Engine Manufacturer Cummins Settles California Certification Procedure and Emission Violations Case for $46 Million

Friday, March 15, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) today announced a settlement of $46 million with engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. (Cummins). The settlement resolves DOJ and CARB’s claims for violations of California engine emission control and certification requirements. Specifically, Cummins made undisclosed changes to approximately 120,000 engines in California after CARB had certified the engines for sale. In addition, roughly 2,000 Cummins engines had undisclosed auxiliary emission control devices that altered the emissions control system and resulted in emissions in excess of regulatory limits. Of the $46 million in payments required under the settlement, approximately $42 million will be paid to CARB, of which about $32 million is for penalties, and about $9.8 million is for mitigation of the full amount of excess nitrogen oxide emissions created by the non-compliant engines. The settlement monies will go to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support CARB’s mobile source emissions control program and other CARB activities related to the control of air pollution. The California Attorney General’s Office also entered into a settlement with Cummins, subject to court approval, for $4 million for unfair business practices and public nuisance claims and secured injunctive relief prohibiting Cummins from engaging in similar violations in the future.  

“At the California Department of Justice, we are committed to vigorously enforcing environmental laws that protect Californians and our environment,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Today’s settlement makes clear that the DOJ will relentlessly continue its efforts to hold accountable those who seek to profit at the expense of people’s health and safety.”

“CARB’s rigorous, state-of-the-art enforcement efforts ensure that air quality laws are followed. And if issues are uncovered, collaboration and action from manufacturers such as Cummins make it possible to quickly implement needed fixes to provide the public health and air quality benefits that Californians need and deserve,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, CARB’s Executive Officer

The violations were discovered through a combination of CARB’s investigation methods and protocols, and Cummins’ continued commitment to reporting emissions-related concerns as the company discovered them, while also enhancing its internal compliance efforts. 

The company fully cooperated with CARB’s investigation and will conduct an emissions recall in about 2,000 affected engines to correct the violations at no cost to owners. Cummins has the option to offset a portion of the CARB penalty amount with a project that will increase heavy-duty zero-emissions charging infrastructure in California. This case marks another step in the evolution of CARB’s vehicle testing abilities and use of technology to catch and correct air quality violations. Development of the state-of-the-art testing and detection methods used in this case will accelerate CARB’s certification and testing operations.

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