Profits not safety

October 12th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:

A campaign against warrant of fitness changes fronted by motor racing star Greg Murphy is under attack from the AA, which says it is about profit rather than safety.

The Government is considering whether to change the frequency of warrant checks from six-monthly to annually for cars up to 12 years old.

The Motor Trade Association has launched a highly visible campaign against the plan, fronted by Murphy, a four-time Bathurst 1000 winner. He urges people to lobby the Government against the plan.

Automobile Association spokesman Mark Stockdale said that could be seen as “scaremongering” and was influenced by motor trade commercial interests.

The Motor Trade Association members include hundreds of garages offering warrant checks, and the organisation owns Vehicle Testing NZ, the largest warrant provider.

“Clearly they have a vested interest in the status quo, so they’re more concerned about their bottom line than they are about road safety,” Mr Stockdale said.

Absolutely.

The maths is simple. We have four million cars in NZ. Let’s assume 75% are over five years old (prob more than that). So three million cars. If checks go from six months to annually and cost $45 then that is $135 million less revenue for the and its members.

That is $135 million saved by motorists.

The AA said more than half of all accidents blamed on car defects were caused by worn tyres, and in 40 per cent of fatal accidents involving car faults, the vehicle had no warrant. The AA was “likely” to support the Government’s plans.

“There’s no evidence whatsoever . . . that frequency of inspection has any bearing on vehicle safety.”

Some countries have no mandated inspection period. Others range from one to two years generally. Six months is very uncommon.

Motor trade spokesman Ian Stronach insisted its interest was safety.

Yeah, right.

One can argue for monthly inspections, based on safety. The question for Government is do six monthly inspections make a noticeable difference to the safety of vehicles compared to 12 monthly ones. Based on my experience, I’d say no. Most six monthly checks find no issues at all.

If the MTA wanted to persuade people, they’d be better to drop the silly scare campaign, and produce some hard data. How many cars at each WOF check get a clean bill of health, and how many have issues to be fixed – and what are those issues.

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28 Responses to “Profits not safety”

  1. Redbaiter (6,481 comments) says:

    Queensland has WOF only on the occasion that a vehicle changes ownership. There are no apparent safety problems because of this.

    The MTA campaign is just a fraud, based on scaremongering and distortions and exaggerations.

    Its long past time these “businesses”, who have been looting mechanically ignorant old grandmothers and pensioners with fraudulent repair demands every six months, (worn suspension bushes on cars with minimal mileage for example) got what was coming to them.

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  2. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    They did release the VTNZ (owned by the MTA, so not really independent) stats for failures, which was something like 3/4 cars fail on its first test, but they count a headlight being out of alignment, or a blown number plate bulb fail the same as a serious fail like bald tyres, or structural rust. So we don’t know the real figures for serious defects vs minor.
    Plus not to mention VTNZ count something as a fail, even if they couldn’t legally fail it in the first place, and the owner questions it, and its subsequently passed. i.e tyre tread being measured incorrectly (in my case it was measured from the treadwear indicator, rather than the bottom of the rain channels).

    Its 100% about money for MTA, not about safety at all. They have no coherrant arguments about a decrease in safety at all from any changes.

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  3. Auberon (819 comments) says:

    First there was MTA’s dodgy in-house push poll that showed support for the status quo when every other poll done showed public support for less frequent testing, which also had no mention of MTA owning VTNZ, now this. MTA/VTNZ has no credibility in this issue whatsoever.

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  4. Lance (2,311 comments) says:

    Between the ridiculous frequency and the bloody pedantic failing regime it’s a bloody rip off.

    Not that long ago they failed my near new car because on full beam, while the car was idling only, one light very very slightly vibrated. This was how it came out of the Hyundai factory. Like talking to a fucking brick wall telling them this is silly.
    Had to go to a well respected service garage to get this overturned. PRICKS

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  5. orewa1 (425 comments) says:

    Exactly. Vested interest.

