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Media Release WoF Backlog Hero

MEDIA RELEASE 11 September 2020

MTA calls for understanding as WoF inspection mountain looms

The Motor Trade Association is urging the owners of vehicles with temporary WoF extensions expiring on 10 October to organise checks now but be realistic about how quickly their vehicle can be seen.

Waka Kotahi NZTA confirmed today approximately 620,000 WoF extension inspections are still to be completed, on top of those WoFs naturally expiring in September and October.

“This is going to put huge pressure on the industry,” MTA Advocacy and Strategy Manager Greig Epps said today.

“We have one simple message for owners of vehicles that were granted the extension and are still to get a new WoF. If you want to have any chance of driving your vehicle on 11 October you need to organise a booking now and you will need to be patient.

“We know our members will do everything they can to support their customers and ensure they can drive safely and legally, but with only four weeks to go until the extension ends there is only so much capacity in the system and vehicle owners will need to be understanding.”

Mr Epps said the 620,000 extension-related checks were only part of the story.

“On top of those checks you have 500,000 WoFs naturally expiring each month. That takes us to 1,620,000 inspections to be completed between now and the end of October. That’s over 231,000 checks a week.

“Then you have to remember that 40% of vehicles fail their initial check. That’s 648,000 re-checks, plus any remedial work that needs to be completed.

“And of course, some of the vehicles due for inspections, haven’t been checked now for well over 12 months meaning the first-time failure rate may be higher.

“Even if we assume a failure rate of 40%, that now takes us to a total of 2,268,000 inspections.”

Mr Epps said MTA welcomed today's release from Waka Kotahi and would continue to work closely with the agency to address the huge problem the industry faced. However, he said many MTA members were wondering why the Government had been unwilling to take action to avoid the backlog.

“We first raised concerns about the risks of an extension and the lack of a well thought-out exit strategy back in April.

“MTA and other members of the industry repeatedly urged the Government to adopt a progressive return for the extensions to avoid this very situation that we’re now in. It would have also mitigated the massive drop in business repairers will experience next April.

”Regrettably our advice was rejected. We can only hope the lesson of trusting the advice of industry leaders has now been learned and we won’t end up in this situation again.”