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Old 02-11-2016, 02:12 AM   #81
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^ You're getting off-topic more than Johnny is..

LeMons just sent out an email:

Quote:
LEGAL BRIEF ON PROPOSED EPA "LeMONS LAW"

San Francisco--Yesterday, the car-guy Web went nuts over a rumored proposal to extend EPA regs onto racecars, aka the "LeMons Law." (Or, if you're under 30 and underpaid, #LeMonsLaw.)

LeMons sent out a spam and hired Dallas attorney Pat Mulry to work up a legal brief on the subject so that someone, at least, might actually know what the hell they were talking about. The full text of Pat's brief is here. It's definitely worth reading.

In short, EPA is jndeed proposing to move all production-derived race cars from their current status (essentially unregulated) into the same status as street cars (factory-original powertrains only).

The proposal is silent on enforcement, but the penalties listed--$3750 per instance for individuals who modify, $37,500 per instance for dealers or manufacturers who modify--are scary enough to pretty thoroughly chill the aftermarket and race-prep sectors.

We'll work with other groups as the racing industry coordinates a response, most likely involving you marching through the streets waving pitchforks. Or maybe writing letters. Let's just see how that part goes.
.
John "Jay" Lamm, Chief Perpetrator
24 HOURS OF LeMONS
I recommend reading through that link entirely.
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:29 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

I've never understood the whole "off road exemption" myself, and now I understand why. It's because said exemption is a fiction. (I never bothered to do the actual research until now.)

Well, my understanding has always been that when you look at raw numbers, the number of vehicles classified as "off-road" compared to regular licensed on-road passenger vehicles is tiny. So overall, it doesn't really matter if those vehicles are completely emissions compliant, or running straight pipes - their overall contributions to the total emissions output aren't worth worrying about. And they aren't, and should continue to be ignored.

The current wording as described is problematic and needs to be fixed.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:03 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by OGRacing View Post
legally is the word i used
If you think your friend "legally" imported an R34, I don't think you know what the definition of "legally" is.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:15 AM   #84
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Even the few R34s that *are* here legally were indeed imported illegally, and were made legal to own after the fact.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:33 AM   #85
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I like this lawyer

"While troublesome for some autosport enthusiasts of heavy-duty
vehicles and those who like to “roll coal” on their competition brodozers, it is likely that alone,
this would not be problematic for most motorsport activities."

Reading the whole thing, its clear that they are saying: once a "motor vehicle" always a "motor vehicle" and thus under our jurisdiction.

Would be pretty funny if it turns into the gun world equivalent of AR-15 lowers. What is a miata? The shell? The engine block? So an exocet would be free of original sin? Or machine a new block 80%, leave a few holes for the user to drill and then install oem miata parts on it like folks do with AR lowers? It's comical to consder.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:39 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Ziggo View Post
Would be pretty funny if it turns into the gun world equivalent of AR-15 lowers. What is a miata? The shell? The engine block? So an exocet would be free of original sin?
So far as I understand the law in most (all?) US States and the Fed, the "soul" of a motor vehicle is enshrined within the VIN. Anything which carries that mark is a part of the original vehicle, and anything which does not, is not.

For motorcycles, this is the frame. So the custom choppers created by various rednecks with limited welding ability are "new" vehicles even if the carry the complete powertrain of a wrecked Harley donor. And a "kit car" such as an Exocet or a Westie is a "new" vehicle regardless of the powerplant which it carries. The same applies to scratch-built race cars.

Engines and transmissions typically carry unique identifying numbers separate from the VIN number of the host vehicle, and are thus not an inseparable part of it.

And +1 for Brodozer.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:09 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
If you think your friend "legally" imported an R34, I don't think you know what the definition of "legally" is.
what i meant was he paid a company to import the car and have it registered as a gt-r. as opposed to using the vin off a 240. He had it titled as a gt-r, cleared threw customs, cleared threw the state. i didn't look into any other specifics of the deal. i personally lost interest of importing one when i saw how excited he was about going threw a drive-thew by himself.


we are getting off topic. If the community wants to start a thread dedicated to my spelling mistakes i would gladly contribute.





