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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Harley-Davidson to pay $15 million in EPA settlement

By Rick Barrett Tribune News Service

Harley-Davidson agreed to pay $15 million to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint over engine devices for motorcycles that the EPA said caused excessive pollution.

The settlement calls for Harley to pay a $12 million civil penalty plus $3 million to mitigate air pollution through an EPA project of replacing wood-burning stoves with cleaner-burning stoves.

Also, the company agreed to buy back and destroy thousands of engine devices, known as “super tuners,” that were the subject of the EPA complaint.

The agency said Milwaukee-based Harley manufactured and sold about 340,000 of the devices that, once installed, caused motorcycles to emit higher amounts of certain air pollutants than what the company certified with regulators.

Harley-Davidson also manufactured and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles that were not covered by a certification that ensures a vehicle meets federal clean air standards, according to the EPA.

Since January 2008, Harley has sold two types of engine tuners which allow users to modify the emissions control system of a bike, according to the EPA.

“These modified settings increase power and performance, but also increase the motorcycles’ emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides,” the agency said.

The Clean Air Act requires motor vehicle manufacturers to certify to the EPA that their vehicles will meet applicable federal emissions standards to control air pollution.

As part of its complaint, the EPA alleged that Harley-Davidson made and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles – from model years 2006, 2007 and 2008 – that were not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity.

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