7th May 2021

Emissions issue is one aftermarket cannot ignore, warns BM Catalysts

Enforcement of type approval regulations affects entire supply chain

The automotive aftermarket must clean up its act on dealing with harmful emissions or risk creating its own scandal, says BM Catalysts, the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of high-quality aftermarket catalytic converters, DPFs and front pipes.

Managing director, Toby Massey, believes the spotlight is on the entire supply chain: “The message is loud and clear from the authorities that parts distributors and garages have an important role to play in ensuring the products they supply and fit are legal. Ignorance is not an excuse and the market needs to be properly educated on areas such as type approval in order for it to remain compliant.”

Catalytic converters are required to pass strict emissions testing procedures as part of the type approval process before they can be sold. These tests ensure that the relevant emission standard is met, thereby reducing the vehicle’s impact on air quality and health.

During the type approval process a replacement catalytic converter is tested on a representative vehicle that the type of catalytic converter is intended to be installed on. The tailpipe emissions are measured and are compared to that of an original catalytic converter. The replacement must also meet any relevant durability, noise and vehicle performance requirements in order to gain approval.

The message from BM Catalysts comes against a backdrop of the rising price of the Platinum Group Metal, Rhodium, and also an acceleration in the government’s green agenda, designed to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

Rhodium is a key component in petrol catalytic converters for reducing harmful vehicle emissions, particularly Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), which are produced in any combustion process.

Massey added: “Without doubt it’s a complicated issue. Poor quality catalytic converters can still pass an MOT and mistakes can happen through the entire supply chain. Legislatively, it’s very complex and this brings about exploitation of the rules and unfair competitive advantages.

“But the issue won’t go away and it’s essential we raise standards to ensure the aftermarket is playing its part in reducing harmful emissions and air pollution.”

BM Catalysts is working with distributors and workshops to ensure the automotive aftermarket supply chain is better informed over type approval legislation and the important role they can play in its enforcement, for the benefit of the entire sector.

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