JEGS Automotive to Pay $1.7 Million for Selling illegal Parts in California

The California Air Resources Board says the penalty is the largest in its agency's history involving aftermarket parts.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 - Practice
Sarah Crabill—Getty Images

JEGS Automotive will pay $1.7 million for breaking anti-pollution laws for marketing and selling illegal aftermarket performance parts in California, state regulators said this month. 

The California Air Resources Board, or CARB, said in a release that the penalty to be paid by the Columbus, Ohio-based nationwide online retailer is the largest in the agency's history involving aftermarket parts.

“Our tough air quality laws exist to protect public health, and those who flout these rules can expect to be caught and pay a steep price. We commend JEGS for cooperating and are confident that the company will not repeat this costly mistake," CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey said in a statement.

After a complaint from the public, an investigation by CARB found that from 2011 to 2014, JEGS advertised and sold (in California) modified aftermarket performance parts such as engine programmers and air intake systems. Many of the modified products reduce fuel economy and increase emissions, the agency said.

State law requires manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to take steps to ensure that consumers understand the legality of parts offered for sale and to discourage illegal modifications to vehicles. 

The penalty, in this case, came to $250 per unit for approximately 6,802 parts, according to information on CARB's website. 

A spokesperson said CARB could not provide information on the company's sales and marketing practices in other states. 

Still, "It’s a common industry misconception that there are no tampering prohibitions in other states. There are aftermarket parts regulations, or tampering, for the other states," said the spokesperson, citing an EPA memo

A spokesperson for JEGS did not return requests for comment.