U.S. – Aug. 29, 2018 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a massive voluntary recall of certain medium and large trucks and engines. According to The Daily Journal Online, roughly 500,000 models from 2010-2015 are part of this recall, though specific makes have not been made known yet. Cummins produces the engines inside of each of these vehicles.
In certain medium to large trucks, the EPA has found a faulty emissions control system (NOx). This is a potentially dangerous emission, contributing to smog and fine particles in the air, that needs to be dispersed or controlled through special internal equipment.
Each truck in the recall has a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, which controls the NOx system. The real issue is the SCR system itself, as it was found to be less durable than expected. So the emissions are not trackable in the long run and may be giving out faulty readings, saying the NOx is at an acceptable level.
For the repairs, the SCR system will be replaced so it reaches the acceptable level of the minimum full life of the truck. For instance, the medium-sized trucks are expected to last 185,000 miles, or 10 years with the replaced system. The heavy-duty trucks can be considered full-term at 435,000 or 10 years.
According to the EPA, emissions are regulated in all types of non-road and on-road vehicles. This included cars, trucks, trains, airplanes and construction equipment, to name a few. The vehicles and workable equipment need to have one of two types of gas to begin standardizing under the EPA rules – low sulfur gasoline or ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
Timeline of Events
On July 31, the official announcement was made for the voluntary recall. Bill Wehrum, EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator, said the recall was a good step in the right direction in how government and industry can work together to ensure the health of the public and environment of the world is secure.
Wehrum stated, “This is the way it’s supposed to work. Our follow-up testing seeks to make sure that pollution controls work throughout an engine’s useful life. And, if they don’t, then companies step up to set things right.”
Earlier this year, there was a similar recall announced by the EPA. About 232,000 Dodge Ram trucks and an additional 3,500 pickups for high NOx emissions.
Through regular government emission and equipment checks, the faulty SCR systems were discovered over the summer. The EPA and the California Air Resources Board found out about the problem and addressed the issue efficiently with the engine manufacturer. Cummins, the global power leader in diesel and alternative fuel engines, is partnering with the EPA over the recall, as they conducted their own tests shortly afterwards. According to the Cummins website, these engines are used in both Nissan and Dodge trucks.
Cummins plans to contact all owners of the trucks to offer them complimentary repairs of the SCR system. They will receive instructions about when are where this can be done. Owners are encouraged to contact Cummins directly via their website or helpline: 1-800-286-6467. More information about this recall and other instigated by the EPA can be found on their recall page.