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The end of moddified cars??

Armageddon | www.the-ace.org.uk
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I can see why there may need to be a more in depth road worthiness test but this is silly.

So what happens if you cant get the original part any more and replace it with something different...the car will be illegal?
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I can see why there may need to be a more in depth road worthiness test but this is silly.

So what happens if you cant get the original part any more and replace it with something different...the car will be illegal?
According to the link the part must be of OE standard I think.

If the link is correct then It's pretty much doomed many UK cars & many many UK businesses
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This is undoubtedly a worrying development but I think the extent of what the draft EU Regs will do is not being correctly reported. I read the regs this afternoon and, as someone who has to read and advise on these things all the time in my day job, this is what I interpret them as saying:

Article 4(1): "Motor vehicles and their trailers shall periodically be tested in accordance with this Regulation in the Member State where they are registered."
TRANSLATION: EU Countries have to have in place a requirement for MOTs on cars. So no change there for the UK, although some other EU countries may have to up their game.
Other regs set out the frequency of testing required, the qualifications of testers and the vehicles to which the requirements apply but I can't see any huge differences here from the current annual MOT rules.

Article 3(9) defines the test that must be done as follows:
"‘roadworthiness test’ means a verification that the parts and components of a vehicle comply with its safety and environmental characteristics in force at the time of approval, first registration or entry into service, as well as at the time of retrofitting;"
TRANSLATION: there seems to be some debate about this (as usual not all well informed) but I read this as saying you won't pass your MOT if your car's original safety has been comprised or if it is now less environmentally friendly than it was when it rolled off the production line. What this would mean is that if you paint it a different colour you are unlikely to have changed the car's safety and environmental characteristics so no problem. If you've removed the airbags you will have a problem. The greyer area will be that of upgrades. If you've upgraded your brakes, I think that could be said to have potentially had an affect on a safety feature of the car. Has it made it worse than OEM though? Probably not, unless you're a total muppet. As long as the new brakes are no less safe than the original ones the vehicle will still comply with the vehicles original safety characteristics.
Environmental characteristics may be more difficult. If you've removed the cats and the vehicle's emissions are now higher than they should be you'd likely fall foul of this regulation, but to be honest I thought we were probably already there since April with the new MOT requirements.
I don't, however, subscribe to the hysteria that this regulation says that all mods are now illegal. At worst they are going to be scrutinised more carefully for safety and environmental friendliness come MOT time.

What is not clear at all though, and does worry me slightly, is how this will actually be tested in practice. It will be up to each country to lay down their own rules but who knows what the UK Government might do. We have a habit of gold-plating these things while other countries take a, how should I put it, more relaxed approach. If there's an onus on the car owner to demonstrate conformity of mods then that could mean extra testing (possibly an additional cost to the MOT). An alternative might be that the parts used (eg your new discs and callipers in the above example) must meet some safety tests. I think the latter is the German approach with the TuV approval. Would the owner have to provide the paperwork though? Could be a problem.

The final thing that caught my eye in the regs is Article 5(4):
"Notwithstanding the date of its last roadworthiness test, the competent authority may require that a vehicle be subject to a roadworthiness test or additional testing before the date referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, in the following cases:
– after an accident with serious damage to the main safety related components of the vehicle such as wheels, suspension, deformation zones, steering or brakes,
– when the safety and environmental systems and components of the vehicle have been altered or modified,
– in case of a change of the holder of the registration certificate of a vehicle."
TRANSLATION: They don't have to, but a country can if it wants, require a test of a vehicle before the MOT is due if it's been 1) crashed and repaired, 2) modified in a way that would affect safety and/or environmental characteristics, or 3) bought/sold.
The first doesn't seem such a bad idea but let's hope the UK doesn't decide that 2 and 3 look good too.

That's my two penneth. Not a welcome development but hopefully not as disastrous as some are making it out to be. Welcome other views though!

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What Tony says is spot on IMO. I've been arguing this all day on Pistonheads.

I think our MOT, as recently revised anyhow, already provides all of this.
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Great input Tony.

