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Hyundai Construction Vehicles Clean Air Act Settlement Information Sheet

(Washington, DC - September 19, 2019) Under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas Inc.(HCEA) and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd (HHI) (collectively known as “Hyundai”) has agreed to pay a $47 million civil penalty for violating Title II of the Clean Air Act. The settlement resolves allegations that Hyundai sold heavy construction vehicles with diesel engines that were not certified to applicable emission standards.

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Overview of Company 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement agreement with Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, Inc.(HCEA) and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd (HHI) (collectively as “Hyundai”) for civil violations of Title II of the Clean Air Act (the Act) with respect to the importation and sale of heavy construction vehicles with diesel engines that were not certified to applicable emission standards. The types of vehicles in violation included excavators, loaders, and fork lifts.  

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From 2012 to 2015, the EPA alleges that Hyundai illegally pre-purchased, or “stockpiled,” engines meeting older emissions standards before the standards changed, and then, after the new engine standards took effect, Hyundai imported, sold, offered for sale, and/or introduced into commerce nonroad vehicles containing the older non-compliant engines in violation of the Clean Air Act. Additionally, Hyundai also imported, marketed and sold nonroad vehicles using diesel engines meeting older emission standards under the Transition Program for Equipment Manufacturers (TPEM) program regulations in quantities that exceeded their exemption allowance limit under the program.  Defendants allegedly introduced into United States commerce at least 2,269 illegal diesel nonroad vehicles. 

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Health Effects and Environmental Benefits

The Defendants’ illegal nonroad diesel vehicles were not certified as meeting applicable pollutant emission standards, including for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). NOx is a reactive gas that contributes to the formation of PM and ozone. PM is a form of air pollution composed of microscopic solids and liquids suspended in air.  Ozone is a highly reactive gas that is formed in the atmosphere, in part, from emissions of NOx. Exposure to ozone and PM is linked to a number of health effects as well as premature death. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to ozone or PM exposure.

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Civil Penalty

Under the settlement, Hyundai will pay a penalty of $47 million. 

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For more information, contact:

Mark Palermo
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2242A)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-8894

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