Austrian-designed, British-supplied Pinzgauer siz-wheeled light vehicles may have had 'teething problems' in New Zealand army service but performed better in Afghanistan than Humvees, according to a local newspaper report.

The Kiwi army spent NZ $82 million on 321 of the vehicles last year to replace obsolete Land Rovers but the roll-out was delayed by a transmission overheating problem, according to the Dominion Post.

Now, the paper added, repairs under warranty by British supplier Automotive Technik have made them too noisy to be driven safely.

The Dominion Post said the country's defence chief Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson told a government committee that, to rectify the overheating problem, larger cooling fans that run constantly had to be installed, but the resulting ambient
noise level has been deemed too high.

"Under (Occupational Safety and Health) considerations in peacetime I'm obliged to actually address the noise for the drivers that are driving eight, nine hours at a time. I don't want them wearing earmuffs."

The repairs would be done at no cost to the army.

But Ferguson nonetheless praised the vehicle. Overall, he reportedly said, the Austrian-designed Pinzgauers had performed "outstandingly".

Nine vehicles had accompanied the last deployment of New Zealand troops to Afghanistan.

"I can report quite publicly the New Zealand-owned Pinzgauer has outperformed in Afghanistan the previous performances we had from the Humvee. It goes further, longer, takes more cargo and its reliability has proved to be quite outstanding," he said, according to the Dominion Post.

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