The motorcycle company manufactured and sold roughly 340,000 "super tuner" devices under its Screamin' Eagle brand that improved engine performance, but also increased emissions to levels that were beyond what the company had certified with regulators, states a consent decree and complaint filed Thursday by the Justice Department on behalf of the EPA. The Wall Street Journal also reports that Harley-Davidson allegedly sold roughly 13,000 motorcycles between 2006 and 2008 that didn't meet the EPA's emissions requirements.
As part of the settlement, Harley-Davidson will stop selling super tuner devices by August 23 and agreed to buy back and destroy any of the devices that it still has in stock. The settlement may sound similar to Volkswagen's ongoing emissions scandal, but The Washington Post reports that Harley-Davidson sold the super tuners as components for track bikes only and were not intended for use on public roads. The issue, then, is more aligned with the new regulations proposed by the EPA that would prohibit modifying certain vehicles that were manufactured for road use.
Harley's massive parts catalog is full of aftermarket pieces that are sold for off-road use only, including exhausts pipes. In a statement, the company said it "will continue to offer a broad range of industry-leading, compliant performance products that enable customization and performance enhancements that meet all emissions requirements and maintain the company's vehicle warranty."