A. Who is VESA?

  • The Motor Vehicle Security Association of South Africa (VESA) is a non-profit organization that regulates the manufacturing and installation standards of vehicle security systems.  VESA is a Standards management body. The aim of VESA is to help set the standard and then to facilitate and co-ordinate interested parties with a technical interest in related areas, to create the standards. VESA then assists the industry by facilitating testing and through the monitoring of products, product supply and services against these standards that security products, systems and services comply to these set standards, using its admin structures and by providing administrative services.


B.  Who is ABS?

  • The ABS (Accreditation Bureau for Security and Safety) was established in 2000 to independently test and approve vehicle security products. ABS owned by VESA
  •  The ABS Specifications are re-evaluated annually or as required to ensure that they remain up to date with the latest technology and standards.  Inputs are obtained through the various VESA committee structures to ensure specifications are maintained at the latest level of technology.
  • All products tested and approved by ABS are given ABS Approval.  Once the product has been correctly installed into a vehicle, to VESA standards and certified with a VESA Certificate, then only does the product carry VESA Approval


C.  When was VESA established?

  • VESA was established in 1987 by the short-term insurance, product supplier and installer industry representatives. Today VESA has a base of 200 Installer & 27 Product Supplier Members nationwide.  VESA Membership is voluntary.


 D.  Why was VESA established?

  • VESA protects the interests of insurers and the general public from being misled by unscrupulous businesses   offering inferior services and products for vehicle security.
  • Consumers have the right to be protected from unfair business practices, poor quality of service and harmful or inferior products.  We take care of risks by not only monitoring the security risks (ensuring the vehicle is not stolen) but also that of the safety risks (vehicle won’t start as a result of poor wiring connections, etc.).  Dealers are only accredited following the most stringent evaluation; VESA Accredited installation centres are properly trained and fitment procedure integrity is constantly monitored.

E.  Who recognizes VESA?

  • The standards set by VESA consist of elements set by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) as well as vehicle security industry affiliates.  Recognising VESA’s success in preventing crime, the organization is seen as the official vehicle security standards-generating body by Standards South Africa (StanSA), a division of the SABS - VESA serves on no less than six SABS work groups.  During its lifespan VESA has established ties with insurance companies, the National Crime Prevention Office of the SAPS, and Business Against Crime to combat vehicle-related crimes.  VESA has recently co-signed the MOU for the sharing of vehicle crime information with Tsohle-Unicode.
  • VESA has built a network of support with international standards bodies as well as various local work group committees with whom it serves at SABS.


F.  How does VESA obtain funding?

  • VESA derives it income from various avenues:-
  • Membership Fees These are fees paid by each member of VESA.
  • Product Labels Labels are purchased by the manufacturers for application to each ABS approved product
  • VESA Certificates VESA has introduced an option where the Fitment Centers do not pay for VESA certificates, by paying a higher annual membership fee.  The majority of fitment centers select this option.  If it is not selected, the fitment center would pay for certificates it uses.
  • Product Testing Manufacturers pay to have their products tested annually.
  • Insurance Broker Subs Insurance brokers pay a nominal fee for a username and login, which allows them to look up vehicles on the VESA Certification database.
  • Trans Union An agreement has been concluded with Transunion, where vehicle ID details are supplied with VESA fitment details such that consumers are presented with a pedigree of a vehicle that includes the security system fitted.
  • Functions VESA arranges functions and expo’s during the year.

 VESA financial integrity:

  • VESA is in a very strong financial state, having weathered some challenges.   With cash in the bank, various projects have been undertaken and are being planned to raise the integrity and visibility of VESA.
  • Highlights and Plans for VESA:
  • 1987  VESA was  formed
  • 2008  MOU concluded with SABS for the writing of specifications.  
  • SANS534 –   Micro Dotting - Complete
  • SANS535 –   Vehicle Tracking -2/3 Complete
  • 2012  SANS534 Completed and made regulation by department of transport
  • 2013  VESA achieves ISO9001 accreditation
  • Current  SANAS approval.  In the process of achieving SANAS approval for testing facilities
  • Current  SASSETA approval.  Working on a curriculum and courses approved by SASSETA for fitter training and accreditation.  This is considered to be a priority to raise the standards of the fitters and to create a database of approved fitters.

