Release 03-14      

June 11, 2003


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
Car Rental Companies Pay $185,000 in Settlements

-- Hertz and National Car Rental have agreed to pay the Air Resources Board (ARB) a total of $185,000 to settle claims made by ARB that each had rented autos within the State that did not meet California emission standards.

“These types of infractions are serious and contribute to the amount of smog Californians must deal with," said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon. “These settlements serve to protect the health and economy of the State.”

Both Hertz and National were found to have repeatedly rented or offered for rent in California autos that were not certified to meet our emission standards. Hertz and National are large multi-state corporations that rent cars to customers outside of California whose ultimate destinations are within our state. Autos designed for use in other states are not required to and so do not meet California’s strict emission limitations. These non-compliant rentals are allowed to enter California, but once returned to the company they may not be rented for use within the state. The rental companies must remove the autos at the earliest possible occasion. They must be either shipped out of state or rented to other customers that will terminate their use of the auto outside of California.

The money from these cases will go into California’s Air Pollution Control Fund (APCF), which is used to mitigate various sources of pollution throughout the state. The state uses this fund to educate the public and provide programs to minimize the output of smog forming emissions from various sources.

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.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at