Traffic Commissioner says operators and TMs should immediately distance themselves from anyone who suggests tampering with a vehicle management system or fitting an emulator

Nick DentonDVSA’s targeting of vehicles fitted with emissions cheat devices has brought several operators and transport managers before traffic commissioners.

Some licence holders purchased vehicles without knowing a device had been fitted. However, they still failed to notice the AdBlue system wasn’t functioning correctly – or that the vehicle needed AdBlue.

Other operators simply admitted deliberately fitting the devices.

In those cases, whether it’s the licence holder or someone else who installs the devices, commissioners often hear similar explanations. Excuses usually relate to vehicle management or performance issues.

Operators experience problems with the AdBlue system and look for a way to fix them. Instead of going to an authorised dealer or taking professional advice (eg. from DVSA or a solicitor), they speak to someone who says that installing an emulation device will bypass the AdBlue system and resolve the performance issues.

This is bad advice. It should never, ever be followed.

But it’s exactly what happened in a recent case before Nick Denton, the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner.

The operator relied on advice from an automotive eletrician and had heard other hauliers were using emulator devices to deal with AdBlue issues.

Mr Denton said the company – and its transport manager – should have taken the necessary professional advice and not relied on someone who wasn’t qualified to tamper with the vehicle.

In the absence of any other compliance issues, he curtailed the firm’s licence from 28 to 5 vehicles for 14 days from 2 June – and then to 22 vehicles indefinitely after.

The transport manager lost his repute and was disqualified indefinitely. He can reapply for the return of his repute if he completes a two day transport manager CPC course.

READ: Modifying your vehicle’s emissions – the legal, safety and health implications