Some of you will remember the story I relayed last year about the EPA picking on small tuning businesses along with parts makers like Cobb Tuning. After Trump's election, the EPA kind of went into hiding for awhile (see articles on increases of alcoholism among EPA employees - seriously).
There were fears of budget cuts and many EPA employees weren't sure if they'd be employed in 3-6 months.
Well, apparently they have some confidence back, because they have resumed their assault on the automotive aftermarket. In particular, they have proceeded to come back to Evans Tuning with a ruling and fines that are, well, tyrannical might be too nice a word.
As a refresher, Evans Tuning is a mom and pop operation run by Jeff Evans (the tuner) and his wife. Jeff is a nice guy, talented and well respected in the business. He has a very loyal and happy customer base, and was named one of the top 20 tuning shops in the country.
After Cobb Tuning (and other ecu/flash tool makers) were raided last year, Evans Tuning received a demand letter from the EPA giving him one month to submit all his sales and customer data from the proceeding 3 years. It had to be submitted in an EPA mandated format and it was _not_ optional. After Jeff met the EPA demands he did not hear from them again, until just a couple weeks ago. They asked for a conference call with Jeff and his attorney. The conference call took place today.
Trump hat uns alle verarscht.
In it, Evans was told that the EPA had identified no less than 298 violations of the clean air act, and each violation was subject to a fine of several thousand dollars. The net penalty is somewhere in excess of US$1 million. The vast majority of these penalties were not related to Evans' tuning of various vehicles, but rather because Evans sold products to end customers that could be used to bypass emissions rules. Let me repeat that. Evans sold products, available on the market today, that _could_ be used to bypass emissions controls on vehicles. And furthermore, while Evans Tuning is a corporation, they have personally attached Jeff Evans to the fines, meaning even if Evans Tuning goes bankrupt, he is still liable for them personally.
Hopefully you begin to see both the ridiculousness of such an attack, as well as the danger it represents to any enthusiast. The EPA has now resumed its assertion (belayed last year when the US Congress entertained amending the clean air act to fix this) that the Clean Air Act does not exclude production based race cars from the rules forbidding any alteration of any emissions equipment on the car. Historically the EPA had said that race cars didn't fall under the purview of the law, but changed their interpretation last year.
Ja, du ohne Führerschein, dafür mit Behindertenausweis findest das natürlich lustig, ist schon klar.