Overreach Edition – Non Street Legal Vehicles and the Aftermarket Parts Industry

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THE CAR COACH REPORTS:

February 12, 2016

 

Overreach Edition – Non Street Legal Vehicles and the Aftermarket Parts Industry

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First, don’t panic. The racing world is not ending. Be aware though—if you aren’t already—that the EPA is “clarifying” a rule in its behemoth “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles–Phase 2” policy that could adversely affect passenger cars converted into race cars (aka non street legal vehicles) and the aftermarket parts industry.

The EPA has stated in the new “clarified” rule that modifying emissions control equipment on passenger cars turned into track-only cars has always been illegal. So these cars are not exempt from the “Clean Air Act”. (read as required compliance or punishment for violation of said act)

To be fair, I don’t really see law enforcement officials raiding a track and shutting down the “illegally modified” vehicles. However, I wouldn’t necessarily put it past the EPA to make an example of someone (think Ghostbusters for humor or everyday government overreach, in all seriousness). The real danger posed is to the aftermarket parts industry. SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) is one of the loudest opponents of this rule clarification, and rightfully so. The aftermarket parts industry they represent is worth about $36 billion. An entire industry deemed illegal just like that. All right, maybe not just like that but definitely by 2018.

SEMA maintains that non street legal vehicles have been exempted and that this new “clarification” is more than “clarification” but active, destructive overreach. Once you call something illegal, it is illegal and then supporting an illegal activity can be a punishable crime. More importantly, it can shut down your entire business.

The EPA says it’s concerned mainly with non street legal vehicles that are driving without emissions controls where only street legal cars with proper emissions controls are allowed. The EPA also says it’s concerned with the companies that manufacture parts that would allow any vehicles to manipulate emissions controls. Oh really? Is this concern because of the VAST MAJORITY of vehicles on tracks being gross polluters? Or is this “clarification” because of the sheer volume of non street legal vehicles being driven off track using defeated emissions controls? Is that really the logic?! If so, I want numbers to justify this. Seriously, I do.

With all of the industrial pollutants, some of which come from green car producing power plants and lithium mining for EV batteries, why has the EPA decided that non street legal race cars without emissions controls or defeated emissions controls are a huge problem requiring correction? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

But what do you think?

Post your comments at http://www.laurenfix.com/car-coach-report/

 

 

My Final Thought:

Remember Micro machines? This car isn’t much bigger: http://petrolicious.com/size-matters-the-peel-p50-is-still-the-ultimate-microcar

The Peel p50 is the smallest microcar around. If you want one, Peel Engineering sells modern models.

It’s cute, but I think I will stick with something a bit bigger.

Post your comments at http://www.laurenfix.com/car-coach-report/

Love Your Car! See you next week!

–Lauren Fix

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