On 7 August the government shared some results from its recent type approval consultation. That four-week consultation period came to an end on 26 June 2020 and sought views from across the automotive industry relating to what statutory instrument should supersede European type approval Regulation (EU) 2018/858, which covers new vehicle safety. The result? Low performing car tyres and van tyres will be illegal from 1 May 2021. The government type approval consultation supports 30-month grace period for running down such stocks. And OBD ports will remain open for independent garages to access repair and maintenance information.
Following the news that new European tyre labels come into force on 1 May 2021, the UK government embarked on an “Improving new vehicle safety and environmental compliance plus passenger vehicle digital radio requirement” consultation on 1 June 2020.
From August 2017, roadside checks of lorries carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will include an emissions check. DVSA will be targeting lorry drivers and operators who try to cheat vehicle emissions. The new checks will target those who break the law and will help to improve air quality.
One of the chief criticisms of the European tyre label since its introduction in November 2012 is the absence of effective third-party control; abuse is inevitable in a system that allows tyre manufacturers to evaluate their own products. The Market Surveillance Action on Tyres 2015 (MSTYR15), a project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon2020 programme and coordinated by the Product Safety Forum of Europe (PROSAFE), aims to bring accountability into tyre labelling.
Following the news that the government is consulting the market on the full implementation and enforcement of tyre labelling legislation in the UK, the NTDA has shared its views on both the process and its response to the consultation.
According to the NTDA, the government consultation proposal can be summarised like this: “The department has appointed a tyre enforcement authority (the National Measurement Office) which will be responsible for organising a risk-based market surveillance approach and for the application of appropriate enforcement measures that impose the minimum burdens necessary to meet our EU obligations.
The UK government has initiated a market consultation on the subject of tyre labelling. The consultation opened on the 10th April and runs until 11:45pm on the 23rd May. The news comes almost 18 months after tyre labelling came into effect in Europe and almost two years since the market formally started communicated labelling details between the various parts of the business. In response industry bodies such as the NTDA have been quick to urge members and other tyre industry professionals to participate in the open consultation regarding the UK enforcement of the tyre labelling regulations.
The National Measurement Office (NMO) has been named as the enforcement body of the European tyre labelling legislation that was implemented across the continent in November 2012. The NMO’s remit covers the effective implementation of tyre labelling in the UK and includes scope for retail checks as well as monitoring the authenticity and accuracy of the labels themselves. News of the appointment bridges the gap between the legislation put in place and the industry take steps to adapt to it. Now however, there is reason for renewed positivity. Not only because there are people to take responsibility for the deployment of the law, but because we will hopefully now be able to begin gauging the real effects of the legislation on how tyres are bought and sold.
By the time you read this it will be nearly six months since tyre labelling became mandatory in the UK and across Europe. However, while the rules associated with this regulation have been anticipated for years, and indeed a rolling introduction began in May 2012, nearly a year after we all began talking about who got what label there is still something of a gap when it comes to enforcement. We have talked through the various options available to the British government in the pages of Tyres & Accessories before (see our 2012 Tyre Labelling special supplement for more on this) so there’s no-need to retrace those steps here. However the central point that rules are only as strong as their enforcement still stands. And the need is getting more urgent. As long as we don’t have an enforcement body in place there is a disincentive for dealers and other parts of the tyre trade to invest what’s necessary in systems and training to ensure labels are being talked about during the sales process. In its place all we have is de facto Andrex-soft enforcement.
Over 70 per cent of motorists are still completely unaware of the impending tyre labelling legislation and the fuel efficiency benefits associated with it. The figure comes from a survey of 3,000 UK motorists conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by tyre Chemical supplier Lanxess. It also shows that almost all UK motorists (99%) vastly underestimate the impact tyres have on their fuel bills, and that over half still prioritise upfront cost when buying their tyres. Less than 20% take fuel consumption and long term costs into consideration.
When it comes to legislation affecting the tyre industry it is a tug of war between “rules are rules” and “rules are made to be broken.” As readers of our Tyrepress.com e-Newsletter will already know, the events of recent weeks have provided us with some bizarre examples of this kind of contrary logic in action. When Carl Steele from Lincolnshire was found guilty of causing in excess of a quarter of million pounds worth of environmental damage during a two year tyre dumping stint, you could be forgiven for thinking the justice system would force him to pay his debt to society.