Rapid Response Deliveries loses O-licence over emissions cheat device

Commercial Motor
January 25, 2018


A Stoke-on-Trent haulier has had its O-licence revoked after one of its vehicles was found with a device designed to cheat emissions tests.

TC Nick Denton revoked the licence of Rapid Response Deliveries in a written decision (16 January) after a public inquiry a few days previously at which the company said that it had no knowledge of the device.

The company believed it must have already been fitted when the vehicle was bought in 2014.

The sole director of Rapid Response is Alfonso Dipiazza and the licence was granted in 2003. The firm held a standard national licence for eight vehicles and two trailers to operate from its centre at Elsbys Yard, Stoke.

The TC said that although there was not enough evidence to conclude that the company had itself fitted the device to the vehicle it had neverthless been operated for three years without anyone realising that the vehicle required AdBlue – the chemical which reduces NOx emissions from diesel engines. AdBlue’s use is crucial to enable many vehicles to meet Euro 4 or better emissions standards.

The emulator device found on the vehicle stopped by the DVSA last August had the effect of turning off the use of AdBlue and disabling the warning light which would have told the driver that the system was not operating.

As a result the maximum emission levels for the vehicle were  being exceeded.

Denton said in his written decision: “The need for AdBlue should have been self-evident to anyone who understood the business of operating HGVs and who had kept up even a marginal acquaintance with the trade press over the last few years.”

During the inquiry the TC also heard that the company’s drivers had committed numerous and repeated drivers’ hours offences, while the firm’s nominated transport manager, Michael Mansfield, had failed to perform many of the duties he was required to do.

Ten days before the public inquiry he told the TC he was resigning his post from the end of January.

Mansfield also did not have a contract of employment with Rapid Response, as required, and had only received payment of a token and sporadic kind. The TC concluded that he had not therefore had the “genuine link” with the operator that the law requires.

In addition to revoking the operator’s licence, Mansfield was disqualified from acting as a transport manager indefinitely.

About the Author


Commercial Motor

Commercialmotor.com is the online presence for Commercial Motor magazine, the world’s oldest magazine dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.

It is your online source for the best new and used trucks and trailers in the UK - plus the latest news, and the best buying advice you'll find in the industry.

All of the dealers listed have been are visited by our field sales team in person at their premises and our editorial team are constantly out and about speaking to dealers, operators and suppliers - this helps build really great market knowledge that assists you.

Articles published by the author Commercial Motor may be collaborative efforts by our journalists or contain significant elements obtained from press releases or company statements. They have, however, still been written and checked by our expert editorial team.

Share this article

Vehicle Type