John Brett

John is a professional engineer with 50 years experience.

John has designed and built many cars, trucks, and vehicle assembly facilities.

John has worked on design of roads, bridges, cranes, transmission towers, and buildings, and operation, maintenance and upgrade of hydro and gas turbine power stations.

John was a LVV Certifier for 13 years. John has long been a whistle-blower, expressing the view that the LVV system is dangerously deficient. John’s authority was revoked in December 2012.

John rides a 1992 Yamaha FJ1200ABS, and is also a keen road and off road cyclist.

APOLOGY

“The LVVTA has brought it to my attention that statements I have made in relation to it and its employees may have been perceived as defamatory.

I sincerely regret that and apologise for any harm caused. I have taken down the statements identified by the LVVTA of concern to it.

I have strong views about the low volume vehicle certification process and intend in the future to direct my energies into the public inquiry now being held in relation to it.”

John Brett 7th October 2015

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HAS THE LOW VOLUME VEHICLE SYSTEM FAILED?

The Low Volume Vehicle System has failed in the following:-

The LVVTA have failed to develop and maintain LVV Standards- SEE- ORS Submission2
The LVVTA are failing to maintain an acceptable standard of safety of vehicles modified. LVVTA DANGERS- THE FACTS
I understand that another Coroners report is pending, concerning a fatality resulting from the failure of an LVV Certified trike.

Illustration by Nick Reedy

Illustration of a “HOBBY CAR” by Nick Reedy of Greymouth

QUESTIONABLE OPERATION OF THE LVVTA

Here are two examples of the sort of questions that do need to be asked and answered before a way forward for the LVV System can be found:

QUESTION 1 How can the NZ Transport agency justify allowing the LVVTA to make Certification judgements?
The LVVTA have a contract for ‘Desktop Auditing’ to ensure LVV Certifiers are meeting the LVV Standards, however the LVVTA appear to be making Certification decisions under this guise.
We can see no provision in any legislation authorizing NZTA to allow this.

QUESTION 2 On what basis does the LVVTA assume that their knowledge is superior to that of the LVV Certifiers? None of the LVVTA Staff are LVV Certifiers, and do not even meet the requirements for many categories. Yet experienced LVV Certifiers have their judgement questioned, are required to accept the judgement of the LVVTA, and are reported to NZTA for ‘incorrect’ decisions. Several recent incidents have proven that the judgement of the LVVTA can be seriously wrong.

CONSEQUENCES
The LVV system is failing to retain the skilled Certifiers
on which integrity and safety of the system depends- such as-

( Names removed by request )

LVVTA are now slanderering these ex-Certifiers, calling them ‘Rogue Certifiers’ and ‘safety risks’ instead of recognizing them as outstanding, highly regarded Certifiers whose experience is a major loss to the system.

THE LOW VOLUME VEHICLE SYSTEM HAS LOST THE ABILITY TO CARRY OUT HIGHER LEVEL CERTIFICATIONS, BECAUSE

A ….. LVV STANDARDS COVER ONLY VERY BASIC MODIFICATIONS.
B ….. THE SKILLED AND QUALIFIED CERTIFIERS HAVE LEFT THE SYSTEM, REPLACED BY ‘HOBBYIST’ CERTIFIERS.

The LVV system is reverting to just a low-level ‘hobby car’ certification system.

Emergency appointments of Certifiers from a ‘Hot-Rod’ background lacks credibility, because:-
1…..’hot rod’ experience in no way qualifies a LVV Certifier to deal with the range and complexities of modern automotive engineering.
2…..a Certifier who is beholden to the LVVTA lacks the independence required by the deed of appointment.

The LVV system is failing to meet the needs of vehicle modifiers– the number of Certifications is falling whilst the number of vehicles and the number of mods needing LVV Certification are rising-

1…….Abandoned Certifications We receive continuous enquiries for LVV Certification, from all over New Zealand.
We give out the phone numbers of other Certifiers, we even contact them ourselves on behalf of customers.
In the end, we are left with sheaves of job-sheets, for vehicles which WILL NEVER BE LVV CERTIFIED

2……Modified cars exported- We are aware of many modified and scratch-built vehicles EXPORTED to avoid the LVV system in NZ

3……Modifiers leaving the business- We are aware of PROFESSIONAL MODIFIERS (many with export business) who have CLOSED THEIR BUSINESSES or moved out of NZ.

