Tougher laws on mandatory recalls

Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland photo - riders at Federal Parliament mandatory recalls representative

Proposed laws to toughen the government’s ability to enforce vehicle safety recalls will also include mandatory recalls for non-compliance.

If the federal Road Vehicle Standards Bills are passed, the Australian Competitions and Consumer Commission will be able to clamp down on cheap Asian imports that flout our compliance rules.

While there have been many recalls every year for motorcycle importers, the ACCC says that all motor vehicle recalls to date have been voluntary and they have never been required to make mandatory recalls.

However, in September 2017, a Proposed Recall Notice was issued for mandatory recalls of all vehicles with specified Takata airbag inflators and specified salvaged Takata airbag inflators.

At the conclusion of the consultation period, the ACCC will make a recommendation as to whether to proceed with mandatory recalls.

However, Honda Motorcycles Australia has already issued a recall on the Goldwing with the airbags.

Mandatory recalls

The ACCC currently has powers under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to mandate recalls for vehicles that pose a safety risk or do not meet safety standards.

An ACCC spokesman says the new legislation “mirrors the safety recall provisions in the ACL, allowing for the voluntary and compulsory recall of road vehicles for significant safety issues or non-compliance”.

Recalls so far issued for non-compliance have all been voluntary and usually affect cheap Chinese imports and Australian company Braaap.

Braaap fraud
Braaap ST-250 recalled

“The new legislation provides additional clarity for vehicle recalls by extending coverage to non-compliance with technical standards and commercial vehicles that may not covered by the ACL, such as trucks, buses and large trailers,” the ACCC says.

The draft Bills do not make any changes to the standards for motorcycles – which are contained in the Australian Design Rules.

Government claims

The Government says the Bills are designed to maintain and improve vehicle safety while expanding consumer choice and reducing red tape.

This legislation will replace the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act which has been in place for nearly 30 years and was written at a time when much of today’s vehicle technology was not available.

The new legislation would come into effect from 2019.

The Government claims the reforms would save businesses more than $68 million a year in regulatory compliance costs.

Wider choice

They also say the Bills will increase consumer choice through “expanding and improving the pathways for importing specialist and enthusiast vehicles—including performance, low emissions, and mobility access vehicles”.

The Bills will be introduced and debated in the Parliament in the new year, and stakeholders will be asked to provide their feedback on the exposure drafts of the Bills and the Rules by mid-February 2018.

The Road Vehicle Standards package of Bills and information on the consultation process can be found on the Department’s website at infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/mv_standards_act.

Industry agrees

Australia’s peak motor industry body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, (FCAI), welcomes the Bills.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber says the Bills provide a framework to ensure Australians have access to world quality vehicles with the latest safety and environmental features.

“This legislation would ensure our vehicles are fit for purpose, built for our market conditions, and underpinned by established consumer support mechanisms,” he says.

“Our industry has always welcomed competition because that’s what delivers value for the consumer. This proposed legislation provides a robust structure which also safeguards the interests of the consumer.”

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ON RECALLS

Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.

Despite hundreds of recalls by various automotive manufacturers, none has ever been mandatory.  All have been issued by the manufacturer.

While any recall is not good news for the manufacturer, it shows that they are largely diligent in fixing problems.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia

• USA

• UK

• New Zealand

• Canada

4 Comments

  1. In many cases, each region responds differently at the recalls. Companies will continue to make errors on their models.
    It is naturally impossible not to.
    However it would be good for countries to respond immediately and communicate with the riders as fast as possible in order to avoid problems.

    1. Every country did the recall EXCEPT AUSTRALIA !
      I would have thought a faulty rear brake master cylinder was a critical safety item.
      Very disappointed with KTM Australia.
      My last KTM.

  2. This article brings back memories of my 2005 KTM 950 ADV.
    There was a worldwide recall because of issues with the rear brake master cylinder.
    Every country EXCEPT AUSTRALIA!!
    I learned of the international recall after images of the recall notice were posted on a motorcycle enthusiast website.
    After my local dealer contacted the importer, I was asked to ‘keep quiet’ about it !
    Disgusting action from KTM Australia.

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