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CV wheels classed as ‘Safety Critical Item’ as MWSD campaign incorporated into European Union law

and affecting road safety’ will be classed as a major defect.

Reasons for failure in the assessment of deficiencies are classed as major or dangerous, with the legislative text covering both roadside technical inspections and periodic vehicle testing.

In effect the new law legally addresses the company’s proven argument that non-circumferential hubs, which give only partial contact between axle and wheel, are causing untested load stresses which cause cracks and half the life expectancy of a wheel which in turn creates serious safety concerns.

It also brings into context a number of minimum essential requirements that need to be stipulated when purchasing second-hand or potentially inferior wheels, and furthermore the key roles that will be played by CV fleet managers and product purchasers.

The new legislation will enter into force once it is published in May’s Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), with the official start date applying 20 days later. Member States will have three years to adopt and publish the new rules and then another year to apply all the measures, but can do so earlier if they decide.

The safety issue has been led by MWSD’s managing director, John Ellis, Transport Committee Chair and North West MEP, Brian Simpson and the late Paul Goggins, former Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East.

Ellis said: "This is a major development in our campaign and the clearest indication possible from experts at the EU that they understand the safety critical nature of CV wheels, and that vehicle safety is being impaired when there is a failure to use fit-for-purpose wheels on non-circumferential hubs. It also addresses the second-hand and inferior product quality issues which we know can lead to several safety issues.

"That said this is purely the next step in the campaign, we will be approaching the Department for Transport (DfT) to ascertain their timescale for implementation of the Roadworthiness Package, working on closer cooperation with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and the aftermarket, and keeping customers and the market informed on exactly what the changes will mean for their truck, bus and coach fleets.

"At this juncture our thanks must go to Brian Simpson MEP for his commitment to realising the importance of CV wheels as a European safety issue and gaining its inclusion, and also to Paul Goggins MP who believed in and pushed the subject with the UK Parliament."

Simpson added: "My position on the inclusion of CV wheels in the legislative text is clear, in that the laws are not designed to place extra financial burden on the CV sector, but create far safer practices for what is a safety critical item.

"The updated, more harmonised rules are aimed at improving road safety, cutting back emissions in road transport caused by poor maintenance of vehicles, and ensuring fair competition for commercial vehicles. Given the overall benefits I urge all 27 EU Member States to adopt the legislature before the three year compulsory deadline."

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