At the same time that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) published post-lockdown garage reopening advice, they also echoed earlier calls from the tyre aftermarket business to support MOT tests.
The UK Government exemption on MOTs for six months from 30 March 2020, may have come as welcome news to many motorists, but the NTDA has also raised serious concerns about its impact on future vehicle roadworthiness. The fact that the emphasis has been placed on motorists to ensure their vehicles are kept in a roadworthy condition, further raises concerns. In short, the NTDA believes this general exemption will create long-term problems.
Tread depth is essential to keep a vehicle in contact with the road in wet conditions and it remains a legal requirement, despite the introduction of a six-month exemption on MoT for Britain’s motorists. TyreSafe is reminding motorists that a tyre being driven below 1.6mm is illegal and if found by the police could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and three-points being added to a driver’s licence – per tyre.
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has said the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) decision to extend MOTs for a six-month period causes “huge challenges” for the sector, arguing that the industry needs to ensure vehicles continue to be kept safe in these challenging times.
Following talk of a possible MOT suspension, the government has clarified the position. Cars, motorcycles and vans will be granted a six-month MOT exemption from 30 March 2020 in order to allow people to carry on with essential travel. This means vehicles that would usually would require an MOT test won’t need one from 30 March. However, the government does say “vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work”, adding that “drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.”
In addition to the news that the Maha Duo+1 scissor lift if the model behind the Northern Ireland MOT crisis, GEA chief executive Julian Woods has pointed out that these Irish lifts are different to UK equivalents: “Vehicle lifts used for performing MOT tests in Ireland are of a different design/specification to those required in the UK MOT market and as such we cannot compare the situations.”
Maha Ireland has confirmed that its Maha DUO+1 scissor lift is behind the Northern Ireland MOT crisis. The lift, which has been supplied to DVA centres across Northern Ireland and is also believed to have been supplied to NCT centres in the Republic of Ireland, suffering from cracking which resulted in the suspension of all car MOTS in Northern Ireland on 27 January 2020.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced reviews into the MOT fiasco during a visit to DVA’s Boucher Road test centre on 28 January.
Speaking from the test centre, Minister Mallon said: “I have just been in speaking with staff here at the Boucher Road DVA centre. Staff are working tirelessly on the frontline to process priority customers and to communicate with the public. However, I have acted decisively to minimise disruption.”