NFDA raises concerns over lorry cheat devices found in DVSA checks

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Commercial Vehicle division has raised its concerns following findings that one in 13 lorries tested by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have been found to be fitted with an emissions cheat device following roadside checks.

Findings show that drivers and businesses are using emulators to stops a lorry’s emissions control system from functioning in an effort to cut the cost of fuel and AdBlue running.

In 2016, the NFDA CV division met with Andrew Jones, Transport Minister at the time to stress the impact selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems were having on the truck industry and the environment.  Following this, the NFDA was encouraged by DfT’s announcement in June 2017 that roadside checks of lorries carried out by the DVSA would now include a check for emissions cheat devices, however in the first four months of testing 273 out of 3,735 lorries tested had cheat devices fitted.

Sue Robinson, Director of the NFDA Truck and Van division comments, “The practice could be a widespread problem, however, the introduction of roadside checks is not a sufficient measure to effectively end the use of SCR cheat devices when they are easily available to buy online.

“Additionally, there is a 10-day window to remove the device before a penalty which seems very lenient. This is especially worrying as threats to refer operators to the Traffic Commissions to consider their illegal activities, and possibly remove their operator’s licenses, are only effective against UK registered operators.”

New Euro 6 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) have the cleanest engines ever and vastly reduced real-world NOx emissions, but the continued use of cheat devices undermines this progress and the industry’s efforts to reduce HGV emissions. It is imperative for UK air quality that the government takes every measure possible to ensure HGV emissions are as low as possible.

Robinson concludes, “The NFDA is hopeful that DfT will continue to support our efforts to tackle these cheat devices, not only by stepping up roadside inspections and penalties, but most crucially banning the sale, installation and the use of all SCR cheat devices.”

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