EUREKA, Mo. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will collect $15,000 from a Eureka business for installing illegal “defeat devices” in cars.

These devices prevent emissions control systems from working in automobiles, which is a violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

Midwest Motors has agreed to pay the $15,000 fine over its EPA violations. The business is accused of tampering with car engines and installing aftermarket defeat devices to bypass manufacturer emission controls. Kociela Enterprises Inc. sold or installed the defeat devices to Midwest Motors on at least 21 occasions, according to the EPA.

“Illegally tampering with auto emissions controls creates harmful air pollution and is a violation of federal law,” said David Cozad, director of the EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA will hold accountable individuals and companies who manufacture, sell, and install defeat devices.”

In addition to the fine, Midwest Motors certified that it would not sell or install defeat devices in the future.

According to the EPA, when companies try to install defeat devices, it can result in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Both contribute to serious public health problems in the United States, possibly leading to premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease and decreased lung function to those exposed.

For more on the EPA’s national compliance initiatives, click here.