RHA suggests vehicle flaws could be tempting hauliers to cheat AdBlue rules

Carol Millett
April 12, 2018


The RHA is calling for an urgent government-led investigation into why some hauliers are breaking the law by installing AdBlue emulators and software fixes.

The call follows Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary ‘Britain’s Diesel Scandal’, aired earlier this week, which highlighted the use of cheat devices by hundreds of hauliers to avoid using AdBlue, which turns harmful NOX emissions into nitrogen and water. 

The DVSA and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner have been making an example of operators caught using AdBlue emulating devices.

Of 10,237 trucks stopped between August 2017 and February 2018, 293 were cheating emissions standards.  

This week, the RHA “unreservedly” condemned hauliers that cheat on emissions standards, but 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.

“We are calling for an urgent, collaborative investigation by the DVSA, the DfT and traffic commissioners to establish exactly which vehicles are being modified, and why.”

RHA policy director Rod McKenzie told CM that members are reporting widespread technical problems relating to the use of AdBlue, particularly in Euro-5 trucks, but also in some Euro-6 lorries, which result in trucks slowing down. Repairs can cost hauliers between £700 and £1,000.

The DfT said it is planning to commission a research project to review in-service emissions testing and equipment and is looking at new roadside remote-sensing technology to scan passing vehicles’ emissions.

About the Author


Carol Millett

Carol Millett is an award-winning freelance journalist with over 30 years’ of experience writing across a broad range of sectors, including road transport, construction and civil engineering, project management, private finance, technology, HR, and travel and tourism. She is currently a regular contributor to a variety of DVV Media titles including Motor Transport Magazine, Commercial Motor and Transport News.

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