The DVSA is looking to work with the Department for Transport (DfT) in order to align the MOT with recall data in an effort to improve road safety.
The process would lead to a further ‘toughening up’ of MOT rules and would allow testers to check whether a vehicle has been through an important safety recall, should one have been issued, before issuing a certificate.
Vehicle manufacturers regularly issue safety recalls for their cars, and while it is illegal for dealers to sell anything with outstanding work required, there is no legal requirement for owners to get dangerous faults fixed.
The DVSA launched an online checking tool in February last year, yet estimates that one in 13 cars in the UK is subject to an outstanding recall.
The two departments are now looking to see if their systems can be aligned in a fair and practical way, with consumers having a fair period after a recall is issued before an MOT failure, giving them time to get faults fixed. Government systems are also not designed to talk to each other, and the two authorities would need to adapt these which could take time and effort. Changes will also need to be made to legislation, a process which takes the idea through parliament.
RAC road safety spokesperson Pete Williams said: “Any measure that could reduce the numbers of potentially unsafe vehicles on our roads should be welcomed. It seems logical to align the MOT test to the safety recall system, but there are some practicalities which the DVSA has identified that need to be addressed to make this possible.
“While most drivers would want any potentially dangerous fault rectified as soon as possible, any process that either flags such outstanding recall issues as a warning to act on or as an MOT advisory is a very positive step for road safety.”
Meanwhile, the DVSA is also looking to reduce the number of vehicles registered incorrectly on the MOT.
In the next few months, the body will be making some changes to the vehicle registration screens so the vehicle make, model and colour will be even clearer to help testers get the right match.
There may soon be the option to plug in to the vehicle’s diagnostic port too, allowing direct access to the VIN and vehicle information.