Road vehicles: Improving air quality and safety

February 13, 2018 | rabate

This consultation introduces regulations for implementing EU emissions and safety rules, including new fuel consumption testing, and supply of defeat device penalties.

The draft regulations include:


New road vehicles, in other words cars, buses, trucks and their trailers, are required to prove compliance with various government-specified safety and environmental standards before they can be sold for the first time. This is known as type approval.

The recent VW Dieselgate scandal has led to suggestions that stringent penalties should be in place for supplying a vehicle with a device designed to circumvent regulatory testing (a “defeat device”).

Vehicle standards are constantly being developed, to benefit road safety, improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions relevant to climate charge. In recent years, more stringent Euro VI (Heavy duty) and Euro 6 (light duty) emissions standards have entered into force. These are already applicable for newly designed vehicles produced in large volumes.


It is intended to create a new offence of supplying (to include registering or placing on the market) a vehicle using a defeat device, or other similar functionality, to deliberately circumvent type approval regulations, irrespective of which national authority is used to obtain type approval. The aim is to make such an offence applicable to any, and all, elements of the supply chain – the manufacturer, importer or dealer/ distributor. The consumer would not be subject to penalty for purchasing such a vehicle or selling it as a second-hand vehicle.

It is planned to introduce regulations during April 2018.

In terms of the proposal for a general duty to operate motor vehicles without harming the environment, the next steps may include the introduction of new or revised regulations or simply increased enforcement of existing regulation.

The consultation period ends on 2 March 2018.

Department for Transport

February 2018

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