NHVR engine remapping
awareness campaign

Remapped engines release
60x
more pollutants
Speed limiter tampering puts
everyone at risk

It’s estimated up to 1 in 10 heavy vehicles are operating on Australian roads with illegally remapped engines, releasing dangerous levels of toxic diesel emissions and posing a major safety risk by disabling 100km/h speed limiter controls.

 

By clearing the air around the dangers and penalties of remapped engines, we are ensuring a safe, productive and sustainable heavy vehicle industry.

 

Select your profile below to find out more.

Let’s clear the air
over illegal engine
remapping

Remapped engines release
60x more pollutants

To ensure the heavy vehicle industry does its part to minimise impact on the environment, all new trucks sold in Australia since 2010 must meet Euro V Vehicle Emission Standards.

The illegal practice of engine remapping means the vehicle will not comply with these standards, putting truck drivers and the public at risk of harm.

Exposure to toxic diesel emissions in the workplace, our communities, schools and the environment causes major health risks.

The NHVR’s priority is to protect the safety of drivers and the community, helping to ensure a productive and sustainable heavy vehicle industry.

Speed limiter tampering
puts everyone at risk

Up to 10% of all heavy vehicles
have illegally remapped engines

The illegal practice of speed limiter tampering to manufacturer settings means the vehicle will not comply with the Heavy Vehicle National Law. This puts truck drivers and the public at great risk of harm on our roads.

We know that speed is a major contributing factor in road deaths and serious injuries involving heavy vehicles, and total fatalities for other road users outnumber truck drivers four to one.

With most accidents happening on regional and remote roads, and more than 500 hospitalisations each year, we need to do our part to make roads safer by complying with the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The NHVR’s priority is to protect the safety of drivers and the community, helping to ensure a productive and sustainable heavy vehicle industry.

What should I do?

Drivers
Drivers icon

Truck drivers may be able to identify engine remapping and help put a stop to the illegal practice.

 

Understand the health and safety risks you face.

I drive a truck with a remapped engine but I don’t think it’s illegal. What is illegal and what isn’t?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) prohibits tampering with an emission control system or speed limiter fitted to a heavy vehicle. For example, if an emissions control system is remapped to remove the need to use diesel exhaust fluid such as AdBlue®, or it is otherwise no longer compliant with the Australian Design Rules, this indicates illegal activity may have been committed. In South Australia it is also an offence to possess a device that is designed, or is adapted, to enable tampering with a speed limiter.

If a heavy vehicle ECU has been recalibrated between manufacturer’s specifications but is still operating in accordance with the Australian Design Rules, it is likely that no tampering has occurred.

How do I know if the truck I’m driving has had its engine illegally remapped?

One way you may be able to tell if an emission control system (ECU) has been remapped is if no AdBlue®, a liquid used to reduce harmful emissions, is frequently being added to the truck you’re driving.

If the heavy vehicle you are driving is required to have a speed limiter fitted and you can travel above 100km/h, the speed limiter may have been tampered with.

What are the health and safety risks truck drivers face from illegal engine remapping?

A driver’s health can be compromised if they drive a heavy vehicle with a remapped engine as up to 60 times more pollutants are released, compared to compliant engines.

People involved in the heavy vehicle industry who are constantly exposed to high levels of diesel emissions suffer higher rates of diesel-related illnesses, including cancer [1] [2], heart disease [3] [4] and asthma [5] [6].

Increased emissions not only have the potential to harm the health of drivers, but also other members of the community, as these pollutants are released into the atmosphere.

What are my obligations as a driver when it comes to illegal engine remapping?

As a driver, you are required to comply with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), and must not:

  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that contravenes a heavy vehicle standard applying to the vehicle.
  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that is not fitted with an emission control system for each relevant emission if and as required by an applicable heavy vehicle standard.
  • tamper with an emission control system fitted to a heavy vehicle.
  • tamper with a speed limiter that is required under an Australian road law or by order of an Australian court to be, and is, fitted to a heavy vehicle.

If you suspect your vehicle’s engine has been remapped, you should first raise it with your employer or the operator of the vehicle. The NHVR are very unlikely to take enforcement action in the case of voluntary disclosure of isolated non-compliance incidents, especially where the vehicle is returned to compliance as soon as practicable.

