Posted on 6th July 2014 by Russell Phillips
“The Government has taken a welcome step forward with its announcement today to require all new and used vehicles entering New Zealand, be fitted with ESC. However, there are concerns the supply of some new light commercial makes and models will be restricted for a period from 1 July 2015 which will result in more used vehicles without ESC being sold”, said David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association.
The MIA which represents the new vehicle industry has been advocating the mandatory adoption of ESC in New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet for several years. All studies have shown significant reductions in single-vehicle crashes with improved results for 4 wheel drive vehicles over passenger cars.
“Australian research found that the fitment of ESC to vehicles in the Australian and New Zealand fleet was associated with a statistically significant 32% reduction in the risk of single-vehicle crashes in which the driver was injured”. Various American and European studies have shown similar outcomes. Today marks an important step forward in improving the overall safety of our fleet”, he said.
The adoption of ESC in passenger and SUV’s has been mandated in the markets we source our new vehicles from for some time. The adoption of ESC in vans and utes has been mandated in the USA, is in progress of being mandated in Europe and will be mandated in Australia from 2015 to 2017 and in Japan from 2019 to 2021. Given we source our vans and utes primarily from Australia and Japan, the Government’s decision, which has not followed international best practice for regulatory intervention, to require ESC to be fitted to all new vans and utes from 1 July 2015 could result in some restriction of supplies for a period of time, as several manufactures will not have replacement models available by that date.
“However, what really disappoints is the Government’s lackadaisical approach on requiring ESC on the importation of used vehicles. The extended timeline afforded to used imports makes a mockery of tough requirements for new vehicles. Japan has been producing passenger cars with ESC in volume since 2011, so why the government is waiting until 2020 to require the volume of used imports (passenger vehicles with engines less than 2.0L capacity) to have ESC is a complete mystery. It is a step backwards in not taking the opportunity to quickly advance lifesaving technology to the total New Zealand fleet which is and will, as a result of this decision, continue to be dominated by older used imports lacking the advanced safety technologies of new vehicles entering the fleet” said Mr Crawford.