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MTA welcomes decision to make ESC mandatory

Media Release 26 February 2014

MTA welcomes decision to make ESC mandatory

Motor Trade Association (MTA) welcomes the announcement by Associate Minister of Transport Michael Woodhouse earlier today that Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is to become mandatory for new and used vehicles in New Zealand.

MTA spokesperson Ian Stronach says ESC has been recognised throughout the motor industry as a significant contributor to vehicle safety, with the potential to reduce accidents and save lives. The decision to make it mandatory follows many other countries, and will bring New Zealand into line with industry best practice.

Government’s approach to the introduction of this safety feature, by way of a staggered introduction, is both pragmatic and entirely sensible.

“By providing a timetable for introduction up front, government will allow the industry plenty of time to prepare and make the necessary changes. The timetable recognises both the differing needs by vehicle type, and the fact that some classes of vehicle are already more likely to have it included as standard,” says Stronach.

SUVs have a higher risk of roll over because of their higher centre of gravity and generally greater vehicle mass. Considering their growing popularity in New Zealand, it is appropriate they are amongst the earliest targeted as used imported vehicles.

Many larger capacity vehicles imported into New Zealand used already have ESC, making it more straightforward for importers to source stock that meets the new requirements.

MTA does not expect the introduction of these changes will have a significant effect on prices, but it could affect availability of some used import models.

“Many new cars already have ESC, but in the case of used imports, it will be more a matter of sourcing suitable vehicles. In some cases, these may need to be newer models and thus may be slightly more expensive than models without,” adds Stronach.

MTA looks forward to positively supporting this proposal when consultation opens in March 2014.


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