October 3, 2023


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BYD Atto 3 electric car hit with ‘stop delivery’ notice over compliance breach

3 min read
BYD Atto 3 electric car hit with 'stop delivery' notice over compliance breach

A ‘stop delivery’ notice has been issued for the BYD Atto 3 electric car from China over a breach of Australian motor vehicle compliance rules.

Customers in the queue for the BYD Atto 3 electric car will be waiting a little longer to take delivery of their new vehicle after a ‘stop delivery’ notice was issued following a compliance breach.

Australian distributors of the BYD Atto 3 today issued a notice advising customers of a seven-day pause in delivery of new vehicles while the compliance issue is addressed.

BYD is yet to outline what will happen to vehicles already delivered to customers, and whether or not they will be subject to a recall at a later date to bring the vehicles into compliance.

A notice sent to BYD customers in Australia by distributor EVDirect this afternoon advised:

“BYD Automotive regret to inform that we will be pausing deliveries of the Atto 3 for seven days commencing 21 October 2022.

“BYD and EV Direct are both working with the (federal regulator) regarding a technical matter.

“The matter is related to the use of a child seat if positioned in the centre of the middle rear seat, and the appropriate location for an anchorage point to enable the child seat to be secured.

“BYD understands that for the vast majority of customers this may not be of relevance, however as safety is and always will be our number one priority, we continue to work with the (federal regulator) to satisfy their request.

“BYD and the (Department of Transport) are working to resolve this matter with a view to recommencing deliveries as soon as possible.”

BYD said the seven-day pause in the handover of new cars “will not impact on your position in the queue of deliveries.”

As reported exclusively by Drive last week, the BYD Atto 3 electric car from China was found to have breached Australian motor vehicle compliance regulations related to the child seat anchor point in the middle back-seat position.

The issue was unearthed after the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) withheld its five-star safety result – pending a review by the federal regulator of the vehicle’s compliance.

In a letter to Drive from lawyers representing the Australian distributor of BYD vehicles, the company confirmed the BYD Atto 3 was complied as a five-seat passenger car.

However, in its current guise, the vehicle does not comply with five-seat passenger-car regulations in Australia.

As previously reported, the BYD Atto 3 comes with two ISOFIX child seat latches (with corresponding top tether mounts) in each outboard rear seating position. 

But the BYD Atto 3 is missing an accessible top tether for the middle seat (see above), which is deemed the safest position in a car for a child because it is away from the doors in a side impact crash. 

Drive understands there may be provision for a top tether behind the seat-back fabric (see below). 

However, as reported, this would not comply with Australian Design Rules, which state: 

“Clearance shall be provided around each ‘Upper Anchor Fitting’ to allow latching and unlatching, without the use of tools, of the ‘Attaching Clip’ to the ‘Upper Anchor Fitting’ when it is installed in the vehicle.”

Following Drive’s exclusive story, representatives for BYD in Australia last weekend issued a safety bulletin advising customers to not use the centre rear seat position to install a child restraint.

BYD Atto 3 customers shared news of the ‘stop delivery’ notice on social media before federal regulators issued a statement.

An example of a BYD customer expressing their frustration: “Ordered the Atto3 (in February 2022) finally was getting delivery today at 2pm, and BYD has now decided to stop the roll-out due to the central child safety mounting (even though) car paid for, registered, insured, financed.”

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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