'This is of
New regulations will not solve problem
of non-compliant RVs, warns council
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Australia's highways and byways are full of
non-compliant recreational vehicles, according to the Caravan Council of
And it has warned that new regulations scheduled to come into force in
July will not solve the problem.
"They will not guarantee that all future caravans will be
fully-compliant," claims the council's founder and general manager Colin
"The new safety and quality regulations will not apply to all
manufacturers and importers," he explained.
"This is of serious concern as some companies that produce caravans in
small numbers will be exempt from having to meet the requirements of the
Mr Young said companies that will not be subject to the same level of
government scrutiny will be some newcomers to the market, which often lack
the necessary resources and experience essential to manufacture safe and
"Industry insiders have long been worried that there are too many new
manufacturers and importers competing in a very limited, and
highly-competitive, market," he claimed.
Mr Young believed the new Vehicle Safety Standards regulations would allow
larger caravan companies a lengthy 'phase-in' period to 'get up to speed'
with the new requirements.
"It may well be that the intended benefits of the new laws will not become
apparent for up to one year after their introduction," he said.
"Unfortunately for the many owners of defective non-compliant caravans
there are no retrospective provisions in the new act, hence they are being
forced to continue to pursue rectification action against the dealers who
sold them their vehicles.
"Despite the good intentions of the Australian Consumer Law to protect
customers who bought unsatisfactory – or even unsafe – products, it is
well known that getting the dealers to honour their responsibilities is
often very difficult.
"Potential buyers of caravans need to be extremely careful to ensure their
proposed caravan is in fact fully compliant with Australia’s vehicle
safety regulations, as stated in the national Australian Design Rules."
Mr Young also fired a
broadside at manufacturers, saying it had been hoped one major
positive outcome from the lengthy and crippling COVID lockdowns was that
they made good use of the non-productive time
"to have a thorough and professional appraisal of all aspects of their
But "most unfortunately", this has not been the case with all
"The CCA has been advised of numerous instances where defects have been
found on new caravans manufactured over just the past few months," he
"While most of the complaints were about the
well known industry problems, a number of new bugs have now become
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