Go Back  Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats. > General Discussion > Insert BS here > Current Events, News, Politics
Reload this Page >

EPA Fines Business Owner $1mil for Selling Aftermarket ECUs

Current Events, News, Politics Keep the politics here.

EPA Fines Business Owner $1mil for Selling Aftermarket ECUs

 
Old 04-13-2017, 09:32 AM
  #1  
Moderator
Thread Starter
iTrader: (12)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 18,742
Total Cats: 2,345
Default EPA Fines Business Owner $1mil for Selling Aftermarket ECUs

Some of you will remember the story I relayed last year about the EPA picking on small tuning businesses along with parts makers like Cobb Tuning. After Trump's election, the EPA kind of went into hiding for awhile (see articles on increases of alcoholism among EPA employees - seriously).

There were fears of budget cuts and many EPA employees weren't sure if they'd be employed in 3-6 months.

Well, apparently they have some confidence back, because they have resumed their assault on the automotive aftermarket. In particular, they have proceeded to come back to Evans Tuning with a ruling and fines that are, well, tyrannical might be too nice a word.

As a refresher, Evans Tuning is a mom and pop operation run by Jeff Evans (the tuner) and his wife. Jeff is a nice guy, talented and well respected in the business. He has a very loyal and happy customer base, and was named one of the top 20 tuning shops in the country.

After Cobb Tuning (and other ecu/flash tool makers) were raided last year, Evans Tuning received a demand letter from the EPA giving him one month to submit all his sales and customer data from the proceeding 3 years. It had to be submitted in an EPA mandated format and it was _not_ optional. After Jeff met the EPA demands he did not hear from them again, until just a couple weeks ago. They asked for a conference call with Jeff and his attorney. The conference call took place today.

In it, Evans was told that the EPA had identified no less than 298 violations of the clean air act, and each violation was subject to a fine of several thousand dollars. The net penalty is somewhere in excess of US$1 million. The vast majority of these penalties were not related to Evans' tuning of various vehicles, but rather because Evans sold products to end customers that could be used to bypass emissions rules. Let me repeat that. Evans sold products, available on the market today, that _could_ be used to bypass emissions controls on vehicles. And furthermore, while Evans Tuning is a corporation, they have personally attached Jeff Evans to the fines, meaning even if Evans Tuning goes bankrupt, he is still liable for them personally.

Hopefully you begin to see both the ridiculousness of such an attack, as well as the danger it represents to any enthusiast. The EPA has now resumed its assertion (belayed last year when the US Congress entertained amending the clean air act to fix this) that the Clean Air Act does not exclude production based race cars from the rules forbidding any alteration of any emissions equipment on the car. Historically the EPA had said that race cars didn't fall under the purview of the law, but changed their interpretation last year.

If the EPA's action against Evans succeeds, they will have, in one fell swoop, made illegal over 90% of the products and services provided by the aftermarket in the United States. Any modification that does not undergo California CARB certification or a US FTP emissions cert, would be de facto illegal for use on any vehicle made after 1971, regardless of the usage or venue of usage for that vehicle. No longer will you be able to custom tune a race car, unless you are willing to spend $10k to custom certify the emissions of that vehicle. And all production based racing series (see World Challenge, for example) would be required to use factory catalysts (which will not last in a race environment of course).

The action against Evans is also capricious in that it singles out someone who simply performed a select set of services on the vehicle. A customer who brings in a race car (converted from a street car) that has removed all emissions equipment, added a turbocharger and a stand alone aftermarket ECU is not prosecuted, but the man who tuned the ECU (and indeed made the vehicle run better) is facing bankruptcy and the ruin of his life and career. Of course, after the EPA is done with tuners, the end users may be next. Look for EPA thugs at your local race track soon.

Hopefully the fight is not over yet. Evans is still dealing with the ramifications and shock of being hit with this incredible penalty. But I suspect he will choose to fight and will start a legal fund which I would encourage everyone to donate to. Every little bit counts as this will probably be a 6 figure litigation expense.

You can also help by calling or faxing your Congressman and asking them to please fasttrack and approve the RPM act of 2017 (Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports). This will at least exempt any race vehicles from the EPA's medusan gaze. Then we can get to work on a more reasonable emissions testing process for modified vehicles so that we can all win (modified cars with assurances that they are clean enough for our roads).

In the meantime, if you know anyone in the automotive aftermarket, warn them to be prepared. And if you want to modify a car, buy an old muscle car and go wild.
The Temple of VTEC - Honda and Acura Enthusiasts Online Forums > General Talk > > Re: The Empire (EPA) Strikes Back

They're coming for DIY, FM, 949, TSE, and teh Brainz next.

Damn big government.
sixshooter is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 09:50 AM
  #2  
Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof
iTrader: (4)
 
psyber_0ptix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,474
Total Cats: 487
Default

Oh man...

