Economy & Politics

EU tightens the screw on car checks

A new European regulation on vehicles in circulation or ready to be placed on the market entered into force on September 1st. Objective: to prevent emissions fraud and enhance vehicle safety.

A new European regulation on vehicles in circulation or ready to be placed on the market entered into force on September 1st. Objective: to prevent emissions fraud and enhance vehicle safety.

(DH) – Five years after Dieselgate and its procession of frauds, a new standard comes into force on Tuesday across the EU. Called “Euro 6-2”, the regulations imposed by the European Commission set new emission thresholds for polluting gases, fine particles and unburnt hydrocarbons. Objective stated: to see “the cleanest and safest cars” on European roads.


ARCHIV - 11.05.2016, Niedersachsen, Wolfsburg: Ein Auspuff eines Volkswagens auf einem Mitarbeiterparkplatz, aufgenommen mit dem Verwaltungshochhaus of the VW-Werks im Hintergrund. (Zu dpa"" Dieselgate"stellt alles in Frage - und wird Wendepunkt für Branche") Foto: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Justice can be brought in every EU member state where a car buyer would have to complain about “unlawful manipulation” by a manufacturer. Thus ruled Thursday the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).


To achieve this, the European executive has equipped itself with the means of control and sanction. Not only by introducing new rules for the conformity of vehicles with the possibility of carrying out recalls in the 27 countries of the Union, but also by drawing up fines of up to 30,000 euros per non-compliant vehicle.

In addition, each country will also be required to carry out a minimum number of checks per year on vehicles. This minimum number is one for every 40,000 new vehicles motor vehicles registered in the country during the previous year. As for Luxembourg, which had a record year in 2019 with 55,000 new registrations, the country will have “a minimum of five tests to carry out”, according to the Commission. On the other hand, at least 20% of the checks carried out must relate to emissions-related tests, with the verification of emissions taking place in real driving conditions.

Faced with this new device intended to protect consumers, manufacturers have fallen behind in homologation tests due to the covid-19 pandemic. This is why they asked for a six-month reprieve in order to “purify” their stocks of vehicles that do not comply with the new regulations on polluting emissions. And these vehicles are numerous.

According to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACAE), 600,000 passenger cars already produced would not meet the new standard in force. What also give cold sweats to dealers already heavily impacted by the health crisis.

“However, they have a solution: an end of series request addressed to the National Certification and Homologation Society ”, indicates Guido Savi, spokesperson for the Belgian-Luxembourg Automobile Federation (Febiac). In this case, “these are 10% of sales volume per model during the last twelve months which are taken into account, ”he explains.

A breath of fresh air in a way for a sector which must expect “to a decrease of 20 to 25% market compared to 2019 ”, according to the Febiac specialist who also specifies that, since March,“ these are 2.6 million vehicles fewer products in Europe ”.

As a reminder, from January 1, the introduction of WLTP standard will be effective with the consequence of an increase in excise duties for future owners of new cars. According to the Automobile club (ACL) and the Union des consommateurs (ULC), the additional cost would be between 450 and 750 euros per year. Note that the WLTP standard has already been applied for the benefit in kind tax on company cars since January 1.


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