Nearly a year ago, eBay quietly banned the sale of devices that could defeat emissions. According to eBay’s defeat device policy, any part that may bypass, delete, or render a factory emissions system inoperative was banned from being listed on the site. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently sued eBay for allowing the sale of 343,011 aftermarket emissions defeat devices and other products that violate the Clean Air Act.
EBay Clean Air Act Lawsuit: Details
The eCommerce giant faces billions in fines, including up to $5,580 for each Clean Air Act violation, which could involve the sale of ECU tuners, aftermarket exhausts, or other parts that tamper with factory emissions systems. We’ve seen the DOJ continue to crack down on aftermarket tuning companies despite the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) turning focus from emissions defeat devices to other essential matters. However, the federal government is still pursuing cases of systematic Clean Air Act violations. This suit means that eBay hasn’t kept up with its moderation towards the defeat device policy it enacted last year.
EBay has responded to the allegations, stating that the lawsuit is “entirely unprecedented.” On top of that, the e-commerce giant intends to defend itself to maintain its reputation as “a safe and trusted marketplace.” Finally, eBay has also announced that it is removing and blocking the listings cited by the DOJ. All of this means that the day and age where you could buy cheap modifications for your car has come to an end, be it a downpipe, intake, or many of the other aftermarket parts mentioned earlier.
Overall, it’s clear that despite eBay’s earlier attempt at banning the sale of such items to cover its own back, things didn’t entirely work out in its favor. Other aftermarket companies have faced fines in the millions, though those may look minute compared to the potential $1.9 billion that eBay could face if the lawsuit defense doesn’t pan out in their favor.