So maybe not as bad as the link assumes then
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Ive often said that in 20 years time everyone will be obliged to go to bed in fluorescent pyjamas in case of a house fire so the fire brigade are not put at uneccessary risk. The Govenment is short of cash and anything that will clobber the motorist for a "legitimate" reason may be considered.Get a nice late 2006 gt v6 and you have to pay £445 a year in car tax even if you travel only 1000 miles a year in it.
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Nice one Tony.

Can't wait to see the hysteria erupt when the Daily Mail gets hold of this, lol! I'd expect the government & cops to be all over it like a tramp on chips too.

Personally not bothered as my car is standard (apart from the stereo - do you think our overlords in Brussels will let me keep my Sony headunit?), and I use OE spec stuff anyway, usually Alfa. Be nice to see the chavvy boy-racers cars failing their MOTs, though I expect it wouldn't stop some of them driving illegally. Just feel sorry for the sensible, switched-on guys who know what they're doing and carry out mods properly with due regard for safety, etc.
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Cheers guys. I had a look at the peaheads article but couldn't manage the forum posts!
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Originally Posted by Tony Peanuts View Post
Cheers guys. I had a look at the peaheads article but couldn't manage the forum posts!
Stuart mate, read this and understand......you have nothing to worry about no matter what it takes

Ned
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Don't panic. Most of this proposal is covered by the new section of the MOT entitled "Inappropriate Modification" which is about as vague and open to interpretation as you can get. Just think about it: how would they ever enforce it? Would all pattern parts now have to be type approved? If it was retroactive, millions of cars would be "illegal" - just not going to happen.
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Originally Posted by Autolusso View Post
Stuart mate, read this and understand......you have nothing to worry about no matter what it takes

Ned
That's good to know

As a precaution though do you think we should change the wording of the engine plate from: "this car has been extensively modified by Autolusso" to: "this car has been modified by Autolusso using parts and components that comply with the vehicle's safety and environmental characteristics in force at the time of approval, first registration or entry into service, as well as at the time of retrofitting."
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Ok, well i'm one of the doubters who debated the issue with trashbat over on PH.

I'm not going to start a massive debate here but think everyone should go and read the FULL Regulation document and make up their own minds.
Whilst some here and on other sites believe it will mean as long as your modifications are better than original you will be fine, however the document simply doesn't say that. To be fair it doesn't say it has to be perfectly the same as new either.
I and many others believe it opens the door to removing a lot if not all of car modifying as we currently know it.
So please, read all the information and decide for yourself.
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I also posted the ACE press release here, https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/gener...modifying.html

if anyone wants to move it into this thread its fine with me.
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If it does what they say it would just kill the modified car industry and force people to not declare stuff, get dodgy mot's etc which is more dangerous.

In Portugal modified cars are not legal but they still have them. However it's more of an underground thing.
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Just Released;


FBHVC Press Release:-

23 August 2012

EU ROADWORTHINESS TESTING

When the European Parliament Historic Vehicle Group (EPHVG) met in May, Szabolcs Schmidt the head of the EC Road Safety Unit, mentioned that proposals for revisions to the Roadworthiness Testing Directive, following a 2010 consultation, were expected ‘in the summer’. In July, the European Commission published the detail which turned out to be a proposal to replace the current Roadworthiness Testing Directive (2009/40/EC) with a completely new Directive.

The draft of the new Directive has implications for all motorists, not just historic vehicle owners. Amongst other things, the draft includes requirements to test all trailers (which in turn implies a registration system) and requires tests to make reference to a vehicle’s original ‘technical characteristics’. The meaning of this expression is not defined. National governments are granted the right to make their own testing arrangements for ‘vehicles of historic interest’. A vehicle of historic interest is then defined as one that
· Was manufactured more than 30 years ago
· Is maintained by use of replacement parts which reproduce the historic components of the vehicle
· Has not sustained in the technical characteristics of its main components such as engine, brakes, steering or suspension; and
· Has not been changed in its appearance.

