• Jul 23, 2011
In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Navistar, a U.S.-based manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel engines, accused U.S. Environmental Protection Agency director, Lisa Jackson, of not upholding the Clean Air Act and the Agency of not acting to protect public health.

If what Navistar is claiming turns out to be true, heavy-duty trucks manufactured in 2010 and beyond will not be subject to guidelines for nitrogen oxides emissions laid out in the Clean Air Act. After discussing the issue with the EPA months ago, Navistar decided to move forward by filing a suit.

Here's the gist of Navistar's argument: Back 2001, when the EPA issued limits for nitrogen oxides, diesel engine manufacturers have been designing solutions to meet the Agency's 2010 deadline. Now, with thousands of model year 2010 trucks on the roads, Navistar says the majority of other engine manufacturers have failed to develop a system that meets the EPA's Clean Air Act guidelines.

You see, most of Navistar's competitors have chosen an emissions-control system that relies on fluid (i.e. an aqueous urea solution such as AdBlue) to limit the release of nitrogen oxides. Navistar says that since a urea-based solution (commonly referred to as selective catalyst reduction or SCR) relies on drivers monitoring fluid levels, it's a possibility that some trucks will be operated without the emissions-controlling fluid. Essentially, Navistar says that when the fluid runs dry, emissions skyrocket, thus rendering the EPA's rule "irrelevant." The key point here being that Navistar doesn't use a urea-based emissions-controlling fluid and, therefore, its engines meet Clean Air Act guidelines without relying on driver input.

Yes, some fluid-based setups disable a truck when the driver neglects to fill up the system. However, Navistar claims that online message boards abound with ways to evade some of the systems (i.e. filling the tank with water). Navistar's suit alleges the EPA certified the competitors' systems without checking whether they work to reduce emissions in all situations. Since numerous diesel-engined passenger vehicles come equipped with SCR systems, the result of this lawsuit could have an impact on the automotive industry,

[Source: Springfield News-Sun]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      You people don't get it. Navistar is NOT meeting the emission regulations. They are using credits because their engine is dirty.. All other heavy truck manufacturers in the US are meeting the NOX regulations, their systems are tamper proof and getting better. Navistar is suing the good guys because Navistar picked the wrong solution, it does not work, and they are losing market share big time. The lawsuit is an attempt to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Nothing more.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        @ Jim, What you claim simply makes no sense! Navistar have met all the conditions required, and been duly certified. It's complaint is that other technologies can be disabled, or fail, and no longer meet the regulations. If this were not true and Navistar were in some way cheating, as you claim, I should imagine that suing other in court would be a bizarrely disastrous method of avoiding detection! You make some pretty astonishing claims, where is your evidence?
          Jim McL
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          The entire heavy truck industry knows that Navistar is selling dirty engines that do not meet EPA and CARB requirements: http://www.discoverdef.com/news/2010/8/16/daimler-attacks-navistar's-epa-2010-stance.aspx There is another link in the newer postings above. Navistar is using credits, which is legal as long as the credits last but their engines specifically do not meet the 2010 NOX limit, they exceed the limit by 2.5 to 1. All of the urea based systems emit significantly less NOX than allowed. Details of the 2010 regulation compliance studies are in the Federal Register which is linked in a previous post, here it is again: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-07/pdf/2011-13851.pdf It is about eleven pages of fine print, and a fascinating read. The proposed new rules to further tighten the DEF regulations are near the end. EPA makes it very clear that there is no evidence of significant tampering with the urea based systems, but regs will tighten anyway because the technology is improving (meaning DEF quality sensors are becoming reliable and affordable)
      emperor koku
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good for Navistar. They're right...you know if people can find a way not to pay to fill those urea tanks, they will.
      nitrostreet
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think there is a whole other side to this story: http://fleetowner.com/green/archive/engine-makers-navistar-epa-0715/
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      If only there were government operated truck inspection stations spread out across the country... Add it to a quick inspection (or have a quick test of emissions) and it will be too big of a hassle to get around the rule.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        states have truck inspection stations, no need for federal ones.
        emperor koku
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        That's a good point and a quick rule to make. I hope someone with common sense brings this up.
      vwfailsagain
      • 3 Years Ago
      I knew this would happen. Clean diesel, clean coal, same BS.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have to hand it to this company; the lawsuit is both for their benefit and the benefit of air quality worldwide. Kind of a win-win.
      Kai F. Lahmann
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other words: They cry, because other companies have found a cheaper solution.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kai F. Lahmann
        Or you can think of it the other way; they're doing the right thing and that gives them a disadvantage, which removes all incentive to do the right thing, now doesn't it?
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good for Navistar! I hope they win.
      vwfailsagain
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this is great especially because Navistar meeting the emission regulations without temporary liquids that can be tampered with by the operator. Good for them!
      uncle_sam
      • 3 Years Ago
      In Germany this is normal. A lot of the so called "clean" diesels are manipulated. There are no controlls, and for the annoual check, the systems are activated. So the so called clean euro 5 and euro 6 standards are worthless, but no one cares.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm happy Navistar is doing something good. They're right on this, and the EPA shall DO ITS JOB CORRECTLY.
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      The urea based exhaust treatment systems work great, Europe has used them for many years. The logistics of urea based after-treatment are about as difficult as adding windshield washer fluid every third fuel stop. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (about 30% urea in pure water) is widely available at truck stops and the system is strongly accepted by US fleets and owner-operators alike, mainly due to its improved fuel mileage. Urea fluid consumption is about 3% of fuel consumption, costs less than fuel and is getting cheaper, and improves fuel economy by about 5%. Cummins diesel engines had some minor problems in the US as noted by the EPA in the recent Federal Register proposals, which otherwise debunked Navistar's claims: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-07/pdf/2011-13851.pdf These problems allowed a driver to defeat the emissions controls or drive without urea at full speed, but they are being fixed in software if they are not already fixed. The problems detected in Freightliner trucks with Detroit Diesel engines had clearly already been fixed, Navistar had to find a Freightliner with out of date software to do their "testing", which involved illegal activities such as disconnecting regulated emissions components. Other heavy truck brands did a flawless roll out of the 2010 emissions technology based on urea injection into the Selective Catalytic Reduction system. Most importantly, data from telematics monitoring by fleets and roadside surveys by regulators indicate that tampering is essentially non-existent. Even the occurrence of low urea tank levels is extremely rare, far less than 1% of the time. About the only problem reported is that once in a while a driver might not find urea (called DEF in the US) at a truck stop, but they always find it at the second stop. Regulations require the DEF tank to last for three fuel tank refills, so finding DEF on your second fuel stop is OK. Even this problem is disappearing. Navistar's engine relies on "massive exhaust gas recirculation" (MEGR) and cannot meet current NOX regulations, the only way they get away with it is by using stockpiled credits from earlier engines that exceeded earlier, looser requirements. No other manufacturer in the heavy truck market is taking Navistar's approach, everyone else uses urea based "SCR" after-treatment which actually exceeds the NOX regulations without the need for stockpiled credits. Navistar's "MEGR" engine also has the worst fuel economy in the business, in addition to being the dirtiest. Navistar stockpiled 2007 compliant engines and sold them long into 2010 when the new stricter regulations were in effect, which was illegal, while they desperately tried to get their inferior technology to work. They failed. Their engineers told management it could not be done, but Navistar management stayed with their flawed plan. Navistar's market share has dropped sharply, the law suit shows desperation.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        Care to provide your sources?
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        @Nick. "Care to provide your sources?" ........Obviously not!
        Atul
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        I have heard the same thing from somebody I know in the industry.
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