EBay Bans Sale of Aftermarket Emissions Defeat Components

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague
ebay bans sale of aftermarket emissions defeat components

The tuning world has always had to adapt to changing laws and regulations, but the industry is grappling with tightening emissions regulations that have changed almost everything about how they can do business. Iconic Miata tuner Flyin’ Miata announced it would no longer sell completely converted cars or conversion kits because of the changes, and now eBay has banned the sale of emissions defeat devices.

Road and Track became aware of the changes at eBay through a private automotive Facebook Group, where a user detailed their experience selling a tuning device for Hondas. The sale ran afoul of eBay’s Emissions control defeat devices policy, which states that users cannot list “products that bypass, defeat or render inoperative emission-control systems.”

eBay’s ban covers hardware and software and includes language that bans components like modified ECUs, off-road exhausts, and more. The company’s information page says that it has the policy because it “helps our buyers and sellers follow government regulations,” but in reality, eBay could face thousands in fines for every sale it allows. 

The EPA notes that its initiative focuses on “those who manufacture, sell, or install aftermarket parts known as defeat devices.” Though it will fine entities it finds in violation of its policies, the EPA may allow a rollback of fines for companies that take voluntary action to remove products from their business. 

[Image: User Bob Korn via Shutterstock]

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5 of 26 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 26, 2022

    Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 27, 2022

    It's not 1975 any more.

    Cars with emission controls run very well, and better than they do without them.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Nov 27, 2022

    Most newer vehicles the emissions are controlled by microprocessors so tampering with emissions can effect the overall performance of a vehicle. Best to leave the catalytic converter in place unless you have the misfortune of having it stolen and then when you replace it you can have a steel plate welded below it to prevent future thefts. Eventually pollution devices will not be necessary if all vehicles are EVs. Don't really have an desire or need to make my vehicles run any faster they do just what I need them to do and they have enough power to meet my needs.

    • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Nov 28, 2022

      The anti-theft plates are typically riveted in place or held in place with security bolts. Welding makes it impossible to repair certain things like replacing a cat that's gone bad or replace a transmission rear seal (RWD vehicles) without resorting to a torch, which you don't want to do on frame rails, especially on BOF vehicles.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Nov 28, 2022

    What about tuning devices which can improve performance while still meeting emissions standards? I'm guessing they've banned those too.