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Old 14th October 2020, 12:45   #1
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Default Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union as part of a 'light pollution' crackdown.

The light-up figurine has been banned by the European Union, whose latest directives now mean that illuminated bonnet ornaments are now illegal.

It is thought to be part of a much wider crackdown on ‘light pollution’.

Rolls-Royce confirmed it would have to disconnect the figurines but would be offering customers a full refund and a replacement mascot.

Contacted by the Daily Mail, Rolls-Royce confirmed the ‘very popular and much cherished’ illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy was withdrawn as a customer option at the beginning of 2019 because of a change in European Union regulations relating to lighting on cars, believed to be part to a much wider crackdown against ‘light pollution’.

It was ‘a little saddened’ to be doing so but felt it had a ‘moral obligation’ to comply with the EU directive.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: ’In February 2019 we sent our dealers a bulletin saying we were removing the option of an unlit Spirit of Ecstasy. It was no longer to be sold to customers. It came off the options list.’

Regarding the disconnection of the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy on existing cars which already have it, the spokesman said: ‘Sadly, we are telling our customers that we will by law have to disconnect their Spirit of Ecstasy.

The spokesman added: ’We are in the process of putting a package together. We shall write to make an offer of a full refund, a replacement silver-plated Spirit of Ecstasy, or another option from our list.’

‘We felt it our moral obligation. We sold this option in very good faith. We are forced to retract it now through no fault of our own.’

The EU directive which doomed the illuminated Flying Lady is Regulation 48 - ‘UNECR48 - comprising 242 tightly packed pages of technical specifications and drawings under the less than snappy headline: ‘Uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the installation of lighting and light signally devices.’

The Department of Transport which has oversight of the UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) also confirmed: ‘Illuminated bonnet ornaments are not permitted by the EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval process.’
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Old 14th October 2020, 12:54   #2
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

Surely the same treatment should be meted out to the hideous lit-up grilles of the BMW X6?
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/inter...es-new-x6.html (BMW puts illuminated kidney grilles on the new X6)
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Old 14th October 2020, 13:17   #3
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

I guess the illuminated grille offered on the new Skoda Enyaq will also fall foul of this regulation.
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Old 14th October 2020, 17:32   #4
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

I don’t understand this at all. Nothing to do with a change to this EU regulation.
This regulation has been in force since 2013. https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/...13/R048r9e.pdf

I also find it strange that it would be applied retrospectively, which means that the original type approval has become void. Many older cars don’t comply with this regulation. Certainly my classic cars don’t, but that does not make them illegal.

By and large the rule in the EU has been that a car needs to comply to whatever the rules and regulations were at the time of manufacturing. So if no seatbelt were mandatory at the time, your car still does not need seat belts now either.

My classic cars need to comply with the emission regulations as per their year of manufacturing, not current emission regulations.

I am no lawyer, but it has always been my understanding that one of the principle of EU law and regulations has been the “no retroactivity” principle, In essence EU legislation does not have retroactive effect, unless it is clear the legislator intended otherwise. I can’t read anything in the above mentioned regulations that suggest it needs to be applied retrospectively.

So I am not sure what is going here. My gut feeling is RR screwed up and is trying to blame the EU.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 14th October 2020 at 17:40.
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Old 14th October 2020, 17:48   #5
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon View Post
It is thought to be part of a much wider crackdown on ‘light pollution’.
Mandatory DRL and auto-headlamp ON requirements will cause a hundred thousand times more light pollution than a hood ornament.

How radically different is a hood ornament v/s one on the front of the vehicle?
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Old 14th October 2020, 23:00   #6
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

Wow!! Europe has been Thunberged out of their senses.

You can have laser headlights that can pierce through the darkest of nights good enough to tell the gender of a deer a mile away in the name of safety. But you put a 10w softglow hood ornament, and they say "How dare you!!".

Interesting times to live in.

Cheers
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Old 14th October 2020, 23:14   #7
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

What a shame EU.

Is this payback for BREXIT? There are very few things that don't look cheap and chinese on cars. And only some of them manage to add class to the car. The starlight headliner and the glowing SOE were two of them. Though I don't see myself behind the wheel of an RR anytime soon. I'm still saddened at this.

GOD, why is everyone so hellbent upon punishing petrolheads with senseless rules!!

A wild thought, when foreign cars are in a country, they don't have to follow the rules of the land. For eg. a LHD car can ply on indian roads, idk for how long. In that same way, can a royce from outside EU ply on it's roads without complying with EU regulations wrt to the Spirit Of Ecstacy?

