The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack, an automotive aftermarket service and retail chain, has agreed to pay $5m civil penalty and take corrective measures to resolve claims that it violated the Clean Air Act.

According to the US Justice Department, the auto-parts retailer by imported and sold motorcycles, recreational vehicles and generators manufactured in China that do not comply with environmental requirements. Baja, which supplied the non-compliant vehicles to Pep Boys, is also settling with the US.

Pep Boys has signed an agreement with EPA memorializing its previously disclosed settlement of the EPA’s investigation into the company’s sale of certain small-engine merchandise (recreational vehicles and generators) from 2005 through 2009.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company has implemented a formal compliance program designed to ensure that all small-engine merchandise purchased by the company for resale complies with the Clean Air Act.

In addition, the company will implement a lawn mower exchange program designed to reduce emissions in the communities where its stores are located. The lawnmower exchange project is being undertaken in connection with the settlement of the enforcement action, taken on behalf of the EPA under the Clean Air Act.

To mitigate the effects of excess emissions that may have been generated from previously sold merchandise, the company will make available discounts on new push and electric mowers in exchange for the retirement of participating customers’ gas-powered mowers.

Brian Zuckerman, general counsel of Pep Boys, said: ”While the vast majority of the allegations in the EPA’s complaint relate to deficiencies in paperwork, we do acknowledge the possibility that some of the merchandise that we sold may have generated excess emissions.

”Accordingly, we will support one of the EPA’s emission-reduction initiatives by participating in a lawn mower exchange program. The program allows us to support our nationwide DIY customer base and our shared local community environments.

”In addition, our vendors will support the effort by offering extended emission warranties on certain previously sold small-engine merchandise.”