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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2012-0151, Notice 1]

Notice of Receipt of Petition for Decision That Nonconforming 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Passenger Cars Are Eligible for Importation

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.
ACTION: Notice of receipt of petition.
SUMMARY: This document announces receipt by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a petition for a decision that nonconforming 2007 Chevrolet Corvette passenger cars that were not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), are eligible for importation into the United States because they are substantially similar to vehicles that were originally manufactured for sale in the United States and that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with the safety standards (the U.S.-certified version of the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette passenger cars) and they are capable of being readily altered to conform to the standards.
DATES: The closing date for comments on the petition is December 19, 2012.
ADDRESSES: *Federal eRulemaking Portal:Go tohttp://www.regulations.gov.Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

*Mail:Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

*Hand Delivery or Courier:West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

*Fax:202-493-2251.

Instructions:Comments must be written in the English language, and be no greater than 15 pages in length, although there is no limit to the length of necessary attachments to the comments. If comments are submitted in hard copy form, please ensure that two copies are provided. If you wish to receive confirmation that your comments were received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with the comments. Note that all comments received will be posted without change tohttp://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Privacy Act:Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in theFederal Registerpublished on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

How to Read Comments submitted to the Docket:You may read the comments received by Docket Management at the address and times given above. You may also view the documents from the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov.Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. The docket ID number and title of this notice are shown at the heading of this document notice. Please note that even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available. Further, some people may submit late comments. Accordingly, we recommend that you periodically search the Docket for new material.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Stevens, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, NHTSA (202-366-5308).
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable FMVSS shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, certified under 49 U.S.C. 30115, and of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable FMVSS.

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 theFederal Registerof each petition that it receives, and affords interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition. At the close of the comment period, NHTSA decides, on the basis of the petition and any comments that it has received, whether the vehicle is eligible for importation. The agency then publishes this decision in the Federal Register.

G&K Automotive Conversion, Inc. (G&K), of Santa Ana, California (Registered Importer 90-007) has petitioned NHTSA to decide whether nonconforming 2007 Chevrolet Corvette passenger cars are eligible for importation into the United States. The vehicles which G&K believes are substantially similar are 2007 Chevrolet Corvette passenger cars that were manufactured for sale in the United States and certified by their manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS.

The petitioner claims that it compared non-U.S. certified nonconforming 2007 Chevrolet Corvette passenger cars to their U.S.-certified counterparts, and found the vehicles to be substantially similar with respect to compliance with most FMVSS.

G&K submitted information with its petition intended to demonstrate that non-U.S. certified 2007 Chevrolet Corvette passenger cars, as originally manufactured, conform to many FMVSS in the same manner as their U.S.-certified counterparts, or are capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards.

Specifically, the petitioner claims that non-U.S. certified 2007 Chevrolet Corvette passenger cars are identical to their U.S.-certified counterparts with respect to compliance with Standard Nos. 102Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect,103Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems,104Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems,106Brake Hoses,108Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment,109New Pneumatic Tires,113Hood Latch System,114Theft Protection,116Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids,118Power-Operated Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems,124Accelerator Control Systems,135Light Vehicle Brake Systems,138Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems,201Occupant Protection in Interior Impact,202Head Restraints,204Steering Control Rearward Displacement,205Glazing Materials,206Door Locks and Door Retention Components,207Seating Systems,209Seat Belt Assemblies,210Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages,212Windshield Mounting,214Side Impact Protection,216Roof Crush Resistance,219Windshield Zone Intrusion,225Child Restraint Anchorage Systems,and 302Flammability of Interior Materials.

With regard to Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment, the petition asserts: “All lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment are identical to those found in the U.S. Companion Model and therefore comply with the requirements of FMVSS 108.” Because the headlamp requirements in European and other foreign markets differ from those in the U.S., NHTSA is concerned that the headlamps on the vehicles that are the subject of the petition may not, in fact, have been originally manufactured to comply with all requirements of Standard No. 108. As a consequence, the agency is soliciting specific comments with respect to this issue.

The petitioner also contends that the vehicles are capable of being readily altered to meet the following standards, in the manner indicated:

Standard No. 101—Controls Telltales, and Indicators:(a) Inscription of the word “brake” on the brake failure indicator lamp in place of the international ECE warning symbol; and (b) replacement of the speedometer with a unit reading in miles per hour, or modification of the existing speedometer so that it reads in miles per hour.

Standard No. 110—Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or Less:Installation of a tire information placard.

Standard No. 111—Rearview Mirrors:Installation of a U.S.-model passenger side rearview mirror, or inscription ofthe required warning statement on the face of the existing mirror.

Standard No. 208—Occupant Crash Protection:Petitioner claims that the passive restraint system hardware in the nonconforming 2007 Chevrolet Corvette is identical to that found on the U.S.-certified 2007 Chevrolet Corvette, and has included a comparison of the advanced air bag component part numbers in its petition as proof. The petitioner also states that the software and firmware associated with the occupant protection system must be verified and updated with U.S.-version software as necessary to ensure that the system conforms to the standard. This may require the replacement of system components.

The petitioner additionally states that it will provide any owner's manual inserts that are required by this standard but not present in the vehicle.

Standard No. 301—Fuel System Integrity:Inspection of all vehicles and replacement of any non U.S.-model fuel system components with U.S.-model components.

The petitioner additionally states that a vehicle identification plate must be affixed to the vehicles near the left windshield post to meet the requirements of 49 CFR Part 565.

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 theFederal Registerpursuant to the authority indicated below.

Authority:

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.

Issued on: November 8, 2012. Claude H. Harris, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.