MOT’s are meant to keep us all safe on Britain’s roads, but last year a woman was tragically killed when corrosion wasn’t picked up during her MOT. Testers are now being urged to take their time and go the ‘extra mile’ during the short tests.
The issue has brought to light the fairly routine procedures each tester performs during an MOT. Normally only corrosion that is evident gets noticed if it’s slightly hidden or difficult to get to then it’s probably been missed.
It brings into question if MOT’s should be more arduous depending on the vehicles age. If corrosion needs to be tested more thoroughly, that’s clearly going to take more time.
As you can see in some of the DVSA’s Horror Stories failures, it’s often cars that aren’t even that old suffering from lethal rust. A picture of a 2007 Nissan Qashqai was particularly scary, both rear suspension arms had pretty much split in two. For a car just over 10 years old that’s rather shocking, especially when you take into account modern manufacturing methods.
It would make sense to have an ‘extended’ test for vehicles 10 years or older, one that specifically looks at structural integrity. Box sections, rear axles and mounting points can all be challenging places to inspect.
Quite often corrosion can be beneath layers of protection. Personally, on one of my own cars I’ve seen rust spread underneath stone chip protection. The same car actually failed its MOT because of a rust hole that was too close to a suspension mounting point. If it wasn’t for me removing the protective coating and physically peeling away the rusted metal it would have passed without a problem. The corrosion was totally hidden, meaning metal with the consistency of filo pastry would have been supporting the front wheel.
Hopefully, the new defect categories will go some way to ensure owners actually maintain and replace parts on their vehicles.
Instead of the old ‘advisories’, the legislation has changed to; dangerous, major, minor. This happens as of 20th May 2018.
Dangerous means an immediate fail, as the vehicle is a risk to road safety. You’re not allowed to drive the car until it has been repaired.
Major, effects vehicle safety and should be repaired immediately. Again it will fail straight away.
Minor, there’s no significant impact on safety but you should get the repairs made as soon as possible.
Advisory, the issue could become worse in the future. You should keep an eye on it and make repairs if necessary.
To keep up with the changes the rather utilitarian test certificate will become more user friendly too. Defects will be made clear at the top of the page so they’re easy to read, rather than in the ambiguous ‘advisory’ section on the old document.
MOT history is often overlooked when it comes to buying a car, but they can be a vital check to see what costs you’re likely to incur in the future. If there’s a ton of advisories as long as your arm, you may want to steer clear, or heavily negotiate on the price.
We’ve got a handy MOT checker to help you out with this. Just enter the registration and you’ll see the due date and any reminders along with its history. You don’t want a nasty shock when it comes to getting a clean bill of health for your new motor.
These days it seems car owners believe their machines will go on forever, whilst manufacturing standards have improved, no car is impervious to wear and tear.
You have to look after them and change parts over time, a service every now and then isn’t the only maintenance cost you should expect.