Diesel Brothers hit with big fine for tampering with truck emissions

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Henry “Heavy D” Sparks and “Diesel Dave” Kiley, better known as the Diesel Brothers on the Discovery Channel, have been ordered to pay $848,000 in fines for illegally modifying the emissions control systems of diesel pickups. The Standard-Examiner newspaper in Utah reported that the fines stem from around 400 violations of removing or bypassing particulate filters or catalysts that reduce NOx and soot emissions.

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) brought the suit against the Diesel Brothers stars and claim that the modifications performed on the trucks increase their emissions by 10–30 times as much as those of unmodified trucks. The emissions were obvious on the Diesel Brothers builds, as plenty of the trucks driven and sold can be seen, via the Diesel Brothers’ social media accounts, “rolling coal” and leaving a cloud of black soot in their wake. The suit against Sparks and Kiley, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Utah in March 2019, was a citizen enforcement action under the Clean Air Act.

Contrary to popular myth, there are performance products that boost power but still maintain a vehicle’s emissions compliance. Cold air intakes, intake manifolds, cylinder heads, camshafts, headers, and exhausts can all be certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to be sold, installed, and used on public roads in all 50 states.

While we may be most familiar with Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” and the fines the company faced for defeating their emissions systems in order to return mileage, the penalties assessed to Sparks and Kiley are not a first for an aftermarket builder. Bully Dog and Hypertech were both fined in 2017 for selling diesel and gasoline tuners before receiving CARB certification.

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