Image source does not exist News Release: 2012-03-13 Mike’s Foreign Auto Parts fined $50,000 for air violations

Release #:12-10

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Karen Caesar

Mike’s Foreign Auto Parts fined $50,000 for air violations

Wilmington company sold illegal catalytic converters

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board penalized Mike’s Foreign Auto Parts $50,000 for selling illegal catalytic converters for use on passenger vehicles.

An ARB investigation revealed that between January 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011, the company sold 100 catalytic converters not permitted for sale or use in California.

“Since their widespread adoption in the 1970s, catalytic converters have drastically reduced smog-forming emissions,” said ARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden. “They are a vital weapon in the fight for clean air, and they must meet California’s strict standards.”

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.

Enforcement of these regulations not only protects the environment and public health, but also guards against unfair business practices. Faulty catalytic converters may result in smog check failures, which lead to expensive repairs for customers, and can jeopardize registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The settlement will be paid in monthly installments to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which supports projects and research to improve the state's air quality.

Smog is a combination of smoke and other particulates, ozone, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and other chemically reactive compounds which, under certain conditions of weather and sunlight, may result in a murky brown haze. The primary source of smog in California is motor vehicles. These emissions may exacerbate respiratory ailments and negatively affect other serious health conditions.

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.