to the 2007 to 2009 model years, and EPA has adopted light-duty and heavy-duty OBD requirements that generally align with CARB's; the EPA also accepts certification to CARB's OBD requirements. The complexity of the OBD requirements and the difficulties of meeting all of the monitoring conditions and thresholds make OBD approval one of the most challenging aspects of certifying vehicles for emissions compliance. CARB regulations contemplate this difficulty, and, in certain instances, permit manufacturers to comply by paying per-vehicle penalties in lieu of meeting the full array of OBD monitoring requirements. In other cases, CARB regulations provide for automatic recalls of vehicles that fail to comply with specified core OBD requirements. Many states have implemented OBD tests as part of inspection and maintenance programs. Failure of in-service compliance tests could lead to vehicle recalls with substantial costs for related inspections or repairs. CARB is in the process of finalizing amendments to the OBD regulations for 2010-2017 model years; these rules will relax or defer some requirements in the earlier model years, while phasing in some additional requirements in the later model years. CARB also is required to undertake a biennial review of its OBD regulations for light-duty vehicles, and this will occur in 2010. Automobile manufacturers will make suggestions for streamlining and improving the regulations, but it also is possible that CARB may alter the rules in ways that make it more difficult for manufacturers to comply. European Requirements. European Union ("EU") directives and related legislation limit the amount of regulated pollutants that may be emitted by new motor vehicles and engines sold in the EU. Stringent new emissions standards ("Stage IV Standards") were applied to new passenger car certifications beginning January 1, 2005, and to new passenger car registrations beginning January 1, 2006. The comparable light commercial truck Stage IV Standards went into effect for new certifications beginning January 1, 2006, and for new registrations beginning January 1, 2007. This directive on emissions also introduced OBD requirements, more stringent evaporative emissions requirements, and in-service compliance testing and recall provisions for emissions-related defects that occur in the first five years or 100,000 kilometers of vehicle life. Failure of in-service compliance tests could lead to vehicle recalls with substantial costs for related inspections or repairs. In 2007, the Commission published a proposed law for Stage V/VI emissions that further restricted the amount of particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines, and tightened some regulations for gasoline engines. Stage V emissions requirements began in September 2009 for vehicle registrations starting in January 2011. Stage VI requirements will apply from September 2014. Stage V particulate standards drove the deployment of particulate filters across diesels. Stage VI further reduces the standard for oxides of nitrogen.
- Fall '09
- Ford Motor Company