The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it has settled with an Orange automotive parts manufacturer for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

APEX Integration manufactured or sold aftermarket auto parts that bypass or disable required emissions control systems, otherwise known as defeat devices, the EPA said.

The company will pay a $5,000 penalty, which was reduced due to financial hardship, the agency said.

“Emissions controls on cars and trucks protect public health and the environment from excessive air pollution,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker said. “We will continue to investigate and bring companies into compliance, so everyone can breathe easier.”

Cars and trucks manufactured currently emit far less pollution than older vehicles. This occurs through careful engine calibrations and emissions controls in exhaust systems such as catalytic converters and diesel oxidation catalysts. Aftermarket defeat devices disable these controls and cause higher emissions. EPA testing has shown that these devices can increase vehicle emissions substantially, the agency said.

Pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter create poor air quality. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors — including outdoor workers — and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health impacts due to exposure to these pollutants.

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