The California Air Resources Board issued fines to four motorcycle industry companies last week, including OEMs Piaggio and Yamaha. Aftermarket exhaust manufacturers Vance & Hines and Akrapovic America also received hefty fines.
Piaggio Group Americas, Inc. was fined $175,000 after investigators discovered a number of Aprilia motorcycles offered for sale in California that had not first received the official state certification of compliance. It was also determined that various Aprilias had been manufactured with adjustable calibrations within the emission control system that were not disclosed during the certification process. Variable or adjustable calibrations allow dealers and owners to change how the engine runs, which could increase emissions. Adjustable calibrations are prohibited by California if they are not disclosed prior to the vehicle’s approval for sale.
Also last week, Yamaha Motor Corporation revealed to ARB that it unintentionally imported and sold 23 portable generators in California that were not in compliance with emission standards. The company also disclosed that 96 all-terrain vehicles sold in California were unintentionally mislabeled. Yamaha disclosed the violations itself, and paid $44,625 in fines.
Meanwhile, Vance & Hines Performance LLC was fined a whopping $500,000 and Akrapovic America was fined $88K for violations of air quality laws related to the sale of illegal aftermarket motorcycle exhaust systems in California. In late 2012, an ARB investigation discovered that both companies sold, advertised and offered for sale motorcycle exhaust systems that replaced emissions-critical components such as catalytic converters. ARB also found that neither Vance & Hines nor Akropovic had taken advantage of a 2009 industry-requested regulation that allows aftermarket exhaust manufacturers to legally sell their products once they undergo an engineering evaluation to ensure they meet applicable emission standards. Vance and Hines paid an identical fine to CARB back in January for similar violations.
Both companies fully cooperated with the investigation and have implemented compliance plans for their aftermarket exhaust systems. Funds collected will be paid to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, established to decrease air pollution through education and the advancement and use of cleaner technologies.