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FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
3/4/21 11:44 a.m.

"No, it's not. Requiring companies that sell products to take some level of responsibility is well established."

You're mixing up the words 'use' and 'sell'. The words 'use' and 'sell' have two very different meanings. Like CRX says above; all bets are off once the product is out of the hands of the seller.

"Make the seller prove to you that he/she/they/it/whatever is building a competition car that the product will fit, and only sell to people who have undergone this vetting process."

Do you have any idea what such 'vetting' would cost? And how about the required time to do so? And then there's all the Government oversight regulations that would most likely be put in place (ya, we all need yet another Gov agency). And then there's the additional cost that would need to be added to the wholesale and retail prices.

Meanwhile, it looks like the EPA is working towards a complete ban on the sale of any and all 'non-certified' parts in the not-so-distant future. Maybe the Government will call it the 'War on Non-Certified Parts'.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 11:49 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:

If the EPA made sale of non-certified parts illegal for ALL uses, that would put the vendor in full fault. This basically would give the EPA authority for non registered race cars which would effectively kill a large portion of the vehicles in use at racetracks today in my uneducated review of google searches.

Technically, it is illegal to see non-certified parts.  Has been for a long time.  The exception was there for racers, until people abused that exception too much.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 11:50 a.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:
Keith Tanner said:

That's the fundamental disconnect. 

The EPA says it doesn't matter WHERE you operate your vehicle or for what purpose. 

PRI says "but race cars are different".

Still trying to get an answer on this. Is a non-titled, not street legal car, which started life as a EPA certified vehicle, illegal to use at a local auto-x based on EPA regulations?

If yes, is this a new interpretation based on the EPA memo that came out a few weeks ago, or is the EPA making this argument for the first time in this suit?

The illegal part is removing emissions controls and then operating the vehicle. Titling, street legality, competition, etc - that's not their concern.

It's not a new interpretation, it's one that's been simmering in the background for a while. It flared up a couple of years back and prompted SEMA's attempt to create the RPM act: https://www.sema.org/epa-news

The EPA has made "mobile sources" a focus for the next...3 years? 5 years? I forget the details...and so it's back at the forefront again. The new memo did not contain any specific race car information.

And it wasn't that there was an exception before, they were just turning a blind eye.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 11:50 a.m.
FMB42 said:

""Make the seller prove to you that he/she/they/it/whatever is building a competition car that the product will fit, and only sell to people who have undergone this vetting process."

Do you have any idea what such 'vetting' would cost? And how about the required time to do so?

I think I do. Do you know what I do for a living?

I have the ability to put such a system in place in pretty short order should that be required. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
3/4/21 11:50 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The illegal part is removing emissions controls and then operating the vehicle.

 

Which in theory, includes tuning unless you go through the certification process, right?

Hence you guys no longer offering those options?

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 11:51 a.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

You don't seem to know that it's already illegal to sell non-certified parts anything related to emission control devices.  It's been that way for quite a few years.

 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 11:52 a.m.
z31maniac said:
Keith Tanner said:

The illegal part is removing emissions controls and then operating the vehicle.

 

Which in theory, includes tuning unless you go through the certification process, right?

Hence you guys no longer offering those options?

Very much so.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 11:53 a.m.
z31maniac said:
Keith Tanner said:

The illegal part is removing emissions controls and then operating the vehicle.

 

Which in theory, includes tuning unless you go through the certification process, right?

Hence you guys no longer offering those options?

Correct. It's more than just theory, "tuners" are a major focus of the EPA's efforts because it directly affects emissions.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
3/4/21 11:57 a.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

I think you need to re-read this thread. You're mixing up a couple of posters and what they've said.

Yes, we do have an idea of what the vetting would cost and what it would look like. Keith gave an example of how Miata successfully does it.

Lastly, I understand you are a new reader and might not be familiar with the forum's rules about politics and floundering (i.e. making a topic nedlessly political). It might be a good idea to read them-they're in the "off topic" forum at the top.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
3/4/21 11:59 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Got it, thanks!

intrepid
intrepid Reader
3/4/21 12:08 p.m.

