What to do when issued with a Defect Notice on your vehicle?
With the new hoon laws being enforced across Queensland we felt that this article would be appropriate to inform the general public about defective vehicles and what they need to do if they are issued a notice.
In the advertisements about the new laws, it is true what is said that if you abide by the law and drive sensibly then you won’t be affected by the changes. Defects however can affect anyone regardless of their driving, however it is more in relation to keeping your vehicle maintained.
When Queensland Transport and Police issue a defect notice for a vehicle that is deemed unsafe; there are processes that need to be followed to remove the defect from the vehicle.
Common defects are:
The vehicle being too low (The lowest point under the vehicle must clear at least 100mm)
The vehicle is too loud
Headlights/taillights not working
Engine modifications such as blow off valves
Window tint being too dark
Blowing smoke from the exhaust
Defects can be at various stages of deterioration and to compensate for this a system has been devised to classify the action to be taken.
There are different levels of defect classification.
Definition: A defect that is not a safety risk but should be fixed.
Resolution: Generally be signed off by the owner
Definition: There is evidence that a defect is going to result over time if the issue is not rectified. A notice is issued with a time specified.
Resolution: Generally can be signed off by the owner or a qualified person. Example, mechanic, welder or panel beater
Definition: Applies on severe safety risks. If the risk is major, then the vehicle will be required to be towed. The notice issued will specify that the vehicle must not be driven on the road until all defects are remedied.
Resolution: Requires a sign off from an Approved Inspection Station, QPS or Department of Transport.
(An Approved Inspection Station is the station where Safety Certificates can be issued. An Examiner who is approved by Queensland Transport will have the authority to sign off this defect)
Dangerous - with label
Definition: The vehicle is labeled with a serious safety risk and is grounded immediately. A defect notice is issued and possible demerit points can be issued.
Resolution: Can only be inspected by Queensland Transport or Queensland Police to remove the label.
How do you avoid the whole process?
Learn what the law is.
When you are getting your windows tinted. Look up what the allowable tint level is and ask the applicant to abide by this level. If you are unsure you can always contact the Queensland Transport Department or your local Approved Inspection Station to check the regulation.
If you are a car enthusiast, you will need to conduct more research into what you can modify with or without a modification plate and if the modification is actually allowable at all.
Keep up with regular maintenance on your vehicle. As soon as the issue arises, take it your mechanic and have it fixed a.s.a.p. This can quite often save you money getting onto the issue quickly rather than becoming a bigger job later on.
Regularly service your vehicle. Your mechanic will be familiar with your vehicle and should be giving you a health check report on the condition every time you have a service done. This should typically be every 10,000kms or 6 months. This is the best method of avoiding a defect notice by keeping everything maintained on a regular basis.