petition alleged that the side window design was defective because the glazing fractured during the crash and the window opening provided an exit path through which occupants could leave the vehicle during a rollover. However, no data was provided in support of this conclusory allegation, and ODI was unable to determine how this material supports the commencement of a defect investigation by NHTSA.

NHTSA believes that the RSCABs were designed to the state of the art at the time the vehicle was manufactured.  Although the 2010 Tahoe was not required to meet FMVSS 226-Rollover Protection, NHTSA had conducted tests on the Tahoes in the development of that standard.  NHTSA did not believe that the performance of the side curtain air bags in the Tahoes did not stand out from the performance of side curtain air bags in other similar model year vehicles. 

ODI also examined complaint, claim, and crash data relating to the petitioner’s claims.  Again the Tahoes had similar performance to other peer vehicles.

NHTSA CONCLUSION

“Based on the information available at the present time, NHTSA does not believe that a safety-related defect currently exists in the design of the rollover side curtain air bags in the MY 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe and other similarly designed Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon vehicles. Therefore, the petition is denied. However, the agency will take further action if warranted by changing future circumstances.”