United Slates
Environmental Protection
Press Office (A-107)
Washington DC 20460
170,000 CARS FOR
WEDNESDAY. FEBRUARY 20, 1980 Casey (2Q2) v55_0344
The Environmental Protection Agency today
ordered General Motors Corporation (GM) to recall
approximately 170,000 of its 1977 Buick vehicles
equipped with the 350 cubic inch displacement (CID)
engine and 2 barrel carburetor which fail to meet
Federal exhaust emission standards.
The vehicles involved in today's recall include
the Buick Century, Regal, and Le Sabre. Vehicles sold
in California are not included in the recall.
EPA has identified the problems to be defects in the
exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system which cause
the vehicles to emit pollutants in excess of the 1977
Federal standard for oxides of nitrogen (NOx). The
vehicles also do not meet the standards for emissions
of hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO).
Although the exact reason for the excessive HC and CO
emissions is still under investigation by GM, EPA
believes there is a defect in the carburetor idle
There are two defects in the vehicle's EGR system.
The first defect involves a rubber hose which is not
properly retained in a support clip which causes the
hose to come into contact with the engine manifold.
The high temperature of the manifold will burn a hole
in the hose causing a vacuum leak which deactivates
the EGR system. The second defect is plugging of the
EGR valve stem with carbon-like material, disabling
the EGR valve. EPA is also investigating plugging of
similar EGR valves used on other GM cars.

Hydrocarbon and N0X emissions form photochemical oxidants, commonly
known as smog, when exposed to sunlight. Photochemical oxidants
may cause irritation to the respiratory system, eyes and mucous
membranes. They are particularly hazardous to the health of the
elderly and very young. Carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin
in the blood stream reducing the amount of oxygen distributed
throughout the body. Carbon monoxide is harmful to persons who
have heart ailments, lung disease, anemia, or cardiovascular
diseases. Carbon monoxide can also affect mental function, visual
perception and alertness at relatively low concentrations.
Under the recall provision of the Clean Air Act, General Motors
has 45 days to submit a plan to remedy the pollution problem on
these vehicles or to request a hearing. Once EPA has approved
the plan, General Motors will notify owners whose cars are involved.
The cars would be repaired by GM dealers at no cost to the owners.
EPA also reported today that 1.9 million vehicles have been
recalled during the 1979 calendar year to repair defects in the
vehicles' emission control systems. The year end statistics have
been compiled and will be published shortly in EPA's annual Emission
Recall Report.
According to the Report 1.7 million of the 1.9 million vehicles
were either ordered to be recalled by EPA, or recalled as a result
of EPA investigations. Approximately two hundred thousand vehicles
were recalled by vehicle manufacturers without EPA intervention.
This brings the total number of vehicles recalled for emission-
related defects since 1972 to 14.2 million.
The Report will include a description of the emission problem, the
type and model year of vehicles affected by the recall, and the
date the recall commenced. EPA encourages owners who are experiencing
problems in receiving satisfactory recall repair work, or who wish
to report a potential emission control component failure, to contact
the Manufacturers Operations Division (EN-340), 401 M Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20460.
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