I'm curious. Does any of this affect parts for older/racing cars? I'm thinking of racing parts for Ford Kent motors used by formula ford racers, or parts for older lotus race motors?

-chris r.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
3/4/21 12:14 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
FMB42 said:

""Make the seller prove to you that he/she/they/it/whatever is building a competition car that the product will fit, and only sell to people who have undergone this vetting process."

Do you have any idea what such 'vetting' would cost? And how about the required time to do so?

I think I do. Do you know what I do for a living?

I have the ability to put such a system in place in pretty short order should that be required. 

I dont understand. In a few of your posts you are saying that the EPA has full control over regulating off-road vehicle customization (that effects emissions) while in other posts saying they would force you to "vet" that the products are being used off road. 

So which one is it in your opinion? Are off-road non-certified parts illegal (and have been this entire time thus meaning all aftermarket companies have been continuously breaking federal laws)? Or are off-road parts legal as long as they are used strictly off-road? 

Not trying to be blunt but you obviously have a better handle on this than most everyone else considering your background.

Edited: https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2016/02/11/epa-race-cars-have-always-required-factory-emissions-equipment-sema-shenanigans

Looks like lawyers arguing over the "nonroad" provision.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 12:25 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:
Keith Tanner said:
FMB42 said:

""Make the seller prove to you that he/she/they/it/whatever is building a competition car that the product will fit, and only sell to people who have undergone this vetting process."

Do you have any idea what such 'vetting' would cost? And how about the required time to do so?

I think I do. Do you know what I do for a living?

I have the ability to put such a system in place in pretty short order should that be required. 

I dont understand. In a few of your posts you are saying that the EPA has full control over regulating off-road vehicle customization (that effects emissions) while in other posts saying they would force you to "vet" that the products are being used off road. 

So which one is it in your opinion? Are off-road non-certified parts illegal (and have been this entire time thus meaning all aftermarket companies have been continuously breaking federal laws)? Or are off-road parts legal as long as they are used strictly off-road? 

Not trying to be blunt but you obviously have a better handle on this than most everyone else considering your background.

There has never really been a category for "off-road non-certified parts". And yes, many aftermarket companies have been breaking federal laws for years. Note that I am not a lawyer, the memos are not legislation but are guidance or something like that.

The EPA has control over emissions production, basically. Certified vehicles can't have their emissions controls removed post-sale regardless of intended usage in their view. Now, it's that "off-road competition" definition that PRI and SEMA want to create, a legitimate and legal categorization for certain vehicles that are low-usage by their nature.

IF it is decided that modified race cars are special and can have emissions controls removed, the only way that will be allowed will be if the vendors ensure that these parts are not sold for street car use. Right now, the EPA is focusing on people who are pretending to sell race parts but are selling to the general public. If you sell a diesel tuner that advertises improved fuel economy or better towing capability and you sell tens of thousands per year, this is not likely to be a "race use only" part no matter how many disclaimers you put on the website. If you want to sell race-only parts, it's up to you to make sure they only go on race cars.

Right now, the EPA doesn't seem to be going after legitimate race shops and this sort of gatekeeping is being treated as sufficient but that could change. PRI/SEMA want to make sure things are clear before they do. But one thing that is repeated over and over by all parties is that "for race use only" disclaimers are not worth the pixels used to render them.

I spend a lot of time in seminars and meetings with the EPA and ARB and the like. Two in the past few weeks and my visits to the SEMA show have me sitting in conference rooms. It's actually pretty interesting stuff.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 12:26 p.m.
intrepid said:

I'm curious. Does any of this affect parts for older/racing cars? I'm thinking of racing parts for Ford Kent motors used by formula ford racers, or parts for older lotus race motors?

-chris r.

No.  Not at all. Those are dedicated race cars, and they are not covered by the law.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
3/4/21 12:32 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:
CrustyRedXpress said:
FMB42 said:

"One thing that is clear- it's the manufacturers responsibility that their part is used as intended for this case."

That would be impossible to impose regardless of the product.

