316.2935 Air pollution control equipment; tampering prohibited; penalty.—
(1)(a) It is unlawful for any person or motor vehicle dealer as defined in s. 320.27 to offer or display for retail sale or lease, sell, lease, or transfer title to, a motor vehicle in Florida that has been tampered with in violation of this section, as determined pursuant to subsection (7). Tampering is defined as the dismantling, removal, or rendering ineffective of any air pollution control device or system which has been installed on a motor vehicle by the vehicle manufacturer except to replace such device or system with a device or system equivalent in design and function to the part that was originally installed on the motor vehicle. All motor vehicles sold, reassigned, or traded to a licensed motor vehicle dealer are exempt from this paragraph.
(b) At the time of sale, lease, or transfer of title of a motor vehicle, the seller, lessor, or transferor shall certify in writing to the purchaser, lessee, or transferee that the air pollution control equipment of the motor vehicle has not been tampered with by the seller, lessor, or transferor or their agents, employees, or other representatives. A licensed motor vehicle dealer shall also visually observe those air pollution control devices listed by department rule pursuant to subsection (7), and certify that they are in place, and appear properly connected and undamaged. Such certification shall not be deemed or construed as a warranty that the pollution control devices of the subject vehicle are in functional condition, nor does the execution or delivery of this certification create by itself grounds for a cause of action between the parties to this transaction.
(c) All motor vehicles sold, reassigned, or traded by a licensed motor vehicle dealer to a licensed motor vehicle dealer, all new motor vehicles subject to certification under s. 207, Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. s. 7541, and all lease agreements for 30 days or less are exempt from this subsection. Also exempt from this subsection are sales of motor vehicles for salvage purposes only.
(2) No person shall operate any gasoline-powered motor vehicle, except a motorcycle, moped, scooter, or an imported nonconforming motor vehicle which has received a one-time exemption from federal emission control requirements under 40 C.F.R. 85, subpart P, on the public roads and streets of this state which emits visible emissions from the exhaust pipe for more than a continuous period of 5 seconds, and no person shall operate on the public roads or streets of this state any motor vehicle that has been tampered with in violation of this section, as determined pursuant to subsection (7).
(3) No person shall operate on the public roads or streets of this state any diesel-powered motor vehicle which emits visible emissions from the exhaust pipe for more than a continuous period of 5 seconds, except during engine acceleration, engine lugging, or engine deceleration.
(4) This section shall be enforced by the Department of Environmental Protection and any law enforcement officer of this state as defined in s. 112.531.
(5) Any person who knowingly and willfully violates subsection (1) shall be punished as follows:
(a) For a first violation, violators shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, except that a motor vehicle dealer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) For a second or subsequent offense, violators, including motor vehicle dealers, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. In addition, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may temporarily or permanently revoke or suspend the motor vehicle dealer license authorized pursuant to the provisions of s. 320.27.
(6) Except as provided in subsection (5), any person who violates subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3) shall be charged with a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318. However, the penalty may be reduced if the person committing the violation corrects the violation pursuant to the provisions of s. 316.6105.
(7) The Department of Environmental Protection shall adopt rules that define the specific wording of the required certification and the circumstances under which the certificate is not required. In addition, the department shall adopt rules as necessary to conform to requirements of federal law, to establish procedures to determine compliance with this section, including specifying what tampering activities constitute a violation of this section, and to provide for exceptions and waivers. For those rules applicable pursuant to subsection (1) to licensed motor vehicle dealers for certification by visual observation, the air pollution control devices or systems that shall be included in such certification for motor vehicles dated model year 1981 or later are the catalytic converter, fuel inlet restrictor, unvented fuel cap, exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR), air pump and/or air injector system (AIS), and fuel evaporative emissions system (EVP). The department may by rule remove or add devices or systems to this test if justified by developments in air pollution control technology or changes in federal law.
History.—s. 18, ch. 88-129; s. 5, ch. 89-212; ss. 6, 9, ch. 90-290; s. 5, ch. 93-19; s. 137, ch. 94-356; s. 32, ch. 96-350; s. 206, ch. 99-248; s. 33, ch. 2000-266.