CARB-suspended filters are aftermarket, mufflers temporary

| Thursday, September 29, 2011

Two models of diesel particulate filters that were recently suspended by the California Air Resources Board were not factory installed, but aftermarket devices.

The filters, the LongMile truck DPF unit and the off-road Allmetal DPF, were recently taken off the market after the company that makes the units reported a failure on one of its units.

Some reports have blamed a truck for creating a spark that eventually turned into a major fire in south Washington.

Fire investigators at the Washington Incident Command Team reportedly said a major fire 12 miles northeast of Goldendale, WA, was started Sept. 7. Investigators believe the fire “may have been started by a truck” on Highway 97, the Herald-Republic reported, when the moving truck sent sparks into dry grass.

That fire destroyed more than 100 structures, including at least 29 residences.

Two days after the fire started, San Leandro, CA-based Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls told CARB about a failure with one of its units.

Earlier this week, Gale Plummer of Cleaire told Land Line Magazine the company was in the early stages of its investigation. The involvement of attorneys has prevented the company from even seeing the filter in question.

“We don’t know the root cause of the event in Washington,” Plummer told Land Line Magazine. “Our system was on a vehicle that had a failure we’d never seen before, and we don’t know what caused it. Until we figure out what caused it, we’re not selling any more.”

Plummer said truck owners with the DPFs in question have been notified by parts dealers of the failure.

“We are pulling some systems off just to be cautious and we will continue that process and keep learning,” Plummer said. “We’re going to fall on the side of caution. What we’re trying to do is minimize the amount of downtime for these vehicles.”

“Muffler modular” systems are being installed temporarily, and CARB is allowing the mufflers to “be considered in-compliance with all fleet rules until Cleaire reinstalls the upgraded filter,” Caesar said. “If the truck owner decides not to reinstall the Cleaire filter and goes with another manufacturer, Cleaire will reimburse them for their filter that was removed.”

The fire in Washington and subsequent investigation into the DPF’s failure shocked both CARB and Cleaire.

Just in July, CARB awarded the CARB Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award to Cleaire President and Chief Technology Officer Brad Edgar.

The award was named after Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit, the first CARB chairman who helped the agency usher in many of the world’s first air pollution controls.

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