The European automobile industry has stepped up its campaign to get the European Commission to revise its proposals on emissions from new cars.
The industry has said the upcoming legislation fails take into account car manufacturing cycles.
It also points out the disparity between the European parliament and the commission.
The parliament has already voted twice in favour of 2015 as the most appropriate date for new legislation, which sets ambitious emissions targets for new cars, to enter fully into force.
However, the Commission favours 2012.
“The industry will be short of lead-time ahead of the new legislation,” said Christian Streiff, president of the manufacturers’ association, ACEA.
“Planning certainty and proper lead-time are of crucial importance to the automotive industry because of the sectors’ long development phases, the extensive investments involved and the corresponding lengthy production cycles required to recover investments.
"No less than 60% of all cars that will be on the market in 2012 are already in production or in the advanced development stage today.”
Responding to ACEA’s comments, Stavros Dimas, the commissioner responsible for environmental policy and the man driving the new legislation forward, pointed out that the motor industry has had ample time to develop technologies needed to meet the targets.
“The need to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars has been an important element of the EU's climate policy since 1998.
That is when the community strategy to reduce average emissions to 120g per kilometre was adopted,” he said.
“The industry will have had no less than 14 years to work towards this target by the time 2012 arrives.”
Mr Dimas added that the commission would have preferred to retain the voluntary agreement made with the motor industry, which set emissions targets for new cars coming into showrooms this year.
“However, manufacturers have not managed to deliver on their commitment to reach a CO2 average of 140gr in 2008/2009,” he said.
“As a result of the lack of progress regulation was eventually proposed to ensure the 2012 target is achieved.”