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Question:   I have just tested a ‘W’ Reg Vauxhall Astra and found the nearside tiebarmissing. I was dismayed to find there was no reason for failure for this itemand contacted the MOT Helpline to try to establish a reason to fail this item.I was shocked to find out that the item was a pass and advise.

Why has it not been added as a failure? It makes a mockery of the MOT testthat if one end was insecure it is a fail, but if it’s missing it is a pass and advise.

Perhaps it is time to re-address the reasons for failure, maybe even asking NTsto give their opinion on these matters? NTs are disciplined for passing or failingitems that are borderline. Isn’t it time NTs were trusted to make a judgementwithout having to worry about the possibility of being disciplined? Is anyonedisciplined for leaving obvious failure items from Reasons for Rejection




Expert Answer:   
On investigation, it was found that the tie-bar in question should have been fitted between the neck of the suspension strut and the anti-roll bar. This component is examined under section 2.4 G1 of the Inspection Manual (IM) where there is not, nor ever has been a Reason for Rejection (RfR) for any of these components being missing (anti-roll bar missing is dealt with separately in 2.4 G2).

So, why is it that these components can be failed for being insecure, but not for being missing? Well, the IM has evolved over the last 48 years by periodic review and consultation. Originally, it was probably the case that all the components listed under section 2.4 G1 were essential to drive the vehicle. However, even when anti-roll bars and linkages found their way on to this list, their being missing was never added as an RfR to this section.

However, with the exception of anti-roll bar linkage and possibly torque reaction arms, if any of the components in 2.4 G1 were missing, a tester would probably abandon the test as too dangerous to continue. This would bypass the need for a ‘missing’ RfR (excuse the pun!).

In the past, if an NT had come across a missing tie-bar, they would probably have written the defect on the VT30, which would have been incorrect. But as you know this is no longer possible with MOT Comp, as every RfR is specified.

RfRs are constantly under review, which could be as a result of information supplied by NTs themselves. This could be through the Enquiry Unit (as this one did), by letter or via the VTS Device messaging system. These queries are invaluable in identifying issues with Methods of Inspection, RfRs and all other aspects of the test, allowing the IM to be updated in due course (as will be done in this case).

If you are not sure of something, ring the contact centre on 0300 123 9000. Although you may not always like the answer you get, bringing these issues out in the open helps all of us. The MOT scheme must be challenged in order to strengthen and grow, helping to make a safer environment for us all.


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