At the beginning of August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined California-based Sinister Diesel for selling diesel emission defeat devices amidst its war on the aftermarket component. That resulted in Sinister Diesel shelling out $1 million in criminal fines and civil penalties. But another company got hit with the 7-figure fine less than a month later.
EPA Dishes Out $1 Million In Fines To Idaho Diesel Tuners
The EPA has fined Idaho-based Custom Auto of Rexburg LLC, doing business as Gorilla Performance, and GDP Tuning LLC a combined $1 million for selling “tens of thousands of tuning devices” that allowed diesel truck owners to bypass emission control components.
The EPA alleges that Gorilla Performance and its owner, Barry Pierce, sold devices and other software that tampered with vehicle onboard diagnostic systems. In simpler terms, this tune is known as a delete. Gorilla Performance and related entities will likely be banned from selling diesel defeat devices and related components. It’s also likely that the shop will be prohibited from sharing any of its intellectual property or processes behind the devices or their installation.
That said, if they have sold “tens of thousands” of these devices, it’s clear the instructions and equipment are out there; all it will take is for someone to pass it on to others. Despite all of the actions against diesel tuning companies, the EPA is clearly facing an uphill battle at this point. The agency estimates that 15 percent of diesel trucks in the U.S. have had some illegal emissions bypass installed. Not only that, but it’s clear that after the past few years of fighting against this issue, companies have yet to get the message and will continue their efforts to evade the regulations.
But, the battle against diesel emission defeat devices is about to get a lot more difficult for the EPA. According to Autoblog, the EPA announced a few days ago that it would no longer make diesel emission defeat devices its top priority. Instead, it’s moving towards harsher regulation of PFAS (“forever chemicals”) and other environmental issues. But apparently not before making an example of another diesel tuning shop.