The EPA Wants to Ban “Race Cars”

This is according to Sema

  • Street vehicles—cars, trucks, and motorcycles—can’t be converted into racecars according to the EPA.
  • The EPA has announced that enforcement against high performance parts—including superchargers, tuners, and exhaust systems—is a top priority.
  • Even if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts who contacted Congress in the past, we need your support again!
  • Tell the bureaucrats in Washington that racecars are off limits!

The RPM Act is common-sense, bi-partisan legislation to protect Americans’ right to convert street vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles) into dedicated racecars and the motorsports-parts industry’s ability to sell products that enable racers to compete.  The bill clarifies that it is legal to make emissions-related changes to a street vehicle for the purpose of converting it into a racecar used exclusively in competition.  It also confirms that it is legal to produce, market and install racing equipment.

The RPM Act reverses the EPA’s interpretation that the Clean Air Act does not allow a motor vehicle designed for street use—including a car, truck, or motorcycle—to be converted into a dedicated racecar.  This American tradition was unquestioned for nearly 50 years until 2015 when the EPA took the position that converted vehicles must remain emissions-compliant, even though they are no longer driven on public streets or highways.  Although the EPA did not finalize the proposed rule, the agency still maintains the practice of modifying the emission system of a motor vehicle for the purpose of converting it for racing is illegal.  Manufacturing, selling and installing race parts for the converted vehicle would also be a violation. The EPA has also announced that enforcement against high performance parts—including superchargers, tuners, and exhaust systems—is a top priority.

Converting street vehicles into dedicated race vehicles is an American tradition dating back decades and has negligible environmental impact.  While California is known for having the strictest emissions laws, the state exempts racing vehicles from regulation.

Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional.  Retail sales of racing products make up a nearly $2 billion market annually.  Most of the vehicles raced on the estimated 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S. are converted vehicles that the EPA considers to be illegal.

The RPM Act does not interfere with the EPA’s authority to enforce against individuals who illegally install race parts on vehicles driven on public roads and highways and the companies that market such products.  Tampering with the emissions system of a motor vehicle used on public roads is a clear violation of the Clean Air Act.

The RPM Act will provide the racing community with certainty and confidence in the face of an EPA interpretation of the Clean Air Act that threatens to devastate an American pastime and eliminate jobs in our communities.

Tell Your Elected Officials to Protect Motorsports and Pass the RPM Act


Republican and Democrat members of Congress have expressed a desire to provide certainty to racers and the motorsports parts industry. However, there is much more to be done before the RPM Act becomes law.

Use our Action Center to send a message to your Senators and Representative to ask them to support the RPM Act.

SEMA members can help spread the word by including links on their websites, social media platforms, storefronts and garages.  Members can also rally their customers, employees, followers and friends to act.  Use the assets found in SEMA’s digital toolkit: And don’t forget to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #SaveOurRacecars.

More information on the Clean Air Act according to blog.uscusa

The Clean Air Act states quite clearly that it is prohibited “for any person to manufacture or sell, or offer to sell, or install, any part or component intended for use with, or as part of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, where a principal effect of the part or component is to bypass, defeat, or render inoperative any [emissions control] device.” There is no magical exemption for different uses of a certified motor vehicle.

These strong anti-tampering provisions have allowed EPA to target the manufacture, sale, and installation of parts intended to “bypass, defeat, or render inoperative” emissions controls, aka “defeat devices.” However, the RPM Act is designed to neuter this capability.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Gerald S Ladd

    The EPA is as worthless as the CDC is.

  • Rosie46

    How many young boys/men and even some girls spend their spare time wit rebuilding cars? Now they want to ban it? So what do these kids do – go out and get in trouble. It is their right to rebuild cars. How much pollution would thus prevent – across entire US – maybe the output on one China coal plant (they have thousands and are building more every month). Fire these control freaks- they have too much time in their hands.

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