The DOJ (Department of Justice) of the U.S. sued eBay for permitting the sale of 343,011 aftermarket emissions defeat devices and other products that violated the Clean Air Act. The online retailer risks billions of dollars in fines, including up to $5,580 per Clean Air Act violation, which could include the sale of ECU tuners, aftermarket exhausts, or other equipment that tamper with factory emissions systems.
The DOJ’s suit comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that emissions defeat devices would no longer be a primary priority for the agency. Despite this, the federal government has continued to pursue examples of systematic Clean Air Act violations, such as tuning shops and online resellers.
The DOJ fined a diesel tuner $1 million in August for selling and installing unlicensed ECU tuners that tamper with onboard emissions systems. eBay outlawed the sale of aftermarket items that meddle with emissions last year but has evidently not followed up with moderation.
The DOJ also claims that eBay sold 23,000 unlicensed or restricted-use pesticides, in violation of a 2020 U.S. EPA stop-sale order, and distributed 5,614 paint and coating remover products containing methylene chloride. The chemical has been related to the development of deadly brain and liver cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The case alleges that:
“eBay has the power, the authority, and the resources to stop the sale of illegal, harmful products on its website. It has chosen not to; instead, it has chosen to engage in these illegal transactions.”
In response to the claims, eBay referred to the case as “entirely unprecedented.” The world’s largest e-commerce company vows to forcefully defend its position and asserts that it upholds “a safe and trusted marketplace.” Furthermore, eBay claims that “more than 99.9%” of the listings mentioned by the DOJ are being removed or blocked.
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