Ever since the absolute debacle that was Dieselgate, federal regulators in the United States have been much more focused on emission compliance. This oversight hasn’t just been limited to automakers themselves however, as a new report from Reuters confirms. According to the publication, the diesel tuning specialists at EZ Lynk are now facing a lawsuit over the sale of emission defeat devices for diesel trucks brought on by the U.S. District Court of Southern New York. Here is everything you need to know about this case.
In the official complaint, The U.S. Department of Justice has accused EZ Lynk of being in violation of the Clean Air Act since 2016, as a result of their sale of the diesel emissions defeat software and devices. According to the report, the company has sold tens of thousands of these products over the past few years, specifically for use with Ford, Ram, and GM diesel trucks. The case is targeted at EZ Lynk’s co-founders Bradley Gintz and Thomas Wood, as well as their affiliate Prestige Worldwide. The company’s operations are based in the Cayman Islands, by the way.
These defeat devices as they are commonly called help diesel truck owners to bypass the emissions compliance software, usually by erasing it from the vehicle’s ECU entirely. According to the court, EZ Lynk actively encourages diesel truck owners to purchase and install this software via online forums. EZ Lynk representatives even work on the forums to assist customers with technical questions. Not exactly a great look when it comes to plausible deniability.
This court case comes after EZ Lynk refused to participate in an EPA study on these defeat devices, which MC&T has previously reported on. This study found that as many as 15 percent of diesel trucks on the road today utilize these devices. Of course this comes at the cost of increased emissions, particularly nitrogen dioxide. This compound has been linked to heart and lung disease. These “defeated” trucks are reportedly capable of releasing 10 times more nitrogen dioxide than VW’s cheating TDI engines.
“Emissions controls on cars and trucks protect the public from harmful effects of air pollution,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan said in a statement. “EZ Lynk has put the public’s health at risk by manufacturing and selling devices intended to disable those emissions controls.”
For Volkswagen’s part in Dieselgate, the automaker faced more than $30 billion in fines. It is far easier for a government to go after a large corporation like VW than it is to tackle the hundreds of smaller companies that supply these aftermarket products, however. That said, it is clear that The Department of Justice is cracking down. And for that very reason, non-compliant diesel tuning could soon be a thing of the past.