Automotive & Aftermarket News

EPA Looking to Prohibit Conversion of Street Vehicles into Race Cars

Hot rodders unite.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a new regulation that would prevent you from converting your street car into a race car. This regulation would impact all vehicle types, including the sports cars, sedans, and hatchbacks commonly converted for use at the track, according to SEMA. It would also make illegal the sale of certain emission-related parts for use on converted vehicles, as outlined in this Motor Trend article.

SEMA is actively working to stop the legislation, which would also make the sale of certain products illegal if used for race purposes on street vehicles. You can read the SEMA press release below and then pass the word.

[UPDATE] Feb. 10, 2016: You can sign the online petition asking the EPA to withdraw the proposal here. Although the stated goal of the petition is 100,000 signatures, help us reach 1 million signatures by March 10.

[UPDATE 2] Feb. 12, 2016: A lot has been said in the media about this. Separate the facts from the myths.

[UPDATE 3] Feb. 23, 2016: The EPA has reopened public comment on the proposed rule.

WASHINGTON, DC (February 8, 2016) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars. The regulation would also make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal. The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.”

The regulation would impact all vehicle types, including the sports cars, sedans and hatch-backs commonly converted strictly for use at the track. While the Clean Air Act prohibits certain modifications to motor vehicles, it is clear that vehicles built or modified for racing, and not used on the streets, are not the “motor vehicles” that Congress intended to regulate.

“This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”

SEMA submitted comments in opposition to the regulation and met with the EPA to confirm the agency’s intentions. The EPA indicated that the regulation would prohibit conversion of vehicles into racecars and make the sale of certain emissions-related parts for use on converted vehicles illegal. Working with other affected organizations, including those representing legions of professional and hobbyist racers and fans, SEMA will continue to oppose the regulation through the administrative process and will seek congressional support and judicial intervention as necessary.

The EPA has indicated it expects to publish final regulations by July 2016.

About SEMA
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $36 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,633 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909-610-2030, or visit

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  1. I’m pissed

    • Dennis Parker says:

      So much for putting in a gen 6 540 in my Volt

    • Gregory Lopez says:

      It always starts with a little regulation next thing will be no modifications go any vechicles..only factory parts ect ect…its no secret they want your hot rod off the street.its a gas hog and pollutes..that’s how they think


  2. Start by giving out information on how to fight this.

  3. Lesson 1 on how to turn a lifelong supporter of the Democrats into a Republican while accomplishing nothing to seriously delay climate change.

  4. More stupid government. Like making the posession and manufacture of footballs and soccer balls illegal because of the problems with concussions.

  5. This proposal is a golden gift to Donald Trump. He’s the only one in the presidential race savvy enough to realize how much of an emotional issue this is with millions of American men.

    • Not Trump, TED CRUZ, he already said he will defund the EPA, whether it happens or not, no one knows, but he has my vote

  6. They should leave us the weekend
    Worrier alone. Because that’s all we have to look forward to.

  7. I really hate to get political on your page guys but I for one believe Obama, and his Cronies cant leave DC soon enough. I’m sick of his constant effort to fundamentally change of our country. Having Mark Dayton standing on our necks in Minnesota is bad enough.

  8. I feel as though that the EPA personnel (current) do not have any children/grandchildren THAT does not have the urge to “soup up” the old Chevy/Ford/Dodge to make the tires spin faster than it should….and forbid the purchase of the faster automobiles (current or older generation) only a electric automobile…..10+years to recoup the monies invested, IF kept for that length, by then it would be an antique, out of date, without an update on software to be compatible with current specifics….. So, on the political side, the Government WILL SLOWLY take away little pieces of freedom that WE do have left, America will slowly become so much of a anti-American country that it will become a USSR…… is slowly on its way…….it did start with Obama/Clinton care, remember the Clinton’s tried this when Bill was present, also Hilary IS A SECURITY THREAT TO THIS Country……..Just had to let that out, EPA is really not a good department with the US Government.

  9. Just became a republican.

    • Dennis Parker says:

      Our vote count in Noverber. 2 parties to choose from. Easy to see who stands for what. Just VOTE your feelings in Nov.

  10. So often I get told to take off my tin foil hat. And occasionally the “you don’t need that 30 round magazine in your rifle but leave the right for people even with bad driving history to purchase a 700HP Hellcat alone!” crowd.

