30 Nov 2018

AA site probed over vehicle import certs

7:27 am on 30 November 2018

The Automobile Association says more than one of its sites is being investigated regarding its certification of newly-imported vehicles.

Some cnew cars in a car transport. Truck car carrier

Photo: 123RF

Abnesh Chand, a vehicle inspector at AA North Shore, was handed a suspension yesterday, one of 17 dished out by the New Zealand Transport Agency because of the risk to land transport or public safety.

Mr Chand had given entry certification to 31 vehicles new to New Zealand, which need to be rechecked by inspectors.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks said investigators are also looking at another AA site.

"There are some files being looked at at the moment, but this is the only one where we have an inspector suspended," she said.

"[It's] mainly entry compliance. So, this inspector is an entry compliance inspector, and the warrant of fitness is issued at the end of that.

"There is this inspector, but there is one other site where some files are being looked at."

Ms Stocks wouldn't comment on which AA was being looked at.

Mr Chand was one of 17 businesses or individuals to be handed an immediate suspension by the NZTA after a review of compliance issues relating to transport services, service providers and course providers.

Three of the cases involved Orient Motors in Auckland.

The company had its license as an inspecting organisation suspended, while inspectors Dong Xiao Lin and Yong Xiang Feng were also suspended.

The men wouldn't comment on the suspensions, but said the business would close as a result of the suspensions.

They had given out 3494 warrants of fitness which now need reviewing. All of the vehicle owners will be contacted and vouchers will be handed out.

Orient Motors customers make up more than a third of the 10,000 New Zealanders whose vehicles may not have been properly checked during inspections.

Ms Stocks said the NZTA's "audit and checking regime over previous years has been disappointing".

She said the AA would "welcome" more thorough checking and testing from the NZTA for its staff.

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