If you saw or received the latest announcement from the California Air Resources Board and are not sure what to do next then you’re in the right place.

The Breakdown

In a very candid, colorful, and historically unique regulatory advisory, CARB reminded manufacturers (of cars, trucks, buses, off- road engines and equipment, marine engines, motorcycles, etc.) of their obligation to fully and accurately disclose all elements of hardware and software configuration as part of the formal ‘emission certification’ process.

Is my company the focus of this notice?

Vehicle and engine manufacturers that have potential noncompliance issues associated with their California-certified vehicles and/or engines, including those in the following mobile source categories:

  • Passenger cars
  • Light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles and engines used in such vehicles
  • On-road motorcycles
  • Off-highway recreational vehicles
  • Off-road small and large spark-ignition engines and equipment
  • Off-road spark-ignition marine engines and watercraft
  • Off-road compression-ignition engines
  • Aftermarket parts
  • Diesel emission control strategies
Didn’t hear about this?

On October 14, 2020, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a manufacturer Mail-out advisory (Mail-out ECC #2020-06) encouraging engine and vehicle manufacturers to voluntarily disclose non-compliant software and other violations to the agency by December 31, 2020, in order to offset substantial financial penalties and remedial actions related to potentially non-conforming products.

You can view the full letter below

What are the next best steps?

Step 1: Audit your current situation.

Assess the product compliance of your California-certified vehicles and/or engines and consider voluntarily self-disclosing to CARB any potential non-compliance.
In the latest letter CARB put particular focus on Undisclosed Auxiliary Emission Control Devices (AECDs). In the letter below you can find specific AECD details and specs regarding specific manufacturer products.

Step 2: Consider voluntary self-disclosure.

CARB stated that voluntarily self-disclosing by December 31, 2020, and expeditiously settling matters thereafter, “will substantially mitigate the associated penalties.”

The reduction in penalties may range from 25% to 75% depending on the relevant facts and circumstances of the case and depending on the extent to which a regulated party meets the voluntary disclosure criteria specified in the policy.

We have first hand experience with current clients where the governing bodies, be it the EPA or ARB, have extended gracious leniency on penalties and fines to companies that self-disclose potential non-compliance.

Step 3: Don’t go it alone

The ARB notice was meant to be alarming. As noted in the letter they are aware that while some manufacturers have come forward a vast majority of manufacturers have not and as stated “this will not continue.”

Violations after 2016 are subject to the legislatively increased maximum penalty of $37,500 per mobile source or engine, per identified violation.

This is why we exist. We are the worlds leading experts in engine certification and compliance. We have direct working relationships both the EPA and ARB and work closely with these organizations to assist our manufacturing clients audit, filing and compliance logistics in order to reduce penalties and fines and return favor with these governing bodies to ensure smooth future production.

How ECO can help make this a smooth process

Handle your internal audit
We assess if you are in compliance or not. If you’re not, we’ll work directly with your teams to do an in-depth audit of your current manufactured products to prepare for any self-disclosure needs.

Prepare for voluntary self-disclosure
Approaching how you’ll self-disclose can mean the difference between a minor or major reduction in fines as well as future headaches. Our team takes our audit research and prepares all the necessary paperwork for a self-disclosure process as anticipated by the California Air Resources Board.

Represent you the whole way
Our favorable and respected reputation with the California Air Resources Board goes a long way to make the “self-disclosure” review process go as smooth as possible. When you’re represented by us we handle all of the filing logistics and “post disclosure” communications for you throughout the process.

Why ECO?

ECO, Inc. is the world’s leading engine and vehicle emissions certification consulting firm, specializing in certification management and regulatory analysis for on-road and off-road engine, vehicle, and equipment manufacturers. Composed of mechanical engineering experts, and certification specialists who work exclusively in the area of emissions compliance.

We pride ourselves on the working relationships we have developed over the years with the California ARB and U.S EPA. Leveraging these long term relationships, we can help your company obtain Executive Orders and Certificates of Conformity in the most timely and cost effective manner possible.

Get Started

The voluntarily self-disclosure deadline for manufactures with potential violations associated with their California-certified vehicles and/or engines is December 31, 2020.

Use the form below to contact us and get started on the process right away.

[hubspot type=form portal=8694574 id=c6a02a0f-78ee-44d8-bc30-d6662bc3e707]

CARB’s Focus on “Systemic Violations”

CARB’s “Dear Manufacturer” letter asserts that recent CARB screening tests and investigations have revealed a variety of “systemic violations.” These include:

  • Undisclosed Auxiliary Emission Control Devices (AECDs): CARB test procedures require manufacturers to disclose all AECDs installed on their vehicles.
  • Defeat Devices: Manufacturers must justify each AECD and provide a rationale for why it is not a defeat device. An AECD is a defeat device unless it falls into one of four categories: (1) the AECD conditions are substantially included in the federal emission test procedures; (2) the AECD is necessary to protect the vehicle against damage or accidents; (3) the AECD does not go beyond the requirements of the engine starting; or (4) the AECD is justified for use in emergency vehicles.
  • Unapproved Running Changes and Field Fixes: Manufactures must report post-certification changes to emissions-related hardware and software, including changes to the on-board diagnostic (OBD) system. These changes include ones that occur both on the assembly line and implemented in the field.
  • Failure to Report or Address Warranty Claims: When claims meet or exceed specified thresholds, manufacturers must file emissions warranty information reports and field information reports and initiate corrective actions, such as recalls.
  • Noncompliant Manufacturer In-Use Compliance Testing and Manufacturer’s Self-Testing (MST): Manufacturers must timely complete their MST and/or submit test data to CARB and notify CARB and receive approval of any substitution of parts before conducting MST demonstrations. CARB has also expressed concern that manufacturers are not properly completing their in-use verification program (IUVP) and heavy-duty in-use testing (HDIUT) obligations.
  • Failure to Report Corrective Actions That Should Be Under a CARB-Approved Recall Plan – not a Technical Service Bulletin or Other Field Fix: CARB must review and approve voluntary, influenced, and ordered emissions recall plans before they are implemented.
  • Submission of False Data or Non-Compliance with Regulatory Test Requirements: All data and information submitted to CARB must be true, accurate, and complete, and all manufacturers must use the applicable test procedures.
  • Failure to Meet OBD Requirements: All manufacturers must meet OBD requirements and conduct and timely report the results of Production Engine/Vehicle Evaluation Testing. Those requirements must be met not only during certification test cycles but also during in-use driving.
  • Failure to Disclose Adjustable Parameters That May Affect Emissions: Manufacturers must disclose adjustable parameters on a motor vehicle or engine that affect emissions.

CARB has and will continue to prioritize its enforcement efforts around these issues, evidenced by its latest letter and its numerous investigations and enforcement actions in recent years. Noting the upcoming 2021 opening of its “new state-of-the-art” testing laboratory, CARB’s letter admonishes manufacturers to voluntarily self-disclose potential violations before its “new techniques” and lab “inevitably detect any violations,” leading to future enforcement actions.