Apparently, the EU deemed that it was a form of light pollution it simply couldn't abide.
Rolls-Royce has been enjoying a spate of successes during the last few months. First, the company announced that its sales have made a turn for the better, and then it revealed an extended version of its ultra-luxurious Ghost which it hopes will further increase its market share in Asian and European markets. Now the British auto manufacturer has suffered a slight setback, and it's a pretty weird one. Updated EU car safety rules have forced Rolls-Royce to cease the sale of its optional glow-in-the-dark Flying Lady mascot.
The £3,500 ($4,557) glowing Spirit of Ecstasy has been around for four years, but new EU regulations will see the icon's lights dimmed. These rules are still being enforced while Britain struggles on with the circus show that is Brexit. The ruling comes as EU regulations aim to crack down on "light pollution".
The EU directive is Regulation 48 - 'UNECR48 - entitled 'Uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the installation of lighting and light signally devices.'
The Department of Transport that oversees the UK's Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) confirmed that: 'Illuminated bonnet ornaments are not permitted by the EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval process.'
Rolls-Royce has confirmed that it has stopped production of the glowing version of its iconic emblem and that all customers who have chosen the option will receive a full refund and non-glowing replacement, despite still showing the option on its website with a 'price on request'.
A spokesperson for the company revealed that "In February 2019 we sent our dealers a bulletin saying we were removing the option of an unlit Spirit of Ecstasy. It was no longer to be sold to customers. It came off the options list. Sadly, we are telling our customers that we will by law have to disconnect their Spirit of Ecstasy. We felt it our moral obligation. We sold this option in very good faith. We are forced to retract it now through no fault of our own."
The glowing flying lady was offered as an option on cars such as the Cullinan, Phantom, and Wraith.