Cummins recalling half a million engines on voluntary basis due to degradation of emissions-control systems

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Updated Aug 5, 2018

Cummins has instituted a voluntary recall of roughly 500,000 model-year 2010-2015 engines, according to an announcement from the U.S. EPA. The recall involves faulty emissions systems components that cause the engines to fall out of compliance with federal emissions regulations.

The trucks and engines under the voluntary recall have seen degradation of their selective catalytic reduction systems, according to financial reports issued by Cummins. SCR systems are the exhaust aftertreatment components that use diesel exhaust fluid to curb emissions of nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases. All manufacturers of engines for Class 8 trucks use SCR and DEF in their emissions-control systems. Engine makers adopted the technology in 2010 to meet that year’s emissions hurdles.

In financial reports issued for the 2017 fiscal year and for the first quarter of 2018, Cummins noted that the EPA and the California Air Resources Board had pulled “certain pre-2013 model year engine systems for additional emissions testing” and that “some of these engines failed…tests as a result of degradation of an aftertreatment component.”

EPA says that Cummins will contact owners of Cummins engines with information on how to have their engines repaired.

Cummins said in those reports that it planned to institute a field campaign to address the issue. The engine maker said in its 2017 10-K filing that it had set aside nearly $200 million for the repair campaign.

Cummins responded in part to queries about the engines from Overdrive in recent weeks, but did not provide any insight into questions regarding the emissions-control systems or the field campaign. Cummins spokesperson Jon Mills said in June that the company was working with the EPA and CARB to address the issue.

In the company’s 10-Q filing for the first quarter of 2018, Cummins said it “had not yet determined the impact to other model years or engine systems or the percentage of the engine system populations that could be affected.”

In its quarterly earnings conference call on Tuesday, July 31, Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger said the issue is isolated to 2010-2015 model-year engines and that the company has set aside $181 million for repairs of those engines’ exhaust aftertreatment systems. â€śWe’ve reached agreements with the appropriate regulatory agencies regarding our proposed actions, and we will launch that campaign in phases starting in the third quarter this year and expect to substantially complete the campaign by the end of 2020,” he said. “This issue does not affect any of our current products.”

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