Harley-Davidson has settled a US lawsuit accusing it of violating air-pollution laws

Harley-Davidson has settled a lawsuit with the US government that accused the company of violating federal air-pollution laws, the motorcycle maker wrote in a statement Thursday.

The lawsuit said the motorcycle maker’s “Screamin’ Eagle” aftermarket engine functioned as emissions-control defeat devices. The Environmental Protection Agency alleges that Harley-Davidson manufactured and sold more than 340,000 of the devices that allow owners to change how a motorcycle’s engine functions, which can allow the motorcycles to emit higher amounts of air pollutants.

The EPA also alleges that Harley-Davidson manufactured and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles that did not undergo proper EPA certification to meet federal clean air standards.

Harley-Davidson will pay a $12 million civil penalty and a separate $3 million on a project in local communities that replaces wood-burning stoves with cleaner-burning ones to mitigate air pollution, according to an EPA statement. Harley-Davidson also has to stop selling and buy back the devices that were on the motorcycles as part of the settlement.

“This settlement is not an admission of liability but instead represents a good-faith compromise with the EPA on areas of law we interpret differently, particularly EPA’s assertion that it is illegal for anyone to modify a certified vehicle even if it will be used solely for off-road/closed-course competition,” Ed Moreland, Harley-Davidson’s government affairs director, said in a statement.

“For more than two decades, we have sold this product under an accepted regulatory approach that permitted the sale of competition-only parts. In our view, it is and was legal to use in race conditions in the US.”

Correction: A previous version of this article said Harley-Davidson sold more than 12,000 motorcycles with the devices.

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