The Motor Trade Association (MTA) is right behind the Government’s move to close loopholes that allow damaged cars to be imported, repaired and sold without the buyer being fully informed.
MTA Chief Executive Craig Pomare says vehicle safety is of huge importance to the 3600 MTA members who fix, fuel and sell cars throughout New Zealand.
“What we need is a simple, transparent system that easily allows consumers and traders to check the damage history of a vehicle—whether it is an import or not. We believe all cars that have gone through a major repair, or been water damaged, should be clearly flagged.”
The lack of transparency in the New Zealand system became obvious after a sudden rise in imports of statutorily written-off cars from Australia following the 2013 floods in Queensland. In the four years before August 2016, just over 7000 write offs were brought in, including 2400 flood damaged cars.
“However, only the most savvy consumers know they can check the NZTA website to see if a car they are interested in was once a statutory write off in Australia. “MTA first raised this issue with government in 2015 but we think the industry can go further and do better,” he says. “ There is a lack of data about damaged vehicles coming from countries other than Australia. MTA believes a review is needed of the system for tracking all damaged vehicles—not just recent Australian imports.
“We want to see a full review of the sale, repair, and re-registration of all damaged vehicles in New Zealand, regardless of origin. Craig Pomare believes the practice of importing write-offs and other cars with significant damage, should stop. He accepts that in some situations, some of these vehicles may be easily and fully repaired. “However, we have enough vehicles that meet that criteria in New Zealand, why import more?”
Check your vehicle:
Flood damaged, water damaged and written off vehicles that have not been correctly repaired can compromise the safety of vehicle features such as safety belt pretensioners, airbags and certain electrical systems. Check your vehicle against this list of vehicles that have come to the attention of the NZTA. You’ll need to know the vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number. Visit their website at: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/choosing-the-right-vehicle/recalls-and-damaged-vehicles/flood-and-fire-damaged-vehicles/?start=20