Judge upholds required diesel software upgrades in California

| 4/29/2005

A California judge has rejected an attempt to overturn a state order requiring diesel engine makers to upgrade software on older vehicles, The Associated Press reported Thursday, April 28.

The California Air Resources Board announced in March 2004 that it had adopted a voluntary plan to upgrade pollution-control software on diesel trucks that operate in the state. However, the board alleged in December 2004 that all but one engine manufacturer – Detroit Diesel – had failed to meet agreed-on goals as to how many engines would be upgraded by that time.

At that point, CARB decided to end its seven-month voluntary program. The now-mandatory order affects all diesel engines made from 1993 to 1998, including both those based in California and those based elsewhere that operate in California, Jerry Martin, a spokesman for the board, told Land Line.

Four of the companies – Cummins, Caterpillar, Volvo and Mack – sued the state agency in Sacramento County Superior Court in late March, asking a judge to give them an injunction that would stop CARB from changing the agreement that led to the upgrades.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster ruled Thursday that the regulations were constitutional, The AP reported, and told the engine makers he could not intervene if regulators broke the agreement.