The group behind the Discovery Channel’s show Diesel Brothers have been ordered to stump up $851,451 for violating the Clean Air Act. David ‘Heavy D’ Sparks, Joshua Stuart, Keaton Hoskins, and David ‘Diesel Dave’ Kiley were handed the fine on Friday by US District Court Judge Robert Shelby, who may yet force the group to pay the plaintiff’s $1.2 million legal costs.
The plaintiff in question is the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, an organisation to which Sparks Motors unwittingly sold a modified truck, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. That vehicle was sent off to Denver to testing, where it was found to be churning out 36 times more pollution and 21 times more particulate matter than if its pollutions controls hadn’t been tampered with.
The case focused heavily around the removal of devices like diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves. The thick black smoke many Diesel Brothers trucks have been shown to belch out was mentioned in the trial, although the group’s lawyer Cole Cannon insisted, “My clients have always been committed to restoring air quality in Utah”.
As part of his ruling, Judge Shelby said:
“[The] Defendants experienced many economic benefits from their removal of emission control devices, installation of defeat parts, sale of defeat parts, and ownership or operation of tampered vehicles. These economic benefits continue extending well beyond the profits from these prohibited activities to Defendants’ status as television and social media celebrities, the reputation and notoriety of their brands, and the economic leverage they have used to accumulate assets and start new businesses.”
The Diesel Brothers have henceforth been barred from removing emissions control devices such as DPFs and EGRs and might find themselves in contempt of court if caught violating pollution standards in the future.
It’s unclear what all of this means for the TV series, which has been running since 2016 and began its sixth series in December 2019 [update - it’s since been announced that the next series will start on 22 June]. When contacted by Car Throttle, Discovery declined to comment.