A GARAGE owner and five MOT testers in Yeovil have been given 28-day testing bans after the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency found that they had illegally failed to test diesel vehicle emissions.
During a routine visit in April, DVSA staff found that testers at Yeovil Audi – part of the Ocean Automotive group – continued to pass diesel vehicles while their emissions-testing equipment was broken. Missing emissions reports for completed MOTs led to the revelation that the equipment hadn’t been on site since March 25, 2017.
The agency visited again in May and interviewed members of staff, where it emerged that during a nine-day period, testers at the garage had carried out MOT tests on 49 diesel vehicles without doing emissions checks, meaning that the vehicles weren’t properly tested.
By law, vehicles must have their emissions tested during an MOT. The testers at Yeovil Audi were found to be grossly negligent in issuing MOT pass certificates without undertaking the required emissions tests. The garage could have continued to carry out MOT tests on petrol vehicles without the separate diesel emissions testing equipment, but it continued testing diesel vehicles as well, said the DVSA.
As a result of the site visit and subsequent investigation, five testers and the garage owner have lost their authorisation to conduct MOTs for 28 days.
DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: ‘We take the quality of MOT testing extremely seriously and continue to work with the industry to improve test quality.
‘We’ll withdraw the right to provide MOTs and even prosecute garages who fail to meet the required standards, including those who pose a risk to air quality by failing to carry out emissions tests on vehicles.’
During the 2016/17 financial year, DVSA staff carried out more than 24,000 garage checks. They resulted in 761 warnings or disqualifications to MOT garages or testers who carried out improper tests that endanger road users.
In response, Audi issued a statement to Workshop, saying: ‘It is essential for all MOT test centres to adhere at all times to the standards for MOT testing. This is of utmost importance to the brand and we were very concerned to hear of this serious issue when it was first brought to our attention by the independent DVSA MOT checking procedure.
‘We fully uphold the judgement made by the DVSA and are satisfied that our franchise partner Ocean Automotive is taking appropriate and proportionate action to swiftly address all of the concerns highlighted by the DVSA and to decisively prevent its recurrence.’
File picture courtesy of DVSA
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