On Thursday, the EPA announced that Arizona-based Vivid Distributing will pay a $200,000 penalty for violating the Clean Air Act. EPA alleges the company, located in Gilbert, installed, manufactured and sold auto parts known as defeat devices, which bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems.
Between 2014 and 2016, Vivid Distributing sold 443 aftermarket products designed to defeat the emissions control systems of cars and trucks. These systems increase emissions of harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is associated with health problems, including heart and lung ailments like chronic bronchitis and asthma.
“Companies cannot manufacture or sell equipment that defeats emission controls,” said EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “The EPA will continue to ensure vehicle emissions meet established requirements.”
Cars and trucks manufactured today emit far less pollution than older vehicles. This is made possible through careful engine calibrations and the use of filters and catalytic converters in the exhaust system. Aftermarket defeat devices bypass these controls and cause vehicles to emit higher levels of emissions. EPA testing has shown that defeat devices can increase a vehicle’s NOx emissions substantially.
If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emissions controls, tell the EPA by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
The EPA also announced it has reached similar agreements with three Southern California companies for selling pollution control bypass equipment.