With MOT fraud on the rise and cases of dishonesty and negligence doubling, it was only a matter of time before we came across another example ourselves.
Over the years we have seen many vehicles with an active MOT that potentially shouldn’t have passed, however this week we saw one of the worst.
A regular customer of ours had bought a second-hand car with a fresh 12 months MOT.
The customer, totally unaware of the condition of the vehicle, booked it to resolve an advisory on the MOT relating to a suspension bush and she had noticed a knocking noise.
We quickly realised that the car was in a shocking state and we had already noted a long list of faults.
Checking the MOT history, we noticed that the car has only been issued its pass just five days before.
The list of advisories were exactly the same as the year before and in the same order despite having covered 8,000 miles.
The most dangerous issue was excessive movement in both front suspension lower ball joints – if we had pulled too hard they would have popped right out.
After speaking to our customer and explaining the situation, she was very upset.
The car she had just bought was not only unroadworthy, but should never have passed the MOT carried out five days beforehand.
We comforted her, took her through the MOT appeal process and gave her a lift home.
Our customer then filed the complaint, and we were pleasantly surprised to be contacted very quickly by the DVSA.
We were asked if they could come and carry out an inspection in our MOT bay and we were pleased the complaint was being taken seriously and being dealt with quickly.
The original tester and two examiners attended and the vehicle was inspected.
The inspectors went through the faults with the tester and filed a report.
On speaking with the examiners after the inspection, it turns out that they are aware of the tester and his business.
Apparently unscrupulous testers often have several tricks they use to avoid being caught – on this occasion the mileage entered was incorrect, making it look like the vehicle had covered 11,000 miles since the test was carried out and the argument was that these faults could have occurred at anytime during this mileage.
However, 11,000 miles in five days just isn’t possible.
This allows the DVSA team to look further into the problem carrying out ANPR checks and using other information sources to try and prove fraud.
The big issue for the team is undeniable proof of wrong doing.
The next stage was a formal interview with the tester.
I wish the team luck in their investigations and I hope they can gather enough evidence to deal with the problem appropriately.
All this comes with the government discussing the possibility of extending the frequency to every two years.
I dread to think what could have happened if this vehicle was allowed to continue driving for another two years.
Luckily our customer had the sense to get it checked, but not everyone would have done the same.
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