The US District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan has defaulted on two companies from Waterford.
The companies in question are Diesel Ops LLC and Orion Diesel LLC – both of whom have been ordered to receive civil penalties of $10 million. The US, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), identified in 2021 that these companies were violating the Clean Air Act by manufacturing, selling, and installing aftermarket parts known as “defeat kits.” control is required.
Both companies are owned by Nicholas Piccolo, who was also fined $455,925 for failing to respond to requests for information issued pursuant to Section 208 of the Clean Air Act. Piccolo also received a less than $1 million judgment for alleged fraudulent transfers in violation of the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act.
The future sale of the defeat device by the defendants also received a permanent order.
“The defeat device violates the Clean Air Act emission requirements that protect public health and the environment, including by protecting vulnerable communities that are disproportionately affected by air pollution,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Department of Justice’s Division of Environment and Natural Resources (ENRD). “The United States will vigorously enforce the Clean Air Act, including the prohibition of illegal devices that bypass emissions controls and endanger the environment and public health.”
“This action sends a strong message that selling and installing crushing devices on vehicles and machinery will not be tolerated,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Emission control systems in vehicles are designed to protect public health by reducing pollution, which is why the EPA is committed to ensuring that companies comply with the Clean Air Act.”
The defeat device was discovered in Volkswagen vehicles in 2015 by the EPA, exposing the biggest emissions scandal in history. This saw several corporate moves within the VW Group, plus the launch of the EPA’s national crackdown on such devices.