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Over 3,000 cars to be re-warranted

An Invercargill-based vehicle inspector has been revoked from issuing warrants of fitness.
Posted on 14 February, 2019
Over 3,000 cars to be re-warranted

The NZTA has revoked an Invercargill vehicle inspector from issuing warrants of fitness (WOFs) after it was found 3,515 vehicles were improperly inspected. 

The agency says that Donald Steward McLean's vehicle inspecting authority and his Invercargill-based inspecting organisation, The WOF Man Ltd., can no longer issue WOFs due to "a history of compliance issues" and "customer complaints relating to the poor quality of his inspections."

The NZTA found that McLean failed to properly inspect brakes, exhaust systems and corrosion repairs and allowed his personal issuing authority to be used for WOF inspections he did not perform.

"We are unaware of specific concerns relating to individual vehicles, however, due to the poor quality of Mr McLean inspections there is a possibility that some vehicles may have been incorrectly passed," adds the agency.

"For this reason, we strongly encourage people who have a current Warrant of Fitness issued by Mr McLean to get their vehicle rechecked."

The NZTA will contact all 3,515 affected vehicle owners individually as soon as possible to advise them on recheck options, with vouchers provided.

Timeline of events

- Late August: Dargaville Diesel Specialists suspended – 1,956 vehicle owners urged to get WOFs rechecked. 

- Late September: NZTA hires law firm Meredith Connell to review its open-compliance files and regulatory function. 

- October: Orient Motors – 3,494 affected owners. 

- October: Te Aroha Automotive – 613 affected vehicle owners.

- November 23: Westland Mechanical and Tyre – 3,721 affected vehicle owners.

- November 30: Auckland’s Jet Tyres and Wheel Alignment – 993 affected vehicle owners.

- November 30: Onehunga’s Church Street Motors and Tyres – 4,053 affected vehicle owners.

- December 4: El’s Auto Services in East Tamaki – 3,783 affected vehicle owners. 

- December 5: Super Cheap Tyres and Auto Services in St Johns – 2,443 affected vehicle owners.

- December 10: NZTA chief executive Fergus Gammie announces his resignation

- December 14: Stephen Upson and Sunnybrae Auto Services - 747 affected vehicle owners. 

- December 20: Sayad Hussein and Frankton WoF and Tyre Station - 2,836 affected vehicle owners. 

- December 21: Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd – numbers of potentially impacted vehicles yet to be confirmed. 

- December 21: NZTA appoints former Chorus CEO Mark Ratcliffe as interim chief executive until a permanent replacement is found.

- December 21: Consulting firm Martin Jenkins hired to provide support for the Ministry of Transport’s review into the NZTA’s regulatory function. 

- January 25, 2019: NZTA extends expiry date of all unused vouchers

- February 4, 2019: Manufacturers call on the NZTA to pay for customers’ towbar re-certifications

- February 7, 2019: NZTA announces it will cover costs for towbar recertifications.

- February 12, 2019: NZTA welcomes findings of an independent report on regulatory compliance.

- February 13, 2019: Donald Steward McLean and The WOF Man Ltd. - 3,515 affected vehicle owners.