Release 09-58
June 24, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728
AutoZone Settlement Totals $90,000

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board reached a settlement with AutoZone West, Inc. for $90,000 in March for selling non certified aftermarket catalytic converters from AutoZone stores in California.

An ARB investigation showed that AutoZone, headquartered in Memphis, TN, sold non-certified catalytic converters from its California stores between January and March of 2009.

"Vehicle emissions are the main contributor of smog-forming pollutants in California," said Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Automotive retailers are required to stock products that meet California's clean air goals."

As of January 1, 2009, all new aftermarket catalytic converters sold or installed in California must be able to comply with certification emissions standards for five years or 50,000 miles. Manufacturers must first demonstrate through emission testing that the catalytic converters meet the required performance levels and obtain ARB approval before they can legally offer units for sale in California.

AutoZone paid $90,000 in penalties to the California Air Pollution Control Fund for funding projects and research to improve California's air quality. In addition to the penalties, AutoZone took quick action to remove any remaining non-certified product from its California stores, and it is enhancing its restricted product system to prevent similar violations in the future.

California's air quality measures are in place to prevent excessive emissions that can negatively affect public health. Ozone, also known as smog, can cause difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughs, heightened asthma rates, cardiopulmonary ailments and premature deaths.

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.