The regulations concerning retrofit provide a framework for all players in the field. The governmental decree of March the 13th, 2020 sets out precise rules and imposes conditions that are essential for the validity of a project:
- The vehicle on which the operation is performed must be more than 5 years old;
- The transformation must be approved for each model;
- Once the retrofit is completed, the vehicle can have a maximum power output of between 65 and 100% of that initially delivered;
- The weight distribution on the different axles may not be changed by more than 10%;
- The total weight after processing should be within +/- 20% of the original weight.
The same rule for all vehicles?
The legal framework surrounding retrofit differs depending on the type of vehicle involved. Thus, the approval process is not the same for a light vehicle, a heavy vehicle or a special vehicle that is used off-road (off-road retrofit).
Is the retrofit guaranteed?
Like any product sold, a warranty is mandatory. However, several cases are possible:
- The vehicle can keep its original warranty on the components not impacted by the retrofit operation, provided there is an agreement between the retrofit manufacturer and the original manufacturer.
- In the absence of an agreement, it is up to the retrofit manufacturer to decide whether or not to provide warranty coverage for the original components retained on the vehicle.
- The manufacturer-retrofitter is responsible for the elements he puts on the vehicle and will operate his own warranty conditions.
What happens to the old engine?
In his vision of circular economy, the retrofitter must revalue the removed mechanical elements which have a value. This is the case for the engine (gasoline or diesel) and also for the gearbox and the clutch, the catalyst…
Are the regulations the same abroad?
France is a forerunner in retrofit issues and already has a set of binding approval rules. The national regulations are part of a European framework, a cohesion that facilitates obtaining this indispensable authorization in other countries of the Union.