Report: as many as 1 in 10 trucks in Sweden may use AdBlue hack

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Swedish newspaper Aktuell Hållbarhets has claimed that the percentage of lorries in Sweden using Adblue workarounds could be anything between 2% and 10%.

Report: as many as 1 in 10 trucks in Sweden may use AdBlue hack
Photo: Beademung: → https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Beademung, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The newspaper claims it has uncovered evidence of “widespread cheating” whereby AdBlue systems are disconnected to save money –  harming the environment in the process.

“The cumbersome cleaning equipment can cost far more than SEK 100,000 to repair and this may need to be done every few years. By buying a box online for SEK 10,000, it is possible to disconnect the exhaust gas treatment completely,” writes the newspaper, who says it was told the installation process “is as simple as building IKEA furniture”.

It is also a well known fact that the price of AdBlue has increased noticeably in recent times – even more since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to Aktuell Hållbarhets, the Swedish police understands that this practice is being conducted at “less meticulous workshops”. However, the precise scale of the problem is not yet clear.

The paper says its sources estimate that anything between 2% and 10% of the lorries on Sweden’s roads may be using an AdBlue hack. This means that there could be thousands of trucks on Sweden’s roads emitting several times more toxic gases than permitted.

The report also claims the police’s hands are tied when it comes to clamping down on the practice. This is partly because they don’t have the means to check the emissions of a truck during roadside checks and follow up individual cases up when a suspected manipulation is detected.

To see how easy it would be to have such a hack installed on a truck, journalists at Aktuell Hållbarhets pretended to be truck owners and contacted a workshop that offers a “solution” to the AdBlue problem.

The owner of the workshop told the undercover reporters that he could provide a so-called “emulator box” that any basic mechanic could install in minutes.

When asked about the possibility of being caught, the man conceded the “risk was always there”, but added: “Everyone who I have heard has been caught has been caught in Finland; it has been very quiet for several years, so the odds are very small.”

The box does actually have a legal use, as it can be installed on older trucks to bypass an older, less effective exhaust purification system with a new one. However, in the majority of cases, the devices are used to the detriment of the environment.

After the newspaper reporters revealed their true identity, the workshop owner stressed the fact the device he referred to was legal. He later admitted that while using AdBlue hack is “reprehensible”, he also understood why some truck owners turn to the solution given the high cost of keeping AdBlue systems maintained.


Photo: Beademung: → https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Beademung, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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