Fleet News

Checks reveal one million fleet cars may be unsafe

UP to one million company cars may be unsafe according to a new study, which claims fleet decision-makers and business drivers are running the risk of prosecution as a result.

A catalogue of faults were revealed when fast-fit company Kwik-Fit Fleet and fleet driver risk management organisation Drive & Survive carried out vehicle inspections at a series of fleet seminars.

Almost one third of the 50 cars checked by Kwik-Fit Mobile and Kwik-Fit Fleet Service Plus technicians at five seminars had faults. If findings were replicated across the UK's three million-strong company car parc, it means that almost one million vehicles may be unsafe.

Kwik-Fit sales director Mike Wise said: 'Our survey reveals an alarming number of faults on vehicles being driven by responsible individuals. The very fact that these people were attending a fleet safety seminar shows that they understand the importance of corporate fleet safety and risk management.

'However, it is clear that many of these people are not carrying our frequent safety inspections on their own company car, let alone ensuring that similar checks are undertaken on all vehicles on the fleet for which they are responsible.'

Wise added: 'Our snapshot survey replicated across the UK's three million company car fleet reveals that almost one million cars could be on the road with at least one fault which our technicians could detect. If any one of those drivers was stopped by the police, criminal action could result. Even more alarming would be the consequences if any of those vehicles were involved in an accident.'

Wise said not only could the company car driver face prosecution but the company and senior employees such as the fleet executive and company directors could also face court action for breaching health and safety regulations or failing in their duty of care.

What the checks revealed

  • 31% had tyres which were on the 1.6mm legal limit
  • 28% had incorrect tyre pressures of which two vehicles were 30% below manufacturer guidelines
  • 23% were low on oil with the dipstick on two cars failing to register any oil
  • 17% had stone chips to the windscreen
  • 17% had low coolant levels with two vehicles having no anti-freeze
  • 11% had tyres below the 1.6mm legal limit
  • 11% had light malfunctions
  • 8% had washers which did not work
  • 5% had flat spare tyres.
    Source: Kwik-Fit Fleet/Drive & Survive
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