    And I say “An out of control government eventually gets to you, or something you care about. Give it time”.

    Hello car people. Welcome to the civil war.
    This EPA was “voted in” by the people who hate you. Remember that.


  11. more overreaching big gov’t trying to control things they ultimately can’t afford to police. the effort would be like pissing on a forest fire.

  12. This has been an ongoing attempt for decades starting out in California with their excessive Smog Check programs, regulations on Hot Rods by C.A.R.B. Etc Etc. I have and will always have several Street Rods. Its not only a Hobby, its a piece of History and a way of life. For the most part highly maintained Street Rod Engine run very clean. Its always easier for the Big Gov’t to go after the smaller citizens than Big Pollution Making Businesses. Me, I will always have HOT RODS!!!!

  13. RatRodFan274 says:

    This whole thing is apparently not true. The EPA is not seeking such a ban. See the Snopes web site:

  14. Bruce Blotner says:

    Bruce in SC……..I feel that this is just another way to take away more of our Freedom. That we should stop or give up our rights for those who oppose what others love and have the right to do. It’s time we take back our freedoms that so many of us fought for


    I ,for one, would rather be shot in the face than see some crock of s#%@ go down like the suits in the office are trying to make a reality. Some reality….more like hell. I have been wrenchin since I was old enough to hold one. If a motion such as this would come to pass I ,and many like me , would truly have nothing to live for. No matter if your a hobbyist , novice shadetree , professional in the industry, or someone like me that bases his entire existence on (to sum it up) car , bike , and hotrod culture and way of life , making a living and or pastimes will definitely come to a screeching halt or become an outlaw and face possible persecution if you get caught doin what you do cuz you cant just change who and what you are. I have two spark plugs tattooed on the back of my shoulders. One is an angel and the other a devil , my bibles are many (repair manuals , fabrication , conversion charts , and such). My name is not important on a grand scale , but I know there has got to be numbers more like me that keep the wheels of America turning and keep their families fed and sheltered by doing so. As the saying goes , “Mechanics and Gearheads are the willing souls led by the unknowing , doing the impossible, for the ungrateful.” Besides trampling the means of like minded souls just trying to make a living doing what they know (which is a broad and complex chunk of skills and knowledge) , the economy and everyone else will feel the ripple effect of yet another ignorant act of congress when the wrenches hit the ground. So….Back to my opening statement,…Id rather be shot in the face.

  16. RatRodFan274 says:

    Please, folks, go to the Snopes website before getting wrapped around the axle any further; The EPA is NOT proposing to ban street cars from being transformed into racecars and they are NOT proposing a ban on speed equipment sales or use. This whole thing has taken on a life of its own. Go to and read the actual truth about this.

  17. Bob Hoisington says:

    Impeach the whole Obama administration,and for God sake VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!!!!!!!!! The Green House Gas deal is just another Democratic Money Making Scam.It’s a big part of Pres. Obama’s retirement fund.

  18. The EPA, thanks to King, I mean Pres. Obama has become a rogue agency. Obama has given it powers to not only enforce law but to make it’s own. Hopefully the SCOTUS will see thru this blatant attempt to once again circumvent Congress and clearly and emphatically slap the EPA and indirectly, POTUS! So far their ruling regarding the coal industry is a good sign.

  19. Everyone wants to blame every thing on Obama. Let’s look at change. Check our automotive history and innovations to automotive production or sport. Every decade change happens, therefore changing the sports car/hotrod hobbyist industry is inevitable too. Vehicles are changing, Their are more energy efficient vehicles that still pack more power for speed necessary for street applications. To some of us we need to take away our old fashion thinking with carb or injected quads, 671 weian blowers, huge turbo charges with Nox, 15-32 slicks, open headers, and full channel chassis roll caged vehicles, keep them on the race tracks. This type of vehicle should be on a race track. I was the one with that description in a 1967 Chevelle and drove it on the street and still do on occasions only for show. This is only another challenge for us hot-rodder’s to deal with I’m sure. This is another way government with their hands out for more fee’s to drive our hot-rods on the street which is dangerous. Race cars and racing should be on a race track. We build cars that over power the streets and other people, innocent spectators have been KILLED, I personally have seen it happen more than once and nearly killing myself too. If you read the legislation they are not imposing any and NONE of its regulation for those wishing to build their cars for track applications. If you building a fast and every day driver, I sure we can build fast cars without making them look so obvious its a race car. Lastly I am for making sure the legislation has us the hot-rodder community are allow special privileges to drivers that allows us to drive our special vehicles with special plate registration.

