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EPA settles with AZ companies over illegal sale of "defeat devices" meant to bypass emission controls

car emissions
Martin Meissner/AP
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced settlements this week with two Arizona companies who illegally sold aftermarket auto parts designed to bypass required emissions control systems.

In selling the so-called “defeat devices,” the companies Dykstra Machinery and RPM Outlet violated the Clean Air Act. The companies sell auto parts in Phoenix, Casa Grande and Gilbert.

A statement by the EPA says diesel and gasoline powered vehicles that have been tampered with emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States, including premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer.

The distributors paid nearly $55,000 in penalties.