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New opportunities for qualified automotive electricians and mechanics

1 Feb 2007

Land Transport NZ are introducing changes that allow Entry Certifiers and Repair Certifiers to use a qualified "person or company recognised as reputable and competent" to carry out diagnostic checks on electronic control systems. These changes in vehicle inspection procedures have provided excellent opportunities for specialist repairers in this line of business. Under New Zealand law, a vehicle must meet certain standard and safety requirements before it can be registered for use on New Zealand roads. The process of checking that vehicles meet these requirements is called Entry Certification. Vehicles must undergo Entry Certification when they are imported, or when the vehicle license has lapsed for more than one year and the owner wants to begin using it on the road again. Entry Certification of used vehicles is carried out by Transport Service Delivery Agents (TSDAs), who are contracted to Land Transport NZ to provide vehicle certification, registration and licensing services. The four TSDAs are AA, VINZ, VTNZ and On Road. If structural damage is identified during the Entry Certification process, the vehicle must also undergo Repair Certification to ensure that the vehicle is within safe tolerance of the manufacturer's original standards after repair.

Land Transport NZ requires detailed vehicle records to be maintained for every used entry vehicle in the New Zealand vehicle fleet. This includes proof that the structure, systems and components are within safe tolerance of the vehicle manufacturers' original standards. Diagnostic checks and reports for electronic control systems, such as Supplementary Restraint Systems (SRS) and Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), may be required if:

  • The vehicle has previously been involved in an accident.
  • The certifier considers the impact would have had sufficient force to deploy airbags, which may have been replaced.
  • There is a fault showing in the system.
  • There are signs of suspension damage.

Previously, Repair Certifiers were limited to using only approved agents of the manufacturers for these diagnostic checks and reports. The Repair Certifiers Association (RCA) is now developing a nation-wide network of Recognised Repairers to perform vehicle electronic systems inspections for both Repair Certifiers and Entry Certifiers.
Recognised Repairers must:

  • Employ technicians who are trained and qualified to interrogate and repair automotive electronic control systems.
  • Technicians named on the application form must have at least 5 years experience.
  • Have, or have access to, clean covered premises to perform the work.
  • Have scan tools that are compatible with the vehicles being worked on.
  • Upgrade equipment software at least annually.
  • Be prepared to attend training workshops on procedures.
  • Become a member of the Vehicle Electronic Systems Inspectors Association.

Companies will be expected to maintain accurate records and report to the RCA annually or as staff changes occur.
Technicians who are employed by Recognised Repairers will be required to:

  • Confirm that the requisite components are actually present and operational in the inspected vehicle.
  • Introduce and test faults in vehicle electronic systems.
  • Clear codes.
  • Perform repairs.
  • File a Declaration of Completed Work for all jobs.

Recognised Repairers will report to the Repair Certifiers,
enabling them to complete the certification of vehicle repairs.

If you require further information, contact Bob Kistemaker,
Chairman, Repair Certifiers Association (Inc.), 021 2288126.