A Dodge Ram pickup truck on an urban street in Brussels, Belgium

Sales of dangerous US pickup trucks up 20% in Europe

  • July 5, 2024

A coalition of consumer, safety and environmental groups, including ETSC, has written to the European Commission, calling to close the loophole that allows dangerous and heavily polluting US-market pickups on to European roads.

Registrations in Europe of Dodge RAM pick-up trucks rose 20% last year, new data analysed by Transport & Environment (T&E) show. 

Nearly 5,000 Dodge RAMs were brought into Europe in 2023, up 20% compared to 2022, according to newly-released data from the European Environment Agency. T&E estimates there are now at least 20,000 Dodge RAMs on Europe’s roads.

US pickup trucks, such as Dodge RAMs, are not required to comply with all EU safety and environmental standards as they are imported through a back-door channel called “Individual Vehicle Approval”.

Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) allows vehicles to bypass basic EU environmental and safety regulations. Originally this was intended for truly ‘one-off’ adapted or specialised vehicles such as those for the mobility impaired or for emergency services. The system is now being exploited to import large numbers of US pick-up trucks. Notably, these vehicles are not required to comply with the 2019 EU General Safety Regulation (GSR), on-road tests for air pollution or the EU car and van CO2 standards.

The group of organisations – T&E, European Transport Safety Council, European Cyclists’ Federation, consumers’ federation BEUC, Clean Cities, Eurocities, POLIS, and the International Federation of Pedestrians – calls on the EU to close the loophole.

The EU’s inaction stands in stark contrast to the steps being taken by progressive cities, say the organisations. Already, Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Koblenz and Tübingen have decided to vary parking charges by vehicle weight or size.

Read the letter.

UPDATE 8 July 2024: According to Politico Pro (€), a Commission spokesperson said the Commission wants “to strengthen the IVA rules, to bring them to a level of protection comparable with that guaranteed by the (EU) type approval rules.”