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7 Vehicle interior

7-3 Head restraints

Reasons for rejection

Condition and performance

1. The external surfaces and padding of a head restraint have deteriorated to the extent that they are likely to injure a vehicle occupant.

2. An adjustable head restraint is unable to remain locked in its adjusted position.


3. A modification (Note 1) affects a head restraint, and

a) is not excluded from the requirements for LVV specialist certification (Table 7-3-1), and

b) is missing proof of LVV specialist or accepted overseas certification, ie:

i. the vehicle is not fitted with a valid LVV certification plate, or

ii. the operator is not able to produce a valid modification declaration or authority card, or

iii. the vehicle has not been certified to an accepted overseas system as described in Technical bulletin 13.

Note 1 Definitions

Modify means to change a vehicle from its original state by altering, substituting, adding or removing a structure, system, component or equipment, but does not include repair.

Repair means to restore a damaged or worn vehicle, its structure, systems, components or equipment to within safe tolerance of its condition when manufactured, including replacement with undamaged or new structures, systems, components or equipment.

Table 7-3-1. Modifications that do not require LVV certification

Fitting of or modification to:

LVV certification is not required provided that:

Head restraint removal

  • A front-seat head restraint must not be removed from a vehicle required to comply with a frontal impact occupant protection standard. These vehicles are the following with a GVM of 2500 kg or less:

– a class MA motor vehicle manufactured from 1 March 1999

– a class MA motor vehicle that was less than 20 years old when it was first registered in New Zealand on or after 1 April 2002,

– a class MB or MC motor vehicle manufactured from 1 October 2003.

Fitting of aftermarket LCD screens to head restraints

  • the performance of the head restraint is not affected, eg the head restraint still provides sufficient padding for the seat occupant, and
  • the screen is fitted in a suitable manner, eg it appears similar to OE fitments in other vehicles, or
  • the screen can be easily attached or removed.

Fitting of or modification to:

LVV certification is never required:

  • Removal of a rear head restraint
  • Any modification for the purpose of law enforcement or the provision of emergency services
  • in-service requirements for condition and performance must be met.

Summary of legislation

Applicable legislation
Permitted equipment

1. A motor vehicle may be fitted with head restraints.

Condition and performance

2. The external surfaces and padding of a head restraint must not have deteriorated to the extent that the likelihood of injury to an occupant of the vehicle is increased.

3. An adjustable head restraint must remain able to be adjusted and locked into position.


4. A modification that affects a head restraint must be inspected and certified by an LVV specialist certifier, unless the vehicle is:

a) excluded from the requirement for LVV specialist certification (Table 7-3-1), and

b) has been inspected in accordance with the requirements in this manual, including those for equipment, condition and performance.

Page amended 1 December 2016 (see amendment details).