The California Air Resources Board has agreed to settlements with Suzuki and Piaggio for selling motorcycles that the companies did not disclose could be modified to exceed the state’s strict emission standards.
Suzuki was hit with the larger of the two penalties, agreeing to a fine of $3,020,000, though the amount could be reduced by $1,812,000 if Suzuki follows certain provisions. The penalty is in addition to the previous fine of $885,000 levied by the Environmental Protection Agency for selling 25,396 LT-R450 ATVs and 62 RMX450Z dirtbikes with a racing map programmed into their ECUs that was not certified or tested. This racing map is not initially accessible to customers, unless they buy aftermarket devices to unlock the higher-performance engine mapping.
Under EPA and CARB regulations, manufacturers are required to disclose any such engine modifications when seeking approval to sell its vehicles. CARB did not specify the models involved in its own case, so other models besides the ones in the EPA case may be involved. CARB does say engine mapping significantly increases smog-forming emissions and therefore should have been disclosed. Continue Reading »