EPA Voids Certificates Approving Import of Up to 200,000 Small Recreational Vehicles
Agency may levy penalties
WASHINGTON –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 all-terrain vehicles.
The agency suspects that tailpipe emissions information was either
incomplete or falsified. This is the first time EPA 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
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 (City of Industry, Calif.), Loncin USA (Hayward, Calif.), Peace Industry Group
(Norcross, Ga.), and Seaseng (Pomona, Calif.). The certificates were
issued based on applications compiled by their consultant, MotorScience
Enterprise. EPA believes MotorScience Enterprise intentionally
submitted false or incomplete emissions information.
Chinese manufacturers are Chongqing Hensim Group Co., Chongqing
Longting Power Equipment Co., Zhejiang Peace Industry and Trade Co.,
and Zhejiang Chisheng Industry and Trading Co.
vehicles imported or manufactured in the United States are required to
have certificates of conformity, which are issued by EPA. To obtain a
certificate, a manufacturer or importer must submit an application that
describes the vehicle and its emission control system,
and provide emissions data that demonstrates that the vehicle will meet
federal emission standards for certain pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and total hydrocarbons. EPA’s alleges that this information was falsified.
Because the manufacturers failed to properly test the emissions from their own products, EPA cannot determine whether
the vehicles meet EPA emission standards.
Without proper emission controls, recreational vehicles can emit
substantially more pollution than allowable under EPA standards.
Volatile organic compounds
and NOx emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, or
smog. In addition, exposure to even low levels of ozone can cause
respiratory problems, and repeated exposure can aggravate pre-existing
The California Air Resources Board, which issued executive orders similar to EPA’s certificates of conformity, has also voided its executive orders covering the same vehicles that were sold in California.
action impacts the companies that manufactured and imported these
vehicles. A consumer who owns a model that was covered by these voided
certificates is not responsible for these companies’ wrongdoing and can
continue to use the vehicle.
More information on the recreational vehicles: http://epa.gov/otaq/recveh.htm