Two Idaho Diesel Tuning Shops Fined $1 Million For Selling Emissions Defeat Devices

The EPA estimates 15% of all diesel trucks on the road have some sort of emissions bypass installed

Diesel truck exhaust - shops fined for selling defeat devices

Another shop faces steep fines for selling diesel emissions defeat devices.

Just a few weeks after California-based Sinister Diesel faced $1 million in criminal and civil penalties, an Idaho tuning shop faces similar ramifications to bypass legally mandated emissions control systems. The EPA fined Custom Auto of Rexburg LLC, doing business as Gorilla Performance, and GDP Tuning LLC a combined $1 million in criminal penalties late last week. Shop owner Barry Pierce also pleaded guilty to criminal charges in federal court for conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act.

According to court filings, Gorilla performance sold “tens of thousands” of tuning devices meant to bypass factory emissions controls. These emissions delete tunes often pursue greater power gains (or removal of restrictions on how much power a diesel engine can technically produce), but with the effect of increasing air pollutants including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and other hydrocarbons.

For a fully deleted truck, the EPA says, NOx emissions can increase by 310 times, non-methane hydrocarbons can increase by 1,400 times, carbon monoxide can increase by 40 times and particulate matter can increase 40 times with no emissions equipment or software in place. What’s more, the agency noted in a November 2020 report that up to half a million diesel trucks — nearly 15% of the total number on U.S. roads — have some sort of emissions defeat device or tune installed.

Pierce is scheduled for sentencing on November 8. While both of his companies agreed to pay a total of $1 million in criminal fines under the plea agreements, he could face up to two years in prison for the sale of those devices. The two entities agreed to implement Clean Air Act compliance programs and not manufacture, sell or install diesel emissions defeat devices moving forward.