EPA: Harley-Davidson Must Buy Stoves As Punishment For Air Violations

Brittany M. Hughes | August 19, 2016
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President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is going after Harley-Davidson for allegedly selling motorcycles that emit more air pollution than the almighty federal government allows, and is punishing them by making them pay for people’s stoves.

The federal tree-hugging watchdog complained that the motorcycle company “manufactured and sold approximately 340,000 illegal devices, known as ‘super tuners,’ that, once installed, caused motorcycles to emit higher amounts of certain air pollutants than what the company certified to EPA.”

“Since January 2008, Harley-Davidson has manufactured and sold two types of tuners, which when hooked up to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, allow users to modify certain aspects of a motorcycle’s emissions control system,” the EPA claimed. “These modified settings increase power and performance, but also increase the motorcycles’ emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NOx). These tuners have been sold at Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country.”

While the company eventually settled with the EPA, Harley-Davidson maintains it didn't do anything wrong by selling its "Screamin' Eagle" tuners. Bloomberg reports:

In a settlement announced Thursday, Harley also said it would stop selling and buy back and destroy its “Screamin’ Eagle” Pro Super Tuners. But Harley disputed the government’s claim that by selling its tuner through its dealer network, it enabled dealers and customers to tamper with motorcycles used on public roads. The Milwaukee-based company said they were meant for off-road and closed course competition, and that it did nothing wrong by selling them.

The EPA also accused Harley-Davidson of selling about 12,000 bikes that were not “fully certified with EPA" under the agency's "certificates of conformity." 

Harley-Davidson must now spend $3 million on a “project to replace conventional woodstoves with cleaner-burning stoves in local communities” as punishment for building bikes that go fast and allegedly contribute to the government’s favorite bogeyman, climate change. The EPA also claims these stoves will somehow "eliminate excess air pollution caused by using the illegal tuners by providing cleaner-burning stoves to designated local communities, thereby assuring better air quality in the future.”

The company will also be forced to pay a $12 million civil penalty.