Utah Physicians Achieve Federal Court Order Prohibiting National Auto Parts Distributor From Selling Pollution Control Defeat Devices

4 Wheel Parts stores nationwide – including those in Salt Lake City and Ogden – are now prohibited from selling or installing aftermarket parts that defeat air pollution controls in pickups and other vehicles, according to a federal court order issued in Salt Lake City yesterday.

The federal court order resolves a Clean Air Act case brought by the health-advocacy group Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) against 4 Wheel Parts.  UPHE brought a similar action against the Diesel Brothers in 2016 that confirmed citizens can enforce the Clean Air Act and Utah’s air pollution regulations to prevent companies from altering, removing, or undermining pollution control devices on cars and trucks.  These and future actions will help reduce air pollution on the Wasatch Front and throughout the country. 

The court order also requires 4 Wheel Parts to improve the air quality along the Wasatch Front by paying $100,000 to the Davis County Health Department to fund a tampered diesel truck restoration program, and $100,000 to the Weber-Morgan Health Department to reduce the number of tampered vehicles registered out-of-county.  4 Wheel Parts is also required to pay $100,000 to the federal government as a civil penalty. 

“We appreciate the opportunity to improve our air quality and are encouraged by the options this money could give us to educate and help the owners of tampered diesel pickup trucks in Davis County to reinstall original pollution controls,” said Brian Hatch, Health Director, Davis County Health Department.

Removing a catalytic converter in violation of federal and state air pollution laws, which was enabled by aftermarket exhaust kits sold by 4 Wheel Parts, can cause a twenty-fold increase in health-damaging emissions of nitrogen oxide from each vehicle.

“We appreciate the opportunity to receive this funding and apply it to our department’s efforts to improve air quality in the area. “This funding will be used to enforce our department’s Inspection and Maintenance program,” said Brian Cowan, Health Officer, Weber-Morgan Health Department.

Dr. Kirtly Jones, Vice President of UPHE said, “Today’s court order helps decrease the burden of air pollution which contributes to illness and death of men, women, and children in the Wasatch Front.”

“This company had a business model that included selling and installing pollution control defeat devices that dramatically increased tail pipe pollution. No company should be allowed to make profits by disdainfully flaunting our anti-pollution laws. Today’s injunction should send a message to other companies that are engaged in similar activities,” said Dr. Brian Moench, President of UPHE.

“Today’s court action will help reduce harmful emissions from cars and trucks, improving the air quality for millions of people in Utah and throughout the country,” said Jonny Vasic, Executive Director of UPHE.        

A copy of the UPHE v TAP consent decree as signed by Judge Barlow is available here.