The United States wakes up to the news of a new scandal, potentially more serious than the Dieselgate that occurred in 2015. A leak reveals the data of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and sounds the alarm.
After uncovering in the past the manipulations of both Volkswagen and other manufacturers, the North American EPA points out its investigations on half a million vehicles equipped with a Defeat Device.
This device consists of a system that cancels the treatment system for harmful gases to the environment to improve performance.
The new regulations, anti-particulate filters, and other measures to reduce the negative effect on people’s health and damage to the environment take their toll on obtaining power and performance from engines.
On this occasion, the large manufacturers would not be directly involved in the ‘trap’ since it would be the owners who would install the device in their cars after going to specialized workshops.
The affected vehicles are part of the US market icon: Pick-up trucks and trucks, as they are called in North America.
The agency warns of the risk of this modification since the result of the device’s use makes it impossible to calculate the environmental impact. For this reason, the EPA classifies this phenomenon as a scandal of greater proportions than those of dieselgate.
570 Thousand Tons of NO2
The first analyzes have focused on the largest vehicles belonging to the pick-up segment. The initial phase focuses on Ram 2500, Ford’s Super Duty range, and the Chevrolet Silverado.
The emissions of half a million of these huge vehicles, already more polluting than lower segments, would be equivalent to 9 million legal pick-ups.
Despite the difficulty of calculating the impact of this new scandal, the North American entity estimates that the modification would increase by 570 thousand tons of NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide).
This figure is ten times higher than that caused by Volkswagen’s modification in the cars that were sold in the United States.
Evan Belser, not the EPA, Gave the ‘Tip’
The scandal has not been made official by a statement from the US agency but by Evan Belser, vice director of the Air Enforcement Division, who has made it known to three organizations in the United States to control emissions.
At the moment, the EPA has identified 28 companies involved in this activity, responsible for 45 devices designed for pick-up with a diesel engine.
The first sanctions are also running. The Punch It Performance Tuning society has agreed to pay $850,000 to file the case. It remains to be seen if a fine can offset the environmental damage that 570 thousand tons of NO2 have generated to date.
The Culture of Coal Rolling
The pick-up world in the United States is very particular and, at times, not very friendly to the environment. Many owners of these vehicles make special modifications to emit a large amount of smoke every time the accelerator is pressed.
Coal Rolling is a practice where the motor is manipulated to emit huge smoke clouds that are as dark as possible. This widespread practice in recent times has become a form of anti-environmentalism on the part of the owners of these huge trucks.
Since the popularization of Tesla, the Californian brand’s electric cars have been the target of these ‘attacks’. Drivers of modified pick-ups overtake and ‘fumigate’ Tesla and other electric vehicles in circulation with black gases from their exhaust.
Modifications to these trucks even include the intentional removal of the particulate filter. Owners often additionally modify their vehicles by installing smoke switches and chimneys. Cyclists and other electric car users have been the targets of these ‘attacks’ throughout the entire United States.