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Discussion Starter #1
I do not want to discourage anyone modifying their car but I post the following for the sake of full (or at least partial) disclosure.

First, copied from another Forum ...

Publication Date 01/11/2020 Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL) Florida man pays $850K settlement for helping cars evade EPA regulations
Jan. 11--A Deltona man and his related businesses agreed to pay $850,000 for violating the federal Clean Air Act by selling aftermarket products that altered vehicles' electronics systems so that they could illegally bypass EPA emissions requirements.

Under the settlement, Michael Paul Schimmack, Punch It Performance and Tuning and other companies with ties to Schimmack also agreed to no longer sell the devices, according to a Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency news release Friday.

According to the DOJ release, the family must surrender any computer code used in the products and end technical and warranty support for already-sold devices.

In a statement released by his lawyer, Schimmack said he continued to contest the claims against him but said he did not want to continue "to incur the very substantial time and expense necessary" to defend himself.

The device hacked into a car's electronics to alter engine performance and allow for the removal of filters and other critical emissions control components.

"The Middle District of Florida remains committed to enforcing the Clean Air Act," said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, who is based in Orlando. "The settlement announced today is a clear statement of our office's commitment to protect our citizens and the environment."

Anonymous tipsters notified regulators that Schimmack had run three successive companies that peddled the aftermarket devices, according to the initial lawsuit filing.

The so-called "delete kits" allowed car owners to remove exhaust gas recirculation coolers from vehicles. Those coolers are designed to reduce nitrogen oxide levels to volumes that adhere to the Clean Air Act.

The release also said Schimmack and codefendants moved assets fraudulently in an effort to hide them from regulators to avoid penalties.

"Companies and individuals who deal in aftermarket defeat devices are threatening the public's health and violating federal law," Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert said in the release.

Second ...

It's that last paragraph, that includes individuals, that gives me pause.

And the above case apparently is not isolated. There have also been cases involving "Off road use only" mods although so far race tracks seem to be unaffected. But if I was making mods I would first want to be sure there is an easy way to reverse things without leaving an obvious trail.

And that brings up another thought ...

I'm generally not a paranoid person but I have never trusted unknown sources for anything I plug into anything containing software. It's too easy to get hacked (and in this day of Wi-Fi remote implications exist).

But with the Feds getting interested in modders I have real concerns about future availability of options from qualified recognized sources.

I'm old enough to have witnessed changes in the industry and the options we have as vehicle owners.

Currently we are seeing the manufacturers trending toward dealer service only, eliminating first the back yard mechanics and perhaps eventually the indies. I don't blame them given liability laws. If I were in their position, especially given the progression of auto driven cars (even as "simple" as lane drift assistance packages) and the possibility of third party modifications causing system failures with negative outcomes.

It will be interesting to see where and how far the EPA runs with this.

In the meantime, stay safe out there and beware what third party mod you experiment with.
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