Harley fined $12M for violating clean air standards

David Weissman

Harley-Davidson manufactured and sold devices that violated federal Clean Air Act emission standards, and now the company will be forced to pay $12 million, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency news release.

Harley-Davidson's Springettsbury Township plant is one of the stops on this year's Made in America Tours. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The EPA, U.S. Department of Justice and Harley announced a settlement Thursday that will require the company to stop selling the illegal devices, known as tuners, to buy them back from Harley dealerships across the country and destroy them, the release states.

A corporate Harley-Davidson spokesman did not immediately return a voicemail requesting comment on the settlement.

Harley allegedly manufactured and sold about 340,000 Screamin’ Eagle Pro Super Tuners since 2008. The devices increase performance and allow users to change a motorcycle's engine functions in a way that could circumvent emissions controls and cause the motorcycle to emit higher-than-allowed amounts of air pollutants, according to the EPA.

The EPA also alleged that the company, which operates a manufacturing facility in York County, manufactured and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles of various models between 2006 and 2008 with the illegal tuners pre-installed. Those motorcycles were not properly certified as meeting clean-air standards.

The destruction of the tuners will be accompanied by a $12 million civil penalty and an agreement to spend $3 million to fund a project to replace conventional wood stoves with cleaner-burning stoves in communities with extensive wood stove use, the release states.

The company said it now will offer a different model for sale that is designed to comply with state and federal clean-air standards.

The company also said the tuners in question were designed for use on specialized track-racing bikes and were not intended for use on public roads.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.