PDI to pay $1.1 million to settle alleged EPA emissions violations

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Performance Diesel Inc. (PDI) will pay more than $1.1 million in penalties to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act with the Environmental Protection Agency.

PDI’s current line of Big Boss tuners and manifolds are unaffected by the settlement, the company says. Additionally, PDI says its current products are covered by executive orders from the California Air Resources Board, verifying that its tuners meet both California and EPA emissions requirements.

EPA alleged that PDI sold more than 5,500 products that defeated emissions control systems in heavy-duty diesel engines. PDI says it stopped selling engine tuners that did not comply with the Clean Air Act in April 2018. The company says they only sold those products for competition vehicles, and that they assumed they were covered by the competition exemption in the Clean Air Act.

“We made a business decision almost two years ago to exit the competition market rather than wait for EPA to establish standards for the sale of competition products,” said PDI President Jerad Wittwer. “Although PDI would prefer for EPA to take a consistent position on the Clean Air Act’s competition exemption, we want to avoid any customers feeling concerned about whether the PDI product they are purchasing is 100% compliant with air quality laws.”

PDI’s settlement comes almost a year after the parent company of Bully Dog, Derive Systems, settled for more than $6.5 million over alleged Clean Air Act violations. Bully Dog’s charges stemmed from the use of similar “defeat” devices on cars and light-duty trucks, rather than Class 8 trucks.

With modern emissions control systems, it’s much more difficult than it used to be to legally change an engine’s specifications, even through retuning, which can potentially put late-model engines out of compliance, as Overdrive’s James Jaillet wrote last year.

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