SACRAMENTO, CA --- The California Air Resources Board has fined Sunrise Ford, a car dealership with outlets in North Hollywood and Fontana, $175,000 for illegally modifying 2005 through 2007 model year light- and medium-duty vehicles with an aftermarket device before the vehicles were sold. 

The part, called a Fuel Maximizer, is intended to improve gas mileage and performance in cars by changing the flow of air as it mixes with the gasoline before combustion. Discovery of the unapproved parts was made during a routine dealer inspection, the board said in a released statement. 

"We expect dealers to follow the law, which requires that certified aftermarket parts only be installed after a vehicle is sold," said ARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols. "Our air quality can suffer when careless mistakes are made, so we hope this fine sends a strong message." 

It is illegal in the state of California to perform modifications on a new car prior to sale. 

The terms of the settlement require that Sunrise Ford pay a total of $175,000 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which supports research and programs intended to reduce California's carbon footprint.