I wonder what would happen if DIY just starts labeling their product as an electronics hobby kit.
psyber_0ptix is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 09:54 AM
  #3  
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 76,123
Total Cats: 2,275
Default

they have always been labeled as off road use only.
Braineack is online now  
Old 04-13-2017, 09:58 AM
  #4  
mkturbo.com
iTrader: (24)
 
shuiend's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 14,363
Total Cats: 1,323
Default

Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
they have always been labeled as off road use only.
This makes it seem that the EPA gives no ***** what it is labeled as.
shuiend is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 10:22 AM
  #5  
Boost Czar
iTrader: (61)
 
Braineack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 76,123
Total Cats: 2,275
Default

I went to home depot the other day and bought light bulbs. i intend to use them to grow illegal plants. time to bankrupt home depot!
Braineack is online now  
Old 04-13-2017, 10:24 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 743
Total Cats: 77
Default

We were informed by folks in the know while I was in Colorado last year.
There's a definite road map as to what's going to happen, as well as what folks can do to help prevent them being the next folks to be raided.

Deaf ears. Deaf ears.
SchmoozerJoe is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 10:35 AM
  #7  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Signal Hill, CA
Posts: 255
Total Cats: 12
Default

Interesting, I came across a company that wouldn't sell their products to anyone who lived in CA. I had to buy it from one of their resellers. I wonder what SEMA is going to do since they cater to the aftermarket sector or are they just going to sit back and let it happen?

Any other sources other than the forum?
.one lane is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 10:52 AM
  #8  
VladiTuned
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35,141
Total Cats: 3,141
Default

Thanks for the morning laugh and facepalm.
18psi is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 10:57 AM
  #9  
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Downmented's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 488
Total Cats: 60
Default

Originally Posted by .one lane View Post
Interesting, I came across a company that wouldn't sell their products to anyone who lived in CA. I had to buy it from one of their resellers. I wonder what SEMA is going to do since they cater to the aftermarket sector or are they just going to sit back and let it happen?

Any other sources other than the forum?
SEMA has already been at war with the EPA for a while now, so I do not expect them to just sit back and watch.
Downmented is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:00 AM
  #10  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Montpelier, VT
Posts: 70
Total Cats: 5
Default

Complete nonsense. Sure, he likely won't have to pay the fine but just look at what he's going to have to spend in legal fees. This is the type of stuff that makes businesses fold and cripples people financially.

Gotta love big government for keeping us safe.
bg894 is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:01 AM
  #11  
VladiTuned
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35,141
Total Cats: 3,141
Default

And here I was wondering why Cobb went ballistic about a year ago with all their funky changes to the crapcessport tuning software.
18psi is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:27 AM
  #12  
Moderator
Thread Starter
iTrader: (12)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 18,742
Total Cats: 2,345
Default

They picked him because he was an easier target than some of the bigger companies. He won't be able to afford as much legal representation as the larger outfits. If the EPA wins it in court then they have a precedent to go after the larger companies at will.

The reason they don't go after end users is the cost per case is much higher in staff resources versus the possible return.

It's funny how some of the big government folks on other forums are suddenly worried about individual rights and government overreach. When it is your pet liberty being threatened, suddenly you care about freedom from big government. I guess it's never too late to have a personal growth experience until it is.
sixshooter is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:35 AM
  #13  
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Downmented's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 488
Total Cats: 60
Default

Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
The reason they don't go after end users is the cost per case is much higher in staff resources versus the possible return.

It's funny how some of the big government folks on other forums are suddenly worried about individual rights and government overreach. When it is your pet liberty being threatened, suddenly you care about freedom from big government. I guess it's never too late to have a personal growth experience until it is.
Although I agree that this is a bit petty for the EPA to be getting their hands into all of this. I don't see how this particular situation is an infringement on individual rights. We all purchase these parts knowing they are specifically "for off road use only" and that the reason for that is they are not up to emissions standards and the tuning software allows us to manipulate it all in a fashion that works. We all do it knowing that its realistically illegal to use these parts other than for their intended use. Granted, that has not, and will not stop us then or moving forward.
Downmented is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:40 AM
  #14  
VladiTuned
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35,141
Total Cats: 3,141
Default

Except the part where they seem to be going after "offroad use" cars too, which would make race cars fair game for them to harass as well.
18psi is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:43 AM
  #15  
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 6,168
Total Cats: 654
Default

I wonder about the self-incrimination and lack of Miranda rights here.

That guy needs to start a crowd-funding legal defense fund so I can contribute.
hornetball is online now  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:50 AM
  #16  
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Downmented's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 488
Total Cats: 60
Default

Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Except the part where they seem to be going after "offroad use" cars too, which would make race cars fair game for them to harass as well.
The EPA already has gone after racecars-
gizmodo-default
Downmented is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 06:06 PM
  #17  
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,455
Total Cats: 81
Default

Enforcement of administrative law (bureaucrats making up laws), is THE number one way that many Americans are getting their freedom infringed.
You need a permit to build a shed in your backyard, you can't braid hair without a license, or short-term rent out a room (in some cities).

And did you know the EPA has its own SWAT team?
JasonC SBB is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 06:26 PM
  #18  
VladiTuned
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 35,141
Total Cats: 3,141
Default

EPA came into my house, disrespected my famiry.
18psi is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 06:38 PM
  #19  
SADFab Destructive Testing Engineer
iTrader: (5)
 
aidandj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Beaverton, USA
Posts: 18,477
Total Cats: 1,628
Default

Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
EPA came into my house, disrespected my famiry.
I never knock'd on nobody!
aidandj is offline  
Old 04-13-2017, 07:09 PM
  #20  
Moderator
Thread Starter
iTrader: (12)
 
sixshooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 18,742
Total Cats: 2,345
Default

Originally Posted by aidandj View Post
I never knock'd on nobody!
sixshooter is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.