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 John’s authority was revoked in December 2012.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.


“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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Vehicle crash performance

This startling video illustrates the advances in car design for accidents.

The first obvious lesson is which sort of car to be in- if you have a collision

The next lesson is for anybody modifying cars- to understand the level of technology-
For example- if you were fitting seatbelts to the Bel Air, or a Morris Minor, (as you would be required to in New Zealand)- you can only work to achieve the best seatbelt anchorages possible, attached to available structures, and hope to give some increased protection in smaller crashes.

For example- if you were fitting seats and seatbelts to a MODERN vehicle, (say a Van) you need to be able to show that the modifications WILL WORK in the sort of impact shown in the video. Imagine LVV Certifying a Van with extra seats, extra seatbelts, wheelchairs and occupants and restraints- no wonder customers frequently question why it all needs to be so strong!

For example- if you wanted to change anything about the frontal impact structure or systems of a modern car (whether it is a Chev Malibu, or Toyota Yaris), how would you know if the crash performance will still be the same?
That’s why you can’t cut away the front bumper, add a different front bumper, trim the flanges off side-rails to add a front-mount intercooler, or cut holes in the crumple structure, etc.
You also cannot go adding stiffness in a crumple area, such as a suspension brace which stiffens up areas meant to fold.
The change you make could cause that part to fold, or maybe transmitting the load to another part making it fold instead, or triggers the airbags differently, and resulting in impaired performance and injury or death- HOW WOULD YOU KNOW?

EXAMPLE The “push bars” on some Police traffic cars would have been crash tested, and have documentary evidence of the test.

This video shows why modern cars are so surprisingly HEAVY, (compared to similar cars of the 1970’s and 1980’s which were NOT crash tested) and why there is so much high-tensile steel in the vehicle structures.

That is why Low Volume Vehicle Certifiers cannot certify any modifications in frontal impact structures and systems because the ONLY way to prove the case for or against would be to carry MORE crash tests- which is outside of the scope of the Low Volume system.

3 comments to Vehicle crash performance

  • John Brett

    My dad was a Panel beater in the 1950’s and 1960’s when ALL cars were rebuilt, because of the Overseas funds restrictions.
    I used to help him a bit, repairing Zephyrs, Veloxes, even BelAirs and Fairlanes.
    I remember helping him to straighten out steering wheels that had been into someone’s chest- bend it straight, bog it up, re-spray it, so it looks good in the car when it goes out on the car sales lot.
    Usually the occupants were buried, and the cars lived again.
    Now, of course, the cars get written off and the occupants usually get to survive.

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