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Originally Posted by ThePass View Post
^ You're getting off-topic more than Johnny is..

LeMons just sent out an email:



I recommend reading through that link entirely.
sorry. :(
yes pat's link explains everything perfectly. he even covers the safety aspect of not being able to use a fuel cell.
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EPA Seeks to Prohibit Conversion of Vehicles Into Racecars-80-fc_550x550_black_u1_adb437bab5d7014a8869ef7aee9e59d36d7ddaca.jpg  
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:32 AM   #88
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*through
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:44 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OGRacing View Post
what i meant was he paid a company to import the car and have it registered as a gt-r. as opposed to using the vin off a 240. He had it titled as a gt-r, cleared threw customs, cleared threw the state. i didn't look into any other specifics of the deal. i personally lost interest of importing one when i saw how excited he was about going threw a drive-thew by himself.


we are getting off topic. If the community wants to start a thread dedicated to my spelling mistakes i would gladly contribute.
Wanna play a game of catch?

Also, it seems like your friend didn't legally import an R34 seeing how the 25 year grey market rules are extremely explicit.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:56 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by ThePass View Post
I recommend reading through that link entirely.
Excellent memorandum.

EPA's regulatory intentions are clear and contrary to the enabling law. This is a large and unauthorized change for non-registered track cars.

Of course, enforcement would be sporadic or minimal and would focus on manufacturers/large shops. Pragmatically, EPA only has so much budget. But the point is that they are grabbing the power to do this, and that power grab MUST be resisted by the free citizens it could affect. That's us.

The cost/benefit impact of this proposed regulatory change is incomprehensibly upside-down.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:04 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
The cost/benefit impact of this proposed regulatory change is incomprehensibly upside-down.
This is what I keep coming back to. Sure, enforcement may be sporadic, as you noted. But it's not just about whether the EPA actually shows up at your shop and tells you to lock the doors and go home.

Can DIYAutotune afford to continue a business model based entirely around a product that the EPA says is illegal? It's fine to say that the EPA probably won't enforce this very strongly, but enforcement is only part of the question. The threat of enforcement means that companies can't risk the possible penalties and will have to adjust.

This means no DIYAutotune, no MSLabs, no BEGi, and no engine parts from FM, or 949, or Goodwin, or Trackspeed.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:39 PM   #92
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Jay Lamm's lawyer's memo explains it as only a lawyer can. The EPA thinks the rule was X and is trying to "clarify" to make it X, when the rule is actually Y (or A, or a number, or not even a Roman numeral at all).

Not cool, EPA.

Letters should be written, but someone with ~3 more years of law school than I have should probably be writing them for us to sign.

I am signing up for SEMA today.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:43 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Excellent memorandum.

EPA's regulatory intentions are clear and contrary to the enabling law. This is a large and unauthorized change for non-registered track cars.
I disagree.

From the point of view of a lawyer, an opinion expressed by the chairman of the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee as to the applicability of a certain law is not binding, and does not actually codify or change the applicability of said law. Only judges can change the law based upon their opinions.

Thus, a strict interpretation of the 1965 Clean Air Act is that its provisions do, and have always, applied to all motor vehicles which were originally "designed for transporting persons or property on a street or highway."

And this includes all race cars which are based upon a vehicle which was originally designed for on-road use, manufactured with emissions controls, sold by a car dealer as a complete car, etc.

Or, put another way, a spoon doesn't stop being a spoon simply because you're using it to pry a nail out of a board. It was still designed and sold with the intention of being used as an eating utensil.



Do I agree that this is necessary and proper? No. The number of race cars active at any given time is so unbelievably minuscule as compared to the total number of vehicles on the road, that the potential environmental gains that would be had from crushing every single one of them would be immeasurable.

