CARB fines Nissan Motor Co. $4.4 million

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The California Air Resources Board recently fined Nissan Motor Co. $4.4 million for failing to meet requirements concerning the diagnostic equipment that monitors tailpipe emissions on most of its 2005-2007 models – more than 450,000 vehicles, according to CARB.

CARB says it discovered Nissan’s problems in 2007 during a routine compliance review. According to the board, the problems concerned inadequate monitoring of engine sensors that govern proper fuel system operation and whether monitoring takes place as frequently as required.

“California advanced the goal of clean air by pioneering the development and use of the onboard diagnostic system to make sure drivers know when their emissions equipment malfunctions,” says CARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “We consider it to be a vital tool not only for consumers, but for all of us who want to breathe clean air. Nissan has been cooperative during this investigation, and we are confident that the design process changes they implemented will prevent future problems.”

Nissan’s settlement with CARB requires it to pay $3 million to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality. It must also pay $1.2 million to the Environmental Education Initiative and $200,000 to the National OBD Clearinghouse.