(CN) — Iconic motorcycle company Harley-Davidson agreed to pay a $12 million penalty and said it will stop selling illegal devices that increase air pollution from its motorcycles, the government said Thursday.
In a deal with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer will also pay $3 million to mitigate air pollution and will buy back and destroy the illegal aftermarket devices.
The devices, called “super tuners,” allow bikers to modify motorcycle emissions control systems to increase power and performance at the expense of increased emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, according to a 13-page complaint.
More than 300,000 tuners have been sold at Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country since 2008, the government says.
“Defendants knew or should have known that the subject tuners are and were being used to bypass, defeat or render inoperative a device or element of design installed on the motorcycles in compliance with applicable regulations,” the complaint states. “Defendants have caused persons to install such subject tuners both prior to and after the motorcycles’ sale and delivery to the ultimate purchasers.”
Harley-Davidson allegedly sold more than 12,000 motorcycles that did not comply with EPA clean-air standards.
The company agreed to stop selling the tuners by Aug. 23, and will offer to buy them back from customers and destroy them, according to a consent decree filed Thursday in Washington, D.C., Federal Court.
“Given Harley-Davidson’s prominence in the industry, this is a very significant step toward our goal of stopping the sale of illegal aftermarket defeat devices that cause harmful pollution on our roads and in our communities,” John C. Cruden, head of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a statement.
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