back to article You shouldn't be able to buy devices that tamper with diesel truck emissions on eBay, says DoJ

The DoJ is looking to hold eBay liable for the buying and selling of products on its platform that it alleges include emissions cheat components known as "defeat devices." eBay said in a statement yesterday positioning itself as a "commerce leader that connects millions of buyers and sellers around the world," that it intends …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This from a country

    that has mail order guns ...

    1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Re: This from a country

      Not forgetting the numerous cults masquerading as 'religions'

      1. VicMortimer Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: This from a country

        There is no difference between a cult and a religion.

        1. MrDamage Silver badge

          Re: This from a country

          The only difference between psychosis, cult, and religion, is scale.

          1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

            Re: This from a country

            I thought the only difference was that the cult was more honest about their objectives!

        2. Rich 2 Silver badge

          Re: This from a country

          If i remember correctly, the difference between a cult and a religion is that in the former case, the head of it is still alive

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: This from a country

            The founder of Scientology is no longer alive, but it generally gets classified as a cult. Of course I am aware that its members and supports disagree with that classification.

        3. G.Y.

          200yr Re: This from a country

          The difference between the two is 200 years

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This from a country

      "Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary"

      -- Karl Marx

      Not our fault the rest of you gave up your rights without a fight.

      1. HereIAmJH
        Joke

        Re: This from a country

        -- Karl Marx

        So, are you saying that the GOP are Marxist?

        1. cookieMonster Silver badge

          Re: This from a country

          No, they’re cults

          1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: This from a country

            Are you sure you spelled that correctly?

      2. Rich 2 Silver badge

        Re: This from a country

        “Not our fault the rest of you gave up your rights without a fight”

        Excellent point! I shall write to my MP right away to demand the right to randomly shoot people (in self defence - obviously) who knock on my front door, or turn around in my driveway, or who’re the wrong colour. Only then will i become a truly emancipated moron.

      3. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: This from a country

        So you're saying it *is* your fault (personally) that school children across your daft country have to have "live shooter" drills, and get shot so often it barely makes the news any more.

    3. JohnSheeran

      Re: This from a country

      Care to provide evidence of this?

      Do you mean that you can order a firearm through a dealer? Are you an American and have you ever actually looked at what is required for this? To do this requires a Federal Firearm License and that means that you have to have a FFL (generally this is a licensed dealer) and, if you are in different states, that means the person selling/shipping has to do it via a FFL dealer and to get it in your state you have to get it from a local FFL dealer.

      Stop spouting disinformation.

      1. Rich 2 Silver badge

        Re: This from a country

        Re FFL check - And aren’t the nutters who follow Trump wanting to get rid of even that flimsy barrier?

    4. lowwall

      Not since 1968

      Since the Gun Control Act of 1968 all mail order firearms sales must go through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL). In practice this means that while you can order a gun online (or via mail order if anyone still has paper catalogues), it can only be shipped to an FFL. The buyer then goes to the shop to fill out the form and go through the FBI background check - see https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/more-fbi-services-and-information/nics for more info.

      There is one way to get guns via mail order. "Firearms" is a defined category that specifically excludes black powder muzzle loaders of any age and guns made before 1898 that use obsolete ammunition "not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade." So primitive hunting enthusiasts and US Civil War reenactors can still buy their kit without a trip to an FFL. However, these folks are not normally considered to be a significant threat to the public, at least when armed with their mail order weapons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not since 1968

        "Since the Gun Control Act of 1968 all mail order firearms sales must go through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL)."

        True, but becoming a FFL basically means you fill out a form, pay a fee, and pass a background check. It's pretty easy for individuals to do (based on a couple of FFL holders I am acquainted with).

        1. lowwall

          Re: Not since 1968

          How long ago did they get their FFL? The requirements to get or maintain a dealer FFL were greatly tightened in the early-90s. The current application process essentially requires an FFL licensee to be an operating business that complies with local zoning laws. The agency that grants the licenses (the ATF) will first do a site visit to interview the applicant and check that all local laws have been complied with, that the applicant meets the safe storage requirements and that the applicant has processes in place for completing and saving the paperwork that is required for gun sales. I worked at a gun shop that opened a new location and went through one of those inspections and the agent was very thorough.

          Because of this, the number of dealer FFL license holders peaked at 248,155 in 1992. In the next 5 years as the new regulations took effect and existing FFL holders came up for renewal it had dropped to 79,285. There are currently 50,540 dealer licenses.

