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Old 12-21-2006, 11:44 PM
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PR News Wire: Mercedes-Benz Agrees to Pay $1.2 Million Civil Penalty to Settle Clean

Mercedes-Benz Agrees to Pay $1.2 Million Civil Penalty to Settle Clean Air Act Violation

Settlement Improves Mercedes' Emission Defect Reporting

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz USA and
its parent corporation, DaimlerChrysler AG (Mercedes), have agreed to pay
$1.2 million in civil penalties to resolve allegations that they violated
the Clean Air Act by failing to promptly notify the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) about defects in the air pollution controls
installed on numerous 1998 to 2006 Mercedes model vehicles, the Justice
Department and the EPA announced today.
The Clean Air Act requires auto manufacturers to promptly inform the
EPA of defects in emission-related components so that the government can
consider whether the defect will cause emission standards to be exceeded
and whether a recall is necessary. Both the complaint and the settlement
were filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
In response to the EPA's investigation into the matter, Mercedes began
voluntary recalls for two of the defects at issue and notified owners that
it would extend the warranty coverage to address a third defect, at an
estimated cost of about $59 million. Under the terms of the consent decree,
Mercedes will also be required to improve its emissions defect
investigation and reporting system to ensure future compliance, at an
estimated cost of approximately $1 million per year.
"Reliable and effective automobile pollution control systems are
essential to protect human health and the environment from harmful
automobile emissions," said Sue Ellen Wooldridge, Assistant Attorney
General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources
Division. "Mercedes' failure to alert EPA to a number of defects in
emission-related components over a multi-year period is a serious violation
because it deprived EPA of the opportunity to promptly determine whether
emission standards would be exceeded and whether to order a recall of any
of these vehicles."
"These defect reporting requirements are a critical part of EPA's
program to ensure that vehicles on the road comply with the Clean Air Act's
emissions standards," said Catherine R. McCabe, Principal Deputy Assistant
Administrator for the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
"This case demonstrates EPA's commitment to ensuring that automobile
manufacturers comply with the defect reporting obligations under the Clean
Air Act, and take appropriate action to correct any emission-related
defects."
The vehicles subject to the voluntary recalls and extended warranties
have defective catalytic converters or defective air pumps. The voluntary
recalls and extended warranty will reduce the emissions of harmful
pollutants caused by the defects by over 500 tons cumulatively. These
pollutants include nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHC), nitrogen oxides (NOx)
and carbon monoxide (CO). NMHC and NOx are key ingredients in the
production of ozone, a major contributor to cancer-causing smog. CO impairs
breathing and is especially harmful to children, people with asthma and the
elderly.
The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment
period and final court approval and will be available on the Justice
Department Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.


SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

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Old 12-22-2006, 10:41 AM
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So, has anyone found a list of affected vehicles?

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