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California

Suit Tossed on Revised Emissions Rules

August 13, 2003|From Reuters

Three big automakers and several auto dealers Tuesday confirmed that they have dropped the lawsuit that had delayed California's clean-air program, saying changes in the regulations would allow them to cut tailpipe emissions by selling a wider range of vehicles than just electric cars.

General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler and Isuzu Motors Ltd. said that the changes would make it more practical to comply with the regulations.

In addition to electric cars, automakers now also will get credit for sales of vehicles fueled by hydrogen fuel cells and for hybrids, which boost miles per gallon by using electric engines in addition to gasoline engines.

"We don't agree with the concept of mandated approaches in automotive technology. But we do agree that the modified 2003 zero-emission vehicle regulation may provide the flexibility that we need and were looking for," GM spokesman David Barthmuss said.

The California Air Resources Board designed a program in the early 1990s to force automakers to sell a certain number of non-polluting electric cars or trucks, termed zero-emissions vehicles.

Last year, several automakers and dealers won an injunction in federal court delaying the mandate until 2005.

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