CTA looks for similar oversight in Canada as in US to reduce emission control tampering

by Truck News

TORONTO, Ont. – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has called on the federal government to broaden its oversight powers under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) to prevent tampering of mandatory emissions control devices in heavy trucks.

Pointing to oversight powers in the US’s Clean Air Act, the CTA’s submission outlined how the vast majority of the trucking industry complies with the environmental rules, but also the industry’s frustration with the negative impact environmental control devices have on equipment reliability and driver wellbeing.

“In the US there are significant fines and legal consequences for the manufactures, sellers and installers of aftermarket devices and services designed to circumvent emission controls,” senior vice-president Stephen Laskowski explained during the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development meeting. “In Canada, no such powers exist under CEPA after the vehicle is sold to the consumer. This fact – coupled with spotty or non-existent provincial regulations and enforcement to prevent sales and installation of emissions control defeat devices – means that we now find ourselves in a situation where harmful environmental, and unfair business practices are allowed to continue, unchecked. This needs to be corrected.”

Not making excuses for those who attempt to bypass the emissions control systems, the CTA says volatile engine performance has forced many companies to add up to 20% more trucks to their fleet than was required to cover the vehicles put out of service due to emissions controls.

“This is obviously very frustrating for fleet owners, especially those who play by the rules and have to unfairly compete with carriers who have found aftermarket businesses that will disable the emissions control system,” said Laskowski. “Governments need to play a stronger role in not only cracking down on the tampering market, but also reducing demand for that market by correcting the reliability factor and offering carriers some recourse when new equipment doesn’t work properly.”

The CTA has recommended several measures to help rectify this issue, including the CEPA be amended to allow the federal government to enforce similar penalties as the US Clean Air Act for engine tampering; that Transport Canada and Environment Canada assist the CTA in championing for a tampering inspection; testing protocols be established for emission reduction qualifying technology and supporting wiring systems; ensure manufacturers and importers pay for repairs during a recall and that new vehicles perform reliably before being sold to the public; and look at a modified form of ‘limp mode’ technology.

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  • Has anyone thought to sue these federal regulatory bodies for the millions of wasted dollars the trucking industry and manufacturers spent on failed emissions crap? They should. I like clean air to breathe but I can honestly say that the past few years since adding regens, def, egr, etc have been a nightmare and have sucked the life out of driving. I don’t know if I leave the city area for any length of time I’ll make it back. Shouldn’t be like that. Sad to see. I love trucking. Doing it for 30 years. If these emission controls wouldn’t of been added then we wouldn’t have this business of how to bypass them spring up. It’s out if necessity to bypass to make trucks reliable.

  • Another move by the CTA to insure they eliminate all owner/operators and small businesses to protect their mega-fleet members.

    Imagine a single truck O/O with our Cummins ISX, that took $30,000 over the last year to keep it running because of emission failures. PLUS the downtime.

    Not hard to understand why people are doing deletes. Buy a $230,000 truck that can’t run more than two weeks at a time.

    Maybe the CTA should cover all the warranty costs?

  • It’s amazing that doing just an egr delete can save 3/4 MPG and still pass the emission test. Now we have a carbon tax imposed starting January. I smell conspiracy.

  • Whoa … that’s a blatant shot at the little guy by the CTA.
    Not everyone has/had the clout with the truck manufactures and dealerships like Canada’s big fleets do. The Caterpillar and Maxxforce engine fiascoes are perfect examples. Owner Operators and small fleets got hung out to dry by both of these engine manufacturers and lost tens of thousands of dollars for each unit they owned. Many went broke.
    Dealerships and OEMs won’t even give the little guy the time of day when it comes to any sort of compensation, or help, or leeway, for being sold that bill of goods. No clout, and no support, what is the little guy supposed to do?
    Does the little guy want to skirt the rules? No. Simply put, it’s an expensive risk, and little guys, unless there isn’t any other reasonable option, avoid risk like it’s a plague.
    Does the little guy want to drop 10K on an aftermarket solution? No. The health of the environment is not the sole domain of those with big voices, and hundred dollar haircuts. Little guys breathe too.
    But the reality is dropping 10K into your truck for a solution, regardless of its “legality”, so you can keep the wheels going ’round is a far, far better plan than parking it on the front lawn, planting flowers in it, and wondering where, or even if, your kids are going to eat tonight.
    Don’t think for a single minute that it didn’t cost the big fleets as well. They had to spend all that clout they gathered up over years of dedication to a brand, and they will, like the rest of us, surely pay dearly on the trade cycle.
    When the books finally balance, and small carriers and owner operators can get rid of the junk they were sold by “knowledgeable and honest” manufacturers and dealers, it’s a fair bet that the overwhelming majority will buy good, reliable, new tech that really does work, really does help the environment, and will walk away from the aftermarket solutions without so much as a backward glance.
    CTA, and its membership, would do well to consider the value of small carriers and owner operators before they decide to run them off the road. As is well known, none of this country’s largest carriers would be who they are today without the owner operators and small carriers that work with them.
    While it is pretty much a foregone conclusion the CTA will do the bidding of Canada’s largest fleets, at what expense remains to be seen, we can all take solace in the fact that the worst offenders, the instigators of this entire “grey market”, are all sitting in their ivory towers, scratching their heads, wondering why Daimler, and Volvo, are gaining market share by the minute.