Faulty Sanwa Seiki Parking Brakes Banned in New Zealand

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Source: RNZ post

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A faulty Sanwa Seiki-supplied parking brake installed on some 1,000 trucks sold in New Zealand and implicated in numerous crashes since 2010, including two fatal ones, has been banned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), according to a report by Phil Pennington posted on RNZ.co.nz (Radio New Zealand).

The ban, which went into effect several days ago, would force trucks not in compliance – replacing the faulty parking braked – be off the road by September.

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Excerpts from the post follow:

The ban comes two years after the latest death of a father-of-two road worker, 25, hit by a runaway truck in Ngauranga Gorge.

Another truck crushed a pedestrian into a truck parked in front of it in 2010.

By 2013 police knew of at least nine crashes in the lower South Island caused by the Sanwa Seiki brakes failing.

Safety alerts went out three times between 2013 and 2019 urging owners to check and service the brakes.

“We are doing this because of a number of incidents – including two fatalities – involving runaway vehicles when the operator of the vehicle believed the brake had been fully engaged when it hadn’t,” Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) told owners of about 1,000 trucks, mostly Nissans made between 1995 and 2003.

“While we could take immediate action to revoke these vehicles’ CoFs [Certificates of Fitness], we consider it reasonable and appropriate to allow vehicle owners a period of time to correct the safety issue.”

Safety alerts were issued to the trucking industry several times between 2010 and now including ones by the NZTA in 2017 and 2019.

The safety alerts issued by the Road Transport Forum for truckers in 2013 specifically outlined the issue according to Pennington’s reporting:

The safety alerts stated the handbrake was more prone to fail due to wear and tear as time goes on: When worn it might appear to be engaged when it was not, and – being on the right side of the driver’s seat – was susceptible to being knocked out of its groove by a driver getting in or out of the cab.

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Nissan manuals call for servicing every 12 months.

The 2021 NZTA letter to the industry, not the public, said: “Park brake failures from the above issues have resulted in a number of incidents with some causing deaths and serious injuries.

“The clear safety risk is why Waka Kotahi is taking the action outlined.”

The entire article, with images and more extensive information, can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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