Automakers Urge Action On Regulatory Harmonization

The worlds leading automakers are urging their governments to increase efforts to harmonize international automotive safety and emissions regulations. The European Automobile Manufacturers Assn., Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn., and the American Automobile Manufacturers Assn. believe that the global harmonization of regulations will provide substantial benefits to customers.

A variety of safety and emissions regulations exist on a national or regional basis. Though they all aim at the same result--to protect drivers, passengers and the environment--the regulations are set differently. This forces auto manufacturers to develop, design and manufacture various vehicles and engines following different regulations for each region.

Unified regulation might come this year because of a new Agreement on Global Standards within the United Nations ECE Working Party 29---this will allow all countries to participate in international regulations; and, U.S. and European industries have submitted petitions to their regulatory agencies seeking determinations of functional equivalence on various safety standards.

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