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ABS for Motorcycles: FIA disappointed with flawed cost-benefit analysis

Press Release

Brussels, 27 February 2012

The FIA, representing among its membership 8 million motorcyclists, is disappointed that the European Parliament cost-benefit analysis on the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) for motorcycles uses an inflated price for ABS, based solely on manufacturers’ figures, leading to a flawed analysis. The report will be presented to the IMCO committee tomorrow (28 February 2012).

“European legislation concerning safety and the environment should be made on the basis of sound evidence. This report is disappointing as the evidence of all key stakeholders, in particular users and suppliers, has not been included. The report appears rushed with questions over the methodology used,” said Jacob Bangsgaard, Director General of the FIA Region I office in Brussels.

Manufacturers’ figures (500 EUR) versus suppliers’ figures (150 EUR).

The FIA regrets that the key findings of the study are based only on the use of manufacturers’ 2011 figures for the price (500 EUR) paid by consumers for this additional safety technology. However, suppliers say that manufacturers only pay as little as 150 EUR, including fitting, for the ABS technology today, with this price expected to drop even further once the legislation on ABS is passed.

“These figures highlight the significant difference which exists between the cost of ABS to manufacturers and the price consumers pay. By making ABS mandatory, legislators can make sure manufacturers are not making high profits on optional safety technologies.”

The report confirms that a fully equipped ABS fleet can avoid more than 800 fatal accidents today (a 16% increase in lives saved).

Economies of scale ignored

The report completely dismisses future savings as a result of economies of scale once the legislation is passed. This is in total contradiction to the experience of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), which became mandatory in November 2011. Suppliers say the introduction of the ESC technology has led to a 75% reduction of price over the last 15 years. Mr Bangsgaard commented, “If European legislators had made the same mistake when debating the benefits of ESC, the technology would not be mandatory today, and we would not be benefitting from the 4,000 lives saved each year as a result.”

The FIA regrets that, unlike the European Commission’s impact assessment, this analysis fails to provide a “high cost” and a “low cost” scenario, which would have allowed for a more realistic assessment of the potential benefits of the proposed legislation on ABS.

Misreading of IMCO vote leads to significant overestimation of costs

The study misreads the Commission proposal when comparing it with the IMCO vote, saying that the Commission proposed no measures for existing motorcycles. This is not the case - the Commission proposed ABS for all new vehicles from 2017 (new types and new production of existing types).

The report (mandated to study the impact of the amendments proposed by the IMCO committee), says that IMCO proposed “an extension of the requirement to fit ABS to existing types of motorcycles” which is not correct. No extension has been voted by the IMCO committee which moved the new type date forward to 2016 and leaves the date for existing types unchanged at 2017.

The report wrongly concludes that “96% of the cost is due to the extension of the ABS requirement to existing types of vehicles from 2017”. This leads to a significant over-estimation of the report’s cost calculations and calls the report’s figures into question.

Note to Editors:

Dutch MEP, Mr Wim Van de Camp, is Rapporteur for the IMCO report on the Commission proposal on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles (COM (2010) 542.). IMCO MEPs’ supported the mandatory EU-wide introduction of the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) for all new type-approved motorbikes over 50cc from 2016 rather than 2017 in a first reading vote on 5 December 2011.

A feasibility study on costs was commissioned by IMCO to London Economics. The report will be presented to the IMCO committee on Tuesday 28 February 2012.

FIA Region I

FIA Region I represents 104 Touring and Motoring Clubs in the European Union, as well as the Middle East and Africa from its Brussels office, which total more than 36 million members. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.

The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind the work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.

For more information please contact Niall Carty, Communications Manager, FIA Region I: ncarty@fia.com (Tel: +32 2 282 0812 or +32 486 650 216).

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