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 John’s authority was revoked in December 2012.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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Give a Little- Please!

ALTHOUGH WE WON THE CASE THE COURT DID NOT AWARD COSTS (18TH MARCH 2016)

The cost to me of defending Mr Johnson’s application for an Injunction to suppress this website has been $8264
Huge thanks to the generous donors who have already contributed $1233.45.

My financial position now is RETIRED, (now my LVV Certification authority has been revoked) and my only income is from National Super.

We WON the case, and Mr Johnson and the LVVTA were DENIED the Injunction that they wanted.
We WON because New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, gives the entitlement to free speech, according to clause 3(b) relating to “by any person or body in the performance of any public function, power, or duty conferred or imposed on that person or body by or pursuant to law”. This clearly applies to Mr Johnson and the LVVTA.
New Zealand Bill of Rights

I then applied to the High Court for costs, although I represented myself, I had extensive legal help from Andrea Halloran, Staff Barrister, of Chris Patterson Barrister Limited

The Judges decision has finally arrived- Judge Woolford has decreed that Costs shall lie where they fall- in other words- I can claim nothing.

My actions were motivated by concern for public safety, and the way the Low Volume system was being run, and aimed at provoking the NZTA into reviewing the Low Volume Vehicle Certification system.
This is now happening, and I await to see the final outcome. I hope that we will have once again a workable Low Volume Vehicle Certification system which will benefit all Vehicle Modifiers.

FREE SPEECH about the dangers of the LVV System has cost me my LVV Certification business, instigated by Mr Johnson, and now, thousands of dollars to defend against Mr Johnson’s allegations of DEFAMATION.

The $7544 debt is a burden in my retirement, and I would appreciate any further donations, no matter how small, and call on everyone who will benefit from new Low Volume Certification system to make a small donation.

NEWS 23rd May 2016 – MR JOHNSON’S LAWYERS HAVE ADVISED THE REGISTRAR OF THE HIGH COURT THAT HE INTENDS TO CONTINUE TO A DEFAMATION TRIAL.

I have served my statement of defense, and there is a Case management Conference on 1st September before a Judge.

NEWS 2 August 2016- The Give a Little page has closed, and can’t be revived. So we have started another page, with exactly the same content. Not showing is the $1233.45 already donated

See Give a Little
and
Donate

Thank you for your support, now and in the past

John Brett

Electronic Systems- LVV standard required?

It is no secret that a modern car is becoming a computer on wheels. Critical functions such as braking, steering, chassis dynamics are becoming- not just electronically enhanced, but electronically CONTROLLED by embedded software and electronics systems. Self-driving cars are not yet on New Zealand roads, but they do exist- and most of the enabling technology already exists to varying degrees in most modern vehicles.

Even in STUFF.co.nz Motoring section

Drive-by-Wire is not some futuristic concept. Drivers today are already “driving by wire” far more than they suspect.
Pressing the brake pedal simply starts a process controlled by electronics. The brakes can be applied even without the driver pressing the pedal. Steering on some new models is fly-by wire. Traction control, chassis control all have electronic systems that over-ride the driver.
Disability drive by wire control systems exist and are used in other countries. Using such systems, a driver can control steering, acceleration, braking all from a tiny joy-stick- just like the pilot of a modern jet fighter or airliner! At present there is no process to allow such systems in New Zealand, and they are ruled out by the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association.
Driving with a joystick

Safety is also a key area that is electronically managed- a possible approaching collision can trigger self-actuating brakes, then arm airbags and seat-belt pretensioners according to tested protocols, activate safety systems in the event of an impact, and even send out an emergency message!

rightcar.govt.nz/protection-during-a-crash

There are International Standards such as ISO 26262 is a Functional Safety standard, titled “Road vehicles – Functional safety”

Modifications impinge on these Electronic Systems in many ways. Examples include seat and seat-belt modifications, disability adaptions, power train, suspension or brake modifications or changes, and structural modifications.

At present, all of this passes below the Low Volume radar- the Low Volume Vehicle Certifier may or may not identify modifications affecting electronic systems, and may or may not make a sensible decisions about whether the modification can be allowed, if so what the affects might be, and what actions should be taken to achieve a reasonably safe vehicle.
The Low Volume Vehicle Certifier may or may not not adequately understand the implications of the modifications.
The Low Volume Vehicle Certifier may or may not not document all of this for his own records, or may not document anything.

There is no guidance available, and no formal processes for a Low Volume Vehicle Certifier to follow.
The contingent liability for injuries of death could be high- It might be argued that a modification affected an electronic system to the extent of causing or contributing to an accident, or that the modification resulted in greater exposure of the vehicle occupants to Injury or death.