FBHVC considers this definition to be unworkable and completely unacceptable. FBHVC also rejects the suggestion that Roadworthiness Testing should relate to a vehicle’s ‘technical characteristics’, whatever the age of the vehicle. Modifications, alterations and improvements are all part of the history of motor vehicles and the older the vehicle, the more likely it is that it will have been altered at some stage. At present the basic tenet of a UK MoT test is that it is one of mechanical fitness. There is no database of original specifications for UK vehicles, so testing to original 'technical characteristics' is simply pie-in-the-sky.

Earlier this month, the Department for Transport asked stakeholders for comment on the proposals. FBHVC will be responding formally to this request when further analysis of the detailed proposals has been completed. FBHVC will be discussing the implications of the proposal with the international organisation, FIVA, and through them with the EPHVG group as well as with the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group in the UK.

It should be remembered that this is still just a proposal. It has to have approval by each EU member country before it is adopted. Some media commentary on this topic has tended towards the ‘we’re doomed’ end of the scale. It is certainly a serious issue and FBHVC is treating it accordingly.
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So please, read all the information and decide for yourself.
Agree with that. One of my pet hates is lazy journalists reporting inaccurately on stuff they know little or nothing about and don’t care to research properly and then the resulting moronic public band-wagon jumping. This is why I won't even use the Daily Mail to light my fire

Anyway, back on topic before I get moved to the rant room.

People who think that they are going to be affected can find the full EU proposal (and accompanying draft regulations) here:
http://ec.europa.eu/transport/doc/ro...2012%29380.pdf

The all-important annexes to the regs (which sets out the areas that the roadworthiness test must cover) can be found here (in draft):
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...51):FIN:EN:PDF

The current UK MOT rules for motorcars are here:
MOT testing manuals and guides

As I say, I think that the "you can't change your windscreen-wipers without having your car crushed by Belgian Eurocrats (who will also use the opportunity to confiscate your bendy bananas)" scare-mongering being put about by some is quite unhelpful. I think mods are permitted (and specifically contemplated) by the regs. Put another way, the regs would not provide for a test after modification if all mods were to be banned - see Article 5(4) referred to above.

However, there are definitely aspects of the regs that are poorly drafted and that will be of concern. For example, the "historic car" definition and requirements look particularly ill-conceived, so I can understand why classic car owners are getting wound-up.

But I think the main thing that should be of more general concern if these regs go through (and there is a little way to go before they do) is the way the UK Government decide to interpret, implement and enforce them. My view, expressed above (and argued for and against by some on pistonheads) is that the EU regs are capable of being interpreted in a way that doesn't require much more stringent testing of mods than we currently have in the MOT. Just go to the MOT document linked above and search for the word "modification". You'll see that the general approach that we currently have is that when assessing modifications the test is whether the modification has significantly reduced the original components strength. I think this is what Article 3(9) cited above is actually saying - parts must comply with the car's original safety and environmental characteristics – which must reasonably be read as saying that parts which exceed those characteristics will be ok (subject to testing). In my example above, if I upgrade my brakes to better than OEM why on earth should that cause an MOT failure? If you think this is not what the EU regs are saying then go to page 16 of the draft annex to the EU regs linked above: para 1.1.21. (braking system). The requirement stated is for a visual inspection which checks for among other things "Inappropriate repair or modification to any component" (see para (d)). The footnote at the bottom of the page explains that "inappropriate repair or modification means a repair or modification that adversely affects the road safety of the vehicle or has a negative effect on the environment." I'm not an MOT tester but that to me sounds pretty similar to what we have already in the UK MOT doesn't it ?

However, I'm just some bloke on a forum so what my (or anyone else's) interpretation is doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. What we should possibly be worried about is that the UK Government do what they often do and decide to gold-plate the general and broad-brush EU requirements with a bolstered set of MOT requirements (with far more stringent testing of mods or requirements for type-approval, or god-forbid db testing of exhausts against OEM sound levels – I'll be scrwed then with my wizard exhaust). Anyway, I hope that won’t happen, but it is reason enough for people to be interested in this issue, read the docs themselves and make their views known.
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Just for my two pence worth I don't thing there will be much of an issue at all. The "historic car" set should also be fine if there car is over 30 years old, as it has just been passed that they no longer require a annual MOT.
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Hi Tony thanks for the reply, I do agree with most of what you say.

