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EPA halts imports of Chinese ATVs, off-road motorcycles

Four Chinese ATV and motorcycle manufacturers lost permission to import. The EPA found their certificates of compliance with air-quality standards had false or incomplete data.

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ATV riders ride the dunes in Pismo Beach, Calif., in February. On Wednesday, EPA halted imports of ATVs and off-road motorcycles from four Chinese companies because their products may not meet clean-air standards. But consumers who have already bought the products can continue using them.

Newscom/File

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Chinese off-road cycle and all-terrain vehicle manufacturers hit a big pothole Wednesday as the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew permission to import and sell up to 200,000 such vehicles because they may pollute more than had been claimed.

After a lengthy investigation, the agency said it had found that certifications of compliance with US air-quality rules submitted in 2006 and 2007 actually "contained false or incomplete information" about pollution levels from the vehicles.

It was the first time the agency has ever voided certificates that had already been issued. The certificates had been issued to the US subsidiaries of four of China’s largest ATV manufacturers: Hensim USA (City of Industry, Calif.); Loncin USA (Hayward, Calif.); Peace Industry Group (Norcross, Ga.); and Seaseng (Pomona, Calif.).

The certificates were issued, based on applications compiled by MotorScience Enterprise, a consultant to the companies, the agency said in a statement. The EPA also said it believes "MotorScience Enterprise intentionally submitted false or incomplete emissions information."

EPA said it is considering enforcement action that "could lead to significant financial penalties against the businesses that manufactured or imported these types of recreational vehicles."

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