Car and truck enthusiasts often make modifications to their vehicles. These changes improve speed, aerodynamics, or the mere look of the ride. However, irrespective of the type of modification done, they must meet the state’s traffic laws.

Unfortunately, one car modification company went too far with their changes, selling illegal “defeat devices” to drivers. This behavior landed the company in a six-figure fine of $265,000. But how bad were these modifications? Read on to uncover more!

About Diamond Eye Manufacturing

Diamond Eye Manufacturing is the company charged with this major crime and fine. They are recognized as one of eastern Oregon’s most advanced and progressive companies.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

They provide riders with sophisticated exhaust modifications to create their desired sound, look, etc. However, this progressive company took their mods a little too far recently.

Selling Illegal Parts

Despite their years of excellent service, Diamond Eye Manufacturing recently got caught selling illegal parts. What kind? They sold drivers “defeat or delete drivers”, which are incredibly dangerous.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

Essentially, defeat drivers help the vehicle turn off its emission control component, which regulates the fumes that escape the exhaust. Without this filter, the smoke leaving the engine will be too toxic to inhale.

Importance Of The Emission Control Unit

As previously mentioned, this part of the car is responsible for managing the fumes that enter the atmosphere. It uses an absorption system that combines thermal and catalytic incineration to limit the harmful pollutants entering the atmosphere.

Source: Flickr/Bristol Viewfinder

For context, the kinds of poisonous chemicals released into the atmosphere include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, benzene, and soot. Without an Emission Control Unit, these fumes will enter the environment and cause serious health issues.

Diamond Eye Manufacturing Had To Destroy All

Once caught by law enforcement, Diamond Eye Manufacturing was ordered to get rid of its inventory of illegal parts. They were also instructed to tell customers about their legal issues and will no longer provide support, parts, or warranty.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

Further investigation showed that this shady business has been around for several years. Essentially, Diamond Eye Manufacturing has been selling illegal parts to customers since 2017. After some calculations, law enforcement revealed that they sold precisely 33,134 illicit parts.

Final Lawsuit Settlements

After spending time in court and assessing the impact of their reckless behavior, the court agreed on a final settlement. Diamond Eye must pay $265,000 in fines and announce on its website about the lawsuit and settlement.

Source: Flickr/Evan Granowitz

They also had to announce on the company’s website that they were selling illegal parts. However, the notice only appeared on their platform for eight weeks, so the effect is not severe.

Diamond Eye Gave A Statement

News outlets were able to get a statement out of James Smith, the marketing and information technology manager for Diamond Eye. He explained, “All we do is bend tubes into crazy shapes for trucks. We manufacture the pipes.”

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

Smith then adds: “Whether or not you reincorporate or weld the pollution equipment back together is up to the installer and individual folks” In other words, Smith thinks there’s a mistake and the company has been treated unfairly.

‘That’s A Lie”

Diamond Eye’s statement about their innocence raises questions. Are they really innocent? If so, they can appeal the verdict in court. But if not, then Diamond Eye is lying and more fraudulent.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

Sadly, researchers point out that their statement of innocence is a lie. Diamond Eye marketed their pipes as “Cat deletes.” This means they deliberately made these systems to kill the Emission Control Unit.

The DOJ Cracked Down On Other Platforms

Diamond Eye Manufacturing was in the line of fire as the DOJ cracked down on illegal devices sold in the US. It even issued a case against eBay, claiming that it helped facilitate most of the trades.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

At the end of the investigation, around six companies sold these defeat devices and went into settlement with the court. However, their fine wasn’t as severe as Diamond Eye, except for one Washington-based specialist who was asked to pay $225,368.

But How Bad Is The Damage Without Filters

The government despises these defeat devices for how much toxic compounds they let into the atmosphere. How bad is it? Without this unit, carbon monoxide and particles could increase by 120 and 40 times, respectively.

Source: X/Keta

It’s even worse once you consider that nitrogen oxides can go up 310 times and non-methane hydrocarbons can ride by 1,140 times. So, if half of the vehicles on the road had these tunes for a few hours, the streets would have a looming death cloud.

The EPA Isn’t Done Yet

Over the last four years, it shut 172 civil cases, resulting in $55.5 million in penalties and 17 criminal cases. Martha Guzman, EPA Pacific Southwest regional administrator, gave a statement on the matter.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

She said: “Defeat devices enable more air pollution from vehicles to the detriment of Americans’ health, and EPA is vigilant about holding accountable the entities that sell these illegal products.”

Customers Need To Turn In Their Illegal Mods

The EPA mentions that they are dedicated to enforcing critical environmental laws that promote clean air and public health. This goes beyond the sellers and straight to the consumer as well.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

The modifications are illegal and, therefore, shouldn’t be on the street. Getting arrested with it can cause them to impound the car, suspend the driver’s license, or even impose a strict fine. In this case, the driver should quickly uninstall the mod to be safe.

What About Diamond Eye Manufacturing?

The lawsuit ended with Diamond Eye needing to pay $265,000 for selling illegal car modifications. But is that the end of their business? So far, no detail shows that the court barred Diamond Eye from continuing business.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

After all, they destroyed all their remaining inventory and issued a notice to customers that such tunings were no longer available. Therefore, it’s safe to conclude that Diamond Eye is still in the automobile business.

Removing The Emission Control Unit Is Just Reckless

The EPA already explained that removing this unit increases the toxicity of the fumes several times over. This issue is even worse for the driver as they are more exposed to their cars’s smoke than others.

Source: X/DiamondEyePer

Over time, they will experience health deterioration that makes the aesthetics of the mod not worth having. Therefore, the EPA’s dedication to ending these dangerous behaviors is a necessary step for public safety.