Japan's JAMA Will Cooperate On International Car Standard

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
japan s jama will cooperate on international car standard

Japan’s Automobile Manufacturers Association said “hai, wakatta” (yes, we understand) to their government, and promised to “actively support the creation of an international mutual-recognition framework for passenger cars,” reports The Nikkei [sub].

Turns out, the Japanese government is behind the idea to agree on an International Whole Car Type Approval. The idea had been floated in Geneva, and received widespread agreement. No wonder: The Europeans are intimately familiar with the concept, due to their European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA). And the Americans aren’t part of the party. They are doing their own FMVSS thing.

A working group under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (which had long spread to all parts of the world, despite its name) agreed Wednesday to create an international framework for cars. A specific plan is to be drawn up over a year or so. The standards are planned to be ready by March 2016. That seems to be a bit long, given that the European standards are already in place. But the 6 years give everybody time to get ready.

According to the Nikkei, “the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association hopes that a new framework will foster more widespread use of safe, green vehicles. It also believes that the cost of getting vehicles approved will decline for automakers.” Before, it was mostly the Japanese opposition that frustrated attempts to agree on an international standard. A kick in the rear end by their government seems to have changed that position. Also, Euro/Nipponese alliances are all the rage, whereas relationships with the U.S. have, well, cooled off. As long as the U.S.A. boycotts UNECE, U.S. car exports will not profit from the new rules.

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4 of 11 comments
  • Syke Syke on Mar 12, 2010

    According to this morning's Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2009 had the lowest US fatalities since 1954 - 33,963 deaths. No figures were given regarding total population, total miles driven, etc. Most of the article was taken up by giving credit to 84% seat belt use, better vehicle crash protection, and so on and on . . . . . including Ray LaHood making a statement claiming that still too many people are dying.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Mar 12, 2010

    Total population: 308 million

  • Tech98 Tech98 on Mar 12, 2010
    Per 1 million people 123 people died in 2008 in the US as a result of road deaths compared with 98 people in Europe. I'm guessing that Americans drive a lot more than Europeans. I doubt there are many Euros with a 100+ mile daily round-trip commute; there are plenty in Southern California.

  • Charly Charly on Mar 12, 2010

    Highway driving is relative save so 100+ miles commute is not were the deaths are. Also the number of deaths per km is in in some European countries much lower than in the USA