Fleet News

MOT change would be good for road safety, says RAC

Mechanic working on underside of car

The RAC has given its backing to aligning the MOT with vehicle safety recalls so that if there is an outstanding issue with a car or van it could fail the test.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which manages both the MOT and recall process, has said it is keen to work with the Department for Transport (DfT) to determine how the test could be adapted to cover outstanding safety recalls in the future.

It comes after both BMW and the DVSA were criticised at an inquest for failures over a recall that were seen as 'contributory factor' in a fatal collision, last year.

The coroner highlighted the DVSA’s lack of demands for BMW to recall cars prone to sudden power failure in concluding the inquest into the death of a former Gurkha who died in a collision involving a stricken 3 Series saloon (fleetnews.co.uk, June 11).

Following the coroner's comments, DVSA said they would give manufacturers a 10-day deadline before it legally forces them to recall vehicles or face prosecution (fleetnews.co.uk, July 17). The clarification on the DVSA’s powers also followed investigations into Vauxhall’s Zafira model B fires.

It is estimated that one in 13 cars in the UK is subject to an outstanding recall.

RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said: “Any measure that could reduce the numbers of potentially unsafe vehicles on our roads should be welcomed.

“It seems logical to align the MOT test to the safety recall system, but there are some practicalities which the DVSA has identified that need to be addressed to make this possible.

“While most drivers would want any potentially dangerous fault rectified as soon as possible, any process that either flags such outstanding recall issues as a warning to act on or as an MOT advisory is a very positive step for road safety.”

The DVSA told Auto Express “it would make logical sense where appropriate for the MOT to be aligned with the safety recalls system”.

The database that deals with safety recalls is separate to the MOT database and would need to be combined for the system to work and the Government would need to introduce legislation to make the change to the MOT.

 

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