Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2006-26283; Notice 1]

Britax Child Safety, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance

Britax Child Safety, Inc. (Britax) has determined that certain child restraint systems that it produced in 2006 do not comply with S5.1.1 of 49 CFR 571.213, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, "Child restraint systems." Britax has filed an appropriate report pursuant to 49 CFR Part 573, "Defect and Noncompliance Reports."

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h), Britax has petitioned 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.

This notice of receipt of Britax'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.

Affected are a total of approximately 34,355 Britax Marathon Child Restraint Systems (models E9L06, E9W06, and E906) produced between May 23 and July 28, 2006. S5.1.1 of FMVSS No. 213 requires that the child restraint system exhibit no complete separation of any load bearing structural element during dynamic testing. When the noncompliant child restraint systems were tested, the top tether hook opened and released from the top tether anchor. Britax has corrected the problem that caused these errors so that they will not be repeated in future production.

Britax believes that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and that no corrective action is warranted. Britax states that the system has "excellent biomechanical performance * * * even with the opening of the system's top tether hook." Britax says that the systems "exceed expectation with head excursion well below the limit for products in which this performance is actually measured," even though the noncompliant systems are not required to meet head excursion limits. Britax also points out that there was a lower HIC and lower chest acceleration with the top tether hook open than when not open, and "[t]hese results demonstrate that the opening of the top tether dissipates some of the occupant energyand thereby reduc[es] overall biomechanical injury measures."

Britax concludes that the open top tether hook is inconsequential to the system working. Britax states, "The biomechanical results and performance of the other structural components of the Marathon prove that thesystem[emphasis in original] does what is it intended to do--that is, save children's lives."

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments on this petition. Comments must refer to the docket and notice number cited at the beginning of this notice and be submitted by any of the following methods.Mail:Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, 20590-0001.Hand Delivery:Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC. It is requested, but not required, that two copies of the comments be provided. The Docket Section is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Federal Holidays. Comments may be submitted electronically by logging onto the Docket Management System Web site at on "Help" to obtain instructions for filing the document electronically. Comments may be faxed to 1-202-493-2251, or may be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: go to the online instructions for submitting comments.

The petition, supporting materials, and all comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated below will be filed and will be considered. All comments and supporting materials received after the closing date will also be filed and will be considered to the extent possible. When the petition is granted or denied, notice of the decision will be published in theFederal Registerpursuant to the authority indicated below.

Comment closing date:January 16, 2007.

Issued on: December 11, 2006. Daniel C. Smith, Associate Administrator for Enforcement.