The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have pitched a ruling dictating the prevention of converting regular road cars into racing specification.
The proposed rule was included in a regulation entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency for Medium – and Heavy Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2.”
The regulation appears to cover all vehicles, including sports cars, hatchbacks and sedans that are often converted for strict use on closed racing circuits. The Clean Air Act already in place prohibits certain modifications to motor vehicles, yet vehicles built and modified for racing on closed racing circuits don't seem to be the congress' intended target for such regulation.
Chris Kersting, the president of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), chimes in: “This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles. Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”
Despite SEMA's submission of comments in opposition to this regulation, the EPA have indicated that the regulation certainly does aim to prevent the conversion of vehicles into racecars. Alongside this, there are plans in place to regulate the sales of certain emission related items for vehicles intended for racing, rendering such parts technically illegal.
Currently, SEMA and other concerned aftermarket parties are geared to oppose the regulation through administrative processes and will seek support from the congress as well as judicial intervention if necessary.
SEMA is the largest aftermarket-related organization in the United States. Their reach extends internationally with various aftermarket parts makers participating in their annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas every November.