Caterpillar recalls engines

By Helen Wright10 August 2011



US equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has agreed to pay a US$ 2.5 million penalty to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and recall 925 diesel engines after allegedly breaching emissions laws.

The EPA and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a settlement with Caterpillar to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations.

The company is said to have shipped more than 590000 highway and non-road diesel engines to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) between 2002 and 2006 without the correct exhaust after-treatment systems and/or incorrect fuel programming software.

A Caterpillar spokesperson said that for the "vast majority" of the 590000 cases, the engines were matched with the correct aftertreatment devices when installed in vehicles.

However, approximately 925 of those engines were not in their certified configuration when the equipment or vehicles they powered were delivered to end users and placed into service.

Caterpillar, which denies any wrongdoing, has recalled the 925 engines, and the spokesperson said "all but a small percentage" had already been corrected.

The EPA said the recall would continue until all engines with incorrect catalysts, fuel injectors or fuel map settings have been addressed or until 31 December, 2011, whichever is earlier.

Cynthia Giles, EPA assistant administrator, said the settlement would protect public health and create a level playing field for companies that meet their environmental obligations.

The settlement, lodged in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, is currently subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

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