Release 08-45
May 20, 2008

    Karen Caesar
(916) 322-2990

 ARB fines Regency Conversions $27,500
Illegally modified vehicles sold around the state

SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board fined Regency Conversions of Fort Worth, Texas, $27,500 following the discovery of illegally modified vehicles for sale at five dealerships scattered throughout the state.

The illegal vehicles, all new trucks modified with performance-enhancing equipment capable of boosting acceleration and efficiency, started out as legal vehicles certified for sale in California. After modification by Regency Conversions, they were shipped to dealers in Bell and Bellflower in Southern California, Paso Robles near the Central Coast, and San Francisco and Sacramento in the northern part of the state, and offered for sale.

"It's important for car dealers and manufacturers to understand that modifying certified vehicles prior to sale is not allowed in California," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "Doing so can affect a car or truck's emissions system and increase air pollution - something our state does not need."

After an investigation by ARB, the dealers were fined and had the option of removing the performance-boosting parts and offering the vehicles for sale, or shipping them to be sold out of state.

As part of the settlement agreement, Regency Conversions has agreed to not modify vehicles offered for sale in California.

For buyers who choose to modify their vehicles with performance-enhancing equipment, there are a number of legally approved options that can be installed after purchase. Once they make that choice, then they are responsible for seeing that it is done correctly and legally. Buyers generally know best what type of special equipment meets their needs.

All settlement monies from Regency Conversions will be directed to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which was established to mitigate various sources of pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technology.

Excess vehicle emissions cause poor air quality and can exacerbate respiratory and cardiovascular ailments. The ARB works to develop and enforce regulations that protect public health.

For additional information on California's aftermarket, performance, and add-on parts regulations, please visit this link: .

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. 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.