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MEDIA RELEASE 28 February 2022

40% of vehicles failed their WoF last year

As Waka Kotahi launches a PR blitz for the ambitious “Road To Zero” campaign, the Motor Trade Association says the state of thousands of vehicles on our roads is still a major concern – and will be for years.

New figures show 40% of vehicles failed their Warrant of Fitness at the first inspection in calendar 2021.

“That’s massive,” says Graeme Swan, MTA Sector Manager Repairers.

“It means thousands of our cars are not in a fit state to be on our roads at the time they go for their WoF. And vehicles on our roads are getting older, not younger.”

MTA supports the Road To Zero programme, which aims to have a zero road toll by 2050, and acknowledges that the reasons behind the current road toll are complex.

“But the state of the fleet plays a part,” Graeme says.

“Vehicle-related factors contribute to around ten percent of the road toll. This needs to be part of the Road To Zero discussion.

“And even if the crash is caused by other factors, such as driver error, common sense tells you that if your tyres have good tread and your brakes are working properly, you may have a better chance of avoiding an accident.

“We encourage all drivers to keep their vehicle in a safe, roadworthy condition. Don’t delay getting your vehicle serviced, or that unusual noise checked out – it could save you money in the long run, or more importantly save a life.”

Around 28% of vehicles that failed the initial inspection in 2021 did pass their WoF on the second attempt.

But MTA says that doesn’t alter the fact they’ve been on the roads in an unsafe condition.

Lights are the biggest reason a vehicle might fail its WoF, followed by tyre and chassis issues.

Figures provided to MTA by Waka Kotahi also show a significant regional variance in failure rates, with Marlborough recording the lowest rate (30%) and Waikato the highest (48%).

“You’d expect a degree of variation, but not as much as this,” Graeme says.

“There’s a lot of possible factors, but really the standard should be a lot more even across the country.”

2021 Regional WoF failure rates