Call to tackle MoT failures

Call to tackle MoT failures

Better communication between garages and Vosa would help

The Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (Vosa) should improve its communication with users of its national electronic MoT system to ensure minimum upset when the network goes down, says the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF).

The computerised system is widely welcomed and will be rolled out to 19,500 MoT testing stations by the end of this week.

But glitches during the early stages have caused more problems than they needed to, says RMIF independent garage division director Ray Holloway.

‘The basic problem is communication – most of the issues stem from that,’ said Holloway.

‘Vosa does not provide information about problems speedily enough, or put in place emergency procedures fast enough,’ he said.

Problems affecting several thousand test centres have occurred on two occasions over the past month. When the system is down, garage staff can only continue to do MoT tests if Vosa authorises the use of emergency manual procedures.

‘Every computer system will fall over in the early stages, but we are asking Vosa to understand the impact more clearly, to use other ways of communicating with testing stations, and to allow emergency procedures to kick in sooner,’ said Holloway.

Because the MoT system is the first computer technology used by many garages, the agency cannot assume users will understand how problems occur or will be looking for incident information posted on the system itself, says Holloway.

‘There is a learning curve because these are often people not used to having a computer system – there could have been better training from Vosa,’ he said.

A spokeswoman for Vosa said: ‘There have been two minor incidents over the past fortnight but motorists should still have received their paper MoTs without delay. Procedures allow for garages to issue paper certificates and to update the database at a later stage. The issues have now been resolved and all garages are back online.’