Garages accused of “bullying” customers into repairs following MOT change

Workshops hit with claims that they are using new MOT categories to "hold motorists to ransom" over repairs

Garages accused of “bullying” customers into repairs following MOT change
Image: Bigstock.

MOT test stations are being accused of “bullying motorists into repairs” because of confusing DVSA wording which means drivers could be ‘held to ransom’ by garages.

Vehicle ownership and maintenance service provider, MotorEasy claims mechanics are misinterpreting DVSA guidance and “bullying motorists to get repairs done before leaving the premises”.

MOT standard changes and a revised inspection manual came into force on Sunday 20 May, 2018 and while the legality of driving a dangerous vehicle has not changed the DVSA has made the wording on MOT failure documents clear in reminding motorists that driving a dangerous vehicle is illegal.

DVSA wording

However, MotorEasy claim the wording means owners are being made to “feel that they have to fork out for the cost of repairs at the garage conducting the MOT”.

MotorEasy founder, Duncan McClure Fisher said: “We would, naturally, never condone driving on public roads with a dangerous car and anyone who does so will still be risking a fine and penalty points if they are stopped by police.

“However, we have already seen examples of garages using an interpretation of the wording in the DVSA guidance to bullying motorists to get repairs done before leaving the premises, which they have no right to do.

“Unscrupulous businesses could not only make customers feel they’re unable to take their car away if it fails, but could also hold the customer to ransom over parts and labour prices as a result.

“After all, if you think you can’t drive the car away, you lose all your negotiation power.”

Related: New MOT standards go live but confusion remains over ‘dangerous’ defects

The DVSA has made it clear that it is not the responsibility of test stations “to try and physically stop” drivers of dangerous vehicles.

Workshops are advised that their role is to provide motorists with “clear advice that they do have dangerous defects”.

The DVSA’s MOT service manager, Neil Barlow said: “If a car has failed its MOT with a dangerous fault, DVSA’s advice is that it should not be driven until the defect is repaired.

“This is because it’s dangerous to both the driver and other road users.

“Garages are unable to prevent owners from driving their cars away.

“But they will provide advice to the owner on what they should do to keep the car safe.”

Fast fit testing

Commenting on the GW forum recently, GW reader, Paul said: “A lady had a test carried out at a local fast fit centre and ended up with a dangerous fail on corroded brake discs along with a lecture on what could happen if the discs cracked under braking.

“We were asked to replace the brakes but had to inform the owner there was nothing at all wrong with them and could not justify the costs.

“We then carried out our own test, replaced a wrongly fitted headlight bulb and gave a pass.

“The only reason she originally had a fail was for greed and we took photos of the discs to show this was the case.”

Are workshops being unfairly tarred under the same brush as the few that are perhaps taking advantage of the new MOT? What should be done to crack down on unscrupulous businesses? Share your experiences and concerns below.

Home Page Forums Garages accused of “bullying” customers into repairs following MOT change

This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Saidy 1 week, 6 days ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #160001 Reply

    Nigel Tye

    I am afraid that I feared unscrupulous Fast-fits would take advantage of the new rules, this has played into their hands unfortunately.

    #160002 Reply

    martin

    A lot of the wording in the the “new” mot test is grammatically incorrect.
    It makes me wonder what level of education those who wrote it had/have.

    #160003 Reply

    Peter Miles

    I agree with Nigel Tye above. But the sad fact is that some of the “fast fits” used to abuse the old system so I’m not really surprised that they’ve welcomed the new wording!
    But really this sort of article doesn’t need to be printed here where we all know what goes on it should be in the national press. Or better yet reported to DVSA with the names of the test stations concerned.

