FIA Region I expresses concern on the Roadworthiness package’s treatment of periodic testing
Published on: 25 September 2013
The FIA and its Clubs unconditionally support ambitious European road safety objectives defined in the Roadworthiness package (summary & legislation). We welcome the legislation’s promised improvements regarding the setting up of minimum requirements for the contents and testing methods to evaluate a vehicle’s roadworthiness.
However, the FIA would like to highlight that we have the following concerns with the legislation before it proceeds further:
- The introduction of periodic technical inspections for L (motorcycles / mopeds) and O2 (light trailers) categories is not supported by up-to-date evidence.
The FIA considers that the implementation and execution of this measure will not result in an equally beneficial impact on road safety. No studies have proven, so far, the need to test either motorcycles or light trailers. The setting up of independent investigations to obtain reliable data on trends is, therefore, required before taking any final decision.
- Considering tailpipe testing as “the default method of exhaust emission assessment” goes against technological improvements and environmental protection.
The FIA supports on board display (OBD) technology which is operational and better detects malfunctions that lead to gaseous emissions. Producers of testing equipment have used incorrect assumptions to favour the use of the tailpipe testing equipment that they sell. The OBD system, accredited by technical services and certified by the European type approval authorities, must be the default method used to assess the emissions from Euro 4 vehicles onwards as it enables the detection of low emission thresholds. OBD also makes inspections cheaper as the required equipment to purchase and maintained any tailpipe equipment is significantly higher than an inspection using an OBD scan tool.
- The implementation of a nitric oxide (NOx) measurement in the periodical technical inspection is not effective.
NOx emissions mainly occur at high engine loads. A European-wide application of complex testing for NOx would be necessary. Their use is not justified due to the fact that the OBD system already incorporates a review of the emission systems throughout the operation of the vehicle.
Keeping consumer needs in mind, the FIA greatly hopes that the EU Parliament considers carefully the above outlined reservations with periodic roadworthiness testing when discussing this, otherwise very strong, legislative proposal.