The proposals establish EU-wide minimum standards taking into account technological developments to strengthen and revise the current rules which date back to 1977.
Key elements of the proposals will be the compulsory EU wide testing of scooters and motorbikes, increased frequency of tests for older vehicles and cars and vans with exceptionally high mileage, as well as improving the quality of vehicle tests.
The impact on the UK industry will be limited because of the high standards already in force.
However, historic vehicle owners will benefit from the proposed revised definition of 30 years of age. From November 2012, the UK intends to only exempt vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1960, ie 52 years old.
Technical defects are a major contribution to accidents. They are responsible for 6 per cent of all car accidents, translating into 2,000 fatalities and many more injuries yearly. Eight per cent of all motorcycle accidents are linked to technical defects
Recent studies from the UK* and Germany* indicate up to 10 per cent of cars at any point in time have a defect that would cause them to fail the safety tests.
The proposals will now be examined by members of the European Parliaments and EU ministers.