          Note that these numbers are for dealer FFLs. There is also an FFL for Collectors of Curious and Relics which is essentially limited to the purchase of guns that are more than 50 years old and that are not otherwise restricted such as selective fire weapons. This license still requires an FBI background check and a site visit/interview to check on safe storage, but does not require an operating business. Some of the people who didn't renew their dealer licenses did switch to a collector license, so those numbers have grown from 15,820 in 1992 to 50,995 today.

          You can read about the process and see the application here: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/apply-license

          1. Lurko

            Re: Not since 1968

            All very well, but US gun deaths have grown steadily since about 2000, and whilst down on say 2021, were still 37,000 in most recent stats. The only logical conclusion is that the US is awash with guns in the hands of people happy to use them, and official measures to implement controls have failed to make an appreciable difference to the appalling international comparisons.

            But, the US is a soveriegn nation, if its people are comfortable with 37k deaths every year, that's their call, even if that is 30,000 deaths each year more than if the US had the same gun death rate as Canada. Or perhaps they need to reflect that the US is still emotionally scarred by combat losses in Vietnam sixty years ago, yet in terms of order of magnitude the US has almost as many gun deaths each year as it suffered in total across the peak five years of the Vietnam war. Is that what the people of the US are really wanting?

            1. lowwall

              Re: Not since 1968

              Was addressed to me? My responses were what the rules are, not what I believe they should be.

              As to the what the people of the US want. Poll after poll show that a sizeable majority of Americans want greater regulation of firearms. But it's not a primary interest for most and the specific measures they would like to see undertaken vary widely, so the desires of the majority get steamrolled by a focused and very active minority.

              1. JohnSheeran
                Trollface

                Re: Not since 1968

                Polls are the best. Double digit sample sizes really tell the story for sure.

            2. JohnSheeran

              Re: Not since 1968

              Ah, statistics. My favorite.

              ~37,000 firearms deaths (not accidents?) annually in the USA.

              ~393,000,000 firearms in the USA as of 2017.

              in contrast

              ~43,000 deaths attributed to automobiles (accidents?) in the USA (2022).

              ~291,000,000 automobiles in the USA as of 2022.

              According to most, firearms are intended to kill. Also, according to most, automobiles are not. Seems like we may need to consider putting significant restrictions on automobiles as well.

              You made great points though.

      2. Great Bu

        Re: Not since 1968

        The black powder work around is crazy, I live in the US of A (and own several guns) and I was entirely astounded that I got, through the post, a .44 caliber 1851 black powder revolver. It takes a minute to load it (you have to load in the black powder pellet, wadding and bullet into each chamber then cap the nipple* with a blasting cap) but once it is loaded I can get 6 shots off in a couple of seconds easily as accurate as my 9mm at anything out to 25 yards and it makes a much bigger hole in the target....(in addition to which, once it is empty it is so big and heavy you could beat someone to death with the blunt end). This thing barely counts as a 'gun' for most applicable laws over here (although as I live in the communist hell-hole that is Maryland, I still need a license to concealed carry it - but not to buy it).

        *Fnarr.

        1. lowwall

          Re: Not since 1968

          Black powder is lightly regulated because there is essentially zero crime committed with black powder firearms. Repeating black powder handguns are not readily concealable and, while the first 6 shots from your Colt 1851 Navy replica can be fired almost as fast as a 9mm automatic, reloading for 7-12 require two hands and a couple of minutes for concerned citizens to deal with the threat.

          No doubt the modern version of highwaymen would return to their cap and ball gonnes if cartridge firearms were to somehow disappear, but that seems rather unlikely.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Not since 1968

          "I still need a license to concealed carry it"

          I've often wondered about the, me not being in the USA, exactly what it means. I'm assuming that means you are not allowed to carry a firearm in you pocket or backpack, or in a shoulder holster under a jacket without the correct licence, but are able to carry it in full view, eg on a belt holster like the cowboys of the old West?

          1. John PM Chappell

            Re: Not since 1968

            It varies by state whether openly carrying would be legal or not, but that is indeed the distinction. A concealed firearm, or indeed any concealed weapon, is one "not in plain view, and readily accessible by the possessor"; this means that having it in a container which you can immediately reach, rather than strictly on your person, is also concealment. Many states have a specific authorization for firearms in vehicles (where they are usually in the 'glove box' or 'centre console') for this reason.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not since 1968

        "order a gun online (or via mail order if anyone still has paper catalogues)"

        That's a strange distinction. Surely "mail order" is simply "distance selling", whether you have a paper catalogue or do it via a website. Either way, you order something and it gets mailed to you :-)

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Catkin Silver badge

        Re: This from a country

        ~20%, so two thirds of Germany's ~30%. In terms of raw tons, Europe as a whole burns more coal annually than the United States.

