1.3 million MOT failures on the road

One-in-10 cars that passed their MOT last year should have failed, according to an investigation by What Car?.

This equates to nearly 1.3 million cars on the road now with potentially dangerous defects.

As part of the 2021-2022 MOT Compliance Survey, a team of DVSA expert vehicle examiners retested 1,732 vehicles. It disagreed with the test outcomes in 12.2% of cases, with 2.1% of failures deemed to be worthy of a pass certificate.

In nearly two-thirds of the vehicles retested (65.9%), the DVSA found at least one defect which the MOT test station had missed or incorrectly recorded.

Tyres were the component area with the highest number of defects disagreed, at 734, followed by brakes (660) and suspension (642).

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “Our investigation highlights the differences between official vehicle roadworthiness standards and those upheld by some in the industry. With safety critical components such as tyres and brakes at the top of the list of defects missed there are potentially serious road safety concerns at play here.

“It might seem beneficial for owners to have their vehicle inspected by a favourable garage, but the test is there to provide a minimum standard of vehicle safety.”

A DVSA spokesperson said: “Our MOT Compliance Survey is an essential tool helping us make our roads among the safest in Europe. The vast majority of MOT testers carry out testing to the highest standards. Our survey targets a random selection of vehicles and is designed to identify any problems with MOT testing so that we can put them right.”