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RMIF wants VOSA to pay up for MoT computer failures

Garages affected by the MoT computer failures this year will only receive ex-gratia payments from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency for any costs incurred by the outages.

VOSA’s MoT computer systems partially crashed twice in March and again in July.

The Retail Motor Industry’s director of the Independent Garage Association (IGA), Rob Holloway, was unhappy with the decision.

Holloway explained: “When the computer system fails, garages are required to resort to emergency testing. This means that they must first conduct tests using the manual system and then, once the fault has been rectified, they must input this data into the VTS (vehicle testing system) device, order a report and acknowledge that the emergency test certificates match up with the electronic log.

“This is far from satisfactory as it means garages are doing the same job twice, often after normal business hours, which involves having to pay overtime rates to employees.

“The other serious implication of computer failure is the negative effect it has on the consumer's impression of the garage and the MoT scheme at large - such third-party damage to the goodwill of a business is often a feature of court action.”

Holloway ended: “VOSA's refusal to issue appropriate compensation is effectively a refusal to admit responsibility for their failures - failures that were not possible until VOSA introduced computerisation and changed the relationship. This is not acceptable and we are urging them to reconsider by developing a Code of Conduct agreement with all MoT testing stations.”

The RMIF raised its concerns with the Minister of State for Transport, Dr Stephen Ladyman, at a meeting in September and is now calling for VOSA to establish a code of practice outlining the minimum standards that the computerised scheme should measure up to.

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