Cummins Inc. Faces Record Fine for Emission Standards Violations

Cummins Inc. Faces Record Fine for Emission Standards Violations
A Cummins QSK95 diesel engine at the Cummins Seymour Engine Plant in Seymour, Ind. (Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg via Getty Images file)

Record-breaking fine

In a historic settlement, Cummins Inc., one of the world's largest engine manufacturers, has agreed to pay a record-breaking fine and additional costs totaling $2 billion. The charges stem from allegations that around one million pickup trucks were equipped with illegal devices, bypassing both California and national emission standards.

Cummins will pay a penalty of $1.675 billion, marking the largest civil penalty in a Clean Air Act case and the second-largest environmental penalty ever imposed in the United States. Of this amount, $1.48 billion will be allocated to the federal government, while $164 million will go to California.

Offsetting excess air pollution

In addition to the fine, Cummins will contribute an extra $325 million towards projects nationwide aimed at offsetting excess air pollution. California will receive a lump sum of $175 million to address environmental concerns in the state.

Cummins, in a statement, maintains that there is no evidence of intentional wrongdoing and asserts that the company has not acted in bad faith.

Rolling out recalls

As part of the settlement, Cummins is required to recall and replace engine software in approximately 630,000 diesel-powered RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 pickup trucks spanning model years 2013 through 2019. Failure to repair at least 85% of these vehicles within three years will result in additional penalties. The devices were also installed on about 330,000 model year 2020 through 2023 trucks, which are not subject to recalls.

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