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Industry agrees on universal three-point seatbelts

Media Release

For Immediate Release
26 August 2004

New car industry agrees on universal three - point seatbelts

The New Car Industry, through its industry body (the Motor Industry Assocation), has reached a voluntary agreement whereby all new cars sold in New Zealand will include three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, subject to such equipment being available from the factory.

“This is a another good example of the local new car industry going further than what is required under New Zealand safety legislation,” said Perry Kerr, CEO of the MIA. “Although three-point belts are required by law in the front and outside rear seating positions, there is nothing in law stipulating such a fitment in the centre rear position. It’s universally recognised that a simple lap belt does not protect the user as well as a three-point belt does, and it’s to the industry’s credit that there has been agreement to standardise the three-point belt.”

“The Land Transport Safety Authority congratulates the Motor Industry Association on its new safety initiative that will see all new passenger cars (Class MA) fitted with a lap-and-diagonal seatbelt in the middle rear seating position of all new vehicles that members distribute. A lap-and-diagonal seatbelt offers significantly more protection to a passenger in a crash than a lapbelt, and the LTSA commends any initiative that replaces lapbelts with lap-and-diagonal seatbelts,” said David Wright, Director, LTSA.

Mr Kerr noted that “There are a small number of car models for which a three-point centre rear belt is currently unavailable ex-factory, and this feature is not able to be installed locally because it requires changes to the design of the body structure.”

“In conjunction with members the MIA has drawn up a schedule of when 100% fitment of this seat belt will be achieved – and will monitor and update this schedule yearly. For some companies, because of the quite extensive re-engineering required to fit this belt, 100% compliance will not be achieved until 2010,” concluded Mr Kerr.


August 2004

Industry Agreement
for the fitment of three-point anchorage lap diagonal seatbelts
in the middle rear seating position of Class MA passenger vehicles

Purpose and Scope:

As the franchised importers of new vehicles distributed in New Zealand, it is the intent of all Motor Industry Association members to ensure that the passenger cars that they distribute meet or exceed internationally recognised standards for safety. MIA members also recognise that in certain instances a specific vehicle safety feature should be incorporated into all new vehicles sold in New Zealand.

Vehicles covered by this agreement:

A class MA vehicle as defined in New Zealand Rules as being:-

“A passenger vehicle (other than a Class MB or Class MC vehicle) that has not more than nine seating positions (including the driver’s seating position).”

Vehicle specifications and applied date:

It is recognised that the fitment of a three-point anchorage lap diagonal seatbelt (with emergency locking retractor) in the middle rear seating position is not a legal requirement in other markets such as Japan until 2009. However MIA members acknowledge the safety benefits that can accrue from the fitment of such seatbelts and will specify this as a mandatory option where it is available as a factory fit for this market.

This agreement is to be phased in to become mandatory for all new Class MA vehicles sold in New Zealand from 1 January 2010.

For levels of compliance 2004 to 2010 refer to the attached schedule.

International Standards:

The seatbelt and anchorage system must comply with standards cited in Land Transport Rule; Seatbelts and Seatbelt Anchoraging 2002 (Rule 32011) Table 2.4 as it relates to Class MA vehicles and seatbelts for rear outer seating positions.

Supporting Membership:

Ateco Automotive New Zealand Limited Auckland
BMW New Zealand Limited Auckland
Continental Vehicle Distributors Auckland
DaimlerChrysler New Zealand Limited Auckland
European Motor Distributors Limited Auckland
Ford Motor Company of New Zealand Limited Auckland
Holden New Zealand Limited Auckland
Honda New Zealand Limited Auckland
Hyundai Automotive New Zealand Limited Auckland
Inchcape Motors New Zealand Limited
trading as Subaru of New Zealand Auckland
Kia Motors New Zealand Auckland
Mazda Motors New Zealand Limited Auckland
MG Rover New Zealand Auckland
Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand Limited Porirua
Motorcorp Holdings Limited Auckland
Nissan New Zealand Limited Auckland
Scandinavian Vehicle Distributors Auckland
Sime Darby Automobiles New Zealand Limited Auckland
Suzuki New Zealand Limited Wanganui
Toyota New Zealand Limited Palmerston North

Levels of Compliance – 2004 to 2010

Estimated Compliance Level as at 1 January 2004 80 - 85%

Marques with non-complying models:-

Alfa Romeo

2005 - 2006
Estimated Compliance Level by 1 January 2005 90%

Marques with non-complying models:-

Alfa Romeo

2007 – 2009
Estimated Compliance Level as at 1 January 2007 92%

Marques with non-complying models:-

Alfa Romeo


Compliance Level post 1 January 2010 100%

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