General Motors has agreed to pay $1.3 million and recall 44,000 Cadillacs to settle an emissions dispute with California.
The California Air Resources Board claimed that 1991-93 Cadillacs with 4.9-liter V-8 engines did not conform to the state's emissions rules.
The settlement allows GM to not admit guilt over the charges. But it does require GM to recall the 44,000 Cadillacs sold in California from the 1991-93 model years. GM will replace the emissions calibration software that regulates the air-fuel mixture in the engine. The vehicles are the Seville, DeVille, Eldorado and Fleetwood.
The agreement follows an $11 million settlement fine with the U.S. EPA in 1995 over the 4.9-liter engine for 1991-95 model Cadillacs. The government charged that those cars fell out of emissions compliance when the climate control systems were turned on. GM was forced to recall 470,000 cars.
When the 4.9-liter engine developed a stalling problem in 1991, GM used a revised chip that ran a richer idle when the climate control was turned on. It also defeated the emissions control system under those circumstances, allowing the car to spew more pollutants than allowed, regulators said.
GM claims it did nothing wrong, since the federal emissions testing cycle at the time measured emissions with the climate control turned off, and thus there was no regulation being broken by using the different chip.