Ex-Suzuki employee pleads guilty to filing false report

ReutersWASHINGTON (Reuters) — A former employee of Suzuki Motor Corp.’s U.S. operations pleaded guilty on Friday to filing a false report and violating the Clean Air Act over excess emissions in more than 23,000 2012 model year motorcycles, court documents showed.

The case is the latest in a series of civil and criminal actions the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department have pursued to crack down on automakers that cheat on pollution tests in an attempt to avoid paying the costs of compliance.

The Justice Department said Wayne Powell, while serving as a government relations analyst based at Suzuki Motor’s U.S. headquarters in Brea, California, submitted a report to the Environmental Protection Agency in September 2013 that said the automaker had credits to offset any excess tailpipe emissions from its motorcycles. The EPA informed Powell that the company did not have any banked credits, however.

Powell submitted a second report in 2014 that said Suzuki’s motorcycles did not exceed emissions limits and said he had corrected some mistakes due to a computer software problem. But the Justice Department said he had falsified the numbers in his report.

Under a plea agreement made public Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Powell faces up to two years in prison.Speech

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