 G.  Who is at the lead of VESA?

  • VESA is made up of various committees, which creates a forum for members in similar industries to gather to share or discuss industry issues. The committees are:  • Telematics   • Electronics   • Gear Locks   • Micro Dotting   • Fitment Centres
  • The VESA Board comprises of a nominated representative from each of the member committees.  There is one committee member chairman selected to serve on the VESA Board, except for the Installer committee, who currently has 3 representatives as board members due to the number of members in the installer membership group.
  • VESA’s day-to-day operation is managed by an independent General Manager and a team of full time employees, with the largest staff compliment in Technical inspectors, who physically visit fitment centres and manufacturers to ensure compliance with standards. The General Manager report to the VESA Board of Directors and gives feedback on the processes followed.
  • No VESA Director or VESA Member has access to any personal information to existing and new VESA Members – this forms part of the VESA Internal Policies and Procedures. The goal of VESA is to have representation of the insurance industry, NAAMSA and other interested parties on the VESA Board to increase the communication and input from these industries that forms part of VESA’s client base.


H.  Is VESA Membership mandatory?

  • VESA Membership is currently voluntary.  However most of our members have found that VESA Membership is beneficial when introducing their products and services to the insurance industry and government entities, as most short-term insurance policy wording makes reference to “VESA Approved” vehicle security systems.


I.  What is the purpose of the VESA Committees?

  • To increase the level of standards of existing members, product (technical) and services standards, to ensure that the specifications approved and applied are not deemed anti-competitive, to ensure that any concerns and queries highlighted by the security and insurance industry is discussed, addressed and actioned, to assist with any disciplinary hearings concerning a member that has transgressed the membership rules.


J  Which specifications have been written and implemented by VESA and ABS?

  • VESA together with its members have written many standards over the years.
    VESA has copyright to the specifications and it may not be claimed by existing or previous members as their own.
    The following specifications are not limited to the range of products that it provides approval to.  Some of these specifications incorporate new and advanced technology.  Therefore VESA is able to test and approve basically any product for the security industry.
  • Installation Centres
    Installation Centre Specifications (image, tools, etc.)
    Disciplinary Procedures for Installer Members
  • Mechanical Gearlock Product Suppliers
    Specification for Mechanical Gear Lever Locks
    Specification for the Installation of Mechanical Gear Lever Locks
  • Electronic Alarm/Immobilisers
    Specification for Electronic Alarm/Immobilisers
    Specification for the Installation of Electronic Alarm/Immobilisers
    Specification for Bonnet Locks
    Specification for Motor Cycle Alarms
  • Vehicle Security Telematics (tracking)
    Product Specification – Vehicle Security Telematics
    VESA Compliance Criteria for Vehicle Security Telematics
  • V-Class
    Specification for non-specified vehicle security equipment (V-Class).
    This includes for Wheel Lock Nuts/Trailer/Container Locks, etc.
  • Vehicle Identification
    Specification for Vehicle Identification (microdots)
  • Trunking Networks
    Specification for Trunking Networks
  • Additional categories are being created for new technology.  The upgrade and setup of new specifications are done at least annually and/or as required. 
  • The final approvals of the specifications are given by the VESA Board.
  • Are ABS Approved products re-tested or re-evaluated, and if so, when?
  • All products are re-tested or re-evaluated at least quarterly after its initial approval (referring to Mechanical Gearlocks and Electronic Alarm/Immobilisers).
  • Thereafter annual re-testing applies: 
    • Mechanical Gearlocks  – 24 months
    • Electronic Alarm/Immobilisers  – 12 months
    • Vehicle Security Telematics  – 12 months
    • Vehicle Identification Systems – 12 months
    • Radio Trunking Network   – 12 months
    • V-Class systems    – 12 months
    • Installation Centres   – every 4-6 weeks


L.  What if a product fails?

  • Each product category has its terms and conditions regarding product failure.  In most cases the principle remains the same:  after the product has failed, the product supplier is to submit additional products for re-testing, should the product continue to fail on the same aspects, and then the products are delisted and retracted from the market until such time that the product fault has been rectified. 
  • The product supplier will have to recall the product batch from the market and VESA will notify the market of the failure. 
  • Once the product fault has been rectified, the testing procedures for a new product will be applicable.


M.  What constitutes VESA Approval?

  • VESA wishes to make it known that the short-term insurance industry (including underwriters, brokers, agents etc.) are being informed that for all purposes affecting any vehicle safety and security products and systems and/or the installation thereof, the term “VESA Approved” shall mean compliance with all of the following three requirements:
  • A product which is approved by the Accreditation Bureau for Security & Safety  (ABS);
  • An installation by a member of VESA in accordance with the latest VESA specifications;
  • A certificate prescribed and issued by VESA for the current year.


N.  What does the VESA Certificate consist of?

  • VESA has issued more than 2.5 million VESA Certificates since its inception in 1987.  VESA hardcopy Certificates dating from 1996 has been captured onto a VESA Database.  The Electronic VESA Certificate (since 2006) provides all the important and relevant information which the insurance industry would need pertaining to the Insured’s vehicle.  It includes amongst other vehicle registration, VIN and engine numbers, odometer, etc. type of vehicle security system was installed/inspected, by whom it was installed, serial number of unit installed, etc.  Full vehicle inspection such as tyre tread depth, colour of vehicle, radio type, mag wheels, etc.  Date of inspection/installation, etc.


