Sorry, Enthusiasts: The EPA Doesn’t Care If You Want To Go Racing


Is this the end for road-going race cars?

Many auto enthusiasts have a simple goal: To save up enough cash to buy an awesome car that can tear up the track. Sometimes that requires aftermarket parts. Unfortunately it looks like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to stop all of that. According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the EPA is looking to make it illegal for anyone to modify a road-going vehicle for track use and may even prohibit the sales of aftermarket parts that alter emission control devices.

Under the EPA’s proposal, titled Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards For Medium-and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles, is a segment that would make modifying a vehicle with regard to its emission controls illegal. The exact wording on the official EPA document is as follows: “EPA is proposing in 40 CFR 1037.601(a)(3)to clarify that the Clean Act Air does not allow any person to disable, remove, or render inoperative (i.e., tamper with) emission controls on a certified motor vehicle for purposes of competition.” SEMA met with the EPA to discuss what the agency’s exact intentions were and ended up releasing this statement.

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“The EPA indicated that the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into racecars and make the scale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles illegal.” The aftermarket parts association also added, “SEMA will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.” Race cars have not always been held to the same standard as road-going vehicles as far as emissions are concerned, which creates problems when consumers modify their cars for competition. The EPA is expected to publish its final regulations in July.

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