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February 18, 2024

U.S. engine maker facing largest Clean Air Act penalty ever over emissions test cheating accusations

In January 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Cummins, Inc., a leading engine and power systems manufacturer, agreed to pay a $14.9 million penalty—the largest ever Clean Air Act penalty for emissions-test cheating accusations. The EPA alleged that since at least 2006, Cummins violated the Clean Air Act by lying about test results, installing “defeat devices” in certain diesel engines, and failing to disclose certain auxiliary emissions control devices (AECDs). The penalty consisted of $14 million for civil penalties and $907,000 for a number of state mitigation projects in California, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Coast Air Quality Management District. In addition to the penalty, Cummings has agreed to remediate excess emissions by recalling nearly 500,000 non-compliant heavy-duty diesel engines, installing emissions-control software updates, and conducting “extra-mile” mitigation projects to spend $60 million replacing old engines or installing emissions-reduction technologies.