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California Superior Court Ruling Rejects Engine ‘Chip Reflash Regulation'

October 26, 2006

California’s Superior Court last week overturned a state regulation that required all trucks with 1993 to 1998 model-year engines operating in the state to be reprogrammed to include more stringent emission controls, Transport Topics reports.The court said the 2005 mandatory “reflash” regulation by the California Air Resources Board amounted to an “illegal involuntary recall” that went beyond the terms of a 1998 consent decree that engine manufacturers negotiated with CARB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to Transport Topics.CARB’s "chip reflash regulation unconstitutionally impairs the obligations" of previously negotiated settlement agreements and "constitutes an illegal involuntary recall," Judge Judy Holzer Hersher said in her Oct. 16 decision.In response to inquiries regarding the ruling, the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) issued a statement saying that the Court agreed with, and affirmed, industry’s long-held view that the Chip Reflash Regulation is not valid. The EMA says that while engine manufacturers are vindicated by this decision, the Court’s ruling does not affect the implementation of the original settlement agreements and the programs implemented under them. According to the statement, engine manufacturers will continue to install NOx reflash kits as per the original agreements. Further, engine manufacturers remain committed to working with CARB to fully implement the settlement agreements.
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