Campaign Targets Emissions Tampering Practices and Proposed Policies that Facilitate Them

Washington, D.C. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE), February 28, 2023 — A nationwide campaign of education and outreach is under way to discourage the tampering in diesel engines and educate legislators about the state legislative proposals and practices that may encourage it. The Diesel Technology Forum, (DTF) has this goal.

Because of their unique combination, efficiency, power, durability, reliability, diesel engines are highly sought-after tools of work. They power key sectors in our economy. In order to reduce emissions and achieve near zero levels today, manufacturers have spent billions of dollars in the past 20 year, according to Allen Schaeffer, DTF Executive Director.

“To maximize the potential of these advanced engines, it is important that the equipment be properly fueled and maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications. He also stated that it is crucial that we collaborate to prevent the tampering of emissions control systems and to discuss the policies that could jeopardize clean-air benefits and safety of the equipment for the operators.”

The campaign involves direct messaging state and municipal policymakers, aswell as diesel users, about proper care of diesel engines. The campaign is growing as more state legislatures contemplate “right-to-repair or fair repair” legislation to affect farm equipment.

These new laws generally aim to require manufacturers to give independent repair shops access to engine computer scan tool and proprietary codes. This would allow for repair of the equipment. These provisions allow for dangerous modifications to the engine’s emissions control system and components. Manufacturers could also be held liable under the California Air Resources Board regulations. 

In November 2020, the U.S. EPA Air Enforcement Division released a comprehensive report on the incidence of tampering in diesel engines and emission controls. It also identified software modifications to engine emission control units. Although the EPA report was focused on commercial trucks and pickup trucks, it didn’t directly quantify the extent to which tampering occurs in off-road engines or equipment. However, the agency believed this conduct occurred within almost all types of vehicles and engines. This includes passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, pickup trucks, motorcycles and forestry equipment.

More than a dozen EPA regulations apply to manufacturers of diesel engines and equipment. These federal regulations set out a range of requirements for building and warranting products’ emissions performance. These requirements include testing to ensure compliance to regulations, requirements for attaining the “useful lives” provisions, which specify vehicle/engines must comply with emission standards, degradation factor requirements, and make tamper resistive emissions systems. It is illegal to knowingly falsify or tamper or render inaccurate any “monitoring device and method” under the CAA (42 U.S.C. § 7413(c)(2C).

News outlets recently reported that pickup truck owners were “tuning their engines” to achieve higher performance levels using software code programming or chipping. These practices have been a source of some very publicized and highly visible incidents that allowed for pulses in excess fueling. The exhaust produces dense smoke, which is often referred to “rolling coke”.

“Advanced diesel emissions management systems are tested. They are capable of producing near zero emissions in newer engines and equipment. Owners are responsible for properly fueling and maintaining engines and equipment. They also need to ensure that the systems are safe from abuse. This dangerous and illegal practice must be stopped. We need to all work together to educate equipment owners and those who work in independent repair shops. It is equally important that we work together to stop this practice from being facilitated by unneeded, fair repair, or right to fix legislation. Schaeffer states that this is not good for the air quality and it can jeopardize operator safety as well as the safety of all those who use these vehicles and equipment.  


About the Diesel Technology Forum

The Diesel Technology Forum is an organization that raises awareness about the future and current role of diesel engines, equipment, as well as fuels. Forum members are leaders in advanced diesel technology and emissions controls as well as petroleum-based or renewable biofuels. For more information visit

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Jessica Puchala
Diesel Technology Forum
(202) 480-6441
[email protected]
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