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Desert Dirt - Off-Road News - November 2010

Teammate Ii Axle
Jerrod Jones | Writer
Posted November 1, 2010

Desert Dirt

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EPA Voids the Certificate Approving Import of up to 200,000 Small Recreational Vehicles
The EPA has withdrawn its approval of the import and sale of up to 200,000 gas-powered off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). After an extensive investigation, EPA officials have found that four companies have falsified and/or omitted certain emissions records to gain the EPA's "certificate of conformity." This certificate is required for all imported or manufactured vehicles in the United States.

• The original certifications were issued between 2006 and 2007 to U.S. counterparts of major Chinese manufacturers of ATVs and off-road motorcycles.

The offending U.S. companies: Hensim USA, Loncin USA, Peace Industry Group, and Seaseng.

List of affected vehicles:

• The certificates were based off applications filed by MotorScience Enterprise, which was a consultant to all four companies. EPA believes MotorScience Enterprise intentionally submitted false or incomplete emission data.

What this means:
EPA is considering levying significant financial penalties against the companies for violation of the Clean Air Act.

This is the first time EPA has voided certificates for sale and import for these types of vehicles and only the second time the agency has done so for any type of vehicle.

• "Certificates of Conformity" are based on emissions standards of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and total hydrocarbon emissions

NOx emissions produce volatile organic compounds that contribute to the formation of ground level ozone (smog).

For more information about the vehicles and the Certificate of Conformity visit

10 Best Bills of the 2009-2010 Legislative Session
1 California S.B. 232/A.B. 1740

California currently provides the emissions-system certification and model-year designation for specially constructed vehicles, including kit cars. Vehicle owners choose whether a smog-test referee certifies the engine model year or the vehicle model year. To determine model year, inspectors compare the vehicle to those of the era that the vehicle most closely resembles. Only those emission controls applicable to the model year (that can be reasonably accommodated by the vehicle) are required. The DMV provides a new registration to the first 500 specially constructed vehicles per year that meet the criteria. These bills seek to remove the 500-per-year vehicle limitation and allow for an unlimited number of specially constructed vehicle registrations.

2 Washington S.B. 5246 & Michigan S.B. 590
Based on SEMA model legislation aiming to provide for the hobby of collecting and restoring vehicles, these bills prohibit cities or towns from enforcing any restrictions that prevent automobile collectors from pursuing their hobby. Junked, wrecked, or inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property would only require screening from public view.

3 New York A.B. 10698
Under current New York law, a historical motor vehicle is either a vehicle manufactured more than 25 years ago or one which has unique characteristics and determined to be of historical, classic, or exhibition value. This bill creates a $100 one-time fee that would replace the current annual fee of $28.75 for the registration of these vehicles.

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