WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–September 6, 2012. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with recreational vehicle manufacturer, American Suzuki Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation, to pay an $885,000 penalty for allegedly importing and selling 25,458 uncertified all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off-road motorcycles in the United States. ATVs and motorcycles that are not certified may be operating without proper emissions controls and can emit excess hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides that can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, or smog.
“EPA’s vehicle emission standards are vital safeguards that protect our nation’s air quality,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “By taking action to deter the importation and sale of non-compliant engines, EPA is not only protecting people’s health, but is also ensuring a level playing field for manufacturers that play by the rules.”
The Suzuki ATVs and off-road motorcycles were uncertified because they were manufactured with an undisclosed electronic emission control configuration that would allow the vehicles to be modified for increased horsepower through the installation of an aftermarket part. This type of modification could lead to increased emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. Design features that may effect emissions must be disclosed in certificate applications. Vehicles that do not conform to the design specifications in their certificate applications are not covered by a certificate. The violations were identified and self-disclosed by Suzuki.
The Clean Air Act (CAA) prohibits any vehicle or engine from being imported into or sold in the United States unless it is covered by a valid, EPA-issued certificate of conformity indicating that the vehicle or engine meets applicable federal emission standards. The certificate of conformity is the primary way EPA ensures that vehicles and engines meet emission standards. This enforcement action is part of an ongoing effort by EPA to ensure that all imported vehicles and engines comply with the CAA’s requirements.
The settlement requires Suzuki to implement three emission mitigation projects to reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 210 tons or more. The projects include replacing older unregulated gas cans with gas cans that meet current evaporative emission requirements, discontinuing the sale of high-permeability fuel line hoses, and installing evaporative emission control devices on certain models of highway motorcycles sold throughout the United States.
Suzuki also will modify its warranty policy and owner’s manual for ATVs and off-road motorcycles to increase awareness of modifications to emissions control systems, environmental regulations, prohibited modifications, and acts that could result in loss of warranty coverage.
More information on the settlement: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/suzuki.html
More information on EPA’s Clean Air Act mobile source enforcement programs: http://www.epa.gov/enforcement/air/index.html#mobile