    Same applies to so-called Watercare Services and their ridiculous move from 6 monthly bills to monthly ones – all sent out by post. Job creation for meter readers and posities.

    Another by-product of this bizarre “super” city, Thanks, Rodney.

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  6. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Queensland has WOF only on the occasion that a vehicle changes ownership. There are no apparent safety problems because of this.

    RB, with the majority yes but there are exceptions. Ive witnessed plenty of vehicles hurtling up and down the Bruce where there are very apparent safety concerns – even when they pass you by as if your going in reverse. Best one Ive ever seen was the Isuzu Mu where it seemed both left hand side shocks were so far gone the entire vehicle seemed to be leaning over!

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  7. meh (164 comments) says:

    We have 3 vehicles, my main one has just got it’s last annual WOF (5 years old). 2 of them are just at 90,000kms (serviced every 10,000km) and one is not a daily driven vehicle so covers under 1000km a year. It irks me that I have to fork out so much in WOF costs when they are all maintained to a very high standard. Don’t get started on the rego costs when I pay so much in RUCs as well..

    The munters who ignore servicing and drive around without WOF’s will continue to do so, the 6 monthly window is purely making money off the rest of us.

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  8. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    We have 3 vehicles, my main one has just got it’s last annual WOF (5 years old). 2 of them are just at 90,000kms (serviced every 10,000km) and one is not a daily driven vehicle so covers under 1000km a year. It irks me that I have to fork out so much in WOF costs when they are all maintained to a very high standard. Don’t get started on the rego costs when I pay so much in RUCs as well..

    Hmmm, this raises a good point – should WOF checks be based on km’s traveled, not time between checks? Maybe something like every 20,000kms or 2 years which ever milestone is reached first?

    The munters who ignore servicing and drive around without WOF’s will continue to do so, the 6 monthly window is purely making money off the rest of us.

    Completely agree with that.

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  9. Manolo (12,637 comments) says:

    Milking the car-owners for as much (and long) as possible.

    It has been discussed before, but no action was taken. What are the chances will it be any different this time?
    If only the Minister in charge will have the balls to act.

    The same “safety” mantra was used by the lamentable Maurice Williamson to cut the validity of NZ passports from 10 to 5 years. All in the name of the greater public good, of course.

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  10. RRM (8,994 comments) says:

    I have a two-owner 1971 Triumph (red) that I’m gradually restoring to hopefully a better-than-new standard.

    I also have a 1972 Triumph (yellow) with a rather more chequered history, that I used as a daily driver for a couple of years until she ran into the ground, and is now a parts donor car for the red one.

    The last time I got a WoF for Yellow, they initially failed it because they found a (harmless) dent in the floorboards that must have been there for 20 years. However they failed to notice that just 6 inches away significant rust was starting to come through the outer sill.

    THE POINT of this otherwise pointless story… is that safety is sometimes in the eye of the beholder, and WoF checks don’t always behold everything you’d think/hope they would!

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  11. tom hunter (4,010 comments) says:

    RRM gets it:

    THE POINT of this otherwise pointless story… is that safety is sometimes in the eye of the beholder,

    RRM does not get it:

    Human life is far to precious to put at risk through masturbatory arguments about small and worthless “liberties”. Some people really really are wrong and they need to be told what’s good for them.

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  12. David Garrett (5,150 comments) says:

    The MTA’s claim “it’s all about safety” reminds me of the 90 year ban on New Zealand apples exported into Australia because “they’ve got fire blight”…Yeah right.

    As the owner of a classic car I never go to a VTNZ testing station for the reasons outlined by others…for example, XJ6 Jaguars came out of the factory with play in the left wheel bearings…I even used to take the workshop manual to try and convince them this was not a “fault”. Total waste of time.

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  13. paul henry (49 comments) says:

    DPF said:

    “Absolutely.

    The maths is simple. We have four million cars in NZ. Let’s assume 75% are over five years old (prob more than that). So three million cars. If WOF checks go from six months to annually and cost $45 then that is $135 million less revenue for the MTA and its members.”

