Polluting the Air We Breathe

“‘Polluting the air we breathe’: Mechanic sentenced for selling thousands of devices that allowed trucks to bypass emissions controls” – MarketWatch, Lukas Albert

Another story about pollution.

According to prosecutors, Matthew Geouge raked in $10 million for selling the devices which made trucks produce hundreds of times more pollution. But, they go faster and leave a trail of exhaust behind them. This is one of those what-fors? Akin to jacked up vehicles and what they are calling squats (rear end real low) which you sometimes can not see what is in front of you. If you feel a bump, it might be a person you ran over.

This is also one of those, “I have a rights argument.” The right to retune my car and emit more pollution, the right to run over a person or a vehicle in front of me, the right to the Left-lane because I want to do 85 instead of the speed-limit of 65 mph. In 30 miles, they may get to Costco 1 or maybe two minutes earlier. Police get antsy about that left lane, so much so, they ignore the 85-mph person to bug you doing 75- mph and passing people. Not sure where the logic is in this although the real speeders love it. You see this in the comments section mostly.

Rant Over. The rights argument usually stops when you suggest they are violating your right to clean air. Then there are those who stir the pot with made up information.

Matthew Geouge has a brain and figured out a way to shut down emissions controls. When Federal prosecutors caught up with him he had sold about 14,000 kits or “Tuners” between 2008 and 2017. The Tuners or defeat devices shut off the emissions systems on mostly diesel-powered pickup trucks. 

The vroom, vroom vehicle drivers who believe they are inhibited if the left lane is blocked by a vehicle passing another vehicle also believe the federally mandated control systems that drastically reduce pollution also inhibit the performance of their trucks. Matthew Geouge developed “software programs for the tuners known as ‘tunes,’ designing them to maximize the engine power of particular vehicles. Doing such increases harmful air emissions.”

Geouge took in around $10 million in sales of the devices and the customized encryption software. The devices did not trigger the vehicle’s warning systems.  

“The EPA estimates there are as many as 550,000 medium trucks on the road in the U.S. that have had their emissions controls tampered with. They have estimated that the additional pollution created by those trucks is equivalent to the emissions produced by 9 million trucks operating in compliance with the law.”

Matthew Geouge has other offenses too. In 2015, the EPA issued a citation to Geouge ordering him to stop selling the devices, which he ignored. In 2017 the EPA hit Geouge with a $4 million fine, after which he sold Spartan to another company. The company continued using his encryption software under license. He also failed to pay income taxes for four years.

Asking for leniency his attorney says he is an excellent mechanic. Instead, Matthew received one year and a day in prison and was fined. Pretty light . . .

Hendersonville Man Is Sentenced To Prison For Violating the Clean Air Act By Selling Thousands Of Illegal Devices That Defeat Required Vehicle Emissions Control Systems | USAO-WDNC | Department of Justice

Diesel Ford Truck Tuner Gets Prison for Selling Defeat Devices, Dodging Taxes (thedrive.com)