UK commercial vehicles at risk of being declared unroadworthy due to exhausts
As a business, maintaining a legislatively compliant fleet of commercial vehicles is the cornerstone of a successful logistics operation. Type-approval is the automotive EU directive that governs this compliance across the continent and partially, the UK. Type-approval is especially important for emissions components that are installed on a vehicle, guaranteeing product quality, performance and compliant levels of emissions. However, the introduction of on-the-spot checks for vehicle compliance in Europe over the next few years highlights a deficiency in UK type-approval legislation, which presents a risk to businesses whose vehicles are not fully type-approved.
Type-approval in the UK extends to govern the compliance of catalytic converters (CATs) and for diesel vehicles, diesel particulate filters (DPFs). However it is not currently mandatory in the UK to install a type-approved exhaust on a vehicle, which is in conflict with EU legislation.
The EU has confirmed that unannounced roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, whether the vehicle is registered in the EU or not, will be carried out to ensure the compliance of vehicles on its roads. The checks will focus on the overall condition of the vehicle, but UK drivers whose vehicles include a non-type-approved exhaust may fail the emissions part of the inspection, potentially leading to the vehicle in question being removed immediately from the road. Failed vehicles will require their exhausts to be replaced with a type-approved system before release back onto the highway. The EU aims to have these inspections passed into the national laws of member states by the 20th May 2017.
Some aftermarket manufacturers, such as Klarius Products Ltd, supply exclusively type-approved CATs, DPFs and exhausts which are wholly compliant. However, due to loopholes in the UK’s type-approval laws, there are some cheap inferior exhausts in circulation which if installed on a commercial vehicle, could cause a great headache for businesses if their fleet operates regularly on the continent.
Paul Hannah, Business Development Director at Klarius Products Ltd added: “Many operators of UK registered commercial vehicles on the continent may be under the impression that their vehicles are wholly complaint. However, this EU announcement has brought the deficiencies in the UK’s type-approval laws into sharp focus, as business could be penalised for a component that would be assumed was to standard. We have been campaigning for years to extended UK type-approval legislation to include exhausts, but now businesses find themselves potentially at risk as we lag behind the continent on these regulations.
“We strongly recommend that owners of commercial vehicles who require an aftermarket emissions replacement choose a certified type-approved part to avoid any risk or inconvenience.”
Klarius Products type-approves all exhausts, CATs and DPFs in-house at its dedicated test track, to the standards required by the VCA and regional bodies such as the TÜV. Klarius is the only UK aftermarket manufacturer to conduct this rigorous testing, making the business unique domestically due to the fact that its entire range meets type-approval standards. Exhausts are test fitted on cars of applicable model and make, which allows Klarius to supply a ‘Fit First Time’ guarantee for its entire product range, along with a 2 year warranty. Klarius produces components for commercial vehicles, classics and the latest models to market, allowing customers to select an optimum solution for their requirements.