An emissions compliance case has been heard at Mold Crown Court.
In a case brought by DVSA’s Market Surveillance Unit (MSU), North Wales-based Cats and Pipes was found to have mis-labeled a part, as an engraving number was missing although the unit itself was compliant.
DVSA also brought three similar charges, but dropped them before the Judge’s deliberation.
The company was fined £6000 for the missing label, plus it was ordered to pay costs totalling £4,000 and a statutory surcharge of £170.
Despite the outcome, DVSA presented the trial as a triumph for MSU, originally proclaiming in a press statement that the emissions parts manufacturer had been prosecuted for supplying products ‘which failed to meet the required environmental laws’, even though the case centred on a simple labelling issue. DVSA has this morning issued a retraction, and reissued the statement with the amended line: ‘prosecuted for supplying a replacement Diesel Particulate Filter which failed to comply with the requirements of the Regulations governing the supply of such parts’. However, at least three aftermarket websites had been carrying the incorrect version for several days beforehand.
Cats & Pipes Managing Director, David Carpenter accepted the ruling, but was critical of the way in which DVSA handled the case. He 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.’
In response, DVSA explained that it has now issued a correction. “With this correction, our release still stands,” a spokesman told us.