  20. Frank Mohrbutter says:

    To me this is a classic example of our government being too big for our own good. I read the snopes article that is supposed to dispel this as hype but really. A 629 page document to quote:
    “Instead, the proposed language in the Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas rule making simply clarifies the distinction between motor vehicles and non road vehicles such as dirt bikes and snowmobiles. Unlike motor vehicles — which include cars, light trucks, and highway motorcycles — non road vehicles may, under certain circumstances, be modified for use in competitive events in ways that would otherwise be prohibited by the Clean Air Act.”
    The old saying comes to mind if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bullshit.
    Thats our government for you baffling the American people with bullshit.

    I ask are modified off road cars really any significant portion of air pollution? I doubt it oh and by the way great job EPA protecting the water in Chicago and Colorado.

  21. i wonder how many tax(epa) credits car manufacturers will derive from this crap?

  22. Carol sciarretta says:

    The EPA has way to much power.

  23. Pingback: UPDATE: EPA Reopens Public Comment on Proposed Rule Banning Conversion of Street Vehicles into Race Cars - OnAllCylinders

  24. Dennis Swartz says:

    if the federal government wants to save Money i should abolish the EPA and leave things alone there a bunch of over paid extravagant snots that should be unemployed. my fealings on the matter

  25. this idea is out of control, stand up for our rights.

  26. Keep voting for communist Democrat partyand see what you get, and for those of you that do see what you have done

  27. Where is the damn thumbs up button, I agree to almost every comment here. Later dudes and dudesses see you in the trenches November.

  28. Epa leave us alone.

  29. I think the EPA should be more concerned about all the problems or pollution that local and state governments create or that they ignore on a daily basis but since they are another government entity they can not be held liable or fined because they cannot fine themselves, just don’t mention anything or we’ll just have to cover it up or brain wash everyone they can. It will probably hurt them more by taking away the economic stimuli and fuel sales but it will still hurt us regardless and probably raise prices on taxes along with everything else to compensate for the bad decision they made. Good for them not the people. They just like to see everyone as miserable as they are even though the majority of them are under qualified and over paid. They just need to stop their wasteful spending and give us a break and to let us enjoy our hobbies after a hard days work which is something they never herd of. Change is good type of mentality is not always good, only if the change is good, for the people not just good for the government.

  30. Pingback: Ohio Attorney General Voices Strong Opposition to EPA's Latest Threat to Motorsports - OnAllCylinders

  31. No, …. I’m surprised that Summit racing would join in politicizing and taking sides without even researching this subject. Readers need to educate them selves before reading something and going off on their Political agendas. / heres-what-the-epa-track-car No the EPA didn’t outlaw your race car. It doesn’t take but a few minutes to google and find out facts. Yes the EPA was left out of the equation in Flint and in Toledo, The EPA was thought to be crazy in Texas when the refinery blew up and took out half the town. The cost to prevent these is pennies, the cost to rectify the situation cost millions and billions. I not for big government but the people must be held accountable for if they want to hold their government accountable. I will pursue this subject of the EPA on this subject but everyone needs to read one article and come away with some sort of, “being informed.”

  32. Epa get out of our lives leave us alone ,you have done enough damage!!!

  33. Tim Schneider says:

    who the fuck do they think they are it time to play cowboys and EPA

  34. hugh james says:

    Another example of Government getting in the middle of something that gives pleasure to thousands, and not thinking of the consequences.

  35. Pingback: Congressman Tim Ryan Visits Summit Racing to Express Support for Racers - OnAllCylinders

  36. hugh james says:

    Another attempt tokill our hobby. We MUST fight this. Get on board – HOW?

  37. F. Sue Johnson says:

    Why is the government always trying to take away the poor mans fun. We can not get on jets and fly to different places to have fun. This is just another way that the gov. is taken over.

  38. James Grubbs says:

    Do not know why the government would try to take one of the most fun father and son hobby away Iam pizza

  39. Pingback: Update: Newly Reintroduced RPM Act Needs Your Support Again! - OnAllCylinders

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