The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has seen an increase in the number of MOT emission tests not being conducted at sites, according to the Independent Garage Association (IGA).
Emission tests are an important part of MOT checks, and while the DVSA acknowledges that their road safety risk is negligible, concerns over the environmental impact of vehicles have become a major focus of UK government policy in recent years.
The IGA reports that concerns have been raised over the lack of emission tests being carried out, or records not being made available when requested by vehicle examiners during visits. This has led to numerous disciplinary cases resulting in tester and authorised examiner cessations.
Emission tests reduce health issues
Vehicle emissions have been an increasing presence in the news, especially with the expansion of the London ULEZ zone. There have also been concerns over health issues, and greenhouse gases, all of which have led to more focus on emission tests at the MOT stage.
Failure to conduct emission tests to all relevant vehicles indicates testers do not satisfy all the requirements of the MOT Guide and Operating Instructions, meaning the legal requirements regarding emissions emitted from the exhaust tail pipe are not being monitored correctly at test stage.
The IGA states that it is vitally important that the general public are assured, that to protect the environment from vehicle borne emissions, checks are undertaken during the annual MOT test.
The MOT Testing Guide section H.5, Retention of Documentation states:
Emissions records from all test results, including all BET tests, must include all relevant vehicle details. Digitally stored emissions records are acceptable if the data is readily retrievable upon request.
No excuse for missing tests
If emission tests are not documented or records are not available, either printouts or digitally retrieved, the DVSA could consider that the emission tests were not carried out at the MOT.
The authority states that there is no excuse to not carry out the checks. MOT testers must conduct all aspects of the MOT in accordance with the inspection manual and MOT testing guide.
In addition, Authorised Examiners must ensure that all equipment is operating and maintained to the required standards.
Should digital records stored by an emission tester not be retrievable due to an error, this will be considered an emission tester malfunction and testing must stop until the equipment is properly repaired. Possible faulty equipment, or supposed lack of knowledge of equipment not storing information, will not be considered mitigation in any disciplinary case.
The DVSA has stated that if they find emission testing has not been carried out deliberately or through lack of care in ensuring data storage, this will be subject to formal disciplinary action which may result in cessation from testing.