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NOT FIT FOR THE ROAD: The rate of vehicles failing Warrant of Fitness inspections in Gisborne has been put down to several factors, including the age of vehicles, roads, people only repairing their vehicles when they are obliged to and vehicles registered after 2000 only needing an inspection once a year rather than every six months. NZ Herald picture

GISBORNE has the equal-highest vehicle Warrant of Fitness failure rate in the country, according to figures released by the Motor Trade Association.

This district rates alongside Waikato and Otago, with a 46 percent fail rate.

Marlborough ranked the best at a 33 percent failure rate.

Radio New Zealand reported the MTA figures and said mechanics in some parts of the country had spoken about seeing increasing numbers of motorists bringing increasingly dangerous cars to garages.

Star Service Centre owner Mike Virtue said he felt that was a sweeping and general statement.

“We are seeing cars that are dangerous, but then we always have.

“The roads around here do not help, and the age of the region’s vehicle fleet is also a factor. There are many more older vehicles here than in other areas.

“We have noted that people are really only repairing their vehicles when they are obliged to.”

He pointed to the change in WoF inspections for vehicles registered from 2000 from every six months to once a year.

“Some of those vehicles are now 19 years old.”

A spokeswoman for Gisborne Vehicle Testing Station, which handles close to 60 percent of warrants of fitness in the district, said the state of some vehicles they saw was “quite shocking.”

“I think it has got worse since the warrant period was pushed out to 12 months for vehicles on the road since 2000,” she said.

“For example, we have seen suspension ball joints that have been about to fall out and steering joints where there has been excessive wear.

“Under a six-month warranty regime they would not have got to that stage.”

It was the same with tyres.

“We have seen tyres that were so worn the air was leaking out when the vehicle came in for testing.

“It does not surprise us at all that 46 percent of the vehicles taken in for a WoF in this region fail at the first attempt.”

Official figures show the number of cars failing at their first presentation for a WoF has climbed steadily in the five years since annual checks superseded six-monthly ones.

It has gone from 34 percent of all inspections in 2014 to 41 percent — a rise that represents more than a quarter of a million vehicles.

WoF consultant Andrea Andrews, who gives advice to 200 garages nationwide, said it was collectively agreed by inspectors that the one-year warrants had significantly impacted on the road toll.

The government’s new Road to Zero proposals that aim to reverse the rising road toll include a review of how cars get warrants of fitness.

But VTNZ and the MTA point to big information gaps in the vehicle defect and crash data that policymakers rely on.

Greig Epps, from the MTA, said they have seen a trend of increasing warrant of fitness fails and vehicle factors contributing to fatal crashes.

“If we can’t analyse the data, if we don’t have the data to analyse, how we can figure out what to do next and how to fix the problem?

“To fix the problem, the Government should order a return to six-monthly warrant of fitness checks.”

GISBORNE has the equal-highest vehicle Warrant of Fitness failure rate in the country, according to figures released by the Motor Trade Association.

This district rates alongside Waikato and Otago, with a 46 percent fail rate.

Marlborough ranked the best at a 33 percent failure rate.

Radio New Zealand reported the MTA figures and said mechanics in some parts of the country had spoken about seeing increasing numbers of motorists bringing increasingly dangerous cars to garages.

Star Service Centre owner Mike Virtue said he felt that was a sweeping and general statement.

“We are seeing cars that are dangerous, but then we always have.

“The roads around here do not help, and the age of the region’s vehicle fleet is also a factor. There are many more older vehicles here than in other areas.

“We have noted that people are really only repairing their vehicles when they are obliged to.”

He pointed to the change in WoF inspections for vehicles registered from 2000 from every six months to once a year.

“Some of those vehicles are now 19 years old.”

A spokeswoman for Gisborne Vehicle Testing Station, which handles close to 60 percent of warrants of fitness in the district, said the state of some vehicles they saw was “quite shocking.”

“I think it has got worse since the warrant period was pushed out to 12 months for vehicles on the road since 2000,” she said.

“For example, we have seen suspension ball joints that have been about to fall out and steering joints where there has been excessive wear.

“Under a six-month warranty regime they would not have got to that stage.”

It was the same with tyres.

“We have seen tyres that were so worn the air was leaking out when the vehicle came in for testing.

“It does not surprise us at all that 46 percent of the vehicles taken in for a WoF in this region fail at the first attempt.”

Official figures show the number of cars failing at their first presentation for a WoF has climbed steadily in the five years since annual checks superseded six-monthly ones.

It has gone from 34 percent of all inspections in 2014 to 41 percent — a rise that represents more than a quarter of a million vehicles.

WoF consultant Andrea Andrews, who gives advice to 200 garages nationwide, said it was collectively agreed by inspectors that the one-year warrants had significantly impacted on the road toll.

The government’s new Road to Zero proposals that aim to reverse the rising road toll include a review of how cars get warrants of fitness.

But VTNZ and the MTA point to big information gaps in the vehicle defect and crash data that policymakers rely on.

Greig Epps, from the MTA, said they have seen a trend of increasing warrant of fitness fails and vehicle factors contributing to fatal crashes.

“If we can’t analyse the data, if we don’t have the data to analyse, how we can figure out what to do next and how to fix the problem?

“To fix the problem, the Government should order a return to six-monthly warrant of fitness checks.”

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