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Suzuki Motor Corporation and American Suzuki Motor Corporation Administrative Settlement

(Washington, DC - September 06, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with recreational vehicle manufacturer, American Suzuki Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation, to pay an $885,000 penalty for allegedly importing and selling 25,458 uncertified all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off-road motorcycles in the United States. ATVs and motorcycles that are not certified may be operating without proper emissions controls and can emit excess hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides that can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, or smog.

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This settlement agreement resolves an administrative enforcement action against Suzuki Motor Corporation and American Suzuki Motor Corporation (collectively “Suzuki”) for importing and selling or causing the importation and sale of 25,458 uncertified all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and nonroad motorcycles in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

American Suzuki Motor Corporation is a California corporation in Brea, California, and is the U.S. affiliate of Suzuki Motor Corporation. Suzuki Motor Corporation, based in Japan, is a multinational manufacturer and supplier of automobiles, highway motorcycles, marine engines, and nonroad recreational vehicles.

Suzuki violated the mobile source provisions of the CAA by importing and selling uncertified ATVs and nonroad motorcycles. These vehicles were uncertified because they were manufactured with an undisclosed electronic emission control configuration that allows them to be modified for increased horsepower through the installation of an aftermarket part. This modification leads to increased emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. Design features that may effect emissions must be disclosed in certificate applications. Vehicles that do not conform in all material respects to the design specifications in their certificate applications are not covered by a certificate. These violations were identified and self-disclosed by Suzuki.

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Suzuki imported or caused the importation and introduction of uncertified ATVs and off-road motorcycles into U.S. commerce between 2006 and 2010. The introduction or causing the introduction of each of the vehicles or motorcycles into commerce is a violation of § 203(a)(1) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7522(a)(1), and 40 C.F.R. § 1068.101(a)(1), (b)(5) and (c).

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Administrative Settlement

  • Suzuki will pay a civil penalty of $885,000 for the certification violations.
  • Additionally, Suzuki will implement three emission mitigation projects to reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 210 tons or more:
    • Suzuki will work with local jurisdictions in the U.S. to provide portable fuel containers (PFCs) that comply with current EPA regulatory requirements. These containers will replace older unregulated PFCs that do not meet current standards. This project will reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 42.02 tons or more.
    • Suzuki will discontinue its sale in the U.S. of high-permeability fuel line hoses, and instead will sell only low-permeability fuel line hoses for all Model Year 2006 and 2007 Suzuki on-road motorcycles, nonroad motorcycles, and ATVs. These replacement hoses will meet current EPA specifications for replacement fuel line hoses. This project will reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 14.2 tons or more.
    • Suzuki will equip at least 1,924 Model Year 2013 Suzuki on-road motorcycles, to be sold throughout the U.S. except California, to meet California Air Resources Board evaporative emission requirements. This project will reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 155.6 tons or more.
  • Suzuki also will modify its Warranty Policy and Owner’s Manual for ATVs and Off-Road Motorcycles. These modifications will increase awareness of the possible consequences of modifications to emissions control systems, environmental regulations, prohibited modifications, and acts that could result in loss of warranty coverage.

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Health and Environmental Effects

Hydrocarbons are a precursor to ground-level ozone, a serious air pollutant in cities across the U.S. A key component of smog, ground-level ozone is formed by reactions involving hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight. Hydrocarbon emissions result from incomplete fuel combustion and from fuel evaporation. Ground-level ozone causes health problems such as difficulty breathing, lung damage, and reduced cardiovascular function. Further, a number of hydrocarbons are also considered toxic, meaning they can cause cancer or other health problems.

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For more information, contact:

Christopher A. Thompson
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-3313

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