Beveridge & Diamond
 
Related Practices
Related Practices

EPA Sues MotorScience, Inc. for Falsifying CAA Engine Certifications

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., October 11, 2011

In a suit filed September 29, 2011,1 the United States EPA has accused MotorScience, Inc., an engine consulting service that works with engine importers to ensure compliance with EPA engine certification requirements, of falsifying engine certification records in violation of the Clean Air Act.  Due to MotorScience’s malfeasance, EPA was forced in 2010 to void engine certificates submitted on behalf of four Chinese importers.  As a result, the companies imported 24,478 off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles engines without valid engine certificates, in violation of Clean Air Act Requirements.2 In addition to certification violations, EPA also contents that MotorScience violated recordkeeping requirements for failing to maintain records related to the falsified Clean Air Act certificates.3

Under the Clean Air Act, all vehicles and engines manufactured or imported in model year 2006 or later must receive certificates of compliance from EPA stating that they satisfy Clean Air Act emissions requirements.4 In June of 2010, EPA voided twelve MotorScience certificates submitted on behalf of four of its clients based on suspicions that the emissions information was either incomplete or falsified.  The four clients were Hensim USA, Loncin USA, Peace Industry Group, and Seaseng.5   According to EPA, the MotorScience certificates were the first certificates for off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles that EPA had ever voided.6  EPA claims that the vehicles imported pursuant to the voided certificates violate the Clean Air Act.7

EPA’s complaint seeks injunctive and monetary relief for MotorScience’s violations.  The requested monetary penalty is the statutory maximum:  $32,500 for each violation or each day of violation, as applicable.  The complaint also named as defendants MotorScience Enterprise, Inc., which was the corporate predecessor of MotorScience, Inc., and Chi Zheng, the owner of both companies.

Since voiding the certificates in 2010, EPA has focused its enforcement efforts on MotorScience, Inc.  But EPA also has the authority to bring enforcement actions against any person or company importing or selling engines without valid  EPA certificates of compliance.8  For questions on how EPA’s focus on engine certification requirements may impact your business or products, contact Amy Lincoln (alincoln@bdlaw.com) or Daniel Brian (dbrian@bdlaw.com).



1 See Complaint, available here

2 40 C.F.R. Parts 1051 and 1068.

3 40 C.F.R. Section 1051.250. 

4 See 40 C.F.R. §§ 1051.105 and 1051.107.

5 The companies were the U.S. arms of four Chinese manufacturers:  Chongqing Hensim Group Co., Chongqing Longting Power Equipment Co., Zhejiang Peace Industry and Trade Co., and Zhejiang Chesheng Industry and Trade Co., respectively.

6 See EPA Voids Certificates Approving Import of Up to 200,000 Small Recreational Vehicles / Agency may levy penalties, available here

7 40 C.F.R. Section 1068.101. 

8 40 C.F.R. § 1068.101(a)(1) (“You may not sell, offer for sale, or introduce or deliver into commerce in the United States or import into the United States any new engine or equipment . . . unless it has a valid certificate of conformity.”)