ELV requires carmakers to take responsibility for disposing of cars when they reach the end of their life. It demands that 85% of the car must be recyclable by 2006 and 95% by 2015.
The EU has proposed a deadline of 2002 for the implementation of ELV for future vehicles and 2007 for all vehicles ever produced, but the UK is considering introducing the retrospective element of the directive next year.
Carmakers have condemned the planned action, fearing it could jeopardise profits at a time when manufacturing in the UK has fallen into recession.
John Sanders, MG Rover group marketing director, said: “This move would not help the industry and it certainly doesn't help MG Rover at a time when we are trying to build up the business.”
Mr Sanders believes the retrospective legislation penalises companies like Rover and Ford, which have been historically successful because they have larger car parcs than newer entrants like the Far East carmakers.
“It will create an uneven playing field if we have to absorb the costs from the past,” he said.
“MG Rover is effectively a new company after the acquisition from BMW, set up as a small independent with limited links with the past. Yet we will be expected to handle all old Rovers – and we have a massive car parc.
“We will try to fund the cost by raising prices, reducing specification levels or by not pursuing our strategy for turning the business around.”