A FIRM has said it has tightened up standards after being the first company in Britain to be prosecuted over filters for diesel cars.
European Exhaust and Catalyst Ltd, based in Denmead, was ordered to pay nearly £14,000 after admitting three charges over poorly labelled diesel particulate filters.
These parts catch and store soot in an attempt to reduce emissions from diesel cars.
The company, an emissions products manufacturer supplying goods across Europe, was prosecuted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and ordered to pay £3,000 in fines and £10,460 in costs at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.
It comes after the DVSA’s market surveillance unit checked vehicles and their parts elsewhere in the country to make sure they comply with safety and environmental regulations.
The investigation uncovered diesel particulate filters that ‘did not have the correct markings for this specification’.
Managing director Paul Clark said the company had admitted a ‘minor labelling infringement’.
Parts supplied for Euro 4 vehicles that have not been approved to the same standard as Euro 5 must have certain warnings on the part itself. But the firm only labelled the packaging.
Mr Clark said this meant when the DVSA carried out test purchases with a third party they found the filters were not correctly labelled.
He said: 'There was never an intention to mislead.'
Mr Clark added: 'We have changed our labelling procedure to ensure that all DPF products have two labels printed for each product ordered. One label is affixed to the DPF itself, the other to the packaging - either boxed or bagged.'
Head of vehicle engineering at the DVSA Neil Barlow said: ‘DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe vehicles and make sure they are compliant with the required emissions standards.
‘Motorists expect that replacement parts available on the aftermarket meet the right specifications for their car.
‘This is the first successful prosecution of its kind.
‘We hope it sends a clear message to other parts manufacturers and distributors that they must sell their products in line with the law or face prosecution.’
The firm, of Parkland Industrial Estate in Forest Road, Denmead, admitted three charges after initially denying the charges. Two other charges were dropped.
All of the charges were under The Motor Vehicles (Replacement of Catalytic converters and Pollution Control Devices) Regulations 2009.
The company must pay a £170 victim surcharge.