Harley-Davidson has agreed to pay a $US12m ($A15.7m) fine over the fitment of aftermarket Screamin’ Eagle Street Performance Tuners which have been found to emit illegal amounts of pollution.
Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman David Turney says they have not sold those tuners in Australia.
Instead, they sell Screamin’ Eagle Pro Super Tuners, but only with the “implicit instruction that they are not for road use”.
David says there is nothing to prevent HD Australia from continuing to sell those tuners on the same basis.
“It’s marketed and sold on the basis that they are for use only in racing or competition,” he says. “We don’t state that it is legal for road use.
“If they are used for road use, it can affect the owner’s warranty.”
Non-official Harley dealers may have sold Screamin’ Eagle Street Performance Tuners in Australia, he says.
Harley points out that engine tuners don’t automatically affect operation or emissions when fitted, though they both allow the user to alter settings which can lead to changes in emissions.
In agreeing to pay the fine in the US, Harley has not admitted liability.
The company has stated it disagrees with the government’s position, arguing that the devices were designed and sold to be used in “competition only”.
However, Harley has agreed to buy back the devices in the US. There is no scheme to replace any tuners in Australia, David says.
On top of the $US12m settlement, Harley has also agreed to pay $US3 million ($3.9Am) to a US Environmental Protection Agency project to replace wood stoves with cleaner-burning stoves.
The settlement resolves government allegations that Harley sold about 340,000 of the units since 2008 and 12,000 bikes that did not meet US EPA standards.
Replacing tuners or exhaust systems with items that are not compliant for the road is a common practice throughout the motorcycle industry.
In Australia, police and transport departments have issued fines for non-compliance.