But the move, which brings the date forward from 2003, sparked a furious response from the car industry, which accused officials of breaking their word on a deal brokered to give car makers more time to prepare. Representatives of the car industry had proposed the earlier deadline, but on condition that there was a rethink on the requirements for older vehicles.
But members of COREPRE, made up of civil servants from all EU members states, simply extended the deadline for complying with the rules from 2003 to 2006. David Hulse, technical manager of the Automotive Consortium on Recycling and Disposal, said: 'They have taken our offer but not kept their side of the bargain. The cost of taking back all vehicles for recycling would be immense.'