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CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
6/10/21 4:59 p.m.

PFISpeed is a tuning shop in CO that just got hit with a 18k fine from an investigation that started last year. It looks like they were fined for selling 37 Hondata 300s which the EPA interpreted to be an emissions defeat device. 

To the best of my knowledge they do mostly Honda stuff for street and strip, not rolling coal. The letter from the EPA is on their instagram (link below) and one part caught my eye.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CP81bYAHL_j/

The first line says, "An authorized representative of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a request for information..."

Who the heck is the "authorized representative" that began the investigation? Local cops?

noddaz
noddaz UberDork
6/10/21 5:22 p.m.

Warning

Within the USA this product is legal only for racing vehicles which may never be used upon a public highway.

Referenced from the Hondata site.  So if they were installing them on street cars, they are liable.

 

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/10/21 5:24 p.m.

Well...is it an emissions defeat device?

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/10/21 5:25 p.m.
Appleseed said:

Well...is it an emissions defeat device?

According to the EPA, anything that allows you to touch the ECU programming is an emissions defeat device.

Unlike the DPF/etc delete kits for diesel trucks, that's not the primary purpose of Hondata.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
6/10/21 5:26 p.m.

Lol-but it's just to stop the pesky coal rollers who are doing emissions deletes by the thousands and significantly contribute to the overall emissions output.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/21 5:30 p.m.

There's currently no legal distinction between street cars and production cars that have been turned into race cars, and a disclaimer on the website is not enough to protect you from the EPA. There have been some good discussions about this on the GRM forum over the past couple of years. Note that "mobile sources" are a priority right now - not just coal rollers, but we can probably thank them for making it so obvious.

Investigations like this can be based on a tip (there's a number to call) or it can come from posting the wrong stuff online. The EPA does watch social media, for example. But in this case, the authorized representative is someone at the EPA who asked PFISpeed for information. It's not the instigator of the complaint, it's the person who acted upon it. Don't read too much into that.

 

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
6/10/21 5:30 p.m.

I'm not really interested in the legality of the Hondata system. We've had that discussion over and over again.

Does anybody know if the EPA is using 3rd parties to start these investigations?

 

EDIT: Keith beat me to it, thanks.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/21 5:33 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Appleseed said:

Well...is it an emissions defeat device?

According to the EPA, anything that allows you to touch the ECU programming is an emissions defeat device.

Unlike the DPF/etc delete kits for diesel trucks, that's not the primary purpose of Hondata.

Anything that can mess with the OBD-II system is regarded as a serious problem. 

And there is no distinction in the eyes of the law between a coal roller and someone who has used a programmer to turn off monitoring of the second O2 sensor.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/10/21 5:46 p.m.

If that's how the EPA sees it, then shops better realize what that means to them. This shouldn't come as a surprise after the last few years.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/10/21 5:53 p.m.
Appleseed said:

If that's how the EPA sees it, then shops better realize what that means to them. This shouldn't come as a surprise after the last few years.

That is how the EPA sees it, and it's why we need the law that SEMA is pushing.  https://www.sema.org/epa-news  The EPA has overstepped their mandate and needs to be reined in.

 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/10/21 5:54 p.m.

Does that mean that an MS (or any tune or after market ECU or piggyback) is illegal on the street?

How does this effect an enthusiast owner of a street driven car?

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/10/21 5:55 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

Does that mean that an MS (or any tune or after market ECU or piggyback) is illegal on the street?

The EPA believes it's illegal on any vehicle built since 1970-whatever, whether it's on the street or not.

 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
6/10/21 5:57 p.m.

MS is small fish compared to all of the LS computer hacking programs out there.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/21 6:05 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

Does that mean that an MS (or any tune or after market ECU or piggyback) is illegal on the street?

The EPA believes it's illegal on any vehicle built since 1970-whatever, whether it's on the street or not.

It's pretty straightforward: if it modifies emissions controls or increases emissions, it is not legal for use in a vehicle built with emissions controls.

Piggybacks can be okay - we have proven that. Reflashes can be okay - most of the reflashes from the big names (and ourselves) have been proven many times. Note that the answer is "can" in both cases.

MS, well, pretty much no. You could probably get an EO for a locked-down MS implementation on a pre-1996 vehicle, but not post-.