    Its for cars up to 12 years old. I doubt there are 3 million cars aged between 12 and 5 years. I reckon the bulk, say 2.5 million, would be pre-2000. I wonder if stats NZ has that info.

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  14. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    total scam. get rid of this tax.

    id blow it out to two years

    i dont care if garages go under.

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  15. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    Queensland has WOF only on the occasion that a vehicle changes ownership.

    You’re a muppet Red. We take full advantage of the fact (it’s called a roadworthy certificate not a WOF by the way). All you have to do to keep an old bomb on the road is keep it registered until the day the car shits itself or you get pulled over by a cop and he defects the vehicle. You’re not likely to get a ticket either if you’re polite, since the cop knows he’s effectively taking your car from you.

    There are some real shitboxes on the road in Queensland (and other states where there is no RWC requirement). Personally I think it’d be a good idea to bring in a yearly inspection, but only as long as it was coupled with the elimination of tarrifs on foreign vehicles so that people can replace their vehicles more economically.

    As for NZ, I think there should be a mileage test as well as a years test for eligibility for yearly WOFs – a two year old car that has done 200,000 km is an old car and would have similar mechanical issues to a 10 year old car.

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  16. Redbaiter (6,481 comments) says:

    Hey dumbarse don’t rant to me about “what’s on the road’. I know you braindead slavish statist scum will say anything to make the government more powerful, and give it power to introduce more legislation, and tax us more, and make us jump through more and more hoops, but forget the self serving bullshit.

    What you have to do here is show that Qld’s policy on WOF results in a decrease in safety. And that there is a cost benefit to increasing the frequency of checks. As DPF says in his post, provide the statistics. Don’t just rant like an idiot. You sound like an MTA member.

    (Man I detest you abject forelock tugging knuckle dragging slaves)

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  17. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    Don’t just rant like an idiot.

    Practise what you preach.

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  18. RRM (8,994 comments) says:

    David Garrett –
    It’s a pity you didn’t ever appear in public in your XJ6, I might have even voted for you had I known you were a gentleman of taste.

    An older bloke I used to work with owns a Jaguar XJ-C which the old mechanic at VTNZ failed once for excessive play in the rear wheel bearing. Argument ensued. My mate wants someone else to take a look and give another opinion.

    The other VTNZ inspector comes over – young asian dude with a blingy earring and his cap on backwards. My mate thinks he’s stuffed at this point, what is a young asian dude who clearly inhabits the turbo vtec ecu world going to know about an old Jaguar? “Oh yeah that’s completely normal on these” young Asian guy points out. “Look the other side is exactly the same.” No more problem…

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  19. mikemikemikemike (241 comments) says:

    Forgive me for not celebrating saving $50 a year…..is this really that big a deal? I get my car serviced every 6 mths and its gets a warrant at the same time. Making this out to be some kind of massive inconvenience is a bit of a laugh isn’t it.

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  20. Manolo (12,637 comments) says:

    Obvioulsy, you, socialist mike, got too much money and like donating it to the government.

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  21. MTA (1 comment) says:

    Isn’t the key to all of this is the viability of the measures Govt say they will put in place to prevent the extra deaths and serious injuries they are forecasting? Those are Govt’s figures too, not MTA’s.

    Some might say they were hard to find, located as they were on p57 of their Cost Benefit Report…

    Their figures show that over the next decade, depending on which option is chosen, we can expect between 7 and 84 additional fatalities and between 16 and 179 additional serious injuries.

    They believe that they will be able to mitigate against these risks through measures like additional enforcement and educating motorists about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and servicing.

    The records of successive Govt’s in trying to change attitudes and processes in a relatively short time is not good, hence the reason why MTA is raising its concerns.

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  22. Redbaiter (6,481 comments) says:

    Hey MTA… ITS OK IN QLD..!!!

