EPA fines Harley-Davidson $12 million US

Harley-Davidson has made a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency that sees the company ending up with a $12 million US fine.

Harley-Davidson ran afoul of the EPA for the sale of its Screamin’ Eagle Street Performance Tuner Kit, which allows dealers or customers to fine-tune their motorcycle’s engine management electronics and EFI system — a handy capability, if you plan on adding aftermarket exhausts, like most cruiser riders.

The EPA’s main argument was that these kits were mostly modifying street-legal motorcycles, not competition/closed-course machines, and therefore they were illegal. Harley-Davidson disagreed with their interpretation of the law, but ended up settling the case (the Feds also said Harley-Davidson sold more than 12,600 motorcycles that didn’t meet emissions standards).

As a result, Harley-Davidson not only ended up with the $12 million fine, but must recall all the Tuner Kits, and deny any warranty claims by customers if they continue to use them. The Motor Company must also pay a $3 million US fine towards projects that alleviate the effects of pollution. Add those numbers all together (they’ve manufactured 340,000 of those tuners), and this is a very expensive day for the company.

Of course, Harley-Davidson is still allowed to sell the devices for use in other countries, so it probably won’t take long for enterprising businessmen to start shipping them back to the States anyway …

9 thoughts on “EPA fines Harley-Davidson $12 million US”

  1. Harley Davidson went into this deception with their eyes wide open. No one talked them into it. The corporate leadership of the company took the bucks and made the decisions that will cost the company dearly. Does anyone think that those responsible for this mess will have to pay for it? Certainly not. It is all the EPA’s fault. The corporate leadership at HD may yet kill off the company.Just don’t forget who the real bad guys are. It is not the riders and its not the law.

  2. These items were labelled as a ‘Street Performance’ tuner, Power Commanders and the like are clearly labelled ‘For Off-Road Use Only’.
    Oops, the Motor Corp can make it up however –
    ‘To rectify air pollution caused by the super tuners, Harley must partner with an independent company to provide cleaner-burning stoves to certain communities to replace conventional wood stoves.’

  3. Does this mean the EPA will be going after DynoJet for the Power Commander next? Or was this just targeting HD because it is the vehicle manufacturer, and not just an aftermarket product maker?

    1. I think it because HD had dealers installing these on brand new bikes, before they even left the dealers, completely bypassing the emission requirements of the original manufacturer. If items like these are installed by a third party, like Power commanders usually are, they should be OK (until all after-market mods are banned, which is probably coming soon – that’s another story.)

      Also, the “competition only” requirement for these is pretty hard to justify for a 900 lb bagger.

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