IAAF Questions Need for MOT test Change
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has added its to the growing number of voices questioning the need to alter MOT frequency requirements. For its part the IAAF has written what it describes as a “strongly worded letter” to Transport Minister Michael Penning expressing surprise at the government’s decision to review the MOT test.The review is scheduled for later in the year. Transport Department whip Earl Atlee told the House of Lords in July “we intend to look at the issue of MOT frequencies later this year.”
IAAF director Brian Spratt commented: “It seems strange that Department for Transport officials haven’t briefed the Minister and Earl Attlee on a review which took place just two years ago. The then Minister for State at the Department for Transport, Jim Fitzpatrick, concluded that a significant number of additional road traffic accidents and consequent deaths would be likely if MOT test frequency was reduced. Understandably that was viewed as a wholly unacceptable outcome, so the Minister decided the MOT test frequency should remain unchanged.”
In his letter, Spratt explained that currently, around 35 per cent of vehicles, when presented for their first MOT test, fail. And, of course, by the time of the first test, some fleet cars can have covered more than 100,000 miles, so it would be unsurprising to find fail points on those. Of as much concern is the tendency for the average private motorist to treat the MOT as the spur to carry out the most basic of maintenance. Any slackening of the requirement based on time, potentially moving from 12 month test to 24 months, is a recipe for an increasing number of unroadworthy and downright dangerous cars being used on the UK’s roads.
Brian added: “Add in the environmental impact of poorly maintained vehicles polluting the air for two years rather than one, and you begin to find the drivers for Mr Fitzpatrick’s earlier decision. There are many arguments for increasing rigour in the test; the lack of objectivity in shock absorber testing is one such area for concern. And in an ideal situation the vehicle would be tested by mileage covered, but that’s impractical at present. As the technology of ‘talking’ vehicles develops. I’m sure remote monitoring of a vehicle’s performance, and even the performance of various components, will be possible; and, certainly, an automated call for a test based on mileage will be feasible – if not a little ‘big-brotherish’. But we’re a step away from that at present.”
Spratt concluded: “By all means stiffen the test requirements to make vehicles safer and more efficient, but don’t let’s go to the lowest European common denominator. Let’s keep 3-1-1.”