Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

The world of automotive manufacturing was recently rocked by a scandal involving Cummins Inc., a global power leader that designs, manufacture and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products.

The company found itself in the midst of a significant controversy involving the use of defeat devices in over 900,000 diesel engines, a clear violation of the Clean Air Act. This article delves into the details of the scandal, its implications, and the importance of holding manufacturers accountable.

cummins emissions scandal

    Having Vehicle Problems in California?

    Submit the form below to see if your vehicle qualifies for a lemon law claim.

    By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, telephone calls, and text messages regarding your inquiry. Emails, text messages, and phone calls may be automatically generated using the information you provide. Your consent to this is not necessary to obtain legal services from our firm. Msg and Data Rates may apply.

    Which vehicles are affected?

    About 960,000 RAM trucks are affected by the Cummins emissions scandal, including over 630,000 2013-2019 RAM 2500 and 3500s and 330,000 2019-2023 RAM 2500 and 3500’s.

    Model Years Models Emissions Component
    2013-2019 RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 Defeat device
    2019-2023 RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 Undisclosed auxiliary emission control device

    What is an emissions defeat device?

    An emissions defeat device is a mechanism installed in a vehicle that manipulates its performance during emissions testing to meet regulatory standards. However, these devices are deactivated under normal driving conditions, leading to significantly higher emissions than reported.

    This deceptive practice was first brought to public attention during the Volkswagen Diesel Gatescandal. In this infamous case, the German automaker installed such devices in millions of its vehicles around the world, leading to a significant discrepancy between reported and actual emissions.

    The Volkswagen scandal served as a wake-up call for the automotive industry and regulators worldwide. It highlighted the need for stricter oversight and more accurate emissions testing to ensure that manufacturers comply with environmental regulations and that consumers are not misled about the environmental impact of their vehicles.

    What are the dangers of using emissions defeat devices?

    The use of emissions defeat devices is not just a regulatory issue; it has far-reaching implications for the environment and public health. These devices allow vehicles to emit significantly higher levels of pollutants than reported, contributing to air pollution and exacerbating climate change.

    Air pollution contributes to a range of health problems such as respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and even premature death. By manipulating emissions data, manufacturers not only mislead consumers and regulators but also contribute to these environmental and health issues.

    Moreover, the excess emissions produced by vehicles with defeat devices contribute to climate change. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to global warming. The transportation sector is a significant source of these emissions. Therefore, any manipulation of emissions data undermines efforts to mitigate climate change.

    cummins emissions scandal

    How will the Cummins Emissions Scandal be resolved?

    In response to the scandal, Cummins is facing a record-breaking fine of $1.675 Billion under the Clean Air Act. This penalty is the second-largest environmental fine to date, underscoring the severity of the violation. Despite the company’s statement that it has seen no evidence of bad faith and does not admit wrongdoing, the magnitude of the fine highlights the gravity of the situation.

    According to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, initial assessments indicate that the defeat devices installed on some Cummins engines have resulted in the production of thousands of tons of excessive nitrogen oxide emissions. These excess emissions have significant environmental and health implications, reinforcing the need for strict enforcement of regulations.

    The resolution of the Cummins emissions scandal is not just about imposing a fine; it’s about setting a precedent for the industry. It sends a clear message to other manufacturers that violations of environmental regulations will not be tolerated and will result in severe penalties. Moreover, the resolution process also involves remediation efforts.

    Cummins has recalled the affected vehicles in order to retrofit them with compliant emissions systems. This process will be costly and time-consuming, but it is a necessary step to mitigate the environmental impact of the excess emissions.

    Furthermore, the scandal has prompted calls for more stringent emissions testing and oversight to prevent similar incidents in the future. There is a growing demand for independent, real-world emissions testing to ensure that vehicles meet emissions standards not just in the lab but also on the road.

    The importance of holding manufacturers accountable

    The Cummins emissions scandal underscores the importance of holding manufacturers accountable for their actions. Compliance with environmental regulations is not just a legal obligation but a moral one.

    Manufacturers must understand that any attempts to circumvent these regulations will not only lead to severe penalties but also damage their reputation and trust with consumers. For the sake of our world and humanity, it is imperative that we ensure the integrity of our environmental standards and hold those who violate them accountable.

    The Cummins emissions scandal serves as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of environmental deception. It highlights the need for transparency, accountability, and stringent enforcement of environmental regulations.

    As consumers, we must demand better from manufacturers. As a society, we must prioritize the health of our planet and future generations over short-term gains. The Cummins emissions scandal is a call to action to ensure a sustainable and healthy future for all.

    Suspect your RAM is a Lemon?  Call the California Lemon Law Experts to learn more!

    The California Lemon Law provides consumers with protection in the event they purchase or lease a defective RAM vehicle.  If your RAM has been repeatedly presented for warranty repairs, it might be a lemon and you could be entitled to a repurchase, replacement truck or substantial cash compensation.

    As the prevailing party, the California Lemon Law requires the auto manufacturer to pay for the consumer’s attorneys fees and costs which makes pursuing a lemon law claim an easy and smart choice.

    If your RAM is repeatedly being repaired for the same or similar issue, call the Lemon Law Experts for a free and fast potential case evaluation. Our team of California Lemon Law attorneys have been successfully helping consumers get significant compensation for their defective vehicles since 2009.