USA: EPA cracks down on aftermarket emission defeat devices

The strict enforcement against aftermarket emission 'defeat devices' by the EPA has enraged amateur racers in the USA.

Amateur racers in the USA are up in arms after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently stepped up a drive against the makers of aftermarket emission defeat devices.

According to a media report, the EPA recently took stringent action against a Louisiana - based racing parts shop. The owner along with amateur racers are unhappy with the EPA's decision of stepping up the enforcement action. The reports suggest that the owner of the store stated that these stringent actions will result in the elimination of all kinds of racing within the next 10 years.

The 'defeat devices' as they are called by the EPA, are said to come in two forms - mechanical via aftermarket exhausts and electronically via a device that takes control of the vehicle's built-in computer. These aftermarket electronic devices alter the engine's operating instructions to improve performance while letting out increased pollutants from the exhaust.

However, what racing enthusiasts are concerned about is the EPA's argument that according to the Clean Air Act, no road vehicles can be modified, including those used exclusively on the race track.

Since 2018, the EPA has also started pressing criminal charges against makers of the defeat device. These charges result in an increased penalty for the companies involved and jail time for its management.

In response to this, the Special Equipment Market Association (SEMA) came out in support of such aftermarket car part makers with a strong alert against the EPA. SEMA even offered a solution in the form of the Recognition of Protection of Motorsport Act, which amends the Clean Air Act to allow modification of vehicles that are 'used solely for competition'.

SEMA argued that EPA not allowing a streetcar to become a racecar is an overreach. It stated that this would end amateur racing, in turn cutting off the path for developing pro racers.

Source: NY Times

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