Violations and Penalties

If a vehicle is found to be tampered with, who will receive the violation?

EVERYONE. Anyone who causes, suffers, permits, or allows operating a tampered vehicle, selling a tampered vehicle, selling the parts used for tampering, or conducts the actual tampering will receive the violation.

Violations of the rule by tampering with a vehicle could result in penalties of up to the maximum penalty of $30,000 per offense for:
1. Tampering with any device or component
2. Operating a tampered vehicle on public roads
3. Selling or offering off-specification parts for sale
4. Selling, leasing, or offering for sale or lease a tampered vehicle

If you remove, disconnect, detach, deactivate, alter, modify, reprogram, or make less effective any emission control device installed by the manufacturer, or use less effective replacement parts, you have committed the act of tampering.

This includes installing replacement parts that do not meet the manufacturers’ specifications, and/or reprogramming computer components or installing performance chips to circumvent or “defeat” factory settings, or to produce excessive exhaust smoke.

It is legal to repair tampering by restoring a vehicle to factory configuration or replace missing emission controls. However, repair technicians may still refuse to work on tampered vehicles to protect themselves from enforcement action.

Exceptions are permitted for aftermarket parts approved by CARB for a specific application. You can check CARB’s extensive online database of aftermarket devices.