CARB Fines Two Cali Dealerships $180,000

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The California Air Resources Board (CARB) last month fined two San Diego-area motorcycle dealers $180,000 for illegal sales after the dealerships allegedly sold several dozen off-road motorcycles to customers who thought they were purchasing on-road models.

In 2006, CARB enforcement officers got an anonymous tip that San Diego-based GP Motorcycles and Moto Forza of Escondido, Calif., were allegedly selling Husqvarna off-road motorcycles illegally as on-road models. CARB says investigators have confirmed the allegations and last month took action.

According to CARB, many of the bikes were outfitted with so-called "street-legal" kits and licensed for on-road use. CARB revoked all the on-road licenses and registrations for the illegal bikes sold by GP Motorcycles and Moto Forza, and the motorcycle owners were permitted to return their license plates to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles for the appropriate off-road riding stickers and plates.

Off-highway vehicles do not meet the same CARB emission standards required of on-road motorcycles. “There are no street-legal kits or conversions that make an off-road motorcycle legal for on-road use or registration,” CARB says. “A motorcycle is either certified by ARB for on-road use or off-road use.”

"Companies that deliberately flout the law are often assessed higher penalties," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Playing by the rules from the start is the most cost-effective, smart business plan any company can follow."

California's air pollution control efforts include regulating emissions from cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. CARB is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency and aims to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.

—Submitted by Guido Ebert