Release 09-2
January 9, 2009

    Dimitri Stanich
Kragen Auto fined $600,000
Products sold did not comply with state air quality requirements

SACRAMENTO: The Air Resources Board has fined CSK Auto, Inc. $600,000 for selling windshield washer fluid throughout the state that does not comply with the state's clean air regulations.

CSK Auto, Inc, is headquartered in Phoenix AZ and is parent company of several west coast automobile supply retail outlets, including California's Kragen Auto Parts, where the violations were found. ARB cited the chain for selling windshield fluid throughout California that was specially formulated with higher pollutants to prevent from freezing in the state's colder, mountainous areas.

"Manufacturers of a wide variety of automotive and other consumer products are subject to California's strict air pollution requirements," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "And we depend on retailers to stock only those products that meet our clean air goals."

Through routine monitoring, ARB enforcement officials discovered that CSK was selling windshield washer fluids and deicers that exceed limits of volatile organic compounds. Through the years of 2004 and 2006 more than 14,000 gallons of non-complying products were sold.

ARB has worked with the consumer product industry for many years to strictly control the VOC content in consumer products as VOCs contribute to the creation of ground level ozone. Ozone is caustic and irritates nasal passages and lung tissue, creating a serious problem for people with cardio-pulmonary diseases such as asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder.

The penalties were paid directly to the California Air Pollution Control Fund which uses the money to reduce air pollution through a variety of programs.

Limiting the amount of VOCs in products has reduced the number of high ozone days throughout California. This is especially important in all of California's major air districts as they still fail to meet federal health standards for ozone.

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.