China bike sellers face more fines in US

The year is almost over, but there was still time this week for US environmental agencies to announce fines for Chinese motorcycle sellers, making 2014 a very bad time for them.

About a decade ago, it seemed Chinese motorcycles were going to become common on the streets of North America, as they are worldwide. The expected breakthrough never happened, though, and in the past few years China bikes have still remained a niche product for the most part (Suzuki’s made-in-China GW250 notwithstanding).

The past few months have been particularly rough on Chinese manufacturers. This week, Texas-based Jonway Motorcycles and Shenke USA, along with four of its Chinese suppliers, were handed a massive fine by the EPA for violating the Clean Air Act. The penalties all add up to $1,258,582  in fines.

According to the EPA, the companies’ fines came after they imported and sold 11,000 vehicles that didn’t have EPA certification, or didn’t match the spec sheets the companies had submitted to the EPA. The problems were mostly related to carburetor and emissions systems, it seems – you can read the entire list of violations here.

According to the EPA’s press release on the case, “Respondents also imported and sold recreational vehicles without compliant warranties and labels.” Anyone who’s ever struggled to have their warranty honoured on a Chinese bike will probably feel happy to hear that the skullduggery is finally catching up to the industry.

Earlier this year, Chinese manufacturer Lifan was also hit with a huge fine over similar issues. They ended up with a $630,000 fine; you can read more about that incident here. Other Chinese manufacturers were also heavily fined in the USA, including CFMoto.


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