SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 23, June 6, 2013

New Zealand Group Issues Safety Alert for Certain Foreign-Produced Aftermarket Steering Columns

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff 

New Zealand’s Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association (LVVTA) has issued a safety bulletin that identifies quality concerns for certain inexpensive aftermarket steering column brands produced in China and other Asian countries. The columns are typically used in modified custom vehicles, classics and hot rods. 

According to the bulletin, issues for concern include poor-quality welding of steering shaft sections, poorly designed tilt mechanisms that are not ‘fail-safe,’ and poor-quality materials used within the components inside the tilt mechanisms. The report notes that aftermarket steering columns have traditionally been manufactured in the United States with sound engineering principles and quality production, and products by these recognized manufacturers are not subject to the safety alert. In recent years, there has been an increase in the sale of less-expensive foreign-produced steering columns—the subject of the safety alert.

The LVVTA is a non-governmental group that works with the New Zealand Transport Agency to craft a system for certifying limited production vehicles. A copy of the safety alert is available.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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