EPA Pushes to Prohibit Conversion of Vehicles into Racecars


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We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the oligarchs in Washington DC are seeking new ways to leech your freedom to pursue happiness (though ancillary governing bodies) yet again. It was shortly after the General Presidential Election in 2012 that the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that it had selected conservative political groups applying for tax-exemption statuses for intensive scrutiny based on their names or political themes. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been revealed as singling out – and consequently prohibiting – the sale of certain products used to convert standard street use automobiles into race cars.

Called the “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2,” would seek to prohibit the manufacture and sale of aftermarket performance parts that would effectively remove or disable emissions equipment from any vehicle that was originally intended as a highway vehicle. SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting noted, “This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles. Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”

SEMA’s original release reads as follows:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars. The regulation would also make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal. The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.” 

The regulation would impact all vehicle types, including the sports cars, sedans and hatch-backs commonly converted strictly for use at the track. While the Clean Air Act prohibits certain modifications to motor vehicles, it is clear that vehicles built or modified for racing, and not used on the streets, are not the “motor vehicles” that Congress intended to regulate.

“This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.” 

SEMA submitted comments in opposition to the regulation and met with the EPA to confirm the agency’s intentions. The EPA indicated that the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into racecars and make the sale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles illegal.  Working with other affected organizations, including those representing legions of professional and hobbyist racers and fans, SEMA will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary. 

The EPA has indicated it expects to publish final regulations by July 2016.

Click this link to sign the petition to tell the EPA to withdraw its proposal to prohibit the conversion of vehicles into racecars.

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching Mopar Connection Magazine. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story. He's also the co-author of "The Chrysler B-Body Restoration Guide."

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