Testing stations passing one in seven vehicles that should fail MOT, investigation finds

Survey of motorists reveals 11.9 per cent know of a local garage with a 'reputation for being lenient' on vehicle testing

Testing stations passing one in seven vehicles that should fail MOT, investigation finds
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Nearly one in seven vehicles that passed their MOT last year should have failed as garages failed to uphold government testing standards, according to an exclusive investigation by What Car?.

Analysis of thenDVSA’s MOT Compliance Survey (2019 – 2020) found 13.58 per cent of vehicles that passed their MOT should have failed, with MOT testers missing potentially dangerous defects on vehicles.

The figure equates to more than 2.9 million vehicles on UK roads that should have had an MOT fail, according to the latest available MOT statistics.

For the 2019 – 2020 MOT Compliance Survey, a team of DVSA expert vehicle examiners retested a randomly selected sample of 1671 vehicles, which had undergone an MOT test at test stations across the UK.

The aim of the study is to understand whether correct testing standards are being applied by the industry, and the DVSA disagreed with the test outcomes in 16.82 per cent of cases, with 3.23 per cent of failures deemed to be worthy of a pass certificate.

MOT Compliance Survey key findings 2019 – 2020:

– In a randomised sample of 1800 vehicles, 1671 were retested by the DVSA Vehicle Examiners.
– Of the vehicles that passed, 13.58 per cent should have failed.
– Of the vehicles that failed, 3.23 per cent should have passed.
– In 70.1 per cent of vehicles, the DVSA found at least one defect which the MOT test station missed or had incorrectly recorded.
– In 56.48 per cent of vehicles, the DVSA found three or more defects which the MOT test station had missed or had incorrectly recorded.
– In 2019 – 2020, the DVSA issued 24 Disciplinary Actions Recorded, and 179 Advisory Warning Letters to MOT test sites, following the re-testing of vehicles.

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In 70.1 per cent of cases, the DVSA found at least one defect which the MOT test station missed or had incorrectly recorded, while the DVSA experts disagreed with three or more defects in 56.5 per cent of vehicles.

Safety critical features such as the brakes and suspension were subject to the biggest discrepancy between the DVSA and MOT testers.

Brakes had the highest number of misdiagnosed defects, at 17.74 per cent, followed by the suspension at 14.56 per cent, tyres at 13.22 per cent, and lights, reflectors and electrical equipment at 11.51 per cent.

Following its investigation, the DVSA issued 24 disciplinary action recordings and 179 advisory warning letters to the vehicle test sites it visited.

Related: Petition calls for industry support and action plan to correct ongoing effects of last year’s six-month MOT exemption

Between them, they were responsible for 12.1 per cent of all vehicles re-tested by the government agency.

What Car? surveyed 1425 used car buyers as part of its investigation, with 11.9 per cent stating they knew of a local garage that has a reputation for passing cars for their MOT.

For 76.8 per cent of buyers, a prospective car’s MOT record was either ‘very important’ or ‘important’ when deciding on whether to buy.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “Our investigation has shown the significant differences between the DVSA’s own testing standards and those upheld by some in the industry.

“This poses a serious concern, with potentially hazardous vehicles being allowed to remain on the road, putting their drivers and other road users at risk.

Related: DVSA publishes 2021 to 2022 business plan

“It also complicates matters for used buyers who often rely on a vehicle’s MOT history as an indicator for a car’s safety and reliability.”

Chris Price, DVSA’s Head of MOT Policy, said: “We carry out the MOT Compliance Survey to maintain MOT standards.

“The survey targets a random selection of vehicles and is designed to identify problems with MOT testing in order that we can put them right.

“The public can play their part in maintaining high MOT standards by reporting any concerns to us on GOV.UK.”

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Home Page Forums Testing stations passing one in seven vehicles that should fail MOT, investigation finds

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  • #214310 Reply

    Nearly one in seven vehicles that passed their MOT last year should have failed as garages failed to uphold government testing standards, according to
    [See the full post at: Testing stations passing one in seven vehicles that should fail MOT, investigation finds]

    #214313 Reply
    Neil Skuse
    Guest

    We are all human however in thirty plus years having a mot station I am amazed how many times we have seen customers vehicles and investigated issues to find they have just passed a mot test with clearly issues that would fail. I agree many vehicles are passing which clearly should not.

    #214314 Reply
    Gaza
    Guest

    I’ve had this before, 2 of them took a car I had just motd and then spent nearly 2 hours inspecting on another ramp. 2 people and 2 hours when I have hourly slots and just one of me. Luckily they didn’t find anything but they sure as hell tried their best!

    #214316 Reply
    Eddie Bamber
    Guest

    As Neil said, we’re all human and sometimes we make mistakes. We m.o.t a vehicle but the DVSA examiners forensically inspect it for hours. They should be looking at the people who offer old bangers for sale with the promise “it will come with 12 months m.o.t”.

    #214318 Reply
    Peter Miles
    Guest

    I’m sure we’ve all seen cars which we have failed passing a day or two later at a “well known” local testing station without so much as an advisory. Which in turn means there is a possibly dangerous vehicle on the road and we lose a customer because it makes us look too strict, when we’re just trying to do our best!

    #214319 Reply
    Dougal
    Guest

    ‘Chris Price, DVSA’s Head of MOT Policy, said: “We carry out the MOT Compliance Survey to maintain MOT standards.”‘
    Clearly the DVSA Vehicle Examiners who carry out these checks gain a lot of experience of likely faults on a huge range of models.
    Why don’t they share this information with all testers?
    Isn’t the ability to do so part of the information revolution we are living through?

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

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