Planned targets for reductions in exhaust emissions have been criticised by BMW, DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen.
Chief executives for the three biggest German manufacturers say the target to reduce average carbon dioxide emissions to 120g/km by 2010 are 'unrealistic' and would make large sections of the industry unviable.
In a letter to European Commission officials seen by the Financial Times, the company bosses say the intervention would burden the entire European industry and put jobs under threat. European bosses of General Motors and Ford have also signed the letter in support.
The EC postponed proposals again yesterday, but said the delay was in deciding on the details of the target, not the objective itself.
Recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers show that average new car carbon dioxide emissions fell by 1.3% in 2006 to 167.2g/km. That puts average carbon dioxide levels well short of voluntary targets to reach an average of 140g/km by 2008, let alone 120g/km by 2010.
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