Cats & Pipes hits back at DVSA over DPF fine

Published:  26 March, 2021

Cats & Pipes has hit back at DVSA, following the conclusion of a case that saw the North Wales-based company slapped with a £6,000 fine, plus £4,000 costs and a statutory surcharge of £170 over a single DPF which failed to meet labelling standards.

Commenting on the outcome of the case, DVSA’s MSU Senior Investigator, Emma-Jane Morris said: “Manufacturers and distributors must ensure their products meet the necessary standards and are correctly marked and approved for the vehicles or engine types they are intended for. Companies flouting the standards will face prosecution. This prosecution also acts as an important lesson for garages and others that fit parts to ask questions of distributors to make sure parts are legal.”

The case was held at at Mold Magistrates court and concluded on 16 March. Following the release of a statement by DVSA on Tuesday (23 March), Cats and Pipes issued its own response yesterday (Thursday 25 March) which asserted that it had not been prosecuted by the DVSA for supplying DPFs which failed to meet legal required environmental requirements. While the company admitted the unit in question failed to meet labelling standards, missing an engraved part number, it asserted that the unit itself was compliant.

The DVSA originally entered four similar charges, dropping three of those charges prior to the Judge’s deliberation. In its statement, the company pointed out that on the remaining charge, following submissions in mitigation on behalf of the company, the District Judge stated that the offence related to a one-off incident which was the result of a temporary agency worker not following the instructions and training he had been given, and that there had been no systemic failures on the part of the company. The District Judge went on to point out that the offence was technical in nature and related only to a failure to indelibly mark the part as required by the regulations, and that the part was Type Approved and would therefore function correctly in reducing exhaust emissions.

Cats & Pipes Managing Director David Carpenter said: “As a company we have and always will take compliance and quality assurance extremely seriously. Our test facility is one of the best in Europe and we also operate a comprehensive quality assurance system which meets ISO 9001:2015.

“We were therefore disappointed when it came to light over two years ago that one of our products had left the production facility contrary to our quality procedures, without an indelibly marked part number. As the unit met all other environmental standards we expected an external audit by the DVSA of the Quality Assurance to ensure compliance and no further action. However, the DVSA considered it preferable to proceed with a court case bringing four charges, three of which were dropped on the day of the trial and prior to the Judge’s deliberations.

“The DVSA were also supplied with evidence of the fact that the company had already identified this issue and that steps had been put in place to ensure this oversight in process would not be repeated. The closing comments from the Judge puts this into perspective and as a company we feel disillusioned and wholly disappointed in the way this has been handled by personnel within the DVSA.”

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