Release 99-43
November 22, 1998 
CONTACT: Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730

ARB Announces Recall of 2,700 1994 Saturns

       SACRAMENTO –  The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced the recall of 2,700 1994 model-year Saturn automobiles for replacement of catalytic converters, a key component in automobile air pollution control systems.

       “All work in this recall will be performed at no cost to the vehicle owners,” said ARB Chairman Dr. Alan C. Lloyd.  General Motors (GM), the owner of Saturn, will absorb recall expenses, Lloyd said.

       GM will mail recall letters to vehicle owners the week of November 22.
       Catalytic converters reduce hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide  (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) as these gases are being expelled through a vehicle’s exhaust system.  The vehicles being recalled have catalytic converters that, in some cases, have loose internal components that are subject to shaking and breaking apart.

        The ARB negotiated the recall with GM after routine reports from the automaker showed that more than 1,100 defective catalysts had already been replaced on 1994 Saturns.  GM was able to pinpoint the vehicles with potentially defective catalysts and target them for recall.

       Had the original catalysts not been replaced and ultimately failed, ARB staff estimated an additional one ton of HC, 13 tons of CO and two tons of NOx would have been added to California's air in the first year after failure.

        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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