Release 98-42
July 17, 1998
CONTACT:  Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Mazda Certifies Ultra-Low Emission Protégé

        SACRAMENTO - The California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board has certified the 1999 Mazda Protégé with 1.6-liter engine as an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV), making it one of the cleanest gasoline-powered automobiles sold in California.

        "This is heartening news for California's ongoing campaign to improve air quality," said ARB Chairman John Dunlap. "Cars with dramatically lower emissions like the Protégé will accelerate California's drive to cleaner air without sacrificing consumer expectations."

        Dunlap noted that Southern California had 148 smog alerts in 1970 and only one in 1997. "Much of the air-quality improvement over the past 30 years comes from the ARB's progressive efforts to reduce tailpipe emissions from automobiles," he said.

        Emissions from automobiles were reduced approximately 90 percent between 1966 and 1994. The Mazda Protégé emits about 70 percent less smog-forming pollutants than most of today's standard gasoline-powered passenger cars.

        The Protégé is the second gasoline-powered automobile the ARB has certified as a ULEV, the first being the 1998 2.3-liter Honda Accord.

        ARB maintains a Buyer's Guide to Cleaner Cars on its website ( To obtain a printed copy, call 1-800-END-SMOG.

        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.

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