But common sense isn't what's at issue here, it's the law. And the law, in this case, is clear. Nothing has been changed, nothing has been added. The EPA has simply said "Look, we've been ignoring you guys' flagrant transgressions of this law for decades, but we're letting you know that we're going to stop turning a blind eye now, because we're a bunch of bureaucratic ******** and we need to look like we're doing our job."
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Letters should be written, but someone with ~3 more years of law school than I have should probably be writing them for us to sign.
I am one of those people. Vanderbilt University School of Law 1996. Practiced for several years at major law firms. Currently deal with the FAA almost every day. I only say the above for Joe's benefit, because . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I disagree.

From the point of view of a lawyer, an opinion expressed by the chairman of the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee as to the applicability of a certain law is not binding, and does not actually codify or change the applicability of said law. Only judges can change the law based upon their opinions.
This is not true. Legislative intent is almost always used to interpret what a law means, because issues like these come up constantly. That is why those proceedings are recorded for posterity and made public record. Those discussions are considered by judges when making legal interpretations, and would be so used in this case.

What that committee discussion shows is that this issue came up before when the CAA was being considered -- and the interpretation presented to that committee made it clear that the 'ol boys in Alabama could keep racing their Chevrolets, Fords and MOPARs.

Now, whether that interpretation wins the day remains to be seen, but it was an on-point interpretation that legislators relied upon when casting votes for the CAA in 1970. To have an administrative agency unilaterally attempt to change that meaning with language cleverly hidden deep within the bowels of the Federal Register is fundamentally unfair -- it just reeks.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:51 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
I am signing up for SEMA today.
I will also be signing up for SEMA, just to have someone lobbying on my behalf.

If we can't trust the EPA to even make sure we have clean lead free drinking water, who the **** wants them anywhere near our race cars.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:24 PM   #96
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I acknowledge that I am speaking to a practicing attorney, and that while I have had some legal education, I am not a lawyer, I have not passed the bar in any state, and I am not licensed or qualified to offer legal advice. That said;

Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
This is not true. Legislative intent is almost always used to interpret what a law means, because issues like these come up constantly. That is why those proceedings are recorded for posterity and made public record. Those discussions are considered by judges when making legal interpretations, and would be so used in this case.
And when the matter appears in court, I do hope that the judge will take said conversation into account when deciding how the CAA applies with regard to production cars converted for use in auto racing.

But until that happens, the state will simply point to USC Title 42, Chapter 85, § 7522, Subsection A, which reads:

The following acts and the causing thereof are prohibited—
(...)
(3)
(A) for any person to remove or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter prior to its sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser, or for any person knowingly to remove or render inoperative any such device or element of design after such sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser; or
(B) for any person to manufacture or sell, or offer to sell, or install, any part or component intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, where a principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter, and where the person knows or should know that such part or component is being offered for sale or installed for such use or put to such use;


And they will then point to Subsection B, entitled "Exemptions", and point out that no exemption is made to Article 3 with regard to motor vehicles which are used for racing or recreational purposes.

And, from a standpoint of pure paper law, they'd be correct. (I haven't found any case law in which this has been tested.)


To so-called Off Highway Exemption is a myth. It's a widespread and long-standing one which reflects a historically permissive attitude on the part of regulators with regard to the motorsport industry, and I suppose one could make an argument that that, in addition to the recorded statements of Rep. Staggers, makes it a de-facto part of the common law. In fact, I hope that someone makes this argument, because I'm excruciatingly curious to see how the court rules in that case. But until it happens, the law at present remains unchanged.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:51 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
And when the matter appears in court, I do hope that the judge will take said conversation into account when deciding how the CAA applies with regard to production cars converted for use in auto racing.
And I would argue you missed the entire point of his statement...

