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Pep Boys to Pay $5 million for Air Pollution Violations

The Pep Boys, a national automotive aftermarket and service chain, has agreed to pay $5 million in civil penalties for violating the Clean Air Act by importing and selling motorcycles, recreational vehicles and generators manufactured in China that don’t meet environmental requirements, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice Department.

As part of the agreement, Pep Boys is required to export or destroy over 1,300 non-compliant vehicles and engines, and to mitigate the adverse environmental effects of equipment already sold to consumers. The EPA estimates the environmental impact at 620 tons of excess hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions, and more than 6,520 tons of excess carbon monoxide emissions.

The settlement also requires Pep Boys to implement projects to offset the excess emissions. The company also agreed to offer a free extended emission warranty on certain vehicle and engine models, to reimburse consumers for emission-related repair expenses, and to implement corporate compliance plans.

The EPA says this is the largest vehicle and engine importation case to date under the Clean Air Act in terms of number of vehicles and engines imported and penalty paid. The complaint alleges that Pep Boys and Baja, which supplied the non-compliant vehicles to Pep Boys, imported and sold at least 241,000 illegal vehicles and engines from 2004 through 2009.

Baja agreed to pay a penalty of $25,000.

Cummins also recently agreed to pay a $2.1 million penalty and recall 405 engines after a settlement was reached over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

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