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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is raging across the Mustang world right now, surprised not to see it on here. If the EPA wants to, they could basically kill off everything needed (parts & software) to mod your car.

Just imagine the Feds pull up to any of the large car show/meets and block the inlet and outlet. Everyone open your hood, here is your $4,800 ticket, thank you. Oh, and the Feds have the equipment to plug into your OBD port.

ENFORCEMENT AND INSPECTION, SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
EPA Issues Enforcement Alert on Emissions Tampering


By Lisa Whitley Coleman Mar 2, 2021 Enforcement and Inspection, Special Topics in Environmental Management
In December 2020, the EPA issued an Enforcement Alert regarding aftermarket defeat devices that “bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems, resulting in significant increases in harmful air emissions” from motor vehicles and nonroad equipment.

The EPA resolved more than 70 cases in the past 5 years involving prohibitions against tampering under Section 203(a)(3) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and 40 CFR 1068.101(b).

The Agency “remains concerned that regulated entities are continuing to ignore” these prohibitions.

Specifically, the rules state that “emissions-related parts and elements of design must not be changed, including any part, device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle, non-road equipment, motor vehicle engine, or non-road engine by an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for the specific purpose of controlling emissions.”

The Agency’s rules cover a comprehensive list of elements of design, devices, and parts, including:

  • The onboard diagnostic system (OBD);
  • Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs);
  • Sensors for oxygen, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ammonia, particulate matter (PM), urea quality, and exhaust gas temperature;
  • Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and their sensors;
  • Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems;
  • Diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs);
  • Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems;
  • NOx adsorber catalyst (NAC) systems;
  • Engine calibrations that affect engine combustion (e.g., fuel injection or ignition timing, injection pattern, fuel injection mass for each injection event, fuel injection pressure, EGR flowrate, mass air flowrate, and EGR cooler bypassing); and
  • Any other part, device, or element of design installed on certified vehicles or engines in compliance with Title II of the CAA and its regulations, including parts and specifications included in the manufacturer’s tested prototype.
Section 203(a)(3) of the CAA is specific. Part B of this section clearly states it is a violation:

“ … for any person to manufacture or sell, or offer to sell, or install, any part or component (i.e., ‘defeat device’) intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, where a principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under Title II of the Clean Air Act, and where the person knows or should know that such part or component is being offered for sale or installed for such use or put to such use.”

Part A of the 203(a)(3) statute further cements the violation, stating the prohibition against any person who knowingly removes or renders “inoperative (i.e., ‘tampering’) any such emissions control device or element of design.”

‘Reasonable Basis’ Is a Defense
The EPA obviously focuses its enforcement efforts on devices that increase emissions. So, any person “who has a reasonable basis for knowing that use of such part will not adversely affect emissions performance” and who is involved in the manufacture, sale, or installation of aftermarket parts can claim the “reasonable basis” defense, provided he or she can show the device or modification will have no adverse impact on emissions in each of the following circumstances:
  • The aftermarket part is identical in design and function to the part or component it replaced.
  • The vehicle or engine, as modified, meets emissions standards when tested on the same tests the OEM used to certify the vehicle with the EPA.
  • The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued an Executive Order (EO) that covers the same device or part on the same model vehicle on which the device or part was installed.
Costly Violations for Emissions Tampering
The price tag for violations is steep—the maximum civil penalty is “$4,819 per defeat device manufactured, sold, or installed, or
per vehicle tampered. A dealer or vehicle manufacturer who tampers with a vehicle may be subject to significantly higher civil penalties.”


For an example of the amount of penalties that can be applied in these types of cases, see the EPA information sheet on its settlement with Performance Diesel, Inc.

Companies whose operations involve these types of emissions-related devices are also advised to keep in mind that many states have additional regulations regarding these devices.

A previous defense was that the aftermarket defeat devices were produced for “competition only” use. The Agency had a practice of not enforcing these regulations against vehicles used solely for competition events. However, the EPA’s statistics show “that hundreds of thousands of diesel pickup trucks have had their emissions controls completely removed, and most or all the aftermarket defeat devices used to tamper these trucks were sold under the claim of ‘competition only.’ The sheer volume of aftermarket defeat devices belies the assertion that they are only for competition motorsports.”

The EPA has actively and strictly enforced actions against companies claiming “competition only” use. In the EPA’s action against Punch It Performance and Tuning, the company was required to stop manufacture and sale, turn over its intellectual property, and pay civil penalties to the tune of $850,000. That company further compounded its problems by transferring “real estate and monetary assets to one or more of the individual defendants in their personal capacities,” resulting in the EPA seeking further enforcement under the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was waiting for someone to post about this, things are gonna very interesting for aftermarket mods. This is a little outrageous to me, just feels like they're really trying to push everyone into electric cars.
Wheels and catback exhaust might the only thing you can do if they take it all the way.
 

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Good luck enforcing that. It would be nearly impossible outside of car shows/inspection bays. I wouldnt get all worked up.
 

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I've been hearing more of that lately. I'm a member of Ford Truck Enthusiasts & aBout a year ago a bunch of aftermarket suppliers got fined for selling EGR deletes & tunes. That stuff is super hard to find now & it's no longer recommended. They always find a way to take away the fun. Of course with diesel it's longevity. We are so screwed.
 