O.  How is the VESA Certificate issued?

  • VESA Certificates may only be issued electronically by VESA Members.


P  How does the client or Insurance Company obtain a copy of the VESA Certificate?

  • The electronic VESA Certificate can be e-mailed to the Insured and Insurer at time of issue and therefore does not need to be printed.  However a printed copy may be supplied to the customer by the installer
  • Insurance Companies, who are registered users with VESA, may download the VESA Certificate by entering the vehicle VIN, Registration numbers or the VESA Certificate into the said fields on the VESA Website.


Q.  Who is permitted to download VESA Certificates from the VESA Database?

  • An Insurer or Insurance Assessor may register with VESA annually to gain access to the VESA Web-based Database.  The existence of a VESA Certificate is identified by means of entering the Vehicle Registration, VIN Numbers or VESA Certificate Number.
  • A password and user name is provided to each user.


R. What happens to a vehicle which has been sold and requires re-inspection with a VESA Certificate?

  • Once a vehicle which has been previously certified with a VESA Certificate, is sold and re-insured by the new owner, then the previous VESA Certificate is not altered but reissued to the new owner to ensure that historical vehicle information is maintained.
  • We recommend to Insurers to request a new VESA Certificate so that relevant changes to the vehicle is captured and any action required is performed (for example, repair cracked windscreen, upgrade vehicle security system).
  • Historical information on a vehicle is very important in the event that the insured commits fraud, as the VESA model is of such nature that insurance fraud is identifiable.


S.  What are the benefits of the VESA Certificate to the Insured?

  • Should the insured have a customer complaint with regards to a poor fitment, VESA will assist the insured free of charge provided that the client has a VESA Certificate of Approval.
  • The VESA Certificate provides all the relevant information to the Insured at time when the vehicle was inspected by a VESA Installer.  This includes the vehicle particulars (VIN, Engine, Kilometers, etc.), the Vehicle Security Device particulars (immobilizer, gearlock, ABS Approval code, etc.), condition of the vehicle and tyres as well as the extras (sound system, mag rims, etc.) of the vehicle.
  • In the event that the unfortunate occurs and the vehicle is stolen or hijacked, the Insured can then produce proof of a VESA Approved inspection and/or installation of a vehicle security device.


T.  What are the benefits of the VESA Certificate to the Insurer?

  •  It provides all the information pertaining to the Insured, the condition and extras of the vehicle, etc.  It provides the Insurer with ease of mind that the manufacturer of the vehicle security device fitted is re-evaluated and its products constantly monitored for quality and durability.
  • The access to the VESA Database for registered users provides easy down loading for the Insurer of client information; the historical VESA Certificates on a specific vehicle plays a vital role to determine any possibility of insurance claim fraud.


U.  How does VESA establish which vehicles are higher at risk of being stolen?

  • VESA receives daily information from the insurance assessors industry pertaining to stolen vehicles.  This information is formulated into a statistical format and is discussed with the various VESA Manufacturing committees.
  • From these discussions new and improved technology is born.


V. How are new members approved at VESA/ABS?

  • VESA has a passion for new technology and looks forward in approving vehicle security devices that are a cut above the rest.
  • Should a specification not exist for the potential member’s vehicle security device, international standards are referenced to in the VESA Specifications.  Test methods are formulated in accordance with research of recovered vehicles and the methods used by syndicates to overcome vehicle security devices.
  • New members would complete a Request for Evaluation form; submit necessary technological documentation, local and international product approvals, etc.
  • A company audit and actual product testing are performed as part of the minimum service applied by VESA.
  • In the event of vehicle tracking evaluations; product, operational audits and actual demo vehicle location evaluations are performed amongst other audits.
  • The approval process ranges between 3-6 weeks depending on the applicant’s ability to submit the necessary documentation and products for testing.
  • Approvals are dealt with internally and the various committees are informed of the approval.  No director or committee member has access to potential member’s confidential information.


W.  What services does VESA have to offer to the insurance industry?

  • If there is a product that requires testing, ABS can test it. 
  • Our Technical Advisors are of assistance to any customer complaints free of charge; we will inspect the vehicle and issue a report regarding the installation quality or fault of a vehicle security device.
  • VESA gladly provides specialist services to the insurance industry regarding batch vehicle inspections.  In the event that an underwriter requires (for example) its top 10 high-risk vehicles client base to be inspected, VESA and its members would offer a special package for such services.
  • These services would include (but is not limited to) mobile vehicle inspections, upgrading of existing vehicle security device, VESA Certification and much more.
  • These services could be offered on a bulk basis to the underwriter depending on volumes of vehicles in the inspection project.