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What you need to know

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a crash prevention system that intervenes if it detects that a vehicle is about to skid or lose traction. It independently controls the braking of each wheel to correct the vehicle and pull it back into line if it is skidding out of control. International research indicates that ESC can reduce loss-of-control crashes by between 20 and 30%, preventing hundreds of deaths and thousands of serious injuries. In 2014, the number of light vehicles with ESC entering the New Zealand fleet was increasing, and was expected to prevent 410 deaths and 1890 serious i

From 1 July 2015, all new cars, vans, 4-wheel drives and goods vehicles imported into New Zealand must have ESC. The requirement came into effect for other imported vehicles in 2016, 2018 and 2020. The requirement does not apply to some specialist vehicles.

The work to date

Jul 2015

New requirement comes into effect

The mandatory ESC requirement came into effect on 1 July 2015, through the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002. This means all owners of vehicles fitted with ESC, no matter when they were imported, must make sure their ESC works. This is checked at warrant of fitness inspections.

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Jul 2014

Rule amended

On 1 July 2014 the Minister announced an amendment to the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002, which would make ESC mandatory for light vehicles entering the New Zealand fleet from 1 July the following year.

More information and related documents
Mar 2014–Apr 2014

Proposed amendment consulted on

Waka Kotahi consulted on the draft amendment Rule and received 30 submissions on the proposed changes, which we took into consideration in finalising the Rule.

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