Detroit Diesel to Pay $28.5 Million in Clean Air Act Settlement
It’s not quite dieselgate but Detroit Diesel Corp. has agreed to pay a $14 million penalty and spent $14.5 million on pollution reduction projects after allegedly selling heavy-duty diesel engines that were not certified by EPA and did not meet applicable emission standards.
Detroit Diesel is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America. Detroit Diesel manufactures heavy-duty diesel engines, axles and transmissions for the on-highway and vocational truck markets.
Under a settlement with the EPA to resolve allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act, Detroit Diesel will spend $14.5 million on projects to reduce nitrogen oxide and other pollutants, including replacing high-polluting diesel school buses and locomotive engines with models that meet current emissions standards.
The feds allege that Detroit Diesel violated the Clean Air Act by introducing into commerce 7,786 heavy-duty diesel engines for use in trucks and buses in model year 2010 without a valid EPA-issued certificate of conformity demonstrating conformance with Clean Air Act standards to control nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
The complaint also alleges that the engines did not conform to emission standards applicable to model year 2010 engines.
Dave Giroux, director of corporate communications for Daimler Trucks North America, told Detroit Free Press that Detroit Diesel received an unexpected increase in customer orders for model year 2009 engines in the second half of 2009.
To meet customer demand without interrupting its labor force, the company assembled about 80 percent of each engine in 2009 and then competed the engines in 2010, he explained.
Giroux said the company told EPA what it was going, but the agency later decided because the engines were completed in 2010, they should have met stricter 2010 standards.
“Ultimately, the EPA disagreed with Detroit’s interpretation of the regulations, but not until it was too late for Detroit to reverse course,” Giroux said.
“While Detroit disagrees with the EPA’s position and was surprised to receive the EPA’s conclusion that its definition of ‘produced’ didn’t apply to our engines, to avoid litigation and stay focused on producing the most efficient engines in the market, Detroit has decided to settle with the EPA,” said Brian Burton, Detroit Diesel’s General Counsel, told the newspaper in a statement.
In two settlements with the federal government announced in June, Volkswagen agreed to pay a record $14.7 billion after cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers by installing “defeat devices” in almost half a million diesel cars.
Attorneys general from New York, Massachusetts and Maryland have also sued Volkswagen and its affiliates, Audi and Porshe, seeking hundreds of millions in penalties for selling cars equipped with defeat devices.
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