Release 08-78
September 12, 2008

    Karen Caesar

Navistar fined total of $281,500
Company failed to provide proper labels and documentation

SACRAMENTO - In two separate cases, the California Air Resources Board last month fined Illinois-based Navistar, Inc., more than $281,000 for clean-air violations.

Navistar violated California's clean vehicle laws by failing to implement required emission controls, and properly label and document installed emission controls. Such deficiencies can lead to excess emissions by failing to detect component malfunctions and promptly alerting the driver that repairs are needed.

"California's motor vehicle regulations are the most progressive in the world," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Our auditors make sure engine manufacturers comply with our stringent requirements in order to ensure air quality and public health goals are met."

The first case involved certification of Navistar's on-board diagnostic system for 2005 through 2007 Ford E-series diesel medium-duty vans.

ARB reviewed Navistar's application to certify 2007 engines and found inconsistencies with the previous model year documentation for the same engine design. A staff audit found that Navistar failed to fully disclose, document and implement on-board diagnostic system requirements for the coolant temperature sensor.

On-board diagnostic systems, implemented in the late 1980s, are designed to rapidly detect failures of emission control components. The systems monitor components that can affect emission performance of a vehicle to ensure it remains as clean as possible over its lifetime. If a problem is detected, a "check engine" light on the vehicle's instrument panel illuminates and key information about the malfunction is stored so that a repair technician can accurately find and fix the problem.

Per the terms of the settlement of this case, Navistar, Inc. will pay a total of $250,000: $187,500 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and $62,500 (25 percent of the total) to the Education and Environment Initiative to help fund environmental outreach and education programs for K-12 students. The ARB is the first branch within the California Environmental Protection Agency to contribute to the Education and Environment Initiative.

In the second case, Navistar failed to provide purchasers of retrofit emission devices with proper labeling, as required by state law. Such labels for heavy-duty engines are essential for vehicle owners and field inspectors to determine if they comply with tough new requirements to clean up diesel emissions.

These requirements are part of California's overall effort to lower health risks posed by dirty diesel engines, the goal an 85 percent reduction in diesel emissions from 2000 levels by 2020. Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. Exposure can cause cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular problems as well as premature death.

Per the terms of this settlement, Navistar will pay a total of $31,500: $23,625 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and $7,875 to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.

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.