Court orders Navistar to produce EPA certification documents

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Thursday, September 03, 2015

While Labor Day weekend will mean barbecues, trips to the lake and baseball for many, executives at Navistar may hope it will close the book on a season of disappointing news.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1,  the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced a judge’s order that the truck-making giant hand over documents the company had been trying to keep under wraps.

On Aug. 31, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier issued an order requiring Navistar to produce a second set of documents the company had considered “privileged.”

The Commission is investigating whether Navistar committed possible fraud during the company’s efforts to obtain a certificate of conformity from the EPA for International truck engines.

Navistar has produced some documents to the Commission after being subpoenaed, though the Commission noted 72 documents have been redacted and some withheld entirely for being privileged.

In addition to ordering 62 of those 72 documents be turned over, the court also ordered Navistar to produce any other documents having to do with getting certified by EPA.

“The Commission notes that it is continuing to conduct a fact-finding inquiry and has not concluded that anyone has broken the law,” the SEC announcement reads.

Navistar declined to address the order.

“As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on pending litigation much less future, potential litigation,” Navistar said through a spokesman.

In July, Navistar was served with a $300 million lawsuit by EPA for International diesel truck engines that allegedly didn’t meet federal emissions standards while using the company’s patented Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or EGR emissions system.

One week after the EPA suit’s filing, the California Air Resources Board announced it had fined Navistar $250,000 after the company failed to properly demonstrate that a diesel particulate filter system it made met in-use compliance requirements. CARB said about 200 International’s DPX Catalyzed Soot Filter Systems were sold in California before the error was discovered.

Navistar eventually walked away from its EGR hopes and the estimated $700 million it invested in the technology. Troubles related to the system, however, don’t appear to be nearing a conclusion.

In December 2014, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that 13 of 14 civil lawsuits brought against Navistar for MaxxForce engines would be consolidated into one case.

The consolidated lawsuits say Navistar’s use of Advanced Exhaust Gas Recirculation emission control system, or EGR, was defective and resulted in repeated engine failures and frequent repairs and downtime.

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