The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued eBay for allowing the sale of 343,011 aftermarket emissions defeat devices and other products that violate the Clean Air Act. The online sales giant faces billions in fines, including up to $5,580 for each Clean Air Act violation, which could involve the sale of ECU tuners, aftermarket exhausts, or other parts that tamper with factory emissions systems.
The DOJ’s suit comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that emissions defeat devices would no longer be a top priority for the agency. Despite that, the federal government has continued pursuing cases of systematic Clean Air Act violations, like tuning shops and online resellers. In August, the DOJ hit a diesel tuner with a $1 million fine for selling and installing unapproved ECU tuners that tamper with onboard emissions systems. Last year, eBay banned the sale of aftermarket parts that tamper with emissions, but has apparently not kept up with moderation.
According to Reuters, the DOJ also alleges that eBay sold 23,000 unregistered or restricted-use pesticides, which violated a 2020 U.S. EPA stop-sale order, as well as distributing 5,614 paint and coating removal products that contain methylene chloride. The chemical is linked with lethal brain and liver cancer, as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The complaint says that “eBay has the power, the authority, and the resources to stop the sale of illegal, harmful products on its website.” The complaint continues, “It has chosen not to; instead, it has chosen to engage in these illegal transactions.”
EBay responded to the allegations, calling the lawsuit “entirely unprecedented.” The e-commerce giant says it will defend itself vigorously, and says that it maintains “a safe and trusted marketplace.” Finally, eBay says that it is removing and blocking “more than 99.9%” of the listings cited by the DOJ.
The time when you could get a cheap eBay downpipe, intake, or many aftermarket parts may be gone. Despite words to the contrary, the federal government is not lifting off of the proverbial gas pedal. It’s still going full tilt against emissions violators.
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