OBD Simulator Fraud Environmental Impact Analysis
The Bureau of Mobile Sources (BMS) is responsible for quality assurance oversight of emissions tests performed in the State’s motor vehicle inspection program. BMS personnel developed a method to detect fraudulent inspections that are performed using an electronic simulator in lieu of a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system, which is the required inspection for most cars and light trucks manufactured after model year 1995. An investigation by BMS, the Division of Criminal Justice and the Motor Vehicle Commission resulted in three men who formerly operated a private auto inspection business in Paterson being sentenced to jail for fraudulently using data simulators to generate false passing results for motor vehicle emissions inspections during 2010-2014. The men took payments of $80-150 from customers in return for using the electronic devices to generate passing results for vehicles that had failed emissions inspections. BMS recently finalized the Environmental Impact Analysis identifying the damage caused by fraudulent emissions inspections performed in Passaic County and determined it had caused a 104 ton per year increase in nitric oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions throughout the county and surrounding areas during 2013 alone. NOx and VOCs are precursors to ground-level ozone formation. New Jersey is in non-attainment for the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground-level ozone.