I write in response to your article 'Bullbar Blitz cracks down' on 14 August 2014.
TUFF is proud to be an Australian manufacturer employing 45 people in Toowoomba, and has been supplying bullbars for the last 12 years. The recent developments as set out in your article are of course of major concern to TUFF. TUFF is very mindful of the effect these developments may have on its loyal customers.
What is of particular concern to TUFF is the suggestion in the article that bullbars are non compliant because they have five posts. That is simply not the case. There is nothing whatsoever in the Australian Standard AS4876.1-2002 or the relevant Australian Design Rules which prohibits five post bullbars. The relevant requirement under AS4876.1-2002 is that the bullbar "generally conforms to the shape, in plan view, front view and side view, of the front of the vehicle to which it is fitted".
It is clear that the Standard requires an element of judgment as to whether a bullbar conforms. TUFF is nonetheless concerned that the relevant requirements are not being enforced with reference to the Standard itself, but potentially on the basis of misinformation about the Standard. That concern has been further heightened by some of the comments made by Inspector Boon in your article. Prior to publication of your article, our lawyers communicated these concerns to Inspector Boon last Friday, together with a request for a meeting to discuss compliance issues.
The NSW Police appear to be advocating the products of our competitors over ours without any engineering or scientific justification.
TUFF has sought the assistance of Independent Engineers to provide certificates confirming compliance. By our lawyers' letter of last week, TUFF has also sought to clarify with NSW Police what form of independent engineer certification will assure them of compliance. We are yet to receive a response from NSW Police to this correspondence, but would welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter further with them.
In the meantime, TUFF can provide air-bag safety certificates for all of its bullbars, which are available to customers on request.
TUFF will be doing everything within its power to liaise with NSW Police and the Minister for Roads and Freight to address the matter.
Tuff Bullbars Australia Pty Limited