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EPA and CARB Continue Enforcement Against Illegal Emissions-Related Equipment

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

SEMA Garage
The SEMA Garage is a one-stop shop for product testing and receiving assistance in submitting a CARB approval application.

Recent enforcement actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) serve as industry reminders that it is illegal to manufacture or market emissions-related products that would knowingly take a street vehicle out of compliance with federal and California clean-air laws. The prohibition applies to everyone in the chain of commerce, from manufacturers to distributors, retailers and installers.

Both the EPA and CARB recently announced several settlement agreements with companies that had allegedly marketed illegal emissions-related products. The products included engine programmers, air-intake systems, diesel oxidation catalyst defeat devices, non-approved catalytic converters and other items.

Since 2014, the EPA has also been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to identify foreign-made engines and vehicles that lack proper emissions controls. The EPA recently imposed penalties on 24 companies importing illegal products including motorcycles, ATVs, scooters and marine engines. The products were shipped out of the United States.

If an emissions-related part is intended for installation on a street vehicle, manufacturers must be able to demonstrate that the vehicle will remain in compliance with federal and California clean-air laws. Testing the equipment for emissions performance and receiving CARB approval continues to be an accepted means to demonstrate compliance. The U.S. EPA is currently developing updated compliance measures for demonstrating lawful emissions status under the federal law; meanwhile, CARB approval will continue to satisfy compliance with the federal law.

SEMA is actively working with EPA and CARB officials to help ensure that clean air laws are administered fairly. With the stepped-up enforcement from the EPA and CARB against emissions-related aftermarket parts, obtaining CARB approval is an important step to avoid an enforcement action.

SEMA is here to provide the resources and guidance to help companies navigate the CARB approval process and the changing regulatory landscape for emissions-related products. We urge members to contact the emissions certification experts on staff at the SEMA Garage, located in Diamond Bar, California. The SEMA Garage is a one-stop shop for product testing and receiving assistance in submitting a CARB approval application. Contact us at

For additional information, contact Daniel Ingber at