If you suspect your employer has participated in engine remapping, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

The HVCRL’s operating hours are 7am-4.30pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. Calls are free from any landline in Australia and some mobile providers.

If the truck I am driving has had its engine remapped without my knowledge, am I liable?

The NHVR are very unlikely to take enforcement action against drivers where the heavy vehicle has been remapped without their knowledge, except to ensure the vehicle is once again compliant as soon as practicable. If you suspect that the engine of the heavy vehicle you are driving has been remapped, you should immediately check with your employer or advise the NHVR.

It is an offence carrying significant penalties for your employer to discriminate against you in your employment for raising possible remapping or tampering with them, a union, or a law enforcement agency (including the NHVR).

I have reason to suspect another trucking company has remapped engines. What should I do?

Contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

My employer forces me or other drivers in our fleet to speed. What should I do?

Operators, executive officers and companies pressuring or forcing drivers to speed is in direct contravention of their safety duties under the HVNL.

If you have received a direction you believe poses an immediate safety risk, please contact the police.

Otherwise, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

My employer forces me or other drivers in our fleet to carry out unsafe activity when driving. What can I do?

Your employer has obligations under the HVNL to ensure the safety of their transport activities and minimise or eliminate public risk. If you believe that your employer is forcing you to carry out unsafe activities, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

If you have received a direction you believe poses an immediate safety risk, please contact the police.

I’m concerned about the health impacts from emissions caused by illegal engine remapping. Where can I get more information?

If you are experiencing health issues you should contact your GP.

Find out more about the health impacts of emissions with the Safe Work Australia – Guidance for managing the risks of diesel exhaust

I’m concerned about the safety risks caused by speed limiter tampering. Where can I get more information?

Find out more about speed limiter tampering:

Learn more about fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles that occur in speed zones of 100km/h or above:

I have other questions about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and policies. Who can I speak to?

Please contact the NHVR call centre on 1300 696 487.

What is the NHVR doing about emissions caused by illegal engine remapping?

The NHVR is raising awareness of this illegal practice, by providing general advice to those involved in transport activities regarding their obligations under the HVNL and where to seek additional information and assistance.

The NHVR and state or territory police services investigate parties suspected of engine remapping, or who discriminate against parties who raise complaints of remapping, and take enforcement action where the necessary evidence is obtained.

Owners
owners icon

Owners and operators who illegally remap engines receive an unfair competitive advantage over compliant owners and operators.

 

Understand your obligations as an owner/operator.

The deliberate or reckless act of non-compliance by illegally remapping engines has significant anti-competitive impacts to operators and the transport services industry. Operating in a compliant way levels the playing field and supports the health and safety of drivers in their workplace, together with other road users and the general community.

I own a truck with a remapped engine but I don’t think it’s illegal. What is illegal and what isn’t?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) prohibits tampering with an emission control system or speed limiter fitted to a heavy vehicle. For example, if an emissions control system is remapped to remove the need to use diesel exhaust fluid such as AdBlue®, or it is otherwise no longer compliant with the Australian Design Rules, this indicates illegal activity may have been committed. In South Australia it is also an offence to possess a device that is designed, or is adapted, to enable tampering with a speed limiter.

If a heavy vehicle ECU has been recalibrated between manufacturer’s specifications but is still operating in accordance with the Australian Design Rules, it is likely that no tampering has occurred.

What are my obligations as an owner operator when it comes to illegal engine?

As an owner or operator, you are required to comply with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), and must not:

  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that contravenes a heavy vehicle standard applying to the vehicle.
  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that is not fitted with an emission control system for each relevant emission if and as required by an applicable heavy vehicle standard.
  • tamper with an emission control system fitted to a heavy vehicle.
  • tamper with a speed limiter that is required under an Australian road law or by order of an Australian court to be, and is, fitted to a heavy vehicle.

You also have a primary duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety your transport activities relating to the vehicle – this extends to engine remapping.

