Rating Changes for MY21 and Newer EPA North America On Highway

Green House Gas (GHG) Phase 2 regulations take effect on EPA MY21 and newer North America On Highway product.  Engine fuel map data under GHG Phase 2 regulations will be an input to most (but not all) vehicle GHG certification.  Changing engine rating changes the fuel map, which in turn might also affect vehicle GHG compliance.  Under GHG Phase 2, EPA can evaluate engine manufacturer compliance based on the fuel map, and OEM compliance based on the vehicle, including the fuel map.  OEMs also manage their own overall vehicle GHG compliance including AB&T (Averaging, Banking & Trading) reporting, etc.  This is relevant because, under GHG Phase 2, it is possible an OEM can retire credits where a change in engine fuel map data puts it over a relevant GHG standard.

The implications are:

  • Changes to the certified fuel map could be perceived to violate the tampering prohibition of 40 CFR 1068.101(b)(1)
  • Changes to the certified fuel map that lead a vehicle to no longer comply with vehicle GHG standards could be perceived to violate the tampering prohibition of 40 CFR 1068.101(b)(1). In this case, both the OEM and CMI might face enforcement risk.
  • Several major OEMs are working on a formal approval process that could allow for re-rating on a case by case basis.  However, these processes are not currently in place and it is not clear how much flexibility the OEMs will actually have to allow re-rates.
  • No re-rate of an individual MY21 and newer North America On-Highway unit shall occur until a formal approval process is in place and the OEM grants the approval for the unit in question through that process.  This direction is applicable to all MY21+ vehicles and includes but is not limited to vehicles still at the OEM, at a 3rd party bodybuilder, or has been sold to the ultimate customer and is coming into a Cummins authorized service location.
  • Customers with questions about their ability to re-rate MY21+ vehicles should be directed to work with their OEM to understand the OEM’s strategy and potential flexibility on approving re-rates.

Below is a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) added to help answer additional questions:

Q: Which MY21+ vehicles are affected by this change in GHG regulation?
A:  40 CFR Part 1037 applies to any Heavy Duty vehicle, which is defined as any motor vehicle that has a GVWR above 8,500 pounds, a curb weight above 6,000 pounds, or a basic vehicle frontal area greater than 45 square feet. This is therefore expected to affect the on highway MY21+ X, L and B platforms.

Q:  Why does the OEM have to approve rating changes, starting with MY21 on highway products?
A:  As before, the OEM is responsible for vehicle level regulations.  But, starting with MY21, engine fuel map data will be an input to most (but not all) vehicle GHG certification so changing the engine rating of a certified vehicle may impact vehicle GHG compliance and sets the engine GHG compliance requirements.

Q:  How likely will it be for an OEM to approve a rating change?
A:  This is not clear to Cummins, as there are many different factors that could influence an OEMs ability to approve a rating change

Q:  Are there any circumstances that may reduce the likelihood of the OEM granting an approval?
A:  Yes, the regulation does not allow a change that would increase GHG emissions after the vehicle has been sold to the first Ultimate Purchaser, or after the OEM has submitted the AB&T report (which must be submitted 270 days after the end of the model year). There are some special cases, such as custom chassis certification, where the OEM may still be able to approve a change, but this is expected to be rare.

Q:  Does a vehicle being sold from the OEM to a body builder, count as the sale to the first Ultimate Purchaser such that OEM approval would be more difficult?
A:  No, the regulation defines the Ultimate Purchaser, with respect to any new vehicle, as the first person who in good faith purchases such new vehicle for purposes other than resale.   So long as a body builder's purchase is for re-sale, it would not be considered an Ultimate Purchaser.  So, Cummins interpretation would be that the vehicle going to a body builder (or not) does not make approval more-or-less difficult for the OEM.

Q:  Does this apply after the vehicle has accumulated enough miles to exceed the End of Useful Life (EUL)?
A:  Yes. The anti-tampering provision of the GHG Phase 2 regulation applies to vehicles both within and beyond EUL.

Q: Will the OEMs approval process be different for CMI engines vs. our competitors?
A:  As of early September 2020, we have visibility of several major OEMs activities to develop an approval process for re-rating engines.  Early indications are that the process will be the same for all engines being used in their vehicles, but we will better understand this as each OEM finalizes their process.   There will be a follow-up communication, to describe these processes and clarify how to initiate a request, at a later-date.