Two China-based companies and a US-based importer affiliate were fined a combined $725,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their roles in bringing in motorcycles and recreational vehicles from China that didn't comply with federal clean-air laws.

Minnesota-based CFMOTO Powersports, along with China-based Zhejiang CFMOTO Power Co. and Chunfeng Holding Group, among other things, will have to recall and replace fuel tanks that improve gasoline-vapor control. The EPA found that more than 12,000 vehicles imported between 2007 and 2013 didn't comply with clean-air laws and that about 1,000 vehicles had non-compliant fuel tanks.

The EPA has periodically taken China-based powersports vehicle makers to task for importing dirty vehicles that didn't comply with clean-air mandates. Last summer, Chi Zheng, whose Los Angeles-based companies MotorScience Inc. and MotorScience Enterprise Inc. specialized as a consultant for all-terrain vehicle imports from China, was fined $3.6 million because his companies violated US emissions requirements. Those companies violated the Clean Air Act by importing almost 25,000 all-terrain vehicles without properly testing them for emissions. And in 2012, California-based Yuan Cheng International Group Inc. (YCIG) and its successor NST Inc. were hit with $50,000 in fines as part of an EPA and US Department of Justice Settlement settlement stemming from alleged clean-air violations. Check out the EPA's most recent press release below.
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EPA Stops Illegal Import of Vehicles That Fail to Meet Pollution Standards

WASHINGTON – A Chinese powersports company and its related U.S. distributor have agreed to recall and replace fuel tanks that will better control gasoline vapors in approximately 1,000 vehicles and take other steps to control pollution stemming from the illegal import of over 12,000 recreational vehicles and highway motorcycles. These motor vehicles were manufactured in China and imported without the required certification indicating that emissions would meet federal standards.

CFMOTO Powersports, Inc., (a successor to CFMOTO America, Inc.) based in Plymouth, Minn., and Zhejiang CFMOTO Power Co., Ltd., and Chunfeng Holding Group Co., Ltd., both based in China, will pay a combined civil penalty of $725,000.

"Enforcing emission standards is a critical way we protect clean air for all Americans," said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "The upgrades and changes required by today's settlement will help reduce harmful air pollution that can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and lead to smog.

In the settlement, approved today by the Agency's Environmental Appeals Board, EPA alleges that over 12,000 highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles imported by the companies between 2007 and 2013 were not certified by EPA, as required by the Clean Air Act (CAA), to meet applicable federal emission standards. Of these, EPA found that 993 vehicles had fuel tanks that did not operate properly to control evaporative emissions, or gasoline vapors, and that approximately 1,400 vehicles were imported without proper emission control information labels.

In addition to the penalty, the companies must institute a Recall and Fuel Tank Replacement Program to replace all uncertified fuel tanks with certified ones to prevent any excess gasoline vapors. The companies must also correct the emission control information labels for those vehicles that are still within the control of the companies.

EPA discovered the alleged violations through joint inspections conducted with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and through a review of importation documents and other information provided by the companies.

Federal emissions standards for highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles have been in effect since 1977 and 2006, respectively. The CAA prohibits any vehicle or engine from being imported and sold in the United States unless it is covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity indicating that the vehicle or engine meets required emission standards

Recreational vehicle and highway motorcycles emit carbon monoxide, a gas that is poisonous at high levels in the air even to healthy people and is especially dangerous to people with heart disease. These vehicles also emit hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, or smog. Exposure to even low levels of ozone can cause respiratory problems, and repeated exposure can aggravate pre-existing respiratory diseases.

CFMOTO Powersports, Inc. is a Minnesota corporation that holds certificates of conformity and that imports highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles manufactured by Zhejiang CFMoto Power Co., Ltd. and ChunFeng Holding Group Co. Ltd., both Chinese companies. CFMOTO America, Inc. is a now-dissolved Michigan corporation that was the predecessor to CFMOTO Powersports, Inc.

EPA filed an administrative complaint against CFMOTO Powersports in April 2013 and reached agreement on the settlement through an alternative dispute resolution process.

More information on the settlement:
http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/cfmoto-powersports-inc-cfmoto-ameri ca-inc-zhejiang-cfmoto-power-co-ltd-and-chunfeng

More information on EPA's Clean Air Act mobile source enforcement programs: http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/air-enforcement#mobile


