FAA Case rosta
VA-2016-VACO, Federal Register/Vol. 81, No. 14/Friday, January 22, 2016, 3862
Statement of Facts
Van Hool Company, in this case the plaintiff, was working under the guidelines put in place by the NHTSA, in this case the defendant.
Van Hool exceeded the FMVSS No.121 requirement by only 0.03 of a second on the front axle, by 0.05 of a second on the tag axle, and by 0.10 of a second on the drive axle.
Van Hool believed that there was no safety issue or unnecessary brake drag during acceleration after brake release due to the reaction time of the driver, and thus, demanded that exemption from providing recall notification of noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C 30118 and remedying the recall noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C 30120 should be granted. NHTSA noted that the provisions 49 U.S.C 30118 and 30120 allowed it to exempt manufacturers only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, and to notify owners of noncompliance and the need to remedy the noncompliance.
The lower court upheld the NHTSA’s decision to charge Van Hool for noncompliance Van Hool appealed the decision based on the fact that the noncompliance may have been due to the change of fitting for the type of vehicle, and that there was no safety issue or unnecessary brake and wanted the lower court’s decision reversed.
The point of law in dispute is Van Hool’s noncompliance of the FMVSS No 121 requirement. The court ruled that Van Hool was noncompliant by exceeding the FMVSS No 121 requirement by 0.03 of a second on the front axle, o.05 of a second on the tag axle, and by 0.10 of a second on the drive axle.
Van Hool claim was that the lower court’s ruling was unfair given that there was safety issue no unnecessary brake drag during acceleration after brake release due to the reaction time of the driver.
The court reversed the lower court’s decision with instructions
The decision on the petition only applied to the subject buses that Van Hool no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed.
Rule of law applied
49 U.S.C 30118, 30120: Delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8
The court correctly applied the rule identified above to reach its decision
There was no concurring or dissenting opinions regarding the courts rule.
The ruling on the case was in accordance with the guidelines provided by the law, and it is similar to other cases where application of the rule of law was evident. The decision would have an economic impact because the defendant had to pay for damages.