Auto Service World
Feature   January 1, 2006   by CARS Magazine

U.S EPA Proposes O2 Sensor, Converter Durability Rules

The U.S. Federal emissions watchdog Environmental Protection Agency is considering changes to vehicle emissions lifetime rules that may force automakers to warrant key smog components for longer perio...


The U.S. Federal emissions watchdog Environmental Protection Agency is considering changes to vehicle emissions lifetime rules that may force automakers to warrant key smog components for longer periods. EPA is issuing a final rule that establishes vehicle aging procedures that automotive manufacturers must use to demonstrate that its vehicles will continue to meet the emission standards throughout the required useful life period (120,000 miles for most cars and trucks). EPA is completing this action to fulfill a court mandate issued in 2002 to update existing regulations. In addition, EPA is proposing options for testing the durability of vehicle emissions-related components, such as oxygen sensors and catalytic converters. The supplemental proposal will include options for addressing the durability of emissions-related components from three testing procedures. The first option would retain the current EPA process of allowing manufacturers to use good engineering judgment, such as computer modeling, test data, or other established methods to demonstrate component durability. The second option would allow manufacturers to continue using the current EPA process, but would require the manufacturers to submit whole vehicle testing data for a worst-case vehicle configuration. The third option would allow manufacturers to continue using the current EPA process, but would also require that manufacturers submit data when a new type of component or a new technology is being introduced. Canadian regulations generally follow the U.S. lead, with new off-road diesel standards in force as of January 1, 2006.


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