The NHVR and state or territory police services investigate companies suspected of engine remapping. Operators, executive officers and companies can receive penalties for these serious criminal offences including up to $340,000 or up to five years imprisonment for an individual and up to $3.4 million dollars in fines for a company with a category 1 breach.

There could also be commercial implications for deliberate engine manipulation for warranties and policy coverage.

Having a Safety Management System (SMS) in place can be one of the most effective ways of meeting your organisation’s safety obligations under the HVNL.

If you suspect another owner or operator has trucks with illegally remapped engines, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

The HVCRL’s operating hours are 7am-4.30pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. Calls are free from any landline in Australia and some mobile providers.

I own or want to buy a heavy vehicle. How can I check if it has been illegally remapped?

Heavy vehicles must comply with relevant legislation and vehicle standards. If you are uncertain about the condition of a vehicle component, you should ensure that a qualified person has inspected the vehicle.

If the truck I own has had its engine illegally remapped without my knowledge, am I liable?

Yes, you can be held liable for failing to meet your legal obligations under the HVNL.

I’m concerned about the health impacts from emissions caused by illegal engine remapping. Where can I get more information?

If you are experiencing health issues you should contact your GP.

Find out more about the health impacts of emissions with the Safe Work Australia – Guidance for managing the risks of diesel exhaust

I’m concerned about the safety risks caused by speed limiter tampering. Where can I get more information?

Find out more about speed limiter tampering:

Learn more about fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles that occur in speed zones of 100km/h or above:

I have other questions about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and policies. Who can I speak to?

For general queries, please contact the NHVR call centre on 136 487.

To report non-urgent safety and compliance issues, Contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

What is the NHVR doing about emissions caused by illegal engine remapping?

The NHVR is raising awareness of this illegal practice, by providing general advice to those involved in transport activities regarding their obligations under the HVNL and where to seek additional advice and assistance.

The NHVR and state or territory police services investigate parties suspected of engine remapping, or who discriminate against parties who properly raise complaints of remapping and take enforcement action where the necessary evidence is obtained.

Mechanics
mechanics icon

Heavy vehicle mechanics and service agents need to be aware of the legal, health and safety ramifications that providing engine remapping services can have for them, their clients, their workplace and the wider community.

I service a truck with a remapped engine but I don’t think it’s illegal. What is illegal and what isn’t?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) prohibits tampering with an emission control system or speed limiter fitted to a heavy vehicle. For example, if an emissions control system is remapped to remove the need to use diesel exhaust fluid such as AdBlue®, or it is otherwise no longer compliant with the Australian Design Rules, this indicates illegal activity may have been committed. In South Australia it is also an offence to possess a device that is designed, or is adapted, to enable tampering with a speed limiter.

If a heavy vehicle ECU has been recalibrated between manufacturer’s specifications but is still operating in accordance with the Australian Design Rules, it is likely that no tampering has occurred.

What are my obligations as a mechanic or service agent when it comes to illegal engine remapping and tampered speed limiters?

As a mechanic or service agent, you are required to comply with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), and must not:

  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that contravenes a heavy vehicle standard applying to the vehicle.
  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that is not fitted with an emission control system for each relevant emission if and as required by an applicable heavy vehicle standard.
  • tamper with an emission control system fitted to a heavy vehicle.
  • tamper with a speed limiter that is required under an Australian road law or by order of an Australian court to be, and is, fitted to a heavy vehicle.

If you’re providing a service to remap an engine or a heavy vehicle manufactured after 2010 you should ensure you are not committing an offence by:

  • Confirming the intended use of the heavy vehicle. For example, vehicles that are used exclusively on mine sites may not be required to comply with the ADRs and have their own regulatory framework.
  • If the heavy vehicle is to be used on-road, ensuring that the remapping does not unlawfully interfere with the emission control system or speed limiter.

If you suspect another person has assisted in illegal engine remapping, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

The HVCRL’s operating hours are 7am-4.30pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. Calls are free from any landline in Australia and some mobile providers.

I’m concerned about the health impacts from emissions caused by illegal engine remapping. Where can I get more information?

If you are experiencing health issues you should contact your GP.

Find out more about the health impacts of emissions with the Safe Work Australia – Guidance for managing the risks of diesel exhaust

I’m concerned about the safety risks caused by speed limiter tampering. Where can I get more information?

