In October of 1998, the United States government fined seven diesel truck engine manufacturers for illegally polluting the air.
In what was then called a record-setting environmental settlement, these manufacturers settled, agreeing to pay more than $1 billion dollars. None of the manufacturers admitted to the accused mischievousness.
The settlement of $1 billion went toward remedying the problem. All seven of the diesel engine manufacturers began to work on counteractive measures and future progress.
All vehicles were also required to show a reduction in the emissions from newly created engines. The Washington DC settlement stated that by 1999, these levels had to show a sharp reduction.
The charge brought upon the companies was called “high-tech cheating,” as these diesel vehicles were each given a mechanism that would meet environmental standards during the testing phase. Once the diesel vehicles were sold, the mechanism would be disabled.
This deceit made the EPA very angry.
Acting Attorney General Janet Reno announced on the 23rd of October, 1998 that the settlement was the largest “in the history of the Clean Air Act.”