Kohler paying $20M in federal settlement over engine emissions

Posted by of Insight Publications

The Kohler Co. will pay a $20 million federal civil penalty to settle claims the Sheboygan County manufacturer made and sold millions of small spark-ignition engines that did not conform  to emission standards.

Additional state penalties, mitigation and compliance actions will raise Kohler’s total cost to around $25 million.

The engines, which were used in lawn mowers, ride-on mowers, commercial landscaping equipment and generators, were sold from 2010 to 2015. Kohler also sold 144,000 engines designed to cheat emission standards, according to a news release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice.

In a statement released Thursday, Kohler said all engines sold since 2016 are in compliance with regulations and the company “is committed to designing and manufacturing quality, compliant products.”

Kohler self-reported the issues to the EPA and the California Air Resource Board in late 2015 when it became aware of the problem.

In addition to civil penalties and mitigation costs, Kohler will also establish an independent environmental regulatory compliance team, conduct annual compliance training for engine division employees, establish a code of conduct and create an ethics hotline for reporting noncompliance.