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HONDA TO SELL LOW-EMISSION CIVIC IN CALIFORNIA

 HONDA TO SELL LOW-EMISSION CIVIC IN CALIFORNIA
 TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- American Honda Motor


Co. Inc. announced today that the 1993 Honda Civic VX Hatchback sold in California has been certified by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) as meeting the Transitional Low Emission Vehicle (TLEV) standards one year earlier than mandated by the board's regulations.
 The TLEV standards are the first step in meeting the ARB's Low Emisssion Vehicles/Clean Fuels regulations. Beginning in 1994, all manufacturers must lower the average emission levels of the automobiles sold in California to meet fleet average standards which become more stringent each year.
 To meet the ARB's objectives, four levels of reduced emission vehicles have been established, starting with transitional low- emission vehicles (TLEV) and proceeding to low-emission vehicles (LEV), ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), and zero-emission vehicles (ZEV). By 1998, at least two percent of the vehicles sold in California must be zero-emission vehicles (ZEV).
 Honda is the first import nameplate manufacturer to certify an automobile as a TLEV. Like all Civic Hatchbacks sold in the United States, the VX is manufactured at Honda's automobile plant in Alliston, Ontario in Canada.
 The Civic VX Hatchback, first introduced in the 1992 model year, is specifically designed to achieve good performance and outstanding fuel economy -- 51/44 mpg highway/city for the California version, unchanged from 1992 even when designed to meet TLEV standards.
 Improvements on existing technology are used to qualify the Civic VX as a TLEV in California. A redesigned, closed-coupled exhaust manifold is used to improve exhaust gas flow to the large catalytic converter, which contains more precious metal than conventional converters. The fuel injectors have precise tolerances to improve control, and a heated oxygen sensor is used to improve emission control.
 The VX engine runs on conventional unleaded gasoline, and uses Honda's VTEC-E system of variable valve control to achieve its high fuel economy while still generating 92 horsepower for excellent driveability. When meeting current 49-state emission standards and utilizing lean-burn technology, the VX achieves 55/48 mpg city/highway, the best fuel economy by a 4-cylinder automobile in the United States.
 Although effective in achieving the level of emission reductions required to qualify as a TLEV, the technologies used in the 1993 Civic VX will not be sufficient to meet the stricter LEV or ULEV standards.
 "The fact that Honda has qualified the VX as a TLEV one year before required by the ARB underlines our company's commitment to environmental responsibility," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda.
 "Honda views the Civic VX TLEV as an important first step in meeting California's clean air goals. However, much work needs to be done to achieve the even more stringent emission requirements beyond 1994."
 -0- 10/12/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Butorac of American Honda Motor Co., 310-783-3163/ CO: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. ST: California IN: AUT SU: PDT


BP-EH -- LA017 -- 8907 10/12/92 14:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 12, 1992
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