Cummins to pay $1.67 bn to settle engine emission control claims

Cummins to pay $1.67 bn to settle engine emission control claims

The Justice Department said US engine maker Cummins has agreed to pay $1.67 bn to settle emission control claims
The Justice Department said US engine maker Cummins has agreed to pay $1.67 bn to settle emission control claims. Photo: Tom Brenner / GETTY IMAGES/Getty Images via AFP
Source: AFP

US engine maker Cummins Inc has agreed to pay $1.67 billion to settle claims it installed devices to defeat emissions controls in hundreds of thousands of pickup truck engines, the Justice Department said Friday.

The penalty is the largest ever for a violation of the Clean Air Act, which requires vehicle and engine manufacturers to comply with emissions standards, the department said.

Cummins, which is based in Columbus, Indiana, was accused of installing defeat devices in the engines -- parts or software that can bypass emissions controls or render them inoperative.

Defeat devices and auxiliary emission control devices were allegedly installed on nearly one million engines produced since 2013 for RAM pickup trucks, which are made by Stellantis. Stellantis did not immediately reply to a query from AFP.

"The Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing the environmental laws that protect the American people from harmful pollutants," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

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"The types of devices we allege that Cummins installed in its engines to cheat federal environmental laws have a significant and harmful impact on people's health and safety," Garland said.

"Our preliminary estimates suggest that defeat devices on some Cummins engines have caused them to produce thousands of tons of excess emissions of nitrogen oxides," he said.

"The cascading effect of those pollutants can, over long-term exposure, lead to breathing issues like asthma and respiratory infections."

The German automaker Volkswagen was found by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 to have installed emissions control-defying software in diesel-powered cars in a scandal which came to be known as "Dieselgate."

The Justice Department said that the $1.67 billion to be paid by Cummins to the US government and state of California is the second-largest ever environmental penalty, topped only by the more than $20 billion settlement reached with BP in 2015 for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Source: AFP

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