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Vehicle safety alerts

This section outlines current vehicle safety alerts and issues that are beyond routine vehicle requirements.

Safety alert: Tow bars certified by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd

The NZ Transport Agency has issued a safety alert advising that tow bar connections certified by Auckland based Mr Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) have been revoked from today (21 December 2018).

Tow bars on heavy vehicles [including small trucks, tipper trucks, motor homes and goods’ vans], certified by Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) have been revoked from 21 December 2018 due to urgent safety concerns.

Mr Chu applied the wrong assessment standard which means the tow bars were incorrectly certified. This means that during the current period of certification the trailer could detach from the vehicle (including the safety chain).

The vehicles’ ability to tow any load has been revoked until the tow bar is re-certified.

Read our safety alert: Tow bar certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd [PDF, 297 KB] – December 2018

Questions and answers about this safety alert [PDF, 1.2 MB] – December 2018 (updated 7 February 2019)

Read the related media release about Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) – December 2018

Safety alert: Heavy vehicle certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd

The NZ Transport Agency has issued this safety alert due to the identification of sub-standard work in certain heavy vehicle specialist certifications (also known as ‘LT400s’) issued by Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifier (HVSC) Patrick Chu.

Issues have been identified in respect of both towing connections and chassis certified by Patrick Chu. As a result, the Transport Agency has revoked some certifications issued by Patrick Chu. These revocations have been for reasons including that towbars had been certified beyond their viable design life, and chassis had been certified despite being significantly over-stressed.

The Transport Agency is currently analysing certain files relating to certifications issued by Patrick Chu in respect of towing connections and chassis in heavy vehicles. The Transport Agency will update vehicle owners in the event further risk is identified.

At present, certifications issued by Patrick Chu that have not been revoked by the Transport Agency remain technically valid, though for the reasons set out the Transport Agency strongly encourages owners to be extra vigilant as regards safety where components in their vehicles have been certified by Patrick Chu, and to follow the steps in the safety alert.

Read our safety alert: Heavy vehicle certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd [PDF, 266 KB] – December 2018

Questions and answers about this safety alert [PDF, 568 KB] – December 2018

Read the related media release about Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) – December 2018

Product Safety Recall: Bunnings Trailpro Trailers

Bunnings NZ has issued a product safety recall for Trailpro trailer models TP5 and TP8. Bunnings warn that there is a risk of the trailer’s drawbar breaking and detaching, which poses a significant safety hazard to other road users and bystanders.

Heavy, regular or commercial use of the trailer is likely to accelerate the risk of the drawbar breaking.

What you should do: Check the identification plate on the side of your trailer’s drawbar to see what model you have. If you have a Trailpro TP5 or TP8, you are advised to stop using the trailer to carry any load.

Full information on the product safety recall is available at: www.bunnings.co.nz/returns/recalls(external link) or download the Bunnings NZ recall notice [PDF, 96 KB]

Questions and answers about the product safety recall: Trailpro Light Trailers sold by Bunnings [PDF, 428 KB] – November 2018

Safety alert (updated): BVL (Business Ventures Limited) retrofitted seatbelts

The NZ Transport Agency first issued a safety alert in October 2018 advising vehicle owners who have retrofitted seatbelts to check the labels on their seatbelts following safety concerns. We have updated the safety alert and questions and answers following Transport Agency tests and investigations indicating seatbelts imported by Business Ventures Limited (BVL) and manufactured either by Changzhou BWD China or by Jiang Su Jiu Jiu Traffic Facilities Co. Ltd. do not meet an approved safety standard.

Full information is available at: www.nzta.govt.nz/bvl-retrofitted-seatbelts

Read our updated safety alert: Seatbelts imported by BVL (Business Ventures Limited) [PDF, 565 KB] – November 2018

Updated questions and answers about the safety alert: Imported seatbelts [PDF, 40 KB] – November 2018

Safety alert: Towing connections certified by Richard ‘Dick’ Joyce

This safety alert has been issued following issues identified in drawbeam, drawbar and towbar certifications by Dick Joyce (heavy vehicle specialist certifier identification: RJJ).

