Coming 2009 - OBDII Policy Update

Bulletin TB-80001
May 28, 2008

In 1986, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted the enforcement policy governing the compliance demonstration as well as manufacture and sale of aftermarket catalytic converters. The policy was instituted in an effort to ensure performance and durability of aftermarket catalytic converters met established criteria as well as providing guidelines for installation and record keeping. The EPA policy as established in 1986 remains in effect and applies to all 50 states.

In 1988, the California Air Resources Board adopted the California Evaluation Procedures for New Aftermarket Non-Original Equipment Catalytic Converters. The California procedures raised the bar for performance and although the process was similar, it contained additional requirements for products sold in California and applied to non-OBD II vehicles.

In 2001, California released an amendment to the original policy which specifically dealt with OBD II-equipped vehicles. Considered an interim policy, it was finalized in October of 2007. Not only did the finalized policy affect the OBD II requirements but it also revamped the non-OBD II requirements. The new non-OBD II catalytic converter performance and durability was increased to the same level as OBD II catalytic converters and the policy is scheduled to take effect January 1st, 2009. In addition to enhancing the performance of non-OBD II converters, the policy will also eliminate the provisions to sell and usage of remanufactured OEM catalytic converters effective July 1st, 2008.

Questions are often raised in regards to installation of aftermarket catalytic converters on California Emission equipped vehicles outside of California. At this time only California has a state level policy governing sale and usage of aftermarket catalytic converters. EPA's policy applies without stipulation of whether OBD II, non-OBD II, Federal or California Emissions for all vehicles outside the state of California. As long as the catalytic converter meets EPA's criteria as stipulated in the 1986 policy it may be installed on a California vehicle and still be in compliance.

Ensuring you a problem-free exhaust future,

Hans Borneby - Engineering Product Manager