No, it's not. Requiring companies that sell products to take some level of responsibility is well established. Grocery stores have to check ID when selling drugs like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or face penalities. Pawn shops get punnished for straw purchases of firearms. Pretty sure restrictions exist for buying large amounts of fertilizer or other explosives as well.

Yes but this isn't a restriction on selling but a restriction on use. Like holding a liquor store accountable for someone of legal age buying alcohol for their little brother. Its not illegal to sell it to the older brother, but its the older brother's fault for giving it to his under age brother. 

If the EPA made sale of non-certified parts illegal for ALL uses, that would put the vendor in full fault. This basically would give the EPA authority for non registered race cars which would effectively kill a large portion of the vehicles in use at racetracks today in my uneducated review of google searches.

To use the liquor license analogy, a seller very well can get pinched for selling to a legal adult if there is reasonable evidence that it is being purchased for someone underage.

 

Kid brother snagging it after older brother brings it home?  The seller would have had no idea.

Kid approaches someone in the parking lot, hands them money, the person comes in tries to buy booze?  That's a nope, and they WILL get nailed even though they were technically selling to someone of legal age. 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 12:32 p.m.

A good side note about why this loophole existed in the first place- there are car enthusiasts that work for the EPA, and have been for probably the entire time they have existed.  Given they are legally required to take public input for every law they pass, probably one of their employees that spend time down at Milan (the drag race that's close to Ann Arbor) asked.  Then someone modeled the motorsports input to know that it's a pretty small contributor if managed well.

As I've pointed out many times over the years, there was EPA representation at the Challenge before, and a car almost had an EPA sticker on it- until logic pointed out the rather obvious.  EPA members regularly race in SE MI with anything.

And *probably* what happened was that too many people complained of being coal rolled- again, that forces them by law to react.  Since anti-tampering has been illegal for many years, they just told the industry that it will start to be more enforced.  That's just a guess, but given the timeline of the popularity of coal rolling- that's how I came up with the idea.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
3/4/21 12:52 p.m.

Already have a victim... Stainless Works.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
3/4/21 1:18 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

What is happening with them?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 1:21 p.m.
Ranger50 said:

Already have a victim... Stainless Works.

They're taking orders. Source for this information?

A number of companies have had judgments against them over the past few years. Most of them involve diesel tuners because they've been some of the most blatant offenders with EGR and cat deletes. This is something that's been going on for a while, it just bubbles up to the top of the public consciousness and everyone gets all wound up.  You can read all the various judgements on the EPA website.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
3/4/21 3:05 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

They are taking orders for the compliant items they make. But the "off road use" parts they have "stopped" taking orders on.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 3:12 p.m.

If that makes them a victim, there are a lot more victims than you realize. That's just being smart, not selling parts that will get them fined.

Of course, if by "stopped" you mean wink wink they totally won't list it but you can still get one if you know a guy, that's not being smart. The EPA is not just looking at the front page of your website and they're not stupid. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
3/4/21 3:25 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Then why not just close up shop? 

(Over handed government comment removed)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/4/21 3:48 p.m.

Because it's possible to sell parts that do not remove emissions equipment. It's possible to make more power without breaking emissions regulations. You can sell all sorts of parts that are not affected by emissions regulations at all. Guess how I know all these things? ;)

People only get upset about clean air when it impacts their ability to do something they want to do. Otherwise, it's viewed as a positive. If you want the PRI and SEMA efforts to treat race cars differently to succeed, join the organizations. Take part in the public comment sessions - the EPA is having trouble getting people to show up - and come up with constructive alternatives. "Let me remove the pollution controls from my vehicle because I want to" is not really a legitimate argument.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
3/4/21 4:26 p.m.

Evan's Tuning in PA as well (part of the Cobb crackdown) and he had to change his business model doing online tuning classes.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
3/4/21 4:43 p.m.

Well non dot legal race tires state  clearly for off road use only aswell. If someone buys slicks etc and ignores that and uses them on the road is the tire manufacturer now liable because someone ignored it and broke the law.

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