Recalls under the RVSA

The Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) Legislation sets out the framework for the voluntary or compulsory recall of road vehicles and approved road vehicle components due to safety issues which may cause injury, or where non-compliances with the applicable national road vehicle standards (eg. Australian Design Rules) are identified. 

Vehicles and their components must comply with standards to be used in Australia. If they do not comply or there is an issue with their safety, the supplier of the vehicle or component should undertake a recall to either fix the issue or remove it from market.

The responsible regulator monitors the progress of vehicle and component recalls. They can also work with suppliers and other regulators to initiate recall action if they identify an unsafe or noncompliant vehicle or component in the market.

A voluntary recall is an action taken by vehicle and component suppliers to fix a safety or non-compliance issue with a road vehicle or approved component.

A compulsory recall occurs when the responsible Commonwealth Minister issues a compulsory recall notice to suppliers if it appears that they have not taken satisfactory action to:

  • prevent injury, or
  • rectify non-compliance with applicable standards.

All vehicle type approvals will be subjected to the following specified conditions related to recall action of road vehicles:

  • reporting recall action, that you become aware of that is being undertaken outside of Australia, to the Department, and
  • reporting systemic safety or non-compliance issues to the Department.

Under the RVS Legislation, the approval holder must advise the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (“Federal Department”) when they have identified a systemic safety or non-compliance issue.

A recall notification must be submitted to the Department through the Road Vehicle Regulator’s (ROVER) recall notification function.  ROVER is the Department’s IT system that integrates all applications and approvals under the RVS Legislation.

It is crucial for manufacturers and suppliers to have business systems in place that can trace back, trace forward and detail any modifications done to a product throughout its lifecycle. As part of quality control/compliance systems across the manufacturing and supply chain, there should be a solution in place to enable traceability across:

  • suppliers and their products that enter the organization,
  • components, products, and processes within the organization, and
  • products delivered to customers.

More information about the legal requirements and approval holder’s roles and responsibilities can be found HERE.

The below video is a recording of a webinar conducted by the Federal Department to guide approval holders in submitting a recall notification in ROVER.  More information can be found in the Vehicle Recalls section of the Department’s website.

In accordance with Australian Consumer Law, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for some vehicle-related consumer products not covered by the RVS legislation (including quad bikes, golf carts and personal mobility devices).  An RVMAP Technical Bulletin was issued to assist manufacturers and suppliers in assessing which components may be within the responsibility of the Road Vehicle Recalls and which will require ACCC involvement.  Click HERE to access the bulletin.

For questions or assistance, head to the Department’s RVSA-dedicated Contact Us page.