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Computer failures dog testing stations

Urgent action is needed to tackle the problems suffered by MoT testing stations because of computer failures.

The Retail Motor Industry Federation says testing stations are suffering as a result of ‘repeated failure’ of the new computerised regime.

Ian Davis Knight, head of the RMI’s MoT technical operations team, said: “Immediate steps must be taken to improve its new system and associated support procedures before customer and trade confidence hits rock bottom.”

He speaks out following two partial collapses of the system in the same number of weeks this March that left many of the UK's 19,500 MoT testing stations unable to perform tests with no warning, causing considerable loss to their businesses, and inconvenience to their customers.

The Vehicle Operator and Services Agency has told the RMI the number of stations affected was minimal on each occasion, but this does not tally with the huge number of calls the RMI said it has received from its members.

'The RMI fully understands the teething problems that new computer systems of this scale often attract and has supported VOSA in the essential upgrading of the new MoT test system,' says Davis Knight.

'However, VOSA cannot continue with a communication system that patently does not go far enough to address the problems when urgent contact with the MoT network is required.'

The RMI is urging VOSA to be more proactive in informing testing stations when there are problems and in providing them with more support when things go wrong, and, beyond that, is calling for a transparent and fast track compensation system.

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