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Emission Cheat Devices: British HGVs top the list for fraud

Atop a list of all vehicles checked recently by the DVSA for fraudulent emission devices, UK-registered lorries reign supreme.

 

In the four-month period between August and November last year, DVSA also discovered that 1 in 12 of all vehicles, UK-based or otherwise, were fitted with emission cheat devices.

 

Of the 3,735 vehicles stopped, 293 carried fraudulent gadgets. Among these gadgets, AdBlue emulators featured most prominently. These devices are used to block AdBlue injection systems, which reduce a vehicle’s nitrogen oxide (NOx) output.

 

Back in June 2017, the DVSA disclosed its plan to undertake roadside checks targeted at certain operators. The program was enacted to counter multiplying reports about drivers using emission cheat devices to minimise running costs.

 

Emission Cheat Devices – Reasons & Consequences

 

Due to its inherent simplicity, the illegal piece of kit can be used in any model of HGV, and will work in harmony with a wide range of systems, including Euro-6. Price could also be a major factor. With the financial situation looking increasingly chaotic for small- and medium-sized operators, the devices (which can be bought for £35) represent a comparatively minor investment.

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8% of spot-checked vehicles carried an AdBlue emulator

 

All in all, 1,784 British trucks were checked. 151 (8.5%) of them were found to carry such devices. Surprisingly, while just 294 trucks from Northern Ireland were stopped, 60 (20%) of them were emissions offenders. In addition to this, the DVSA stopped 1,657 non-UK vehicles, 82 (5%) of which were found to be cheating.

 

As for the penalty, any haulier discovered to have used a cheat mechanism must remove it in 10 days, or face a £300 penalty.

 

DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. We are committed to taking dangerous lorries off Britain’s roads. Stopping emissions fraud is a vital part of that.

“Anyone who flouts the law is putting the quality of our air and the health of vulnerable people, at risk. We won’t hesitate to take action against these drivers, operators and vehicles.”

While Senior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt said: “The traffic commissioners welcome the steps being taken by the enforcement agency to identify emissions cheats. Use of these devices threatens to undercut responsible and compliant operators as well as damaging the environment and public health.”

He added: “We will look to take action wherever an operator seeks an unfair and illegal advantage over the rest of industry.”