Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

US$1.6 billion for rigging broadcasts polluting

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American engine manufacturer Cummins has reached an agreement with federal authorities and the state of California to avoid a lawsuit.

Agence France-Presse

The American engine manufacturer Cummins, accused of having installed equipment to cheat the exhaust emissions controls of hundreds of thousands of vehicles of the Ram brand (Stellantis), will pay 1, US$67 billion (C$2.12 billion) to avoid a trial, the Justice Department announced Friday.

He specifies that an agreement in principle has been concluded between the company, on the one hand, and the American federal authorities and the x27;State of California, on the other hand, to resolve prosecutions for violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This agreement must still be validated by a federal court in the federal capital, Washington.

According to Justice Secretary Merrick Garland, quoted in the press release, if the agreement takes this last step, it will be the most largest sanction ever imposed under the CAA, adopted in 1963, and the second largest sanction for a case linked to environmental pollution.

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The largest sanction was applied to the oil group BP as part of an agreement to pay US$20 billion to avoid a trial linked to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, considered to be the worst in history.

The CAA requires vehicle and engine manufacturers to ensure that their products meet exhaust emissions limits , recalls the department.

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Under the U.S. Clean Air Act, manufacturers must ensure that their products comply with emissions limits, recalls the Department of Justice.

However, Cummins is accused of having installed equipment – ​​spare parts or software – which makes it possible to thwart the devices controlling these emissions by bypassing them, deceiving them or making them inoperative.

The department says the company is suspected of installing such equipment on 630,000 Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 light truck engines between 2013 and 2019.

She is also accused of having installed an auxiliary emissions control device on 330,000 examples of these same two models between 2019 and 2023.

At the request of AFP, the Stellantis group – owner of the Ram brand – referred to Cummins for any details concerning this matter, simply indicating that Cummins always does part of its suppliers.

In a statement, the engine maker said it had conducted a thorough internal review and worked in collaboration with regulators for more than four years.

The company has found no evidence that anyone acted in bad faith and does not admit wrongdoing, it said, adding that the recall of the affected vehicles had begun. It has already provisioned 59 million US dollars to cover the costs.

However, it will include a charge for x27;approximately US$2.04 billion in several cases involving a total of approximately one million vans.

Cummins, founded in Columbus, Indiana, in 1919, has some 73,600 employees. In 2022, it achieved revenue of 28.1 billion US dollars and net profit of 2.2 billion.

This is not the first time that a case of deception on vehicle emissions has occurred, the most emblematic being Dieselgate, which caused a global scandal and heavily damaged the reputation of the company. German automobile industry.

In 2015, following accusations from the US Environmental Agency (EPA), Volkswagen admitted to having equipped 11 million EA 189 type engines on its diesel vehicles with software capable of making them appear less polluting during laboratory tests and on the roads.

The group has since had to pay more than 30 billion euros (nearly CA$44 billion) in reimbursements, compensation and legal costs.

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