California Relaxes Anti-Tampering Rules

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California dealers next year will be able to sell, finance and install approved aftermarket parts on new motorcycles at the time of purchase, before customers take delivery.

The new law changes the state's incumbent anti-tampering rules mandating that bikes must be in factory condition at the time of original purchase. Customers have had to purchase the motorcycle, take it out of the dealership's property and then return to have products installed. This precluded buyers from financing the cost of the parts with the vehicle purchase.

"This is a tremendous win for California motorcycle and motorsports dealers," says John Paliwoda, executive director of the California Motorcycle Dealer Association. "They can now fill their buyers' demands for customization and more performance when they buy a new motorcycle without fearing that they could be fined for selling and installing legal parts."

The Air Resources Board, by enforcing the state's anti-tampering law, has collected millions of dollars in fines against dealers, distributors and manufacturers. In January 2006, the agency warned dealers that it was illegal to advertise, sell or install parts that had not received a CARB Executive Order. CARB also had prohibited the sale and installation of legal aftermarket parts — parts that had already received CARB approval — on new bikes.

Beginning Jan. 1 dealers will be able to install parts before the bike is delivered to the customer. — Dennis Johnson