Iowa Auto Repair Shop Fined by EPA for Alleged ‘Defeat Device’ Violations
Published Jan. 30, 2023
Sibley, IA, auto repair shop Turbocharged Performance LLC will pay a $30,000 civil penalty for allegedly tampering with car engines to render emissions controls inoperative, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company sold or installed so-called “defeat devices” on at least 581 occasions.
“The installation of defeat devices or any illegal tampering of auto emissions controls is both a violation of federal law and a significant contributor of harmful air pollution,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “The federal government is serious about holding accountable individuals and companies who profit from these unlawful actions.”
In addition to paying the civil penalty, Turbocharged Performance will be prohibited from selling defeat devices and is required to destroy any remaining defeat devices under the company’s control.
Tampering of car engines, including installation of aftermarket defeat devices intended to bypass manufacturer emissions controls, results in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the U.S.
These problems include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer.
Further, emission controls tampering impedes federal, state and local efforts to implement air quality standards that protect public health.
Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines is a top priority for EPA. The agency identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.