I have just tested a ‘W’ Reg Vauxhall Astra and found the nearside tiebar
missing. I was dismayed to find there was no reason for failure for this item
and 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 test
that 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 NTs
to give their opinion on these matters? NTs are disciplined for passing or failing
items that are borderline. Isn’t it time NTs were trusted to make a judgement
without having to worry about the possibility of being disciplined? Is anyone
disciplined for leaving obvious failure items from Reasons for Rejection
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.