Release 09-29
April 2, 2009

    Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
Sand Car Association pays $600,000 for illegal vehicle sales
Penalties apply to 37 manufacturers

SACRAMENTO - Last month the California Air Resources Board fined a consortium of sand car sellers $600,000 for its members' illegal engine and vehicle sales between 2006 and 2008.

ARB investigators found that illegal engines and vehicles were being sold in California by several sand car manufacturers. The penalties from this case apply to 37 members of the newly formed association that were selling uncertified products.

"Industries that cater to off-road enthusiasts must also consider their product's impact on the environment," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Uncontrolled emissions from these vehicles add to California's already serious smog problems."

As a result of the investigation, most major sand car manufacturers and some engine suppliers located in California formed the Sand Car Association. to ensure that its members build compliant products. The association's formation has resulted in industry self-enforcement and California certification of three engines for use in sand cars.

For a complete list of the 37 manufacturers included in the settlement, click here.

ARB is still investigating other sand car manufacturers that are producing and selling illegal non-California certified vehicles.

Sand cars are off-road vehicles popular at state and federal recreation areas like Pismo Beach and Glamis Dunes. The Department of Motor Vehicles can revoke registrations of illegal vehicles; therefore, it is important that dealers and purchasers ensure that the vehicles are legal in California.

Clean vehicle engines cut smog-forming emissions and improve fuel economy, reducing harmful greenhouse gases. Smog can cause respiratory problems, including asthma, and effects the lung function growth of children.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.