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MIA Critical OF LTSA’S Role In Flooded Car Scandal

MIA Critical OF LTSA’S Role In Flooded Import Scandal

The Motor Industry Association has called the LTSA to account over suggestions that flood-damaged cars can be made fit for sale if certain parts are replaced. Reports suggest that approximately 700 of the many thousands of cars severely damaged in the September Nagoya floods are on their way to New Zealand.

‘This issue brings the LTSA’s role as the guardian of road safety firmly into the spotlight,’ said Perry Kerr, MIA Chief Executive Officer. ‘It amazes us that the LTSA believes that cars which have been subjected to flooding can ever be brought back to an acceptable condition for resale. Frankly we find it incredulous that when the Japanese insurance industry has determined that the vehicles cannot be economically repaired, that New Zealand authorities believe they know better and are prepared to assist importers of these potential deathtraps.’

Members of the MIA, which represents the new car manufacturers, confirm that it is impossible to return flooded vehicles back to manufacturers’ standards. They state that there are no procedures for the repair of such vehicles, and that in instances of severe flood damage the vehicle should be scrapped, ie. crushed.

‘Even if expensive restoration could provide an acceptable fix, the economics just don’t stand up,’ said Mr. Kerr. The costs would far exceed any potential profit margin on the vehicle. That is why the importers of these cars clearly have no intention of doing anything other than a superficial, short-term repair. Furthermore, repairers and repair certifiers have no way of determining the long term effectiveness of repairs on electrics, electronics and other safety-related componentry, even if major assemblies are replaced. The delayed effects of corrosion mean that problems are not likely to surface for several months.’

Mr. Kerr also commented on the possible use of such vehicles as a source of parts. ‘Who is going to monitor the distribution of parts from these vehicles?’ he said. ‘By the time the parts, many of which will be subject to premature failure due to flood damage, are scattered the length and breadth of the country, it will be another case of ‘buyer beware’.

‘We have to seriously question the role of the LTSA in this entire fiasco’, said Mr. Kerr. ‘There is clearly a limited understanding of the effects of immersion in water on the electronic and mechanical functioning of a modern motor vehicle. Not only is the LTSA aiding and abetting a major case of organised fraud, but as the supposed guardians of road safety they are allowing hundreds of vehicles onto the roads which have a high probability of sudden failure. Where is the accountability, and where is the protection for the consumer?’

For Further Information:

Perry Kerr
Chief Executive Officer
Motor Industry Association
Phone 04 570 2248
Mobile 021 650 472
perryk@xtra.co.nz

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