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VTNZ welcomes new vehicle import restrictions

Media release
28 November 2007

VTNZ welcomes new vehicle import restrictions

Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ) has welcomed the Government’s move to restrict the import of used cars more than ten years old in an effort to cut vehicle emissions.

Under the Government’s new initiative imported used cars manufactured before 1998 will be banned unless they meet acceptable levels of emissions imposed in their country of origin.

The announcement follows the launch of VTNZ's fully independent in-service vehicle emissions test in New Zealand earlier this month.

The VTNZ emission test, which is being piloted by New Zealand’s premier tourism operator, Tourism Holdings Limited (THL), sets a world class benchmark for vehicle exhaust emissions standards.

The THL fleet is the first fleet of vehicles to be independently tested under the VTNZ emission test.

VTNZ Chief Executive Mike Walsh said VTNZ intends to offer the emission test to all its 2.5 million customers in the near future.

“We are delighted that the Government is reducing pollution by testing older imported vehicles for emissions. The next step is to raise the bar further by introducing compulsory in-service testing for all of New Zealand’s 3 million vehicles.

“The emission testing procedure we developed for THL has been a useful pilot programme for VTNZ and the tough new standards we’ve set will ensure that motorists whose vehicles pass our Five Star standard can rest assured that their vehicles are as fuel efficient as possible, as well as having low harmful emissions,” Mr Walsh said.

“Many customers have come to us since the launch of the test wanting to have their own fleet tested. We believe more and more New Zealanders will want hard evidence of their vehicles’ fuel efficiency and, of course their environmental impact.”

“The benefits are undeniable – not only cleaner air but more efficient vehicles and reduced running costs,” Mr Walsh said.


VTNZ’s emission test:

The emissions test developed by VTNZ measures harmful gases and measures different outputs depending on the vehicle’s fuel type. Diesel engines measure the amount of smoke output (particulates) and the petrol engine test measures unburnt Hydrocarbons (HC) and Carbon Monoxide (CO).

The emissions test takes approximately 15 minutes per vehicle and uses a specialised testing unit.

The test sets two benchmarks for emissions:

1. A vehicle can obtain a “Three Star” rating – which indicates that the vehicle is at least compliant with the European in-service test limits for emissions or
2. A vehicle can obtain a “Five Star” rating which sets a much higher benchmark for emissions allowed – many times higher than the European in-service standard.


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