Cummins Will Pay $2 Billion for Cheating Diesel Emissions

Ram Heavy Duty - Cummins cheating diesel emissions

From 2006 to 2015, VW sold over half a million diesel vehicles in the US that investigators from the Environmental Protection Agency later found were intentionally dodging federal emissions requirements. The scandal (known as “Dieselgate”) led to VW paying over $25 billion in fines and civil penalties and even sent a handful of VW of America executives to prison. The $2 billion fine that diesel engine maker Cummins now faces for using the same tactics to cheat emissions during a similar time period seems tame.

The EPA announced last week that Cummins will be forced to recall and repair nearly 1 million Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups built between 2013 and 2019, in addition to paying the fines. The software will be updated, and any hardware designed to circumvent emissions regulations will be removed. Ram dealers will perform the recalls, but thus far, the automaker bears no responsibility for the cheating. Stellantis’ predecessor, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, however, paid over $1 billion in fines total for similar scandals in 2019 and 2022 involving not only Ram pickups but Jeeps with diesel engines as well. Importantly, Ram 1500 pickups with the Stellantis-built 3.0-liter EcoDiesel are not within the scope of the Cummins recall—the 6.7-liter Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel is the primary culprit. At the time, it was heavily touted for pumping out over 1,000 pound-feet of torque.

Not every heavy-duty Ram produced during the date range is affected. Only certain VIN ranges will require the updates, and owners will be notified directly. You can also search for your VIN on the official Mopar website, and you can read more about the settlement and the recall notice here.

Watch more: The 2023 Ram TRX: The World’s First Grand Touring Truck?

Image: Stellantis

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Stephan Edwards is the Associate Editor of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. He and his wife, Julie, once bought an old Land Rover sight unseen from strangers on the internet in a country they'd never been to and drove it through half of Africa. After living in Botswana for two years, Stephan now makes camp at the foot of a round mountain in Missoula, Montana. He still drives that Land Rover every day. An anthropologist in his former life and a lover of all things automotive, Stephan is a staunch advocate for public lands and his writing and photography have appeared in Road & Track, Overland Journal, and Adventure Journal. Find him at @venturesomeoverland on Instagram.