California’s Air Resources Board fined a Chicago-based auto-parts dealer $294,000 in October for selling used filters, or DPFs, which are illegal in the state. That penalty follows a probe last year involving a repair shop in Fresno that was caught selling and installing illegal parts and sparked the ARB to investigate multiple other diesel repair shops in California’s Central Valley.
The Environmental Protection Agency began requiring new heavy-duty trucks to use DPFs in 2007. The filters can reduce particulate-matter emissions by as much as 90 percent.
A typical DPF installation costs $10,000 to $20,000 when purchased new. That’s one of the reasons why less costly used filters are becoming a problem for air regulators. Preowned filters often cost as little as $3,000 to $5,000, according to the Air Resources Board.
“We’re finding an increased number of fleets installing used DPFs,” said Heather Quiros, chief of the California ARB Diesel Programs Enforcement Branch.