Release 96-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CONTACT: Daven Oswalt
August 7, 1996                                                                                      (916) 327-6247
                                                                                                              Jerry Martin/Allan Hirsch
                                                                                                              (916) 322-2990

ARB Announces Recall

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced that it has ordered General Motors (GM) Corporation to recall 11,400 light-duty pickup trucks to reduce excessive tailpipe emissions. This action is the first time the ARB has used its authority under state law to require a vehicle recall.

        The following 1992 model year vehicles, each equipped with 4.3L engines are subject to the recall: Chevrolet S-10 and GM Sonoma 2WD and 4WD pickups; Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and GMC Jimmy 2WD and 4WD sport utility vehicles. GM is expected to make corrections to the vehicle's pollution control systems that will reduce their nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by at least 50 percent to meet California clean air standards.

        Tom Cackette, ARB chief deputy executive officer said, "The ARB ordered GM to recall these vehicles because their high nitrogen oxide emissions threaten public health and our efforts to have GM repair the vehicles voluntarily have unfortunately failed.

        "Controlling NOx emissions is a critical part of California's 1994 implementation plan to cut ozone concentrations and will be a key part of next year's PM-10 plan, as well," Cackette added.

        The recall comes after a negotiated settlement with General Motors who could not be reached. When the recall is completed, ARB staff estimates that about 66 tons of nitrogen oxides per year will be removed from California's air. Nitrogen oxides are the major precursors to photochemical smog and California's unique form of acid rain. NOx emissions also contribute to California's high particulate matter concentrations.

        To assure that California recalls are effective at reducing air pollution, ARB regulations require owners of recalled vehicles to have them repaired by the manufacturer before registrations can be renewed. Since that rule was adopted in 1991 compliance rates for emission-related recalls have nearly doubled from about 50 percent to over 95 percent.

        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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