AUTHORITIES RAID SMOG CHECK STATION, EVIDENCE SEIZED
Bureau of Automotive Repair takes action against "1 Ozone Smog" for illegal Smog Checks
May 10, 2012
Glenn Mason (916) 574-8168
Russ Heimerich (916) 574-8171
Sacramento – Authorities raided a Sacramento-area Smog Check Test Only station after a six-week investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs. Today's actions are the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Automotive Repair that revealed cheating on the state's Smog Check inspection program.
A search warrant was executed this morning at "1 Ozone Smog Corp" at 4095 Power Inn Road, and equipment allegedly used to "clean pipe" vehicles was seized. Arrest warrants have been issued for the station's Smog Check Technician, Jimmy Phi Nugyen, and his alleged accomplice, Alan Sayareh. Both are suspected of conducting the illegal activity known in the industry as "clean piping".
"Clean piping" is when a vehicle that would not pass a Smog Check on its own, or is not present for testing, is fraudulently certified as passing. To accomplish this, a technician or other individual uses a clean exhaust sample from another vehicle that will pass a Smog Check, but enters the data for the vehicle for which the Smog Check certificate is required.
During their investigation, the Bureau found that on a single day at least a dozen cars were "clean piped" at the shop.
"A station where a dozen 'clean pipes' occur on a single day needs to be shut down just as quickly as we can arrange it," said Bureau Chief John Wallauch. "This kind of activity is a massive assault on air quality in the Sacramento area because it lets high-polluting cars continue to foul the air we breathe."
The Bureau is seeking an Interim Suspension Order to immediately suspend Nguyen's Advanced Emission Specialist Technician license. It is also seeking an order to immediately shut down the station, which is owned by Mohammad Mhuessn. A hearing before an Administrative Law Judge is scheduled for this afternoon.
The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office is bringing criminal charges against Nguyen for "clean piping" and against Sayareh for soliciting and directly participating in the scheme.
The Bureau is seeking to permanently revoke all of the licenses involved. An administrative hearing will be held at a later date to address the license violations found during the investigation.
The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers who wish to file a complaint against an auto repair facility can contact the Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.autorepair.ca.gov
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