Government must refund overcharged motorists

Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.

“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous assertion that 774,565 vehicles had to have their risk rating reclassified because of one years’ worth of crash data and new vehicles coming on market is obviously wrong.

“At yesterday’s Select Committee hearing ACC officials confirmed the reason that so many vehicles had to be reclassified was that they didn’t have the data to correctly rate vehicles in the first place.

“This time last year I warned the Minister that her system was fundamentally flawed and using faulty data – she said I was wrong. But the huge scale of these reclassifications shows that it is the Minister who is wrong.

“The Government obviously blundered when more than 41,000 vehicles are classified as the most dangerous vehicles on the road at Band 1 today and on 1 July will suddenly be reclassified as the safest cars on our roads.

“Thousands of motorists told ACC their vehicles were wrongly classified last year but ACC ignored their complaints.

“It’s only fair that these people should be refunded the amount they were overcharged in their vehicle registration fee. Labour estimates that around $7 million in refunds are owed to motorists through no fault of their own. Vehicle owners were overcharged up to $90 each.

“When the Minister introduced this new vehicle risk rating model, she claimed it would inform New Zealanders purchasing decisions but no-one can have confidence in a system that has made 770,000 mistakes in a year,” Sue Moroney says.