It is all wide open to interpretation, but worrying indications are coming from the D of T as shown in this statement;

The commission proposes to introduce a definition for a roadworthiness test that components of the vehicle must comply with characteristics at the time of first registration. This may prevent most modifications to vehicles without further approval of the vehicle. (this will apply to many components and to all types of vehicle)

taken from the document linked here; http://tinyurl.com/cpw5lnj

The biggest issue is the way its been written, nobody can say for sure what they are going to do, however no matter how much it might get watered down, it will still have a significant effect on both modified cars and businesses across the uk, IMHO so i'm going to keep fighting until i know my car is safe.
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Just for my two pence worth I don't thing there will be much of an issue at all. The "historic car" set should also be fine if there car is over 30 years old, as it has just been passed that they no longer require a annual MOT.
Sorry you are incorrect. It's just been passed that cars register before 1960 no longer require a test. We still don't know for sure what will happen with the new regs regarding the 30 year cut off and the uk. One thing i'll bet is the uk will not change the free road tax from pre 73 to a rolling 30 years, no chance.
Also can i just point out many of the historic car set as you put it is at serious risk of losing that status if their car is modified, therefore like me owning a 59 ford pop, I will lose historic status as my car is modified, so i will lose my test exemption and my free tax. then my car needs to go through the new test which i think it will fail due to being heavily modified and not meeting 'compliance' so then my car is taken off the road,
Options left? Put it through a BIVA test or scrap it.
So I disagree that i'll be 'fine' and i'll keep on fighting.
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i'm going to keep fighting until i know my car is safe.
Admire you for that. Better to get involved than just let legislation that might affect what we all enjoy doing creep-in through apathy.
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so if the part is not oe standard e.g. aftermarket in many cases then it will fail aswell!

if it is a modified part the businesses will just sell the part as an OE alternative replacement part of better than OE quality, no worries
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Possibly will, but most reckon it will end up similar to the TUV system in germany where all parts must be approved.
But, there is scope in this regulation that EACH time you fit a modified part you are liable for a retest!
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Morning everyone.

I'm a little surprised at the lack of discussion on the forum regarding this proposal, especially when there are obviously so many modifed cars?

Can I ask everyone to just take 10 minutes to visit the ACE site here Armageddon | www.the-ace.org.uk and have a read?
If you have already done so thanks, if you think its rubbish / scaremongering / will never happen etc, how about posting here and telling us why?

I'd also like to say whilst the Historic issue is indeed important, it is only a very small part. Many of your more modern cars will be affected by this, ie;

Did you see the part where ,even if all else is wrong ,vehicles manufactured from 2009 must meet their type approval ? Law already going through EU to ban all brake mods due to ESC and ABS on these vehicles . With a rolling Historic classification ,needing to be standard to qualify , that means within 30 years their will be no modified cars.

We have also had admission from a couple of MEPs that this could indeed be passed into law within 8 weeks, applying across the EU 12 months later. don't think that means we have 12 months to fight it, once its passed its done!

I personally think anyone with even a slightly modified car should at least be aware of this.

Thanks Davy.
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From the historic context, it would generate a need for remanufacture and refurbishment of historic parts on a larger scale than already exists. That's not a bad thing, it will generate jobs in a different area and some of those lost from the modification arena could be absorbed by the historic part manufacturing industry.

After reading all this, I also took away that a system similar to the TUV could/would be put in place, if not actually expanding TUV throughout europe, no point reinventing the wheel.

I would have no problem with this, i'm sure we've all seen examples of shoestring modified cars that really shouldn't be on the road.

This will probably also tie in well for all those individuals out there running modified vehicles without the mods declared on their insurance. In the event of a serious accident where loss of life or serious injury occured and the insurance was voided by the modifications present, that's not a good situation for either party.

Banning all modifications would be counter productive, but regulating them would make things better for everyone in my honest opinion.

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