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Safety Alert – Certifications for tow bars revoked

Safety Alert – Certifications for tow bars revoked

Following an ongoing specialist investigation, the NZ Transport Agency has issued a Safety Alert advising that it has revoked the certifications for tow bars on more than 1,400 heavy vehicles. These include small trucks, tipper trucks, motorhomes and goods’ vans certified by Auckland-based heavy vehicle specialist certifier Patrick Chu of Transport and Structure Limited.

These vehicles can still be used but must not tow anything until the tow bar has been recertified. The Transport Agency’s regulatory function lead, Meredith Connell Managing Partner Steve Haszard says Mr Chu applied the wrong assessment standard which means the tow bars were incorrectly certified.

“This means that during the current period of certification there is a risk that the trailer could detach from the vehicle, including the safety chain,” Mr Haszard says.

More than 1,400 heavy vehicles that currently have a tow bar with a certification issued by Mr Chu are affected and can no longer tow loads until they are recertified.

“The Transport Agency is aware this revocation safety alert comes at a difficult time for some vehicle owners. We apologise for this inconvenience but safety is our top priority,” Mr Haszard says.

The Transport Agency has started contacting the registered owners of vehicles that had tow bars certified by Mr Chu. However, all vehicle owners with a tow bar certified by Mr Chu are strongly encouraged to call us on 0800 108 809.

The Transport Agency further advises that owners contact an alternate heavy vehicle certifier to check and re-certify the tow bar to ensure it is safe. A list of alternate certifiers can be found on the , at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/resources/heavy-vehicle-specialist-certifiers/docs/heavy-vehicle-specialist-certifiers-list.pdf

A separate safety alert issued yesterday related to certifications issued by Patrick Chu in respect of towing connections and chassis. Today’s alert follows further assessment of Mr Chu’s files and relates solely to tow bars, a small subset of his certifications.

Read the safety alert and Q&As here:
Tow bar certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd [PDF, 269 KB]
Questions and answers about this safety alert [PDF, 1 MB]

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