    #160004 Reply

    Alastair Mayne

    Unfortunately this is all down to trust, something that we work hard to build up with our customers, and something that benefits all people concerned.
    I’m sure that everyone could tell a (true) story about a car that has come to their workshop with supposed dangerous faults diagnosed elsewhere be it a fast fit chain, main dealership, or a mobile mechanic, only to find out the parts are not faulty or in need of replacement.
    A lot of customers are very gullible and sadly, this can mean that they take the word of someone as true, just because they work for a large, well-know organisation who advertise in the papers and on TV (and how can they afford to pay for that?). This isn’t the fault of VOSA or anyone else, I thing it’s down to us honest independants to keep on doing a good honest job, and educate the public so that they understand this.

    #160005 Reply

    David

    I don’t think I’ve read anything above that implies the new mot rules have caused this to suddenly start occurring. I’ve been in the mot scheme for some 22 years, I have not read anything above that does not seem to be the standard daily working practices of some outfits. DVSA do however need to get their act together and sort the wording of the regulations out, I believe only an office boy would believe they are correctly presented. Until they are sorted out, until DVSA actually understand what is and what is not a dangerous defect, without professional sounding waffle to justify their views, vehicle will continue to fail for dangerous defects, that DVSA believe are dangerous, but the motoring public who drive their vehicles for many miles a day/per week must sometimes think to themselves that DVSA actually don’t really understand from the real world experience what really does constitute a “Dangerous” defect. The MTS program is set by DVSA so no MOT Garage can decide what is or is not dangerous, like headlamp aim too high at 2.00 PM in the afternoon of a sunny day where the lights can be switched off, but it is dangerous in the Test Station for a few minutes being tested in a beam setter? I could go on…

    #160006 Reply

    Eddie Bamber

    It’s not just fast fits unfortunately. I recovered a car to a garage in different part of the country. As I was unloading, the owner of the garage approached me carrying a pair of brake discs and pads. He had a customer with him. He asked my opinion of the pads and discs. The discs were fine, and the pads were about half to two thirds worn. I said that if the owner did a lot of mileage, I might have changed the pads, but if he didn’t, they would be o/k until the next service. The garage had recently serviced the vehicle and the owner had taken it to a main dealer shortly after for a recall. The dealer told the owner that they had done the recall, but said that on their general examination of the vehicle they found that the front brake discs and pads were ‘dangerous’, and that he should not take it away in this condition. The owner told them to put the vehicle right and he would complain to the other garage as it had just been serviced. As I say, I was independent in the matter and there was nothing wrong with these brakes.

    #160007 Reply

    Peter Miles

    I’ve had that as well Eddie. During the recent airbag recall on a lot of Japanese cars every single one came back with a whole list of “other work which needed to be done urgently”. Not a single one of them was justified!

    #160008 Reply

    goodmans autos ltd

    r/o 16/20
    shenley road borehamwood herts wd6 1ds
    I would like to state in the mot law if knackered then its a failure and if in doubt then pass and advice, i have checked the mot out with DVSA and there has been no changes to the standard of testing they have made us aware that the is certain areas that we have to state on the advisors on the corrosion ie brake discs and coil springs etc.i have had a concern that the fast outfits are going to make or scare the individuals in saying there car is unsafe SO PLEASE ask a second opinion.
    THE OTHER THING IS YOU CAN DRIVE YOUR CAR WITH NO MOT on a booking and with no tax THE CAR IS NOT legally roadworthy so really you should be able to return the car back unless its really DANGEROUS then i would say its has to be recovered back to there premississ of there choice.
    my name is ian of goodmans autos of borehamwood herts

    #160433 Reply

    Saidy

    The problem relates to the wording on the Mot fail sheet. Do not drive. Dangerous. Not at all surprising why garages are holding customers to ransom. Garages are actually using scare tactics in conning customers. Dvsa need to re think. The old system worked for years and never resulted from any catastrophies, so why all this sudden change. Whist it is important to have safe vehicles on the road and be properly tested the current wordings will I am afraid remain an easy target for garages to make money. Their are a lot of unhappy customers. Unfortunately through cut backs their aren’t enough Dvsa inspectors to police it all.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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