Description: Enforcement suit alleging violations of Clean Air Act certification requirements for new motor vehicles.
United States v. Hyundai Motor Co.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/09/2015 Memorandum Opinion Download Memorandum opinion issued approving consent decree. The court approved the settlement. The court called the settlement fair and said that the size of the fine—the largest in Clean Air Act history—and other provisions were adequate and appropriate. The court noted that five commenters (two environmental groups and three state environmental agencies or state attorneys general) had submitted comments supporting the settlement but asking that it be renegotiated to include $25 million for Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) to support the promotion of electric vehicles in certain states. The court called the SEP proposal “laudable,” but it agreed with the U.S. that the public interest would not be served by reopening negotiations to create “a different and more complex settlement arrangement.” 11/03/2014 Complaint Download Complaint filed. 11/03/2014 Consent Decree Download Consent decree lodged. On November 3, 2014, EPA and the Department of Justice announced that they had reached an agreement with the automakers Hyundai and Kia to resolve claims that the companies violated the Clean Air Act and California law by overstating fuel efficiency and understating greenhouse gas emissions for new motor vehicles from model years 2012 and 2013. Pursuant to the consent decree filed in the federal district court for the District of Columbia, the companies agreed to pay a $94-million civil penalty to the United States and a $6-million civil penalty to the California Air Resources Board. The consent decree also provided that the companies would forfeit greenhouse gas emissions credits that EPA said were worth more than $200 million. The credits could have been used to offset emissions from less fuel-efficient vehicle models or sold or traded to other companies for use as offsets. In addition, the companies agreed to undertake a number of corrective measures to prevent future miscalculations of greenhouse gas emissions, including audits of model year 2015 and 2016 vehicles and formation of an independent certification group to oversee new certification training and testing programs as well as enhanced data management and review for “coast down data” from testing of the companies’ vehicles.