Cummins fined for emissions-cheating device usage
Truck engine maker Cummins Inc has been fined US$1.675 billion (around A$2.5 billion) for installing so-called ‘defeat devices’ on hundreds of thousands of I6, 6.7-litre engines, fitted to RAM utes, to allow them to emit excess pollution.
In the largest-ever civil penalty for a Clean Air Act violation, the US Justice Department said Cummins used defeat devices on 630,000 2013MY to 2019MY RAM 2500 and 3500 engines and unspecified emission control devices on 330,000 2019MY to 2023MY RAM 2500 and 3500 engines, to cheat emissions control requirements.
In late December 2023, Cummins agreed in principle to payment of the fine that will be court-formalised in January 2024. Cummins has already spent a claimed US$59 million (around A$87 million) in recalling 2019MY RAM 2500 and 3500 trucks, and has initiated a recall of the 2013-2018MY models.
“I want to emphasise that the company has seen no evidence that anyone acted in bad faith and does not admit wrongdoing,” said Cummins’ US external communications director, Jon Mills.
OTA asked RAM Trucks Australia for comment, but the Xmas/New Year season intervened. We’ll report when we hear from them.
What’s not clear are the likely performance and fuel consumption ramifications from the recalibration of these RAM engines. This latest recall joins a long list of RAM recalls, for fire risk, ABS issues and transmission problems.
Another possible issue is the 2023 decision by Daimler Trucks and Isuzu Trucks to standardise on the Cummins I6, 6.7-litre engine for both companies’ future mid-range diesel products.