EU removes ‘discriminatory’ aftermarket phrase from roadworthiness legislation

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has claimed victory after an obligation to check non-OEM replacement parts was removed from the latest EU legislation on the roadworthiness testing of vehicles (Directive 2014/45/EU), which entered into force in May 2014. A technical expert committee is currently discussing and drafting the implementing measures that will define the scope of Periodic Technical Inspection (PTI) related technical information, which vehicle manufacturers will have to provide in the future to the PTI (MOT) centres and national authorities.

In draft proposals, an obligation to check aftermarket parts was included: “In case of non-OEM replacement parts or after-sales parts, that largely deviate from the original parts, their impact on the safe use of the vehicle has to be carefully assessed by the inspector. A downgrading of the level of safety of the vehicle shall not be acceptable.”

FIGIEFA – the European federation and political representative in Brussels of the independent wholesalers and retailers of automotive replacement parts and their associated repair chains – and IAAF sent their concerns to the commission directorate general for Transport, arguing that the text was discriminatory to the aftermarket, as it stipulated that any replacement part that is not coming from the OEM had to be subject to verification. The associations suggested that the wording of the text was critical because “it would have set vehicle manufacturers’ individual original parts specifications as the benchmark”.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “This is another victory for the independent aftermarket but demonstrates the continuing threat to “lock out” the trade from servicing and repairing vehicles. The IAAF will continue to lead the UK’s response to such threats and work closely with FIGIEFA to ensure that the rights and choice of both the aftermarket and motorist are protected.”

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