O’Donovan (Waste Disposal) has received a formal warning after an AdBlue cheat device was discovered on one of its HGVs after it was stopped at the roadside.
The operator appeared at a public inquiry (PI) last month after one of the waste disposal firm’s vehicles was stopped for a roadside check. At this point an emulation device was discovered and an S-marked prohibition issued.
At the PI the TC for London and the South East, Sarah Bell, was persuaded not to take action on the licence. However, she did issue a formal warning to the company after accepting an undertaking that the operator would nominate two additional transport managers.
Speaking to CM, O’Donovan’s MD Jacqueline O’Donovan, said that the finding of the emulator came as “a massive shock” to her.
She added: “After several weeks of rooting and digging into our archives we realised that back in 2013, when we had a mechanic who wasn’t performing well, he had basically got a man with a gadget and fitted the emulator.
“We think he did it because there was another problem with the AdBlue system that he wasn’t able to sort out and went to the emulator so cover up the fact that he couldn’t fix the original problem.”
The mechanic involved was dismissed from O’Donovan’s some years ago on a different matter and the firm does not now know where he is, she added.
Jacqueline O’Donovan said the truck had been through “three or four MOTs” since 2013 had none of them had highlighted the AdBlue system wasn’t working.
She added: “The TC could see and accept that we had had a real difficulty here but she did ask that we formally added two more transport managers to our licence. I actually have six others with a CPC in the company but two have already been formally added to the licence, as the TC asked.”
The O’Donovan fleet currently consists of more than 90 vehicles, operating in the London area.
Earlier this month, the RHA called for a government-led investigation into why some hauliers are breaking the law by installing AdBlue emulators and software fixes after a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary ‘Britain’s Diesel Scandal’, highlightinged the issue.
While the RHA “unreservedly” condemned hauliers that cheat on emissions standards, it said the root of the problem lies elsewhere.
Chief executive Richard Burnett said: “There is increasing evidence from our members that technical problems have arisen concerning the emissions equipment on some HGVs. This has led to frustration for some haulage firms that have resorted to inappropriate solutions, which are wrong.”
Nearly 400 trucks were found with AdBlue cheating devices between last August and this February, the DVSA said this month.
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