Supplier of Emissions Cheat Device Fined $10M

Two Michigan-based aftermarket parts suppliers were ordered to pay a $10 million (approximately £8.37 million) fine after violating emissions laws. The companies are accused of selling devices that are used to cheat on emissions tests. Diesel Ops and Orion Diesel, both located in the Detroit Metro area, were allegedly found to violate the Clean Air Act.

According to the US EPA or Environmental Protection Agency, the two companies manufactured and sold defeat devices or aftermarket parts that were programmed to manipulate emissions controls.

Their actions resulted in a diesel emissions case that was held in Michigan’s eastern district. Authorities ordered the two companies to pay a fine worth $10 million. The specific devices were not named in the report but videos showing how the companies dealt with performance-enhancing techniques for road transport were enough evidence that Diesel Ops and Orion Diesel were allegedly involved in illegal acts.

Additionally, authorities also imposed a penalty on Diesel Ops and Orion Diesel owner Nicholas Piccolo after he failed to reply to an information request from a government agency. The court ordered a $455,925 fine (approximately £381,760) on Piccolo.

Piccolo was also caught violating the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Art after making illegal transfers. He was given a fine worth a little less than $1 million (approximately £0.84 million).

As for the two parts suppliers, authorities also imposed an injunction on defeat devices to ensure that no carmaker will purchase one from them ever again.

What’s a defeat device?

A defeat device is a bit of software that allows carmakers to cheat on emissions tests. It manipulates emissions controls and, in the process, destroys the environment and negatively impacts human health. These devices significantly contribute to air pollution.

When a defeat device is installed in a vehicle, it senses when the vehicle is undergoing a regulatory test. Once it does, it immediately but temporarily reduces emissions levels to within the legal limits of the World Health Organization (WHO). While the device deceives regulators into believing that the vehicle is clean and safe, this state only holds true during testing conditions.

As soon as the vehicle is brought out of the lab and driven on real-life road conditions, it goes back to emitting voluminous amounts of nitrogen oxides or NOx. Thus, any vehicle equipped with a defeat device is a pollutant.

Road transport, specifically diesel vehicles, emits high levels of NOx.

Diesel emissions and the Dieselgate scandal

Defeat devices have been around for years but it was only in 2015 that the cheat devices became highly controversial. That year, the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal broke out and changed the global automobile industry.

Authorities in the United States monitored the Volkswagen Group and sent the carmaker a Notice of Violation after they allegedly discovered defeat devices in VW and Audi diesel vehicles. Hundreds of thousands of these vehicles were sold to consumers in America. It didn’t take long before Volkswagen officials admitted to knowing about the defeat devices.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the California Air Resources Board ordered the carmaker to recall all affected vehicles. VW was also fined and had to pay fees. Over the years, they have spent billions just for payoffs, including compensation for diesel claims.

Eventually, other carmakers started getting embroiled in the scandal. Mercedes-Benz and its parent company Daimler were the next ones authorities focused on. Not long after, reports pointed to BMW, Renault, and Vauxhall, among other carmakers, also started getting noticed by authorities. In the UK, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Vauxhall, and BMW emissions claim cases have started. Affected car owners are already working with their lawyers in bringing forward emissions claims against their carmakers.

BMW’s Dieselgate involvement started after it was allegedly caught colluding with Daimler and Volkswagen to limit or stop the development of cleaner emissions technology.

Diesel emissions, specifically nitrogen oxides or NOx, are dangerous and can significantly change a person’s life.

NOx has adverse effects on the environment and human health. It has nitrogen dioxide or NO2 and nitric oxide (NO) as primary components.

Nitrogen oxide can form acid rain and smog. It also produces ground-level ozone.

When a person is exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions, they can experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related issues. Even those who haven’t had any mental health problems in the past can develop one.

Exposure to NOx emissions can also weaken your cognitive abilities making you susceptible to dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease.

Life-changing health impacts on a person regularly exposed to NOx include:

  • Respiratory diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Corroded teeth
  • Pulmonary oedema
  • Laryngospasm
  • Asphyxiation
  • Chronic lung function reduction
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cancer
  • Premature death

Aside from exposing you to the above-mentioned health impacts, carmakers also lied to and mis-sold defeat device-equipped vehicles to you and all other customers. You have the right to file a diesel claim against them.

How should I go about my diesel claim?

Your diesel claim is the best legal means to hold your carmaker responsible for the inconveniences they caused you. An emissions expert can help you move through the claims process.

However, you must first verify if you are eligible to file a claim as not all vehicles are affected by the scandal. Visit now to get all the vital information you need. Once you’re done, you can start working with an emissions expert to bring your claim forward.

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