Southern California importer of off-highway vehicles ordered to pay $250,000 judgment
For immediate release
EL MONTE - An investigation by the Air Resources Board led to a $250,000 judgment issued in October 2010 by the San Bernardino County Court against Montclair, California based NST, Inc. for the illegal sales of uncertified off-highway vehicles.
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, dirt bikes 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," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "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 ARB non-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 non-certified 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.
Vehicles that do not meet California's tough emission requirements pose a real danger to residents. They create higher amounts of smog-forming pollutants, which can then exacerbate respiratory ailments and negatively affect other health conditions such as shortness of breath, headaches, birth defects, cancer or damage to internal organs. Smog is a combination of smoke and other particulates, ozone, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and other chemically reactive compounds which, under certain conditions of weather and sunlight, may result in a murky brown haze. The primary source of smog in California is motor vehicles.