Mercedes Benz to pay EPA for failing to disclose defects in air pollution standards

Published: Wednesday 31 January 2007

-- DaimlerChrysler and its subsidiary, Mercedes Benz (usa) have agreed to pay us $1.2 million to settle civil charges with the Environmental Protection Agency (epa) for failing to disclose defects in air pollution controls of more than 100,000 Mercedes vehicles manufactured between 1998 to 2006.

"These defect-reporting requirements are a critical part of epa's programme to reduce air pollution by ensuring that vehicles on the road comply with the Clean Air Act's (1963) emission standards," said Catherine R McCabe, principal deputy assistant administrator for the office of enforcement and compliance assurance, epa.

Under the agreement, Mercedes will be required to improve its investigation and reporting system on emissions controls for their vehicles at a cost of us $1 million per year.

Earlier, when epa began investigation, Mercedes had recalled about 108,000 vehicles for two defects and notified owners of 20,000 other vehicles that it would extend warranty coverage for a third defect. These are estimated to cost the company us $59 million.

Mercedes will also recall 79,000 of its m-Class models to inspect and replace defective catalytic converters. It recalled about 29,000 Mercedes-amg models to update software and replace secondary relay in air pumps, said epa.

The act requires auto manufacturers to file a defect information report with epa not more than 15 working days after an emissions-related defect is found to affect 25 or more vehicles, so that epa may consider whether the defect will result in an increase in emission standards, in which case, a recall necessary.

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