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AAAA Vehicle Dynamics Test Program Leads to Change in National Regulations

Posted on 18 January 2016

Extensive testing conducted by the Performance Racing & Tuning Council (PRTC) in the United States earned acceptance from Federal, State and Territory Governments for modifications made under the owner certified section of the National Code of Practice covering alterations to vehicle height.

The PRTC is a specialist section of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), the national body representing the automotive aftermarket, including manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers of automotive parts and accessories, tools and equipment.

Modifications to suspension are designed to improve safety and enhance dynamic performance of the vehicle. The successful test regime on two popular vehicles using suspension kits from Australian suppliers proved that lowering vehicle height by 50mm has no adverse impact on the operation of the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) unit.

The modified vehicles – 2013 Toyota Camry and 2015 Chevrolet SS (Commodore) – were benchmarked against identical non-modified units and no modifications were made to the vehicles’ original equipment ESC systems.

PRTC adopted the same test protocols used by all vehicle manufacturers and major component suppliers around the world to simulate vehicle dynamics for the development and testing of new chassis system components, engines, power trains, drivelines, suspension and vehicle electronic control systems.

Technical reports from the PRTC tests presented to Federal, State and Territory regulators showed the test vehicles all met Australian Design Rule (ADR) 35 requirements for ESC operation.

PRTC Chairman Graham Scudamore-Smith said the industry program to dispel the notion that small changes to the ride height of a vehicle have a negative impact on ESC operation is a win for common sense. “We worked closely with the regulators and thank the Federal, State and Territory authorities for their input to this successful project,” said Graham Scudamore-Smith.

Aftermarket displays due diligence
In all cases the test results were well within the normal operating capabilities of the vehicles’ ESC systems and ADR 35 requirements. All modified vehicles:

  • Easily passed the performance requirements of ADR 35.
  • Demonstrated compatibility with the control authority of the OEM electronic stability control system.
  • Worked in harmony with the OEM ESC system to prevent rollover potential in the extreme test conditions.
  • Did not demonstrate any “nuisance activations” of the ESC system during any test manoeuvres.

“We ensured complete transparency for the test regime by using the ADR as the standard, and using internationally recognised test procedures and testing facilities,” said Graham Scudamore-Smith.

“As a result of this PRTC initiative, the National Code of Practice has been amended to remove reference to ESC testing requirements from Section LS of Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB) 14.

“Thus, we have eliminated the need for additional and redundant testing and cut red tape for Australian businesses and vehicle owners. This is a great outcome for private car owners who want to improve the
on road capabilities of their vehicles.

“This successful modified vehicle ride height test program is a result of the AAAA’s commitment to due diligence in ensuring the engineering integrity of the products sold by members,” he said.



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AAAA The PRTC has been formed to provide advice, understanding and a strategic approach to current and potential market issues from regulators, governments, enthusiasts and community groups. Our goal is to promote professional and responsible activities within the performance racing and tuning sector. Home
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