DVSA starts nationwide crackdown on AdBlue cheats

This week, from 1 September, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has started a crackdown on drivers and operators using AdBlue emulators to cheat emissions. 

The regime will see officers carrying out inspections on trucks at sites across the UK looking for Adblue emulator devices that falsely indicate that the vehicle is using additives to reduce harmful emissions.

AdBlue, a fluid that is injected into diesel exhaust gases, turns to ammonia and carbon dioxide at high temperatures, which helps to convert NOx into nitrogen and water. Regular vehicle use can require the fluid to be topped up regularly. AdBlue cheat emulators are devices that can make it appear that they are continuing to use the additive to reduce emissions, avoiding the cost of topping up.

Such devices can allow a truck to spew out up to 20 times more emissions than it should.

In June this year, Driver Hire news story AdBlue cheats on the increase, shared the findings of over 10,000 roadside checks carried out by the DVSA between August 2017 and February 2018. Out of the 10,237 trucks that were stopped, 293 were found to have been fitted with AdBlue emulators. Over the course of an entire year, that figure has risen to nearly 500.

Penalties for drivers are a prohibition for the vehicle, and a requirement that it is fixed within 10-days or risk a £300 fine. For ‘O’ licence holders, it can be career defining. A transport operator in the north west  who knowingly fitted illegal emulators to his vehicles, had his firm’s ‘O’ licence revoked along with a prohibition on having it renewed for five years.