(Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced April 16 that an automobile parts company in Union City has agreed to pay a $25,000 penalty to settle an administrative claim that it sold 1,551 devices to bypass vehicle pollution controls.

The consent agreement between the regional EPA office in San Francisco and Advance Manufacturing Group USA Inc., operating under the name of OBX Racing Sports, was signed by a regional EPA judicial officer on April 10.

EPA alleged that OBX Racing Sports manufactured or sold 1,551 emissions control defeat devices nationwide between 2015 and 2017, in violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

The consent agreement states that the maximum civil penalty for manufacturing, selling or installing each device is $4,735.
But the agreement, referring to the company as respondent, says that in 2018, “respondent submitted financial information to the EPA which supports respondent’s claim that it could not afford to pay a full penalty for the alleged violations.”

EPA spokeswoman Soledad Calvino said the penalty was “reduced based on ability to pay.”

OBX Racing Sports could not immediately be reached for comment.

The agreement says the company does not admit to any wrongdoing, but consents to paying the $25,000 penalty and certifies that it is now in compliance with the Clean Air Act.

Calvino said the company is headquartered in Union City, has a warehouse in Oakland, and conducts business through online sales.