Should you consider a none Thatcham approved European CAN-BUS alarm?

New Zealand CAN-BUS Alarms

Certification. Does it actually mean anything?

Most of the well-established car security names in New Zealand don’t actually make car alarms. This list includes Mongoose, AVS and Dynatron, all of whom have a range of CAN-BUS alarms.

New Zealand CAN-BUS Alarms are all re-branded!

They simply purchase them elsewhere and re-brand them. It’s been happening for years. Back in 2003, they set up the “Star rating system” to suit their own products, in what I perceive to have been a greedy attempt to monopolise the New Zealand and Australian market with substandard systems.

The problem for them now is that most of their outdated re-brand systems don’t work well with many of the new vehicles coming out. Without the NZSA star rating system to hide behind, they have taken to importing CAN-BUS alarms from Europe and are doing their usual trick of re-branding them to their own company names again.

Dynatron Digital

ECE R97 Certified? Whatever that means. Probably just more jargon!

The latest trend seems to be that they are claiming that these systems meet European standards which just like the old Star Rating systems sounds rather good, at least on paper! The question is are these standards actually worth anything or is it just the usual smoke and mirrors?

Certificates – Quality Guarantee or more Bullshit like the Star Rating System?

Mongoose SPIN!

Mongoose alarm, also approved by the United Nations? Really!

Now I’m not disputing that most of these systems have some vague form of European certification, but I am going to ask if this means the alarm systems are any good? My viewpoint has always been that if an alarm system is good enough to be sold in the UK (which is a big market) then it probably needs to meet with Thatcham Standards. Why would you exclude your system if it was good enough to pass their tests?

A full list of Thatcham approved systems can be found here:;jsessionid=BD940A378AFB263C05F33C30AFA45D97?page=187#

Now to make things easy I’m going to list the re-branded CAN-BUS alarms that are available in New Zealand along with who manufactures them:

Note: None of these brands appear on the Thatcham website.

AVS Certified CAN-BUS alarms

AVS claim to have some certification too!

So who is testing these? From doing my own tests I’d be more likely to slap someone then to issue a bloody certificate! Here is my test of the AVS C5:

You can read the full review here…

So which CAN-BUS alarms do I recommend?

Easy, the ones that are not re-brands of cheap systems sold by clowns intent on misleading everyone about the bullshit “Standards”.

Thankfully both Cobra and Autowatch CAN-BUS alarms meet Thatcham standards and neither are nasty re-brands.


It’s akin to taking part in a school sports day event, coming last yet still getting a badge for taking part, then putting your own sticker over the badge and pretending that you are a winner!


About Julian

Owner and Installer at Obsessive Vehicle Security Limited. More details here... Please keep Comments relevant to the post and use the Contact form for enquiry's
This entry was posted in AVS, CAN BUS Alarms, Dynatron, Mongoose, You really should know... and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Should you consider a none Thatcham approved European CAN-BUS alarm?

  1. Avatar Rick Hudson says:

    You’re absolutely right about certification. The purpose of certification is that an inpdendent (no vested interest) lab performs some range of tests according to some standard that requires passing of those tests. As a vendor, the certificate is evidence that happened and the lab should have it listed (the vendor’s word means nothing by itself). As a ‘consumer’ you should be able to find the product on a certification list and also see what the certification means in terms what testing it received and what it means to pass or fail those tests.

    Thatcham does all this in the UK. In NZ there is no equivalent. In fact ‘Obsessive Certified’ probably carries more weight than just about anything else here. At least if you buy a Thatcham listed alarm there is traceability of its certification and you can find out what that certification means in terms of car security.

  2. Avatar Harry says:

    So 2017 have we had any improvement on NZSA standards yet or are suckers like me still being duped into buying a product that has a bullshit star rating.

  3. Julian Julian says:

    Hi Harry,

    The NZSA stopped pretending to represent vehicle security standards back in April 2012.
    Therefor there are no standards those still pushing to star rating system are feeding you bullshit.

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