Diesel Exhaust Tuner Flo-Pro Fined $1.6M for Selling Defeat Devices
A 2018 EPA investigation claims the company was selling 100,000 defeat devices annually.
The Environmental Protection Agency dished out yet another seven-figure fine to a diesel tuning company and one of its distributors. This time, it's Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust and Thunder Diesel & Performance that are being penalized to resolve claims that they violated the Clean Air Act. According to a 2018 EPA investigation, Flo-Pro manufactured or sold 100,000 emissions defeat devices annually.
The company suspended sales of the products alone wasn't enough to keep it from facing penalties, though. Along with Thunder Diesel & Performance, the aftermarket parts supplier must pay $1.6 million, which is a reduced amount compared to what the EPA initially set due to their limited ability to pay. Thunder Diesel & Performance closed up shop in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and no longer sells truck parts of any sort.
“The exhaust from diesel pickup trucks equipped to operate without essential emissions controls causes severe harm to our nation’s air quality,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This action will stop the manufacture and sale of these illegal products, preventing additional excess pollution caused by aftermarket defeat devices and keeping the air we breathe clean.”
In addition to halting the sales of emissions defeat devices and paying the $1.6 million in penalties, Flo-Pro will no longer provide technical support or honor warranties for relevant components.
These fines are just the latest in a series of crackdowns being conducted by both federal and state governments. In March of 2021, popular truck tuner EZ Lynk was sued by the United States for manufacturing defeat devices and refusing to cooperate with an EPA investigation. Then, in June of 2022, the founder of Spartan Diesel Technologies was ordered to pay $1.3 million to the EPA for selling more than 14,000 defeat devices. He was also sentenced to a year in prison for failing to report his earnings to the Internal Revenue Service.
“Defeat devices violate Clean Air Act emissions requirements meant to protect public health and the environment, as well as vulnerable communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). “This settlement ensures that Flo-Pro will stop the sale of all defeat devices in the U.S. and is the latest reminder that the Department of Justice will hold the aftermarket automotive parts industry accountable for violations of federal anti-pollution laws.”
Shop owners aren't the only ones feeling the heat, either. This July, an individual looking to sell their non-emissions-compliant 2008 Ram 2500 on Facebook Marketplace was contacted by the New Jersey DEP. He was told to return his truck to stock or scrap it within 60 days in order to avoid penalties potentially totaling tens of thousands of dollars.
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