Cummins Inc. to Recall 600,000 Ram Trucks in $2 Billion Settlement Over Emissions Cheating

Cummins Inc. to Recall 600,000 Ram Trucks in $2 Billion Settlement Over Emissions Cheating | Enterprise Wired

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Source- Yahoo Finance

Cummins Inc., a prominent engine manufacturer, is set to recall 600,000 Ram trucks as part of a landmark settlement with federal and California authorities, revealing details that emerged on Wednesday. The settlement, finalized in December, mandates Cummins to address environmental damage resulting from the use of illegal software that enabled the evasion of diesel emissions tests.

The Agreement

Under the agreement, Cummins Inc. has already committed to a staggering $1.675 billion civil penalty, marking the largest settlement ever secured under the Clean Air Act. An additional $325 million is allocated for pollution remedies, bringing the total penalty to over $2 billion. Officials from the Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and the California Attorney General emphasized the significance of the settlement in a press briefing.

The settlement stems from allegations that, over a decade, hundreds of thousands of Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickup trucks, manufactured by Stellantis, were equipped with Cummins diesel engines featuring software designed to limit nitrogen oxide pollution during emissions tests. However, during normal operations, the software allowed higher pollution levels, violating environmental standards.

Approximately 630,000 trucks from model years 2013 through 2019, equipped with the so-called “defeat devices,” will be recalled. An additional 330,000 trucks from 2019 through 2023 had emissions control software that was inadequately reported to authorities, although it did not disable emissions controls.

Stellantis, the manufacturer of Ram trucks, deferred comment on the case to Cummins, which has consistently denied the government’s allegations and is not admitting liability.

Engine maker Cummins Inc. to repair 600K Ram trucks in $2B emissions cheating scandal

Clarification from Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc. clarified in a statement that the financial commitments associated with Wednesday’s actions were consistent with those announced in December. Despite the recall, the company highlighted that the engines not being recalled did not exceed emissions limits. The penalty includes provisions for unreported software.

As part of the settlement, Cummins Inc. will address the smog-forming pollution resulting from its actions. Preliminary estimates suggest that the emissions bypass produced “thousands of tons of excess emissions of nitrogen oxides,” according to U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

The Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act, enacted in 1963, requires car and engine manufacturers to adhere to emission limits to protect the environment and human health. The transportation sector, responsible for about one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, is a crucial target for emissions reduction efforts.

The Cummins settlement follows a series of emissions cheating cases in the automotive industry, including Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal in 2015 and Fiat Chrysler’s penalties in 2019. The severity of fines underscores the commitment to deterring violations and prioritizing public health over profit. Diesel exhaust, a known carcinogen, poses serious health risks, including respiratory infections, lung disease, and asthma.

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