As it stands right now, the US has its own automotive standards, as well as its own testing methods for these things. The EU has different but similar standards and tests. While the average American might not think twice about this, he or she is paying for it. Homologating a car for sale in either the US or the EU is very expensive and the vast majority of cars sold in either location have been homologated for both. Additionally, the US imposes a 2.5% tariff on imported cars.
Because of this, European cars are either more expensive that they need to be, in the case of the Mercedes E-Class, or just never try for US homologation in the first place, like the Volkswagen Scirocco. If American and European lawmakers can agree on a standard, all of this could be poised to go away with a new automaker supported US-EU trade deal that has been proposed.
Of course, this all hinges on our legislative body being able to stop bickering and do something that's good for the country.
[via Detroit News]