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Engine manufacturers hail favorable judgment in California Proposition 65 litigation

26 August 1998

The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), hailed the ruling on August 19, by California Superior Court Judge David Garcia on Proposition 65. The Court ruled that the manufacturers of diesel vehicles were entitled to summary judgment on all counts of the complaint. The Court ruled specifically that any risk posed by reasonably anticipated exposures to diesel exhaust from an on-highway vehicle is well below the “no significant risk” level under Proposition 65, and so requires no public warnings.

The litigation was initiated 3 June 1997 by the Corporation for Clean Air (CCA), and alleged that various manufacturers of diesel-fueled on-highway vehicles had violated California's Proposition 65—a public warning statute—by failing “to warn the purchasers, drivers, and other occupants of diesel vehicles, the pedestrians and workers in the immediate vicinity of such diesel vehicles and other exposed California residents” throughout the State “that they are being exposed to diesel exhaust”.

The Court also ruled that CCA failed to identify any actual “exposure” to diesel exhaust from any manufacturer’s vehicles and that, in any event, since vehicle manufacturers do not control the myriad circumstances in which vehicles can be operated, manufacturers do not have a duty to provide public warnings for matters outside their control.

“The decision of the Superior Court ends more than a year of costly and groundless litigation,” says Glenn Keller, EMA's executive director. “The decision also echoes the previous findings and conclusions that the California Attorney General’s Office made in September 1997, concluding that CCA had no valid claims against the manufacturers and operators of diesel vehicles arising from the ordinary on-road uses of diesel vehicles.”

Source: Engine Manufacturers Association