Case studies 1-3

* Alarming disparities... * ...between MoT testing stations * System is not fit for purpose...

25 August 2011
Case studies 1-3

Case study one
Chain garage, Midlands
We were pleased that faults with the bulbs and the parking brakes poor efficiency (just 5% see explanation below) were seen as reasons to fail our car. The exhaust leak was also discovered and put on the advisory notice, but the windscreen chip and broken brake pipe clip werent.

However, the car also failed on the nearside track rod end ball joint the opposite side to the one with the fault. When questioned, a spokesperson from the company said that the tester agreed with [our] inspectors opinion that the offside track rod end ball joint had excessive play and wrote this on his notes, but human error led to it being entered incorrectly into the system. However, they added that the part would have been assessed when replaced, and the right part would have been found and the records corrected.

The spokesperson added that, in the opinion of their tester, neither the small windscreen chip nor the broken brake pipe clip warranted being marked as advisory items at the time of inspection. He also said they were completely satisfied with the performance of their tester.

Case study two
Independent garage, Midlands
The blown bulbs, poor parking brake efficiency and the excessive play in the offside track rod end ball joint were all picked up as failure points, while the exhaust leak was noted as an advisory point. However, the windscreen chip and the broken brake pipe clip were not recorded. This garage declined to comment on our findings.

Case study three
Independent garage, south-east England
Good news. The faulty bulbs and offside track rod end ball joint were all found, while the poor parking brake efficiency (8%) meant the car failed: the offside rear parking brake recorded little or no effort and rear brake application was uneven. The leak in the centre exhaust box was also put down as an advisory, but the other advisory points our inspection picked up on were not.

A source from this garage stated they were happy with the test and outcome of the reports. Having noted that our RAC engineer was not a qualified MoT examiner, they said they were unable to comment directly on the absence of the broken brake pipe clip and windscreen chip.