Note that the EPA is not going after individuals. They can't. They're going after the suppliers.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/10/21 6:15 p.m.

So who wants to pony up for the legal defense and scientific testing for when they come after a vehicle that's been converted to E85 running MS. 

 

Get the EPA fighting against a renewable (well largely) fuel source that is subsided by the federal government. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/21 6:25 p.m.

It's up to the person who modifies it to prove that it meets the appropriate targets. So the person who has decided to change the car is the one who gets to pony up for the scientific testing. Same procedure that we'd use to get an EO for a turbo kit.

Not the inter-agency bunfight you're looking for, but it's pretty straightforward really. You change it, the burden of proof is on you.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
6/10/21 6:47 p.m.

Should there not be a burden of proof on the agency that they aren't wasting exorbitant amounts of money chasing insignificant contributors to the overall emissions output of automobiles?

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/10/21 7:22 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

It's up to the person who modifies it to prove that it meets the appropriate targets. So the person who has decided to change the car is the one who gets to pony up for the scientific testing. Same procedure that we'd use to get an EO for a turbo kit.

Not the inter-agency bunfight you're looking for, but it's pretty straightforward really. You change it, the burden of proof is on you.

Converted my Bosch CIS equipped kraut wagon to MS and its cleaner than it was with the OE solution.  This is validated by the local emissions testing.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/10/21 7:26 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

It's pretty straightforward: if it modifies emissions controls or increases emissions, it is not legal for use in a vehicle built with emissions controls.

Banning it on vehicles permanently converted to race cars and not used on public highways is not within the EPA's legislative mandate, and yet they're doing it along with the the street cars.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/10/21 7:35 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Appleseed said:

If that's how the EPA sees it, then shops better realize what that means to them. This shouldn't come as a surprise after the last few years.

That is how the EPA sees it, and it's why we need the law that SEMA is pushing.  https://www.sema.org/epa-news  The EPA has overstepped their mandate and needs to be reined in.

 

Since SEMA is asking for Congress to specifically pass a law, I would not think that the EPA is overstepping their mandate.  If that were the case, a simple lawsuit would solve that.  Whereas an act of congress would modify the mandate.

Anti-tampering has been a law for a very long time, and the EPA was knowingly overlooking motorsports, including people who actually work at the EPA.  We've gone over this many times, and people have abused that privilege to the point of forcing the EPA to act.  And it's highly likely that someone is complaining to the EPA to do something- they don't really have the resources to go out on their own without tips.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/21 7:36 p.m.
Stefan (Forum Supporter) said:
Keith Tanner said:

It's up to the person who modifies it to prove that it meets the appropriate targets. So the person who has decided to change the car is the one who gets to pony up for the scientific testing. Same procedure that we'd use to get an EO for a turbo kit.

Not the inter-agency bunfight you're looking for, but it's pretty straightforward really. You change it, the burden of proof is on you.

Converted my Bosch CIS equipped kraut wagon to MS and its cleaner than it was with the OE solution.  This is validated by the local emissions testing.

If it passes the full gamut of tests (including cold start) and it is not user adjustable then you can probably get an EO and sell them. "Local emissions testing" is not a full test, unfortunately. You wouldn't want to pay for a full FTP every time.

The EPA does not care where you use the vehicle. There is no current legislation that defines a "permanently converted race vehicle", it's the same as a street car in that it had to meet certain regulations when built and it still has to meet them. That's what that RPM Act is intended to do, I believe.

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
6/10/21 7:37 p.m.

Just a note that they were selling the Hondatas on their website. They were not installing them or tuning them. They still got fined. 

Also they mention that they had to provide the personal info of every customer that bought one of the 37 units. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/21 7:37 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

They have said in seminars that they are monitoring websites and social media.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/10/21 7:39 p.m.
Slippery said:

Just a note that they were selling the Hondatas on their website. They were not installing them or tuning them. They still got fined. 

Also they mention that they had to provide the personal info of every customer that bought one of the 37 units. 

If they were trying to restrict sales to proven race cars only, the EPA might have been a bit more lenient. Selling them to the general public (including with a "for race cars only" disclaimer) is no different than installing them, really.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
6/10/21 7:41 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Interesting that they had budget since this would still be in the carryover time of the previous administration for that kind of allocation.

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