A formal process needs to be written as a “Low Volume Vehicle Standard” to ensure optimized vehicle safety, provide guidance to LVV Certifiers, and to protect all parties from potential legal action.
Such a Standard should follow steps such as : 1 Identify, 2 Quantify, 3 Justify, 4 Certify.

Now check out what a hacker can do:

Government probe into LVVTA and LVV system

1 Low volume vehicle review welcomed

Press release- NZ Police
Thursday, 9 July 2015, 11:53 am

and
Hon Craig Foss

Hon Craig Foss
Associate Minister of Transport
9 July 2015

Low volume vehicle review welcomed

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss is welcoming a review of the certification process for vehicles built from scratch or modified for a specialised purpose.

The review of low volume vehicle (LVV) certification, initiated by the New Zealand Transport Agency, will be undertaken by Standards New Zealand.

“The LVV certification process is about ensuring vehicles built from scratch or modified for a specialised purpose are safe to be on the road,” Mr Foss says.

The review will begin this month with a scoping phase. This will involve working closely with the vehicle industry, certifiers and others to better understand the strengths of the current system and potential areas for improvement.

“Standards New Zealand brings an independent perspective to this review. I’m pleased it will be seeking feedback from a wide range of people, including those in the industry,” Mr Foss says.

“I’m keen to ensure our LVV certification system enables innovators to utilise new technologies and create opportunities.”

More information on the LVV certification process: www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/warrants-and-certificates/modifying-your-vehicle

Craig Foss Letter and Standards Association review proposal

Statement from David Seymour, Epsom electorate MP, leader of the ACT party New Zealand, and qualified Engineer

“I have viewed the reports related to UDM’s vehicles, both those prepared by LVVTA and those by professional engineers. It is clear that the LVV process, while ideal for builders of hot rods, kit cars, and the like, does not have the technical expertise to service commercial operators working closer to the frontier of technology.

A review of this system is long overdue. If New Zealand is going to be have the knowledge economy that most of us want, it must have a regulatory environment that works.”

3 Government minister to probe NZTA ban on wheelchair-access vehicles
Automotive News

Associate-Transport-Minister-Craig-Foss

Associate-Transport-Minister-Craig-Foss

ACT-leader-David-Seymour

ACT-leader-David-Seymour

Roger-Phillips, UDM

Roger-Phillips, UDM

CARTOON CENSORED

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.

Low Volume Vehicle Certification- Your Queries

We have been answering queries about LVV Certification ever since this website was started.
The queries and the replies are spread around a number of posts.

So just to make things easier to find- here are some of the pages which might already have the answer you are looking for, or where you can post a new query.

Classic Nissan (and good stuff on other makes)
Aarons Holden Ute
What a Maloo!
Wheels and Spacer
Seats and Seatbelts in a Van
Aftermarket Seats and Seatbelt Buckles
Road Test Requirements for LVV Certification
Motor Homes and Motor Caravans
Motor Home Warning
Disability Adaptions
Disability Adaptions 2
Electric Rav 4 (and other electric Vehicles)
Stretch Limousines
VW Kombi Stunt Van (don’t try this at home)
Vehicle Crash performance- Don’t try this either!
Police get red Card for Pink Stickers

Some PAGES which might be relevent- (note that pages do not allow comment)
About LVV Certification
Resource Page
Suspension
Metallurgy
Vehicle Design Consultancy

Some good sites which also might be of help are:
http://www.nissansilvia.co.nz/ http://nzhondas.com/http://www.starletcentral.co.nz/http://www.toyspeed.org.nz/http://www.skylinesdownunder.com/forums/http://www.nzfordforum.com/forumhttp://forum.jzx.co.nz/http://www.mx5forum.co.nz/http://www.vask.org.nz/http://www.mmc.org.nz/forum/http://www.clubsub.org.nz/forum/

If none of the pages seem relevent to what you want-
Post your query here on this Post-
Just click on the heading “Low Volume Vehicle Certification- Your Queries” and you will see the box below for “Leave a Reply”
No need to sign in- just solve the ‘recaptcha’ puzzle which stops robot spammers.
Posts are moderated, so keep it decent, and keep on topic, or it won’t appear.

NOTE- ANYONE CAN ANSWER A QUERY!- We don’t pretend to know everything-

if you know what you are talking about, and can answer a query, jump right in!
Comments from other LVV Certifiers are MOST welcome.
If you are in business, and can help an enquirer, feel free to use the opportunity to promote what you do.

