The California Attorney General's Office says it has filed a $19.6 million complaint against Yamaha Motor Corp. USA and two of its dealers for allegedly circumventing air pollution control laws and importing more than 400 motorcycles not certified for sale in California.
The complaint was filed on behalf of the Air Resources Board (ARB), a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
It is a violation of California law to import new motor vehicles for sale, use or registration which are not certified to meet California's stringent emissions standards, the toughest in the nation. The ARB alleges Yamaha imported more than 100 illegal non-California-certified motorcycles, registered them to Yamaha Motor Corp. in California, obtained California license plates, and then eventually sold some of them to California residents.
Several dealers involved in the case have already reached settlements with the ARB. The parties that could not reach a settlement were referred to the Attorney General's office for civil prosecution. The civil complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court seeks penalties totaling $19.6 million from Yamaha Motor Corp., San Jose Yamaha, and South Seas Cycle Exchange of Honolulu.
"We have worked extremely hard to improve California's air quality and have made great strides," ARB executive officer Catherine Witherspoon said in a statement. "We simply can't afford to let manufacturers and dealers sell vehicles that do not meet our emissions standards, which is what Yamaha appears to have done. We need to send a powerful message that this will not be tolerated in California."
Read more about this story in a future issue of Powersports Business magazine.
Copyright 2005 Powersports Business