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Aftermarket Defeat Devices: Enforcing & Mitigating Mobile Air Pollution


April 21, 2020


Webinar Only

ELI Member Webinar

Enforcing mobile source pollution, such as from motor vehicles, has become increasingly challenging as consumers and industry have turned to aftermarket “defeat devices” that may provide perceived benefits like enhanced fuel efficiency but exacerbate the emission of air pollutants. Mobile sources account for a significant portion of air pollution, including approximately two-thirds of carbon monoxide (CO), three-fifths of nitrous oxide (NOx), and one-fourth of volatile organic compounds (VOC). While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates these pollutants from vehicles, aftermarket defeat devices intentionally remove or alter the hardware, software, or other designs that regulate the emissions controls of a motor vehicle.

While vehicle manufacturers utilizing defeat devices grab headlines, aftermarket parts and software are less conspicuous. According to EPA, over 500,000 diesel pickup trucks since 2009 have installed aftermarket defeat devices resulting in the equivalent air quality impact of adding 9 million pickup trucks to roads. Moreover, these devices are prevalent in heavy-duty trucks, light-duty cars, agriculture equipment, forestry equipment, and construction equipment, among others.

What are the major drivers of demand for aftermarket defeat devices? How can the states curtail the demand for these devices? What policy measures is the EPA taking to mitigate aftermarket defeat devices? Our panelists explored these questions and policies to mitigate aftermarket defeat devices.

Jennifer M. Tharp
, Associate, Squire Patton Boggs, Moderator
Evan Belser, Associate Director of the Air Enforcement Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Julie Domike, Shareholder, Babst Calland

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