We’ve seen a lot of media recently about accident damaged used car imports finding their way into the NZ market and agree it’s a real problem. There’s plenty of red-tape in place to control (and tax) used car imports but like all bureaucracy, it looks top-heavy but does have gaps.
Cars that have been damaged and repaired overseas are supposed to be identified before being imported. As with all used cars arriving in NZ, they’re intended to be fully inspected and the standard and integrity of those repairs should be scrutinised. This is all premised on repaired cars being identified before they leave Japan, unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. Ditto for water-damaged cars. A range of reasons could account for the ‘over sights’ including human error (unlikely), poor record keeping, and deception. Fortunately many substandard repairs are caught entering the country and are destined for the scrap-heap, or more likely, the dismantling/used parts industry.
New Zealand has some of the strictest collision repair guidelines and highest standards of workmanship in the world. Compliance is voluntary though and domestic repairs aren’t re-certified afterwards. An obvious anomaly, but one that no-body seems particularly interested in. Crash Management is interested, and fortunately for our clients they can rely on our professional accident management to ensure they receive top quality results backed by our life-time warranty. Until we manage every panelbeating repair in the country though, others have cause for concern and the numbers are quite alarming.
There are over 3million cars and light commercials operating on New Zealand roads. With an estimated ‘average’ accident rate of around 20%, that’s 600,000 crash repairs per annum in a country with very good standards (but no post-repair certification). Compare that to around 100,000 used car imports flooding into NZ every year from countries that have lower technical standards of repair. Assuming a similar accident rate in those countries, 20,000 of those imports could have been accident damaged. Let’s hope the import compliance inspectors catch them?
NOTE: The image shows tsunami damaged vehicles in Japan awaiting repair and sale. Yes, really.