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Technical Paper

Exhaust Emissions from In-Use Passenger Cars Equipped with Three-Way Catalysts

This paper presents the results of an exhaust emission testing program conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The test vehicles were 1978–1980 passenger cars of various makes and models. Each of the 686 vehicles tested was equipped with a three-way catalyst system and was certified to California standards. The purpose of the program was to gather information on current systems in customer use for projections on the ability of the three-way system to meet emission standards of the future. The results indicate that these systems are capable of achieving low emission levels although high levels are also possible due to defects, deterioration, or tampering.