Release 03-18      

July 21, 2003


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
Mazda of America Agrees to $1 Million Settlement

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has reached a settlement of one million dollars with Mazda of America (Mazda). It was found that Mazda delivered, imported for sale and sold 160, 2001 model year 2.5 LB series trucks in California that did not meet the state’s emission certification requirements.

“Certification assures that sources of air contaminants use the most advanced emission reduction technology available,” said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon. “By so doing we continue to win the war against air pollution.”

During 2001, Mazda notified ARB that they had inadvertently imported, delivered, offered for sale and sold 160 new 2001 model year 2.5 LB series trucks in California that were not certified by the ARB for sale in this state. Mazda stopped sales of the vehicles and initiated recovery of the vehicles in the dealers’ possession and shipped them out of California. By selling and offering for sale new non-certified vehicles Mazda and Mazda franchise dealers violated California health and safety regulations. The settlement with Mazda and its dealers includes a cash payment of $875,000. As part of the settlement, Mazda agreed to pay an additional $125,000 if more than ten similar violations are discovered within three years of the settlement agreement.

The cash settlement was divided in two with $750,000 going to the California Air Pollution Control Fund (APCF). The APCF 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 other $125,000 will go to supplemental environmental projects.

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