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      What the hell is wrong with you people?!? do we want to breathe the filthy air they have in china? the EPA does important work. good for them for making these products work the way they are supposed to. I cant believe the idiocy of some of you people. your short sightedness is unbelievable. lets just de-regulate everything! cut down all the trees, pollute the air and make America completely unlivable! I would mention easter island as an example, but I doubt you morons have ever even heard of it.
      Craig
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see this different than environuts, I see the EPA, once again, funding itself. THIS IS WHY businesses have left the country, never to return.
        C. Walker Jr.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Craig
        So you view holding a foreign company to the same standards as domestic companies as a bad thing? Enjoy your clean air!
      Cougar
      • 1 Year Ago
      The EPA is just another worthless POS 'gubmint' agency that actually does harm instead of good. Worthless and good for nothing idiots! Go hug a cactus!
        Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cougar
        And you are the problem with America and the world today. The EPA has improved society more than you ever will.
        eric.sales
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cougar
        Yeah ok so I guess you want our country to look like China? Where they have massive issues with smog and daily alerts due to bad air. People like you are small in number thank God.
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cougar
        The river in Cleveland was on fire prior to Nixon signing the EPA into law.
      Richard
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've always been surprised many of these vehicles are imported legally when there are sooooo many vehicles not permitted in our country whether it's safety (no air bags) or epa regs... Sad that China seems to have more liberty these days than Americans.
        PeterScott
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard
        " Sad that China seems to have more liberty these days than Americans." Yeah, they are really enjoying the liberty of air you can't see through, let alone breathe in Beijing. I wish people that complain about clean air regulations were forced to breathe some air that results from lax regulation.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Richard
        Absolutely they do. I've been there. It really did feel more free. Especially for a foreigner. No one checks your ID when you order a drink, no one cares if you don't have a driver's license and if you hit someone in a wreck you just use your freedom to hightail it away instead of dealing with any consequences. And you're absolutely free to sell a car which looks like a Western car which is known to be reasonably safe, but has all the reinforcement and safety equipment inside removed making it into a death trap that will ball up in even a small impact killing anyone inside (VW Santana, Cheery QQ). And meanwhile I realized that as much fun as I was having, I couldn't possibly stay long because the air was hideously polluted. In a society, your freedoms interact with others'. One person's freedom to cut corners on safety or emissions control might impact a lot of others freedoms negatively.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The EPA is a bunch of idiots with their heads up their you know what. Why don't they work on some of the supper fund sites that still have not been cleaned up yet. National Lead sites. Who's billionaire past owner still lives high on the hog in TX.
      Craig Maggio
      • 1 Year Ago
      This article sums up exactly one of the problems the US faces in reducing Green House gases. While we pass EPA regulations and impose Carbon Unit Taxes here in California, China and India have no such requirements and any reduction the US makes is offset by these countries pumping out tons of CO2.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Craig Maggio
        California has no carbon tax, yet. The Feds say California has no authority to do so.
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      Since when does the EPA have more power than the judicial system? Why are they regulating lawn mowers? They should shift their focus from lawn mowers to transport trucks from Mexico, which they get to travel in the US totally unregulated, thanks to Obama.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like the EPA doesn't pre-approve anything for sale first. I wonder if they just let some companies slip so that they can be given huge fines later?
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Hm, so why do they need the certificate if they don't need to show proof of conformity? What a strange way to do things.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          They are supposed to self test and certify that they conform. It helps prevent bottlenecks and expense of waiting for the government to test your stuff for you. You just find an authorized testing lab and have them test it, then submit the reports. It's like getting your car smogged in California. You don't go to a state building, you go to a certified location run by a private citizen. If someone cheats on that, do you suggest the state is trying to let them cheat? You seem to be arguing that every company should have to get government tests before releasing a product? That doesn't sound like the 2wm I know. Could it be tighter and more controlling? Sure. But is it worth it? Seems like the current system is by and large working.
          EZEE2
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          It SOUNDS (ie - I have no idea so I am speculating) like to save time, they put out a list of requirements and say, 'do this stuff and you are fine, and sign this and we will agree to let you in.' By the look of it, the Chinese company lied and said they did stuff they weren't and got caught. Sorta like NASCAR after a guy wins the race and they are all, 'dude, you car is totally illegal.' And then they give the victory to some other Dale.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Makers are required to get a Certificate of Conformity first. It may no may not include EPA tests, but either way the company is certifying that the vehicle conforms. If they don't claim it conforms, they can't sell. If they claim it conforms but it doesn't actually conform, then the company is liable. There's no "letting slip" here, it's not the EPA's fault if a company lies to them.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          I should say or bypasses them completely.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, $60 per vehicle fine on a $10,000 ATV? Way to stick it to them! /s The fine should have been much larger to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
        Thereminator
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jesse Gurr
        I don't think these ATV's were selling for $10,000. The local big-box auto parts place where I live(S. California) was selling ATV's and Motorcycles from China like hot-cakes about two years ago,and they were around $2,000. There All gone now!
          Jesse Gurr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Thereminator
          Well the most expensive one on the website, http://cfmoto-us.com was $10,000 though the cheapest one is $5,000. Those ones you saw a couple years ago could have been older models or heavily discounted to get rid of them, or both. Or these one are more expensive because of the pollution controls.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      This class of vehicle is even more pollutant than motor vehicles, and should be more heavily regulated. Electric versions of these vehicles exist, and can prove just as functional. These cheap, pollutant, and often dangerous vehicles should be more heavily regulated to reduce all noxious emissions, including excessive noise. It's not a civil liberty to pollute the common environment, create excessive noise, ride over eco-sensitive areas, etc.
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      rots a ruck Will never collect fine. Long Dong Motor Company - now dba - Dong Long Motor Company. uhh, so sorry
        EZEE2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        I think the part that says, 'Los Angeles based company' will be made to pay, so they will get it out of the distribution network, opposed to the PRC based company. And even then, if the EPA has any teeth, they can restrict sales until the fine is paid. And, the owner's name is Long duc Dong. He was a Chinese exchange student who liked to go to parties and such.
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