        1. MiguelC Silver badge

          Re: This from a country

          Europe as a whole does burn more coal than the U.S., around 60% more (if you consider Russia and Turkey as wholly European countries, and they are the 2nd and 4th worst offenders in Europe), but Europe's population is more than twice that of the U.S. (742 million vs. 340 million)

          The U.S. consume a lot more than Europe, per capita - but not as much as Germany, though.

          https://www.worldometers.info/coal/coal-consumption-by-country/

          https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

          1. Catkin Silver badge

            Re: This from a country

            Thanks for the breakdown. I suppose it makes sense, given their oil glut but I'm surprised by how low Russia's per capita numbers are.

            1. Filippo Silver badge

              Re: This from a country

              Russia is a very poor country. Most people outside big cities live in poverty by European standards. There's nothing like abject misery to get low per-capita emissions.

              1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

                Re: This from a country

                And a Soviet approach to reporting statistics.

                1. Filippo Silver badge

                  Re: This from a country

                  Yeah. There are lies, damn lies, and that's about it.

      2. HereIAmJH

        Re: This from a country

        Something that has never made any sense to me is tackling pollution on cars/trucks before power plants, trains, ships. Powerplants, stationary, number in the 100s, release tons of CO2, soot, and radioactivity. Nope. Lets find a solution for millions of cars instead. I know why that happens in America, it's because coal lobbyists have deeper pockets than the average consumer.

        1. Barry Rueger

          Re: This from a country

          Something that has never made any sense to me is tackling pollution on cars/trucks before power plants

          France has done it, relying heavily on nukes and wind. And underwriting a large part of the costs of moving home heating from oil to electric.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This from a country

          Electric cars in urban use have a particular efficiency advantage over ICE engines, as well as using a fuel that is high cost to the buyer. This makes them unexpectedly economic to electrify.

          Put another way, every kWh of energy delivered to the wheels of a city car costs (very roughly) $2 where I live. Retail electricity is much cheaper.

          >I know why that happens ... it's because coal lobbyists have deeper pockets than the average consumer

          Don't under-estimate individuals, who are happier the govt subsidises something they personally can own themselves, like a car, than someone else's power plant.

        3. Filippo Silver badge

          Re: This from a country

          Generally speaking, "we should do X before doing Y" is a trap. What we should do is both X and Y at the same time. Failing that, next best is doing either while at the same time debating how to do the other. Not doing either because we're still working out the best way to do X, but Y has strictly lower priority and therefore must wait, is a very poor strategy.

    6. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: This from a country

      "This from a country

      that has mail order guns ..."

      Yes, you can order a gun by mail. The seller has to ship that gun to a local Federally licensed dealer near to you where you still have to fill out all of the paperwork and pass a background check before you can pick it up. It's not shipped to a parcel locker where you can pick it up under the cover of night.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This from a country

      Actually that's misleading since you need to get them transferred to you at a brick and mortar FFL.

    8. Jaybus

      Re: This from a country

      Well, that is quite misleading! There are online sales, but they don't ship directly to your door like Amazon, ffs. They are shipped to a licensed shop where ID and background check are required for pickup.

    9. Rich 2 Silver badge

      Re: This from a country

      I’m loving all the downvotes here :-)

      It’s an interesting barometer of the mindset of the average US gun-toting idiot that still think they live in the Wild West.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This from a country

      Well heck, this ought to really upset your apple cart...

      Not only can you receive guns through the mail, the guns are provided by the government! Look up the "Civilian Marksmanship Program" at https://thecmp.org/.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

    That doesn't mean that the action is wrong.

    It actually means that the government is reacting to new elements in the world. In a democratic country, that is supposed to be a good thing, no ? Besides, the action is hardly unprecedented. I do believe the government has never been friends with defeat devices of any kind.

    In a future where Meta actually becomes a thing, if we find out that kiddie porn is on that platform, I'd think that everyone would be okay with the government stepping in to quash that particularly horrible thing, right ?

    The action would still be unprecedented, as far as Meta is concerned.

    Not an argument.

