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Suzuki analyst charged with lying about motorcycle emissions

DETROIT - A former Suzuki Motor Corp. analyst is accused of lying about motorcycle emissions figures in filings with the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a June 2 filing in Detroit federal court.

Wayne Powell, who was a government relations analyst with the company, is charged with violating the Clean Air Act in a felony that involved altering production numbers on a series of 2012 motorcycles.

Powell is accused of knowingly making false statements in reports required to regulate motorcycle emissions of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants in accordance with federal law.

The vehicles in question were four categories of 2012 class III motorcycles manufactured by Suzuki that were imported, distributed and eventually sold in the U.S.

Powell's charges stem from applications filed to the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality in Ann Arbor in 2012.

The applications show Powell attempted to pass off Suzuki class III engines as meeting emissions standards when they exceeded the federal limit, based on the number of domestic sales, according to federal investigators.

He then attempted to offset the overages in a year-end report by applying "banked" emissions credits, resulting in no violations.

Suzuki was not a participant in emissions credits banking programs at the time, according to the court filing.

When he was caught by EPA officers in Ann Arbor, Powell in 2014 sent an amended report without the claim of having credits, but still failed to report Suzuki exceeding the limit.

Powell also claimed there had a been a "computer software" problem when accounting emissions and that he "corrected some mistakes."

"In fact, he had changed some of the accurate numbers to false numbers so that the result would show Suzuki to be in compliance with the Clean Air Act," the federal government alleges.

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