The automotive aftermarket community recently received another blow, as eBay has banned the sale of any tuning device that defeats the factory emissions systems.
According to a report from Road & Track, eBay policy states that any part that has the ability to render a factory emissions system inoperative is banned from being posted for sale on the site. Applicable toward hardware and software alike, this change in policy is believed to have taken place sometime in 2022. Banned products include:
- Standalone ECUs
- Off-road exhausts
- AFM disablers
- Throttle response controllers
- Oxygen sensor bypass devices
“eBay prohibits the sale of items that bypass, defeat or render inoperative emission-control systems under the Defeat Device Policy and an EPA Enforcement Alert,” an eBay spokesperson was quoted as saying.
EPA policy and regulations are a large driving force behind eBay’s decision. In fact, under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the power to charge eBay $4,819 for every illegal part sold through the website.
The crackdown began in 2020, when the EPA started a National Compliance Initiative to enforce restrictions on emissions-related devices.
“This Alert is intended to remind all regulated entities that installing a defeat device or tampering with a motor vehicle or non-road equipment can be costly to their businesses and can subject them to enforcement and penalties,” said the EPA in a statement. “While EPA continues to take enforcement actions against automobile manufacturers for their emissions cheating, the focus of this National Compliance Initiative is on those who manufacture, sell, or install aftermarket parts known as defeat devices, which bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems, resulting in significant increases in harmful air emissions.”
In the face of massive financial penalties for the sale of these devices, it’s really no surprise the eBay decided to ban them. This isn’t the first time these types of devices have been pulled either. Cobb Tuning and Hondata both recently changed the way that tuners are able to modify and adjust ECUs in an attempt to prevent tampering with emissions equipment.
This could also prevent the tuning of GM products. For example, the LS and LT engine platforms are well known for easy modification with the likes of heads, camshaft, headers, intake, etc. Unless these parts are emissions complaint, customers may not have the ability to modify these vehicles like they used to.