Transport companies have been tricked by forged paperwork over supply of non-certified AdBlue® – a fluid used in trucks to help them reduce emissions – and have now been exposed to costly risks, writes Craig Hingston.
CrossChem Australia, the Australian owned and operated manufacturer of VDA certified AdBlue® for truck Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, has revealed that “back yard” manufacturers are falsifying documentation in order to sell non-certified fluid to the transport industry.
When CrossChem Australia was advised by a transport company that they were already a customer, Managing Director Tom Macens knew something was wrong and asked to view their documentation and bulk container labels. They were all fakes.
Further investigation revealed a “rogue” distributor had convinced the company that he was purchasing AdBlue® from CrossChem Australia and reselling it. Not only was this a complete fabrication when the “back yard” diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) was analysed it did not meet the strict international VDA certification standards for AdBlue®. In another example Tom discovered “dodgy” labels:
“The distributor had given this freight company photocopied VDA certification labels with all of the vital information missing. There weren’t any batch numbers, dates of manufacture or quality certificates. These are all stipulations of VDA.”
Again, the fluid was found to be non-compliant with VDA standards.
These scams exposed the companies to the potential of costly repair bills because in the event of part failure they would not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. This fact was confirmed by Joachim Egger, the Fleet Manager at BagTrans which operates more than 100 rigids and prime movers and 160 trailers for metro and interstate haulage.
“When diesel exhaust fluid is not VDA approved it has not complied with strict European rules on how it is manufactured and there is no way of knowing what is in it. Unapproved fluid can lead to issues with the pump jamming or failing completely. If you use non-VDA certified DEF and anything goes wrong with your truck in relation to the fluid the European OEM will not cover their parts under warranty.”
“Every batch of AdBlue® that we receive from CrossChem Australia is numbered and delivered with a certificate so we have very accurate records. A sample is kept from every batch. It means that should the AdBlue® ever need to be traced and analysed it is a simple process. At the end of the day, using VDA approved AdBlue® means I don’t have to worry about it.”
Tom said companies were unaware that only VDA certified SCR fluid can be called ‘AdBlue®’- otherwise it is just ‘DEF’.
“Verband der Automobilindustrie owns the AdBlue® trademark and only fluid certified by them can be called AdBlue®. If someone offers you AdBlue® and their name is not on the VDA list of global manufacturers that person is breaking international trademark laws and is opening themselves up to prosecution.”
“Transport operators should check their documentation and labels. Get your AdBlue® tested and that will show if it is the real thing or not. Here at CrossChem Australia we test every batch, number it, issue a certificate and a 100% guarantee. We are authorised to use the trademarked VDA symbol.”
Tom’s advice is to go to the VDA website (www.vda.de). The list of licensed Australian manufacturers of VDA-certified AdBlue® can be found at – https://www.vda.de/en/topics/innovation-and-technology/ad-blue/AdBlue-brand-list-and-licensees-list.html
“The VDA website has a list of licensed VDA-certified manufacturers in Australia. There are just a few of us. If you are not purchasing your AdBlue® from one of us it is not certified.”
“When you are looking at an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars and wanting to keep your truck on the road it makes good sense to check that your fluid meets the highest European specifications. We know a company which spent $12,000 replacing parts which stopped working because of the DEF being non-certified. Add to that the time their truck was off the road and the cost of getting a subcontractor to take over the run and it’s easy to see that trying to save a few cents a litre can backfire in a big way”, added Tom.
CrossChem Australia (CCA) is a 100% Australian owned and operated manufacturer of VDA certified AdBlue®. It is privately owned and headquartered in Sydney. CCA is a member of a global AdBlue® R&D and manufacturing corporation with operations in Europe, Russia, Scandinavia and Japan. It has an Australia wide distribution network and sells AdBlue® in 10L and 20L cans, 210L drums, 1000L IBC’s, portable onsite tanks ranging from 200 – 900L, and bulk tanks from 1000-50,000L.