Harley-Davidson in new multi-million fine agreement over emissions row

Harley-Davidson is allowed to avoid paying out $3 million to retrofit cleaner mechanicals after being accused of selling illegal after market devices in 2016

Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

Harley-Davidson has reached a new settlement deal in a long-running row over claims its vehicles emit more pollution than it quotes.

In 2016, Harley-Davidson agreed to pay a $12 million civil fine after it emerged it was selling illegal after-market devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution. In addition, Harley-Davidson agreed to put $3 million aside to retrofit or replace devices and offset excess emissions.

However, in 2017 the Justice Department in the US cited a new policy by then US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, prompting a review of the $3 million mitigation project penalty.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire REVIEW

Harley-Davidson LiveWire (2020) Review | Visordown.com

After four years of negotiations, Reuters reports a US judge announced it found in favour of Harley-Davidson, despite widespread objections from environment groups and a group of 10 states, including New York, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Washington and massachusetts.

“Containing the mitigation project might have been the ‘best’ resolution of Harley-Davidson’s alleged violations, the court cannot say that the decree lodged before the Court is not within ‘the reaches of the public interest,’” District Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote in approving the consent decree.

Harley-Davidson did not admit liability in the original case and argued tuners were designed and sold to be used in competition and not on roadgoing motorcycles

Despite the fall out over this case, ironically Harley-Davidson has since gone on to become the first mainstream manufacturer to launch a larger displacement equivalent electric motorcycle with the LiveWire.

However, generally Harley-Davidson has one of the least emissions-friendly models due to its core big engine, heavier power cruisers