Fixed to highlight the operative clause:

Quote:
USC Title 42, Chapter 85, § 7522, Subsection A, which reads:

The following acts and the causing thereof are prohibited—
(...)
(3)
(A) for any person to remove or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter prior to its sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser, or for any person knowingly to remove or render inoperative any such device or element of design after such sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser; or
(B) for any person to manufacture or sell, or offer to sell, or install, any part or component intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, where a principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under this subchapter, and where the person knows or should know that such part or component is being offered for sale or installed for such use or put to such use;

Argument being, that legislative intent was that the law never applied nor was intended to apply to competition (off-highway) vehicles, thus they are not regulated under this law. It flat doesn't apply, so no stated exemption is required.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:11 PM   #98
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Joe, your argument hinges on the definition of motor vehicle. The legal definition of "motor vehicle" is found here*:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/85.1703

Quote:
§ 85.1703 Definition of motor vehicle.
(a) For the purpose of determining the applicability of section 216(2), a vehicle which is self-propelled and capable of transporting a person or persons or any material or any permanently or temporarily affixed apparatus shall be deemed a motor vehicle, unless any one or more of the criteria set forth below are met, in which case the vehicle shall be deemed not a motor vehicle:
(1) The vehicle cannot exceed a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour over level, paved surfaces; or
(2) The vehicle lacks features customarily associated with safe and practical street or highway use, such features including, but not being limited to, a reverse gear (except in the case of motorcycles), a differential, or safety features required by state and/or federal law; or
(3) The vehicle exhibits features which render its use on a street or highway unsafe, impractical, or highly unlikely, such features including, but not being limited to, tracked road contact means, an inordinate size, or features ordinarily associated with military combat or tactical vehicles such as armor and/or weaponry.
(2) definitely applies to race cars which no longer retain DOT-legal seatbelts. The argument would be that any vehicle used strictly for competition is no longer a "motor vehicle" under federal law. The EPA is attempting to argue that a "thing" that starts life as a motor vehicle must always remain a motor vehicle, when it's clear from the written law, and from the intent of the law, that the CAA was never meant to apply to off-highway vehicles.

(* I think. The reference to 216(2) is a reference to the Clean Air Act, but I wasn't quickly able to find the text of that section.)
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:24 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Roda View Post
And I would argue you missed the entire point of his statement...

Fixed to highlight the operative clause:

(operative clause highlighted)

Argument being, that legislative intent was that the law never applied nor was intended to apply to competition (off-highway) vehicles, thus they are not regulated under this law. It flat doesn't apply, so no stated exemption is required.
No, I got that.

The point which the EPA is making concerns vehicles which were in compliance with the regulations at the time of their manufacture and sale, and were subsequently modified for racing use. It doesn't matter that such modifications made the vehicles non-compliant with the points which Savington notes above. The key point in the EPA's argument is simply that if you take a vehicle which is governed by EPA regulations, and then modify it in such a way that it becomes noncompliant, this does not make it exempt from EPA regulations.

If what you're asserting were the case, then you'd be able to avoid smog testing simply by removing the airbag from your car.


Now, I agree with what you're saying with regard to legislative intent. And as to hornetball's point, I do hope that when this is tested in the courts, this section is found not to apply to vehicles which have been modified in such a way that they are suitable only for racing use. But as it stands right now, the EPA would appear to be correct in their assertion that the CAA does not cease to apply to a 1994 Miata simply because you've installed a roll-cage, a racing seat, and Hoosiers.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:43 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Joe, your argument hinges on the definition of motor vehicle. The legal definition of "motor vehicle" is found here*:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/85.1703

(* I think. The reference to 216(2) is a reference to the Clean Air Act, but I wasn't quickly able to find the text of that section.)
Nope, sorry. Different section.

The CAA is Title 42, Section 7522.

For the purpose of the CAA, a Motor Vehicle is defined within Title 42, at § 7550. It states:
(2) The term “motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle designed for transporting persons or property on a street or highway.
The key word here is "designed." It doesn't matter what changes or modifications are made to the vehicle by the purchaser or subsequent owners; the fact that the vehicle was originally designed (and certified) for highway use means that the provisions of § 7522 continue to apply to it regardless of what application it is used for. This is the same sentence that I quoted (without providing a citation, for which I apologize) in post #93.


The EPA employs a lot of lawyers. And while they may be misguided ********, they are not dumb.
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