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Digi-card problem is solved, says DVLA

  • 27 November 2012
  • By Chris Druce

The DVLA has claimed the problem that saw digital tachograph cards start to fail en masse in March this year has been solved.

The agency, which was criticised initially for its handling of the situation, has told CM that the problem, which affected up to 175,000 driver cards and 15,000 company cards, will not reoccur.

Drivers and operators reported in March that their digi-cards were failing and displaying various error messages, including “error code 48″; “card error”; “card not valid” and “card expired”.

The DVLA confirms that this was due to a microchip error on cards issued between March 2007 and August 2008, which meant they would malfunction under certain circumstances.

A DVLA spokesman said: “The issue is resolved and will not reoccur. We are not aware of any other issues.”

Karen Crispe, MD of supplier Tachodisc, said she was surprised at how quickly the DVLA mobilised once the scale of the problem was recognised, and added that lessons have been learned.

Ray Engley, head of technical services at the Road Haulage Association, agreed. “We were actively involved with DVLA right from the start of this incident, and  I believe it handled the issues in a meaningful manner once it was aware a problem existed. No doubt it will have learned much from the this unfortunate episode,” he said.

Since the problem came to light, DVLA has switched its digi-card manufacturer from Security Printing and Systems to Gemalto. However, the tender process began in 2010, with a new contract signed this April, and the agency said the incident had no bearing on it.


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