EPA Sues Harley for $15 Million…better yet, the Aftermarket “Scam” is out of the bag!!!

Harley to pay $15 million to settle with EPA

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-harley-davidson-lawsuit-idUSKCN10T1JP

http://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2016/08/18/harley-davidson-fined-12-million-epa/88945994/

Excerpts: “Harley-Davidson Inc. has agreed to spend $15 million to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint over engine devices the EPA said caused excessive pollution.”

“Harley did not admit liability, and said in a statement it disagrees with the government’s position arguing that the devices were designed and sold to be used in “competition only.””

“The company said the settlement represents “a good faith compromise with the EPA on areas of law we interpret differently, particularly EPA’s assertion that it is illegal for anyone to modify a certified vehicle even if it will be used solely for off-road/closed-course competition.””

“An EPA spokesman said that the vast majority of these tuners were used on public roads.”


So the United States Environmental Protection Agency finally decides to enforce the law and sues Harley Davidson for $15 MILLION DOLLARS over their “super tuners” that were/ are not compliant with EPA air quality mandates.  What’s more interesting and relevant than the lawsuit is the fact that the EPA, after decades of silence and apathy, has acknowledged the motorcycle aftermarket parts “scam” that has gone un-policed and unregulated for many decades.

You see, the motorcycle aftermarket industry is blatantly guilty of criminal conspiratorial conduct.  What?  Yes, the motorcycle aftermarket industry has, for many years, manufactured motorcycle exhaust mechanisms that are in stark violation of EPA noise and particulate emissions standards for street motorcycles, yet these companies have thumbed their defiant, greedy nose at the law by covertly labeling their products as “closed course” “NOT FOR ROAD USE” thereby  creating a “gray” area between legality and non-compliance.

Let me explain.  The higher-end motorcycle aftermarket manufacturers will covertly, discreetly, place a label on their exhaust mechanisms indicating that said exhaust is for competition/closed course use only. But, the stickler is that these companies are fully cognizant of the fact that their NOT FOR ROAD USE exhausts are ultimately going to be installed on a street ready motorcycle.  Do they care…not in the least…that is, they don’t care about the innocent citizenry that will hammered by the illegal NOISE – Noise that is some 4-to-8 times (approximately 110+dB(A) using logarithmic scale) the “total” motorcycle noise emissions restriction of 80 dB(A) as per the US EPA’s Code of Federal Regulations – also note that this 80 dB(A) total motorcycle noise emission restriction has been deemed as the “minimum” level of protection for the general public.  Important?  I think so!!! [and] so does this child…

little girl holding ears at biker parade

EPA muffler label
US EPA Label required for street motorcycle exhausts.  The 80 dB(A) is relevant for all US Street Production Motorcycles beginning with the 1986 year model forward.
honda epa label on frame
EPA Label on the frame of the motorcycle that matches the label on the muffler above designated for the Honda 1000 product.

epa closed course label on muffler

91eed-notforroaduse
You are entering the “grey” area of legality – these exhausts are NOT for use on our public roadways!!!

Anyway, back to our “gray” area and the retail, installation and operation of NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhausts on street production motorcycles.  You see, there is a direct and undeniable criminal conspiracy existing between:

  1. The manufacturer of the NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhaust.
  2. The distributor of the NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhaust.
  3. The retailer of the NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhaust.
  4. The installer of the NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhaust.
  5. The operator of the NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhaust.

Technically, it’s not a violation to manufacture a motorcycle exhaust…

Technically, it’s not a violation to distribute a NOT FOR ROAD USE exhaust…

Technically, it’s not a violation of Federal Law (it is in some States) to retail a NOT FOR ROAD USE EXHAUST (The state violation occurs when the exhaust is sold for use on a road use vehicle)

Technically, it’s not a violation to install a NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhaust…

BUT… it is a violation when the street motorcycle, equipped with a NOT FOR ROAD USE exhaust, is operated on a public roadway…   “unless it can be shown that such use does not cause the motorcycle to exceed applicable federal standards.” – Personally, in my 31 years as a police officer, I’ve never seen, tested or heard an aftermarket exhaust that was labeled NOT FOR ROAD USE or was “unlabelled” (as most are) that came anywhere close to the NOISE suppression characteristics of the US EPA compliant factory-installed muffler. The sound differentiation between the US EPA approved factory-installed muffler and any of the NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhausts is stark, undeniable and easily discernible.

Evidence also suggests that an overwhelming number of these NOT FOR ROAD USE exhausts manufactured for large displacement V-twins and their crotch-rocket companions are used exclusively for public roadway use thereby substantiating (mens rea) aforethought and intent by these aftermarket aficionado’s to disobey the laws specifically enacted for the protection of the health and welfare, the quality of life of the American Citizen.  Why has the US EPA neglected to regulate this conspiratorial behavior on the part of the aftermarket industry for some five-decades?

So then, the aftermarket “scam” has finally been acknowledged by the US EPA – Hallelujah! Question is, will they actually flex their enforcement options and stop the vehicular NOISE assault on the American public?

One More Thing…

I ask you, what is the actual “cause of action” undergirding the EPA v. Harley civil action?  Would you believe me if I said NOISE as opposed to PARTICULATES?  Yes, though the EPA sued under the auspices of the Clean Air Act, the actual foundation for the lawsuit is the Noise Control Act – how so?

Let’s face the facts.  No one, that is no one in their right mind, purchases a Harley Davidson product for its performance capabilities – I’ve ridden them as a police motorcycle – I know!!!  So then, why are these Screaming Eagle Super Tuners required or necessary on the offending Harley products?

Understand that, at a minimum, 60% to 80% of the Harley Davidson motorcycles traversing our roadways at any given time are illegally equipped with a NOT FOR ROAD USE aftermarket exhaust.  Why?

Aftermarket exhausts are used by a majority of Harley riders for one primary purpose…performance? NO! NOISE? YES!  Aftermarket, LOUD, exhausts are generally one of the first “aftermarket” enhancements made to a Harley motorcycle and when the original, US EPA Compliant, quiet, factory-installed muffler is removed, the “super tuner” is required to remap the fuel-injection system – if not – the motorcycle tends to run too lean or too rich and performs horribly.

So then, understand that even though the EPA has delegated vehicular noise enforcement responsibilities to our States and Local Governments as of 1981, their lawsuit against Harley finds its origin in the Noise Control Act…interesting and true!!!

For more information on this aftermarket exhaust/parts “scam” please see the very telling article by Dealers News:  http://dealernews.prod.as2.guidance.com/dealernews/article/shades-gray-selling-and-installing-aftermarket-exhausts-and-legal-liabilities-dea  NOTE: Often times, the administrator regulating this link for Dealer’s News will regularly manipulate the link so that it defaults to an error page. Don’t be fooled by this nonsense to conceal the truth from my articles containing the link. If you receive an error notice, simply type-in the relevant search script on Google to locate the article.  Very informative, very telling and understand the “grey area” they describe is actually BLACK AND WHITE – guilty as charged!

Also, for the “Truth” about Loud Motorcycles the Police Won’t or Can’t tell you, please see my article: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/the-truth-about-loud-motorcycles-the-police-wont-or-cant-tell-you/

Have a nice “quiet” day,

Rick Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired

Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles – Facebook

for FB coverpolice kawasaki

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