The importance of providing type approved emission control parts to the aftermarket has been highlighted by legal action taken by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
The result of a prosecution, led by the DVSA’s Market Surveillance Unit, at the end of October, have just been made public.
The crime was supplying diesel particulate filters (DPFs) that wrongly claimed to be Euro V standard, when they were only approved for Euro IV. It is the first successful prosecution for supplying products which fail to meet required environmental standards.
Neil Koston, aftermarket manager for Eminox, said: “This case highlights why it is crucial that the aftermarket only selects and fits type approved parts when it comes to emissions control – anything else really is a false economy.
“The DVSA is sending a clear message – obey environmental regulations or face prosecution.
“Distributors and fitters should be aware of the law and make sure all emissions control parts are type approved and correctly marked if they want to avoid prosecution and consequent financial and reputational damage.”
The case against European Exhaust and Catalyst, which took place at Portsmouth Magistrates Court and concluded on October 28, resulted in a criminal conviction for the company and a £3,000 fine.
The court also ordered the company to pay costs totalling £10,460 and a statutory surcharge of £170.
DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering Neil Barlow said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe vehicles and make sure they are compliant with the required emissions standards.
“Motorists expect that replacement parts available on the aftermarket meet the right specifications for their car.
“This is the first successful prosecution of its kind. We hope it sends a clear message to other parts manufacturers and distributors that they must sell their products in line with the law or face prosecution.”
The judge at the hearing commented that this was a very difficult case for sentencing as it was the first ever prosecution of its kind, but he wanted to bring home the seriousness of offences of this nature in light of emissions and the environment.
The DVSA’s Market Surveillance Unit (MSU) was established to make sure that automotive products made available in the UK, meet approval specifications. This covers everything from new vehicles and aftermarket components.
The MSU conducts its work through testing products that are made available for sale and, where necessary, conducting full criminal investigations.