Monday, January 31, 2011

Chinese Imports can get a dealer in trouble

Another example of why dealers need to ask their distributor or importer for EPA certificates and to make sure things are legitimate. Just checking dealer news today I saw a familiar scooter brands from California.

One of things we are going over at the Dealer Expo this year is how to ask companies for their certificates and EPA numbers. In some states like California its not just the importer that gets a state fine, but also the dealer.

Scooters, ATVs, and Motorcycles can make money, but they can also cost you your business if not done correctly.

From Dealer News:

An investigation by the California Air Resources Board led to a $250,000 judgment issued in October 2010 by the San Bernardino County Court against Montclair, Calif.-based NST Inc. for the illegal sales of uncertified off-highway vehicles.

The board made the announcement in a press release dated Jan. 18.

According to the release, ARB investigators found NST Inc. — also known as New Star, owned by John Cheng — illegally sold at least 52 off-highway recreational vehicles such as ATVs, dirtbikes and go-karts to California dealerships starting around May 2006. Investigators discovered the illegal sales while conducting routine dealer inspections.

”California has clean air laws in place to protect residents from these recreational vehicles that can pollute up to 100 times more than a passenger car," ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols said in the release. "Businesses that sell equipment and vehicles illegally will pay penalties, especially businesses that are repeat offenders.”

NST was issued a notice of violation for selling non-ARB-certified vehicles. Because a settlement could not be reached, the case was referred to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office for prosecution. A judgment was ultimately entered in the amount of $250,000 for Health and Safety Code and Business and Professions Code violations.

In 2006 NST settled with ARB for $80,000 for the importation, sale and delivery of noncertified pocket bikes and scooters. Because the owner of the company was a repeat violator, ARB officials sought the highest financial penalty in the 2010 case.

Additionally, dealerships and distributors throughout California that bought from NST and subsequently sold the illegal vehicles to consumers were also cited.

Posted by Arlo Redwine

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