Garages that fail the MoT test

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Many garages are failing to spot faults on defective cars, leaving drivers at the wheel of potentially dangerous vehicles, according to under-cover tests carried out by the Consumers' Association.

Only two of the 36 MoT test results assessed by Which?, the CA's magazine, and experts from the Department of Transport's Vehicle Inspectorate, were judged to correctly carried out.

The investigation revealed that 75 per cent of all the tests were either "poor" or "very poor", in the experts' view.

Furthermore, half the garages failed cars that should have been passed. Among the worst culprits was Quicks in Leamington Spa, a Rover franchised dealer, which missed the suspension problem on a Rover 218, but failed other suspension components that did not need replacing. The dealership added to its mistakes by quoting pounds 460 to sort out the car.

"Too many MoT testers are missing failure points they should spot," said Andrew Mcllwraith, senior editor with Which?. "This is despite a Government review of the MOT after our last inspection in 1993 revealed poor standards, overall standards are still unacceptable low." Randeep Ramesh