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Enforcement

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., and Suzuki Motor Corporation Clean Air Act Administrative Settlement

(Washington, DC - November 8, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an administrative settlement with motorcycle manufacturer Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. and Suzuki Motor Corporation that resolves alleged Clean Air Act violations for manufacturing, importing and selling model year 2012 motorcycles that failed to meet the EPA average emission standard for the Suzuki on-highway motorcycle fleet, and for submitting falsified production reports based on incorrect motorcycle production volumes to demonstrate compliance with the emission standard.

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Overview

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. is an American corporation that imports and distributes into the United States highway motorcycles and other vehicles from Suzuki Motor Corporation, a Japanese corporation.

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Violations

This EPA administrative settlement resolves violations of Clean Air Act Title II and 40 CFR Part 86 concerning the manufacture, importation and sale of model year 2012 motorcycles that failed to meet the EPA average emission standard for the Suzuki on-highway motorcycle fleet. Suzuki chose to use emission averaging regulations to certify multiple engine families for sale in model year 2012, but the average emissions level for the motorcycles did not comply with the hydrocarbons plus nitrogen oxides emissions standard. Suzuki submitted falsified production reports based on incorrect motorcycle production volumes to demonstrate compliance with the emission standard.

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Non-penalty Conditions

EPA will void the certificate of conformity for the 1,599 most-polluting motorcycles in the fleet to restore the averaging balance to allow the remaining engine families to meet the emissions standard. The Clean Air Act requires engine manufacturers to obtain a certificate of conformity issued by EPA demonstrating compliance with applicable emission standards before introducing an engine into commerce. Certificates of conformity cover only those engines produced within a single model year. The companies will implement changes to corporate procedures to improve how they manage and report information to EPA.

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Pollutant Impacts

EPA estimates that the motorcycle fleet contributed to excess emissions of over 36 metric tons of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.

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Health Effects and Environmental Benefits

In this case, highway motorcycles emitted excessive hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.

  • Nitrogen Oxides – Nitrogen oxides (NOx) can cause or contribute to a variety of health problems and adverse environmental impacts, such as ground-level ozone, acid rain, global warming, water quality deterioration, and visual impairment. Affected populations may include children and people with lung diseases such as asthma. Exposure to these conditions can cause damage to lung tissue for people who work or exercise outside.
  • Ground-level ozone – Ground-level ozone is formed by reactions involving hydrocarbons and NOx in the presence of sunlight. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can also worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground-level ozone may damage vegetation and ecosystems as well. In the United States, ozone is responsible for an estimated $500 million in reduced crop production each year.

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Civil Penalty

The respondents will pay a total civil penalty of $2,054,924.

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For more information, contact:

Kathryn Pirrotta Caballero
Senior Attorney
Office of Civil Enforcement, Air Enforcement Division
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Penn. Ave NW (MC 2242A)
Washington D.C. 20460
202-564-1849
caballero.kathryn@epa.gov

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