Truck lovers On 'Diesel Brothers' TV show handed $850,000 fine from federal judge.
Diesel Brothers, the Discovery Channel's reality show about friends that repair and extensively modify pickup trucks, has been hit with fines totaling $851,451 for violations of Utah state law and the Clean Air Act. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, US District Court Judge Robert Shelby issued the order after the lawsuit was filed by Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment back in 2017.
The defendants are David "Heavy D" Sparks, David "Diesel Dave" Kiley, Keaton Hoskins, and Josh Stuart - unlike the show's name would lead you to believe, the four aren't actually brothers. In the process of modifying trucks on the show, the defendants were found to have intentionally removed pollution control devices, a direct violation of Utah law.
The fine is split between $90,000 (which is to go to Davis County) and $761,451 (to be paid to the federal government). Before filing the lawsuit, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment bought a truck that had been modified by the Diesel Brothers. It was later shipped to Denver and found to emit 36 times more pollution than it would have if its pollution control devices had not been removed.
According to Judge Shelby, the Diesel Brothers' modifications brought with it financial gain. He wrote: "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 a new business."
Utah Physicians' attorney Reed Zars was happy with the outcome. "In many respects, the judge ordered between 80 percent and 90 percent of the maximum, which is telling," he said. Should the show's stars again be in violation of pollution laws, this could place them in contempt of court.
It remains to be seen what the impact will be on the show itself, which is currently in its sixth season - we're guessing they'll need to find a way around sending plumes of black smoke into the air at every opportunity. Plus, if a high-powered diesel truck is what you want, the likes of Ford (with its F-250 6.7-liter diesel) and Ram would be happy to oblige.