The California Air Resources Board last month fined Nissan Motor Company $4.4 million for failing to meet requirements concerning the on-board diagnostic equipment that monitors tailpipe emissions on most of its 2005-2007 models—more than 450,000 vehicles.
On-board diagnostic systems are incorporated into vehicle computers to ensure tailpipe emissions stay at permissible levels. If a problem is detected, the system turns on a “check engine” light to alert the driver.
The ARB discovered Nissan’s problems in 2007 during a routine compliance review. The problems concerned inadequate monitoring of engine sensors that govern proper fuel system operation and whether monitoring takes place as frequently as required.
Nissan’s settlement with the ARB requires it to pay $3 million to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality. It must also pay $1.2 million to the Environmental Education Initiative and $200,000 to the National OBD Clearinghouse.