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'Serious lapses' in MoT testing

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There are serious disparities in the road worthiness checks at MoT's testing centres, a driving website has warned.

What Car?'s mystery shoppers took a faulty car for MoT tests at various centres and found that some of them missed some serious faults with the vehicle.

The shoppers visited six garages in a span of five days with a six-year-old Vauxhall Corsa that was already rated as an MoT test failure.

The car had a chipped windscreen and a broken brake pipe securing clip, and four of the centres failed to detect these issues. A west London centre could not detect a problem with the vehicle's track rod end ball joint.

What Car? is calling for the government to rethink its plans for MoTs to be compulsory every two years rather than every 12 months. The move might help cut annual costs for drivers who already have tax and car insurance commitments to make, but opponents fear safety will be compromised and ultimately costs will be higher if faults are allowed to get worse with time.

"With so much disparity between different garages, we think the Government should scrap its plans for biannual MoT tests and focus instead on tightening up the current system to ensure motorists stay safe in their cars and on our roads," said Chas Hallett, editor-in-chief of What Car?

A spokesman for the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), which runs the MoT system, said: "A number of your findings have caused VOSA some concern, which we will address with the garages involved."

© Press Association 2011