15 Feb 2019

Garage owner allowed unuthorised people carry out WOF inspections

7:37 pm on 15 February 2019

A Hamilton garage owner who admitted allowing four unauthorised people carry out warrant of fitness inspections has been suspended.

mechanic repairman inspecting car closeup

A garage owner has admitted allowing four unauthorised people carry out warrant of fitness inspections. Photo: 123RF

The Transport Agency says it will investigate further into Michael Cox and his two inspecting organisations Auto Super Shoppe Hamilton Central and Hamilton Automotive Repairs.

The unauthorised inspections were over a 10-month period.

"This included a time when Mr Cox was overseas," it said in a statement.

He also was not inspecting lights, transmissions and structural corrosion properly, it said.

The agency is asking 1140 vehicle owners to seek WOF re-inspections.

Earlier today, the agency suspended Whangarei garage Hapi's Automotive over inspections affecting 94 vehicle owners.

Vehicle inspector Hapi Brown had let unauthorised people do WOF checks.

"The review also found Mr Brown did not have the required brake testing equipment, meaning he couldn't have known accurate brake test results during vehicle inspections."

The agency offers vehicle owners vouchers to pay for a re-inspection but it has no legal power to force them to get a new WOF.

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Michael Stiassny. Photo: Vector

Agency chair Michael Stiassny has said they were pushing strongly for a law change over this.

About 7500 vehicles have been rechecked out of 25,000 that need rechecking, an increase of 3500 since early January.

On these rechecks, just 40 percent are passing the first time, when usually 60 percent pass an initial WOF inspection.

"It's important that the owners of these vehicles understand that they may not have been properly inspected during the previous WOF check carried out by these suspended providers," the agency said.

It had written to all the vehicle owners, phoned them, and run two social media campaigns targeting people within a 7km radius of any suspended garages or mechanics.

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