Image source does not exist News Release: 2012-01-11 U.S. Auto Parts pays $233,000 for air quality infractions

Release #:12-03

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Karen Caesar

U.S. Auto Parts pays $233,000 for air quality infractions

Company sold illegal catalytic converters

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board penalized U.S. Auto Parts $233,000 for selling illegal catalytic converters for use on passenger vehicles.

ARB investigators documented the sales of 932 illegal catalytic converters by the company, which is based in Carson, California.

“Catalytic converters are integral to reducing smog-forming emissions from motor vehicles,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “When the equipment doesn’t comply with California standards, the health of the public is compromised.”

Aftermarket catalytic converters for on- and off-road vehicles must be approved by ARB to be advertised, sold, offered for sale or installed in California.

Faulty catalytic converters may result in vehicles failing smog checks, incurring expensive repairs for customers, and jeopardizing vehicle registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Enforcement of these regulations not only protects the environment and public health, but also protects against unfair business practices.

The settlement will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support projects and research to improve the state's air quality.

California's air quality measures are in place to safeguard public health.  Excess automobile emissions can lead to smog, which in turn can cause shortness of breath, headaches, birth defects, cancer or damage to internal organs.

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.