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Two Texas Companies and Four Chinese Manufacturers Found to Be in Violation of Clean Air Act for Selling More than 11,000 Uncertified Motorcycles and ATVs/ EPA has also denied applications for certificates to these companies for sale of model year 2015 vehicles in the US

Release Date: 12/18/2014
Contact Information: Jennifer Colaizzi, Colaizzi.jennifer@epa.gov, 202-564-7776

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that two Texas-based companies—Jonway Motorcycle (USA) Co., Ltd., and Shenke USA, Inc.—and four manufacturers in China violated the Clean Air Act by importing and selling more than 11,000 motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) that did not conform to the specifications that the companies had certified to EPA or lacked EPA certification.

EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board ruled that the companies are responsible for a $1,258,582 civil penalty for these violations. EPA also denied applications from Zhejiang Jonway Motorcycle Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Shenke USA, Inc., and a third company not part of the case decided by the Environmental Appeals Board—Huibang USA, Inc.—for certificates of conformity for model year 2015 highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles manufactured by Zhejiang Jonway Motorcycle Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Without these certificates, which are like permits, Jonway and Shenke may not lawfully sell their model year 2015 vehicles in the U.S.

“EPA’s vehicle certification regulations are an important way we help reduce air pollution and protect public health,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Failing to provide honest and accurate information to EPA compromises our ability to protect clean air for Americans.”

Jonway Motorcycle (USA) Co., Ltd. and Shenke USA, Inc., hold the certificates of conformity for uncertified vehicles. Four Chinese entities—Jonway Group Co., Ltd., Shanghai Shenke Motorcycle Co., Ltd., Zhejiang JMStar Shenke Motorcycle Co., Ltd., and Zhejiang Jonway Motorcycle Manufacturing Co., Ltd.—manufactured the vehicles.

As EPA reviews future certificate applications for these manufacturers, the agency will carefully consider all available information, including any outstanding or unresolved enforcement penalties or actions, when deciding whether to approve those applications.

The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to certify to EPA that their products will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution, and every vehicle sold in the U.S. must be covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity. To obtain certificates of conformity, manufacturers or importers must submit an application to EPA that describes the engine or vehicle, including its emission control system. The application must also provide emissions data demonstrating that the engines and vehicles will meet applicable federal emission standards.

Through inspections of imported vehicles at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport and Nitro Powersports, LLC, a vehicle retailer in Carrollton, Texas, EPA discovered that Jonway and Shenke imported 11,043 noncompliant highway motorcycles and 226 ATVs beginning in model year 2009. The companies illegally imported and distributed over 80 models of uncertified vehicles, which were available for purchase across the U.S.

The motorcycles and ATVs were not covered by certificates of conformity because they had undersized catalysts, adjustable carburetors that were not described in the corresponding application for certification, were manufactured by an entity different from the one specified in the corresponding application for certification, or were manufactured after the applicable certificate expired. Jonway and Shenke also imported ATVs that lacked proper warranties and labels.

EPA’s investigation also uncovered evidence of recordkeeping violations related to emissions testing and certification. Jonway Motorcycle (USA) Co., Ltd. and Shenke USA, Inc. failed to maintain complete emissions test records for several of the engine families for which they were the certificate holders. The companies also failed to maintain records on all of the vehicles covered by their certificates that were imported into the U.S. as well as failing to timely and completely respond to EPA’s request for information to assess their compliance.

In July and August, 2014, Shenke USA, Inc. and Zhejiang Jonway Motorcycle Manufacturing Co., Ltd., jointly submitted applications for certificates of conformity for model year 2015 highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles. These applications were denied later in August 2014. In September 2014, Huibang USA, Inc. and Zhejiang Jonway Motorcycle Manufacturing Co., Ltd., jointly submitted an application for a certificates of conformity for model year 2015 recreational vehicles. This application was denied in October 2014.

Highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles emit carbon monoxide, as well as hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Breathing carbon monoxide can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's tissues and organs, like the heart and brain. Nitrogen oxides can cause or contribute to a variety of health problems and adverse environmental impacts, such as ground-level ozone, acid rain, water quality deterioration and visual impairment. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation and congestion, and can worsen bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

The Environmental Appeals Board’s default order and final decision in the case is available at http://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/EAB_Web_Docket.nsf/4192ecc36740334585256fc500721f72/af693f1241c52c4e85257d900059758b!OpenDocument.

For more information on this case, visit http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/jonway-and-shenke-default-order-and-final-decision.