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Cummins to pay $1.675 billion over emission defeat devices in Ram trucks

22 December 2023

Cummins Inc. has reached an agreement with the United States to pay a $1.675 billion penalty to settle claims that it violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) by installing emission “defeat devices” on hundreds of thousands of engines. The agreement represents the largest civil penalty ever secured under the CAA.

The governmental entities involved are the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the California Attorney General’s Office.

According to the DOJ, Cummins allegedly installed defeat devices on 630,000 model year 2013 to 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup truck engines. The company also allegedly installed undisclosed auxiliary emission control devices (AECD) on 330,000 model year 2019 to 2023 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup truck engines.

In a press release about the agreement, Cummins said that “the company has seen no evidence that anyone acted in bad faith and does not admit wrongdoing”.

The DOJ estimates that “defeat devices on some Cummins engines have caused them to produce thousands of tons of excess emissions of nitrogen oxides”. Technical details about the alleged violations were not provided.

Cummins said it disclosed a review of these matters when it began in 2019 and has regularly updated its disclosures as that review progressed. The company has already recalled model year 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks and has initiated a recall of model years 2013 through 2018 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks. Cummins expects to record a charge of approximately $2.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 to resolve these matters.

The DOJ will incorporate the agreement into a consent decree that will be filed with the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Source: US DOJ | Cummins