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Another diesel emission violation? Do you hear Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust playing in the background? Recently, Cummins has agreed to a settlement for accused violations of the Clean Air Act. The accusations amount to defeat devices installed in Ram pickup trucks, emitting thousands of tons of harmful nitric oxides into the atmosphere.

Cummins Diesel-Powred Ram 3500 HD Truck towing Construction Equipment
Cummins Diesel-Powered Ram 3500 Heavy-Duty Truck Towing | Ram

How many Ram trucks have these diesel defeat devices?

The U.S. Department of Justice reported that 6300,000 diesel engines in Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickup trucks have these defeat devices. The devices alter emissions testing in these large diesel engines. These Ram pickup truck models share the 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel 6-cylinder engine from 2013-2023.

Another 330,000 trucks built from 2019 onward included other equipment to control emissions, but not in an approved manner. This makes the grand total 960,000 Ram heavy-duty trucks impacted by this settlement.

The agreed-upon settlement amount is $1.675 billion.

What’s harmful about the emissions equipment on impacted Ram trucks?

The emissions equipment in impacted trucks disseminates nitric oxides (NOX) into the atmosphere. In approved systems, these harmful chemicals burn off using a controlled process. These chemicals are extremely harmful to the environment, causing acid rain and smog, and could be the main cause of asthma. NOX is possibly responsible for several other potentially fatal health problems in the population.

The largest fine under the Clean Air Act

The Cummins diesel emissions settlement is the second-largest environmental penalty deal in history. It could have been more if Cummins had not agreed to the settlement. Residents of highly populated communities are more vulnerable to the harmful impacts of NOX as the EPA Administrator Michael Regan was quoted by Reuters saying:

“Vulnerable communities are more likely to reside near highways where these harmful emissions are concentrated, making this agreement critical to advancing our environmental justice agenda.”

Cummins is a bit smug about this fine

Cummins has supplied diesel engines for Ram’s heavy-duty trucks for many years. Instead of being apologetic, the company statement seems a bit smug. The company reported being in a strong financial position and doesn’t expect this fine to hurt its overall bottom line.

This certainly isn’t the desired response when a company is fined more than $1 billion for harming the environment.