Cummins’ voluntary recall on 500,000 engines due to emissions system issues

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Cummins has instituted a voluntary recall of roughly 500,000 model-year 2010-2015 engines, according to an announcement from the U.S. EPA. The recall involves faulty emissions systems components that cause the engines to fall out of compliance with federal emissions regulations.

The trucks and engines under the voluntary recall have seen degradation of their selective catalytic reduction systems, according to financial reports issued by Cummins. SCR systems are the exhaust aftertreatment components that use diesel exhaust fluid to curb emissions of nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases. All manufacturers of engines for Class 8 trucks use SCR and DEF in their emissions-control systems. Engine makers adopted the technology in 2010 to meet that year’s emissions hurdles.

In financial reports issued for the 2017 fiscal year and for the first quarter of 2018, Cummins noted that the EPA and the California Air Resources Board had pulled “certain pre-2013 model year engine systems for additional emissions testing” and that “some of these engines failed… tests as a result of degradation of an aftertreatment component.”

EPA says that Cummins will contact owners of Cummins engines with information on how to have their engines repaired.

Cummins said in those reports that it planned to institute a field campaign to address the issue. The engine maker said in its 2017 10-K filing that it had set aside nearly $200 million for the repair campaign.

CCJ queried Cummins on multiple occasions in recent weeks asking for information on a potential field campaign and to the extent it would affect fleets who own and operate Cummins engines. CCJ also asked Cummins how many engines were tested by EPA and CARB and how many engines failed the tests due to degradation and whether that percentage could be extrapolated to all Cummins engines in use.

Cummins responded to these queries, but did not provide any insight into the questions asked about the emissions-control systems or the field campaign. Cummins spokesperson Jon Mills said in June that the company was working with the EPA and CARB to address the issue.

In the company’s 10-Q filing for the first quarter of 2018, Cummins said it “had not yet determined the impact to other model years or engine systems or the percentage of the engine system populations that could be affected.”