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 John’s authority was revoked in December 2012.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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Resource Pages

Most suspension modifications need to be Certified.
The “modification threshold” showing what neeeds to be certified is here:Threshold

In brief, any adustable platform suspension needs certifying, any car with less than 100mm ground clearance under the vehicle structure needs certifying. A WOF agent can also call for LVV Certification if he is unhappy about the safety of any other aspect of the suspension.
There are three ways of finding out if your suspension needs LVV Certification –

  1. Check the rules first, do the job properly, then get it LVV Certified.
  2. Go for a WOF, have your car failed, then do the job properly, then get it LVV Certified.
  3. Wait until the Police stop you and give you a pink or green sticker and a fine, take your vehicle to a testing station, have your car failed, then do the job properly, then get it LVV Certified.

Some simple checks you can do before booking a Cert:

  1. Wheels or tyres rubbing- check by booting around on full lock, over some bumps, to check if you have a problem
  2. Springs captive- jack the car and check that the springs are not loose in the seats
  3. Springs can carry the payload- put a person in each seat, and bounce the car to make sure it it not sitting on the bumpstops. (Note removing the bumpstops is not allowed)

Supension Page

Engine and Drivetrain

Some engine changes are great for LVV Certification, some are not. Changing an engine needs to be checked against –

  1. How is this engine and drivetrain mounted in the vehicle?
  2. Can the suspension carry the weight?
  3. Can the brakes handle the power?
  4. Is there any effect on steering, or any other safety aspect of the vehicle?

A common misconception is fitting a V8 to a car built with a six, or a four, and thinking “This car came out with a V8, so what’s the problem? ” There might or might not not be a problem. For example, if your car is a Holden Commodore, the V8 came out with stonger suspension, and bigger brakes. If you just change the engine, without changing the brakes and suspension it is probably going to fail the Cert.

Another issue that is a trap is Tubos and Intercoolers. It is fine to say drop a RB20 DET into a Nissan Laurel, hang an intercooler on the front, and cut holes in the inner guards for the ducts. But if you try that on a Frontal Impact compliant Nissan Silvia, you have a big problem. Some Intercooler kits tell you to “Cut away the flanges on the front rails….” If you do, then you are going to have to rebuild your car with new front rails- (a VERY EXPENSIVE mistake). If in doubt, talk to your LVV Certifier FIRST.

Seats and Seat Mountings

Many owners are surprised that their new front seats are a problem to the Certifier.

These are the sorts of issues that arise:

1 Access to the back seat- The back seat passengers HAVE TO BE ABLE TO GET OUT in an emergency!
If yours is a two door car and the front seats don’t fold, you have a problem. You can choose to lose the back seats altogether, and remove the rear seats and seatbelts. In this case, the car will be Certified as a 2 seater, and you won’t be able to put the back seats in again.

2 Seatbelts mounted on the seats! Just a seat on its own has to be mounted to stand 20 times its weight in a crash. If you add the Seatbelt buckle- you add another 15 Kilonewtons, a ton and a half! Best plan is to keep the factory rails, and mount the new seat onto them. If you can’t do this, then bracket the seatbelt buckle to the floor mount. Your LVV Certifier will advise you on this.

Added seating positions
This is a whole big deal, and MUST be done properly. Most likely seatbelts will also be required. Consider the force on the passengers in a 50 kph crash- it’s the same as a 3 story drop, nose first, onto concrete. OUR ADVICE- Get your LVV Certifer involved BEFORE you start.

Here is an example of one installation of Seats and Seatbelts