TÜV certificate equivalent?

Is there a U.S. equivalent of a TÜV certificate for vehicle quality/safety ?


I always assumed that you were in the USA as we talk. Shouldn’t you know then?
Or was the question rather what TÜV means? It’s “Technischer Überwachungs Verein” =
“In English it means Technical Surveillance Association.”

They are mostly known (are notorious for) the bianual mandatory vehicle inspection in Germany.
For many years this organisation was the only one that was entitled to do that. This has changed with the
German reunion in 1989.

But the services of the TÜV Organisation have always been much broader than that.

Why are you asking ?

yours mo-i

Hi mo-i,

As far as I know there is no equivalent in the States.

Periodic safety inspections of individual vehicles are required by some States, but not all. These are usually conducted by a local mechanic and are generally pass/fail (Is a required component present; yes, no. Does this engine meet required emission levels; yes, no. Do the brake lights work; yes, no. etc.)

But as far as I know, manufacturers of “after-market” equipment (sidecars, front-suspensions (fork), brake linings, suspension components, etc.) for cars, trucks, and motorcycles are not required to meet any government established safety/quality standards here in the US (our court system takes care of shoddy workmanship, and irresponsible manufacturers :frowning: (only in America!) ).

I was inquiring because I will be speaking with a gentleman in Hengelo, NL this week regarding becoming the NA distributor for his motorcycle sidecars and related products. His products carry a TÜV Certificate. This would not be a direct benefit to North American customers, but it would certainly be “selling point” with regard to the quality of his products. And it says something, to me, about him.

Are TÜV Certificates a requirement for offering motor vehicle products for sale to the general public? Or is it simply an “indicator”, to anyone interested in buying a product, that it is “a cut above” the competition?

Interesting. I thought that the DMV was the US equivalent of TüV.

From my knowledge all European countries require an annual form of inspection before it is legally allowed to drive on the streets. In Sweden the test consists of everything from pollution requirements to break tests etc etc. It also has to be redone when altering any part of the exterior, if i remember it correctly. (Dont own a car)

Sorry, didnt mean to go OT/steal the thread.

Are TÜV Certificates a requirement for offering motor vehicle products for sale to the general public? Or is it simply an “indicator”, to anyone interested in buying a product, that it is “a cut above” the competition?


there is no general answer. The regulatory body for this is not the EU but rather the single country. So the Netherlands have different laws than Germany. In Germany every part that is integral to the mechanical function of the car or bike need to be approved. Only minor stylistic bolt on items are free from that. (Mostly interior).

If his sidecars are TÜV approved this could mean two things. Either that they passed the regulatory inspection in Germany, or that the product was testet by a TüV subside organisation that conducts voluntary tests for manufacturers, who might not have a specific test facility themselves.

A lot of products like lawn mowers or childrens toys carry a triangular (or similar) Tüv symbol:

You might take further Information out of the second link out of the post above.

However I wish you the best for your new business venture. Props up for entrepreneurial spirit.

Yours mo-i


as far as i know, there is the NHTSA approval for the US.

JWL for japan.

TUV is regarded as the highest level of engineering and manufacturing quality in certain circles. I refer to it as ‘unibrow’ engineering.

my experience with the ratings is in automotive wheels. TUV wheels tend to be heavy and way over built, even in processes like forging. JWL is usually right at the balance between the least amount of material needed (weight).

Check with the SAE.

TUV means alot to me, personally, but I’m a car fanatic and have been racing them in some form for about 18 years. Braided stainless lines for automotive purposes, I only use NHTSA approved items. Of course, for saftey (again this is more of a motorsport measuring stick) I use FIA ratings.

Thanks for the lead KFJ. I’ll spend some time checking into this; I’d like to know what “standards” the U.S. Sidecar Association adheres to (if any).

BTW, our first round of discussion went well this morning. Enough of my German survives and Goos’ English filled in the blanks.


glad to help is any vague sort of way.

my german is completely kaput.

haven’t spoken it since my grandparents passed. 25+ years. i understand some of the context, but i now can only respond in english.