DTp back-pedals on deadline for catalytic converters

The Department of Transport (DTp) has become embroiled in a fresh environmental controversy by revealing that it has asked the European Commission to permit the sale of cars without catalytic converters beyond the EC deadline. But some manufacturers are opposed to the move.

The deadline was prescribed by an EC Directive last year, which provides that all new cars sold and registered after 1 January 1993 must be fitted with catalytic converters (ENDS Report 197, p 38). But following pressure from some motor manufacturers and dealers, the DTp has applied to Brussels to extend the deadline. France and Italy are believed to have made similar requests.

The car industry fears that the slump in sales will leave it

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