The Office of the Traffic Commissioner recently issued a statement warning operators who experience problems with their AdBlue systems to go to an authorised dealer or take professional advice (e.g. from the DVSA or a solicitor). They added that speaking to people who advise the installation of an emulation device to bypass the AdBlue system and resolve the performance issues is bad advice and should never be followed.
It is understood that Nick Denton, the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner, saw this situation arise in a case which came before him recently. The operator relied on advice from a car electrician about others using emulator devices to deal with AdBlue issues. Mr Denton said the necessary professional advice should have been taken and the company and transport manager should not have relied on someone who wasn’t qualified to tamper with the vehicle. The company’s licence was curtailed from 28 to 5 vehicles for 14 days and then to 22 vehicles indefinitely after. The transport manager lost his repute and was disqualified indefinitely (although he can reapply for the return of his repute if he completes a two day transport manager CPC course).
We have reported previously, that DVSA’s targeting of vehicles fitted with emissions cheat devices has brought a number of operators and transport managers before traffic commissioners. See https://www.backhousejones.co.uk/adblue-emulators-the-real-cost-could-be-your-operators-licence/. Some operators admit to fitting the devices themselves, but others are unaware that a device is fitted when they purchase the vehicle and then fail to notice that the AdBlue system isn’t functioning correctly.
We are expecting high numbers of Public Inquiries arising out of this issue and strongly suggest all operators seek advice should they receive a prohibition. Gathering and preserving evidence at the earliest opportunity could make the difference between keeping the operator’s licence or a revocation. All operators are advised to check their fleet for the presence of these devices and remove them.
If you would like further advice, please contact a member of our regulatory team on 01254 828300 today.