WASHINGTON (CN) – Pep Boys will pay $5 million to settle a Clean Air Act complaint accusing it of importing and selling nearly a quarter of a million polluting motorcycles, recreational vehicles and generators built in China. Pep Boys’ supplier, Baja Inc., is included in the settlement.
“Pep Boys and Baja imported and sold at least 241,000 illegal vehicles and engines from 2004 through 2009,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in its federal complaint.
The EPA said Pep Boys agreed to destroy 1,300 non-compliant vehicles and engines, and to mitigate the adverse effects of equipment already sold, which it estimates at 620 tons of excess hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions, and more than 6,520 tons of excess carbon monoxide emissions.
Pep Boys imported and sold 45 vehicle and generator models that do not meet federal emission standards and failed to provide purchasers with the full emission-system warranty, the EPA said.
“The vehicles and engines were built by more than 35 different manufacturers in China,” the EPA said. The EPA and Customs & Border Protection officials discovered the polluting engines through inspections conducted at Pep Boys stores and U.S. ports, and by reviewing importation documents.
In 2008 Pep Boys was the third-largest importer of Chinese-made all terrain vehicles, according to the EPA.
The national automotive chain reported annual sales of $1.9 billion.
The settlement, filed on Tuesday, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the court.