Safety recalls and the MOT

legal updates

There is an estimated 2.3 million cars in the UK currently subject to an outstanding recall.

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Despite the changes to the MOT rules which came into force May 2018, the DVSA and Department for Transport are reportedly working together to make further changes to ensure safety recalls are complied with during MOT tests.

DVSA’s head of vehicle engineering, Neil Barlow suggests “it would make logical sense where appropriate for the MOT to be aligned with the safety recalls system.”

There is an estimated 2.3 million cars in the UK currently subject to an outstanding recall. The alignment of the two systems will aim to reduce the number of potentially dangerous vehicles on the road.

Currently there is an online database allowing manufacturers to issue notice of a vehicle recall to the registered keeper of an affected vehicle. It is then the keeper’s responsibility to have the remedial work carried out. However, this is not always followed through.

It is thought that the changes will reflect a similar system to one which Germany uses. In Germany, owners are given a warning if their car has an outstanding recall when tested. If the recall is not attended to by the time the car is retested, the car will fail its roadworthiness test.

Potentially then, in future when a vehicle has an MOT, the testing station will be required to scan for any recalls on the database. If the vehicle appears to have a recall on the database, the MOT tester will be required to check whether this recall has been remedied. If it hasn’t, the car may fail its MOT even if there no other defects with the vehicle.

For traders in the future, you could find yourself in hot water if you sell a vehicle with an outstanding recall since this would inevitably lead to the vehicle failing its MOT. The vehicle would be classified as unroadworthy and it is an offence to sell the vehicle in such condition.

If you find the vehicle you are placing on sale has an outstanding recall, we advise that you remedy the outstanding recall and have the vehicle undergo an MOT to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy at the time of delivery.

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