Defeat Devices Main Target of EPA, Agency Claims
Proposed “Ban” Has Been on Books For Years, Not Enforced
The enthusiast community has been up in arms in the last few weeks with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) claiming the agency will ban the tampering and disabling of emissions control devices, even on race-only vehicles, if they were road-going vehicles at any time in their history. This week, the agency is clarifying its position and effectively telling the enthusiast community to “calm down” in the wake of the disclosure of some proposed regulatory changes that were quietly inserted into upcoming Clean Air Act amendments. According to Automotive News, the agency says proposed changes are targeted primarily toward “defeat devices” installed on road-going vehicles, not an overreach into off-road use.
The EPA claims the regulations that technically allow it to fine owners that use production-based vehicles solely for motorsports competition have always been on the books, but the agency has not made such action an “enforcement priority.” The EPA claims that it does not plan on going after amateur motorsports competition for the time being.
However, the EPA has aggressively pursued and fined aftermarket product manufacturers for selling devices that are deliberately designed to defeat or circumvent emissions control systems. Casper’s Electronics was fined $80,000 for selling oxygen sensor simulators that would tell the ECU that the engine was running normally, even if the actual O2 sensor had been removed or disabled. The EPA also went after diesel performance manufacturers Edge Products and H&S Performance in 2013 and 2015, respectively, for selling diesel particulate filter delete kits and exhaust gas recirculation bypasses. You can read our original post highlighting the proposed Clean Air Act changes here.
Source: Automotive News