DfT warns over replacement catalytic convertors

The Department for Transport has reminded the motor industry that it will take enforcement action against anyone breaching rules around catalytic convertors.

In a statement issued on 7 June, the Department explained the importance of a catalytic converter to a car’s emission control system.

The DfT said in a statement: “These devices are fitted to a diesel or petrol vehicle to reduce the level of harmful pollutants exiting the tailpipe as exhaust gases. They achieve this by enabling chemical reactions to occur within the vehicle exhaust that convert harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, into less harmful products such as carbon dioxide and water.”


An original catalytic convertor – the DfT has warned about the need to maintain standards

The statement continued: “Many types of catalytic converter exist and modern vehicles will often possess multiple different devices to remove different components of the exhaust gas. In this way, these devices enable vehicles to meet European emission standards, improving air quality and reducing impacts on health.”

Now, the Department has reminded manufacturers and suppliers of replacement catalytic converters that they have a legal duty to ensure the products they design, manufacture and sell comply with the applicable laws, including approval requirements governing the fitting to certain vehicles.

The approval requirements for replacement catalytic converters are set out in the Motor Vehicles (Replacement of Catalytic Converters and Pollution Control Devices) Regulations 2009.

Non-compliant behaviour

Examples of non-compliant behaviour would include:

  • the sale of non-approved catalytic converters for vehicles that require only approved units
  • the sale of non-approved replacement diesel particulate filters (DPFs) for Euro 5 (and onwards) vehicles (a separate information sheet is provided on this subject)
  • the supply and fitment of approved catalytic converters and DPFs for and to vehicles that are not covered by the scope of the approval and not listed on the relevant approval documentation, eg a catalytic converter is approved to only fit manufacturer A’s vehicles, but is sold for fitment to manufacturer B’s vehicle
  • Emphasising a commitment to environmental protection and vehicle safety, the DfT warned that its Market Surveillance Unit (MSU) will continue to check that vehicles and components available on the UK market comply with the legislative requirements to which they were approved.

And it emphasised: “Manufactures, suppliers and distributors who are found to have breached these requirements should expect to be the subject of enforcement action.”


The Department is also inviting anyone aware of potential non-compliance issues to bring them to its attention. It said: “We welcome any information or concerns from within the relevant industries or from members of the public. If you would like to contact the MSU then please email: The information that you supply will be considered carefully by the MSU who will decide whether further investigation is needed.”


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