Saturday, December 2, 2023


Diesel truck owners know how to cheat – big time

By James Raia
The results of a recent study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Enforcement Division detail the widespread removal of emission controls from more than 550,000 diesel pickup trucks in the United States in the past decade.

Diesel truck owners are removing emissions equipment.
Diesel truck owners are removing emissions equipment.

Owners who alter or remove the systems do so for better gas mileage and more power in their trucks.

Diesel truck owners remove systems

Removal of these systems will produce more than 570,000 tons of excess oxides of nitrogen and 5,000 tons of excess particulate matter over the lifetime of the vehicles.

The report relates only specifically to class 2b and class 3 diesel pickups – those weighing between 8,501 and 14,400 pounds.

According to the EPA, the tally equals about 15 percent of the national population of diesel trucks originally certified with emission control systems.

The excess nitrogen oxide produced by these trucks is the equivalent of adding more than 9 million additional diesel pickups on U.S. roads.

Simple adjustments that can alter the software’s functions and calibrations are the most common way to tamper with diesel trucks’ emissions controls.

Many owners also fit straight-through exhaust systems, therefore removing the standard exhausts that feature after-treatment systems.

States without regular vehicle inspections have the highest percentage of diesel trucks without defeat devices. North Dakota has 18.6 percentage of defeat devices. Idaho (15 percent), Wyoming (14.2), Maine (13.5) and Michigan (13) are also high on the list.

California, which has strict enforcement of emissions standards, has 1.8 percent of non-compliant diesel trucks. It’s the country’s lowest rate.


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James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, He can be reached via email:




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Jud (@guest_121547)
2 years ago

Ive had 3 diesel 3/4 ton trucks over the last 1t plus years. All have been deleted and tuned. I also live in an emissions compliant county. My trucks get their tail pipes sniffed every yr. They pass every yr because the truck is weel tuned and runs efficiently.. As it is suspose too.. Arther is uneducated but then considering where he lives.. Yea.. Out of touch.

Sonny (@guest_106779)
2 years ago

one day Electric Fuel Cells = 100% clean

Tommy Molnar (@guest_106676)
2 years ago

Back in June of this year we were traveling from northern NV to Houston for some medical treatment and were on a tight schedule. We had to do it in five days to make the appointment. My new-to-me 2016 F-350 was towing our TT. When in NM the truck would NOT Regen and the DPF was filling up. According top my Banks iDash, the DPF was 150% full (not sure how you get more than 100% of ANYTHING!) but that gauge and the fancy schmancy dash screen indicated that a Regen was needed – soon. Pretty soon the gauge indicated the engine would begin to shut down the power if we didn’t get it serviced post haste. Right – in the middle of NM! But, we found a Ford dealer in Gallup (Gurley Ford) who dropped everything (on the first Saturday they were open since the start of the COVID thing!) to do a manual Regen and upgrade the engine software. About an hour and a half later we were on the road and haven’t had any issues since. I long for my old 79 7.3.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tommy Molnar
TreeHouse (@guest_106662)
2 years ago

Pre DEF Vehicles For Me!!

TIM (@guest_106529)
2 years ago

Fuel savings? Maybe.

“Better gas mileage”? Not a drop of gas is saved since diesels don’t burn gas. Who wrote this goofiness? 😉

iplaywithtrucks (@guest_106242)
2 years ago

Everyone tags on to these articles like an expert. Please do your research and post a pic that is relevant to the article and class of vehicle in question.

Ben (@guest_106293)
2 years ago

Agree 100%. These authors and editors will just publish anything without doing their homework. You lose all credibility when you post an article with a photo that doesn’t match the articles subject. A 2020 Chevy 1500 with a diesel doesn’t weigh 8501+ lbs…I haven’t even heard of anyone being able to delete those yet for that matter.

Cory gentzke (@guest_106217)
2 years ago

Battery acid is highly more toxic than diesel soot(FYI diesel fuel comes from the ground and diesel soot is too heavy too rise into the atmosphere), where do all the giant batteries go after the electric cars die? Maybe the epa should shift their concerns…

Pepperell (@guest_117760)
2 years ago
Reply to  Cory gentzke

Acid isn’t used in LiFePO4’s. The batteries can be recycled. Cleaning corrosion from the cable connections is a thing of the past. I had a LiFePO4 for 10+ years in my FJR1300. Ran a set of 4 12v 75AH batteries to power the house in my motorhome for 4 years. Safest “fuel storage” system.

Geof (@guest_106194)
2 years ago

I don’t mind the EGR/DPF on my truck but the EPA (Fed Gov) should cover the cost of repair or replacement up to 300K miles since they mandate it be there.

Jeff Arthur (@guest_106175)
2 years ago

Diesel truck owners besides hot rodding their trucks for more power and fuel mileage are eliminating the problematic DEF & emissions systems.
These systems fail and cost $4k up & I mean UP to repair . With no guarantee it will last or even fix their problem.
As another reader stated it’s amusing how they come up with the numbers.

Craig Schulz (@guest_106297)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

Funny how the feds don’t have to comply with the regulations. The military is allowed to tamper with the emissions with out penalties but little ol you & I get penalized if we do it. It is not do as I do but I can do it so too bad for you!. When you follow the same rules that I have to follow, then and only then will I follow them, got it!

Gordy (@guest_106152)
2 years ago

Would be interesting to see a comparison done on how much environmental damage is done by having all this EPA emission stuff on vehicles.
Meaning more fuel burned due to worse fuel mile, the oil gets dirtier quicker so has to be changed more often, (my old cummins would go 12,000 miles on a would change, now it is 5,000), I used oil sampling to determine these intervals, the lower service life of the engines, the components that they add and the need of replacement and or cleaning.
Kind of like electric vehicles there is so much that goes into them. Wind power, they are now having to bury the blades that are at the end of life.
We do so much that is touchy feely looking, we just do not seem to get past that and diagnose what it takes to get to that point.

Scooter (@guest_106140)
2 years ago

Curious how they know this. Reporting through emissions stations is one thing. We all know that it is done but do they really run out in the middle of north Dakota and crawl under people’s trucks?

Larry (@guest_106174)
2 years ago
Reply to  Scooter

They don’t know. Just another push for money under disguise of more emissions laws. This whole article is garbage. Getting the most out of your vehicle thst you pay for is considered cheating? Hahaha guess we shouldn’t put higher octane gas in our vehicles either. Stupid

Gary (@guest_106359)
2 years ago
Reply to  Scooter

Liars figure and figures lie.

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