The federal government announced Thursday that it had reached a settlement with Harley-Davidson Inc. requiring the company to stop selling, buy back and destroy illegal devices that increase air pollution from the motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson will also pay a $12 million penalty and spend $3 million to mitigate air pollution through a project to replace conventional wood stoves with cleaner-burning stoves in local communities, according to authorities.
“Given Harley-Davidson’s prominence in the industry, this is a very significant step toward our goal of stopping the sale of illegal aftermarket defeat devices that cause harmful pollution on our roads and in our communities,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden, head of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Adding, “Anyone else who manufactures, sells, or installs these types of illegal products should take heed of Harley-Davidson’s corrective actions and immediately stop violating the law.”
Harley-Davidson manufactured and sold approximately 340,000 illegal devices, known as “super tuners.” Once installed the devices caused motorcycles to emit higher amounts of certain air pollutants than what the company certified to Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, officials said.
EPA discovered the violations through a routine inspection and information Harley-Davidson submitted after subsequent agency information requests.
Aftermarket defeat devices like these super tuners are prohibited under the Clean Air Act for use on vehicles that have been certified to meet EPA emissions standards.
Harley-Davidson also made and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles that were not covered by an EPA certification that ensures a vehicle meets federal clean air standards.
Under the settlement, Harley-Davidson will stop selling the illegal aftermarket defeat devices in the United States by August 23.
Harley-Davidson will also offer to buy back all such tuners in stock at Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country and destroy them.
The settlement requires the company to obtain a certification from the California Air Resources Board or CARB for any tuners it sells in the United States in the future.
The CARB certification will demonstrate that the CARB-certified tuners do not cause Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles to exceed the EPA-certified emissions limits. Harley-Davidson will also conduct tests on motorcycles that have been tuned with the CARB-certified tuners and provide the results to EPA to ensure that its motorcycles remain in compliance with EPA emissions requirements.
In addition, for any super tuners that Harley-Davidson sells outside the United States in the future, it must label them as not for use in the United States.
The complaint also alleges that Harley-Davidson made and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles from model years 2006, 2007 and 2008 that were not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity.
These 12,000 motorcycles were models that were not included in Harley-Davidson’s applications and that were not listed as covered by the relevant certificate.