eBay could face fines of up to $2 billion for allowing sales of ‘coal rolling’ equipment

U.S. authorities accuse Ebay of allowing the distribution and sale of more than 343,000 “coal rolling” devices through its platform. These devices are designed to disable motor vehicle emissions controls, resulting in increased pollution from diesel pickup trucks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint alleging eBay violated the Clean Air Act.

Coal rolling devices are installed on diesel trucks to increase power and emit dense black smoke, which is called coal rolling. This is often used to protest against electric or hybrid cars and cyclists. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that this activity significantly increases air pollution and releases harmful nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. Exposure to these exhaust fumes has been linked to respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.

In addition to the coal-rolling equipment, the EPA accused eBay of illegally selling more than 23,000 pesticide products, including a highly toxic insecticide, and more than 5,600 products containing a toxic chemical called methylene chloride.

Deputy Attorney General Todd King of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division emphasized that the law prohibiting the sale of products that may harm human health and the environment also applies to e-commerce retailers such as eBay. The government is committed to preventing the spread of equipment that disrupts emissions and hazardous chemicals.

eBay responded, calling the government’s claims unprecedented and vowing to defend itself. The company said it has blocked and removed more than 99.9% of the above products and is working with authorities to prevent the sale of dangerous or illegal items on its platform.

Importantly, sales of emission control system failures and tampered devices have faced legal consequences in the past. In August, California parts maker Sinister Mfg. pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay a $1 million fine for tampering with emission control system monitoring devices on diesel pickup trucks.

In summary, Ebay could face hefty fines for allegedly allowing the sale of products that contribute to pollution from diesel pickup trucks. The company has expressed its commitment to avoid placing such products on the market and to cooperate with authorities’ efforts. This case highlights the importance of enforcing laws that protect human health and the environment in both physical and online markets.

– The Justice Department filed suit in Brooklyn federal court.
– Statement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
– Statement by Deputy Attorney General Todd Kim, Department of Justice, Division of Environment and Natural Resources.
– eBay statement.

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