Find out more about speed limiter tampering:

Learn more about fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles that occur in speed zones of 100km/h or above:

I have other questions about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and policies. Who can I speak to?

Please contact the NHVR call centre contact on 136 487.

Manufacturers
manufacturers icon

As a heavy vehicle manufacturer, you have the same legal obligations as any other ordinary duty holder under the HVNL. If you are aware of unlawful engine remapping practices you should contact the NHVR as soon as practicable.

I know of a truck with a remapped engine but I don’t think it’s illegal. What is illegal and what isn’t?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) prohibits tampering with an emission control system or speed limiter fitted to a heavy vehicle. For example, if an emissions control system is remapped to remove the need to use diesel exhaust fluid such as AdBlue®, or it is otherwise no longer compliant with the Australian Design Rules, this indicates illegal activity may have been committed. In South Australia it is also an offence to possess a device that is designed, or is adapted, to enable tampering with a speed limiter.

If a heavy vehicle ECU has been recalibrated between manufacturer’s specifications but is still operating in accordance with the Australian Design Rules, it is likely that no tampering has occurred.

I have other questions about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and policies. Who can I speak to?

Please contact the NHVR contact centre on 136 487.

What is the NHVR doing about emissions caused by illegal engine remapping?

The NHVR is raising awareness of this illegal practice, by providing general advice to those involved in transport activities regarding their obligations under the HVNL and where to seek additional advice and assistance. The NHVR and state or territory police services investigate parties suspected of engine remapping, or who discriminate against parties who properly raise complaints of remapping and take enforcement action where the necessary evidence is obtained.

Supply Chain
supply chain icon

As part of the supply chain, you can report whether any vehicles have remapped engines and help put a stop to the illegal practice.

 

Understand your obligations under the Chain of Responsibility.

I know of a truck with a remapped engine but I don’t think it’s illegal. What is illegal and what isn’t?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) prohibits tampering with an emission control system or speed limiter fitted to a heavy vehicle. For example, if an emissions control system is remapped to remove the need to use diesel exhaust fluid such as AdBlue®, or it is otherwise no longer compliant with the Australian Design Rules, this indicates illegal activity may have been committed. In South Australia it is also an offence to possess a device that is designed, or is adapted, to enable tampering with a speed limiter.

If a heavy vehicle ECU has been recalibrated between manufacturer’s specifications but is still operating in accordance with the Australian Design Rules, it is likely that no tampering has occurred.

What are my obligations when it comes to illegal engine remapping?

If you are a party in the Chain of Responsibility, you have a primary duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of your transport activities relating to a heavy vehicle – this extends to engine remapping. Any parties in the chain may be held legally accountable if they do not meet their obligations.

If you suspect parties within your supply chain have participated in engine remapping, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

The HVCRL’s operating hours are 7am-4.30pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. Calls are free from any landline in Australia and some mobile providers.

I’m concerned about the health impacts from emissions caused by illegal engine remapping. Where can I get more information?

If you are experiencing health issues you should contact your GP.

Find out more about the health impacts of emissions with the Safe Work Australia – Guidance for managing the risks of diesel exhaust

I’m concerned about the safety risks caused by speed limiter tampering. Where can I get more information?

Find out more about speed limiter tampering:

Learn more about fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles that occur in speed zones of 100km/h or above:

I have other questions about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and policies. Who can I speak to?

Please contact the NHVR contact centre on 136 487.

What is the NHVR doing about emissions caused by illegal engine remapping?

The NHVR is raising awareness of this illegal practice, by providing general advice to those involved in transport activities regarding their obligations under the HVNL and where to seek additional advice and assistance.

The NHVR and state or territory police services investigate parties suspected of engine remapping, or who discriminate against parties who properly raise complaints of remapping and take enforcement action where the necessary evidence is obtained.

Public
public icon

Illegally remapped engines are a product of deliberate or reckless tampering of a heavy vehicle’s engine.

 

Remapped engines pose a risk to public safety and endangers all road users.

What is illegal engine remapping? How does it work?

