Release 97-24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:      Jerry Martin
August 27, 1997                                                                                               Richard Varenchik
                                                                                                                        (916) 322-2990

Hayward Lab to Perform ARB's In-Use Motor Vehicle Testing

        SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is now using Clean Air Vehicle Technology Center, Inc. (CAVTC) of Hayward, for its in-use vehicle testing. The laboratory will begin vehicle testing September 9.

        ARB Chairman John Dunlap said, "Test results from the in-use compliance program assures Californians that their automobiles will remain clean-running throughout their useful lifetime, and help reduce air pollutants from emissions."

        The in-use compliance program evaluates the emissions performance of vehicles driven in California that are 2 to 3 years old and are still under warranty. Results from these tests are used to improve the performance and durability of vehicles sold in the California. Specific engine families are tested (typically 10 to 14 vehicles) by soliciting private vehicle owners within a 100 mile radius of the lab. As an incentive for owners to participate, the lab offers a minimum of $200 and the use of a rental vehicle for the duration of the testing, usually about one week.

        This is the first time the test program has been offered in Northern California and gives those residents the chance to participate. CAVTC will begin testing 1995 Toyota Camrys and Celicas on September 9 and 1995 General Motors Safari and Astro vans on September 16. Testing will continue at CAVTC through December 1998.

        The in-use compliance program is completed under the professional guidance of ARB engineers and representatives of the vehicle manufacturer. If ARB staff finds unsatisfactory results in a particular engine family, it asks manufacturers to develop a repair plan that can include a voluntary recall. If the ARB and manufacturer cannot agree upon a repair plan, the ARB has the authority to require a recall.

        Attached are copies of letters similar to those used to solicit the participation of owners of vehicles that are scheduled to be tested. To view the text of the ARB-generated letter to California motorists, please click here . To view the test of the sample letter from CAVTC, please click here .

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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