Release 08-76
September 12, 2008

    Karen Caesar

ARB cites Munroe Motors $112,000 for air quality violations
Off-road motorcycles illegally sold as on-road models

SACRAMENTO - Last week the Air Resources Board fined Munroe Motors of San Francisco $112,000 for illegal sales of off-road motorcycles.

An ARB investigation found that Munroe Motors sold over 20 higher-polluting off-road motorcycles as on-road models between 2004 and 2005. On average, off-road motorcycle emissions are at minimum twice as dirty compared to on-road models.

"ARB enforcement teams are on the lookout for business owners who unreasonably believe clean-air laws don't apply to them," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "The penalties should send a message that it's just not worth the cost - or headache - to violate the law."

In addition, off-highway vehicles do not meet federal motor vehicle safety standards required of on-road motorcycles. There are no street-legal kits or conversions that make an off-road motorcycle legal for on-road use or registration. A motorcycle is either certified by ARB for on-road use or off-road use.

To ensure future compliance with California regulations, Munroe Motors has agreed to make registration documents available for ARB inspection upon request.

The California Air Pollution Control Fund, established to mitigate sources of pollution through education advancement and use of cleaner technology, will receive $103,000. The remaining $9,000 will go to the Attorney General's Office for legal fees.

California's air pollution control efforts include regulating emissions from cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. Smog can damage lungs, cause coughing and chest tightness, and worsen asthma symptoms while also affecting crop yields.

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.