Derive Systems, which makes “Bully Dog” and “SCT” tuning software has been slapped with a $300,000 fine. The Environmental Protection Agency found the company’s products in violation of the Clean Air Act and named the software as emissions “defeat devices,” The Drive reported on Wednesday.
The company will also need to spend $6.25 million to bring the company and its products up to code in accordance with the Clean Air Act. The EPA found its tuning software included access to overwrite vehicle controls in stock software for diesel particulate filters, exhaust gas recirculation, catalytic converters and more. The tuning software was available for both gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.
To bring the company up to standard, Derive must stop producing noncompliant software and retrofit existing tuners. All software must show that it will not increase a vehicle’s emissions. To do so, the company must limit access to emissions controls and create a verification program for the software that includes training about the software, emissions, and Clean Air Act requirements. The company must also cease marketing any products that contain “defeat device” software.
Derive concluded the products it sells today are “legal” and that the fine pertains to “pre-merger activities of legacy companies before they joined under the new company Derive and that had not been revealed to Derive management.”
The Department of Justice, however, stated in its decree:
Defendants shall not manufacture, offer for sale, sell, convey, or otherwise transfer any product intended for use on vehicles of model years 2000 and newer that contains user-adjustable features for the following: rear oxygen sensors, EGR, or any DTCs associated with these emission controls.
Defendants shall remove these user-adjustable features from any of its Calibrations intended for use on vehicles of model years 2000 and newer prior to sale by the following dates: no later than June 1, 2019, for all of their Calibrations compatible with any Ford vehicles; no later than December 1, 2019, for all of their Calibrations compatible with any General Motor (GM) vehicles; and no later than August 1, 2020, for all of their Calibrations compatible with any other vehicles.
“Defeat devices” quickly became a household phrase after the VW diesel scandal of 2015. The automaker was found guilty of including software to shut down a vehicle’s emissions controls when it was operating on the road. The scandal had led to millions in fines, criminal charges, and probes that continue in Europe to this day.