Chrysler LLC Completes Program to Eliminate Use of Lead Wheel Weights, Meeting Commitment to U.S. EPA Three Years Early
- Environmentally friendly steel and zinc weights used on all new Chrysler vehicles worldwide
- EPA to announce voluntary phase-out program today in Detroit; Chrysler already in compliance
- Program reduces environmental risk if weights dislodged from wheels on rough roads
Auburn Hills, Mich., Aug 29, 2008 - Chrysler LLC this week completed its program to eliminate the use of lead wheel weights from its vehicles, switching to more eco-friendly substitutes in its products sold worldwide.
The move puts Chrysler in full compliance with a voluntary program to be announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Detroit August 29. The National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative calls for elimination of lead wheel weights in vehicles by the end of 2011.
“This is the culmination of a two-year effort to move to environmentally friendly alternatives in the production of our vehicles,” said Reg Modlin, Director – Environmental Affairs, Chrysler LLC.
“We are very supportive of EPA’s efforts and have pledged to work with suppliers and others such as tire stores and service departments to encourage the use of alternatives to lead weights throughout the lifetime of our vehicles.”
Wheel weights, which are used to balance the wheels of a vehicle to improve ride and handling, can sometimes be dislodged on rough roads. Wheel weights made of lead, while very effective and low cost, have raised concerns about lead entering the environment.
A 2006 U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that 2,000 tons of lead from wheel weights ends up on the nation’s roads each year, though there are no studies to document environmental damage.
Chrysler now uses wheel weights made of steel and zinc.