OK, so ‘Brexit means Brexit’, but any EU legislation already in the pipeline must still be made into British law – including the most recent EU ‘Directive’ about MOT Testing. And the process has already started, with a consultation document issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) in September, and which closed on 2nd November. We understand the bulk of the work on this has been done by the DVSA.
Yet, misleadingly, the consultation is headed, ‘Roadworthiness testing for fast tractors and other technical changes to vehicle testing’, and although only the last 5 pages of the 28 page document involve the ‘normal’ MOT Test, some of those changes, are significant.
What’s also a bit odd, is whilst the bulk of the changes affecting the ‘normal’ MOT are pretty much taken from the Directive itself, an important MOT issue resulting from the EU changes is not mentioned at all in the consultation document – that there will be three different categories of an MOT failure. We have, however, been told that those changes will also be implemented when the time comes, so we’ll look at those first.
Three categories of MOT failures…
The three new categories of MOT failure will be:
- ‘Minor’ failures: Effectively our current ‘advisories’ but from a defined list in the Directive. Like ‘advisories’ now, the vehicle owner does not need to get them fixed to obtain an MOT ‘pass’.
- ‘Major’ failures: The next level, ‘major’ failures are the same as the current British MOT failure – the vehicle owner must get the defects fixed to get an MOT.
- ‘Dangerous’ failures: These are like our current ‘danger box’ failures, but will be compulsory for certain defined defects, excessively worn brake shoes and pads, or tyres for example, as well as an excessively worn or scored brake disc or drum (not currently necessarily a reason for rejection in the UK Test), and “Excessive play in a wheel bearing”.
An issue here is that Testers will have to actually inspect the vehicle for those minor failures, and record the result – whilst the person presenting the vehicle for test doesn’t have to effect any repairs. Testers taking extra time conducting the Test, for no real benefit – a fairly classic piece of EU nonsense. We suspect that after Brexit is completed, that will be quietly dropped.
Identifying mandatory ‘dangerous’ failures is welcomed, and we suspect that this will significantly increase the number of vehicles failed as having ‘dangerous’ defects. Although strangely there probably won’t be any compulsion on presenters to take vehicles with dangerous defects off the road.
Significant changes to the MOT inspection
One significant change to the MOT inspection is that ‘transmissions’ will now need to be inspected; this would include prop-shaft universal joints, currently not a ‘reason for refusal’. There are also a number of seemingly minor changes which nevertheless will ‘throw’ up more failures.
On brake discs for example, whereas currently the Manual says, “a brake disc or drum in such a condition that it is seriously weakened or insecure”, new EU rules say, “Drum or disc excessively worn, excessively scored, cracked, insecure or fractured” – currently an excessively ‘scored’ brake disc is not a reason for refusal according to the Testers Manual.
Such changes, some minor and others of more significance will arise throughout a revised Testers Manual.
See MOT Testing 91 November 2016 issue for further information.
Link to EU Directive here