Preface: For the tuning of vehicles, in public road traffic, strict rules regarding the road traffic regulations (STVZO) apply, is nothing new. It is important to know which boundaries you should never cross and why. For example, whether removing the catalyst or the DPFparticulate filter Such a limit is briefly examined here. A final conclusion can be found at the end of the article.
The StVZO regulates how which vehicles must be designed, what must be carried and what technical condition the vehicle must be in. So far nothing new. In order for a vehicle type to be approved at all, it must comply with a current emissions standard and the prescribed emission class. That the emissions standard after the "Cleaning unit“For the exhaust gases, ie the catalytic converter / the particle filter / the OPF, can no longer be fulfilled is therefore also clear. But what are the consequences? After all, many tuners are willing to pay a traffic violation if they can change their beloved vehicles the way they want. So is it really that dangerous?
Invisible does not mean that it cannot be determined!
During a "normal" traffic control, a member of the race management will probably neither notice nor determine whether the catalytic converter or particle filter has been removed or at least changed. The problem is, there are also a lot of traffic specialists in the race control who take a closer look. It is then also those who are legally absolutely secure and who are obliged to initiate criminal proceedings once the operating license has expired. No one can reliably predict whether you will be reported in individual cases, whether there will be a conviction and whether you still have a resourceful lawyer at hand with whom you can get the curve again. The individual case always decides here!
But what can be said very clearly:
"Annoying others through unnecessary noise and exhaust emissions“Costs 80 euros according to the new one Bußgeldkatalog. And the penalty comes with a fine. There are another 30 euros in fees on top of that and that brings you to around 110 euros. The offense is also fulfilled if the grandmother next door is upset because for the third time this month the “tuning scene” is holding its meeting next door and calling the police. This is even the rule.
- Driving without an operating license costs 50 euros, the operating license relates to the vehicle with exhaust gas cleaning and therefore also expires.
- The tax is also calculated based on emissions (and weight). As soon as one changes the exhaust gas behavior, worsens in our case, one commits a tax evasion according to § 370 tax code.
- This is no longer an administrative offense of EUR 50 or 100.
- In this case, the inspecting officer is obliged to file a criminal complaint.
- This means that one is "officially known" in the police system and is instructed and questioned as a suspect in criminal proceedings, just like in a crime thriller.
- Evidence is then secured.
Theoretical part - most drastic consequences (important!)
What follows now is a real nightmare for car enthusiasts. The vehicle itself is a means of evidence and an act of crime at the same time. If the controlling officer comes to this conclusion, the car is secured as evidence in accordance with Sections 94,98 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the following. So it is towed and is at least until the report, i.e. a few weeks to months, in the police yard. If you do not agree to the security, it will be confiscated (thus ensured without consent). What is even more drastic is that crime is subject to confiscation. The penal code therefore assumes that the court orders the confiscation. In plain language, a confiscation means: The car is gone and never comes again. Then it is confiscated in accordance with Section 111b of the Criminal Procedure Code to prepare for confiscation. When the time comes, you definitely need one good Attorney. INFO: We recommend against confiscation or confiscation of the vehicle always proceeding with a lawyer and never agreeing to them. According to current case law, a vehicle may only be confiscated in the event of a “massive defect”. A modified exhaust system definitely counts CAN'T down bellow for you.
the individual case decides
The criminal complaint does not remain with the local race management, but is sent, together with expert reports and photographs, to the locally responsible public prosecutor. Whether they stop the procedure and order the vehicle to be handed over to the owner or whether the public prosecutor takes the whole thing to court varies from place to place and the case in question. The traffic offenses (see above) will also be followed in the event of an appointment. A report to the registration office and to the driver's license office may also be made, but in the event of an emergency it is more of a secondary problem for the tuner. When the operating license expires, there is also a violation of the compulsory insurance law. That makes two crimes. Everything comes together in one act to the public prosecutor.
Criminal proceedings are a complex process
In conclusion, even if the public prosecutor once terminates criminal proceedings for auto-tuning or tax evasion, it does not mean that they do so again for the same person. Especially when residents complain, it is often tricky because they are also witnesses and may even have made additional evidence videos. In addition, the publicity of the procedure increases. Nobody can predict exactly how such an individual case ends in the end. Unlike administrative offenses, criminal proceedings are a complex process. From nothing, to loss of the vehicle to a prison sentence of several years, everything can come out of it. However, in case of doubt, due to the urgent suspicion and various fulfilled objective criteria of criminal offenses, a report must be expected.
Remove OPF / catalyst
At the end... Everyone has to decide for themselves whether the consequences outlined here, notice of fines, possible confiscation of the vehicle, criminal proceedings, entry in the police certificate, registration with the driver's license office and the Federal Motor Transport Authority are worth the risk. We advise in any case from it remove the OPF / catalytic converter if the car is to continue driving. On the one hand there is one Sport catalyst often a suitable alternative to the factory cleaning system, on the other hand there are not really justifiable arguments for the expansion. The hated OPF (Otto particle filter) and the WLTC test cycle have become mandatory for all new cars for direct injection since September 1, 2018 with Euronorm 6c. But various exhaust specialists have with retrofit solutions (Retrofit downpipes for engines with OPF) an improvement in the sound image at the start with an ECE seal of approval. So you stay legal!
Of course that had not been the case.
tuningblog.eu has a lot of other articles on the subject of auto & tuning in stock. Do you want to see them all? Just click HERE and look around. But also planned changes in the law, violations in road traffic, current regulations in the field of STVO or on the subject inspection we would like to inform you regularly. Everything you can find in the category "Test sites, laws, offenses, information". Following an excerpt of the last information:
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