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Frontal Impact Rule Crashes On Implementation

3 April 2002

The Transport Minister's failure to think through implementation issues around the new frontal impact safety standards is creating havoc in the imported used-car industry, says National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon.

"Importers are confused. After being told that cars manufactured in Japan after 1 January 1996 would comply with the frontal impact standards, they're now hearing that some cars manufactured after that date don't comply, and can't be approved for use in New Zealand.

"Cars imported in good faith, on the assumption that a 1996 manufacture date meets the standard, are being rejected.

"There's the example of two Toyota Caldinas manufactured in 1996 and 1997. Despite the manufacture dates, the LTSA says they don't comply with the New Zealand frontal impact rule. Another example is a Nissan P10 Primera, which was built pre-1996 but has passed the tougher frontal impact rule in the United Kingdom. This too has been rejected.

"The Transport Minister bulldozed this rule through without thinking of the practicalities. There's no easy way for importers to determine whether or not a car they import complies with the new rule.

"These people are trying to run businesses but how can they when the rules keep changing? The Minister must make it clear that cars manufactured after 1 January 1996 will be deemed to comply with the new rule," says Ms Vernon.


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