Continental in version 2 smart tacho warning

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Tuesday 9 April 2024

Continental Automotive, one of the major providers of tachograph hardware via its VDO brand, has warned of the potential consequences for fleet operators of sending vehicles abroad without the new second-generation smart tachographs installed once the relevant deadlines have passed.

The new tachos feature technology to improve safety and transparency, with functionality including automatic registration of border crossings; recording of positions in loading and unloading operations; the ability to exchange data on possible manipulation or misuse with supervisory authorities via an early remote sensing system; and interface with intelligent transport systems.

Newly-registered in-scope vehicles – namely, goods vehicles over 3.5t and passenger-carrying vehicles with 10 or more seats – should now be fitted with version 2 smart tachographs from the outset, the deadline having already passed for this requirement.

A mandatory retrofit programme is also underway; in-scope vehicles travelling internationally will need the new tachographs fitted by the end of 2024 if they are currently equipped with analogue or non-smart digital tachographs; or by August 2025 if they are equipped with a version 1 smart tacho.

EU member states have already outlined penalties that could be applied if vehicles are found on their roads without the approved technology, reports Continental – as has the UK, where having an incorrect tachograph installed can result in a fine of £300. But the company has highlighted the potential for significantly higher fines in a number of EU countries.

“In Ireland, from 21 August 2023 to 30 November 2023, the registration of new vehicles equipped with a second-generation version 1 smart tachograph was temporarily allowed for domestic traffic only,” said Stuart West, product and marketing manager at Continental Automotive.

“Ireland did not impose penalties until 2 January 2024 on vehicles registered between the aforementioned period, which carried out only national operations and were equipped with second generation version 1 smart tachographs.

“However, vehicles carrying out international transport operations, including those between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, [needed to] be equipped with version 2 smart tachographs from 21 August 2023.”

Stuart continued: “In the Netherlands, failure to have a second-generation version 2 smart tachograph installed results in an administrative penalty of €4,400…

“In France, forgery of electronic documents or data, provision of false information, irregular use, modification of control devices or failure to install the corresponding tachograph is punishable by one year in prison and a fine of €30,000. In addition, your vehicle will be immobilised until the problem has been rectified.”

In Spain: “if Fleets who undergo international transport and do not equip the smart tachograph version set out in Regulation 1054/2020, an administrative penalty of €2,001 may be applied. In addition, the vehicle will be immobilised, and companies/fleets/drivers risk the loss of good repute.”

Portugal has also set significant penalties for those failing to equip vehicles with the version 2 smart tachograph, adds Stuart.

“Fines can range from €1,200 to €6,000, representing a considerable financial impact for transport companies that fail to comply with established regulations.

“In Germany, vehicles registered from 21 August 2023 until 31 December 2023 were allowed to fit the second-generation version 1 tachographs upon request and on the condition that they retrofit the version 2 smart tachograph within 24 months.

“This circumstance must be included in the registration certificate (24 months from the date of approval), upon presentation of proof by the vehicle manufacturer that the installation of a smart tachograph version 2 was objectively impossible.

“Once the 24-month period has elapsed, the authorities must verify compliance with the requirement by asking the owner. Failure to have the tachograph installed in accordance with Regulation 1054/2020 results in an administrative offence of €1,500.”

In February, Continental and other tachograph specialists warned fleets and workshops not to leave retrofits till the last minute.

“Continental have been advising both fleets and workshops over the past few months through various communication channels to consider retrofitting the smart tachograph version 2 on those vehicles which will be affected by the new rules on their next calibration date, rather than waiting until the end of 2024 (if their next calibration date is due before the end of 2024),” said Stuart West.

“Fleets and workshops taking this proactive approach to retrofitting will help reduce the fear over stock availability or any potential delays in getting booked into a workshop for the retrofit. Continental are working closely with our partners to try and ensure there is enough stock available for the next few key dates in the EU Mobility Package 1, both throughout 2024 and beyond.”