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General questions

  • What should I do if my vehicle has been certified by Mr Chu?

    Check the safety alerts issued in relation to Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) and read these questions and answers.

    The two most recent alerts advise that:

    • Heavy vehicle drawbar and drawbeam connections certified by Mr Chu have been revoked and exemptions may apply.
    • Towbar connections (including small trucks, tipper trucks, buses, motor homes and goods’ vans) certified by Mr Chu have been revoked from 21 December 2018.
    • In all instances, the vehicle’s ability to use a towbar to tow anything has been revoked until the towbar is recertified, unless a general non-use exemption applies.
    • In all instances, the vehicle’s ability to use a drawbeam to tow anything has been revoked until the drawbeam is recertified, unless a general non-use exemption or time-based exemption applies.
    • In all instances, the use of a drawbar to tow a trailer/vehicle has been revoked until the drawbar is recertified, unless a time-based exemption applies.

    You should also check if you’re affected and find out about the financial support available from the Transport Agency.

    Safety alerts
    Check if you’re affected
    Financial support

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  • Why is the investigation of Mr Chu taking so long?

    Certification of heavy vehicle components is complex and considers many factors, including fatigue, gross mass weight carried, and distance travelled. Each file is unique and requires a team of experts to assess and make a recommendation based on the information within the file. Safety remains our top priority and we are working through the files as quickly as possible.

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Towing connection questions

  • What towing connections are affected?

    Following an ongoing specialist investigation, the NZ Transport Agency has issued safety alerts advising the following:

    • Revoked the towbar certifications of around 1500 heavy vehicles. These include small trucks, tipper trucks, buses, motor homes and goods’ vans certified by Auckland-based heavy vehicle specialist certifier Patrick Chu of Transport and Structure Limited.
    • Revoked the drawbeam and drawbar certifications of around 2000 heavy vehicles.
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  • Can I still use my drawbar, drawbeam and/or towbar?

    In all instances, the vehicle’s ability to use a towbar to tow anything has been revoked until the towbar is recertified, unless a general non-use exemption applies.

    In all instances, the vehicle’s ability to use a drawbeam to tow anything has been revoked until the drawbeam is recertified, unless a general non-use exemption or time-based exemption applies.

    In all instances, the use of a drawbar to tow a trailer/vehicle has been revoked until the drawbar is recertified, unless a time-based exemption applies.

    Any exemption must be issued by the Transport Agency, and the exemption notice carried in the vehicle at all times.

    Background on Patrick Chu and exemption details

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  • Is my Certificate of Fitness (CoF) still valid?

    Your current CoF remains valid. However, you are not permitted to use the towing connection unless an exemption states you can.

    Your vehicle won't fail a CoF due to the revoked drawbar, drawbeam and/or towbar certification if:

    • the towing connection has been recertified;
    • or the towing connection has been removed or made inoperable (where appropriate),
    • or you present the vehicle before an exemption expires, with the notice of exemption.

    If the revoked drawbar, drawbeam and/or towbar is still fitted and operable, and you have not had it recertified by the time an exemption expires, then you will not receive a CoF for your vehicle.

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  • How do I know if I have a drawbar, drawbeam and/or towbar certified by Patrick Chu?

    Check if you’re affected by a revocation applying to a towing connection on your vehicle. If your plate number is not returned in the search but you believe your drawbar, drawbeam and/or towbar was certified by Patrick Chu, please check for the certifier ID ‘ZC’ on a certification plate on or near the towing connection itself. See the safety alert issued in April 2019 for an example of a certification plate.

    If you find the initials ‘ZC’ on the certification plate, please send a photo of the drawbar, drawbeam and/or towbar (with the registration plate visible), and a photo of the certification plate to info@nzta.co.nz and we will update our records and send you further information.

    Check if you’re affected
    Safety alert – April 2019

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  • I’ve already had my towbar certification recertified. Do I now have to get my drawbeam recertified as well?

    If you have a drawbeam that was also certified by Patrick Chu then yes, unfortunately you will also now need to have this re-inspected and potentially recertified.

    We acknowledge that this is an inconvenience for customers who are affected by multiple certification revocations. Our investigation of Mr Chu is ongoing, and in the interests of safety, we must resolve issues as soon as we identify them. This results in a staggering of revocations.

    Please see our financial support section for information on costs covered by the Transport Agency and the payment process to follow for reimbursement or direct invoicing.

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  • What criteria did the Transport Agency use to assign exemptions?

    There are many factors to be considered when assessing the safety risks associated with heavy vehicle towing connections. A team of expert engineers at the Transport Agency assessed each of the files of vehicles where towing connections were certified by Mr Chu and assigned a risk rating.

    Immediate revocation (except where a general exemption applies) has been assigned to vehicles where the component should immediately ceased to be used.

    Exemptions have been granted where the component can continue to be used for a certain period.

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  • When are exemptions valid from?

    Exemptions are valid from the day you receive notice of the revocation, including any exemption granted in writing, or receive notification that an application for exemption is approved, including the exemption notice. The expiry date will be noted on the letter you receive.

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  • Will I be contacted by the Transport Agency?

    The Transport Agency is contacting the registered owners of vehicles that have drawbars, drawbeams and/or towbars bars certified by Mr Chu. Information on what to do if you are affected is available on our website and customers are also receiving letters in the mail. Vehicle owners with a drawbeam, drawbar and/or towbar certified by Mr Chu are strongly encouraged to call us on 0800 699 000 if they have not heard from us.

    www.nzta.govt.nz/patrick-chu

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Financial support questions for towbars

  • Do I have to pay for the recertification of my vehicle towing connection?

    The Transport Agency is committed to supporting vehicle owners whose vehicles have drawbars, drawbeams and /or towbars certified by Patrick Chu.

    Although the Transport Agency isn’t legally liable to do so, we’ve agreed to provide financial support to affected vehicle owners, in order to lessen the impact of the revocations we’ve called for.

    Visit the financial support page for more details on the costs covered and the payment process.

    Financial support

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  • Who needs to complete the payment form?

    All affected vehicle owners must sign the form as indicated. This is required by the Transport Agency for both reimbursement and direct invoice payment processes.

    If you are seeking reimbursement, please following the instructions for vehicle owners on the payment form.

    Parties who are asked to directly invoice the Transport Agency must check the vehicle owner has signed the payment form and then complete the requested details, as well as attach their invoice. The information you provide enables us to monitor the works completed to ensure towing connections certified by Patrick Chu are resolved. We may also use it, as necessary to recover costs from appropriate parties.

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