Release 00-11
May 26, 2000


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990
Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730

ARB Settles Air Quality Violation with Volvo
        SACRAMENTO -- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced a $104,000 settlement with Volvo Cars of North America (Rockleigh, NJ) for selling in California vehicles that had not been certified to the state's emission standards.

        The 26 new 1998-model year cars included S70 and V70 models and were certified for sale in other states by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency but not for sale in California.

        California is the only state with authority to write its own emission standards for automobiles - standards that typically are more stringent than federal standards and frequently become national trendsetters.

        Volvo recalled the cars in January 1999, and replaced those already sold with new California-certified cars. According to the settlement agreement, $78,000 will be paid to the Air Pollution Control Fund and $26,000 will be placed in escrow for a future Supplemental Environmental Project (in environmental education or research) to be mutually agreed upon by the ARB and Volvo.

        Enforcement Branch officers from ARB's Mobile Source Operations Division routinely inspect vehicles on dealership lots throughout the state to verify compliance with air pollution control regulations. New cars certified to California's air quality standards have a sticker under the hood that is applied at the assembly facility. The 26 cars in this investigation were incorrectly labeled at Volvo's factory as meeting California certification standards, a violation of Sections 43150-43154 of the California Health and Safety Code.

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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