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“Car owners short changed by MIA”

2 April 2008


Media release


DataDot seeks to join court action: “Car owners short changed by MIA”

DataDot Technology, a microdot supplier, will ask the High Court at Wellington to allow it to join the legal action to ensure “all the facts” are presented against a Motor Industry Association (MIA) attempt to block a major anti vehicle theft policy initiative.

Car owners are at risk due to the latest disruptive action by the Motor Industry Association (MIA) to try to undermine Government plans to introduce Whole of Vehicle Marking (WOVM) to New Zealand, DataDot Technology New Zealand Ltd’s Managing Director, David Lumsden, said today.

After serious consideration of the benefits to the motoring public, and law enforcement agencies, the Government  decided that WOVM is the most efficient and cost effective manner of combating professional car theft.

It announced plans to make it compulsory this year.

This week the MIA has legally injuncted the Government from implementing its plans.

Mr Lumsden said the legal action by the MIA is a last ditch effort to derail a crime reduction measure that is clearly in the interests of the public.

WOVM involves spraying each car with 7,000 tiny microdots, with each dot containing the unique 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Thieves find it impossible to locate and remove all the microdots, so they stay away

from “dotted” cars. The MIA does not want the NZ public to have this protection.

Independent research from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council in Australia confirms that “dotted” cars are less likely to be stolen than “non-dotted” cars.

“The MIA has previously admitted that “microdot technology is an extremely effective deterrent (MIA news archive 1st March 2007), yet they are fighting tooth and nail to stop it.

“They also admit the real reason for their opposition: ‘to prevent the imposition of a process which will only make vehicles more expensive for no discernable benefit’. (MIA news archive 28 March 2008)

“This is an argument about self-interest, the interest of the MIA, at the expense of the New Zealand public.”

Mr Lumsden said the MIA's action will also delay DataDot Technology’s well advanced plans to open a factory in New Zealand and create jobs. 

The MIA has also exaggerated the costs of microdotting each car. A New Zealand Government Cost Benefit Analysis found that the one-off cost would be around $88 per car.  This is in line with the present cost to Subaru and Mitsubishi who both voluntarily “dot” their cars in New Zealand.

The leading NZ vehicle insurer says it “has experienced a reduction in theft rates on makes and models fitted with WOVM microdots by manufacturers”, also believes a mandatory WOVM policy will significantly reduce vehicle theft in New Zealand, thereby reducing insurance claims and payments, which in turn will reduce vehicle insurance premiums”

Outside of New Zealand, 23 vehicle manufacturers voluntarily fit microdots to their vehicles, again at a cost that is line with the New Zealand Review estimate.

The Police and the Ministry of Justice have also concluded that the other benefits of WOVM include:


·      Reduced fear of crime


·      Speedier resolution of court cases


·      Disruption of national and international organized crime networks


·      Increased road safety





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