Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Harley-Davidson Inc. Escapes $3m Air Pollution Reduction Sanction


Harley-Davidson Inc. Escapes $3m 

Air Pollution Reduction Sanction

Reuters reported that a United States judge approved a revised settlement with Harley-Davidson Inc. over excess emissions - after four years of wrangling, the new settlement dropped the originally included requirement that Harley spend $3m to reduce air pollution.
In August 2016, Harley agreed to pay a $12m civil fine and stop selling illegal aftermarket devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution. It also agreed to spend about $3m to retrofit or replace wood-burning appliances with cleaner stoves to offset excess emissions.
In July 2017, the Justice Department cited a new policy by then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and in proposing to drop the $3m mitigation project set in motion an ongoing review of the penalty by a government auditor. 


A Screamin' Eagle "super tuner"

A wood burning stove

Finally, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan approved the settlement over the objections of environmental groups and a group of ten states, including New York, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.
While the earlier agreement "containing the mitigation project might have been the 'best' resolution of Harley-Davidson’s alleged violations, the Court cannot say that the decree lodged before the Court is not within 'the reaches of the public interest," Sullivan wrote in approving the consent decree.
The settlement resolved allegations that Harley sold about 340,000 "super tuners," enabling motorcycles since 2008 to pollute the air at levels greater than what the company certified.
Harley-Davidson did not admit liability and has said it disagreed with the government, arguing that the tuners were designed and sold to be used in "competition only." Even though the settlement had not yet taken effect, Harley-Davidson has said that since August 2016, it sold only tuners certified by the California Air Resources Board and halted sale of the tuners in question and destroyed tuners returned by dealers.

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