Read our safety alert about towing connections certified by Dick Joyce identification RJJ [PDF, 586 KB] – August 2018

Questions and answers about the safety alert: Towing connections certified by Dick Joyce identification RJJ [PDF, 46 KB] – August 2018

Driveshaft parking brake failures in commercial and industrial vehicles

This bulletin from WorkSafe has been developed in consultation with, and is endorsed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Team of the New Zealand Police, and the NZ Transport Agency.

If your vehicle has a driveshaft (also called Cardan shaft) parking brake system, you must follow the requirements in the bulletin. If in doubt, a CoF inspector will be easily able to identify if your vehicle has one or not.

https://worksafe.govt.nz/about-us/news-and-media/driveshaft-parking-brake-failures-in-commercial-and-industrial-vehicles(external link) – July 2018

Revocation of certification of towing connections by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited

Following the February 2018 safety alert (see below), the NZ Transport Agency decided to revoke the PWE certifications of all heavy vehicle towing connections.

If your vehicle has a towing connection certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited, read all the details you need to know on www.nzta.govt.nz/pwe-revocation – May 2018

Safety alert: Towing connections certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited

This safety alert has been issued following the identification of failures in towing connections involving drawbeams and drawbars certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Ltd.

Read our safety alert about towing connections certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited [PDF, 2.3 MB] – February 2018

Questions and answers about the Safety alert: Towing connections certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited [PDF, 539 KB] – February 2018

Safety alert: Skid plate failures on refrigerated semi-trailers

This safety alert has been issued following an on-road incident where the skid plate on a MaxiTRANS refrigerated semi-trailer failed due to internal structural cracks, resulting in the semi-trailer partially separating from the towing vehicle.

Read our safety alert about skid plate failures on refrigerated semi-trailers [PDF, 347 KB] – Feb 2018

Questions and answers about the Safety alert: Skid plate failures on refrigerated semi-trailers [PDF, 209 KB] – Feb 2018

Safety alert: Avoid park brake failures

Park brake control valve maintenance and operational requirements for Nissan CK330, CW330, CW380, CW400, CG380, CW400 and CG400 vehicles manufactured between 1993–2005.

The Nissan Diesel Owner’s Manual recommends that the park brake hand control valve is overhauled at 12-month intervals. It also recommends that the valve’s operation is thoroughly checked by a qualified diesel technician when the vehicle is being serviced or if there is concern about its operation.

Read our safety alert information sheet about steps to take to avoid park brake failures [PDF, 526 KB] – May 2017

Safety alert: Transport Agency urging checks of truck drawbeams

The Transport Agency is investigating a catastrophic failure of a truck drawbeam that resulted in a laden heavy trailer separating on 18 October 2016.

Urgent work is underway to identify any other affected trucks so that they can be checked, with one already withdrawn from the same fleet where the drawbeam showed signs of fatigue cracks.

In the meantime, this safety alert is asking truck operators, service personnel and vehicle inspectors to check for signs of cracks in drawbeams.

Read our safety alert information sheet about the Transport Agency urging checks of truck drawbeams [PDF, 796 KB] – Oct 2016

Safety alert: Bolt-in tow-eye security

This safety alert has been issued by the NZ Transport Agency following recent incidents where heavy trailers have separated from the towing vehicle, specifically where the drawbar was fitted with a bolt-in tow-eye which pulled out.

What you should do:

  • Check the security of the towing eye as part of the daily walk around.
  • If there is any sign of it being loose (eg fretting, shiny, rusting etc) the tow-eye and nut must be replaced – under no circumstances is it to be tightened.
  • When the tow-eye and nut is replaced, the nut must be torqued to the manufacturer’s recommendation (including a greased thread) and then if necessary taken to the next castellation – in no circumstances backed off.
  • Following initial installation the nut should be re-torqued at the lesser of 5000km or as directed by the manufacturer. If it moves it must be re-torqued. Note: this is the only time that re-tightening is permitted.
  • One manufacturer recommends checking the tightening torque of the castellated nut every 15,000km. The Transport Agency encourages all operators to follow this recommendation. If the nut is found to be loose the complete towing eye and nut must be replaced.

Read our safety alert information sheet about bolt-in tow-eye security [PDF, 404 KB] – Feb 2016

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