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Arizona Auto Parts Maker Fined $200K Over Pollution Devices

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials say an Arizona auto parts manufacturer will pay a $200,000 fine for selling pollution control bypass equipment.

They say Gilbert-based Vivid Distributing violated the Clean Air Act by allegedly installing, manufacturing and selling defeat devices, which bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems.

Between 2014 and 2016, Vivid Distributing reportedly sold nearly 450 aftermarket products designed to defeat the emissions control systems of cars and trucks.

The EPA says the systems actually increase emissions of harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxide which is associated with health problems including heart and lung ailments like chronic bronchitis and asthma.

EPA testing has shown that defeat devices can increase a vehicle's nitrogen oxide emissions substantially.

Claire Caulfield first joined KJZZ as an intern in 2015 and now wakes up before the sun to produce and report for Morning Edition. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2017 and covered education policy in the nation's capital, election night in New York City and Native American issues for Cronkite News/ Arizona PBS. Before joining the Morning Edition team, she also worked on a documentary about rap music in the deep South and directed a film on drinking-water quality in the United States.On the weekends, you can find Claire flying her photography drone or working her way through the Pulitzer Prize book list.