We understand that the DVSA has been working with the bus industry on an investigation into 3 recent bus fires caused by emissions control equipment made by Baumot.
This equipment is fitted to improve the vehicle’s emissions standards and is often fitted to service buses used in low emission areas.
Baumot UK Ltd entered Administration in January 2021; DVSA are therefore unable to trace which vehicles these components have been fitted to. The Administration of Baumot also means the manufacturer cannot carry out a recall, which DVSA would usually oversee.
We understand the components are usually fitted to Scania or Cummins engines and the fire risk has been linked to the electrical power supply to the equipment.
What Should You Do?
If you have this equipment fitted to any of your vehicles, you should bring this issue to the attention of your transport managers and maintenance providers. Particular attention should be paid to the robustness of the electrical parts, as this is where the fires appear to have started. As the original manufacturer is unable to provide further support, you may need to seek professional support from elsewhere – your trade associations may be able to assist.
If, during your inspections, you find issues that you believe could lead to a fire in the system, you must notify DVSA at email@example.com.
Removing or Disabling Equipment
If you decide the best way to ensure safety is to remove or disable the equipment, you will need to remember that the vehicle will revert to its original Euro rating, which could affect where a particular vehicle can be used.
DVSA is contacting TfL and other authorities where this type of equipment is used to explain the safety concerns, and that bus companies may have some short-term challenges arising from this.
DVSA are continuing to investigate the issue and work with the industry.
Make a report to DVSA
The issues with this equipment illustrate the importance of reporting safety incidents on Public Service Vehicles to DVSA and DVSA have recently updated the PSV112 form (see here) to make it easier to report incidents including:
• a vehicle catching fire
• allegations of a safety defect
• a safety critical component failure or history of the same component failing
Failure to report any such incidents can lead to regulatory action by the Traffic Commissioner.
For further information, contact the Regulatory team on Regulatory@backhouses.co.uk or 01254 828300.