The Oct. 1 deadline for diesel-engine manufacturers to satisfy new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards has passed, but the saga about the efforts of motorhome sector suppliers Caterpillar Inc. and Cummins Inc. to comply with the new standards continues, according to the Journal Star newspaper of Peoria, Ill.
Cummins announced on Sept. 30 it received EPA certification for its ISM engine, the 11-litre engine that is crucial to the diesel-pusher motorhome sector because it comes in the 280- to 385hp range. The ISM also is available for motorhome use in the 400hp to 450hp range.
In August, Cummins also announced it received EPA certification for its ISB engine and in the spring, it obtained EPA’s approval for its new ISX engine.
However, Caterpillar wants Cummins’ certification nullified because it contends that Cummins uses a technology that shuts-off emission controls during peak times and thus does not reduce nitrous oxide emissions.
Cummins has responded with its “Uptime Guarantee” program that pays for repairs and the use of a rental vehicle if one of its ISM or ISX engines breaks down on the road and cannot be repaired within 24 hours. The coverage applies to engines bought between this Oct. 1 and March 31 and the coverage period applies from the date of purchase through Dec. 31, 2003.
Meanwhile, Peoria-based Caterpillar announced on Sept. 26 that it received conditional certification from the EPA to sell its engines in all states except California and in Canada after Oct. 1, even though its engines do not lower emissions enough to satisfy the new standards.
Caterpillar’s engines now use some of its ACERT emissions-lowering technology, although the company does plan to begin producing engines early next year that include all aspects of its ACERT technology, the Journal Star reported.
Meanwhile, Caterpillar’s current engines are subject to an EPA fine of $3,000 to $4,500 per unit, although Caterpillar does not plan to pass the penalty on to its customers, according to the Journal Star.
The approach of the Oct. 1 deadline resulted in diesel engine users burying the manufacturers under an avalanche of orders in spring and summer this year. Consequently, order backlogs at diesel-engine manufacturers now are small. Caterpillar, for example, recently announced plans to lay off 470 production workers at assembly plants in Illinois, effective Oct. 4.