Perpetually Postponed? Mahindra Passes EPA Testing, Could Start Sales Soon

Indian truck maker Mahindra’s perpetual delay of bringing its pickups and sport-utility vehicles to the United States may be over. The company’s trucks recently passed the Environmental Protection Agency’s stringent emissions testing, and may soon be ready for the U.S. market.

Mahindra initially planned to start selling its two and four-door pickup trucks here in the U.S. as early as this past spring. Due to delays in the EPA certification process for its 2.2-liter I-4 diesel engine, the truck’s launch date has been delayed several times already. The situation worsened, causing Mahindra’s U.S. distributor, Global Vehicles U.S.A., to sue the Indian truck maker. Dealers and Global Vehicles alike have paid millions of dollars in franchise fees, but have yet to deliver a single vehicle. As time progressed, the likelihood of ever seeing the trucks here diminished by the day.

That may soon change, though, as the truck is now certified by the EPA to be sold Stateside. The diesel powerplant was able to pass testing by injecting urea into the exhaust gases, common among modern diesel engines, to reduce the harmful gases produced. The pending EPA certification was apparently one of the final boxes that needed to be checked before it could begin importing the light-duty trucks.

Mahindra slightly modified its trucks for the U.S. market’s crash testing regulations by adding a completely revised front fascia and grille guard. The revised offering has reportedly been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to Mahindra.

The news sounds rather promising, but we’ve heard the story before. After speaking with a representative from Global Vehicles, we hear there may be a chance that the trucks will be available in dealer showrooms, as 2011 models, by December. Mahindra has had its fair share of delays, but could this be the real deal?