The California Air Resources Board (ARB), the
California Attorney General's Office, DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Isuzu
Motors Limited, General Motors Corporation, and several motor vehicle
dealers jointly announced an agreement bringing an end to litigation
involving the 2001 Zero Emission Vehicle regulation.
The litigation involves three separate lawsuits that the manufacturers and
dealers filed last year in federal and state courts located in Fresno.
Those lawsuits challenged the ARB's authority to promulgate the 2001 ZEV
regulation. They were based on claims under several state laws, as well as
a claim that federal fuel economy laws preempt the 2001 ZEV regulation.
"ARB views this agreement as another successful step in the board's
implementation of a mobile source emission reduction program that will help
ensure California citizens of continued improvements in California's air
quality," said ARB Chairman Alan Lloyd. "It will free resources at ARB and
within the industry to work on advanced technologies, such as fuel cell
vehicles, to help us achieve California's goal of a zero emission vehicle
fleet in California."
The Federal District Court in Fresno granted a preliminary injunction
prohibiting enforcement of the 2001 ZEV regulation in the 2003 and 2004 MY
citing the federal government's role in regulating fuel economy while the
case moved forward on the merits. The preliminary injunction was appealed
by the ARB to the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
That Court heard the appeal this past February, but has not issued an
The agreement covers all the state and federal litigation, at both the
trial and appellate court levels. It calls for DaimlerChrysler, GM and the
other plaintiffs to dismiss their lawsuits, and for the ARB to dismiss its
appeal of the preliminary injunction, when the 2003 ZEV regulation is
"General Motors believes the best way to address the environmental and
energy issues facing California, our nation, and the world is through
voluntary, market-based applications of innovative technologies," said Beth
Lowery, GM vice president of environment and energy. "Although GM does not
agree with the concept of mandated approaches to automotive technology
advancement, GM believes the proposed 2003 ZEV regulation provided the
flexibility we need to move beyond the litigation. As always we will
continue to seek opportunities to work collaboratively with ARB, our
industry partners, and other stakeholders, and to advance new automotive
technologies, such as hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, and the necessary
incentives and infrastructure to support those technologies."
The joint announcement of the agreement comes as the ARB is in the process
of implementing an amendment to the ZEV regulation. The motor vehicle
industry, including DaimlerChrysler, General Motors and other stakeholders
have been working with ARB to develop the new 2003 ZEV regulation.
"As legal action is never our preferred approach, DaimlerChrysler is
pleased we were able to work with ARB and the other plaintiffs to resolve
the litigation," said Bernard Robertson, DaimlerChrysler senior vice
president engineering technologies and regulatory affairs. "While we don't
believe mandates are appropriate in the consumer-driven marketplace,
DaimlerChrysler is committed to work with ARB and other interested parties
to ensure that all technologies that can benefit the air quality in the
state of California are recognized and permitted in any future