SEMA Leadership Commends Senate Introduction of Legislation to Protect Modified Racecars

March 10, 2016

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SEMA Leadership Commends Senate Introduction of Legislation to Protect Modified Racecars 

Senate Bill Joins House Effort to Protect Racecar Enthusiasts, Industry, and Parts Suppliers

WASHINGTON, DC (March 10, 2016) – SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting and Chairman of the Board Doug Evans today commended Senate members for introducing legislation that would protect modified racecars from overreaching U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Today’s bill introduction underscores the growing Congressional effort to clarify the law and preserve our nation’s racing industry and pastime. 

“The public and regulated industry need certainty regarding how the Clean Air Act is applied,” said Kersting.  “SEMA supports passage of S. 2659 and thanks Senators Burr, Capito, Heller and Tillis for legislation that provides a clear exemption to allow conversion of street vehicles for racing competitions.

The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (RPM Act), introduced by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), is a companion bill to H.R. 4715, introduced earlier this week in the House.  Both bills seek to ensure that converting street vehicles to racecars used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. 

In July of 2015, the EPA issued a proposed regulation to make the act of converting a motor vehicle into a racecar illegal if the emission system is taken out-of-compliance from its stock configuration.  This prohibition would include even those vehicles used solely at the track and never again used on public roads. 

“This policy would contradict the Clean Air Act, congressional intent and decades-long application of the law in the marketplace,” said Evans, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Luken Communications, LLC.  “SEMA contends that this EPA proposal represents clear agency overreach and is an incorrect reading of the Clean Air Act by current EPA officials.”

Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion market annually.  According to the National Speedway Directory, there are over 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, track and off-road racetracks.  If the EPA regulations were to be finalized, the impact on racers, racetracks and businesses that cater to the racer community would be substantial. 

The EPA recently re-opened the proposed regulations to receive additional public comment.  However, allowing public comment does not resolve the issue because the EPA has not withdrawn the problematic language in its proposed regulation, nor has it conceded that motor vehicles may be modified for competition use.  The RPM Act of 2016 would ensure that these vehicles are exempt from EPA regulation in perpetuity.

The RPM Act has been assigned to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  The EPA proposed regulations are scheduled to be finalized this summer.

Supporters of the House and Senate legislation to protect modified racecars are urged to contact their Senators and House member and request their support for the RPM Act by clicking here.

For updates and additional information:

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- use #saveourracecars, #rpmact

About SEMA
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $36 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,633 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909-610-2030, or visit

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