EU darkens Rolls hood ornament


The European Union has turned out the light on a glowing version of Rolls-Royce’s “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament.

The ultraluxury brand has discontinued the $4,558 option, which it has offered since 2013, on vehicles sold in Europe in response to a crackdown on light pollution. Everyone who bought the illuminated ornament will receive a refund and an unlit, stainless steel replacement.

“Sadly, we are telling our customers that we will by law have to disconnect their Spirit of Ecstasy,” a spokesperson told CarBuzz. “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 option is still listed on the Rolls-Royce website, though with a warning that “market restrictions apply.” The site also notes that the illumination is activated only while the vehicle is parked. But that restriction apparently isn’t enough to satisfy EU regulators.

According to the United Kingdom’s Vehicle Certification Agency, “illuminated bonnet ornaments are not permitted by the EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval process.”

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