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Re: [sconz] Re: More LTSA B.S.   2003-05-07 13:06:00 <Tony Reeves>
I used a wee bit of initiative on this matter and called LTSA to ask what
the approved and accepted sound level for my vehicle was. I expect the nice
man to ask for my vehicle make and model etc. but instead he asked for my
email address.

I got a bunch of attachments, Cully if you like I can mail them to you and
you could put them on the Supra site.

Interesting bits are:

"Will the VIRM (the inspection manual for WoF inspectors) change?
No. The rules for checking muffler systems have not changed. All WoF
inspections should already be checking that (to quote the VIRM manual) "The
exhaust system and silencer must be effective and in good working order.”
The reason for rejection in the manual states that “The noise output is
noticeably and significantly higher than should be expected for the vehicle.”"

"What if I previously passed a vehicle with a noisy exhaust and the customer
comes back to me saying they’ve failed a subsequent warrant of fitness
because of noise?
If the LTSA receives a customer complaint, it will investigate. You may also
be liable under the Consumer Guarantees Act for not providing a service with
adequate skill and care, but this would have to be proven by the customer."

"16How do we protect ourselves against challenges to our noise test judgements?
The LTSA expects WoF inspectors to apply their knowledge, skill and
experience to assess whether the vehicle owner compromised the effectiveness
of the original silencer, through modification or replacement of their
exhaust system. If you have used the skill and care that would reasonably be
expected of a competent person with average skills and experience in the
type of work required, then you may have protection under the law. This is
no different from other judgement tests that are carried out as part of a
warrant of fitness. "

"A vehicle’s exhaust system and silencer must be effective and in good
working order (required by regulation 81 of the Traffic Regulations 1976).
As stated in 11-1 of the Vehicle Inspection Requirements Manual, a reason
for rejection is if “the noise output is noticeably and significantly higher
than should be expected for the vehicle.”
When the vehicle leaves the manufacturing plant it will have been fitted
with an effective exhaust system and silencer. This is your point of
reference for the performance of any replacement exhaust systems. A modified
exhaust system should not make the vehicle louder than it would have been
when the vehicle was manufactured with its original exhaust system."

Note that the second paragraph is a major leap from what regulation actually
says. If the reg is applied, then one would expect a lowered vehical with
an 8" drain pipe out the back to be more noisy than a stock vehicle, and
that would be OK. Provided it was not unreasonable noisy for a car.

"Suggested Assessment method

1.Increase the engine speed to about half the maximum permitted limit
indicated on the vehicle’s tachometer (rev counter). This is the test speed.
(A ‘red line’ on the tachometer usually shows the maximum permitted limit.)
2.Hold the engine at this test speed for about five seconds and then reduce
to idling speed.
3.Follow this with a series of three or four short and sharp speed
increases, from idle to test speed.
If the vehicle doesn’t have a tachometer use your judgement to determine the
engine speed, but follow the same test sequence.
Action
If you suspect the vehicle’s exhaust system has been modified and the noise
is louder than you’d expect from its original equipment, you should reject
the vehicle.
Give the vehicle owner the LTSA leaflet “Your vehicle has failed its WoF
because of a noisy exhaust” explaining why their vehicle has been rejected
and what their options are for correcting the noisy exhaust."

Can you imagine what a half compitent lawyer would do with this piece of
crap. There is no way that the instruction above can be considered as a
quantifiable test to justify accepting or rejecting a vehicle's condition.
And I would flatly refuse to allow that test to be run on my vehicle. It is
NOT indicative of normal road use.

Finally there is this...

"The Infosheet explains the reasons underpinning the VIRM requirements, ie.
that modified exhausts should not be noticeably noisier than the original
fitted by the manufacturer. We have done this to ensure there is a clear
point of reference for WoF inspectors and to provide national consistency.

The Infosheet also suggests a simple assessment method in support of any
other method you may use currently. Please note that this method is not
compulsory but Police may use this method at the roadside to assist them in
determining whether a vehicle’s exhaust system is noisy and/or the vehicle
is operated in a noisy manner.

As usual WoF inspectors will apply their knowledge, skill and experience to
assess whether the effectiveness of the original silencer has been
compromised , through modification or replacement of their exhaust system,
making the exhaust system louder than the original one fitted by the
manufacturer. The method does not require the use of specialist measuring
equipment because this equipment is expensive and the testing protocols too
onerous to be practicable.

We estimate that, on average, this test will only need to be applied to less
than one in every one hundred vehicles tested nationally."



Reply

Re: [sconz] Re: More LTSA B.S.   2003-05-07 13:35:00 <Tony Reeves>
> I've mailed your last message with comment about Taccoc competitors to
> him already, just in case stick-boy hasn't for some reason.
>
> I think that this is a serious issue, and maybe making other clubs
> (yes, even people like HSV owners...) would be sensible.
>
> Before we did that we would need to confirm exactly where the public
> submission and rule is at. Is it in force now or still under
> consideration? We need to be sure of our ground before passing
> information on to other groups or organisations.

It would appear that this issues is based only on an interpretation of
regulation 81.

This from the "official" notification to vehicle testers.....


A vehicle’s exhaust system and silencer must be effective and in good
working order (required by regulation 81 of the Traffic Regulations 1976).
As stated in 11-1 of the Vehicle Inspection Requirements Manual, a reason
for rejection is if “the noise output is noticeably and significantly higher
than should be expected for the vehicle.”

Nowhere is there reference to any other rule, regulation or Act. Which
unfortunately means that it can only really be challenged in court.

Reply

Re: [sconz] Re: More LTSA B.S.   2003-05-07 14:58:00 <Tony Reeves>

> Newsflash. The minister of transport is part of the problem. A major
> player in getting the "illegal drag racing act" into law. I suspect
> the LTSA are largely only doing what they've been coerced to do.
>
> Mailbombs to the minister of transport, won't help, but it might make
> the news! Oops, did I interpret that wrong?

It could get worse...

A new car leaves the factory with new tyres with full tread depth. When
they are have 75% tread the tyres are not as effective as those with 100%
tread.....

A new car has new shiny paint, when it gets dull and/or dirty it is not as
easy to see as a new one.....

BTW I am currently having an email exchange with some senior guy at LTSA.
Nothing constructive so far...

Cheers

Tony

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