U Drive Mobility are one recent example of this- now building in France

4…..Avoidance of LVV System Motor-home builders IN NEW ZEALAND switching to Certification to ADR Second Stage system, to avoid the costs, delays, and irregularities of the New Zealand LVV system. Private modifiers are being forced to drive vehicles without LVV Certification

Uncertified vehicles

Police at the bottom of the cliff (Ambulances not visible in this shot)

5……Soaring costs-
The LVVTA levy, has increased, with more increases anticipated, as legal and insurance costs start to bite.
LVV Certifiers have increased their charges to cover time they now require to process Certifications.
In Auckland the total cost to the customer for LVV Certification has increased by an average of 25% in June 2014.

This means that to LVV Certify say, a set of wheel spacers, or adjustable platform suspension struts, will now cost the vehicle owner $550 to $650, which could exceed the cost of the modification.

If NZTA loses faith in the LVV System, (Quite likely)
it is possible that:

1 … Minor Modifications: TSD agents, or WOF agents be authorized to pass a range of minor modifications

2 … Self- Certification: Professional Modification businesses (seat installers, motor-home builders etc) be accredited to Self-Certify

3 ….Hobby cars and Hot-rods– (a very small part of the LVV picture) could be left out in the cold, are unable to be driven on the road.

Not road legal

Going to the Beach Hop?

4 …. The LVVTA and LVV Certification plates become history.

IS THIS THE FUTURE WE WANT?

How about some clear thinking about the LVV System of the future?

1 Trust the Certifiers to do the job they are appointed to do. Cut LVVTA out of the Certification process. Allow Certifiers to make their own plates, or use a Certifier appointed Plate printing contractor.

2 Introduce proper “Certifier Training”, conducted ‘on line’ and on the job, by Certifiers or Industry Professionals, (not by the LVVTA) and allow proper technical debate to occur.

3 Allow Certifiers to Certify to proven International Standards if they choose, instead of faulty LVVTA Standards.

4 Form a Certifier controlled “Standards Committee” to develop and change LVV Standards, instructing LVVTA to print and distribute.

5 Simplify Certifier Categories to say “Mechanic based Certifier” (able to do most certifications) and “Engineer Certifier” for situations where the skills of an Engineer are required. Allow “Engineer Certifiers” to consult to “Mechanic Certifiers” when required.

10 comments to HAS THE LOW VOLUME VEHICLE SYSTEM FAILED?

  • Barry

    Good points John. Especially this one. “Allow proper technical debate to occur.” and “Allow Certifiers to Certify to proven International Standards if they choose, instead of faulty LVVTA Standards.”

    • johnbrett

      Every aspect of life involves Engineers- Transport, Building, Manufacture, even Farming. Mr Johnson disapproves of Engineers anywhere near Low Volume Vehicle Certification, the whole process is ENGINEER FREE, and reliant on amateur opinion, codified as “LVV Standards”. The response to any attempt at technical debate is met with Authoritative Putdown, and if necessary disciplinary action.

  • johnbrett

    I have just received a reply from the Minister of Transport. In it he states that “the NZ Transport Agency is reviewing aspects of the current system.”. I trust that this review will result in the removal of the LVV Plate making contract from the LVVTA, along with ending the ‘Desk Top Certification’ process. Only when this is done would there be any point in offering inducements to bring back some of he skilled Certifiers who have left the system.

  • Peter

    you are wrong here john because mr johnston has a engineer working for him, it shows him on the website, dan miyres. http://lvvta.org.nz/about.html#DM

    also i have been reading the ors and lvvta can nt give disciplinary action, only land transport can, so wrong again john. seems to be a pattern emerging lol

  • johnbrett

    There is no evidence that Mr Myers actually has ANY Qualifications, nor worked for any motor company in the UK. No such evidence was presented at my appeal.

  • Peter

    Right, so now they employ a fake engineer because they don’t like real engineer, come on john, thats crazy. and did you ask for proof that he is qualified at your appeal? if he has nt got any real qualifications then why would they still hire him????

  • Miriam

    I think this system has failed because I know the main standard is the HOBBY CAR MANUAL which has to be used by all certifiers. How many of the public use, for all travel a “Hobby Car”. In all my 50 years of driving I have never driven a “Hobby Car” How many have I seen on the road ?….hardly any and I might add I have traveled many hundreds of thousands of miles, example of taking my daughter to and fro Auckland to Solway College Masterton for 4 years. So why should my vehicles be expected to comply to a Hobby Car manual if I had to have a certification. I know some of the certifiers and they have mentioned on several occasions that the have been overridden by LVVTA on this matter. This is only one item as a member of the public are not happy with. A car manual is a Hand Book for each model of car that has been manufactured, covering all the different features. How can one “Hobby Car Manual” cover all the makes and all the modifications?
    I know some of the certifiers and they have mentioned on several occasions that the have been overridden by LVVTA on this matter.
    So why is the LVVTA treating every car as a “Hobby Car”?

  • johnbrett

    Miriam- you might like this:

    “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer.

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