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AdBlue cheats face serious action by DVSA

Apr 18, 2018
Following a number of successful prosecutions, the DVSA is warning truck operators not to fit emulator devices to avoid using AdBlue in their Euro IV, V or Euro VI vehicles.

AdBlue is a fluid used in later diesel vehicles to bring emission levels down to legal levels. However, using AdBlue marginally increases the running costs of the vehicle and some unscrupulous operators have been fitting so called emulator devices which mimic the presence of AdBlue in the fuel mix, but have a detrimental effect on the vehicle’s emissions.

Using an emulator effectively converts the vehicle to Euro III and prevents the truck going into ‘limp mode’ when AdBlue is not present. When challenged, some operators claim to be unaware that their vehicles needed to use AdBlue to meet emission standards, but Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton is unimpressed.

“Ignorance is no excuse. It should be self-evident to all operators which vehicles require AdBlue," he said, after a company in Stoke-on-Trent had its operator’s licence revoked and its transport manager disqualified after claiming it was unaware that its Euro 4 vehicles required AdBlue. 

Commissioner Denton has also taken action against a Birmingham operator who admitted having emulators fitted to her vehicles. The devices were apparently illegally used to resolve an issue with the AdBlue system.

In another case, Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney described an operator's approach as "reckless" after he failed to ask questions about emissions controls fitted to one of his vehicles.

Adblue cheats face serious action by DVSA

"AdBlue is well understood within the industry," said Kevin. The operator claimed he hadn't noticed the vehicle needed AdBlue but Kevin said that was: "Clearly nonsense. Operators and transport managers should never interfere with vehicle systems without taking proper advice. Those who don't make enquiries will face serious regulatory action,” he warned.

Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain

Photo: Adblue is carried in a tank fitted to the vehicle.

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