EPA sues MotorScience Inc. over emissions documents

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed a civil lawsuit against an engine certification company in the City of Industry, accusing the firm of using false or incomplete data to get paperwork needed under the Clean Air Act so its customers could import recreational vehicles.

The agency says MotorScience Inc. and its founder, Chi Zheng, started helping overseas vehicle makers and importers in 2006 get the correct EPA certifications to allow them to sell their goods in the U.S.

Zheng filed paperwork with the agency stating that such vehicles and engines “meet or exceed the minimum requirements” for federal air-quality-control emissions, according to the complaint, filed Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles.

But, according to the complaint, the company failed to keep a detailed history of how or when such tests had taken place. MotorScience also allegedly failed to meet the federal requirement to get copies of that and other data to its customers.


The EPA alleges that the certificates allowed MotorScience’s clients to import into the U.S. more than 24,000 recreational vehicles for sale. (The certificates stated that these vehicles met federal emission standards for carbon monoxide and other toxins.)

In a statement released Thursday, agency officials said the EPA was seeking civil penalties and the company’s remediation of the alleged violations.

Neither Zheng nor MotorScience could be reached for comment Thursday.

This is the second run-in with the EPA that MotorScience has had. In the summer of 2010, four Chinese ATV and motorcycle manufacturers lost their permission to import and sell up to 200,000 off-road and all-terrain vehicles after the EPA found their certificates of compliance with air-quality standards had false or incomplete data.

The certificates to the U.S. subsidiaries of four of China’s largest ATV manufacturers were issued based on applications put together by MotorScience.