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Ram embroiled in emissions scandal

Engine supplier Cummins fined, to remediate emissions-defeating software in 900K vehicles

17 Jan 2024

CLOSE to a million Ram 2500 and 3500 vehicles with diesel engines supplied by Cummins will be recalled in the United States after it was found that illegal emissions-defeating software was installed across a 10-year production period.


Cummins is understood to have knowingly installed emissions defeat devices on engines fitted to Ram 2500 and 3500 models built between 2013 to 2023.


The Indiana-based firm has agreed to pay a $US1.675 billion ($A2.5b) settlement – the largest ever issued under the Clean Air Act – after a lawsuit by the State of California and the US Justice Department was finalised last week.


The affected B-Series 6.7-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel units are the same found in Australian Ram 2500 and 3500 models, however it is not yet known whether vehicles sold by Ram Trucks Australia will be recalled.


According to a statement issued by Cummins, it “sees no evidence that anyone acted in bad faith and does not admit wrongdoing”, adding that it has “worked collaboratively over the past four years to resolve this matter”.


Neither the US Environmental Protection Agency nor the Department of Justice has elaborated on how Cummins perpetrated the alleged infractions.


However, the EPA has suggested that vehicles were found to include “undisclosed engine control features” unearthed during testing at the agency’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Michigan.


The current case is unrelated to the 2022 scandal in which Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models powered by VM Motori-sourced 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engines were found to feature software which allowed high concentrations of nitrogen oxide (NOx) to be emitted.


Both Ram cases recall the 2015 Volkswagen “dieselgate” emissions scandal which affected some 11 million vehicles worldwide. However, in the latest instance, it is the engine manufacturer (Cummins) and not the vehicle manufacturer (Ram) that is responsible for remediating the issue.


GoAuto understands that as part of the settlement, Cummins must work with Ram and its dealer network to remove the defeat device from all affected vehicles and bring the vehicles into compliance with standards under the Clean Air Act.


Further, Cummins must repair at least 85 per cent of the affected vehicles within three years and must also offer an extended warranty covering the emissions systems of the repaired vehicles. It is not known whether such a ‘fix’ will affect the vehicle’s performance, AdBlue consumption, or fuel economy.


In addition to the payment of the fine – and remediation of impacted Ram vehicles – Cummins has been further ordered to “fully offset the excess NOx emissions” it created by working with US-based railroad locomotive owners on emissions reductions projects.

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