U.S. EPA fines California auto parts companies for selling ‘defeat’ devices, harming air quality
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with four automotive parts distributors for violations of the Clean Air Act. The companies illegally manufactured or sold aftermarket auto parts that bypass or disable required emissions control systems, otherwise known as defeat devices. The companies paid $282,926 in penalties.
“These settlements are a very significant step toward our goal of stopping the sale of illegal defeat devices that cause harmful pollution in our communities,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, Amy Miller. “We will continue to investigate and penalize anyone who manufactures, sells, or installs these types of illegal products.”
The practice of tampering with diesel and gasoline powered vehicles by installing defeat devices can bring about the emitting of large amounts of NOx and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States. These include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer.
Today’s announcement highlights four separate settlement agreements:
AutoAnything, Inc. sold aftermarket exhaust systems designed to defeat the emissions control systems on motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines. The firm also sold products, commonly known as ‘tuners,’ which enable the user to easily turn off emission controls installed and certified by vehicle manufacturers to comply with the Clean Air Act. The company, headquartered in San Diego, Calif., paid a $125,000 penalty.
No Limit Enterprises Inc., doing business as No Limit Fabrication and No Limit Diesel, manufactured and/or sold tuner-related products and other components that bypass, defeat, or render inoperative emission controls installed and certified by vehicle manufacturers to reduce vehicle emissions. The company, headquartered in Moorpark, Calif., paid a $150,000 penalty, which was reduced due to financial hardship.
Integrated Strategic Resources, Inc., doing business as Andy’s Auto Sport, sold aftermarket exhaust systems designed to defeat the emissions control systems on motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines. The company, headquartered in Monterey, Calif., paid a $5,000 penalty. The penalty amount was reduced due to financial hardship.
T&R Performance Solutions sold aftermarket parts designed to defeat the emissions control systems of motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines. The company, headquartered in Simi Valley, Calif., paid a $2,926 penalty. This agreement was reached under EPA’s expedited settlement policy, which is only used in certain circumstances to address minor, easily correctable violations.
Vehicles are a significant contributor to air pollution, and aftermarket defeat devices that disable emission controls exacerbate this problem. To address that, EPA has developed a National Compliance Initiative that focuses on stopping the manufacture, sale, and installation of defeat devices on vehicles and engines. Today’s actions are part of this initiative. To learn more, visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-stopping-aftermarket-defeat-devices-vehicles-and-engines
If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emissions controls, tell the EPA by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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