EPA Settles Another Diesel Cheating Case

By Mike Osenga17 September 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have announced a settlement with Performance Diesel Inc. (PDI), St. George, Utah. The settlement is to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) associated with the manufacture, sale and installation of aftermarket products that defeat the emissions control systems of heavy-duty diesel engines. 

As part of the settlement, PDI has agreed to stop the sale of all products the government alleges violate the CAA.  PDI will also pay a civil penalty of $1.1 million over two years due to what the announcement says is PDI’s limited financial ability to pay a higher penalty.

“Performance Diesel Inc. manufactured, sold and installed thousands of aftermarket defeat devices, and as a result thousands of heavy-duty trucks now operate without the filters, catalysts  and other emissions controls that keep our air clean,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Susan Bodine. “Today’s settlement will prevent future violations by requiring PDI to ensure that their products do not adversely affect emissions.”  

The United States alleges that PDI sold at least 5549 aftermarket products that defeat the emissions control systems of heavy-duty diesel engines in violation of the CAA.  Before May 1, 2018, PDI manufactured, sold and installed electronic tuning software, known as “tunes,” that allowed PDI to disable emissions control devices, or otherwise bypass, defeat or render inoperative parts of the engine used to comply with CAA emission standards.  PDI’s aftermarket products are designed for use with numerous models of heavy-duty diesel engines manufactured by Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, International and Paccar.  

Included in the terms of this settlement, PDI must:

• Stop sale of all products that violate the CAA according to the government’s complaint.

• For new tuning products, demonstrate a reasonable basis that their products do not increase emissions by obtaining a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) prior to manufacture, sale, offering for sale and installation of products.

• For existing products not currently covered by a CARB EO, demonstrate a reasonable basis by submitting a complete application to CARB that covers the tunes prior to manufacture, sale, offering for sale and installation.  Under this consent decree, a complete application includes emission test results sufficient to satisfy CARB’s requirements for obtaining a CARB EO.

“This settlement prohibits PDI from selling illegal devices that defeat motor vehicle emissions controls and make an end run around federal laws that protect the public’s health,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan D. Brightbill of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. 

The settlement has been lodged in the U.S. District Court for the State of Utah for a period of 30 days for public notice and comment.  The first penalty payment is due within 30 days of entry of the Consent Decree. To read the Consent Decree: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

EPA has recently added a National Compliance Initiative on Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines.  To read about EPA’s National Compliance Initiative: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-stopping-aftermarket-defeat-devices-vehicles-and-engines

For more information on the settlement, visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/performance-diesel-inc-clean-air-act-settlement-information-sheet

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