Garages illegally removing diesel particulate filters (DPFs) are not saving as much money as they may think, says motor parts reconditioning specialist DPF Clean Team.
A BBC investigation into DPF servicing found one in ten UK garages are illegally removing DPFs to save customers money, because the cost of replacing a DPF is far higher.
Recent legislation introduced in February means that diesel vehicles fitted from new with a DPF will immediately fail an MOT test, if the unit has been tampered with in any way.
However, the responsibility is on the consumer rather than the garage for ensuring the DPF remains fitted and in working order.
As the motor trade and the public start to further scrutinise garage practices with DPFs, DPF Clean Team is calling on garages to consider a more cost effective and, more importantly, legal option for dealing with blocked DPFs.
Director of DPF Clean Team Cameron Bryce said: “Prior to a change in legislation, cars were MOT tested on emissions levels and not whether their DPF was attached. Garages have a responsibility to inform their customers of this change and those removing the filter in the hope of bypassing the system are not providing great customer service.
“What workshops, and potentially customers, are missing is the fact that it is far more expensive to remove and remap the DPF than cleaning the filter. It is important both sides understand the consequences and share this responsibility. Cleaning the filter really is a cost effective solution and can be done for just a few hundred pounds, rather than the thousands of pounds a new DPF is likely to cost, protecting customers against both expenses and the risk of prosecution.
“There's only so long garages can continue to get away with illegally removing DPFs and we are urging them to consider an alternative option that is more in line with their duty of care for their own customers. You may think you are saving money by removing DPFs but the cost to your customers of being found without a DPF are far higher.”