Emissions Compliance

Emissions Compliance

The SEMA Garage is available to help SEMA member auto parts manufacturers develop products from start to finish. For many manufacturers, the process includes demonstrating that a vehicle will remain emissions-compliant when the product is installed. Emissions compliance is required for almost all performance and engine-related products, and the SEMA Garage is available to make the process as easy and affordable as possible.

Here are some basics about emissions compliance:

  • Emissions compliance is a legal requirement. Both the state of California and the federal government have laws making it illegal for a company to sell performance products for street vehicles that could impact emissions. But products can comply with these laws by demonstrating that the product meets emissions compliance criteria. A product that has gone through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) process has met the CARB criteria and is considered legal in all 50 states.
  • Emissions compliance applies to almost all performance and engine products. Generally, any product that affects airflow into or out of the engine, impacts the containment or delivery of fuel or affects the functionality of an emissions control system or device must demonstrate emissions compliance to be considered legal for street use. This includes, but is not limited to, intake systems, exhaust components, tuning products, intercoolers, turbos and superchargers.
  • A common misconception is that as long as you don’t sell your product in California, it is 49-state legal. This is not the case. The Federal Clean Air Act prevents the modification of vehicles with products that impact emissions unless the product has demonstrated compliance, just like California. For an engine-related product to be legal anywhere in the U.S., there must be a reasonable basis for representing that a product is compliant.
  • Currently, the only certification process is the EO program administered by CARB. CARB will issue an EO to products that have gone through an application and testing process. The CARB EO is recognized by the Federal EPA as demonstrating emissions compliance and provides coverage for all 50 states. (Note: There may be some isolated cases in which a reasonable basis demonstration without a CARB EO is recommended, making a product legal in 49-states, but not in California.)
  • Both CARB and EPA oversee air quality and are authorized to administer fines against manufacturers, sellers, installers and users of products that do not comply with the clean air laws.
  • Emissions compliance should be considered a priority for manufacturers that make engine-related products that are intended for street use. SEMA is here to help. Our Compliance Center includes experts and resources available to help members navigate the process, including:
    • Evaluation of your product and recommendations for compliance procedures
    • Assistance with the CARB EO process
    • Interaction with CARB staff on your behalf
    • Review and evaluation of test data
  • The SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, CA, includes an automotive emissions laboratory where SEMA manufacturer members are able to test their products at an affordable cost. Our testing capabilities include all tests* required by CARB for the purposes of obtaining an EO for both gasoline and diesel vehicles.

*excluding evaporative emissions tests

To learn more about the SEMA Garage and the emissions compliance process, contact any of our staff members:

Peter Treydte- Director of Emissions Compliance, petert@sema.org (909) 978-6673

Stephanie Martinez- Emissions Compliance Project Manager, stephaniem@sema.org (909) 978-6728

Cody Montag- Compliance Center Project Coordinator, codym@sema.org (909) 378-4863

Stephanie Herring- Compliance Center Project Coordinator, stephanieh@sema.org (909) 378-4855

Dan Ogden- Emissions Lab Manager, danielo@sema.org (909) 378-4845

SEMA can also assist if you are facing enforcement concerns from either CARB or EPA. Please contact David Goch, SEMA General Counsel, dgoch@wc-b.com.

For more information about emissions compliance visit SEMA Government Affairs.

Member Notice – EPA Enforcement Visits

SEMA News Article – Timely Guidance on Government Regulation of Emissions-Related Aftermarket Parts

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