CARB hits Vance & Hines with $500K penalty

Publish Date: 
Feb 11, 2013

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. - Vance & Hines settled in January with the California Air Resource Board to pay a penalty of $500,000 for selling, prior to Jan. 1, 2013, emissions-related parts not approved by the board.

The exhaust maker has taken actions to ensure no further enforcement related to the parts befalls dealers or customers.

According to the notice posted on the ARB website, the board applied the penalty to about 2,000 units at about $250 per unit.

“V&H promptly and fully cooperated with ARB during the investigation, and as a result, has already implemented a compliance plan to inform its distributors, dealers and customers about the types of motorcycle exhaust systems that are legal for sale in the state,” said the CARB notice. “In addition, V&H is actively working with ARB’s Aftermarket Parts Section to ensure that all of its aftermarket critical emission control parts that are sold, offered for sale, or advertised in California obtain the necessary exemptions from ARB.”

Vance & Hines has issued its own news release in which company president Paul Langley said: “We are pleased to have resolved this matter with ARB, and to have worked out an approach that should avoid future misunderstandings about the proper use of our exhaust systems and emissions-related parts. … We are committed to ensuring that our parts fully comply with applicable air quality standards in California, and that our customers and business partners understand the appropriate fitment and uses.”

Vance & Hines said the settlement protects its distributors, dealers and customers from further claims or liability with respect to covered part sales occurring prior to Jan. 1, 2013.

The history of CARB approval for emission-related aftermarket goes back about half a decade. In 2009, at the request of the motorcycle industry, ARB adopted a process for the exemption of aftermarket “critical emission control parts” on motorcycles ridden on streets. Manufacturers of such parts (like aftermarket catalytic exhausts and oxygen sensors) must apply for and receive ARB Executive Orders that exempt the parts from California’s anti-tampering laws.

ARB has posted on its website a list of motorcycle aftermarket critical emission control parts that have received an exemption, including a couple of Vance & Hine Harley applications.

CARB also deems some products “replacement parts” that don’t require an Executive Order because they don’t affect emissions. Examples are exhaust systems for motorcycles that were certified without catalytic converters or sensors. Vance & Hines said the majority of its exhaust systems have some applications in which they can be sold and used as replacement parts. (continued)