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New regulations driving you dotty?

1 May 2007

Figure 1 - Enlargement of US Subaru DataDot


Government to implement 'Whole of Vehicle' Marking

The Government is introducing a mandatory new identification system for all new and used vehicles imported into the country.

Called whole of vehicle marking (WOVM), the system assigns a unique 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) to each vehicle upon importation into New Zealand.

These numbers, in the form of microdots, are placed throughout the vehicle to make it more difficult to alter the vehicle's identity, and to make it easier to recognise and identify stolen vehicles and parts.

The new system will have implications for both repairers and parts suppliers. Currently, TSD Agents (Transport Service Delivery Agents appointed by Land Transport NZ) must be involved every time a VIN is removed, replaced or changed in any way.

So what will happen when damaged parts from a marked car are removed and replaced? Or, if some parts are removed from a deregistered car, the car scrapped and the parts sold on to various repairers to be fixed onto different cars?

Obviously, a TSD Agent is not going to be able to be on hand to inspect and approve every situation where marked parts are recycled or used in repairs; regulations will need to change.

Actual procedures for the legitimate use of marked parts will have to be established. No doubt, these will involve extra paper work for recyclers and repairers, but don't panic. It is anticipated that the new system, which will apply to all light-passenger vehicles with nine seats or less and under 15 years old, will not come into effect until 2008.

Motor Parts Data published an article about WOVM using DataDots in the January 2007 issue. Around 7000 DataDots are sprayed on to the vehicle, each the size of a pin-head but containing the vehicle's unique VIN number. Due to the quantity of DataDots and their size it is almost impossible for thieves to successfully locate and remove them all.