Automotive giant cited for failing to monitor car emissions
SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board last month fined Nissan
Motor Company $4.4 million for failing to meet requirements
concerning the diagnostic equipment that monitors tailpipe
emissions on most of its 2005-2007 models - more than 450,000
On-board diagnostic systems are incorporated into vehicle
computers to ensure tailpipe emissions stay at permissible
levels. If a problem is detected, the system turns on a "check
engine" light to alert the driver.
The ARB discovered Nissan's problems in 2007 during a routine
compliance review. The problems concerned inadequate monitoring
of engine sensors that govern proper fuel system operation and
whether monitoring takes place as frequently as required.
"California advanced the goal of clean air by pioneering the
development and use of the on-board diagnostic system to make
sure drivers know when their emissions equipment malfunctions,"
said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "We consider it to be a vital
tool not only for consumers, but for all of us who want to
breathe clean air..
"Nissan has been cooperative during this investigation, and we
are confident that the design process changes they implemented
will prevent future problems," Nichols added.
Nissan's settlement with the ARB requires it to pay $3 million
to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides
funding for projects and research to improve California's air
quality. It must also pay $1.2 million to the Environmental
Education Initiative and $200,000 to the National OBD
California has the nation's poorest air quality. Excess vehicle
emissions can cause or exacerbate a host of respiratory and
cardiac conditions and pose a danger to public health.
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.