NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Toyota Meets The EPA Bureaucracy

January 26, 1999

The Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are demanding that Toyota recall several million late-model Lexus vehicles in a dispute concerning evaporative emissions control equipment. What makes this challenge unique is that the equipment met the government's standards set forth in regulations at the time of the vehicles' manufacture.

  • The Justice Department -- on behalf of the EPA and CARB -- announced last week it will sue to force a recall of the vehicles in question, at a cost of millions of dollars.
  • The government contends the evaporative controls do not conform to a certain testing procedure -- one that was not even in existence at the time the cars were built.
  • The agencies are not claiming the cars actually emit unacceptably high levels of pollutants -- but that the potential exists, given the conditions used in a new testing procedure, for higher emission levels.

Toyota representatives claim the vehicles complied with the testing regulations as originally written and that if California and the EPA want to change their requirements, "they should amend the rules for future model years."

Automotive experts rank Toyota/Lexus among the nation's leaders in producing the cleanest and most technologically up-to-date cars and trucks on the road.

Source: Eric Peters, "Auto Recall Shakedown Tactics," Washington Times, January 26, 1999.


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