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Industry Shows Widespread Concern at Road Vehicle Standards Act Debacle

The Federal government’s proposed Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) remains in chaos with widespread industry concern about new inclusions into the Act. The Australian Government recently performed a complete back-flip on private vehicle imports as part of the review of the previous Motor Vehicle Standards Act Legislation.  This left a huge hole in the Act and it appears that the government is looking for any vehicle related issues to fill the hole and reduce the embarrassment of a review that has now taken three years without any clear result.

The proposed amendments to the RVSA affect modest changes to a vehicle height when done as part of a suspension upgrade under the Low Volume Concessional Scheme.

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) recently made the bold move to produce a detailed video that highlights the Australian Government’s changes and reveals the full consequences of this action on vehicle safety. The video shows with clear evidence that suspension upgrades of up to 50mm make the vehicle safer for both the occupants and other road users. The suspension upgrade improved handling while maintaining the integrity of the vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.

The video has gone viral. In less than a week since this purpose designed video message was distributed to Australian suspension manufacturers, along with it being placed on the AAAA Facebook Page, YouTube Channel and Twitter feeds, this informational video has achieved extraordinary levels of Australian industry and consumer penetration.

The sheer numbers of people who have viewed, reacted, commented and shared the AAAA video is testament to the vast industry and consumer concern that exists relating to the proposed changes to the Road Vehicle Standards Act.  This AAAA video has achieved more than 78,000 views reaching 255,000 people, generating 3,000 reactions, comments and shares within one week of being posted online, with these numbers increasing on an hourly basis.

According to Stuart Charity, AAAA Executive Director, this massive reaction to the AAAA’s video addressing the current situation is a demonstration of the level of alarm at the Government’s proposal.

“There is no doubt that there is significant concern from the people driving these workplace vehicles through to the innovative Australian companies who are ensuring that these vehicles are the safest possible for their intended end use. These upgraded suspension requirements are specific to Australian conditions and it is imperative that scope for these independently tested modifications is included within the structure of the Road Vehicle Standards Act,” Mr Charity said.

“This has the direct effect of ensuring that people are driving the safest possible vehicles, as opposed to them being exposed to the limitations of standard-equipped vehicles which demonstrate vastly inferior handling when operating in a fully loaded configuration – which is clearly highlighted in our video. How a Federal Minister and his Department could even consider not allowing the scope for such safety improvements to be made within this Legislation is beyond any form of reasonable understanding,” Mr Charity added.

Stuart Charity stated, “We made this four minute video to make it abundantly clear to the industry and the motorists directly affected by it, that world class independent testing ensures that Australian vehicle fleets, specifically 4WD fleets, can gain locally engineered suspension modifications to make them among the safest workplace vehicles in the world.”

The video also highlights the lack of industry consultation from the Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher and his Department, in relation their decision to not  allow these safety modifications to be made within the structure of the Road Vehicle Standards Act.

Mr Charity said “The suggested changes will have the practical effect of shutting down the market for Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) suspension upgrades on many vehicle platforms due to the new requirement to have every vehicle individually inspected by an independent engineer at a cost of at least $1,000 per vehicle. Under the current scheme, it had been agreed that suspension upgrades with a vehicle lift of up to 50mm would be permitted without the requirement of ESC testing under the Low Volume Concessional Scheme subject to specific volume limitations”.

You can view this AAAA video and read the many reactionary comments from members of the public and the industry via the following online channels:

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