The US District Court of Michigan ordered Diesel Ops LLC and Orion Diesel LLC to a $10 million civil penalty. The Eastern District of Michigan District Court has awarded this judgment against these two Waterford-based companies. In 2021, the EPA identified that these two companies violated the Clean Air Act. They did so by making, selling, and installing aftermarket parts called “defeat devices” to car owners. These devices are developed to bypass or disable vehicle emissions control tests.
Nicholas Piccolo, owner of these companies is penalized to pay $455,925 for not responding to the information request. He was charged and penalized under Section 208 of the Clean Air Act. The Court also fined him $1 million in fraudulent transfers that violated the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act. The future sales of the defeat devices via his companies are given an ultimatum to permanently stop.
“Defeat devices violate Clean Air Act emissions requirements that protect public health and the environment. Including by protecting vulnerable communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution,” said Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and ENRD. “The United States will vigorously enforce the Clean Air Act, including its prohibition of illegal devices that bypass emission controls and harm the environment and public health.”
EPA found these devices in the Volkswagen cars back in 2015 and exposed them to one of the biggest emissions scandals in history. This led to many corporate movements inside the VW Group and launched a nationwide search against such devices.