    1. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

      I think you're perpendicular to the question. It's not whether it's inherently good or bad but, rather, whether it deserves our scrutiny. As you pointed out, the country in question is "democratic" so I believe it's important that voters are aware of when the government does something novel so they can decide whether the current government is still fit for purpose.

      In this case, the allegedly novel part is holding an online marketplace liable for individuals selling items which may be used illegally, may be illegal to sell or may be illegal to own. There's a multitude of underlying questions which, depending on the outcome of the legal action, might impact individual rights down the road.

      Regarding your hypothetical about Meta, what if a government demanded that, in order to catch offenders, all data from Meta-interacting devices were automatically made available, without probable cause, to authorities? That would be pretty unprecedented and, while the stated aim might be to catch child abusers, I think the average voter would like to know that their government was surreptitiously collecting a huge stream of private information about them, even before knowing it might form the basis of a legal charge.

      1. HereIAmJH

        Re: "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

        In this case, the allegedly novel part is holding an online marketplace liable for individuals selling items which may be used illegally, may be illegal to sell or may be illegal to own. There's a multitude of underlying questions which, depending on the outcome of the legal action, might impact individual rights down the road.

        When it comes to 'defeat' devices, they aren't illegal to own. At least not currently. It's questionable that they are illegal to sell, and that is why there is such controversy in the heavy handedness of the EPA. It most definitely comes down to 'they may be used illegally', and often are, but there are still legal uses for the devices. Both catalytic converters (gas) and Diesel Particular Filters (DPF)(diesel) can be dangerous under certain farm uses. The heat of a catalytic converter and the regen on a DPF can catch fields on fire. And IMO, EGRs are just a horrible tech that manufacturers don't care to find a better solution because they reduce the life of engines while helping EPA compliance. The costs on both ends gets passed to the consumer and the manufacturers can blame governments.

        1. Catkin Silver badge

          Re: "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

          I'm reminded both of the anti consumer rights advocates telling us that right to repair would have individuals making their engines damage the planet and of e scooter sellers in the UK.

          If this case, it sounds very much like the agencies trying to create virtual legislation without oversight.

          1. Gary Stewart

            Re: "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

            But there is oversight. There is congressional (senate and house investigations), executive (Department of Justice investigations), and judicial (federal courts,

            lawsuits and actions brought by the other two branches) oversight. Any of these agencies can and regularly do have investigations when a regulatory agency

            is thought to have overstepped it's bounds. There is an upcoming Supreme court decision about this very subject that could have far reaching effects that

            seeks to severely limit the ability of the regulatory agencies to set the policies they need to do their jobs. This has actually gone to court before and it was

            wisely decided that an agency with experts in the fields needed to make such decisions where more qualified than the courts. It was also noted that if every

            policy/change had to go through the courts that the burden would create a huge back log in the court dockets. I would add that the record of court cases where

            competing interests, usually big corporations vs. anybody/everybody else complete with dueling scientists rarely end well with big money having a distinct

            advantage. Tobacco companies vs. smokers lungs being one of the most obvious example. A more recent one would be newly leaked evidence that big oil

            scientists' models of the effects of massive carbon dioxide emissions by post industrial age humans have echoed what climate scientists models have shown

            and been covered up for decades.

            And finally. When congress created/creates these agencies they have no intention of making decisions on every policy/change they make and relegated to them,

            which they can do, some authority to do so when needed knowing full well that they and the other two branches will always have the final say.

            1. Catkin Silver badge

              Re: "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

              While the methods you mention (though I would say you're somewhat overstating their effectiveness in protecting the individual) do play an important role, they're more vertical than the protective circle formed by Checks and Balances.

            2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

              There is an upcoming Supreme court decision about this very subject that could have far reaching effects that seeks to severely limit the ability of the regulatory agencies to set the policies they need to do their jobs.

              I think there are a few. But it also seems like a complicated problem, ie are the EPA overreaching by 'setting policies' that are effectively indistinguishable from laws? Especially when the agencies may become politicised, ie the ATF and EPA.

              It's also strange when the agencies are tasked to enforce arguably bad legislation, ie the US NFA. So situations like pistol braces. Personally, I kinda side with the ATF on that one. Legislation defines firearms, and as wiki puts it-

              Short-barreled rifle broadly refers to any rifle with an unusually short barrel

              Err.. what does 'unusually short' mean? But it was an attempt to make a distinction between rifles and pistols. Especially when pistols could be fitted with shoulder stocks.. But then some of those were very old designs, so could carve out an exception as a 'relic'. But then it also defined SBRs as rifles with barrels less than 16", and there's additional paperwork & payment if you want one of those. And then there's disability legislation that disallows discrimination, so people made pistol braces that allowed disabled Americans to enjoy their Constitutionally protected rights and freedoms.. But then people started making not-a-stocks that can turn a 7.62mm, 12" barrelled 'pistol' into something functionally identical to an SBR.

