DVSA carried out around 4,000 roadside tests on lorries to discover their emissions levels


Roadside tests carried out by the DVSA have discovered that one in 13 lorries in the UK are fitted with emissions cheat devices.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency carried out around 4,000 roadside tests to discover their emissions levels and found that one in 13 had some sort of emission cheat device fitted.

From August to November last year, the DVSA carried out emissions tests on 3,735 lorries in the UK. Of these, 293 were found to be fitted with a device designed to supply a false emissions reading.

DVSA carried out around 4,000 roadside tests on lorries to discover their emissions levels

Roadside tests reveal one in 13 lorries in the UK fitted with emissions cheat devices © Copyright Ian S and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The lorries more likely to have such a device fitted were Northern Irish ones – 20.4% of tested tucks were found to have one such device fitted.

When it came to foreign-registered lorries, 4.9% were found to have been equipped with a cheat device however, 8.5% of trucks registered in the UK were also caught with such a device fitted to their lorry.

All the trucks caught with one of these cheat devices were allowed 10 days to sort out their findings or face being hit with a fine of up to £300.

Some haulage companies use a device called an AdBlue ’emulator’, which tricks their lorry into thinking it’s got an emissions-reducing urea-based liquid jetting out into the exhaust system but in fact, the AdBlue system has been disarmed.

As a result, haulage firm bosses can save money on AdBlue and their operation but all at the expense of air quality.

There’s a number of other tricks used by haulage firms, such as bypassing exhaust gas recirculation valves, removing diesel particulate filters and buying cheap, non-standard AdBlue substitutes.

Following the roadside tests results, the DVSA is now going to carry out further lorry inspections and has informed the Traffic Commissioners for the UK of their findings – they have the authority to invalidate an operator’s licence.

“We are committed to taking dangerous lorries off Britain’s roads. Stopping emissions fraud is a vital part of that,” said Gareth Llewellyn from the DVSA.


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