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This sucks beyond belief... I though SEMA had been keeping them at bay. It is gonna kill a lot of businesses. The liberals just can leave us motor heads alone!
 
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Good luck enforcing that. It would be nearly impossible outside of car shows/inspection bays. I wouldnt get all worked up.
Agreed, not to mention I'm curious on how this will impact the invasion of privacy laws out there. For instance a police officer can not stop you without probable cause so one would have to assume the same case here. Probable cause couldn't be that you are just at a car show it would have to be specific to something visible on the car.

I'm not to worries though as I live in a emission county so I can't do any of the stuff that would impact that anyways without having the nightmare of trying to get my car registered every year.
 

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This seems primarily targeting diesel trucks. All the years of rolling coal came back and bit them on the ass. Good. You reap what you sew.
Yeah... I was thinking the same thing... rolling coal gets peoples attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good luck enforcing that. It would be nearly impossible outside of car shows/inspection bays. I wouldnt get all worked up.
Hey long tube header maker, that is clearly an emission defeat part, cease and desist now, or else-- your friendly EPA. Now repeat that for any part that isn't factory exact copy and effects the emission system function in any way.
 

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Agreed, not to mention I'm curious on how this will impact the invasion of privacy laws out there. For instance a police officer can not stop you without probable cause so one would have to assume the same case here. Probable cause couldn't be that you are just at a car show it would have to be specific to something visible on the car.

I'm not to worries though as I live in a emission county so I can't do any of the stuff that would impact that anyways without having the nightmare of trying to get my car registered every year.
It has more to do with warrantless search and seizure than privacy when it comes to the feds. SCOTUS has ruled you are pretty limited privacy wise when operating a vehicle also. However, there has to be a justifiable reason for a stop and subsequent search of a vehicle. Walking up to someone parked in a parking lot and saying hey...I'm searching your car, probably wouldn't fly in court.

The EPA has limited resources just like any government entity. Do they use those resources going after Joe Blow and his one car or do they go after the guy making the parts for Joe Blow's car. You kill a lot more birds with that stone going after the latter.
 

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Hey long tube header maker, that is clearly an emission defeat part, cease and desist now, or else-- your friendly EPA. Now repeat that for any part that isn't factory exact copy and effects the emission system function in any way.
Nope. They just put a disclaimer on the product that states off road or race use only. Kind of like they already do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nope. They just put a disclaimer on the product that states off road or race use only. Kind of like they already do.
Off road use doesn't fly anymore. Everyone is on edge because their company will live or die on how EPA decides to pick the winners and losers. They are showing up at shops and plugging into the OBD port of every vehicle. They are copying every computer in the shop for forensic examination. They are not being subtle. They can take it as far as they want, the current administration will back them all the way.
 

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Disagree with those that say this is hard to enforce. living in California for 35 years. This is not new here. Street racing has been getting fined $ for defeating emissions equipment for a long time. But specifically in California they have rolling emission tests. Just like a DUI checkpoint all cars enter. If it has loud pipes or looks suspicious it goes right on the smog dyno and gets plugged in period. Some leave on rollback to impound. I’ve been through several of them. It’s real. This will not be hard to enforce at all especially if they attach a monetary reward from the feds. It’s scary.
Also : In case you were wondering yes you get out of the car they pull it on the Dyno not you. you go with the officer over to a table and they check out your paperwork while they’re checking out your car. It’s really fun.

It’s been legally challenged / litigated in California. You agree to these checks when you register your car just like you agree to DUI checks when you get your drivers license.
 

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It's another example of the government and the powers that be making rules and then changing them any time they please. It's an imposition I've lost all patience for. There's some old adage about stuff like this. Let's see if it comes to me.
 
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Did I just read 70 cases in 5 years by the EPA? Do they also shovel sand at the beach with a spoon?

I live in CA, and yes the emissions rules are ridiculous, but no problems yet in the almost 30 years of driving. However, I do go for the CARB approved parts when available.
 

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I know a few people in my area who have been ticketed in excess of $5,000 for removing the cats from the Mustang or Challenger. Florida has extremely relaxed laws, but courts don't put up with removing the catalytic converters. If you get caught running catless, there's a risk that you can get pinched. All it takes is a speeding ticket and the officer's ability to smell things.
 

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Disagree with those that say this is hard to enforce. living in California for 35 years. This is not new here. Street racing has been getting fined $ for defeating emissions equipment for a long time. But specifically in California they have rolling emission tests. Just like a DUI checkpoint all cars enter. If it has loud pipes or looks suspicious it goes right on the smog dyno and gets plugged in period. Some leave on rollback to impound. I’ve been through several of them. It’s real. This will not be hard to enforce at all especially if they attach a monetary reward from the feds. It’s scary.
Also : In case you were wondering yes you get out of the car they pull it on the Dyno not you. you go with the officer over to a table and they check out your paperwork while they’re checking out your car. It’s really fun.

It’s been legally challenged / litigated in California. You agree to these checks when you register your car just like you agree to DUI checks when you get your drivers license.
Then I guess don't do stupid crap to your street car. Their is so little to be gained with removing cats these day's it's not worth the extra power and smell (unless you have a great tune to remove the smell). If your car is loud enough to get hit by the decibel limits then that's also on you to. I have a Corsa system on my Viper and it's LOUD and it still passes the DB test here so I can't imagine what systems those cars have unless they are running straight pipes on the street.
 
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