A report in Transport Topics states that exhaust emissions from nearly half the Class 8 trucks sold in the first two months of 2003 exceeded government-required emission levels imposed on most diesel-engine manufacturers late last year. According to the report, a number of engines, including heavy-duty diesels from Caterpillar and the Mercedes-Benz E400 from DaimlerChrysler, do not meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards that are part of a federal court settlement with engine manufacturers. Caterpillar has gained provision approval from the EPA to sell non-complying engines, with a penalty for each unit sold. Mercedes-Benz is not subject to the court ruling that established an October 2002 deadline for compliance. Environmentalists protest that, if a leading manufacturer will be selling non-complying engines for 15 months, the penalties were set too low. Mercedes-Benz will not have to comply with the EPA standards until 2004, while Detroit Diesel, also a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, did sign and is subject to the consent decree.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials