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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nationwide online retailer JEGS pays $1.7 million to settle case for selling illegal auto parts in California

Sacramento – The California Air Resources Board today announced that JEGS Automotive Inc. will pay $1,700,500 to resolve violations of anti-pollution laws related to the sales and marketing of illegal aftermarket performance parts in California.

The penalty is the largest in CARB history for a case involving aftermarket parts.

“This large settlement sends a powerful message to those in the retail community that selling aftermarket parts not approved for sale to California drivers is a risk not worth taking,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey.  “Our tough air quality laws exist to protect public health, and those who flout these rules can expect to be caught and pay a steep price. We commend JEGS for cooperating and are confident that the company will not repeat this costly mistake.”

CARB staff initiated its investigation of JEGS thanks to a complaint from the public.  The probe revealed that from 2011 to 2014, JEGS advertised and sold in California modified aftermarket performance parts such as engine programmers, air intake systems and throttle bodies that were not approved by CARB for use on highway vehicles. Many of these products can reduce fuel economy and increase emissions.

Modified vehicles that no longer meet California’s emissions requirements pose a significant health threat to California residents.  They create higher amounts of smog-forming pollutants which can worsen respiratory problems and negatively impact other health conditions.

California law allows marketing and sale of an aftermarket performance part after an evaluation by CARB to ensure the part does not raise emissions. Once CARB approves the part, it is granted an executive order that allows the sale and installation of the part on pollution-controlled vehicles.  State law also requires manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to take steps to ensure that consumers understand the legality of parts offered for sale and to discourage illegal modifications to vehicles.

JEGS will pay $850,250 to Supplemental Environmental Projects that will install air filters in schools located in economically and environmentally challenged communities; the sum will be split between the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District.  The remaining $850,250 will be paid to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support clean air programs.

CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The CARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Hawaii - Take Action on HB2400 - The Imported Car Ban

The import car ban attempt in Hawaii is moving forward.  If you are in Hawaii, make sure you email, or call the committees know how you feel about these proposed regulations.

           Just a quick update. HB 2400 has been referred to the transportation and judiciary committees and it is now time to email the chair and vice chair of these committees and let them know how you feel about this bill. Below is this info:

House TRN Chair
Henry J.C. Aquino
House District 38
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 419
phone: 808-586-6520
fax: 808-586-6521

House TRN Vice Chair
Sean Quinlan
House District 47
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 304
phone: 808-586-6380
fax: 808-586-6381

House JUD Chair
Scott Y. Nishimoto
House District 21
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 421
phone: 808-586-8515
fax: 808-586-8519

House JUD Vice Chair
Joy A. San Buenaventura
House District 4
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 302
phone: 808-586-6530
fax: 808-586-6531

Here is the same email form I had sent out previously if you happen to misplace it.
I am writing you today to express my opposition to (HB2400 or SB2827). My objection to this bill comes from my love for Hawai'i's car community. This bill if passed would be an attack on the local automotive community. Although it might seem like a simple bill concerning the issuing of Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) to reconstructed vehicles, the proposal at its core will eliminate a pathway for our community to register Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) exempt vehicles in the state of Hawai'i.
The FMVSS only affects vehicles 25 years from the date of manufacture. You can see this in 49 U.S.C. 30112 (b)(9). The code mentioned states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only enforces these requirements on a vehicle that is under the age of 25 years. Anything over 25 years is exempt from having to comply with these requirements. This bill will allow the Hawai'i Department of Transportation (HIDOT) to enforce the FMVSS requirements on vehicles that are to be exempt. By doing so, this will require a vehicle regardless of age be sent to a Registered Importer (RI) for modification; however, there is a small problem in doing so. The process for sending a vehicle to a Registered Importer does not exist as the automobile is FMVSS exempt meaning there would be nothing an RI could do. By doing so, HIDOT will be sending all FMVSS exempt vehicles into limbo where a Registered Importer who is dictated by the NHTSA will not be able to make these changes because the federal government will tell them the vehicle is exempt and does not require such a process.
In addition to this, I would like to add that out of all United States, Hawai'i is the only state that has any issues with this section of the federal law. There are no issues relating to the safety of these vehicles in any other state. This bill also does not address the imported cars that are currently here in the State of Hawai'i and legally registered. It is because of this I humbly ask for your assistance in opposing (HB2400 or SB2827) this legislative session.

(Your Name)

Please let them know how you feel about this bill. Also, you are more than welcome to call them and voice your opinion if that is easier for you.

The next step for these bills will be a committee hearing if they get scheduled. If a hearing is scheduled I will let you know. You can also make an account and set up notifications so that the state will let you know when a hearing is scheduled. If they do not get scheduled by a committee then there is a good chance the bill will die. Please take action now in helping insure these bills do not make it to law.


