eBay has issued a sitewide ban on tuning parts like handheld tuners, emissions bypass products, and open exhausts. Road and Track reports that the world wide e-commerce and auction platform has updated their policies to be compliant with The EPA.

Road and Track reached out to an individual who could not list a Hondata tuner on eBay, but instead got this message: 

“eBay is not currently allowing any tuners, regardless of functionality, in order to ensure compliance with our policy prohibiting defeat devices. Please do not relist.”


The EPA can pursue all sorts of organizations and individuals for violating the “clean air act” which is their federal law that regulates air emissions. It has been amended many times, and most recently in 2021 via executive order. Additionally, a national compliance initiative concerning emissions was issued stating “the focus of this national compliance initiative is on those who manufacture, sell, or install aftermarket parts known as defeat devices, which bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems, resulting in significant increases in harmful air emissions.”

This has led to companies like eBay to issue new policies like their defeat devices policy, which declares “Products that bypass, defeat or render inoperative emission-control systems aren’t allowed, either on their own or when combined with other hardware or software.”

Here is the new list of banned items on eBay: 

  • ​Tuners, services, software or devices that modify the performance of vehicles, such as cars, trucks and off-road vehicles
  • Aftermarket standalone (non-OEM) electronic control unit (ECU), including full electronic fuel injection (EFI) conversion kits
  • Powertrain or exhaust parts intended for “race only” or “off-road only”
  • Active fuel management/Dynamic fuel management or auto start-stop disablers
  • Blocking plates for emission control systems
  • Products that remove factory catalytic converters (CAT) or diesel particulate filters (DPF), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)
  • Throttle response controllers
  • Exhaust servo eliminators
  • Devices intended to bypass or reduce flow to oxygen sensors

*FYI this Ebay policy didn’t exist last year in 2021.

It’s unfortunate for companies like eBay and Cobb Tuning, which face fines for each individual tuning part sold. Earlier this year, Cobb changed their Accesstuner software, limiting what customers can do with their Cobb devices. This helped the company avoid penalties from the EPA, but angered their customer base (AKA modified car owners).

The reality is, car enthusiasts barely contribute to total air pollution. And existing industrial facilities get exemptions from the clean air act (including coal-fired power plants, which power plenty of electric cars). Moreover, we should consider everything outside the control of the EPA. This includes industries of other countries and even cruise / cargo ships that burn bunker fuel at astonishing rates. There are much better places to focus on if reducing air pollution is the actual goal.

We have plenty of work to do to keep our planet clean and habitable, but harassing car enthusiasts, mechanics, and tuners over these matters is not fruitful nor effective.