On the current occasion: Suspicion of cadmium at VW and Streetscooter

IMDS, General

The European End-of-Life Vehicle Directive (ELV) and the German End-of-Life Vehicle Ordinance, as well as other regulations such as REACH and RoHS, stipulate which substances may be utilized in cars and/or are prohibited. The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) issues type approval on the basis of existing data sheets. The current cases of VW and Streetscooter show how important complete and accurate information is.

Cadmium was discovered in a high-voltage charger in electric vehicles of these two manufacturers. In this case the KBA decides whether or not to order a recall. Since the amendment of Annex II to Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 15, 2017, cadmium is only permitted in batteries as spare parts for vehicles placed on the market before December 31, 2008.

Although the charger concerned is permanently installed in the vehicle, and is therefore harmless for the drivers, it can become problematic during disposal. According to the media, the cadmium was not listed in the supplier’s material data sheets. VW discovered it during material analysis. Since VW fears “potential non-compliance with European End-of-Life Vehicle Legislation”, the Group itself reported the incident to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority. The same charger should also have been installed in the Streetscooter.

These cases clearly show that the examination and acceptance of material data sheets from suppliers cannot be assessed as important enough. But even more important is the correct reporting by the supplier themselves. Both VW and Streetscooter claim to have complied with the legal requirements, but the supplier has made false statements.

The IMDS (International Material Data System) helps to report the materials used throughout the entire supply chain. From a legal point of view alone, the data in the IMDS must be reliable. Whoever enters false or missing data is ultimately liable if, for example, legal requirements are violated. If non-compliance is suspected, an exact data check or even a random analysis is recommended. This is the only way to prevent false or missing material data from being passed on to customers and being made liable for such matters.

If you need support, for example, in setting up complete material data documentation and data checking, or if you would like to carry out a material analysis, please do not hesitate to contact us. With our IMDS experts and partners such as VDE or Fraunhofer IWKS, we guarantee you the highest quality and reliability.