New Jersey Allegedly Using Social Media To Fine Modified Diesel Trucks


The owner of a 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 with a modified diesel engine has taken to Facebook to warn others that the state of New Jersey may be trawling social media, looking for trucks that do not comply with emissions regulations.

“Just a heads up for anyone listing diesel trucks on Facebook don’t put all the details and don’t trust the people asking questions about your truck,” Mike Sebold, the owner of the Ram 2500, wrote on Facebook recently.

His warning message came after he posted a classified ad for the truck on the website with a detailed description of what had been done to it, he told The Drive. He mentioned in the post that the truck had been “deleted,” which refers to the removal of components like the diesel particulate filter and the exhaust gas recirculator valve. These parts are an important aspect of a vehicle’s emissions controls and remove soot and other particulate matter from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine.

Read Also: Spartan Diesel Tuner Gets Prison Sentence For Selling Emission-Defeating Devices

The post, therefore, caught the attention of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The organization mailed Sebold a letter listing the violations that he had allegedly engaged in, including attempting to sell a vehicle whose emissions equipment had been tampered with.

“When the DEP becomes aware of such a sale or attempted sale, an appropriate enforcement action is issued to the seller or attempted seller, and the person is required to come into compliance with New Jersey regulations,” the department said in a statement to The Drive.

Sebold suspects that, in addition to looking at his post, the DEP may have surreptitiously reached out to him. The organization said it had become aware of the violations on June 23, right around when he sent detailed photos and videos of the truck running to Facebook accounts that he alleges have since been deactivated.

Despite claims made in Sebold’s recent post on Facebook, the DEP does not have the authority to jail him, it can only hand out penalties. The fines it hands out, though, can be cumulative, meaning that they could surpass the cost of returning the vehicle to stock, which he claims could cost as much as $10,000. Not having been the one who performed the “delete”, as he bought it in its current condition, Sebold does not have the old parts anymore.

Required to either return the truck to stock or scrap it, Sebold is opting for the latter option.

“As of today, my plan is to take the truck off the road,” he said. “I’m dropping the insurance on it tomorrow, I’m going to my DMV tomorrow. I’m going to hand in the plates, hand in the registration, and I’m going to ask that they title it salvaged or as an off-road vehicle only, if they allow that. Then I’m going to go to the fair in town and I’m going to run my truck in the truck pull. If it blows up, it blows up. I don’t care because I’m scrapping the engine anyway.”


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