Sinister Diesel Fined $1 Million For Selling Illegal Coal Rolling Devices

Sinister Diesel Fined $1 Million For Selling Illegal Coal Rolling Devices

The Department of Justice announced this week that Sinister Mfg. Company, Inc., doing business as Sinister Diesel, pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the emissions control defeat devices it sold that allowed entitled assholes to make their diesel trucks roll coal. The company was also fined a total of $1 million and agreed to not manufacture, sell or install any device that defeats a vehicle’s emissions controls.

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Sinister Diesel was charged with conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and defraud the United States, as well as violating the CAA by tampering with the monitoring device of an emissions control system of a diesel truck. The fine for doing so is only $500,000, but Sinister will also have to pay an additional $500,000 to settle the civil complaint it was also facing. Under the civil consent decree, not only is Sinister banned from making, selling or offering emissions defeat devices, but it is also not allowed to transfer any intellectual property to another company that would allow it to do the same thing.

“For close to ten years, Sinister Diesel sold parts designed to override or disable the emissions control systems on trucks,” Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a statement. “EPA testing has shown that a vehicle altered with these parts can emit more than 100 times the amount of certain harmful air pollutants, compared to a vehicle with an intact emissions control system. This case shows that we will aggressively prosecute those who manufacture and sell devices designed to defeat vehicle emissions controls.”

While Sinister labeled its emissions defeat devices for racing and included disclaimers that they were only for off-road use, the DOJ claims it knew most of its customers were using them on public roads. And it wasn’t exactly a small side-business for the tuner, either. Helping entitled assholes roll coal sometimes accounted for a full 25 percent of Sinister’s gross revenue. Between October 30, 2015, and July 17, 2017, it reportedly sold 39,792 defeat devices.

The good news is, if you’re disappointed to hear that the coal-rolling tuner was only fined $1 million, there’s a chance Sinister will be ordered to pay even more in November when it’s formally sentenced. And hopefully, it will also discourage other tuners from offering similar products. After all, this case is proof that if you piss off both the EPA and the FBI at the same time, things generally go poorly for you and your company.