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EPA Is After Our Race Cars

Old 02-09-16, 08:19 AM
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EPA Is After Our Race Cars


-- SEMA to Oppose Action as Threat to Modified Racecars and Parts Suppliers --

Washington, DC (February 8, 2016) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars. The regulation would also make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal. The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.”

The regulation would impact all vehicle types, including the sports cars, sedans and hatch-backs commonly converted strictly for use at the track. While the Clean Air Act prohibits certain modifications to motor vehicles, it is clear that vehicles built or modified for racing, and not used on the streets, are not the “motor vehicles” that Congress intended to regulate.

“This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”

SEMA submitted comments in opposition to the regulation and met with the EPA to confirm the agency’s intentions. The EPA indicated that the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into racecars and make the sale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles illegal. Working with other affected organizations, including those representing legions of professional and hobbyist racers and fans, SEMA will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.

The EPA has indicated it expects to publish final regulations by July 2016.

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 growth 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 www.sema.org.

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Old 02-09-16, 11:34 AM
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Driverless electric vehicles are the future.

The writing is on the wall
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Old 02-09-16, 09:00 PM
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Since I am also a member of SEMA, I got the same E-mail. This is for real folks! They came to the SEMA show in Las Vegas back in Novm,ber and basically threaten the whole industry. Please go to the website, sign the petition, verify it when you get the E-mail and pass it on to anyone and everyone you know that is a "car guy", a "car girl" or lover of our passion. TIA!!
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Old 02-09-16, 11:23 PM
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Actually law only is for 2018 vehicles from what I read. The sema story was a little knee jerk reaction. Still, I do not see is passing. With all the corporations and small businesses that would suffer from this law. This isn't the first time EPA has tried this. It is an evil entity of the
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Old 02-10-16, 01:49 PM
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Technically is has been illegal from when the law was originally written back in 1970 for someone to take any vehicle with a VIN number that was emission compliant and remove or alter the equipment that made the vehicle emission compliant, even if the vehicle was being used for off road or for competition use. Any aftermarket parts installed on the vehicle with a VIN number that effect the emissions compliance (other than exact replacement parts) that do not have a CARB OE number are illegal - period, no matter how the vehicle is used or whether is has license plates or not. In the eyes of CARB, the EPA and the federal law, there is no such thing as "49 state legal" or "not for use in California" or "for off road use only".

The EPA has defaulted to CARB to determine if the part that can effect the vehicle's emissions compliant is legal or not. If it is legal for use in California then it is 50 states legal. If is is not legal for use in California, then it is not legal for use in any of the 50 states. CARB and the EPA have the authority to enforce emission compliance for off road use vehicles.

What it boils down to by the letter of the law is that if a vehicle had a VIN number assigned to it's chassis by the OE manufacture, then no matter where it is driven or how it is used, the vehicle's emissions compliance must be maintained and those devices installed by the OE manufacture to meet those requirements can not be removed or tampered with - period. Please remember that emission control devises date back to the mid '60's with the first PVC systems and air pumps.

Now think about that for a few minutes. Many of us have cars that we own and use at the track. These car are no longer driven on the street, they do not have license plate(s) nor are they insured for use on the street. They are trailered to and from the track and are only driven at the track. Yet by the letter of the law they still must be in 100% emissions complaint and all the aftermarket parts that effect this emissions complacence must either be exact replacement items or come from the parts manufacture with a CARB EO number.

The only vehicles that are currently exempt from the emissions requirements are either vehicles built prior to the installation of emissions control devices (basically 1964 and older) or are purpose built tube chassis professional race cars. The parts that are installed on these and only these vehicles do not have to have a CARB EO number. But if those parts do not have the CARB EO number, then those same parts that can effect the emission compliance of a vehicle can't be installed on a vehicle that originally came with a VIN number and had emission control devises install by the OE manufacture.

Let's look at something a bit closer to home, say Spec Miata for example. Per the letter of the law, every car is illegal, ever car owner is in violation of the law and worst yet, Mazda though its MazdaSpeed group's product offering is also in violation of the law. Each and every individual part that effects the emission compliance of the vehicle that does not have a CARB EO number is illegal and is subject to a fine up to $37,500 per violation. Several parts on each car, 30-40 cars at each event... Let that sink for a moment - now you are getting the idea.

How about the folks with LS V8 engine swaps? Well the only way to do it legally is to either buy and install the GMPP E-Rod LS-3 engine kit or when you swap in the 1998-02 Camaro/Firebrid drive train, you have to bring everything with it, including the catalytic converters, exhaust manifolds, evaporative fuel system, stock intake and camshaft, etc... Just ask someone in California who has done the swap and gone through the process to be able to legal drive it on the street.

Yes this specific piece of legislation is meant to clarify and reinforce the existing law. What SEMA would like to see here is some common sense being applied to this - basically a revision to the existing law that would be the exact opposite of what is noted in this proposed legislation. They want an exemption to the current law that would allow for a vehicle that has been converted for off road use, that no longer has license plate(s) that is no longer driven on nor insured for use on the street, to be exempt from the emission compliance that it was held to when it was originally manufactured.

Yes SEMA wants all its members to be manufacturing legal parts. It now has a certified emissions lab to help its member get though the CARB testing and approval process so that an EO number can be issued for those parts. At best if everything goes perfectly, it takes about 4-6 months and about $12-15K dollar to get an CARB EO number issued for a performance replacement part or family of parts. There are also some parts that will simple never be able to be made emissions complaint and some parts that currently have CARB EO numbers that should never have been granted one in the first place and if they were resubmitted for approval now, would in the light of today's scrutiny, not be approved.

Yes it is unlikely that CARB and the EPA will show up at sportsman type racing event and start inspecting, impounding cars and fining their owners. But they may start to track down every VIN number to have proof that those vehicles either are still in emissions compliant and legal for use on the street or they are in a salvage yard somewhere or have been "recycled".

This is directed squarely at both the professionals that make and sell the parts and the enthusiasts / hobbyist that use those parts on our vehicles no matter where they are driven. Protect yourself, your hobby and the industry as a whole. Sign the petition and pass it on.
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Old 02-10-16, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TomU View Post
Driverless electric vehicles are the future.

The writing is on the wall
Sure is

Googles self-driving car AI can be the vehicles legal driver, US government says | Ars Technica UK

Last edited by Marf; 02-10-16 at 02:32 PM.
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