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U.S. EPA settles with Bay Area auto aftermarket parts manufacturer for selling pollution-control bypass equipment

04/16/2019
Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)
415-972-3512

UNION CITY – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Advance Manufacturing Group U.S.A. Inc., an automotive parts manufacturer and distributor doing business as OBX Racing Sports, for violating the Clean Air Act. EPA alleges the company manufactured and sold auto aftermarket parts known as defeat devices, which bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems. OBX Racing Sports, based in Union City, California, will pay a penalty of $25,000.

Between 2015 and 2017, OBX Racing Sports sold 1,551 aftermarket products designed to defeat the emissions control systems of gasoline-powered cars. These systems increase emissions of harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are associated with health problems, including heart and lung ailments like chronic bronchitis and asthma.

“Vehicle emission controls have brought improved air quality and greater public health protection for millions of Californians,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “We’ll ensure companies comply with Clean Air Act requirements to protect communities and our path to cleaner, healthier air.”

Cars and trucks manufactured today emit far less pollution than older vehicles. This is made possible through careful engine calibrations and the use of catalytic converters in the exhaust system. Aftermarket defeat devices bypass these controls and cause vehicles to emit higher levels of emissions. EPA testing has shown that defeat devices can increase a vehicle’s NOx emissions substantially.

NOx pollution contributes to the formation of harmful smog and soot. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to smog or soot exposure. Nitrogen dioxide formed by NOx emissions can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may also contribute to asthma development in children.

If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or tampering with emissions controls, you can report it to EPA by writing to tampering@epa.gov.

For more information, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/clean-air-act-vehicle-and-engine-enforcement-case-resolutions.