              It could just be easier to re-legislate what firearms are and remove some of the distinctions. You need X to own a gun and have a simpler definition of what a gun is. Pull trigger, it goes bang. Instead, legislators seem intent on complicating the matter even further with calls to ban 'assault weapons'. First, define an assault weapon. There's plenty of other legislation that defines improper use of firearms, ie drug addicts aren't (normally) allowed to buy them, or toss them in trash cans when they want to get rid of them. Seperate the object from the action and call it good.

              And it's much the same with the EPA. The whole 'delete' thing was a great example of regulatory capture. Create problem, develop solution and sell millions of litres of DEF.. Which is a pollutant in it's own right, and makes diesels more expensive, inefficient and unreliable.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "government's actions are entirely unprecedented"

          I know there are a lot of early Ford Navistar 6.0l Power Stroke diesel truck owners who have defeat devices installed as the only way to realistically keep their engines from dying a very early death due to horrible design decisions.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Does eBay actually sell anything? I'd expect their argument to be that they're merely a marketplace which puts buyers in contact with sellers, and any accusations of wrongdoing should be directed to them.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      In the UK my credit card payments go to "EBAY COMMERCE UK LTD*EB LONDON", so I'd say I was buying from eBay.

      1. Jim Mitchell

        The counter argument is that the seller has hired ebay to handle receiving payments on its behalf.

        1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

          I understand that, and legally I'm sure you're correct (in the UK) , but no one says "....yeah, I bought it from seller0985123", do they? Whatever the legal position, people "buy stuff from ebay" and if it walks like a duck........

          The concept that eBay (and other sites) is just a marketplace and no different from the newsagent's noticeboard or the farmer who rents his field for Sunday morning boot sales might have been OK when they first started as an any-old-tat auction site, but they've moved on a bit since those days and, as others have posted here, maybe it's time that the law caught up with the changes.

          1. Catkin Silver badge

            "I know it when I see it" can be prickly when it comes to legal rights. It's reasonable to use it as the impetus for drafting new laws but broadening the scope of existing laws based on changing general expectations risks creating effectively ex post facto laws without legislative assent and could violate some forms of nulla poena sine lege (apologies for the lack of italics).

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              No need to apologise for the lack of italics. But I demand an apology for the use of so much Latin! :-)

      2. HereIAmJH

        When I buy from eBay, I pay Visa who pays PayPal who pays eBay who pays the seller.

        I don't think following the money, in this instance, is a reasonable approach. Or should my bank also be a defendant in this case?

    2. Colin Bull 1

      no ..but

      In the UK at least they can be charged with aiding and abetting.

      They are assisting the illegal sellers and should be prosecuted for doing so.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: no ..but

        "In the UK at least they can be charged with aiding and abetting.

        They are assisting the illegal sellers and should be prosecuted for doing so."

        You are getting into the same thing as an ISP being held liable for people pirating movies and music. How about people that post albums to YouTube without permission. There's just way too much traffic to individually vet everything so the best that can be done is to have a good reporting system to weed out improper items. That's also going to vary quite a bit from locale to locale so it requires people trained on what can and can't be sold in their patch as well as universally.

        If somebody hosts a car boot sale in their vacant field on a weekend, do you hold them responsible if one of the vendors is selling ivory carvings? There's just no way for an organizer to do anything more than have everybody sign an agreement that everything they sell is legit and holds the organizer harmless for any actions against them. Oh, and no refunds.

        1. David Pearce

          Re: no ..but

          "You are getting into the same thing as an ISP being held liable for people pirating movies and music. How about people that post albums to YouTube without permission"

          But does your ISP act as a middleman and collect a payment from you to watch this pirate movie?

        2. PRR Bronze badge
          Devil

          Re: no ..but

          > How about people that post albums to YouTube without permission. There's just way too much traffic to individually vet everything so the best that can be done is to have a good reporting system...

