戴姆勒與旗下美國賓士 將為排放測試作弊賠上15億美元 | 環境資訊中心

戴姆勒與旗下美國賓士 將為排放測試作弊賠上15億美元

2020年09月28日
環境資訊中心外電;姜唯 翻譯;林大利 審校;稿源:ENS

美國和加州政府與德國汽車大廠戴姆勒及其美國子公司美國賓士達成和解,戴姆勒與美國賓士因出廠柴油車在排放測試上作弊,違反《乾淨空氣法(Clean Air Act)》和加州法律,必須支付8.75億美元的民事賠償金,以及大約7,030萬美元的其他罰金,創下《乾淨空氣法》生效以來第二高的民事賠償金額。若再加上召回計畫和聯邦補救措施,戴姆勒總共要付出約15億美元(約新台幣438億元)來達成此次和解。

戴姆勒與美國賓士因出廠柴油車在排放測試上作弊,違反《乾淨空氣法(Clean Air Act)》和加州法律,需支付高額賠償金。照片來源:Alesha(CC BY-NC 2.0)

達成和解後 戴姆勒須召回2009至2016年的賓士柴油車

美國環保署、司法部和加州空氣資源委員會(CARB)於9月14日在華盛頓特區美國哥倫比亞特區地方法院遞交和解協議,戴姆勒必須召回2009年至2016年間在美國銷售的所有賓士柴油車,修理其排放系統,涉及約25萬輛輕型和中型柴油車,即2009-2016年款的小客車和Sprinter廂型車。

戴姆勒也必須延長這些車輛中某些零件的保修期限,設法使車輛減少排放會產生過量臭氧的氮氧化物(NOx),並實施可防堵排放作弊的新內部稽核流程。

環保署表示,車輛排放的氮氧化物是地面臭氧產生的關鍵,損害人體健康。吸入臭氧會損害肺組織,加重心臟病和肺部疾病,如氣喘、肺氣腫和支氣管炎。

此次召回計畫和聯邦補救措施預計將使戴姆勒花費約4.36億美元。戴姆勒將再出1.1億美元資助加州的補救措施。也就是說,為達成此次和解,戴姆勒總共要付出約15億美元(約新台幣438億元)。

「我們傳達出明確的訊息,環保署會落實執法、保護環境和公共健康。若試圖欺騙體制、誤導大眾,將會被逮到。」美國環保署官員惠勒(Andrew Wheeler)說,「為了追求利潤而背叛大眾信任者將兩者盡失。」

2010年賓士Sprinter2500型廂型車。照片來源:維基百科(CC BY-SA 2.0)

戴姆勒聲明 公司是為了避免冗長的訴訟才和解

戴姆勒否認當局的指控以及原告的集體訴訟,也不承認對美國、加州、原告或其他任何一方負有責任。

該和解協議解決了戴姆勒正在與美國當局進行的民事訴訟,但未針對戴姆勒柴油車是否有減效裝置做出任何判決。戴姆勒的聲明指出,該公司結束訴訟程序,是為了避免冗長的訴訟,並承擔相應的法律和財務風險。

《乾淨空氣法》和聯邦法規要求車輛製造商在美國銷售新型號的車輛之前,必須向EPA申請並獲得合格證書。製造商必須證明車輛符合排放標準,並向EPA揭露所有輔助排放控制裝置(AECD)以及車輛中安裝的所有減效裝置。

美國和CARB在2020年9月14日分別提起民事訴訟指控,2009年至2016年期間,戴姆勒製造、進口和銷售了超過25萬輛柴油廂型車和小客車,但未揭露AECD和減效裝置。

減效裝置使車輛在排放測試期間可產生合格的結果。但是在一般使用時,減效裝置的效率可能會變差,導致NOx排放量增加到容許水準以上。

戴姆勒步入福斯汽車的作弊醜聞後塵

繼福斯汽車的測試作弊醜聞之後,聯邦和州政府在密西根州安娜堡國家車輛和燃油排放實驗室和加州埃爾蒙特CARB測試實驗室發現了戴姆勒汽車中的減效裝置。

2017年4月,美國聯邦法官判福斯汽車公司因操弄柴油動力汽車,欺騙政府的排放測試,必須賠償28億美元。截至2020年6月1日,這起醜聞共使福斯汽車繳出333億美元的罰金、罰款、財務和解和回購成本。

依照和解協議,戴姆勒必須實施召回和維修計畫,幫消費者免費清除受影響車輛中的減效裝置,並使車輛符合《乾淨空氣法》規定的排放標準。

為避免受到嚴厲的處罰,戴姆勒必須在兩年內修理好至少85%的受影響小客車,三年內至少85%的廂型車。

此外,戴姆勒還必須用污染更低的新發動機替換掉15台發動機,以抵消其車輛排放的過量氮氧化物。

Daimler to Pay $1.5 Billion for Fake Emissions Tests
WASHINGTON, DC, September 15, 2020 (ENS)

The U.S. and California governments have proposed a settlement with German automaker Daimler AG and its American subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA that would resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and California law associated with diesel emissions cheating in about 250,000 cars and vans.

