This letter, straight from the desk of Gale Banks, explains the diesel emissions testing issue. Find out what it took to devise the test, and what it means to owners of diesel vehicles. With video!
Watch Senator Huff and Gale Banks discuss the new CARB test.
Then read Gale’s letter to diesel customers below.
The Diesel Performance Industry
Alive and Well in California
Dear Valued Banks Customer,
As you may already know, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), as mandated by Assembly Bill (AB) 1488, instituted a new smog-test for diesel-powered vehicles in April 2010. This smog test seeks to verify your vehicle’s emissions compliance in the state of California. In part, the test is a visual one wherein aftermarket products are scrutinized for CARB approval. The test also seeks to determine whether any emissions equipment native to the vehicle (cat converter, DPF, etc.) has been removed or otherwise disabled.
This new smog test has understandably created confusion and concern in the diesel community, particularly as it relates to aftermarket performance products. This letter is meant to clear up that confusion, bring you the facts, and to alleviate any concerns you may have.
Calling the state of California home since 1958, we at Banks have long understood the reality of emissions standards and our obligation to meet them. We design our products to meet emission standards for the vehicle on which they are installed. Over the years we have worked extensively with CARB aiding in the development of the Executive Order (EO) process through which all aftermarket companies demonstrate their products’ emissions compliance. We currently hold 82 EOs, demonstrating our willingness and ability to design clean, emissions-compliant performance products.
Due to a change by CARB in 2000, no new emissions compliance test capable of being run by an aftermarket company had been defined. At the suggestion of CARB, Banks developed and proposed a new test procedure in 2002. We performed that test on a Dodge Cummins pickup equipped with Banks product and submitted the results to CARB. Our test comprised an Federal Test Procedure (FTP) and a similar but higher power test called a US06. Both would utilize a chassis dynamometer, and both could be performed by companies in the diesel aftermarket.
Over the next 8 years both Banks and SEMA presented alternative test methods, ran tests using the proposed test methods, and submitted the results to CARB. All of this was done in a good faith effort to find a viable test. Without a test procedure we could not demonstrate that our products are designed and engineered to meet applicable emissions standards.
Until recently all of our efforts to get a viable test procedure were unsuccessful. However, with help from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office, State Senators Gloria Romero and Bob Huff, State Assemblymen Anthony Adams and Dr. Ed Hernandez, Azusa Mayor Joseph R. Rocha, Irwindale Mayor H. Manuel Ortiz, the extraordinary staff of all of these officials, the lobbying firm Joe A. Gonsalves and Son, not to mention some personal coaching from Jay Leno, we have found resolution with CARB.
On April 7, 2010, the California Air Resources Board notified Gale Banks Engineering, “with no alternative test procedure available, CARB staff suggested that it would be in the best interest of Gale Banks Engineering to direct its efforts to obtain an Executive Order toward the chassis certified Dodge Ram with the 6.7L diesel engine.” For all other products awaiting testing, “CARB is proposing the attached test procedures for testing these products be used. The testing format is similar to that used on the 6.7L Dodge Ram with the addition of two steady state high load test points in a baseline and modified testing configuration.”
This test series marks a new era in performance diesel emissions compliance and sets the stage for our entire industry to now comply. To celebrate our recent success I am pleased to announce that the Banks Six-Gun diesel tuner for the new 6.7L Dodge Cummins has passed utilizing the new testing format, and will be the first diesel tuning product to be issued an EO using this testing protocol.
And here’s the best news: Banks customers will be able to comply with California’s new diesel smog check program. All Banks products awaiting EO testing will pass the visual inspection portion of the diesel smog test. Furthermore, CARB will give all members of the aftermarket until June 30, 2010 the opportunity to submit EO applications, and receive the same treatment for their customers.
I believe that Diesel is an important “bridge technology” to the future. Now that we have a means to compliance, Banks as well as the rest of the aftermarket can go back to doing what we do best; designing and selling products that enhance the natural efficiency and power advantages of diesel, while keeping them clean. At Banks we call that, “keeping them green while making them mean.”