Independent garages have spoken out against the actions of an ex-mechanic that logged MOT passes for cars that he had “tested” at owner’s homes by accessing his ex-employers computer system.
Patrick Richardson, who had previously worked at Paynes Road MOT in Southampton, was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and 80 hours’ unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Many slammed the test station for failing to spot the fraudulent activity sooner and say it the garage should have been penalised by the DVSA.
Commenting on the GW forum, David said: “The site AE and or its site manager should also be held to account as there is no excuse for letting this go unchecked for six months.
“We would notice at the end of any given week if this was happening, despite the large volume we complete.
“Very poor site AE and I’m amazed DVSA have not suspended the garage for poor admin.”
Peter Miles commented: “We all know that the current system permits this to happen but surely that’s why we can access the system to keep an eye on things.
“Even the simplest check of test slots used against tests charged for would have shown this up.”
However, Luke said: “In reality, this idiot logged 20 tests over six months- that’s not a huge amount, and I can understand how it would be missed.
“How many places that do free re-tests keep a full log of every single one that actually gets checked?”
Many GW readers commented on the number of test stations that appear to be flouting the rules.
Robert Mabee said: “Unfortunately you are always going to have rouge testers that will flaunt the system which makes a mockery of the testing system and makes it harder for the majority of testers that are honest in testing and take the task of testing serious.”
“No longer fit for purpose”
Commenting on Facebook, Ross Kemp said: “The whole MOT system is no longer fit for purpose in my opinion.
“The whole system needs scrapping and starting again from the ground up.
“Starting with a mandatory fixed price, a limit on MOT station numbers, oh yeah and stop MOT testers being able to test their own vehicles, the current state of MOT testing in this country is a complete and utter joke.”
Peter Greenow said: “My view is that test stations should be just that, testing stations – no repairs.
“Sadly the professionalism described by a few is so un-typical, so many test station owners will readily acknowledge that the test lane is a feeder for the repair shop.
“To many vested interests and a poor standard of testers for my liking.”
Changes to the current MOT come into force on May 20, 2018 as part of the European Union Roadworthiness Package.
Join the debate and share your comments below. Do you think the DVSA should do more to weed out poorly managed stations?