EPA and DOJ File Clean Air Act Complaint Against Diesel Spec Inc. for the Sale of Vehicle Emission “Defeat Devices”
CHICAGO (March 17, 2023) Today, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, filed a complaint against Diesel Spec Inc. (DSI), a Canadian company based just outside of Montreal, for violating Section 203(a) of the Clean Air Act. The alleged violations include manufacturing, selling or offering to sell parts or components in the United States known as “defeat devices” that can bypass, defeat or render inoperable the air pollution controls on motor vehicles.
The complaint alleges that that DSI sold products that disable pollution controls on heavy-duty trucks, agricultural equipment such as tractors and combines, and construction equipment such as bulldozers. Through this action EPA is seeking to: bar DSI from selling, offering to sell, and installing defeat devices in the United States, require DSI to pay a civil penalty and require DSI to remedy the environmental harm caused by these violations.
As a result of EPA’s efforts to improve air quality and fuel efficiency, cars and trucks manufactured today emit far less pollution than older vehicles. To meet EPA’s emission standards, engine manufacturers have carefully calibrated their engines and installed sophisticated pollution control systems.
Tampering with diesel-powered vehicles by installing defeat devices causes large amounts of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter pollution, which contributes to serious public health problems. These include premature death, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer. Respiratory issues disproportionately affect families, especially children, living in underserved communities overburdened by pollution. Stopping the sale and use of defeat devices will help reduce harmful air pollution that exacerbates the health effects of pollutant exposures.
This enforcement action is part of EPA's National Compliance Initiative for Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-stopping-aftermarket-defeat-devices-vehicles-and-engines.