Automakers Drop Longstanding Suit Over California’s Car-Emissions Rule

Clearing the way for more clean cars in California, two major automakers have agreed to settle a lawsuit over the state’s landmark regulation that calls for increased production of low-emission and zero-emission cars and trucks between 2005 and 2020. General Motors and DaimlerChrysler will now join other automakers in preparing to sell millions of less-polluting vehicles in California to help the state tackle its infamous air pollution problem. As one of the world’s largest vehicle markets, California has great influence over the worldwide auto industry; New York and Massachusetts have previously announced plans to follow California’s lead by mandating sales of zero-emission vehicles. GM dropped its suit against California in part to burnish its environmental image, which has taken a beating from environmentalists because the company sells such gas-guzzlers as Hummers and Chevrolet Suburbans.