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Kentucky company slapped with $1.25 million fine for selling ‘defeat devices’

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a massive fine to a diesel company out of Kentucky for selling emissions “defeat devices.”

On June 4, 2024, the EPA announced a settlement with Thoroughbred Diesel out of Winchester, Kentucky to answer accusations that the company sold thousands of illegal aftermarket products that disable vehicle emissions control systems, also known as “defeat devices.”

As part of the EPA settlement, Thoroughbred Diesel agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,250,000.

Also as part of the settlement, the company agreed to stop selling the defeat devices and to remove all advertisements, photos, videos, and information related to defeat devices from the company website and social media accounts.

“Cracking down on sellers of illegal defeat devices is a top enforcement priority for EPA,” said Acting EPA Region 4 Administrator Jeaneanne Gettle. “These illegal practices contribute to harmful air pollution and impede federal, state, and local efforts to implement air quality standards that protect public health. Emissions from mobile sources play an important role in EPA’s Southeastern region, and the use of these defeat devices hampers our ability to maintain compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.”

Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines, like those sold by Thoroughbred Diesel, is a top priority for EPA, the agency said.

From 2020 through 2023, the EPA finalized 172 civil enforcement cases involving illegal defeat devices, resulting in penalties totaling $5.6 million, $1.2 million in restitution, $438,000 in environmental projects, and 54 months of incarceration.

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