Automakers that sell cars in Europe want a list from suppliers of all the materials in the components they supply and their weight.
But suppliers say complying will cost thousands of work hours and might compromise trade secrets.
The request is in response to European Union rules requiring automakers to increase the recyclable content of a vehicle and, eventually, making automakers responsible for disassembling and recycling a vehicle at the end of its life.
Suppliers and automakers face a July 1, 2003, deadline for the information or risk having sales halted.
But the electronic reporting system set up by the auto companies isn't working well, said Neil De Koker, managing director of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association in Troy, Mich.
"The concern is it takes thousands of hours to complete and enter the data," he said. "It's not clear what is needed and what is not. It's jammed, not user-friendly, and the help desk is totally inadequate."