Release 09-09
February 5, 2009

    Karen Caesar

Company cited for producing uncertified stretch limousines

Vehicles were illegally offered for sale in California

SACRAMENTOThe Air Resources Board this month fined the limousine building company LA Custom Coach $10,000 for selling new, non-California certified stretch limos within the state.

The Fontana, Calif.-based business was cited for modifying California-certified vehicles by transforming them into stretch limos.  The modifications voided the original manufacturers’ emissions certification and rendered the vehicles illegal for sale or use in California. 

Companies such as LA Custom can modify vehicles into stretch limousines provided they certify the vehicle with ARB.  The stretch limos are not covered by the original manufacturers’ certification.

 “Just like every other vehicle in California that travels on or off-road, stretch limos are subject to strict emissions requirements that we must enforce,” said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols.

The problem typically starts when a vehicle that is not intended to become stretch limo is modified beyond the original weight and length to which it was first certified by the original manufacturer.  Any changes to a vehicle’s design, weight, fuel system and capacity can significantly affect smog-forming emissions.  Exposure to smog has been linked to health problems and can exacerbate common respiratory conditions such as asthma.

As part of its agreement with the state, LA Custom Coach will pay $10,000 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund which supports projects and research aimed at improving California’s air quality.  The company also agreed to no longer sell non-California certified vehicles for use or registration in the state.

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.