Deliveries of BYD Atto 3 electric vehicle (EV) are being paused for a further week from October 28, over a technical compliance breach.
This latest development follows a seven-day delivery pause from October 21 for the as-yet unresolved issue, related to the car’s central top-tether child seat point.
BYD Automotive and its Australian distributor, EVDirect, confirmed the additional delay with a bulletin to customers awaiting delivery of their Atto 3, saying they’re still working with the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to resolve a “technical matter”.
It’s important to note the department previously gave vehicle type (MA) approval to the Atto 3.
“BYD together with our distributor EVDirect have been actively working with the relevant Department to resolve a technical matter,” said the company in its latest customer email, as seen by CarExpert.
“With the full support of BYD China, all requested information is being prepared for submission to the Department.”
“Whilst we are confident of a resolution, we will continue to respect and cooperate with the Department to ensure a swift resolution.”
The technical issue at hand revolves around the lack of an easily accessible child-seat top-tether point for the middle-rear seat, which is against Australian Design Rules for five-seat vehicles.
Forum users have noted the Atto 3 has a provision for a centre anchorage below the carpet, but ADR 34 requires it to be more accessible based on the wording.
This is the same design rule that led Honda Australia to classify its new HR-V as a four-seater earlier this year.
The companies said they look forward to recommencing deliveries “as soon as possible”.
Before pausing deliveries, EVDirect sent an “urgent notification” to Atto 3 owners to not fit child restraints in the middle-rear seat.
BYD Australia’s importer also told owners it is “in the process of resolving this issue and will shortly provide you with a further update”, but has yet to detail plans to rectify the breach in cars that have already been delivered.
The Atto 3 failed to receive a five-star ANCAP crash rating in Australia around the same time as the apparent ADR breach was raised, despite doing so in New Zealand and Europe under broadly similar NCAP protocols.
The BYD Atto 3 sold in Australia remains unrated, with ANCAP at the time of publishing its results saying it is “working with BYD to finalise the applicability of a rating for Australian-specified models”.
“BYD Australia is in the process of resolving the issue and will shortly provide you with a further update,” said the crash-tester at the time.
This is not the first apparent teething issue for BYD Australia and EVDirect.
In September BYD’s Australian distributor responded to criticism of its servicing and warranty programs.