Release 02-35      

September 19, 2002


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
John Deere Settles With Payment of $200,000

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has settled its case with John Deere Consumer Products, Incorporated (John Deere) for $200,000. ARB found that John Deere was selling garden equipment in California fitted with non-certified or mislabeled engines.

“Manufacturers must certify their products and use appropriate labels to assure engine compliance and maximize inspection efficiency,” said ARB Executive Officer, Michael Kenny. “Applying incorrect labels and selling uncertified products misleads consumers and hinders the success of our efforts to protect public health.”

The agreement settles several violations discovered by ARB. During the spring of 2001, ARB learned that John Deere sold nearly 25,000 trimmers and blowers outside of California that were incorrectly labeled: “complies with California 2000 regulations.” In the course of the investigation, John Deere reported the sale of trimmers and blowers in California that were not California certified and that did not meet applicable standards. ARB also discovered another set of engines that had emission labels with critical information misprinted.

For the sale of non-certified and mislabeled engines within the state of California ARB and John Deere have agreed to a settlement that splits the $200,000 equally between two programs. $100,000 has gone into the California’s 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. Through incentive and buyback programs, the APCF reduces the number of pollution sources.

Using the remaining $100,000, John Deere will provide cleaner California Tier 2 compliant products to be exchanged, free of charge, for Tier 1 or pre-regulation units of any make or model. This program will allow Californians to trade older more polluting engines for new cleaner equipment, thus retiring machines that would have continued to be in operation for years to come.

This and all enforcement actions against the introduction of non-Californian certified and mislabeled engines assures a level playing field for all competitors and the full intended benefit of California’s emissions standards.

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