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Aftermarket Car Mods Threatened By EPA Crackdown

Using aftermarket car mods to increase power and performance is legal. That is only as long as the aftermarket parts used comply with federal emissions standards. However, recent redefinitions by the EPA regarding motor vehicles and increased enforcement of these standards have raised concerns about the future of car modifications.

Under the Clean Air Act, vehicles with aftermarket parts that bypass emissions regulations are technically prohibited from driving on public roads and should be confined to track competitions. Despite this, a gray area exists, allowing some emissions-defeating parts to be sold to the public by aftermarket parts companies.

The EPA primarily targets companies selling such parts rather than individual car owners. However, recent clarifications of regulations could lead to stricter enforcement, potentially jeopardizing many aftermarket businesses. The new rules would make it illegal to sell certain performance-modifying parts, affecting smaller companies the most.

Inconsistencies in enforcement over the years highlight the challenges of government regulation. Although modifying cars to defeat emissions systems has been illegal since 1970, enforcement has been selective. This leniency has allowed for the growth of industries like hot-rodding and small-time racing.

While modified muscle cars are not currently a direct target of EPA enforcement, finding emissions-certified aftermarket parts may become more difficult and expensive in the future. Larger companies that can afford certification may survive, but smaller businesses catering to car modifications could face significant challenges.
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