For product testing, authority engineers or commissioned experts use vehicles that are made available on the market or are to be made available, in order to examine them for their conformity with the approved type.
For example, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) carries out exhaust gas tests with portable emission measurement systems (PEMS) in real road traffic or noise tests on the test track.
In addition to the tests in road traffic, vehicles are tested in KBA's Laboratory in Harrislee (HaL) and the Test Centre in Leck (TeCeL), so that conformity with the approved type can be examined. With the help of these test facilities, KBA is able to carry out further examinations in addition to the exhaust emission tests. KBA uncovers systematic defects in vehicles that could cause a potential road safety risk or pose a danger to the environment. In this context, the components and vehicle systems relevant to driving safety are checked. This includes checks of braking efficiency, ABS and ESP functionality and examinations of vehicles with new technologies, such as driver assistance systems, lane keeping systems, etc. The investigations focus changes every year.
The criteria according to which products are selected to be investigated are:
their importance for road safety and environmental impact due to pollutant emissions
the time interval between the last investigation
the prevalence of the objects on the market
the results of previous reviews
In addition, periodic ad hoc product reviews must be carried out when doubts about conformity arise. Such doubts may arise, for example, following indications
other European approval authorities
from investigating authorities or from accident reports
from system checks by KBA
If any deviations are found, the opinion of the manufacturer or importer is sought. Serious deviations from the specifications defined by regulations and directives that have an impact on road safety can lead to the revocation of the approval and the ordering of further field measures. In addition, this questions the reliability of the manufacturer and its approvals in general.
KBA’s comprehensive investigations and their respective test results are presented and published in two-paged test reports. These can be reached by the use of the following link:
Product investigation is one of the sub-tasks of the market surveillance authority and in-volves the testing of vehicles, vehicle trailers and vehicle parts against the legally defined specifications. In the area of emissions, these tests can involve tests in the laboratory, tests of the engine control unit software or of the emissions in real driving conditions.
The focus of the investigations is currently on exhaust gas tests with portable emission measuring systems (PEMS), which are carried out in real road traffic. Both the NEDC test cycle and the WLTC test cycle in combination with RDE (Real Driving Emissions) as well as modified driving cycles are tested.
These tests are supplemented by an analysis of the engine control software. The aim of these tests is to uncover any prohibited defeat devices that may be present.
KBA also tests a large number of systems, such as the steering and braking system, noise emissions or restraint systems.
In addition to the tests already mentioned, examinations of vehicles with new technologies such as driver assistance systems, lane keeping systems, etc. are being developed. Changing focal points are defined each year.
Since April 2021, the laboratory of the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) has been completed and is ready to use. Furthermore, KBA uses portable emission measurement systems (PEMS), to measure emissions in real driving conditions. KBA also has its own test track at its disposal in Leck, Schleswig-Holstein, and is continuously developing it further. Moreover, KBA tests engine control software in its own software laboratory.
If inadmissibility of the vehicles or the engine control software is detected during the test, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) as market surveillance authority initiates proceedings against the manufacturer. If the manufacturer does not take appropriate remedial action in this procedure, KBA orders restrictive measures against the manufacturer. Furthermore, KBA informs the European member states, the European Commission and the issuing type-approval authority of the result of the test carried out and of any additional measures that may have become necessary.