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Published on April 01, 2024
EPA Fines Four California Auto Parts Companies Over $52,000 for Selling 'Defeat Devices'Source: alfone, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on California auto parts distributors for their role in polluting the air we breathe. Four companies have been slapped with fines totaling over $52,000 for selling illegal devices that mess with a vehicle's emission controls. The offenders – Domestic Gaskets, Mizumo Auto, PPE Inc., and Performance Parts – have agreed to pay up and put a stop to their shady practices.

According to EPA's recent announcement, these companies were peddling "defeat devices," which allow cars to emit more than they're legally allowed to. EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman didn't mince words. "These settlements represent our commitment to stopping the sale of illegal defeat devices, which worsen harmful pollution and disproportionately impact communities with environmental justice concerns,” she said.

Breaking things down by company, Domestic Gaskets, based in El Monte, will be coughing up $12,415 after being nailed for 635 violations. Not far behind, Mizumo Auto, also in El Monte, is looking at an $11,268 penalty for a whopping 1,609 violations. PPE Inc. from Montclair has to fork over $24,000 for 121 violations, while Performance Parts, yes again from El Monte, is paying $4,588 for 1,055 violations.

These fines might not seem huge, but to put it into perspective, they're a drop in the ocean compared to the health problems defeat devices can cause. When these gadgets bypass emission controls, they give the green light to nitrogen oxides and particulate matter to flood our air. This filth contributes to diseases like bronchitis and asthma, which aren't fair to the communities that have to deal with more pollution than anyone else.

The EPA has made some of the largest manufacturers of these defeat devices promise to stop selling them altogether. It's a move in the right direction, as the agency continues to sniff out anyone trying to bend the rules.