Modified cars could fail a new MoT test if controversial European Commission (EC) legislation is passed in what is being labelled 'Armageddon' for the UK's modding industry.
The proposals outline a new 'Roadworthiness Package' that states all cars undergoing an MoT can only pass if they meet the original specifications of the car, preventing 'most modifications of the vehicle'.
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Designed to prevent unsafe modded cars being driven on UK roads, the move would also punish previously safe modified cars and endanger the entire modding industry in this country.
A number of EU member states are in favour of the proposal, which wants to keep cars to their original specifications as much as possible. Car modders and classic car enthusiasts won't be able to modify their car with wider wheels, different tyres and much more.
Every car on the road today will be affected by the new legislation, with the regulation targeting 'vehicles with a design speed exceeding 25 km/h'.
The Association of Car Enthusiasts (ACE) has labelled the move 'Armageddon' for the industry, and called for motorists to put as much pressure on the EC as possible to make sure the proposal doesn't become law.
A statement on the ACE website says: "ACE has always been of the opinion that modifying of vehicles would eventually end by the ability to do so being slowly eroded by small pieces of legislation rather than one single regulation.
"We have unfortunately now been proved correct with a single item before the EC parliament that will prevent any modifying and will, currently, render already modified cars illegal. Without a large effort over the next 6 weeks this 'proposal' will pass into law very shortly afterwards."
Though the proposal states that vehicles of historic interest, armed forces, emergency vehicles, agricultural vehicles that don't go beyond 40km/h and circus cars won't be affected, it does contain a new EU-wide definition of a historic vehicle.
Historic vehicles over the age of 30 years are exempt from the MoT test in the UK but the new regulation will mean MoT tests for any car that has been fitted with modern engine parts to make it work, or who have simply added new features to it, depending on the extent of the modifications.
Bodies such as the ACE and other organisations have been contacted by the DfT (Department for Transport) with a questionnaire for their views on the legislation, which appears to show that the proposal becoming law is a foregone conclusion.
The DfT questionnaire says: '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).'
However, a consultation into roadworthiness testing has already taken place via an EU-only website. It's not in proposal stage anymore, which means it's on the verge of becoming law unless an EC Parliament member forces reconsideration.
The proposal can be viewed here.
Written by John Meadowcroft