eBay Bans Emissions Defeat And Bypass Component Listings

Tuning / 5 Comments

You'll no longer be able to purchase certain exhaust systems and throttle response controllers from the online marketplace.

E-commerce company eBay has quietly banned the listing of aftermarket parts that are not compliant with emissions regulations.

In a Facebook post first discovered by Road & Track, one individual explained how his attempt to list a Hondata tuner on the popular site backfired. The listing was rejected, and the user was met with a message that read, "eBay is not currently allowing any tuners, regardless of functionality, in order to ensure compliance with our policy prohibiting defeat devices. Please do not relist."

The online marketplace stipulates in its emissions bypass policy that defeat and bypass emission-control systems are prohibited, regardless of whether it's combined with other hardware or software. Examples include throttle response controllers, race and off-road exhaust systems, devices to bypass oxygen sensors, and more.

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eBay confirmed this decision via a statement to Road & Track. "eBay prohibits the sale of items that bypass, defeat or render inoperative emission-control systems under the Defeat Device Policy and an EPA Enforcement Alert," said a spokesperson.

The EPA Enforcement Alert clearly states that, under the Clean Air Act, individuals are banned from "manufacturing, offering for sale, selling, or installing any part or component that bypasses or defeats emissions controls." As the publication points out, it's possible that eBay may have been penalized for its role in the sale of these components, forcing the company to enforce a ban on the listing of these parts.

As per the EPA, the violation of this act carries a maximum fine of $4,819 per device. As you can imagine, that would quickly add up to a crippling figure.

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It's clear to see that eBay has enforced this new ban to avoid any costly punishment. The EPA has said that regulated entities who "promptly disclose [and] expeditiously correct ... may be eligible for a reduction or elimination of any civil penalties that otherwise might apply."

While this may come as a disappointment to Dodge Challenger owners hoping to extract even more power from their V8s, eBay's ban on the sale of emissions-defeating devices is the best way to ensure it doesn't land in hot water.

For the tuning community, things are only going to get worse. The latest S650-generation Mustang, for example, utilizes Ford's Fully-Networked Vehicle (FNV) electrical architecture that makes it "much more difficult" to tune. To keep the new muscle car safe from cybersecurity threats, components such as the ECU have been encrypted.

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Then again, Nissan said the GT-R was "untunable" when it debuted in 2007 and motivated tuners eventually managed to crack the code. Technology has come a long way since, and we're guessing the Mustang sports a far more sophisticated system.

Elsewhere, the European Union hopes to go one step further and effectively bring engine tuning to an end. The new Euro 7 proposal aims to persuade automakers to introduce diagnostic systems that can report increased emissions. This would essentially bring an end to aftermarket chips and software changes.

Sadly, it will not get better for those who crave more power. The advent of electrification will make it even more challenging to modify cars, meaning those who love to fettle will have to stick to older vehicles unburdened by technology.

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Source Credits: Road & Track

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