BYD Australia and its distributor EVDirect say they are hopeful the ongoing delivery freeze on Atto 3 EVs is nearing its end, with more details promised on November 9.
A customer message went out recently saying the companies were “highly confident” that they were close to concluding the matter, which centres around failure to comply with an Australian Design Rule particular to top-tether child-seat attachment points.
“We anticipate deliveries to recommence shortly thereafter,” the companies added.
Deliveries of BYD Atto 3 electric cars were first paused on October 21 for what was at that time at least one week, over a technical compliance breach. On October 28 the companies then extended this stop-sale by another week – which has now been pushed again.
The technical issue stopping customers picking up their new EVs revolves around the lack of an easily accessible child-seat top tether point for the middle-rear seat – against Australian Design Rules for a vehicle classified as a five-seater.
Uniquely tough Australian Design Rules stipulate any rear seat with a seatbelt must also feature a top-tether point for a child seat. This is the same design rule that led Honda Australia to classify its new HR-V as a four-seater earlier this year.
The five-seat (as per spec sheet) BYD Atto 3 does not have an accessible centre-rear top-tether attachment – though it has top tethers and ISOFIX points on each outboard seat.
It has been noted on forums 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.
Clearly there has been some sort of mix up between BYD/EVDirect and the department responsible for making sure all cars meet ADR stipulations. It’s important to note the department previously gave vehicle type (MA) approval to the Atto 3.
Instead, the BYD Atto 3 sold in Australia remains unrated, with ANCAP saying it’s now “working with BYD to finalise the applicability of a rating for Australian-specified models”.
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.