                 Scott-Michael Waracka

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Hawaii Imported Car Ban Attempt

We alway talk about California and Hawaii being the two most difficult states to have 25 year old vehicles. Even though Federally these vehicles are NHTSA and EPA exempt, these two states impose their own rules and regulations.  Scott has been fighting the good fight in Hawaii. The least you can do is read this information, and try and support him. This is a fight that he can not do alone. So rather than whining about the rules and regulations, get off you ass and do something about it.

Aloha All,
                I hope you all had a great holiday season and are full of energy to fight the battle against the DOT for registering our federally legal imported cars. With that being said here you guys go:
House Bill 2400
Introduced by:
Scott K. Saiki
Senate Bill 2827
Introduced by:
Ronald D. Kouchi

This is a set of companion bills introduced on behalf of the DOT. If you read the last couple pages it will tell you what the intention of these bills are and that is to eliminate the registering of or imported cars. They both have not been sent to committee but if this happens and they have a hearing date I highly suggest you make yourself available to make it down to the capital to attend and show your opposition to this bill. When this info becomes available I will be forwarding it to you guys.

In the mean time it is a great time to email your representatives in both the house and senate. You can find out who yours is by visiting https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/ you can also google this to try and figure out who represents you. Once you figure that out please draft an email to them explaining why you oppose this bill. The more personal you get the better. Not all reps will respond but please do this as we need to show them we have numbers. You are more than welcome to send your email daily if you would like. Also, at the same time please email the chair and vice chair of the transportation committees in both the senate and House as this is most likely the committee they will be going to first. If we can get these committees to not even hear the bill then it will die there. If it goes to a hearing we will need to all submit testimony on line once available and in person.
Senate transportation committee
Lorraine R. Inouye
Vice Chair
Will Espero

House transportation committee
Henry J.C. Aquino
Vice Chair
Sean Quinlan

Please make sure you address the correct bill # to the correct representative.
Some good points to hit on are that the cars in question are federally exempt from complying with the FMVSS based on 49 U.S.C. 30112(b)(9) and that the process described by the DOT as using a Registered Importer to bring into compliance does not exist for a vehicle over the age of 25 years old. You can also point out that Hawaii is the only state that has any laws against the registering of these cars.
The more emails the better so if you know anyone who would like to help please send them this email and help them draft an email.
This is just another attack on the car community of Hawaii and when does it stop? We need to stand up to the state officials and show them that they work for us and that we do not want them to oppose a process on us that does not exist.

Thanks for taking the time to read this email. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask. I will help as much as I can. Let’s not take this laying down.
Have a great day.

Scott-Michael Waracka

Monday, January 1, 2018

JDM Subaru WRX : 25 Years Old and Legal to Import to the US

GC8A (11/1992-9/1993) Subaru WRX

While the US received the WRX eventually, it was sold in Japan from November 1992. Japan also got many different models and engine power plants than the US vehicles. They are starting to turn 25 years old, and exempt from FMVSS requirements.

History of the WRX by Road and Track Magazine

There have been seven noted versions of the WRX dating back from Subaru's original World Rally Cross staging vehicles. Subaru adopted the name "WRX" to stand for "World Rally eXperimental" (in some places WRX stands for "World Rally Cross") as all WRX versions (1992 to present) feature rally inspired technology, including all wheel drive, stiffened suspensions and turbocharged four cylinder engines. The STI versions were marketed with consecutive numbers. Another way to determine the version of a WRX was to look at the chassis code. All WRX sold between 1992 and 2000 have the beginning chassis code of GC8 sedan or GF8 hatchback; this is followed by a letter from A to G. Coupe versions share the "GC" code with sedans, except in the US, where they have a separate chassis code of "GM".

In 1994, Subaru introduced Subaru Tecnica International (STI) versions of the WRX in Japan. These models were upgraded from the standard WRX in many categories, including blueprinted performance-tuned engines, transmissions, and suspensions. The STI versions of the WRX were immensely successful in rallies and popular among street racers but were only sold in the Japanese market. Compared to the WRX, the STI had mostly mechanical modifications.

The WRX debuted in November 1992 with 240 PS (176.5 kW; 236.7 hp). The center differential was a viscous coupling type, the rear limited slip differential was a viscous type. The WRX Type RA is a stripped down version of the WRX that was available in the Japanese market for people to purchase for motorsports and tuning. Targeted for race and rally, the RA versions were generally lighter in weight; featuring reduced soundproofing, manual windows, no air conditioning, no anti-lock brakes, and added racing features such as more robust engines, driver controlled center differentials, and shorter gearing. The WRX Type RA uses a closer ratio gearbox and a three-spoke leather steering wheel from Nardi.

In Europe, the WRX was introduced as the Impreza GT, and as the Impreza Turbo 2000 (UK). It came with 208 hp (155 kW; 211 PS). In the United Kingdom, Subaru offered six "WRX 1.8 GL" in 1993. The firm imported six Type RS's, the development car that led to the stripped-out Type RA. Three cars went to Prodrive; three were retained by Subaru UK and were subsequently sold. For UK car certification reasons they were registered as "1.8 GL" despite having the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

Find your USA legal 25 year old Subaru WRX here.


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