Navistar International's not beating 'em, so it looks like it's going to join 'em. The truckmaker, which has been pushing its exhaust-gas recirculation process as a cheaper, simpler emissions-treatment method than the selective catalytic reduction method used by its competitors, will likely switch to SCR to better appease the Environmental Protection Agency, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the process that weren't identified.

Navistar's use of EGR has caused potential customers to question whether the truckmaker's engines could meet EPA emissions standards established in 2010, and recent warranty claims, which have led to two straight quarterly losses, have further fueled questions about Navistar and its emissions-treatment process, according to the Journal.

Shares of Navistar, whose spokesman says is in discussions with the EPA, are down almost 30 percent this year. Last month, Reuters, citing a Financial Times Deutschland report, said Volkswagen was looking into buying a stake in Navistar to better compete with German vehicle-making rival Daimler. VW has ownership stakes in both truckmakers MAN and Scania.

Heavy-duty truck emissions have been topical because of the potential to make major gains in emissions reduction from such fuel-guzzling engines. Last August, the Obama Administration set the first-ever fuel-economy guidelines for heavy-duty trucks, mandating semi trucks to cut fuel use by 20 percent by 2018.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      Rotation
      • 5 Months Ago
      Didn't I read about this on ABG a while back. One of the commenters said that Navistar wasn't really properly meeting the new EPA regs and was instead rapidly burning through credits they had previously built up for over-performing under the previous regulations. What happened to the idea of burning Diesel in the cats to regenerate them? Although Diesel isn't free either, the trucks already have a large supply of it on board.
        PR
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        I thought that SCR was the system that dumped unburnt diesel fuel into the SCR to scrub off the surface of the SCR to regenerate them. Can anyone confirm?
        Jim McL
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Back in 2007 when Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) were required to meet the black soot reduction goals, everyone did regeneration of the DPF by burning off the collected soot into ash. That is what you are thinking of in terms of injecting fuel into the DPF. Heavy engines use a "seventh injector" before the DPF (six injectors are in cylinders for power generation only), while VW passenger diesels just inject fuel in-cylinder during the exhaust stroke, some of which ends up in the oil pan. With Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), another unit is added AFTER the DPF that converts the NOx emissions back to nitrogen, water, etc., using ammonia (delivered in the form of more stable urea in water). This allows much hotter combustion (better mileage) and it allows a different chemistry in the DPF, where higher NOx levels before the SCR are used to regenerate the DPF (oxidize the soot into ash). The higher combustion NOx is broken down by the SCR before leaving the exhaust pipe. Navistar never did SCR, they have been far exceeding the EPA emissions requirements for years while using up credits from earlier over-compliance. ("Killing babies" with their pollution to make more profits as the snarky joke goes.) They are now predicting a compliant engine next summer, four years after the competition started complying with 2010 regulations. The fines Navistar might have to pay for this and other (worse) stuff they pulled could bankrupt them. This was not an engineering problem, it was completely the fault of management.
          EZEE
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim McL
          But see those are really dumb suits then. As a radical right wing extremist, obviously I want to make as much money as possible (and for giggles, starve a few children while working to keep the black man down), but the stupidity comes into play when you KNOW that something you are doing will get you sued and/or the government on your butts. I have worked for both types of companies. Matter working for a stupid company, then a good one,mi had a recruiter trying to steal me away from the good one. During my interview, when they asked if I had questions, all of mine were about company strategy, how they treated their employees, work load (workload being more of customer service opposed to working hard). I worked for a dumb company and vowed to not do that again. I got tired really quick of customers saying, 'nothing against you EZEE, but,....' (then venom and hate directed at the company I worked for). Then again, navistar pissed off ford so much that ford decided to build their own diesels. Smart move their ad well.
          Nick
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim McL
          Don't you love it when the 'suits' are in charge of product development?
      EZEE
      • 5 Months Ago
      That is a way-cool looking truck - looks like a locomotive...
      EZEE
      • 5 Months Ago
      Is that what caused Ford Diesels in the F-250 and up to shoot flames out of the tail pipes? That was a Navistar Diesel (until Ford got mad at them). This was the subject of a recall, however, unless it damaged the car, I would simply have to keep that way too cool feature. Don't we all want a car that shoots flames out the tail pipe?
      Rotation
      • 5 Months Ago
      SCR refers to using separate liquid (urea or ammonia) I thought.
      Marcopolo
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's easy to blame the Directors of Navistar for the recent financial debacle, but it is altogether fair? The role of the EPA in this affair is very unfortunate and very compromised. It's not that clear if the expensive catalytic-reduction devices (SCR) being demanded by the EPA, actually perform in real world tests to the standards claimed by the EPA. ( although, it has become the consensus technology ) So, if the guys at Navistar backed the wrong horse, why invest so much money in a technology that was obviously never going to meet EPA standards ? Well, it could be that Navistar purchased it's 'Clean Diesel Combustion' technology, from the EPA ! Yes, that's right, back in 2004, the EPA sold Navistar technology invented by EPA scientists that would allow it's engines to meet future pollution rules up to 2017. EPA officials claimed technology would help companies like Navistar, meet the agency's regulations without expensive catalytic-reduction devices. Navistar, unlike competitors such as Cummins Inc., took the EPA at their word and signed up with the EPA. Navistar, invested considerable capital into the venture. So what changed ? Well the EPA works in mysterious way's and all was going well until a change in policy direction internally within the EPA after 2009. From 2010, the EPA began to favour Cummins, Fiat, VW and Volvo's use of SCR technology. It seems the EPA had more than one iron in the fire ! Enter Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor known for selling ailing US corporation to foreign owned competitors. Icahn started purchasing a stake in Navistar just as the EPA problems began. Icahn pushed for a merger between Navistar and rival Oshkosh Truck Corp, (Icahn is a large shareholder in Oshkosh) with a view to selling the newly merged group to Fiat or VW. Perhaps the issue would be clearer, if the role of the EPA in supplying information about Navistar to Volvo, Fiat and VW was better clarified ! It would certainly be far less murky if the role of former EPA employees and consultants, activities with Carl Icahn and competitors like Volvo etc were better explained. The wolves are circling around this embattled US manufacturer, and the role of the EPA ( and former employees) may hold exciting revelations. Mark Rachesky's investment firm MHR Fund Management, (another raider), grabbed a 13% stake as the market turned against Navistar. Mark Rachesky, formerly worked for Icahn, and although the two are rivals, it wouldn't be the first time they combined forces to bring down a wounded prey. The conflicts of interest arising from a US government regulator, involving itself in commercial dealings for profit, always has the potential to turn toxic, and be the subject of accusations involving impropriety.