Engine importer reaches agreement with EPA
American Lifan Industry, an Ontario, Calif.-based vehicle and engine importer, has agreed to ensure that future imports meet federal emission standards after it had illegally imported and sold nearly 28,000 highway motorcycles, recreational vehicles and engines manufactured in China that did not comply with Clean Air Act standards to limit harmful pollution.
The company will pay $630,000 in civil penalties and post a $300,000-to-$500,000 bond to satisfy any future potential penalties related to the import of model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 vehicles manufactured by China Lifan Industry (Group) Co. or affiliated companies. This is the first time the Environmental Protection Agency has secured such a bond in a Clean Air Act settlement.
“EPA will continue to hold importers of foreign-made vehicles accountable for meeting U.S. emission limits put in place to protect Americans from harmful air pollution,” warned Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a statement.
The settlement, approved Wednesday by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, alleges the company violated the Clean Air Act by importing and selling more than 6,700 highway motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and engines that lacked required certification indicating emissions met federal standards. The EPA also alleges the company failed to provide purchasers with the full emissions warranty required by the Clean Air Act; imported and sold vehicles without proper emission labels; and failed to follow record-keeping requirements.
The EPA’s investigation showed that the company obtained certificates of conformity for numerous vehicles without conducting required emissions testing. In October 2013, the EPA voided 45 invalid certificates of conformity held by the company, which affected over 21,000 additional model year 2006-2011 highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles.
The EPA and Customs and Border Protection discovered the violations during inspections conducted at the entry ports of Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles/Long Beach, as well as through a comprehensive review of documents provided by the company.
American Lifan, which was based in Dallas until 2013, imports highway motorcycles, recreational vehicles, gasoline engines, and gasoline-powered generators manufactured by Lifan Industry (Group) Co., Chongqing Lifan Industry (Group) Imp. & Exp. Co., China Lifan Industry (Group) Co., and Chongqing Lifan Power Co.
In a similar action last month, Chinese company CFMOTO and its U.S. distributor agreed to implement corrective measures related to the illegal import of more than 12,000 recreational vehicles and highway motorcycles.