President Trump is coming to the aid of Harley-Davidson which was slapped with massive fines last year for fitting aftermarket tuners that emit illegal amounts of pollution.
His administration has waived a $US3m portion of the fines in which Harley had to pay to replace conventional wood stoves with cleaner-burning versions.
Harley will still have to pay the $US12m fine imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The Harley-Trump alliance began when Harley executives met with the Don on the White House lawn shortly after his inauguration.
In his first speech to Congress, Trump referred to the exorbitant import duties Harley faced in countries such as India.
Coming to the aid of Harley over the Obama administration’s extra $3m impost comes at a good time for the American icon.
Harley is facing a sales slump in the US and has downgraded 2017 sales forecasts.
The emissions fine was issued because Harley-Davidson dealers had fitted Screamin’ Eagle engine tuners to customers’ bikes.
As part of a resolution of the issue, Harley agreed to buy back the tuners from customers and unsold tuners from dealers.
Owners were not compelled to return them.
The buyback period ended in December 2016.
Australia not affected
Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman David Turney told us there was no buyback in Australia and nothing to prevent their continuing sale.
“It’s marketed and sold on the basis that they are for use only in racing or competition,” he said last year. “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.”