The number of MOT testers who have been struck off in the UK has dramatically increased with 82 per cent more testers banned in the 2017/18 financial year compared with 2015/16.
Experts say dodgy testers could be issuing fake MOTs to written-off cars that should be scrapped, which has been met with swift action from the DVSA.
The organisation said it would contact the owners of the vehicles affected by a recent testing scandal in Devon, which led to more than 300 fraudulent certificates being issued alone, and would also open a proceeds-of-crime investigation to determine if any money earned by the fraud from the dodgy MOT tests could be recouped.
Some 178 nominated MOT testers previously authorised by the DVSA were struck off in 2017/18, up from 98 in 2015/16.
Banned examiners rising too
41 per cent more authorised examiners, who oversee testing stations, had their status withdrawn over the same period.
Testers can be warned or banned for issuing fraudulent certificates, as well as improper or careless testing.
AA president Edmund King said: “While most MOT inspectors do a great job, the rise in inspectors being struck off is worrying.”
King highlighted the essential role the MOT test plays in vehicle safety, and said that cars should never pass an MOT because they have been “fraudulently ticked through as a favour for a friend”.
He added: “The wider concern is that written-off vehicles could have entered into the second-hand car market, when all they were really good for was scrap.”
DVSA spending more on enforcement
Jim Punter, editor of MOT Testing magazine, believes the number of improper testers caught by the DVSA is related to how much the agency spends on enforcement. He said: “The DVSA’s own analysis shows the average quality of MoT inspections isn’t as good as it could be.
“But the number of testers and testing stations taken out of the MOT scheme each year isn’t a reliable measure of the quality of MOT testing.
“It’s more to do with the amount of money DVSA spends rooting out bad testing, and encouraging honest testers and testing stations to do better.”
Neil Barlow, the DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering, said: “Using intelligence and enforcement, we are taking action against testers who put people’s lives at risk.”
Do you think the quality of enforcement is leading to more fraudulent testers being banned? Is this good for the industry? Let us know in the comments