Earlier this week, MC&T shared a report about an ongoing lawsuit between the aftermarket diesel tuners at EZ Lynk and the U.S. District Court of Southern New York. This lawsuit centers around the tuning company’s sale and promotion of emissions defeat devices for diesel trucks, which the court believes is in violation of the Clean Air Act. And while this is the latest example of one of these suits, it isn’t the only active case right now involving an aftermarket company. Arizona-based Gear Box Z has been engaged in such a legal case for the past 14 months, for matters closely related to those taking place in the EZ Lynk case. According to a new report from The Drive, it appears that the tuning enthusiasts over at SEMA are now getting involved with this older battle with the EPA.
According to The Drive, SEMA has entered the court case on the side of Gear Box Z by filing what is known as an amicus brief. This document serves to provide the Arizona District Court with SEMA’s third party expertise in the area, which is plentiful due to their position in the aftermarket industry. This document may not actually carry as much weight as enthusiasts might hope however. SEMA is arguing against the EPA’s right to go after the use of these parts in “off-road use” vehicles. That isn’t what the EPA is arguing against however, as they are specifically targeting the manufacturing of the diesel emissions defeat devices.
That may seem like a technicality, but it proved effective in the EPA’s case against the diesel tuning experts at Freedom Diesel Performance. Furthermore, it is likely that the feds will argue that many of these parts actually do end up on road-going vehicles, which does fall under their purview.
This isn’t to say what SEMA is doing in this case is in vain however. They’ve been quite active in their efforts to help protect the aftermarket, specifically as it relates to motorsports tuning. With the help of some congressional members, SEMA got the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act introduced in December of 2019. The RPM Act as it is more commonly called hopes to stem the impact of the Clean Air Act by creating emissions compliance exemptions for a specific subset of non-street going vehicles, specifically intended for competition use. The companies that manufacture these diesel emissions defeat devices clearly state that this is what those parts are designed for.
Now of course we know that this isn’t how these products are used in reality, but this act hopes to secure their rights to produce them. Again though, the widespread use of these parts on the street gives the EPA quite a bit of legal room to fight back against this. Furthermore, the RPM Act has yet to pass through either body of Congress.
While SEMA’s decision to throw their hat in the ring of this court case may not have a tremendous impact, it does show how dedicated they are to trying to protect the aftermarket. Their main concern here of course is that the EPA will eventually transition away from going after diesel tuning companies and start to come after other aftermarket parts companies. That would be disastrous for their business, as well as for the hundreds of tuning shops and parts suppliers that currently operate in the United States. If you’d like to read the document provided to the court by SEMA, you can do so at the link provided here. Also, if you want to support the RPM Act, be sure to contact your local congressperson and urge them to support the cause.