Release 97-16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     CONTACT: Jerry Martin
June 18, 1997                                                                                                    Richard Varenchik
                                                                                                                          (916) 322-2990


        SACRAMENTO -- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced the recall of more than 7,000 General Motors' (GM) 1993 model year light-duty vans to reduce excessive hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by replacing potentially defective catalytic converters.

        "GM agreed to this recall after our tests showed excessive emissions," said ARB executive officer Mike Kenny. "With California's pollution levels being the highest in the nation, we must reduce excessive emissions whenever we detect them to meet our State Implementation Plan commitments," he added.

        California owners of Astro and Safari vans will be receiving recall notices from General Motors within the next several weeks to replace potentially defective catalytic converters that can increase emissions. GM agreed to recall the vans, all equipped with 4.3 liter engines, after in-use compliance testing by the ARB determined that the vehicles' hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions exceeded ARB standards.

        The ARB's unique in-use compliance test program subjects vehicles still under warranty to new vehicle emission test procedures to assure the public that they are not emitting excess pollution. According to ARB data, this latest recall brings the total number of GM light-duty trucks and vans repaired to 70,000.

        GM will make corrections to the vehicle's pollution control systems that will reduce their hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions to within California's clean air standards. The ARB estimates that 50 tons of hydrocarbon and 670 tons of carbon monoxide emissions will be removed from the state's air each year when these recalls are completed.

        To assure that California recalls are effective at reducing air pollution, ARB regulations require owners of recalled vehicles to have them repaired by the manufacturer before registrations can be renewed. Since that rule was adopted in 1991, compliance rates for emission-related recalls have nearly doubled from about 50 percent to over 95 percent.

        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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