The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is calling for a joint meeting of all Federal and State vehicle regulators, with a view to conducting a testing program in the US.
Using Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) testing methods, the AAAA is aiming to disprove fears that minor modifications to vehicles can hamper the operation of electronic stability control (ESC).
The proposed testing program would involve up to six vehicles equipped with ESC, each fitted with modified parts available on the Australian after-market.
Each vehicle would be tested using the SEMA Vehicle Dynamics Program, and a report from each would then be presented to the collective Australian vehicle regulators.
“Australia is the only market we know of anywhere in the world where vehicles with minor modifications are refused registration simply because ESC is fitted as standard equipment,” AAAA’s Senior Manager Government Relations, Ben Bartlett, said.
“Some Australian state regulators have accepted carmaker’s claims that modifying ESC-equipped vehicles with ‘non-genuine’ parts is unsafe without any evidence to suggest this is the case."
"AAAA places safety first. If we thought that these modifications would have an adverse impact on the safety of the vehicle, we would not be prepared to fund such a robust and comprehensive testing program.”
Mr Bartlett cited an example of vehicles in the US being raised by up to 150mm with no adverse effects on ESC operation, and the AAAA is requesting a much shorter limit for raised vehicles from local authorities.
A proposal, with the backing of SEMA’s John Waraniak, has been submitted to the Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Working Board (AMVCWB) with the board promising to reply by the end of May.
While visiting Australia, Mr Waraniak took the opportunity to tour some of Australia’s top after-market parts suppliers, including Pedders, Don Kyatt, ARB and Redranger.
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