Illegally remapped engines are a product of deliberate or reckless tampering of a heavy vehicle’s emission control system or speed limiter.

Remapped engines allow trucks to exceed the 100km/h speed limit that would otherwise apply, endangering all other road users. Remapping can also result in emissions controls and speed limiting systems not operating in accordance with the Australian Design Rules (the national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions).

Remapped engines pose a risk to public safety through the release of dangerous levels of toxic diesel emissions and the tampering of truck drivers’ 100km/h speed limiter controls can cause further speed related accidents and road deaths involving heavy vehicles.

What is a speed limiter? How does it work?

A speed limiter is defined as a device or system used to limit the maximum road speed of a heavy vehicle to which it is fitted. To tamper with a speed limiter means to alter, damage, remove or otherwise interfere with the speed limiter to the effect of enabling the vehicle to be driven at a higher speed than the speed limiter would lawfully permit.

I know of a truck with a remapped engine but I don’t think it’s illegal. What is illegal and what isn’t?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) prohibits tampering with an emission control system or speed limiter fitted to a heavy vehicle. For example, if an emissions control system is remapped to remove the need to use diesel exhaust fluid such as AdBlue®, or it is otherwise no longer compliant with the Australian Design Rules, this indicates illegal activity may have been committed. In South Australia it is also an offence to possess a device that is designed, or is adapted, to enable tampering with a speed limiter.

If a heavy vehicle ECU has been recalibrated between manufacturer’s specifications but is still operating in accordance with the Australian Design Rules, it is likely that no tampering has occurred.

I can see a lot of smoke or fumes coming out from a truck. What should I do?

Find out more about how you can give information/report trucks with excessive smoke or fumes in your state or territory:

I’ve seen a truck speeding. What should I do?

It’s important you report any vehicle speeding to the police.

If you or others are in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000). You can phone the Police Assistance Line 131 444. If you are in Victoria, contact your local police station.

If it’s safe to do so, record the vehicle’s registration and details, the location and time you witnessed the speeding and details of any witnesses.

I’m concerned about the health impacts from emissions caused by illegal engine remapping. Where can I get more information?

If you are experiencing health issues you should contact your GP.

Find out more about the health impacts of emissions with the Safe Work Australia – Guidance for managing the risks of diesel exhaust

I’m concerned about the safety risks caused by speed limiter tampering. Where can I get more information?

Find out more about speed limiter tampering:

Learn more about fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles that occur in speed zones of 100km/h or above:

What is the NHVR doing about emissions caused by illegal engine remapping?

The NHVR is raising awareness of this illegal practice, by providing general advice to those involved in transport activities regarding their obligations under the HVNL and where to seek additional advice and assistance.

The NHVR and state or territory police services investigate parties suspected of engine remapping, or who discriminate against employees who properly raise complaints of remapping and take enforcement action where the necessary evidence is obtained.

I have other questions about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and policies. Who can I speak to?

Please contact the NHVR call centre contact on 136 487.


AdBlue® is a registered trademark of the Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA)

[1] IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Diesel and Gasoline Engine Exhausts and Some Nitroarenes. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 105.) Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK294269/

[2] Garshick, E., Laden, F., Hart, J. E., Rosner, B., Davis, M. E., Eisen, E. A., & Smith, T. J. (2008). Lung cancer and vehicle exhaust in trucking industry workers. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(10), 1327-1332.

[3] IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Diesel and Gasoline Engine Exhausts and Some Nitroarenes. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 105.) Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK294269/

[4] Garshick, E., Laden, F., Hart, J. E., Rosner, B., Davis, M. E., Eisen, E. A., & Smith, T. J. (2008). Lung cancer and vehicle exhaust in trucking industry workers. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(10), 1327-1332. ic exposure to diesel engine emission: a five-year survey of Swiss customs officers. 111(7):925-9

[5] Review article: Marc Riedl and David Diaz-Sanchez (2005). Biology of diesel exhaust effects on respiratory function.

[6] Ulrich Glück, Rudolf Schütz, Jan-Olaf Gebbers (2003). Cytopathology of the nasal mucosa in chronic exposure to diesel engine emission: a five-year survey of Swiss customs officers. 111(7):925-9