The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is denying a petition from International Truck and Engine Corp of Fort Wayne IN for exemption from the notification and remedy requirements for a noncompliance with 49 CFR 571.104, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) #104, “Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems.”
International applied for the exemption and petitioned NHTSA for a decision that the noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. International discovered the noncompliance in 7,630 medium-duty trucks it manufactured between Oct 24, 2000, and Oct 22, 2001. In those vehicles, if the windshield washer system is filled with water and frozen, a fuse in the windshield washer electrical circuit can blow when the washer system is actuated, rendering the system inoperative. The system thus fails to meet a performance requirement in FMVSS #104 which requires the washer system to withstand operation in a completely frozen state.
NHTSA is denying this petition because International has not adequately demonstrated that noncompliance does not increase the risk that an operator will experience a safety problem, in this case a non-functional washer system. The agency believes that a vehicle operator is at increased risk of experiencing reduced visibility as a result of a nonfunctional windshield washer system.