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New MoT test documents to include car recall information

The DVSA is adapting its MoT test process to give clear advisory information about any recalls that may apply to the car as real-time updates are introduced

Vauxhall MOT Test Insurance

MoT advisory notes are to be updated with warnings covering any outstanding recalls, as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) also adds real time updates to its digital MoT history and MoT reminder services.

While it won’t be possible to fail an MoT on the grounds that your car has an unaddressed or unrepaired safety recall, testing stations will, with immediate effect, provide that information as part of the supplementary print-out to an MoT pass or fail, which includes so-called advisory items. ‘Advisories’ are faults or wear that the MoT testers have picked up, but have not yet advanced to the stage where they’re deemed serious enough to warrant an MoT failure. 

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The move has been introduced by the DVSA as part of an effort to increase recall take-up, but not all manufacturers have signed up to the scheme. The list of those that have done so, effectively the brands that will now share live data with the DVSA about recall repairs as and when they’re carried out on individual cars, includes Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and the Volkswagen Group.

The DVSA says that list accounts for over half the cars on the road with currently outstanding recalls, but it leaves many manufacturers apparently still to be convinced that it’s a good idea to remind owners of outstanding recall notices every year at MoT time. While recall fixes are generally free of charge to customers, large recall campaigns can cost car makers huge sums.

According to Chris Price, head of MoT Policy at the DVSA, the new measure is a “huge step forward” as it brings recall information direct to drivers.

“By adding the information to the MOT certificate and our popular digital services we can make it easier for motorists and improve safety recall uptake rates, helping everyone keep Britain’s roads among the safest in the world,” he says.

The DVSA’s digital MoT history service and reminder services are already hugely popular. Its Check MoT History web page has an average of 18 million hits per month, and will also be updated with the latest recall information - including from non-participating manufacturers, although that information cannot be guaranteed as fully up-to-date.

You can also visit the DVSA website to sign up for MoT reminders via email or SMS text message. Over four and half million drivers are already doing just that, and they’ll benefit from the updated recall information notices too.

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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