The “spin” is that Harley-Davidson reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the sale of its Pro Super Tuner — an aftermarket tuning product used to calibrate motorcycles intended for off-road and closed-course competition.
Important to note is that the settlement is not an admission of liability by Harley-Davidson.
The EPA took legal action and alleged that by selling the Harley-Davidson Pro Super Tuner through its U.S. dealer network, the motor company enabled dealers and customers to tamper with motorcycles used on public roads. Harley-Davidson disagreed with the EPA’s position, noting that the tuner was designed and sold as an after-market, competition-only product used to adapt engine parameters for use with Harley-Davidson after-market equipment. The product was sold for more than two decades, under an accepted regulatory approach that permitted the sale of competition-only parts.
Is this government overreach or the administrations regulatory process/approach to public protection in the race/competition-only arena?
To settle or not to settle a case often comes down to a corporation’s litigation culture. Harley-Davidson likely determined that legal fees and the possibility of liability/payouts at the end of a losing legal battle meant it was more cost effective to capitulate, remove the product for sale — settle for $15 million and move on.
It should be noted that Harley-Davidson’s corporate stance is and has been committed to meeting or exceeding all emissions requirements for its motorcycles in every market it serves. They have always included clear product labeling of competition-only products and detail on what performance enhancements are considered street legal and for competition-use only, and called out the legal consequences of tampering with emission controls and components, and what enhancements would void the vehicle warranty.
Photos courtesy of H-D.