Justice Department and EPA Reach Clean Air Act Settlement with Xtreme Diesel Performance, Ending Sale of Defeat Devices

10 months ago

Xtreme Diesel Performance (XDP), an automotive parts manufacturer and retailer based in Wall Township, New Jersey, with a sales distribution center in Las Vegas, Nevada, has agreed to stop manufacturing and selling parts for diesel pickup trucks that, when installed, bypass, defeat or render inoperative EPA-approved emission controls and harm air quality, as part of an agreement to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations. The company will pay a $1,125,000 penalty, which was reduced due to XDP’s limited financial ability to pay a higher penalty.

The complaint, filed simultaneously with the settlement, alleges that the parts described above are “defeat devices” prohibited by the Clean Air Act. XDP manufactured and/or sold over 27,000 aftermarket defeat devices between January 2015 and May 2017. XDP suspended sales of the defeat devices in September 2019 in an effort to resolve this matter.

“Defeat devices do an end run around decades-old Clean Air Act emissions requirements that protect public health and the environment,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). “As part of the Department of Justice’s national efforts to ensure that the aftermarket automotive parts industry complies with anti-pollution laws and focuses on legal products, this settlement ensures that XDP will eliminate defeat devices from its product line.”

“As a result of XDP’s actions, thousands of diesel pickup trucks now operate without filters, catalysts, and other essential emissions controls harming our nation’s air quality,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This action will stop the sale of these illegal products, preventing additional excess pollution caused by illegal aftermarket defeat devices and keeping the air we breathe clean.”

“Today’s settlement will prevent the future sale of approximately 11,000 illegal products per year,” said Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan for the EPA Pacific Southwest. “The increased nitrogen oxides and particulate matter pollution stemming from defeat devices threatens the health of everyone, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, children, and older adults. EPA will continue to vigorously enforce the Clean Air Act’s defeat device prohibition to protect vulnerable communities located near highways that face a disproportionate amount of exposure from vehicle emissions.”

In addition to requiring XDP to pay a penalty of $1,125,000, the settlement requires XDP to destroy any violative products still in its inventory, cease providing technical support or honoring warranty claims for previously-sold violative products, revise its marketing materials, notify the customers that purchased the subject parts that the products at issue violate the Clean Air Act and conduct compliance training for its employees and contractors.

EPA estimates that the products XDP sold may result in more than 12 million pounds of excess nitrogen oxides emissions and 115,000 pounds of excess particulate matter emissions over the anticipated remaining life of the diesel pickup trucks equipped with those products. This enforcement action will prevent additional excess emissions that would have resulted from the continued sale of these illegal products.

Tampering with diesel-powered vehicles by installing defeat devices can cause large amounts of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions, both of which contribute to serious public health problems. These include premature death, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer. Respiratory issues disproportionately affect families, especially children, living in underserved communities overburdened by pollution. Stopping the sale and use of defeat devices will help reduce harmful air pollution that exacerbates the health effects of pollutant exposures. 

Stopping the manufacture, sale, and installation of defeat devices on vehicles and engines used on public roads as well as on nonroad vehicles and engines is a priority for EPA. To learn more, visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-stopping-aftermarket-defeat-devices-vehicles-and-engines.

The consent decree for this settlement was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and is subject to final court approval.

For more information on this settlement: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/xtreme-diesel-performance-llc-clean-air-act-settlement.

If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling, or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emission controls, tell the EPA by writing to [email protected].

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