The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined Harley Davidson $12M (£9.12M) over the firms Screaming Eagle Super Tuner device, an official plug in module that allows owners of certain models to modify engine parameters, altering performance and potentially increasing emissions.
Available for sale through Harley Dealerships since 2008, Harley has been ordered to stop selling the tuner in the USA by August 23 and buy back and destroy all unsold units in dealers. Harley must also deny warranty claims if owners continue to use the devices. It’s believed that 340,000 of the super tuners have been sold over the eight year period.
"This settlement immediately stops the sale of illegal after-market defeat devices used on public roads that threaten the air we breathe," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
The EPA also claims Harley-Davidson sold more than 12,000 motorcycles from model years 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the USA that were not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity. These 12,000 motorcycles were models not included in original EPA applications and not covered by the relevant certificate.
Bizarrely, along with the substantial fine, Harley will also have to spend $3M on a government environmental initiative to replace conventional wood burning stoves with clean burning stoves in local communities.
Harley did not admit liability, and said in a statement it disagrees with the government's position arguing that the devices were designed and sold to be used in "competition only."
The company also said it has sold the product for more then 20 years under an accepted regulatory approach that permitted the sale of competition-only parts and said it believed it was legal to use in race conditions in the United States.
EPA ruling in full here
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