EPA investigates Navistar over engine dating



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleges that thousands of Navistar Inc. engines sold as pre-2010 models were actually assembled during 2010 and are subject to fines up to $37,500 per violation for not conforming to 2010 emissions standards.

Navistar disputes the EPA charge, says spokesman Steve Schrier. “We firmly believe our 2010 transition was appropriate, and we will continue our discussions and cooperation with the agency on this matter,” he says.

After the agency analyzed data Navistar submitted in response to EPA’s Nov. 3, 2010, information request, says a Jan. 30, 2012, letter to Navistar, it discovered Navistar claimed a 2009 model year for more than 7,600 heavy-duty diesel engines produced after Dec. 31, 2009. If fined at the maximum level, the total would exceed $285 million.

Avondale Partners’ analyst Kristine Kubacki says an investigation could take a long time and that fines in these cases “vary widely.”

The letter, published on the trucking blog Commercial Motor, says EPA is investigating Navistar. An EPA spokeswoman says the agency does not discuss ongoing enforcement matters.

The letter says the engines were partially assembled in 2009. Financial analyst Stephen Volkmann, quoted by Reuters news service, says he believes that completion of engine assembly after an EPA deadline has been “standard industry practice,” so the EPA scrutiny could extend beyond Navistar.