Franchised motor trade unites behind campaign to cut MOT failure rate

22 March 2013 #SMMT News

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) are partnering with manufacturers and franchised dealers across the UK on an initiative to reduce the number of MOT failures caused by simple, easy-to-identify issues. As well as cutting the MOT failure rate – which can undermine customer confidence in the vehicle, the dealer and the manufacturer – the aim is to help franchised workshops capture and retain more aftersales work.

In a nationwide consumer-facing media campaign that starts next month, motorists will be encouraged to carry out 10 quick-and-easy visual checks taking just a ‘Minute Or Two’, before booking-in their vehicle at the dealership for its annual MOT. The checks cover items such as headlights, indicators, brake lights, wheels and tyres, windscreen wipers and fluid levels. By forewarning the dealer of any required work in advance of the MOT, the consumer will give their vehicle the best chance of passing the test first time around, saving  time wasted by retests.

“The message we want to get across to motorists is that an MOT fail could very easily be avoided if a simple visual check was carried out beforehand,” explains Mike Baunton, SMMT Interim Chief Executive. “The aim of the campaign is to arm motorists with the information that should help reduce avoidable MOT failures, while dealers will be primed to help vehicle owners carry out the visual inspection before the test, or to rectify any issues before conducting a manufacturer-guaranteed MOT.”

Every carmaker in the UK is participating in the campaign – from Ford to Ferrari, Porsche to Peugeot – and all will be sharing with their dealer networks the 10-point ‘Minute Or Two’ checklist so that dealership technicians are ready and able to assist customers who might be unsure about carrying out the checks themselves.

Industry data reveals that around 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT each year as a result of simple issues such as faulty bulbs, too little tyre tread, or even empty windscreen washer fluid bottles – small repairs that could have been easily identified by the owner prior to the annual test. Of all MOT failure issues identified, in 12% of cases there was a tyre with tread below the minimum legal depth of 1.6mm, and for 13% of failure items there was a faulty headlight, brake light or indicator.

“The Minute or Two checks are easy and simple to perform and will save consumers time and aggravation when taking their vehicle for its annual MOT test,” said Sue Robinson, NFDA Director. “If consumers have any concerns they should call a franchised dealer, which has fully trained technicians who are up to speed on all makes and models, for advice.”

Baunton concluded, “A recent survey carried out by SMMT revealed that over a third of motorists were unaware that the majority of franchised workshops even offered manufacturer-guaranteed MOT testing. An important part of this campaign, therefore, is to remind motorists where to turn for high quality customer service, vehicle maintenance and repairs.”


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