Despite information provided in previous issues of Testing Times the Vehicle Safety Branch still receives many enquires and complaints from members of the public regarding requests by LVTs for Engineer's Reports. It is claimed that the LVT will not issue a certificate or even inspect some vehicles until an Engineer's Report is provided.
An Engineer's Report is a technical assessment report issued by an appropriately qualified engineer to certify that a modified or imported vehicle has been inspected, that all modifications have been carried out and completed in accordance with recognized standards and codes of practice and that the vehicle in its modified form continues to comply with the Standards for Registration.
A Roadworthiness Certificate is as set out in Vehicle Standards Information (VSI) 26. In other words it is a basic safety check that the vehicle is fit for use on the road.
A RWC is not a certificate of compliance with the Standards for Registration.
An Engineer's Report may be required by VicRoads or a Police Officer (not an LVT) as evidence of compliance with the Standards for Registration when a modified or imported vehicle is presented for registration or change of description.
An Engineer's Report or other evidence of compliance should only be requested by the LVT where the quality of the modification or repairs (particularly structural repairs) are judged to be below an acceptable standard. However in most of these situations if sub-standard workmanship or worn or damaged components is apparent (e.g. cracked welds, binding steering, misaligned engine or drive line etc) then it is more appropriate to issue a rejection report than ask for an Engineer's Report. If the owner disputes this rejection then they can try and get a Engineer's Report to prove you wrong.
Remember an Engineer's Report won't fix the problem and can put the owner to a lot of cost.
An Engineers Report is appropriate where the problem can only be fixed by redesigning and/or manufacturing special replacement parts.
Previous article referred to:
What are engineer's reports?
These are documents produced by professional Mechanical Engineers which describe the design elements of a vehicle. They are used by VicRoads to determine if a vehicle is acceptable for registration or to see if modifications have been carried out satisfactorily.
What effect do they have on roadworthy checks ?
* If the vehicle has been imported and is not yet registered, VicRoads may require an engineer's report before it is registered. This will certainly be the case if a steering conversion has been performed. In these cases the roadworthy inspection should be the last thing that is done to make sure that any work does not affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle.
* If the vehicle is registered but has had an engine swap, brake modification or similar, then the tester does not have to worry about the engineer's report unless something looks wrong, for example cracked welds, steering binding or a misaligned engine.
* If the vehicle has been repaired after an accident (perhaps a Acut and shut@) an engineer's report is not normally required and should not be asked for. Where major repairs have been done and you are unhappy about their quality you can ask for a statement from the owner or manager of a recognised panel shop. A copy of a suitable accident damage repair report is attached. You could give your customer a cof this and say you will not issue a RWC until it is completed. You do have the right to protect yourself.