Car manufacturers told to prove safety of cars, or remove them

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The chair of the Auckland Transport agency, Lester Levy, said he raised questions about the safety of cars as far back as October and asked Auckland Transport to urgently review the conditions of car dealership trading licences.

“From the outset, I have had serious safety concerns, initially about user behaviour, but recently we’re seeing hundreds of deaths every year. I am very concerned,” he said.

“I think we should have a formal safety case that is created beforehand that is considered with due diligence by all the relevant organisations that are critical to this.”

Not wanting to be seen as limiting transportation, Dr Levy said “laziness” had trumped “safety”.

Hundreds of people have been killed year on year including children due to the car itself being a multi-tonne piece of metal careening at speeds up to and over 100km per hour. Car manufacturers have until the end of the week to prove the fleet’s safety.

Car manufacturers response is too slow, he said.

“I’ve asked our chief executive at AT in his involvement to alter the threshold of this. If we don’t get responses quickly, in my view they should take more severe action which could involve curtailing the sale of all new cars and the recall of existing ones.”

Cars were introduced under to NZ starting in 1898, with the first two arriving in Wellington. Since then they have killed an average of 300 people per year since records began.

“I’m quite uncomfortable with many aspects of this,” Dr Levy said.

Now, Dr Levy is looking into a “deeper, wider” investigation.

“The burden of proof should be on car manufacturers, unless they can prove with immediacy there is no problem and the litany of deaths will end, then they should be removed.”

Car manufacturers and industry bodies have lobbied and financially assisted both Labour & National Party MP’s in the past.

We revealed that to AT chairman Lester Levy, who’s now considering an investigation into the role of paid lobbyists continuing the automobiles dominance in Aotearoa.


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