The California Air Resources Board has reached a settlement of $250,000 with Flagship Inc. to resolve clean air violations related to the sale of modified Ford vehicles in California. Flagship in Elkhart, Indiana is a Ford Authorized Specialty Vehicle Manufacturer.
CARB said that Flagship advertised, sold, and offered for sale, 2016-2017 model year Ford-150 vehicles that were modified with enhanced configuration accessories and aftermarket superchargers, prior to sale to the consumer. This was the result of regular field inspections at dealerships, and further investigations.
Vehicles sold new in California must be certified to meet California emissions standards. Modifications to a vehicle’s emissions equipment prior to the sale alters the original certification.
“Our tough air quality laws exist to protect public health,” said Executive Officer Richard Corey. “We commend Flagship for cooperating and for their willingness to educate themselves and dealers as well as making the necessary changes.”
Flagship has agreed to take corrective action and to develop compliant processes, and will also pay a settlement of $250,000, with $125,000 going to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support air pollution research.
The remainder will be split with two Supplemental Environmental Projects.
1> Ecosystems Exhibition Wing – Community Teen Program, a paid internship program that integrates science education with paid work experience and college readiness instruction for community youths, will receive $108,000 to help spread information about life sciences and current research projects.
2> $17,000 will be paid to Fresno TREES (Tree planting along Roads to help Eliminate pollution Exposure and Sequester carbon).
The funds will be used to address environmental issues in Fresno, one of the state’s most important environmental justice regions that is heavily impacted, as most are, by pollution.
Fresno TREES is a multiyear project aimed at evaluating how well vegetative barriers such as trees and shrubs protect people from exposure to air pollution downwind from major highways.
Violations of California’s emissions requirements pose a significant health threat to California residents. They can lead to higher amounts of air pollution, which can then exacerbate respiratory ailments and negatively affect other health conditions.