The DVSA has released further information about the new MOT defect categories that are due to come into force from May 20 following reports of confusion and misinterpretation.
Writing on the Matters of Testing blog, Neil Barlow, head of policy at DVSA said “there’s been some misinterpretation in the media about how the new defect categories will work, particularly what will be classed as dangerous.”
The changes are being made as part of the European Union Roadworthiness Package and the updated MOT will pre-define what is considered as ‘dangerous’.
Defects that are failure items but aren’t deemed as ‘dangerous’ will be called ‘major’ defects.
After 20 May, defects that are dangerous will be set out for testers, and the new ‘major’ term introduced for all other failures.
Writing on the Matters of Testing blog, Neil Barlow, head of policy at DVSA said: “Moving to pre-defined dangerous defects will bring consistency to what is recorded as dangerous.
“So, we’ve taken the opportunity to make the wording on the MOT failure documents clear in reminding motorists that driving a dangerous vehicle is illegal.
“While the majority of your customers would never drive a dangerous vehicle until it’s made safe, we know not everyone will behave responsibly.
“And, while it isn’t your responsibility to try and physically stop them from driving the vehicle, it’s important you provide them with clear advice that they do have dangerous defects.”
The new ‘minor’ defect category will also predefined and will recognise vehicle defects that aren’t serious enough for a fail.
Advisories will continue and will be similar to ‘minor’ defects but will indicate that a component will become defective soon.
Neil added: “For most defect areas, for example tyre tread depth, the defect is considered as only one level of severity, major or dangerous.
“The tester will just pick that the defect is present, and the MOT testing service will automatically include the level, major or dangerous, in the result.
“However, for some defect areas, for example hydraulic brake fluid leaks, there might be defects at more than one level, based on the severity of the defect.
“Where that’s the case, the wording of the defect describes the difference between major or dangerous.
“You should assess which set of words the defect on the vehicle best matches.
“Then, the MOT testing service will automatically include the level, major or dangerous, in the result.”
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