Diesel engine manufacturers settle federal lawsuit over emission controls
Seven engine manufacturers alleged by the government to have used chips, called “defeat devices,” in their diesel engines so that the vehicles would pass the Environmental Protection Agency`s 20-minute emissions tests have agreed to settle a federal lawsuit brought against them. The chips, used in vehicles ranging from large pickup trucks to tractor-trailers, caused the engines to emit three times the limit of nitrogen oxide while on the highway, according to a USA Today report (“Emissions chip draws fire,” October 23, 1998).
As part of the $1 billion settlement, the manufacturers will pay fines and improve pollution controls. The companies agreed to pay $83.4 million in fines and $110 million for pollution-reduction projects. Another $850 million will be used to improve emissions on new engines and remove the devices from 1.1 million trucks.
In agreeing to the settlement, the manufacturers–Caterpillar, Cummins Engine, Detroit Diesel, Mack Trucks, Navistar International, Renault, and Volvo–denied any wrongdoing. The engine makers said they didn`t violate any laws and settled to avoid costly litigation.