The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has said that owners with vehicles than have been modified with “hellaflush” or “tayar kankang” wheels could be fined up to RM2,000 or face imprisonment of not more than six months.

This was revealed in a post on PDRM’s official Facebook page, which stated that action can be taken under Section 6 of the Road Transport Act 1987 as well as Rule 138, Road Traffic Rules 170/59, where vehicles are modified without the approval of the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

According to PDRM, these trends are becoming more widespread and such modifications can affect the functionality of a car’s safety and brakes systems, resulting in impaired driving that could pose a risk to the driver and other road users.

The “hellaflush” or “stance and fitment” trend involves installing oversized and offset wheels (significantly more than stock) and installing tyres that are too narrow for the rim, with the latter resulting in the tyre having to be stretched in order to fit the rims.

The car’s suspension and ride height are also significantly lowered to create a “snug” look with the wheel wells. This look is further accentuated by changing the car’s camber angle to a more negative one, giving it a “squatted” look, and further lowering the car’s ride height.

We previously discussed the matter with the director of the JPJ’s automotive engineering department, Datuk Mohamad Dalib, who said that all cars sold in Malaysia must first obtain the department’s approval under the United Nation Regulation 0 (UN R0), equivalent to the Road Transport Act 66(1)(PP) Vehicle Type Approval (VTA).

Once a vehicle is approved under the law, it can then be marketed and purchased by consumers. However, if any vehicle is modified after it is purchased, indirectly it is already counted as an “unauthorised modification,” and therefore, illegal.

“It’s not a problem if vehicle owners want to change their original rims, but the modification should not conflict with the car’s original engineering specifications, and not affect its centre of gravity, wheel track and wheel circumference. Changing rims should not only provide a car with a better look, but should not deter its handling as well,” he added.