Back in February 2014, VOSA introduced a visual check of the presence of a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as part of the MOT, with an MOT failure resulting if a missing DPF was found on a vehicle, which was built with one fitted as original equipment.
This has been difficult to police, with many services springing up around the UK to remove the internal elements of the filter while leaving the casing to pass the inspection. A government investigation followed urgent calls for reform as the current MOT fails to identify many cases of DPF removal because it only includes a ‘visual inspection’ of the hardware, which can be welded back together.
Changes have this month been made to the Roadworthiness Directive legislation which will come into force in May 2018. This will reduce the smoke limit threshold, which is currently 1.5% to 0.7%, providing additional evidence from the emissions that something may not be quite as it seems.
The Department for Transport (DfT ) says: “Removal of a DPF will almost invariably result in a contravention of the Regulations, making the vehicle illegal to use on the road. The legislation makes the owner or user of the vehicle primarily responsible for its condition. Whether the person who had removed the DPF, or had offered to remove it, had also committed an offence would be a matter for the courts to decide.”
Penalties currently stand at £1,000 for a car and £2,500 for a van.
If you are thinking of setting up as an MOT station or need to check that you are complying with the latest regulations and up to speed with special notices, visit www.gov.uk/topic/mot
Here you will find all you need to know about becoming an MOT tester – including manuals, forms and information on training.