The EPA Doesn't Care What You Do To Your Racecar

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - February 17, 2016

Last week, there was a huge hullabaloo among racing enthusiasts—myself included—when news broke that the EPA was going to make it illegal to tamper with the factory emissions on a car, regardless of it being a race-only car. Today, a new report from Automotive News reminds us to relax because it’s been illegal to do so since 1963, and the EPA has no plans to tighten up its enforcement.

The stampede of angry racers started when the EPA proposed adding to its “Prohibited Acts” section of its light-vehicle regulations that emissions components "must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become nonroad vehicles or engines."

According to the EPA’s press secretary, Laura Allen, this verbiage is purely to clarify that the exemption for off-road vehicles, like ATVs and dirt bikes, will not apply to motor vehicles. SEMA and some enthusiasts, however, still feel that this opens racers and companies that supply these parts to litigation from the EPA.

Despite the uproar, the EPA stands its ground claiming that while the work racers do on their cars is technically counter to the laws of the land, it has no interest in enforcing penalties on basic mods for racing. What it does have an issue with, and what this law will protect against, are companies that create emission-cheating devices like VW installed.

A good example of a device that the EPA did go after before and would go after under this new proposed law was Casper Electronics’ oxygen simulators. These devices tricked the computer into thinking all the emission equipment was functioning, despite being removed or disabled. What’s more, despite Casper marketing them as “off-road only” devices, they were clearly designed for cars driven on public roadways.

If you’re still a little nervous about the possibility of penalties and prefer to get your kicks in a bone-stock barn burner, there are plenty of great deals for the taking. For example, the 210-horsepower 2016 VW GTI has 1.9 percent APR financing available for 60 mo. and $500 in bonus cash. You can also snatch up the 2016 Focus ST with its 252-horsepower four-cylinder for up to a $2,000 trade-in bonus and get financing as low as 0 percent.

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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