A Chicago-based company was penalized $294,000 by CARB for selling used diesel soot filters.
 - Photo: Jim Park

A Chicago-based company was penalized $294,000 by CARB for selling used diesel soot filters.

Photo: Jim Park

The California Air Resources Board has penalized LKQ Corporation, a Chicago-based provider of alternative and specialty automotive parts, for selling used diesel particulate filters, which is illegal in the State of California.

LKQ agreed to pay a $294,000 penalty for selling the filters, which violate California’s aftermarket parts and diesel particulate filter verification regulations. It is illegal to sell or install a used diesel soot filter for use in heavy-duty trucks in California.  It is also illegal for a business to install one of these filters without being authorized by the filter manufacturer.

As part of the settlement agreement, the fine will be paid to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support air pollution research and education. The company has also updated its website and is no longer selling or advertising used filters for the California market.

“Truckers should make sure that when installing or replacing their diesel particulate filter that a CARB-approved device is being used,” said CARB Enforcement Chief Todd Sax.  “When shopping for a filter, remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

California law requires truck owners to keep DPFs in working order, and to replace the filter if it is damaged and not working properly.  Only CARB-certified filters may be sold, installed, or operated in the state because using an uncertified or improperly installed filter can damage an engine and expose those around the truck to toxic diesel soot, according to CARB.

CARB has been cracking down on the sale and installation of used DPFs. Last year, it settled with a Fresno repair shop for $7,000, prompting the agency to investigate several other diesel repair shops in the Central Valley of California.

“The sales of illegal diesel particulate filters in California needs to stop, and I hope the actions announced today demonstrate the seriousness of these violations,” said Sax. “These companies sold cheap, illegal filters, harvested from other vehicles, to unsuspecting truckers.”

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