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MOTs get tougher as new failure criteria introduced

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The RAC has warned that motorists could be confused by new MOT categories, which grade defects into minor, major or dangerous.

The new failure categories are due to be introduced later this year as part of a new EU directive, alongside tougher diesel emissions tests. Cars tested from May that have dangerous and major defects will automatically fail the MOT. A car with a minor defect can still be driven on the road, although the information will need to be noted on the MOT certificate.

RAC spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “We fear many motorists could end up being confused by the new categories which give an indication as to the seriousness of vehicle defects identified in an MOT test.

“Rather than MOT failures simply being black and white, the new system creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to whether faults are ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ or ‘minor’. This will surely be open to interpretation which may lead to greater inconsistency from one test centre to another.

“Motorists may also struggle to understand the difference between ‘dangerous’ and ‘major’ failures. The current system ensures that any vehicle with a fault that doesn’t meet the MOT requirements is repaired appropriately before being allowed back on the road.”

Williams added that the MOT system needs to ensure vehicles on the road are as safe as possible, rather than introducing a new system which has the potential to do the opposite. He said he was concerned about a lowering of MOT standards and any reduction in the number of vehicles failing the test.

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