New Zealand’s Motor Industry Association (mia) – representing new vehicle importers – is urging the government not to bow to pressure from the Motor Trade Association (MTA) and the Imported Motor Vehicle Dealers Association (IMVDA) to soften the proposed new emission rules for (used) imported motor vehicles.

From 2008 imported used petrol vehicles will have to comply with the 2000 Japanese market standard for emissions, from 2010 the 2005 standard will need to be met, and from 2013 the 2009 Japanese standards will apply, the MIA said.

“There has been plenty of warning that New Zealand would eventually have to do something about the deteriorating quality of its vehicle fleet,” said MIA CEO Perry Kerr, “and in our view the government’s schedule is an ideal compromise which moves us ahead and enables all parties to enter a manageable transition phase.

“The IMVDA has cried wolf before, particularly with regard to the 2002 frontal impact rule which they said would destroy their industry and didn’t, and now they’ve joined forces with the MTA in opposing a fair and sensible schedule which is, if anything, well overdue,” said Kerr.

“The used vehicle industry will survive this challenge, and it doesn’t need continuing insulation from the environmental realities that are facing the rest of the world.”

All developed countries are operating to a plan to reduce the emission levels of their vehicle fleets, but currently New Zealand, as a result of massive importation of increasingly old second hand cars over the last decade, now has the ‘dirtiest’ vehicle fleet in the OECD, the MIA claimed.

“We have to fix this, and it’s simply not acceptable for the MTA and the IMVDA to be promoting a position whereby they can continue to flood the market with the sort of vehicles that the rest of the world is obliged to scrap,” added Kerr.

New Zealand does not have any formal emission control standards for new vehicles, just-auto understands, but vehicles sold there generally comply with one of the major market standards such as Australia’s Design Rules or the EC laws.