          Even 12 years ago, YouTube was doing some better. They had a music-match algorithm. (Apple? already had a Name That Tune app.) I had posted a clip with "Marshmallow World" as background music. Within 2 hours of posting I got a copyright note. I Googled the concept (this was before Google bought YouTube) and it was a real thing even then. False hits etc but this robo-report was valid. Googled what I had to do to mangle the audio to avoid detection, and it would have detracted from the video. (Short snips or gross pitch change.)

          Two more: a demo of a tube radio, out of cabinet (bassless), playing AM radio, was tagged for 'Summer Samba by Walter Wanderley'; and a friend in a singing class tagged for "In My Life" 'Video uses this song's melody'. Dang, it is good.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Does eBay actually sell anything? I'd expect their argument to be that they're merely a marketplace which puts buyers in contact with sellers, and any accusations of wrongdoing should be directed to them"

      eBay does regulate the sorts of things that can be sold on the platform. Some things are regulated by law (prescription meds, weapons) and other things are due to the milquetoast view of the BoD. They cancelled a listing I had for an ice bucket claiming it required a doctor's prescription which was ludicrous but they wouldn't budge. I also had some other things they cancelled yet there are sellers in China selling gobs of the same thing and have been for ages. It's worth having a dig through the selling requirements since the really weird prohibitions will get you scratching your head in no time.

      eBay does need to watch its advertising and branding or it should be held liable. I've been noticing a lot more eBay advertising slanted towards eBay being the seller rather than the individuals that are listing products. Amazon works to make people think they are buying from Amazon rather than a marketplace seller. Fine if they want to do that, but it should mean they have to take more responsibility. Amazon allows lots of things that are banned in the US. Perhaps not banned from selling, but something like an electrically actuated exhaust bypass that is not legal to install on a car in the US that's driven on public roads (at least in many states).

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I'd expect their argument to be that they're merely a marketplace which puts buyers in contact with sellers, and any accusations of wrongdoing should be directed to them."

      Go into certain bars in seedy parts of town where the owner turns a blind eye to drug dealers and said owner can be up on charges too or, at the very least, lose their liquor license. With greats rights comes great responsibilities :-)

  4. Julian 8 Silver badge

    Nope, leave that to the car makers themselves

    Many real world tests show this to be the case, and occasionally they may get caught - but not much of a fine, and seemingly, looking at them, no damage to their reputation.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don’t mention the guns

    I think someone did and it went off!

    Americans are both proud and deeply ashamed of their gun culture.

    Shhhhhhhh.

  6. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Flame

    Bypass devices should not be illegal

    The government created an issue where modern diesel vehicles will not run without the required emissions fluid. I believe this puts lives at risk.

    Imagine an emergency situation, for example a natural disaster, Diesel fuel is available. The people in the vehicle could drive to safety. However, they are out of the government required DEF. As designed for compliance, the vehicle will not operate. Lives are lost.

    This is completely irresponsible for the government. Flag a non-compliance, turn on a service engine light, fail an emissions test....but don't intentionally put people in a dangerous situation for an emissions issue.

    1. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: Bypass devices should not be illegal

      There's even worse examples, like denatured alcohol (methylated spirits). The powers that be would rather people are blinded and killed than get drunk without paying tax. I could even understand adding something that induces vomiting but deliberately introducing an unnecessary fatal poison seems pointlessly cruel.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bypass devices should not be illegal

      You raise an interesting point. Except that pretty much every engine requires multiple different fluids for them to work properly, clutch fluid, radiator coolant (ok, maybe not that, water will do in pinch), brake fluid, engine oil, any of which may be low and need topping up or replacing at any time and needs to be checked regularly by the owner/driver. I dunno about you, but I don't risk any of those fluids getting anywhere near down to a level where the vehicle might not be ready for a trip without a top up. Why would DEF be any different? Just keep it topped up as with all the other "fluids" a car or truck uses.

      Depending what and how you drive, a DEF tank should need filling every 3000-10000 miles, way less often than the fuel tank, and it's a pretty small tank in general and not hard to stick a pint or two in every time you fill up if you're really worried the apocalypse is due.

  7. Groo The Wanderer

    What IS it with American companies and this perverse idea that if you only do it "on the internet", the law doesn't apply to you?

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "What IS it with American companies"

      If you are talking about eBay, most likely it's a Chinese company. Plenty of sellers on eBay represent their items as shipping from the US but a quick scan of feedback shows they are shipping from outside and the company isn't US based.

      A company in the US has to be more careful as they are an easier target. Facilities can be raided and bank accounts frozen with very little fuss.

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