The proposed settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was lodged on September 14 in Washington, DC with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It requires Daimler to recall and repair the emissions systems in Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles sold in the United States between 2009 and 2016.

The settlement covers approximately 250,000 light- and medium-duty diesel vehicles; these are passenger cars and Sprinter vans from model years 2009-2016.

Daimler and Mercedes-Benz must pay $875 million in civil penalties and roughly $70.3 million in other penalties. The civil penalty of $875 million is the second-largest civil penalty in the history of the Clean Air Act.

The company will also extend the warranty period for certain parts in the repaired vehicles, perform projects to mitigate excess ozone-creating nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted from the vehicles, and implement new internal audit procedures designed to prevent future emissions cheating.

NOx emissions from vehicles play a key role in ground-level ozone production and negatively impact human health, the EPA said. Breathing ozone can damage lung tissue, worsen heart disease and lung conditions like asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.

The recall program and federal mitigation project are expected to cost Daimler about $436 million. The company will pay another $110 million to fund mitigation projects in California. Altogether, the settlement is valued at about $1.5 billion (€1.27 billion).

“The message we are sending today is clear. We will enforce the law. We will protect the environment and public health. And if you try to cheat the system and mislead the public, you will be caught,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Those that violate public trust in pursuit of profits will forfeit both.”

Daimler denies the authorities’ allegations as well as the class action plaintiffs’ claims and does not admit any liability to the United States, California, plaintiffs, or otherwise.

The settlement resolves the company’s pending civil proceedings with the U.S. authorities without reaching any determinations as to whether functionalities in Daimler’s vehicles are defeat devices. By concluding the proceedings, Daimler said in a statement, the company “avoids lengthy court actions with respective legal and financial risks.”

Vehicle manufacturers are required by the Clean Air Act and federal regulations to apply for and receive a certificate of conformity from EPA before selling a new model year vehicle in the United States. Manufacturers must demonstrate that a vehicle meets emissions standards and disclose to EPA all auxiliary emission control devices (AECDs) and any defeat devices installed in the vehicle.

This settlement addresses allegations made in separate civil complaints filed by the United States and CARB on September 14, 2020, that, from 2009 to 2016, Daimler manufactured, imported, and sold more than 250,000 diesel Sprinter vans and passenger cars with undisclosed AECDs and defeat devices programmed into the vehicles’ complex emissions control software.

The defeat devices cause vehicles to produce compliant results during emissions testing. But when not being tested, the emissions controls can perform less effectively, resulting in an increase in NOx emissions above compliant levels.

The federal and state agencies discovered the defeat devices in Daimler’s vehicles in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal through testing conducted at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan and at CARB’s testing laboratory in El Monte, California.

In April 2017, a U.S. federal judge ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for “rigging diesel-powered vehicles to cheat on government emissions tests.” As of June 1, 2020, the scandal had cost VW $33.3 billion in fines, penalties, financial settlements and buyback costs.

The Daimler settlement requires the company to implement a recall and repair program to remove all defeat devices from the affected vehicles at no cost to consumers and bring the vehicles into compliance with emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.

CARB Chair Mary Nichols said, “Californians live with some of the worst air in the country, air that adversely impacts public health causing or contributing to asthma, respiratory disease, and premature death. It also costs the economy through medical costs as well as lost work and school days.”

“Automakers must learn that in this state,” said Nichols, “CARB will continue to use the very latest and most sophisticated science and technology to catch cheating and violations that impact our air and health.”

To avoid stiff penalties, Daimler must repair at least 85 percent of the affected passenger cars within two years and at least 85 percent of the vans within three years.

Daimler must also replace 15 old locomotive engines with new, less-polluting engines to offset the excess NOx emitted from its vehicles.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval. Copies of the consent decree lodged with the court are online here.

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS

作者

姜唯

如果有一件事是重要的,如果能為孩子實現一個願望,那就是人類與大自然和諧共存。

林大利

於特有生物研究保育中心服務,小鳥和棲地是主要的研究對象。是龜毛的讀者,認為龜毛是探索世界的美德。