Earlier this month a British TV channel released a reportage about truck drivers who were cheating emissions standards by installing AdBlue emulators and software fixes. RHA suggests that such behavior results from technical problems related to the use of AdBlue and calls for an investigation.
Not only the British are cheating emission standards. Similar behavior has been noted in Spain, Germany and Switzerland. It is unlikely that so many drivers would buy expensive equipment only to spend additional money on cheating devices.
The RHA chief executive Richard Burnett admitted that the problem is caused by technical issues related to the use of AdBlue and called for ‘urgent, collaborative investigation by the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency, the Department for Transport and the Traffic Commissioners to establish exactly which vehicles are being modified, and why.’
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” – says Burnett.
System failures and expensive repairs
The SCR system malfunctions occur very often. If the failure is not rectified within 50 hours, the power and torque will be reduced by 60% (on vehicles manufactured after November 2007 or older with updated software). The drivers report that malfunctions are easier to repair when they happen in the home country, much worse if the failure happens abroad.
The most frequent cause of faults in the system is the temperature – too low or too high. AdBlue freezes at temperatures below -11 degrees Celsius. The frozen refrigerant causes clogging of the injector, which is one of the most common reasons for the failure of the AdBlue dosing system.
Expensive nitrous oxide (NOx) sensor is also a cause of concern for many drivers. Newer versions of the AdBlue System (Euro5) are equipped with an exhaust temperature sensor. Repair costs vary from 625 euro to 1000 euro.
Alternative to AdBlue
The European Commission has called on national governments to use a measuring tool known as remote sensing to detect if cars driving on Europe’s roads were emitting too many pollutants. The British Department for Transport is testing a roadside remote-sensing technology to scan passing vehicles emissions.
It is also important to note that from February 2019, lorries in UK meeting the latest Euro VI emissions standards will be eligible for a 10% reduction in the cost of the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) levy. Those lorries that do not meet the latest emissions standards will pay 20% more tax.