LTSA providing details of flood-damaged vehicles
The Land Transport Safety Authority is listing the details of vehicles damaged by floods in Japan on its website and reiterating a previous warning to importers that it will be extremely difficult and costly to have the cars certified for sale in New Zealand.
Director of Land Transport Safety Reg Barrett said the LTSA was providing the details of vehicles identified as flood-damaged as a means of protecting consumers from purchasing potentially dangerous vehicles.
"Our inspection procedures should keep these vehicles off the lots of reputable dealers, but others may try to sell them at car fairs, auctions or the roadside. If people have suspicions about any vehicle I urge them to write down the chassis number and check our website," he said.
The chassis number is usually located on the firewall at the back of a vehicle's engine compartment.
The vehicles listed on the website are those identified by the LTSA border check as likely to have been damaged by flooding. Basic components like seat belts, seat belt pretensioners, airbags and electrical systems are likely to need replacing in order to bring the vehicles to a safe standard as required by New Zealand law.
Mr Barrett said the authority had taken a strong line with the importation of these vehicles because of the serious safety concerns.
“We're advising all our agents to come down hard
on these vehicles and we've warned importers seeking to make
a quick profit at the expense of safety on our roads that
they could be the ones left out of pocket."
Mr Barrett said the LTSA would continue working to identify flood-damaged vehicles at the border.
"More than 130 of these vehicles have been flagged to date and we've supplied the details to our inspection agents.
"When the importers take these vehicles to agents for their mandatory pre-registration safety inspections, the agents will know they've been flood damaged. The cars will then be sent on to repair certifiers for detailed scrutiny of the affected components."
Mr Barrett reminded used car buyers that they face serious risks when purchasing any unregistered vehicle.
"It may look like a great deal, but if you buy an unregistered vehicle you may find yourself stuck with an unsafe car that you will never be able to drive on the road."
The makes, models and chassis numbers
of imported vehicles identified as flood damaged are
available on the LTSA website, at