Last edited by viXit : 14th October 2020 at 23:17.
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Old 15th October 2020, 12:54   #8
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

I am glad to see this happen as I feel the glowing crystal spirit of ecstasy looked absolutely gaudy and garish. It seems as though some rich folks with a total lack of taste just don't know where to stop. Has anyone else seen the Toyota Fortuners with lights all the way up the sides of the rear windscreen, on the bumper and even lights in the badge and fortuner font I feel they all draw inspiration from these top brands allowing their customers to spec cars in such a disgusting manner
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Old 15th October 2020, 13:32   #9
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Mandatory DRL and auto-headlamp ON requirements will cause a hundred thousand times more light pollution than a hood ornament.
Completely agree, I find many car model's DRLs are annoying and distracting during day drives when they come behind you firing the DRLs. In fact, unless I am into some Arctic Circle countries like Norway where you have months of reduced lighting, DRLs are completely unnecessary.
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Old 15th October 2020, 13:48   #10
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

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Originally Posted by viXit View Post
What a shame EU.

Is this payback for BREXIT?
See my earlier post, nothing to do with anything recently done by the EU.
I suspect that RR was fully aware of this regulation and just choose to ignore it and managed to get away with it. Now it finally needs to adhere and that also means they must retrospectively make this modification on cars sold as soon as this particular set of EU rules came into play (which was 5-6 years ago)

Also, the EUR ruling has nothing to do with light pollution. It is a safety regulation, not an environmental regulation.

Jeroen
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Old 15th October 2020, 14:08   #11
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

I agree with Jeroen.

The link to the regulation quoted in the news article has been posted above. It's 128 pages long, and it's quite difficult to work out which is the exact clause violated by the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy - but the word "pollution" appears exactly 0 times in the regulation.

There are studies/research about the safety benefits of DRLs. I think they are beneficial in low-light situations, not just in winter months in Europe (a cloudy monsoon day in Kerala for eg).
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Old 15th October 2020, 14:09   #12
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

Light pollution? Really? Wonder what they will think of next?

Rolls-Royce say that the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy was withdrawn as a customer option. Is it only in the EU or globally? I am sure they can still offer it in other parts of the world and in the UK as well.

Does this also mean BMW's illuminated grille cannot be offered in the EU?
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Old 15th October 2020, 15:36   #13
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
See my earlier post, nothing to do with anything recently done by the EU.
I suspect that RR was fully aware of this regulation and just choose to ignore it and managed to get away with it. Now it finally needs to adhere and that also means they must retrospectively make this modification on cars sold as soon as this particular set of EU rules came into play (which was 5-6 years ago)

Also, the EUR ruling has nothing to do with light pollution. It is a safety regulation, not an environmental regulation.

Jeroen
Safety regulation because, it harms the ability of people to see the lights like turn indicators? because those are more important?
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Old 15th October 2020, 16:41   #14
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

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Originally Posted by viXit View Post
Safety regulation because, it harms the ability of people to see the lights like turn indicators? because those are more important?
If you would read through these regulation I posted the link to, you will see that they detail out what exact specifications all light on a car need to adhere too. So I believe that it is part standardisation (to align all of EU) and part (new) safety requirements as to how, what kind of lights, how they need to mounted etc etc.

In general but I am no expert I would think that car lighting is first and fore most a safety thing. So having similar arrangements on cars helps and also avoiding any potential distractors. The illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy is probably one of those distractors. It serves no safety purpose and is distractive, especially in the dark when lit up.

I don’t know about India, but here in Europe, you can’t just put extra lights on a car or a truck. It is tightly controlled. Also, the kind of lights, how they work, what to use when, how different kinds of lights interact is all regulated.

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Old 15th October 2020, 17:30   #15
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Default Re: Rolls-Royce’s illuminated Spirit Of Ecstasy banned by European Union

The illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy may be in violation of the following part of the regulation:

Quote:
5.10.2 For the visibility of white light towards the rear, with the exception of reversing lamps and white side conspicuity markings fitted to the vehicle, there must be no direct visibility of the apparent surface of a white lamp if viewed by an observer moving within Zone 2 in a transverse plane situated 25 m behind the vehicle (see Annex 4);
If my assumption is correct, then it would also explain why illuminated grilles are not affected, as those are not visible towards the rear.
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