ITS NOT JUST ABOUT “THE RULES”- ITS ABOUT GETTING IT RIGHT, GETTING IT SAFE

Enjoy!

Posted by John Brett

Suzuki Cappuccino- All power, no grip

Power without grip is nothing!

No matter how much horsepower you have at the wheel, it’s only the power you can get onto the ground that counts.

Tyres are what transmit the power to the ground, and the measure of grip is the “Coefficient of Friction” (usually called Mu).
This is the ratio of down force to Horizontal force.

A Mu value of 1 is about as good as car tyres on a good surface ever get.

This means that you could park on a 1 in 1 grade (45 degrees) without sliding.
This means that in acceleration, you could accelerate at a maximum of 1G if all your weight was on the driving wheels, (as in a dragster, motorbike, or a 4wd car)
This means that there is a practical limit to ¼ mile drag times, of about 9 seconds, no matter how much power you have.

This is worked out from the acceleration formula
T=square root of 2s/a , where T= time, s = distance(403 meters) and a= acceleration (9.81 m/s/s)

This link shows ¼ mile times of some very fast cars on very sticky tyres-
1/4 mile times

All those people who claim to have done faster times must have some MAGIC tyres, or more likely – slow watches.

There ARE ways of going faster though……….

Top Fuel Dragsters
This a whole other thing- these machines achieve 4 G accelleration with assistance from rubber on rubber grip, and aerodynamic downforce increasing grip
and-
3.58 1/4 mile
Which is just plain old rocket science!

Or- if YOU want to accellerate this fast- just go to
Tower of Terror
or
Tower of Terror Video
This uses linear magnetic motors which give you 4.5 G accelleration, MORE than a Top Fuel Dragster, but without all the noise!

Aftermarket seats – the seatbelt buckle problem

Mnay enthusiasts want to fit aftermarket seats to their cars.
A problem arises when the original seat has the seatbelt buckle mounted on the seat, so that the seatbelt load goes through the slide rails to the car.
The easiest option is to keep the original slides, and mount the new seat to them. This way the seatbelt anchorage is unchanged.

If this is not possible, and the aftermarket seat has its own base and slide rails, this is where the problem arises.
There needs to be TEST DATA to show that the aftermarket rails are strong enough for the seatbelt load- and THERE NEVER IS ANY TEST DATA

There are two ways around this:
1 Fit a new Seatbelt Anchorage to the vehicle tunnel. This is done using standard Seatbelt Anchorage doubler plates of at least 3000 sq mm area (such as 80 x 50, or 100 x 40).
2 Bracketing the seatbelt buckle to the seat anchorage, using a piece of 40mm x 3 mm flat bar, usually about 100 to 150mm long, drilled for the 7/16 seatbelt bolt at one end, and drilled to fit the seat mounting bolt (usually M10) at the other.

It is a requirement that the Seatbelt is mounted with a 7/16 or M12 bolt. There are good reasons for this, and the seatbelt hardware is all made for this size of bolt.

The seat mounting bolt is whatever the vehicle manufacturer deemed appropriate- a M10 grade 8.8 bolt can take a shear load of 48 Kn, which is more than meets the load requirement for a seat and the seatbelt buckle loading.

The Manufacturers underfloor mounting plate for the seat is designed to take this load- the picture below shows that the seatbelt load in a standard seat is transmitted just to this one bolt- proving that this is true.
So we can rely on the Original, Factory seat mounting point, and the Original seat mounting bolt to take the seatbelt loads, the load just gets there by the new bar we have added.
NOTE- Remember to put the seatbelt load bar between the seat and the tunnel or floor.

S14 Seat showing Force Diagram

The LVV Standard for seats is 185-00. The LVV Standard for Seatbelts and anchorages is 175-00

Vehicle Design Consultancy Launched!

When you have been doing something you enjoy for years- something which is in constant demand- perhaps it is time to call it a business and give it a name!
John Brett has been designing vehicles from WAAY back- starting in the Ministry of Works at Benmore, designing all manner of ambitious and way out vehicles, but under the supervision of some of the best Mechanical Engineers in the country. How about a Penstock transporter, or a Hot-rodded bren-gun carrier for the televiewers association to get to their TV translater! Continue reading Vehicle Design Consultancy Launched!

Wheel Spacers FAQ’s

Wheel Spacers are the subject we are most common asked about. Continue reading Wheel Spacers FAQ’s

What a Maloo!

We recently Certified suspension and wheels on this Holden Maloo Continue reading What a Maloo!