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J1NX3D J1NX3D is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
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8 Will the VIRM (the inspection manual for WoF inspectors) change?
No. The rules for checking muffler systems have not changed. All WoF inspections should already be checking that (to quote the VIRM manual) "The exhaust system and silencer must be effective and in good working order.” The reason for rejection in the manual states that “The noise output is noticeably and significantly higher than should be expected for the vehicle.”

9 What are the implications for suppliers of parts used to modify exhaust to make them noisy?
You have the same responsibilities you have always had as retailers under the Land Transport Rules and the Consumer Guarantees Act.

10 What are the implications for garages that are paid by owners to modify exhaust systems?
You have the same responsibilities you have always had as service providers under the Land Transport Rules and the Consumer Guarantees Act.

11 What does a non-TSD agent do if a vehicle is presented for a warrant of fitness because it has been green stickered for noise?
Advise customers that vehicles green stickered for noise must be taken to a TSD agent (the Automobile Association of NZ, On Road NZ, Vehicle Inspection NZ, or Vehicle Testing NZ) for inspection. This is consistent with the LTSA’s policy on removing stickers.

12 What new warrant of fitness processes will be required?
None – we are simply clarifying existing requirements.

13 What if I previously passed a vehicle with a noisy exhaust and the customer comes back to me saying they’ve failed a subsequent warrant of fitness because of noise?
If the LTSA receives a customer complaint, it will investigate. You may also be liable under the Consumer Guarantees Act for not providing a service with adequate skill and care, but this would have to be proven by the customer.

14 What if the police green sticker a vehicle and we consider it to be of warrant of fitness standard?
You do not have to second guess the reasoning behind a police officer’s decision – it may have been made within the context of the way the vehicle was being used.

Provide the new warrant and if the customer has questions regarding the grounds under which the green sticker was issued, they can take this up with the police.

15 How do we explain a failed warrant of fitness to a vehicle owner?
The LTSA has provided you with fliers to pass onto customers. The explanation is: “Your vehicle has failed its warrant of fitness because of a noisy modified exhaust. When your vehicle was manufactured, the exhaust was fitted with an effective silencer. When the exhaust system was modified or replaced, the effectiveness of the original silencer was compromised, making the exhaust system louder than the original one fitted by the manufacturer. Your vehicle will not receive a warrant of fitness until this problem has been fixed.”

16 How do we protect ourselves against challenges to our noise test judgements?
The LTSA expects WoF inspectors to apply their knowledge, skill and experience to assess whether the vehicle owner compromised the effectiveness of the original silencer, through modification or replacement of their exhaust system. If you have used the skill and care that would reasonably be expected of a competent person with average skills and experience in the type of work required, then you may have protection under the law. This is no different from other judgement tests that are carried out as part of a warrant of fitness.

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30 April 2003


Vehicles with noisy exhaust systems


The LTSA has clarified through Infosheet 2.04 (attached) the WOF inspections requirements for exhaust systems should you suspect the vehicle’s exhaust system has been modified. We want to increase the emphasis that will be placed on modified exhaust systems to reduce noise.

The Infosheet explains the reasons underpinning the VIRM requirements, ie. that modified exhausts should not be noticeably noisier than the original fitted by the manufacturer. We have done this to ensure there is a clear point of reference for WoF inspectors and to provide national consistency.

The Infosheet also suggests a simple assessment method in support of any other method you may use currently. Please note that this method is not compulsory but Police may use this method at the roadside to assist them in determining whether a vehicle’s exhaust system is noisy and/or the vehicle is operated in a noisy manner.

As usual WoF inspectors will apply their knowledge, skill and experience to assess whether the effectiveness of the original silencer has been compromised , through modification or replacement of their exhaust system, making the exhaust system louder than the original one fitted by the manufacturer. The method does not require the use of specialist measuring equipment because this equipment is expensive and the testing protocols too onerous to be practicable.

We estimate that, on average, this test will only need to be applied to less than one in every one hundred vehicles tested nationally.

Special requirements for vehicles ‘green-stickered’ for noise or boy racer activities

Coincidentally the Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Illegal Drag Racing) Amendment Act also takes effect from 2 May 2003. This amendment will see Police giving vehicles a green sticker if they suspect a modified exhaust system is not as effective as the original exhaust at reducing noise.

A vehicle that has been ‘green-stickered’ due to a modified noisy exhaust system or for illegal street racing must be inspected by one of the following vehicle inspection organisations: the Automobile Association, On Road New Zealand, Vehicle Inspection New Zealand or Vehicle Testing New Zealand. This is the same process used for ‘pink-stickered’ vehicles (see sections VIRM).
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