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MEDIA RELEASE 23 October 2019

Car maintenance more important than ever

The latest Census figures from Stats NZ show that over 1.5 million people drive to work or school.

It’s the first time this data has been collected and with so many people relying on a car for daily travel, MTA urges drivers to make sure their vehicles are properly maintained.

Recent data analysis by MTA shows that Warrant of Fitness failure rates have reached a record high of 41 percent. In the Waikato the failure rate is closer to 50 percent.

The main reason for failure is a problem with lights, followed by tyres, brakes, and steering. MTA members have also seen an increase in unsafe seat belt attachments.

Separately, the latest data from the Ministry of Transport shows that vehicle factors contributed to around nine percent of fatal road crashes in 2016 and 2017. This was up from around five percent in previous years.

New Zealanders are no longer the backyard tinkerers they used to be, and modern vehicles are increasingly complex, discouraging DIY repairs. MTA research shows that around 50 percent of people surveyed have done nothing to their cars since their last WoF inspection.

MTA says more must be done to raise awareness among drivers of the need, and their legal responsibility, to maintain and operate a safe vehicle. MTA is proposing this be done by adding vehicle maintenance to the driver licensing test. This proposal has been supported by over two-thirds of respondents in three separate national MTA surveys.

MTA (Motor Trade Association) represents over 3600 businesses that fix, fuel, repair, and sell vehicles across NZ.