Advert watchdog, the ASA has banned a web page offering DPF removal services.
The webpage, on the website of Somerset-based Avon Tuning, offered DPF removal services, Under the heading “Will removing the DPF result in an MOT failure?” text stated “… the only MOT regulation regarding the DPF is a simple visual inspection, as long as the DPF still appears to be fitted – the vehicle will pass the MOT visual inspection. Therefore we only remove the internal core, leaving the outer casing in place. The vehicle will appear to have a DPF fitted and will appear unmodified”.
A complaint was lodged to the regulator by Friends of the Earth as the organisation understood it to be illegal to drive on a public road with the DPF removed, challenged whether the advert was illegal by ommiting this information.
In response, Avon Tuning said that the ad made clear through the qualification “*Our DPF Removal service is sold for off-road use only” that the service wasn’t for road-going vehicles. The company did not believe that this could mislead consumers into thinking that it was legal to drive without a DPF on a public road.
However, the ASA did not agree. “We considered that it was material information that the advertised procedure would make a vehicle illegal to use on public roads and therefore the ad needed to make that information immediately clear to consumers” read a statement from the watchdog. “As such, because that information was omitted from the ad and it instead suggested that vehicles which had their DPF removed could be used on public roads, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ASA banned the ad in the original form. After the ruling went live, the tuning company added a longer disclaimer stating that the service would likely render the vehicle illegal on a public road and removed details about the MOT visual inspection. However, all the details of the deletion service offered remain on the page.