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U.S. EPA settles with Arizona auto parts manufacturer for selling pollution control bypass equipment

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Margot Perez-Sullivan (

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Gilbert, Ariz.-based Vivid Distributing will pay a $200,000 penalty for violating the Clean Air Act. EPA alleges the company installed, manufactured and sold auto parts known as defeat devices, which bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems.

Between 2014 and 2016, Vivid Distributing sold 443 aftermarket products designed to defeat the emissions control systems of cars and trucks. These systems increase emissions of harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is associated with health problems, including heart and lung ailments like chronic bronchitis and asthma.

“Companies cannot manufacture or sell equipment that defeats emission controls,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “The EPA will continue to ensure vehicle emissions meet established requirements.”

Cars and trucks manufactured today emit far less pollution than older vehicles. This is made possible through careful engine calibrations and the use of filters and catalytic converters in the exhaust system. Aftermarket defeat devices bypass these controls and cause vehicles to emit higher levels of emissions. EPA testing has shown that defeat devices can increase a vehicle’s NOx emissions substantially.

NOx pollution contributes to the formation of harmful smog and soot. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health effects related to smog or soot exposure. Nitrogen dioxide formed by NOx emissions can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, and may also contribute to asthma development in children.

If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emissions controls, tell the EPA by writing to

The EPA also announced it has reached similar agreements with three Southern California companies for selling pollution control bypass equipment.

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