EPA Settles Two Cases With Car Shops For Selling Pollution Control Bypassing Devices

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two settlements regarding Clean Air Act allegations against Delaware vehicle repair shops. The defendants, Delaware Speed and Custom LLC in Milton, and Bo Daddy’s Diesel and Auto Repair in Seaford, were accused of selling illegal “defeat devices” allowing vehicles to bypass air pollution control systems. 

According to the EPA’s press release, the shops were “involved in the illegal sale and installation of aftermarket devices that were designed to defeat the emissions control systems of heavy-duty diesel engines.” 

The EPA claimed that this modification to vehicles contributes to pollution harming public health and nullifying efforts from the EPA and other state and local agencies to reach better air quality levels. “Today’s vehicles emit far less pollution than vehicles of the past. This is made possible by careful engine calibrations, and the use of filters and catalysts in the exhaust system. Aftermarket defeat devices undo this progress and pollute the air we breathe. EPA testing has shown that a truck’s emissions increase drastically (tens or hundreds of times, depending on the pollutant) when its emissions controls are removed,” the EPA said. 

Delaware Speed and Custom reportedly paid a $12,529 penalty and Bo Daddy’s paid a $6,000 penalty. According to the press release, the penalty amount is determined on the “seriousness and duration of the violations” along with the business size and compliance history. Part of the settlement also includes future compliance with EPA requirements. 

This legal action is part of a broader EPA effort known as the National Compliance Initiative for Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines. According to the EPA’s website, it resolved 31 civil enforcement cases in 2020 through the initiative, more than any previous year, and continues to stop the manufacture and sale of defeat devices. Through the EPA initiative, it has also joined partnerships, provided training for states, and prevented 18.2 million pounds of emissions.