AUBURN HILLS, MI – Chrysler LLC has 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 announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Detroit. 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 for Chrysler LLC. "We are very supportive of EPA's efforts and have pledged to work with suppliers and others 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.
Chrysler now uses wheel weights made of steel and zinc.