EPA halts import of up to 200,000 vehicles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew its approval of the import and sale of up to 200,000 gas-powered, off-road motorcycles and ATVs, the agency reported in a press release.

The EPA said it suspects tailpipe emissions information was either incomplete or falsified. This is the first time the agency has voided certificates of conformity for these types of vehicles and only the second time the agency has done so for any type of vehicle.

EPA is considering an enforcement action under the Clean Air Act, which could lead to significant financial penalties against the businesses that manufactured or imported these types of recreational vehicles.

As a result of a lengthy investigation, EPA is alleging that the applications for the certificates contained false or incomplete information. EPA issued the certificates in 2006 and 2007 to the U.S. counterparts of four of China’s largest manufacturers of these types of vehicles: Hensim USA, Loncin USA, Peace Industry Group and Seaseng. The certificates were issued based on applications compiled by their consultant, MotorScience Enterprise. EPA believes MotorScience Enterprise intentionally submitted false or incomplete emissions information.

The California Air Resources Board, which issued executive orders similar to EPA’s certificates of conformity, also has voided its executive orders covering the same vehicles that were sold in California.

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