Tampering Damages Engines, report says

Tampering with engines isn’t new, but is becoming more flagrant – and damaging to equipment.

In an article by Heavy Duty Trucking, panelists at a session of the Technology & Maintenance Council’s fall meeting in Pittsburgh said they’re seeing more tampering attempts since 2002, when exhaust-gas recirculation equipment first appeared on diesels, and 2007, when particulate filters were required.

Tampering is anything that takes a vehicle out of its original government-certified state, the engine reps explained.

No one can know for sure how prevalent tampering is but the Environmental Protection Agency is stepping up its inspections of tampering “to keep a level playing field for the industry,” said Bob Klepp, chief of air quality enforcement. “We have found that some fleets have 50% of their vehicles tampered with, and we follow up with enforcement.”

Enforcement by various states, most notably California and certain others in the Northeast which use California standards, is done during roadside inspections or periodic equipment checks, said the EPA’s Wick.

Penalties under federal law are $37,500 per violation for a dealer or manufacturer and $3,750 for an individual.

In Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been calling on governments to begin enforcing anti-tampering laws for EPA-mandated, emissions controlled truck engines. CTA says enforcement is needed and the federal government and provinces should work together to go after shops that are providing the service.

The TMC session was primarily aimed at “service providers,” meaning commercial repair shops, which sometimes run into instances of tampering.

Click here for the full article which describes specifc of tampering and offers tips of how to deal with the problem.