Release 09-72
August 13, 2009

    Karen Caesar
(626) 575-6728

ARB investigation leads to $1.875 million judgment against Viva Motor Sports, Inc. for selling non-California certified vehicles

Sacramento - Thanks to an investigation launched by the ARB in 2006, the Los Angeles County Superior Court in June issued a $1.875 million judgment against several companies for importing and selling non-California certified motorcycles and off-road recreational vehicles.

Defendants in the case include Viva Motor Sports, Inc., of Los Angeles, along with DEC 26, Inc., BH Motorsports, Inc., Nitro Motorsports, Inc, and their associated businesses, all based in the Los Angeles area.

"There are plenty of great motorcycles that meet clean air standards. Most dealers know this and carry only bikes that have their California smog certificate. Those who try to cut corners put themselves in a lose-lose situation," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Violators pay penalties and damage their reputations while putting public health at risk."

The companies will pay a total of $268,000 and the balance of the fine will be stayed, pending no further violations. In addition, the defendants are permanently enjoined from acquiring, offering for sale, or selling uncertified motor vehicles for use, registration, or resale in California and falsely representing that a vehicle is certified.

During routine inspections of area retail establishments in 2006, ARB investigators observed a variety of all-terrain vehicles and on-road motorcycles for sale that were not certified to California's strict emissions standards. Investigators traced the models to their importers, Viva Motor Sports, and the other cited companies. Hundreds of the vehicles had already been sold to California residents. While many purchasers returned them for refunds, those who chose to keep them are subject to "registration stops" which prevent future registration in California.

Vehicles that do not meet California's tough emission requirements create higher amounts of smog-forming pollutants, which can then exacerbate respiratory ailments and negatively affect other health conditions.

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.