Navistar submits MaxxForce 13 to EPA for emissions certification

Navistar told attendees at a Feb. 1 stock analyst meeting at the company’s brand new world headquarters in Lisle, Ill., that it has submitted its MaxxForce 13 diesel engine to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for testing to ensure compliance with the agency’s 2010 Emissions Regulations mandating NOX emissions or .02 grams or less of diesel exhaust.

Most diesel engine manufacturers chose to use Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) aftertreatment technology to meet the required emissions levels. Navistar diesel engines use an in-cylinder exhaust gas recirculation technology to reduce exhaust emissions and is the only North American engine manufacturer to do so. Currently, Navistar diesel engines emit more grams of N0x than their competitors’ engines. But because Navistar exceeded the performance parameters set for earlier emissions reduction regulations, the company was awarded emissions credits by the EPA that allow them to do.

Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a public letter to Navistar informing them that its emissions credits for the MaxxForce 13 engine were about to expire. The move by CARB is highly unusual, but Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s Engine Group declined to comment on the agency’s motives. “The bottom line is that Navistar will sell engines in 2012 that are fully certified in all 50 states,” Allen said. “And any issue between Navistar and the EPA will remain between us and the EPA. Our customers will not be brought into that. We’re going to open and transparent about that’s going on with the EPA. But in terms of those issues impacting the customer, it will be a non-issue.”

A spokesman for Navistar noted that EPA emissions credits to not apply across the company’s engine line in a blanket fashion. Each individual engine platform has its own individual “bank” of credits. So, Navistar’s DT medium-duty engines, as well as the MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 15 engines are not included in CARB’s announcement and will continue to be sold under using their existing bank of EPA credits. Additionally, once an engine is submitted for testing, Navistar notes, EPA will not penalize the submitting company if credits expire before the certifcation process is complete. In that case, credit extensions will be issued to insure EPA compliance.

“We will work through the normal certification process for the MaxxForce 13 with the EPA and follow up with our additional engine platforms later this year,” Allen said. “We will continue to use the credits we have selling our engines going forward. This is an on-going process and a continual refinement process of our engines and our emissions technology. But we are confident the MaxxForce 13 will be certified as compliant by the EPA, validating our in-cylinder emissions reduction technology and without any degredation in terms of performance, durability and fuel economy for our customers.”