    MTA uses the WOF legislation to extort a living from NZ citizens through the frequent fraudulent rejection of cars presented for WOFs, and thereafter makes money from carrying out repairs that are not needed.

    You’ve been doing it for years, people have been pissed off, and now (I hope) you’re going to get what you’re due.

    This is a backlash you’ve only got yourselves to blame for.

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  23. Eisenhower (134 comments) says:

    Probably won’t make much difference moving to to annual inspections. The companies issuing WoF’s and carrying out repairs will obviously want to stay in business so expect a doubling of the WoF cost and much more stringent examinations. The ball joint that was marginal under the old regime will definitely be failed under the new…and maybe the other side as well for good measure.

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  24. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Smegs me off when idiots that can not tell if their tyres are bald or their lights are broken would like me pay to get a wof every six months so that don’t have to check and maintain their cars.
    I use VINZ because i have seen to many dodgy garages that fail cars to get the repair work. The local vinz are usually strict but reliable. I have even put old pommy rubbish through. They seem to except that a 60 year old car is not going to meet modern car standards no matter what you do.

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  25. gazzmaniac (2,270 comments) says:

    Redbaiter – you’re still a muppet. You made that point in your first comment.

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  26. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    All those that complain of dodgy WOF fails, just print out a copy of the VIRM (vehicle inspection requirements manual) and take it out and ask the assesor to point what part of the VIRM they are using to fail you. Of course it helps if you have some mechanical knowledge to be able to tell if they’re talking crap too.

    Also not many know that you can complain to NZTA, and ask to speak to the person in charge of assesing WOF inspectors in your area, and point out what areas of the VIRM a particular inspector is deficient in. Helps if you have your WOF fail sheet handy, so you can give them the assesors number.
    Very helpful if an assessor still won’t admit the errors of their ways, and won’t pass you still when you’re in the right.
    They even have the ability to remove the WOF assessors licence to issue WOF’s.

    Not even VTNZ gets it right all the time, after all most WOF people are just failed mechanics.

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  27. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    Increased road toll/ crashes from annual WOF instead of every six months? Mmmm….. nah.

    WOF after distance kms driven is great idea (except bogans will doctor their odos). Car makers obviously think so as shown by their long-standing practice of time or distance whichever comes first warranties.

    One downside: will see more nongs driving on one headlight/ tailight. NO freakin lights. Yeh bald tyres would be a problem with people who take the piss.

    I wouldn’t even take my middle finger along to VTNZ. They’d fail it because it wasn’t straight enough for them. Donkey yonks ago I took cars there. They ran out of paper for two of them. Got them both done at other garages without too many problems.

    One thing was an orange ABS warning light that stayed on. The good bastards at the garage (I must look like a pitiful down and outer because I always get little breaks) said ‘we’ll pass it with the light because it’s not unsafe, but mate… don’t come back whining if anything happens, got it?’. No problem!! They weren’t exactly in awe of the VTNZ tester mechanical skills and talent.

    The exact opposite of how VTNZ sell themselves happens. Because they don’t onsell the repair, they don’t give a crap how many faults they rack up, whereas if the garage is overly harsh…. you’re going to tell them where to go, and they lose the work (these days I would definitely tell them where to get off). And they get a reputation pretty fast.

    As per Lance and other comments I’m not the least bit surprised. You could tow a brand new car off the end of the line to a VTNZ without a damned *metre* on the clock and those jobsworths could find something wrong with it.

    Redbaiter: *braindead slavish state scum* *forelock tugging knuckle dragging slaves* Am I meant to be able to read comedy gold like that without being reduced to uncontrollable laughter? Highly entertaining!! May I suggest combining those two? *forelock tugging braindead knuckle-dragging slavish state scum*…. might be cool to compile a greatest hits and produce something that comes out as a two minute long non-repeating torrent of titchy tormenting torture!! Personally I picture Rik Mayall ala Young Ones spewing the diatribe.

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  28. mikenmild (8,890 comments) says:

    Redbaiter as the ‘people’s poet’?

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