OAKLAND, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2008) — Chrysler L.L.C. and the three major North American wheel weight manufacturers will stop selling lead wheel weights in California by the end of 2009 under a legal agreement with the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health (CEH).
In August 2007, the CEH told Chrysler, Hennessey Industries Inc., Plombco Inc. and Producers Perfect Equipment Inc. that it would seek legal action against the companies unless they stopped distributing lead weights in California. The environmental group challenged the use of lead weights under California's Proposition 65, claiming their use violated the state's safe drinking water provisions.
Under the agreement, Chrysler will end the use of factory-installed lead wheel weights in California by July 31, 2009, and the three lead wheel weight makers will stop shipping the products to California by the end of 2009.
Chrysler is the last U.S. auto maker to use lead wheel weights in any quantity. Most tire and auto makers have been phasing out the use of lead weights since the European Union banned them in 2005.