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MOT Test Stations ‘in the dark again’ after computer failures

The Retail Motor Industry Federation has urged the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency to take action by the repeated failure of the new computerised regime for MOT testing stations.

"Immediate steps must be taken to improve its new system and associated support procedures before customer and trade confidence hits rock bottom," said Ian Davis Knight, head of the RMIF MOT technical operations team.

There have been two partial collapses of the system in the same number of weeks this month.

VOSA has told the RMIF that the number of stations affected was minimal on each occasion. However, the RMI said this does not hold true following the ‘huge number of calls’ it received from its members. It is a claim that will now be tested by a full RMIF membership survey.

"The RMIF 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," said 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," he added.

The RMIF 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.

Davis Knight explains: "We are suggesting that VOSA could improve the situation substantially by interactively engaging with individual testing stations using voice messaging to inform them of current problems and anticipated effects. This would remove the need for the network having to contact a single Helpline and ensure that no one is left in the dark when problems occur.

"VOSA has to realise that answer-phone messages are not an adequate form of providing customer support and the MOT Test Station is their customer."

The RMIF will continue to fully support VOSA during the implementation stage, but is seeking an urgent meeting with it’s chief executive to outline concerns and suggest actions to help restore our members’ faith in the future of MOT testing.

"The MOT Test is one critical stage of addressing vehicle safety on our roads and the RMIF cannot condone a continuation of the less than acceptable level of service currently delivered to its membership by VOSA," said the RMIF.

  • Have you encountered problems with the computerised testing system? If so, the RMIF would like to hear from you. Visit www.rmif.co.uk to find out how you can have your say.
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