Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
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Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(B), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS, and has no substantially similar U.S.-certified counterpart, shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle has safety features that comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, all applicable FMVSS based on destructive test data or such other evidence as NHTSA decides to be adequate.
Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice in the
Wallace Environmental Testing Laboratories, Inc. of Houston, Texas (WETL) (Registered Importer 90-005) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether nonconforming 1991 Mercedes-Benz G-class (463 chassis) MPVs are eligible for importation into the United States. WETL believes these vehicles are capable of being modified to meet all applicable FMVSS.
In its petition, WETL noted that over a period of years, NHTSA has granted import eligibility to a number of Mercedes-Benz G-class (a.k.a., Gelaendewagen) vehicles based on the 463 chassis. These include long wheel base (LWB) and short wheel base (SWB) models as well as cabriolet, 3 door, and other body versions of the vehicle (assigned vehicle eligibility numbers VCP-11, 15, 16, and 18). These eligibility decisions were based on petitions submitted by several Registered Importers (RIs) who claimed that the vehicles were capable of being altered to comply with all applicable FMVSS.
Because those vehicles were not manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, and were not certified by their original manufacturer (Daimler Ag), as conforming to all applicable FMVSS, they cannot be categorized as “substantially similar” to the vehicle that is the subject of the instant petition for the purpose of establishing import eligibility of that vehicle under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A). Therefore, the agency will consider WETL's petition as a petition pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(B).
WETL submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 1991 Mercedes-Benz G-class (463 chassis) MPVs conform to many FMVSS and are capable of being altered to comply with all other standards to which they were not originally manufactured to conform.
Specifically, the petitioner claims that non-U.S. certified 1991 Mercedes-Benz G-class (463 chassis) MPVs, as originally manufactured, conform to: Standard Nos. 102
The petitioner also contends that the vehicles are capable of being altered to meet the following standards, in the manner indicated:
Standard No. 101
Standard No. 108
Standard No. 111
Standard No. 114
Standard No. 118
Standard No. 120
Standard No. 206
Standard No. 208
The petitioner also stated that the vehicles are equipped with self-tensioning combination lap and shoulder belts that release by use of a single red push button at both front and rear outboard seating positions. The vehicle is equipped with a driver's-side airbag (passive restraint system).
Standard No. 209
Standard No. 301
In addition, the petitioner states that a vehicle identification number plate must be installed in the area of the left windshield post to meet the requirements of 49 CFR Part 565 if the vehicle is not already so equipped.
All comments received before the close of business on the closing date indicated above will be considered, and will be available for examination in the docket at the above addresses both before and after that date. To the extent possible, comments filed after the closing date will also be considered. Notice of final action on the petition will be published in the
49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), and (b)(1); 49 CFR 593.7; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.