Why over 40 per cent of New Zealand cars fail the first WoF inspection
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While the majority of vehicles on New Zealand roads may be safe and road-worthy, an alarming statistic has been released in regards to how many vehicles fail WoF tests on the first try.
In 2019, a total of 1,886,104 vehicles failed the test on the first attempt, which means four in every 10 vehicles are not at the desired level of roadworthiness.
Back in 2017, an NZTA release revealed that the most common issue found in failed vehicles was failing steering and suspension components with 468,724 faults. Next up was tyres with 442,832, brakes came in with 316,331, and wipers were fourth with 262,375.
In the Motor Trade Association's more recent release at the start of 2020, Advocacy and Strategy Manager Greig Epps explained that the 41% fail rate should be alarming to all road users.
“We reached this record high failure rate in the middle of last year and it continued throughout the rest of the 2019,” Mr Epps said.
“It shows that many car owners still rely on the warrant of fitness inspection to discover any problems.”
And while the law may state that cars built after 2000 only need to be checked once a year, this simply isn't good enough.
“Drivers need to be doing more to monitor the safety of their car. Everyone should check the most common issues – lights, brakes, suspension and tyres at least every six months.”
Interestingly, commercial vehicles such as business fleets, taxis, and trucks had a significantly lower first time fail rate. Depending on the vehicle, it was between 17 and 23 per cent.
”Commercial operators are safety rated and passing their inspections is an important component of their rating.
“The different system shows that it’s possible to halve the failure rate if there was some incentive to do so.”
If you aren't comfortable doing your own safety check on your vehicle, calling in the professionals is always an option. AA NZ offer a 10-point safety check which is free to cardholders, and $19 for non-members.
Historic yearly WOF fail rates: